It's Going to Be Hot
Weather forecasting can be risky, but I am going to venture out on a limb and predict that July and August will bring hot weather to North Alabama. I am also going to predict that this hot weather will allow (note that I said allow, not require) many of the citizens of North Alabama to go about in rather skimpy attire.
Obviously, I am being sarcastic about going out on a limb, for barring the return of our Lord, we will see some brutally hot days over the next couple of months. And unfortunately, the second prediction is just as certain—indecent dress will prevail. Of course to identify a problem is one thing, but solving it is another. Is there anything we can do about these problems of summer? When it comes to the weather, we will simply have to put up with it and while we will never stop everyone from shedding their clothes, there is one thing we can do. We can make up our minds that we will have no part in bare season. Let’s consider carefully some principles that must guide us this the summer, and for that matter, throughout the year. These are principles that involve a lot more than dress, but if they are not reflecting themselves in the way we dress, then they are not present as they ought to be.
God has called us to be a holy people. “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-17
We are to “flee sexual immorality” (1 Corinthians 6:18). If anyone doubts that dress can be seductive and contribute to sexual desire, he or she should be required to explain the success of Victoria’s Secret®.
We are not to engage in lewd, lustful, lascivious or licentious conduct. In our dress and in everything, “Let us walk properly,...not in lewdness and lust...” (Romans 13:13, 14; 2 Corinthians 12:20, 21).
We must avoid putting a stumbling block before others. “For whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depths of the sea” (Matthew 18:6, 7; 1 Corinthians 8:9; 10:31-33). Since looking at another person with lustful desire is sin (Matthew 5:28), we must not allow our dress (or undress) to be the stumbling block that causes another to stumble.
We are called on to be different, to be an influence for good (salt and light) in a corrupt world filled with darkness. We are striving to be “children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15, 16; Matthew 5:13-16).
Are we willing to maintain a holy dedication to God that dares to be different in the way we dress? Are we going to refuse to dress in ways that satisfy the desires of those who have “eyes full of adultery” (2 Peter 2:14)? Will our determination to avoid immorality, lust, and lewdness lead us to keep our clothes on? Will we dress in such a way as to lead to lust, or will we our choices be as a light shining in the darkness?
Let’s Be Honest With Our Answers
In the past I have offered six questions that everyone should ask before they leave their room. I still believe they are valid and offer them again for your careful consideration.
Is this too short? (When fashion designers want to add sexual appeal, the display of the thighs usually seems to be where they start.)
Can I sit down and still retain my modesty? (There may be “shorts” or dresses that are acceptable when one is standing, but don’t forget that you will need to sit down at some point. Hint: if you find yourself continually tugging at the bottom of your shorts or your skirt—too short.)
Is it cut too low? (Let’s recognize that the fashion world refers to low-cut apparel as sexy and daring, never as modest, holy, and pure).
Is it too tight? (Form-fitting clothes are made to display the attractiveness of the human form—do we not see the problem with that? Let’s save the Spandex for undergarments, not outer ones.)
Is it too brief? (Where is the sense of shame when men and women will appear in no more than Adam's fig leaves?)
Is it too sheer? (Some fabrics may “cover” the body, but still allow the skin and/or underwear to be clearly visible.)
It will be hot this summer and many will dress indecently, but as we make our decisions about dress, it might help if we remember that there is a place that will be a lot hotter.
All quotations from the New King James Version, copyright 1994 by Thomas Nelson Publishers