“Oh sweetie, don’t bend over, I’ll get the sodas from now on.” That’s what the older woman said to me as I was wearing short shorts and a tank top in the middle of the summer, while serving at my church for a men’s event! Umm, yeah, can you say immodest? But, hey, I was new in Christ, what did I know? Apparently not much in the modesty department!
I didn’t know the woman personally and I had zero understanding of what her issue was. It’s not like I had read the verse about not causing our brothers to stumble. Well, maybe I did read it, but I clearly did not understand it!
I was thankful for her tact and graciousness. I was thankful that she did not condemn me for not dressing like a good, sweet, Christian woman. Although I was one, I was still learning and growing in the Lord.
Can you look at this woman without judging her because of what she is wearing?
I once had a friend that I brought to church, and over time I encouraged her to grow in the Lord. She was a very pretty and thin gal, but not the most modest. I spent quite a bit of time mentoring her in various aspects of her life, including her walk with the Lord, equipping her in her marriage, along with encouraging her in her parenting. But never once did I address her immodest clothing. I wanted to, but I felt like she was already dealing with enough as it was.
One day she came to church in what looked like a very short and small, black cocktail dress. It screamed provocative. When I saw it my mouth dropped open in shock and I thought to myself, should I say something to her or not. She’s around my husband and other men and I’m sure she is certainly causing some of these guys to stumble!
So, here’s my question to you. Would you have said something to her regarding her inappropriate dress?
Now here’s the rest of the story….
Later that day I found out that her husband was heavily involved in pornography and had been for many years. My friend felt unwanted and unloved and she felt like she was competing for her husband’s attention. My heart broke for her.
Has your answer changed based on her situation? Do you have a little more compassion for her and a little more grace for the choice of clothes that she made that day?
Now a word to the Titus 2 ladies……..
I hear you as I type these words. I know you are saying we should tell these younger believers to cover themselves up. I once held that view, but my heart has changed. It has softened a bit. In fact, I don’t even feel qualified to type this post about being a little more gracious to our sisters who are not the most modest, because I don’t feel I have extended enough grace to them; the Truth, yes, but Grace, not so much.
Let me explain.
I see the scriptures in ‘black and white’. To me, the counsel given in the Word of God is crystal clear and I never really understood why some people would see things as being ‘gray’.
But God’s teaching me a few things and I am thankful for the grace that He has extended to me. I am thankful for the graciousness the older woman extended to me. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit told me to keep my mouth shut regarding my friend so she could receive the Lord’s grace.
I see God’s truth in black and white,
but every now and then, I see His GRAYce.
Who’s to decide what is modest or immodest?
Should a Christian sister point out to any Christian sister that she is dressed immodestly?
Do we, as Titus 2 women become the ‘modesty police’? I kinda felt like I did at one point, perhaps you could’ve even called me the Sarge. You know how it is. We admonish them in the name of the Lord, as ironing sharpening iron, or helping them to grow in Christ. I think the heart intentions are probably right but sometimes we can become very legalistic in this.
Here’s some things to consider if you are a Titus 2 Woman:
Do you have a friendship with the younger sister? If not, they will most likely feel condemned by what you have to say to them. But if you do have a friendship with her and she has asked for your opinion, then give it to her in love and most likely she’ll receive it.
Can you offer more grace and understanding to the weaker believer? Often times we are so concerned about whether or not her dress will cause a brother to stumble, but in confronting her do you ever stop to consider if what you have to say to her will cause her to stumble?
Sometimes our younger sisters just need to see our example of modesty.
If you tell a woman she is dressed immodestly, always keep in mind what that will do to her spiritual walk.
Will it sharpen her?
Will it draw her closer to the Lord?
Or will she feel like she can’t measure up to your standards or worse yet, feel like the Lord has some unattainable standards?
Sometimes in our journey of pursuing the Lord, it takes us a while to grow and mature in Christ, even as a Titus 2 woman regarding this particular issue! You see, I am a Titus 2 woman to other women in my life, but I also have women that are Titus 2 women to me. I’m sure they’re wondering when I’m going to be more loving and gracious when I speak God’s truth to the women the Lord has put in my path. These women have always extended me grace rather than dished out a bowl of condemnation. However, that’s not to say I was never convicted. Quite the opposite in fact. I just wasn’t convicted by their words, but rather, through the Holy Spirit piercing my heart.
If You’re Wondering What is Modest….
I’m not going to give you a detailed description of what type of clothing is considered modest because the Bible does not define modesty!
Instead, take a look at…..
God’s Dress Code
Put on tender mercies.
Put on kindness.
Put on humility.
Put on meekness.
Put on love.
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering. Colossians 3:12 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. Colossians 3:14
God looks at your heart.
For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
God desires a gentle and quiet spirit.
Do not let your adornment be merely outward–arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel–rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 1 Peter 3:3,4
Now, I can tell you some of the things I wear or don’t wear in hopes that it would help you, but I’m not going to do that either and here are the reasons why:
To some, I won’t be dressed modest enough.
Therefore, you will fall into the sin of being critical and judgmental, and seeing how I don’t want to stumble you, I’ve decided not to share with you what’s in my closet.
To others, I’m dressed too modest.
I don’t want to cause another sister to feel like she can’t measure up to my standards. My walk with the Lord, is just that, my walk. Your walk is your walk.
So, that’s why I’m not going to tell you what I wear because I care about your spiritual growth.
Let the Holy Spirit penetrate your heart and guide you when choosing your clothes; that should be your modesty meter.
Although, I will leave you with this tip:
Who Are You Dressing For?
Do you dress for yourself?
Do you dress to show off your body and make other women feel jealous or insecure about theirs?
Do you dress to attract the attention from other males?
Do you dress for your husband? (If you’re married.)
If you’re married, ask your husband if what you own is appropriate to wear out of the house or not. Since he’s a man, he’ll have a better understanding of what can cause another man to stumble.
If you’re single, ask your dad, or brother, or mother, or another sister in the Lord what their thoughts are on your outfits.
None of us have mastered perfection and sometimes we just need to look at others through GRAYce-filled lenses.