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narrowpath
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Germany NRW

 An Open Letter to my Sisters in Christ

An Open Letter to my Sisters in Christ

Dear Sisters in Christ. Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I intend to write to you about a subject that is very much burning in my heart and that you will unlikely will find expressed inside the realm of modern church life. It is the issue of modesty. Modesty is a word that is applied whenever it comes to choices that express wisdom, tact, and maturity of judgement. Today I would like to express my concerns about women's clothing and appearance in church. I am writing to you as a man who is affected by this issues and I am expressing my thoughts and feeling for many fellow brothers.

Let me open my discourse with the followin verse from 1.John
2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.


Summer is at the door and the temperatures are rising. We put our warm winter clothes away and put on lighter clothes. Usually, the choice of lighter clothing will also mean that women will potentially display parts of her body that are concealed during the darker and colder period of the year. Fashion nowadays dictates most womenfolk what to wear and what not. It is tiring and costly to keep up with today's trends. Bony Barbie dolls with body shapes out of reach for most mortal ladies teach you what you are to wear. You may not be able to go for their designer dreams but still their stylistic influence will quickly be adopted by the more budget driven mass market.

There was always fashion and their will always be fashion this side of eternity.. In the last couple of decades we have seen a general trend in fashion and that the fact that clothing aims at attracting men by highlighting their bodily features. It goes even further by appealing downright to the lust of their potential male admirers. For one it is the pressure of modern work life. The women wants to look attractive to make sure she can quickly secure favour with men in powerful positions. They are in a competitive environment and an attractive appearance may give you this little extra edge. There is also a striking biologic reason for it. In today's socio-economic climate, strong family bounds are more and more eroded and give way to relationships that are less committed and fleeting. People get in and out of relationships more quickly. The modern women does not want to be left out and make sure that wherever she goes she can potentially enter a relationship with a man if such a need should arise. I am speaking in general terms about the modern women in the world portrayed by media and seen in reality all around us.

Today there is much talk in Christian circles about contextualization of our faith. They tell you you have to be relevant and do not want to be seen as oddballs who live up to outdated legalistic standards. So go with the flow as long as you stay out of excesses and win people for Christ by showing them that you are just like one of then. You do not want to be a seen as a bible basher and turn people off by the way you dress. Sounds reasonable, heh? Here is my take: If you are follower of Christ you are in stark contrast to the world anyway. There is no way you can avoid to disclose your new identity in Christ. If you are truly saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, everything in and about you will point to your risen saviour. That is a strong statement, but consider, Dear Sister, when you are born-again, you opted to no longer to live for yourself but desire the appearance of your bridegroom Jesus Christ and be found as chaste virgin. You are saved to save others.



It would be good if an older sister would admonish you in these things as she may be more understanding than the male author of this letter though a male perspective on these matters may open you up to a perspective that she cannot take. We men are easily aroused by display of feminine features. The Greek word eros stands for physically attraction between a man and a woman. It was originally ordained by God to help us leave our mother and father and to seek a beautiful damsel. She would become our wife and her bodily features are only for our own exclusive private enjoyment inasmuch as we give our body to her ideally resulting in a number of godly children.

Satan, ever creative to steal, lie and kill perverted the God permitted attraction between husband and wife by suggesting her that she would gain many advantages to by showing her bodily features to the male public. The advantages are clearly seen. I observed in my office that ladies who display their bodily features are more frequented by colleagues and get more opportunities. I myself have interviewed ladies for job positions who showed up in seductive apparel. Satan's strategy for men is to try to make us feel good when we are exposed to female allure. We get flattered, thinking we are irresistible. Our thoughts wonder, our judgement about the real qualities of a particular woman can easily become distorted. In the work place, a man is tempted to give a position or opportunity to a women based on her external features rather then her real qualities and merits. It works as a bribe. In serious cases it may result in an adulterous or promiscuous relationship. The media is full of these stories, in fact they live of these stories. The damage is often great and irreparable. Families break up, divorce, costly lawsuits, dividing of shared property, poverty, bitterness, hurt children and violence or suicide can be the consequence of such behaviour.

We live in a sex-crazed world. In the sixties Satan sent out many of his prophets like the Beatles and Rolling Stones to promote sexual freedom promising freedom from a prudish and outdated morale codex. They worked hard to eliminate decency and modesty. Fashion that would have seen as scandalous in the fifties became accepted and popular, though not wide spread. The mini skirt became an icon of the sixties. Holidays on the beach were not an option for most classes came within the financial reach of the masses. Bikinis appeared on the scene and today are the de-facto beach wear of the average women. In some places they even go further than that. Imagine a women in a bikini beamed back into Victorian times. She would have been either arrested our put into an asylum straightaway.

