Visual Purity – Pt. 2
Good morning. Our text in the second part of our study on Visual Purity is found in1 Tim. 2:9-10. The text teaches us that women are to adorn themselves in “modest apparel with shamefacedness and sobriety.” This passage has been much talked about in the church. In our last bulletin, I particularly addressed the men in regard to the subject of looking lustfully at a woman. Ladies, in this bulletin, I want to emphasize the importance of a woman dressing so as to not invite lustful watching from men. If we are to believe some today, either by their practice or their words, almost any kind of public dress is acceptable to God. Christians can (supposedly) go to the pool or beach in little more than colored underwear. Some Christian ladies, perhaps unwittingly, wear blouses that draw attention to their breasts, either by their fit or what they expose. Sometimes, Christian girls and women wear pants that are so ill fitting they draw attention to curves that ought not to be revealed. Far too often Christians follow the “styles” in regard to shorts, halters, bare midriffs, exposed underwear, mini-skirts and such like. It is obvious that Christian ladies have no intention of being immodest. It is my conviction that styles of dress have been so immodest for so long that many of us simply do not think about immodesty. Christians often participate in it without considering it.
Ladies, remember that men (both Christian and non-Christian) are very visually stimulated. A Christian woman would quickly reexamine many of the things that are worn in front of men if she were to appear in front of Christ. I am not taking responsibility away from men, but God places it on ladies also (Men, if you did not read yesterday’s e-bulletin, please do so). Too many do not begin to dress modestly until they are older and immodesty becomes unstylish for them. There needs to be purity in dress (for men and women). As a matter of fact, our text teaches us that what should draw attention to women is their demeanor and conduct, not impure or showy outward adorning.
More points should be made from the text. Ladies, your dress should be guided by a sense of shame (shamefacedness) and thoughtfulness. Vine’s Dictionary says this of the word, ‘sobriety’, that it means “sound judgment…: it is the habitual inner self-government, with its constant rein on all the passions and desires, which would hinder the temptation to these from arising…” I would add that public dress should not raise such passions in either the man or the woman. This text was written at a time when dress in general was far more modest, yet the admonition was applicable. Certainly with the sensual dress worn today around the world, this passage needs to be considered by Christian ladies.
Brothers and sisters, purity must be the choice of the mind. When it is, both our “looks” and our “look” will be pure. We will have taken another step in the path of our Lord. Purity is as purity does.