Ladies, your clothes are talking. I hope I can help you know what they are saying. Proverbs 7:10 says, "And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot and subtil of heart." Quite simply, a harlot wears clothing that purposely draws attention to her body, especially certain areas of her body -bust, legs and backside.
1st Timothy 2:9a says, "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel." These two verses represent two extremes-the immodest woman wearing the attire of the harlot and the modestly-dressed lady. I looked up the word "modest," and it means "decorous" or "moderate." Of course, the woman dressed in modest apparel would not draw attention to her body.
If you are a woman who has been involved in a good, Bible-believing, fundamental church for years, and you have worn dresses and skirts for years, you probably think you are doing pretty good in this area. The world has a way of creeping in and influencing the way even Christian women appear. I want to point out some of these areas in hopes of making you aware of the messages your clothes are giving. Hopefully, after reading this, you will understand that certain clothes and the way they fit you are giving off a message. You want to be sure it is not the same message a harlot's attire would give.
Before I comment on the immodest clothing some women wear, I would like to point out one example that is too familiar to all of us. That example is the Christian woman who appears this way far too often: t-shirt not tucked in, jean skirt or old, casual, yet comfortable skirt, socks and tennis shoes. There may even be a run in her hose. Most likely her hair is pulled back in a ponytail, if given any attention at all. You ask, "If she is modest, what is wrong with that?" My answer is, "Nothing, if she is planning to clean out the closet or go hiking with her kids."
1. Too many Christian women bring criticism to Christianity because they look sloppy in their appearance. When they dress this way frequently, they are giving off the message "I don't care how I look." Of course, as daughters of the King, we want to look our best.
2. The tight-fitting garment. The following is a way to know if a garment fits too tight on top. If your garment cups under the bustline or around the bustline, it is too tight. You can test this in any full-length mirror. You will be surprised at what you see. If your garment cups your bustline as described, you are giving off this message "Look at my bust."
3. The too-sheer garment. The way to know if your garment is too sheer is to see if your undergarment straps (bra and slip straps) can be seen through your outer garments. If they are visible, this could cause thoughts in the mind of a man that you really do not intend. The message your clothes are giving if too sheer is "Look at my undergarments."
This problem can be remedied by acquiring a camisole with wide straps or even cutting off the sleeves of an old white t-shirt and wearing it as a covering for your undergarments.
4. The skirt or dress with a slit. We all know there is rarely a time when we can purchase a garment with a slit and find that it is already sewn for us to meet our Christian standards. Perhaps you are thinking, "What's the harm of a few slits? I wear skirts and dresses. That in itself is a big change for me!"
May I give you a good rule of thumb which will answer the above question. A good rule is that your slit should be no higher than two inches from the floor when in an upright kneeling position. Anything higher than that reveals your thigh. Remember, the harlot reveals her merchandise to drum up business. If your slit is higher than the standard given above, you are giving off this message "Look at my legs."
5. The too-low neckline. It is quite frustrating sometimes to shop for a garment which has a high enough neckline to meet our standards. So, many times we settle for what the stores have to offer because we want to stay in style. We can be in style in a modest way without lowering ourselves to the world's standards.
Find the "U" right below your neck and at the top middle of your collar bone. Now, place your four fingers closed together at the bottom of your "U." If skin is showing below your four fingers, your garment is too low. Anything worn with a low neckline draws attention to your chest area. Just remember this: "The lower the neckline, the more curious a man gets." Surely we do not want to put men in that position. I believe many Christian women are ignorantly doing this. When your neckline is too low, you are giving off this message "Look at my bust."
6. The tight skirt or tight-fitting part of a dress below the waist. The following test will determine if your garment fits too tightly below the waist. Stand in front of a full-length mirror. If your skirt cups under your backside or abdomen, it is too tight. One thing I have seen that is a turn-off and quite unbecoming is panty lines showing through a skirt. If the skirt would have been looser, I would not have had to view this, and neither would our Christian men who are trying hard to keep their minds clean. Also, we want to avoid being sensuous. When your skirt is too tight, you are giving off this message "Look at my backside."
7. The modestly dressed woman. She wears an outfit with a high neckline that is loose-fitting around the bust and backside, yet flattering and pretty, under which are the proper undergarments for those sheer areas of the outer garment. The slit is properly sewn or nonexistent. Our attention would seem to be drawn to only one part of her body-her face. Her clothes are worn in such a way that she has made her acquaintance look her in the eye and see her for the lady that she is. When a woman dresses in such a way, she is giving off the message "Look at my face." This should be the only area men want to look at when they see us; however, we determine that.
It would seem that there are only two reasons why women dress immodestly:
1. A mind problem. Women do not think through how they look each day in front of a full-length mirror. They should take a few seconds each morning to quickly check the bustline, backside, slits, etc.
2. A heart problem. Women are now aware of the messages they give when they wear certain types of garments or wear them are an immodest way. Some women continue to wear immodest apparel or try to hide behind excuses or simply know better but do it anyway. They need to be reminded that the harlot was "subtil of heart." "Subtil" means "cunning" or "clever." In other words, she knew exactly what she was doing. Christian women need not be "subtil of heart."
James 4:17 teaches, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." Before you read this, you possibly did not know better.
Your clothes are talking. But you control the message.