Lust is one of the major temptations for us men. Lascivious images are all around us. We have to make a conscious effort to not expose yourself to them. A quick glance on an advertising billboard, a thoughtless mouse-click or a TV ad delivers you images with our without your consent. Most men are more or less addicted to internet porn. Living and working in a cosmopolitan city is like moving in a mine field of images that trigger lust in a man and cause him to sin. The first look is unavoidable, if you do not consciously look away but give it a second glance, you have already sinned. Only a man with a firm uncompromising faith can avoid these traps.

The bible exhorts us.
2. Tim 2: 22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

How then should Christian 21st century women dress?

1 Timothy 2:9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.

Dear Sisters, you can make a difference in this fallen world. By dressing modestly you can set a admirable example. A women can show that she honours God by concealing those parts of her body that could cause a men to lust after her. She does not have the need to allure men, for she is either committed to her husband, or if she is unmarried, believes that God will provide for her the right one. A godly woman does not have to impress others by making a statement about her wealth or status. Excessive jewellery or make up does not add to her self-esteem. Being esteemed by Christ is all she needs. She does not have to follow the latest trends and does not burden herself in keeping up with the rest of womenfolk. She is not bullied by the global fashion idolatry, she refuses to be dictated by fashion magazines and advertisements what goes and what doesn't.

Does this mean she puts on very base and cheep clothes or wrap herself up in a potato sack from head to toe? Not at all. There is nothing against displaying good taste. Modest clothing does not have to be boring, base or ugly. Neatness and tidiness go well along with modesty. The bible does not give you very clear guidelines what to wear and what not to wear. The New Testament gives us godly principles rather than a set of rules. You now have the Holy Spirit to aid you. May be the following thoughts can help you.
Wear clothes that does not draw attention to yourself.
Keep mandatory dress codes and abide by conventions of your work place.
Dress as a women and do not wear man's clothes Deuteronomy 22:5 (New King James Version)
“A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God.
Imagine you are standing before the Lord Jesus himself.
Pray before you buy new clothes. Is it really necessary?

Mat 6:28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, ho w they grow: they neither toil or spin;

So what should we wear then?
So what is modest and what is immodest? Please understand that you do not just dress for yourself but that everybody else sees you in your clothes. Consider how you are effecting others; namely men. I will get more specific here, as for a women you may be unaware what effect your clothes have on other men.

Decollete - This is one of the primary areas a women should take care. A shirt or dress should conceal everything that could make a man stumble. No deep V-cuts, leave the buttons closed. I must say from experience, talking to a woman with a deep decollete is a real challenge. If you look at her face as you would do in any conversation you see more than you should, if you look away you are insulting her, too.

Length of skirt – I suggest you keep your knees covered.

Tight clothing – nowadays there is are a lot of trousers and shirts worn that a very tight. Some are as snug as a second skin and trigger lustful looks of men.

Low waistline trousers – can be extremely embarrassing to look at, especially when you sit down.

High heel shoes Makes you appear long legged and taller. Must be painful to walk in the for a whole day and it deforms your feet. Who do you want to attract anyway?


Why do you have to dress sexy or “kinky” as they call it nowadays? “Kinky” is actually even worse as it has sado-masochistic connotations. This is an invention by the devil and is simply not fitting for a godly woman. You exploit the weakness of your fellow brother, causing him to fall into the sin of lust. Jesus says
Mat 5: 28: But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Do you want to be guilty of causing men to commit adultery with their eyes? Why do you agree to participate in Satan's work? I believe we would have far less incest, rape, perversion, divorce, and adultery if women would dress more modest. Many women unknowingly send signals to men that they misunderstand as an invitation. Of course, the Christian man has no excuse and must master sin, just as Cain was commanded by God.

Hairstyles
The same can be said about hairstyles. You can spend a lot of time and money on hair-styles. Hair dyes, hair-extensions, perms, hair-straightening. So many options to choose from, so many extra worries to have and extra time away from your place of service. Simplicity and natural look is beautiful. The Lord has given you natural hairstyle that you do not have to be ashamed of. Can't you give thanks to the Lord for the hair you have as a natural beautiful covering? (1. Cor 11:15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory for her, for her hair is given to her as a covering).

Jewellery
Jewellery shows your social status. The intention behind wearing jewellery is to add value to your natural appearance. What better status can you attain than being a beloved daughter of God? Is your social status among unbelievers still important to you?

