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Texts:  I Timothy 2:9-10

Teaching Service on Modesty

Scripture Passages:

            I Timothy 2:9-10

            Song of Songs 2:7, 3:5, 8:4 - NLT - until the time is right

            Proverbs 31:30 - Beauty is fleeting

            Genesis 2:20-25 - Adam first meeting Eve

            Genesis 3:8-11, 21-22 - Covering up after the first sin

            Genesis 3:16 - Eve longs for husband after the Fall

            Matthew 5:27-28 - Jesus’ words on lust

            Romans 14:13, I Corinthians 8:9 - don’t let freedoms become stumbling blocks

I might make you mad today - difficult topic - modesty in our clothing choices.

*Danger Against Speaking About Modesty

            1.  Accusation of Judgmental

            2.  Sexist - But men and women are created differently

            3.  It’s a cultural thing - keeping up with the styles

                        -consider the culture, styles of today

If It’s Just a Cultural thing, we should consider our culture:

            -sex not limited to marriage

            -pornography has grown acceptable and accessible

                        -even joked about and taken lightly - radio commercial (porn on the internet)

            -there is an increasingly revealing nature to style

                        -especially in women’s clothing

            -society is over stimulated - sexually- billboards, shows, magazine covers

The Setting of First Text:

            -Church worshipping together

            -Instruction to dress in a way that reflects condition of heart

            -church could be divided - by immodest dress

                        -dress that draws attention to self

                        -can be emphasis on overdressing (diamond studded suits) - draws attention

Does it look like prejudice

            -Prejudice - to make a judgment based on limited information

            -Often illegitimate- skin color, disabilities

                        -because the color of skin says nothing about character

                        -because disabilities say nothing about the condition of a person’s heart

            However, clothing is a choice (at least to some extent)

                        -maybe better say- appearance

                        -if I shave my head - tattoo a swastika - you will make assumptions about me

                        -if I spike my hair, dye it green, dog collar, perverse T-shirt- make a statement

            We realize that dress can make an impression

                        -it reveals something about our heart

                                    -although it may be limited, it does reveal our hearts

This message is not merely about short skirts and tight sweaters - but about heart condition


            Avoids clothing that is extravagant, showy, revealing, or sexually enticing

*Immodesty- more than a problem of wearing short skirts

            -is a matter of the heart, more than the clothes

            -an expression of arrogance

            -lacks humility

            -draws undue attention to oneself

There is a struggle

            -there is a fine line between admiring beauty (or taking care of Creation - stewardship_

                        -and immodesty (and its counterpart- lust)

*Comments on Beauty:

            1.  God created this world with beauty - Genesis 1 - God Saw, It was good

            READ GENESIS 2:20-25 (NOTE CHANGE TO 25)

            2.  God created men and women to be attracted to each other

                        -see Adam and Eve - in creation

                        -this pleasure was to be limited to marriage

            3.  There are stumbling blocks associated with beauty (because of sin)

            READ MATTHEW 5:27-28

                        -for men - tendency to lust

                        -sadly- we must confess it is a stain of sin that almost never fades away

                                    -at least it is very prevailing

                                    -refer to Council Survey

                                                5 questions - distraction

                                                2/3 said yes to every question

                                                The rest only said no to one question

                                                            -one person said no to 2 questions

                                                            -these questions, asked of council members at our church

                                                                        -above reproach?  A reality.

                                    -in the work world

                                                Survey between men and women

                                                Appropriate dress at work

                                                            -women thought knee length skirts - OK

                                                            -men thought mid calf at the extreme of revealing


                        -for women - possible to use beauty for attention

                                    -Eve longed for her husband

                        -Is this still a pitfall for women in the 21st century?

                        -do you like the attention paid when you receive compliments?

                                    -could that lead to desire to be more revealing?


            4.  Outer beauty is fleeting

                        -nice, but fleeting, vain, does not last

                        -and if we strive for outer beauty, we are chasing a fading dream

                                    -for men - value in a woman - chasing a fleeting characteristic

                                    -for women - it will not last - chase something better

            5.  God desires a beauty that results from an intimate walk with Him

                        Unfading beauty - is found in a gentleness of Spirit, integrity, character

                        -a modest heart reflects this beauty

                        -we’re not just talking about clothing

                                    -we are talking about hearts

                                    -we are talking about attitudes


1.  Tension between beauty and provocative

            -a terrible cycle - men’s lust, women’s insecurity

2.  There is a difference between beauty and sexy

            -sexy draws the eyes and mind to the body - induces lust

                        -maybe not the intention, but is the result


            -don’t easily give in to lust

            -it is a cop out to say - “you made me look”

                        -don’t look twice

            -heed Jesus’ words - focus your mind on things that are God honoring

                        -serving Him,

            -if your hand offends thee- cut it off

                        -avoid stores, web sites, television shows, going to the beach

                        -and focus on pleasing God- honoring spouse (if married)




1.  Exercise compassion for brothers in Christ

                        -they struggle with sin

                        -be sensitive to that

            I do not believe most women who dress immodestly mean to entice

                        -but they are unaware of the struggle that many men have

            -men are prone to look

            -even decent men - can allow their minds to wander


2.  What you win them with is what you win them to.

            -do you present a sexy body

            -or an admirable life

            -if you have both, one can overshadow the other

3.  Do not strive for physical beauty

            -but for inner beauty

                        -striving becomes silly  - complete or total makeover, surgery, etc.?

            -imitate the characteristics you admire in others

4.  If you don’t respect your bodies

            -young men won’t respect your bodies

                        -they will look and ponder what you present

Assistance in evaluating clothing:

            Is Clothing Modest:

            -draws eyes away from face to other areas of the body

                        (flip side - are men’s eyes scanning the body)


                        -bare shoulders

                        -open back


                        -low cut dress

                        -tight and form-fitting

*Pastoral Comments on Modesty in our dress:

            1.  Should dress modestly

                        -not to provoke attention

                        -allow it to be a reflection of our heart

                        -This is about living for Christ - all we do reflects Him

            2.  Should gently correct and instruct each other

                        -Parent intervention is key

                        -Young ladies- when male in your life cautions you about dress

                                    -father, brother, grandpa, uncle, other

                                    -it is because they think you are beautiful

                                                -and want others to see inner beauty, Proverbs 31 beauty

            3.  Should warmly welcome immature followers and visitors who dress immodestly

                        -this is a teaching to provoke self reflection

                                    -how we dress

                                    -where we focus our minds

                        -if you are thinking, I need to talk to someone about her clothing

                                    -you have missed it - how does it affect you?

                                    -we must be gentle in our rebuke - very careful

                        -this is a teaching for followers

                        -dress is not a sin, but a reflection of the heart’s condition

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