The Purple of Modesty
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As I go along in sanctification I'm struck by hems. Hems of shorts and skirts and necklines of shirts- the difference between a Christian woman's and an unsaved woman's. I'm offended by cleavage and too much leg. And men- are your skinny jeans too tight?
This is an age-old problem. Men and women were always ready to display their bodily wares, so as to entice. But the true woman clothes herself in dignity, not lasciviousness.
Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:9-10.
likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.
One of the early church fathers, Tertullian, wrote a work titled On the Apparel of Women, sometime near the end of the second century. He said pagan women who wore elaborate hair ornaments, immodest clothing, and body decorations had actually been forced by society and fashion to abandon the superior splendor of true femininity.
He noted by way of contrast that as the church had grown and the gospel had borne fruit, one of the visible results was the rise of a trend toward modesty in women's dress and a corresponding elevation of the status of women. He acknowledged that pagan men commonly complained, "Ever since she became a Christian, she walks in poorer garb!" Christian women even became known as "modesty's priestesses." But, Tertullian said, as believers who lived under the lordship of Christ, women were spiritually wealthier, more pure, and thus more glorious than the most extravagant women in pagan society. Clothed "with the silk of uprightness, the fine linen of holiness, the purple of modesty," they elevated feminine virtue to an unprecedented height. (Source)Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
A godly woman endeavors to do everything with a “God-ward” perspective. She knows that God wants His people to be concerned for His glory and the spiritual state of their brothers and sisters in Christ. If a woman professes to be a Christian yet she dresses in a way that will unduly draw attention to her body, she is a poor witness of the One who bought her soul by dying for her on the cross. She is forgetting that her body has been redeemed by Christ and is now the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). (Source)Before I was saved I thought nothing about wearing clothes that would deliberately incite or just promote my own body. The outward expression of the sin was lasciviousness but the inward root of it was pride. After salvation, what I want to promote is Jesus.
Self-esteem is not to be found in the flesh. In fact, the flesh is diseased and dying. It is Christ in us who should be esteemed highly. Therefore, women clothe yourselves in the 'silk of uprightness, the fine linen of holiness, and the purple of modesty.'
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