Designer Clothes
Designer clothes is a multi billion £ industry. You can spend an enormous amount of money trying to keep up with the latest trend. The models are always in the prime of their youth and courted by young men who made a fortune by the tender age of 25 and drive around in sports cars. They all look as if they have just woken up.

Make up
There is one women in the bible known for her make up. It was Jezebel, the wife of Ahab one of the most evil kings Israel ever had. She actually controlled him. Do you need to make yourself appear younger and more pretty than you are? Are you ashamed of your natural look and appearance? Make up suggests you make up for something that you do not have.

Hygiene and skin care
I recently made a discovery. I eliminated shower gel and shampoo. Guess what: My dandruff is almost gone and my skin is more healthy. I do not want to be tovertly harsh here. There are some products that are good for you and your needs. The bible make mention of applying oil to your skin. God's creation is full of good stuff that can be applied to your skin, but remember, there is a big industry out there manipulating you to buy their products.


Conclusion
Dear sister, allow me to appeal to you. Dress modestly so that you do not cause your brother in Christ to lust after you. Conceal your body parts that are not meant for the public to see. Be content with the way you look. Accept that you are ageing, it is not a shame. Spent your time and money in a godly way. A godly women's inner beauty is timeless and priceless and rare. Natural beauty has nothing to do with character and is short lived. You have far less worries if you do not concern yourself too much with all these things. We live in a fallen world, if you conform to it, you will fall, too. Dear sister, find your satisfaction in serving Christ. His robe of righteousness is never out of fashion and never wears out. As a spiritual virgin, adorn yourself with good deeds rather than with excessive jewellery. Dare to be different, set an example, Christ will honour you for that. A godly husband will be most pleased with such a wife.

Your Brother in Christ
Philip

 2010/5/29 20:10Profile
KathleenP
Member



Joined: 2008/4/3
Posts: 228
Maine

 Re: An Open Letter to my Sisters in Christ

Dear Philip,

First of all, I love your name seeing as it is my younger son's as well. How can I not be biased? :)

In reguards to your well prayed out and written plea, it is a must read. I am so grieved by those that refuse to listen to these sober words. I know you spent much time seeking the wisdom of the Lord on this.

I believe I can speak with some authority as well, having been backslidden for 15 years, and offending people so much by my apparel, that my older sister refused to speak to me for two years. That was my former self.

When I came back to the Lord, I endured a fiery purging and deliverance. The Lord was very clear about certain issues reguarding myself and what He thought about them, and not the modern church's views. Many of the things listed in your post were things I did away with. Women, please hearken.

It is time to stop worrying about what the world thinks. If you prefer to mirror the women in it, you must do some serious soul searching. We are to be holy in ALL manner of conversation, and the Lord is using men and women of God to set the standard.

When I began to be cleansed from my obsession with hair and makeup, I was certainly afraid that I would appear as a prude, tight lipped figure. I was so wrong. Out of all this emerged a fresh faced godly appearance that my son remarked on in a good way. What a compliment! He said, "Mom I can't believe you spent all that money dying your hair when it looks so nice natural."

My complexion has improved dramatically as well.

In reguards to clothing, we have been given the Holy Spirit and the Bible for our reference. We are to avoid all appearance of evil. We are given specific orders not to offend or cause our brother to stumble. Remember, if you have done it to the least of your brethren, you have done it unto Christ Jesus.

I cannot believe the professing Christian women that have no problem disrobing and leaving modesty at home when it comes to the summer season. Dear ladies, I stand behind this brother. You will be held accountable for every action, and I pray this might be a wake up call for you. God is cleaning his church up, and soon he will not speak any more if we seek to justify our fascination with the world.

I believe that this timely post is a request by the Lord Himself. Are we not his daughters?

Please humbly ask the Lord to show you anything that must be dealt with. I am so saddened by the anguish this brother feels, as well as the many men of God that struggle with this.

May the Lord speak to those that ears to hear.


_________________
Kathleen

 2010/5/29 21:01Profile
MaryJane
Member



Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

I thought this was pretty good overall. I do wish that men would take it more seriously as well. So many times I have had ladies share with me how their husbands or other christian men preach to woman about being modest but they themselves do not practice it and they do not walk out what they preach. I have had many women shared the frustration of mixed messages they get from christian men. It can be difficult. Especially when they preach against immodest dress and behavior but then those are the very girls/women they pay the most attention to??
For some of the unmarried ladies that have shared in our group they find it a real frustration that the young men are not told these same things. That they are not taught to look for Godly woman who love the Lord and dress with Him as Lord of their life. I had never thought about it from that point of view before, how hard that must be to be told to dress modestly and then have all the unmarried young men pay all their attention to women who dress immodestly and behave immodestly. I think that would be confusing.

