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Counsel Needed on Biblical Dress

posted Jun 10, 2011 18:18:02 by Naomi
Deuteronomy 22:5 "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God." This is among the most debated verses of Scripture in our churches. People pick it apart. I'm working on a article for my blog on the issue of modesty and what God clearly tells us about it. It is something the Lord has impressed on my heart to write about because I see how needful it is.

I understand what God clearly says in this verse; it's no problem for me, and I believe I have some good, helpful points to bring out. However, I feel I need the counsel of ladies, especially those in the ministry, who have helped lead other ladies to a clear understanding of this truth. How did you do it? How did you help them to see that it is NOT an issue of "legalism"? What were most effective points you used that helped them to understand?

I read something in a book this morning that really encouraged my heart. The fact that God has given us laws in His Word shows that He cares about us, that He is interested in every single detail of our personal lives. That He should condescend to tell us just how to live and walk so as to please Him is one of the greatest proofs of His love for us. He doesn't leave us to guesswork! "Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them." (Ps. 119:165)

Thank you so much, ladies. =)
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6 replies
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Mrs. Julie Fink said Jun 11, 2011 22:28:40
I wrote a whole Bible Study series on this subject called "A Woman & Her Appearance". You can read them under the Bible Studies section. I always encourage people to understand that it is a privilege to represent the heart of God by "fleshing out" the principles He has laid out for us in His Word. And then I leave them alone. Legalism is not about telling people about how to obey God's Word, but it is about me thinking I am the one that needs to "police" them and make them do it. We have liberty and freedom in Christ. I want to use my freedom to be free from sin and my liberty to please God. And my goal is to be the happiest Christian woman most people meet. I don't always achieve it, but I feel as though that is the best advertisement for the things I have to say. That I actually love what I say I believe and I'm not just saying it to make sure others do what I say I believe.
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Naomi said Jun 11, 2011 23:41:39
Thank you so much, Mrs. Fink! I appreciate your pointing that out about what legalism is and isn't. And I will definitely print your Bible study series off and get in my Bible! You are a tremendous help. ♥
[Last edited Jun 11, 2011 23:46:57]
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ChristinaUlmerMeece said Jun 12, 2011 19:55:44
Mrs. Fink's articles are fabulous! I also recently came across this blog http://www.themodestmomblog.com . She has a series called "She Wears Skirts." She is literally teaching another blogger lesson by lesson the importance of modesty.
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KayteMcCoy said Jun 16, 2011 20:21:49
I really appreciate your approach, Mrs. Fink. As a lady on staff, I can not be the Holy Spirit to the ladies in the church. Whatever decisons they make for my sake ONLY won't last anyway. Dress is such a personal thing... almost like an extension of ourselves. It's a tough topic for modern ladies. I've done lots of praying and studying and just pondering over the subject... it was something I needed the Lord to give me some "extra" teaching on, for myself persoanlly and in dealing with ladies/teens who asked me about the subject. An answer to that prayer came a few years ago when I heard Mrs. Cazis (I *think* I'm spelling that correctly) give a talk with this outline. These notes are my own, as she spoke. For me, this has helped settle some questions in my heart. I copy and pasted it so hopefully it transfered okay.

M.I.D. (Modesty – Identity – Distinction)

I. Modesty
What’s my motive? Why do you wear what you wear?
1 Timothy 2:9
9In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
2 Corinthians 5:12
12For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.
Titus 2:5
5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Philippians 4:5
5Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
1 Peter 5:5
5Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Proverbs 7:10
10And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

Modesty defined: Is not showy, gaudy, ostentatious (intending to attract notice or excite admiration), excessive or extreme. Is reserved, chaste (virtuous, not indecent), pure, moderate; having or displaying a moderate or unexaggerated regard for oneself; unassuming; humble.

A. My appearance does not draw attention to my person.
B. My conduct does not draw attention to my person.
a. God, in the Scriptures, puts a great emphasis on our spirit, heart and attitude. He puts a small emphasis on our appearance. His desire is two fold:
i. God does not desire our clothes and accessories to draw our focus away from Him.
ii. Gos does not desire our clothes and accessories to draw other’s focus away from Him.

II. Identity
Who am I? I am a ________________ ! (Hopefully Christian is what you fill in!)
2 Corinthians 10:6-8
6And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
7Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? if any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's.
8For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:
2 Corinthians 6:14-17
14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
James 1:27
27Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
2 Corinthians 4:13
13We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;
Romans 8:39
39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:17
17Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 11:3
3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Galatians 3:26
26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 2:4
4And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
Galatians 6:15
15For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
Ephesians 2:10
10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

There were people, probably Jews, who claimed to be Christ’s because if their garments, social standing, knowledge, etc. Paul protests this practice. He had met Jesus!!! Paul knew Christ! That was the basis of his “calling” as a Christian.

A.My appearance is not worldly.
A heart that identities with Christ would not desire worldly cultures:
Hollywood culture, skateboarding culture, surfing culture, gothic culture, internet culture (does your avatar identify you as a Christian?), national heathen cultures, music cultures

A heart that understands who I am in Christ will have no desire to emulate worldly styles, graphics, accessories.
B. My conduct is not worldly.
a. I should conduct myself as a citizen of Heaven.
Philippians 3:20
20For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Ephesians 5:3
3But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Titus 2:3
3The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
b. My conduct is directly controlled by whom my heart identifies with.
Matthew 15:18
18But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Matthew 12:34
34O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
Ephesians 6:6
6Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
c. If I keep my heart/relationship with Christ, I’ll have no trouble desiring the right conduct.
Proverbs 4:23
23Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

III. Distiction… Male or female?
Genesis 1:27
27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Genesis 6:19
19And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
Matthew 19:4
4And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

A. My appearance is different from a man.
1 Corinthians 11:14-15
14Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
Deuteronomy 22:5
5The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

B. My conduct is different from a man.
1 Timothy 2:12
12But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
1 Peter 3:1-5
1Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
2While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
3Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
5For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
Mark 10:6
6But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

This is dress simplified from the Bible. Some circumstances require appropriate dress than may not be a Bible command. Just simply appropriate guidelines for the occassion. Ex. Nylons, dress clothes, school dress codes etc.
Blessed beyond measure wife, mommy, coffee addict, boo-boo kisser, toilet scrubber & lover of the life God has given me!
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Mrs. Julie Fink said Jun 17, 2011 02:07:58
I love this! Thanks so much for sharing it Kayte!
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Naomi said Jun 17, 2011 18:17:34
That was excellent, Mrs. McCoy, and another huge help to me! I'm realizing more and more that I've not had the right approach toward helping other ladies. These discussions have been such good eye-openers. =) Thank you so much!
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