Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Modesty by Elisabeth Elliot
From Elisabeth Elliot:
"Let’s think first what immodesty says about us women before we talk about what its effects may be upon others. What are your Christian standards? Do you seek to be noticed, to make a splash when you come into a room? Or do you seek to be simple, humble, gentle and quiet in spirit and not wearing the very latest fashions nor looking frumpy by wearing something that’s way out of date. We do have to conform to a certain degree, but there are always classic clothes. Those are the ones that I try to stick with because they last for many years. I have a suit now that I think is 17 years old and I just wore it about a week ago. I wear things, which are tailored and simple and classic.
But we’re talking about these low-cut dresses, sleeveless blouses, see-through blouses and the slit skirts. The Bible says that we’re supposed to shine as lights in the world. Christ lives in me. Does that make any visible differences? Will it correct my thinking? Do I pray that God will purify my desires?
Prostitutes dress obviously, so as to draw attention. It’s their business, isn’t it? The last thing that a Christian woman is thinking of is being like a prostitute.Does a man’s thought life have a problem? Well, of course. But here is some very frank talk from two different men in two different places, and it’s not by any means the only letters that I’ve had from them. It is a very difficult and a very delicate question. As both of these men recognized, it is their job to stop looking. Don’t look the women up and down. Don’t fall for the types who are dressing like prostitutes. But is it right for us women to be thoughtless in these areas? Is there an earnestness about pleasing the Lord? Have we taken His yoke? Are we learning from Him? Are we gentle and humble in heart? Are we walking worthy of the Lord, looking and acting and speaking differently from the Lord?
What would the Lord have you do? Look like a frump or look like the vanguard of the fashion magazines? Flashy or sober? Are you pregnant? Are you overweight? Do you try to dress in such a way as to minimize those things? Are you too old for short skirts? I see a lot of women as I travel around who I would certainly say are too old to be wearing those short skirts. And if you’re 16 years old, how short a skirt can you wear if you want to be responsible before God in the presence of young men?
Neat or messy? Wildly and deliberately messy? I see some hair-dos, which I think of as wildly and deliberately messy. Feminine? There are many ways of drawing attention to yourself without your once thinking about it. Think. Ask the Lord’s guidance. We older women must be willing to take the risk of making someone angry and speaking to her about the way she is dressing. We have to take responsibility. It is our fault that we have not been teaching younger women modesty."