Thank you for sharing
God Bless
mj

edit: I just wanted to make clear that I agree women need to be mindful of how they dress. I do understand some of the frustration that women who have shared with me feel though when they get mixed messages. In the end we must do as the Lord leads us and dress in a way that He leads us to.

 2010/5/29 21:53Profile
KathleenP
Member



Joined: 2008/4/3
Posts: 228
Maine

 Re:

Amen MaryJane,

This is why I mentioned that each seek to please the Lord individually because they are receiving wrong counsel from other sources.

Perhaps many are seeking after their own lusts and wanting to be around those that condone such behaviour?

We should all be strong enough to resist those that teach us contrary to the Word. Even at a young age I had enough presence of mind as to what my apparel, and manner of conduct would accomplish.

When I began to backslide, I thought much less of others or offending them, than of my own desires. The more you draw close to Christ, the more you become mortified of offending others. You know you are grieving the Lord Jesus.

My biggest lesson learned so far is to trust no man. I have heard more lies and compromise coming from the pulpit than from anywhere else.

If the minister can't take a stand on behalf of those that are offended, then you can sadly see why these things happn in the churches. Oh, may the Lord clean up His people!

Brother Philip, I so apologize for what you and your brothers endure. Isaiah 3:12-24 is a very precise description of the majority of the women in the churches today. I say this because there is really only a remnant that will hear and listen to what the Holy Spirit speaks. We really are in perilous times and this area is a reflection of many other errors that are affecting the body.

So so sad.


_________________
Kathleen

 2010/5/30 7:40Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7449
Mississippi

 Re: An Open Letter to my Sisters in Christ

Very timely post. Philip, I think I will copy/paste it into a documents that I am collecting in preparation to teach in a few weeks "Living above Popular Culture" to my VBS girls (Check my post under the "Miracles..."forum.)

Just a few random thoughts....

1. Mary Quant was the one who introduced the mini-skirt to the public back in the 1960s. The idea was to inform the public 'who was available' and was surprised how well it took off. She, was a PK, BTW. Or, so it was said back then. Now go figure.

2. Skin care: I was troubled with acne ever since I was an adolescent. I used creams of all kinds only to have it flair up ..again. Not until I was about 40 YO and discovered I was allergic to perfumes and then abstained from all uses of it, did my complexion clear up. Totally! I can use scented candles in the house with no ill effects, but anything that goes on my clothes or body has to be scent free - detergents, hand soap, TP, shampoo, deodorant. Today if I use anything scented I will earn another pimple in about three weeks!

3. I would encourage girls, women to take to the sewing machine to sew their own clothes. One can be ever so creative and sew beautiful clothes that are modest and pretty. Unfortunately, clothing construction is fast becoming a lost art. You can spend whatever money you want on a sewing machine - anywhere from $200 to $8,000. Your choice of fabrics are endless - you may have to go online to find them, though. I can buy all I need locally. Sewing is a perfect way to be creative which can be developed into an artform - and it is non-fattening!

4. One lady said how husbands like to parade their wives' nudity to to other males - like a trophy: look what I have! I find this disturbing. I find it very disturbing when I see pics of preachers whose females dress so immodestly. It always makes me wonder if their heart is really in serving the LORD?

5. As a female, when I see plunging necklines, exposing the breast, I get the sense the female is inviting fondling. I, too, am a female .... need I say more? I say shame on you and on you men who love to see your wife and daughters paraded like that!

God bless you, Philip for sharing your heart on this issue. And I appreciate MaryJane and Kathleen's responses, as well.

Blessings,
ginnyrose


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2010/5/30 9:13Profile
Goldminer
Member



Joined: 2006/11/7
Posts: 1178
Alabama

 Re:

It truly is a grief that more believers will not take this to heart. The "church" looks so much like the world that you can't tell the difference.

I am a woman and say to all other women, be modest, cover up. We will stand before a Holy God responsible for causing our brothers to stumble. Many so called christian girls are dressing like hookers, sorry for the word, but it's the truth. Those mini-skirts, shirts with cleavage showing, strapless halters, and gladiator shoes are the same things street walkers wear to entice their clients. what are we doing. What message are we sending? It is time to line up our choices with the word of God and live a sanctified life.

We are called out of darkness into His marvelous light. Let us walk like children of the light and have no part in ways of darkness.

We all need to pray for the conviction of the Holy Spirit to bring repentance for all these things.

Thank you for a good reminder to the church.


_________________
KLC

 2010/5/30 9:19Profile









 Re:

I am living in a country where nudity is accepted. You can go to a lake side and see mixed naked swimmers of all ages and shapes (ugh) Yes some are pretty out of shape or old. The strange thing is, I noticed the first time I saw it, that the men were not oggling. They did not even look. I saw one stunnngly attractive woman naked in the water with her little grandson and no one gave a glance. On the beach people strip their clothes off without hiding anything. It is not sexualised as it is in some countries. Everyone is totally relaxed about it and when you see the young girls in the city streets they are not wearing seductive clothing in general - it is modest, though some are wearing short skirts but with thick tights. There is a look of innocence about the way the girls dress whereas in my home country the UK the girls look like little barbie dolls many with bleached hair. It is a cultural thing and the question is why do Christian women follow the lead of the world in these cultures? I guess they feel insecure that they will not get jobs or other benefits or even perhaps `respect` that their brazen sisters get by way of attention rather. I think that men need to assess what messages they give to women that encourages this behaviour. In this country women seem to have more respect.

I just wonder whether men want it both ways in some countries. They see women as sex objects and the women feel that is all they have to offer and in order to compete dress provocatively.

 2010/5/30 9:43
Nellie
Member



Joined: 2004/4/5
Posts: 952


 Re:

Amen, Kathleen.
It will have to start in the pulpit.
Too many times the Pastor will let people on the praise and worship team, or in the choir, that are dressed so provocative that I dare to say would embarrass the sinners
who came in, other than convict them.
It seems this day and time that Pastors are afraid to preach agaist sin for fear of losing a dollar.
We are sheep, and the Shepherd is to lead the sheep.
The Holy Spirit will show Women how to dress.
He will show the Men as well..
God Bless all.
This is a good article, Phillip.
Nellie

 2010/5/30 9:53Profile
MaryJane
Member



Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

Quote:
3. I would encourage girls, women to take to the sewing machine to sew their own clothes. One can be ever so creative and sew beautiful clothes that are modest and pretty. Unfortunately, clothing construction is fast becoming a lost art. You can spend whatever money you want on a sewing machine - anywhere from $200 to $8,000. Your choice of fabrics are endless - you may have to go online to find them, though. I can buy all I need locally. Sewing is a perfect way to be creative which can be developed into an artform - and it is non-fattening!



___________________

this is a great suggestion. I have learned how to sew and have made some clothes and altered many of my clothes to be more modest. I make my own shorts for the summer time now. Its really easy and I can insure that the length of my shorts comes all the way to the knees. Dressing in layers in another really great option for those who do not have the time or means to sew. Invest in several tank tops and wear them under tee shirts that have low cut neck lines. IT gives extra coverage of the area and when color are put together you can be very creative:) I also share with younger girls that they don't have to get caught up with body image, for many women their negative body image plays such a HUGE part in how they dress and behave. Sadly so much in this world tells even the very young girls they must be skinny and sexy(lies from the enemy) I always share that you want to be healthy(no matter what your body type is) so you can be about what the Lord has for you to be doing and you want to dress in a way that does not draw attention to your self. As women serving the Lord we should always seek to have all the attention given to the Lord. I have no problem buying a size up just to make sure I don't have that tight look to my clothes but for a long time that was really hard for me to do. It was like if I buy a size 10 instead of size 8 then I must be really fat but I have learned that its all just numbers and does not mean anything. The world does not dictate who we are, who we are is to be found in Christ Jesus:)

God Bless
mj

 2010/5/30 10:09Profile
Lysa
Member



Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3392
East TN (for now)

 Re: An Open Letter to my Sisters in Christ

I am in total agreement, Philip. And I'm in agreement with the other ladies that said it needs to start from the pulpit. The church I stopped going to would give me or who ever did the powerpoint for having something misspelled, saying this could stop someone from getting saved (pul-lease) but yet they'd let the young women get up and sing in shorts with their belly buttons showing. I told the preacher the last Sunday my mom went that she wouldn't be back because of that girly show and they didn't know what I was talking about. (Go figure)

(edit) But when the pastor's don't care about keeping the big tithe payers, they will finally start preaching what Jesus wants them to preach. (/edit)

Krautfrau is right about the nudists. Nudists aren't nudists because they're addicted to pornography, they're nudists because they love the freedom; and they don't look on the other nude people as sexual objects like those addicted to porn do. Total different between the two.


_________________
Lisa

 2010/5/30 11:13Profile





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