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This past week it’s been downright COLD down South where my family lives. Every night we’ve had to lay a fire and every day we must bundle up if we leave the house. When you see other folks out, mostly what you see is layer upon layer of clothes. So why a post about modesty…when Winter is pressing hard down upon us? Because it is important  to remember that modesty is a heart issue and if we truly love God we are going to seek to obey Him always and in all ways; that means no cutting corners, no hedging around the bush and no explaining away His commandments as cultural or old-fashioned…no matter what the season is.

Even though we must bundle up more in winter doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways for a lady to show off her body as she does so. Very often, a woman might not even be aware of the dangers presented by what she is wearing (since she is wearing pretty much what everyone else wears). Our country’s lack of modesty is now obvious to all who choose to notice and the immodesty has invaded our churches. Christians, however, must be different from those around us. We must be holy (set apart unto God) and we cannot be holy if we are choosing to model ourselves after the ways of this world.  Modesty must once again be taught from the pulpits and around our dinner tables and needs to be kept at the forefront of our minds. To this end, mature Christian sisters must help, guide and pray for our younger and less mature in the faith sisters.

When looking around at women who are out and about at this time of the year, I see several issues that I feel need to be addressed:

Let’s start with dresses. Just because a dress covers you, doesn’t mean it covers well: it can have long sleeves and be long enough (to the knee or preferably below the knee) and still show cleavage or fit too snuggly. So check your dresses. Look in a mirror and make sure that 1) the dress is indeed long enough so that if you sit down or have to bend over or stoop, nothing is revealed, 2) the dress comes high enough at the neck so that no one can see down the front if you are bending over (look in a mirror or have a mom, husband or girl friend help you with this), the dress isn’t too snug over your hips, over the bust and doesn’t hug you like a glove anywhere.

Skirts need to come to the knees or below (just as do dresses) and mustn’t be too tight. They should never hug the figure and should allow plenty of leg room for walking and sitting (as should dresses). Check a mirror with a light behind you to see if your skirt (or dress) is see-through. If so, pair a slip with it (and, in Winter, or most anytime, a slip is a really good idea…period).

Tights are lovely but do not cover enough when paired with winter shorts (why would anyone?) or with a mini-skirt. They hug the legs and show them off as if you had on nothing. Paired with a longer skirt or dress, they are fine and comfy.

Winter slacks must be loose. Any slacks, jeans, etc. that hug the feminine figure is an affront to the male eyes and mind. If you are of the mind to wear slacks or jeans please make sure that they fit loosely rather than tightly.

Turtle necks and sweaters can be very warm and comfortable and I love to wear them; however, if you choose to wear them, please make sure that they do not fit your figure snugly and do not overly emphasize the feminine figure. A woman ought to look like a woman but a godly woman should never look like she is advertising her femininity for all to see.

Blouses and tops need to be checked for puckering, snugness, shortness, sheer fabric, clingy fabric, writing across the front of the bust (or anything that will draw a man’s eyes where they ought not to be drawn). If you are wearing a boat-neck blouse or sweater, please make sure that your bra or slip strap does not show. If you are wearing a V-neck or a round-neck top, check cleavage carefully. Just because you are covered when you are standing straight, doesn’t mean you are covered when bending.

An issue frequently overlooked issue in wintertime modesty (or anytime one talks about modesty) is over-dressing or dressing very modestly but acting in a way to call attention to yourself. Over-dressing, first: Many women, especially in today’s economy, cannot afford to dress expensively; nor do we need to be able to dress in the absolute best to be dressed well and even nicely. If you know that you are going to be around women who cannot afford to dress as well as you can, please do yourself a favor  and dress appropriately (to keep you from appearing cold, snobby and unfeeling). The second issue, dressing modestly but acting in a way to draw attention to oneself, flows from a heart that isn’t modest (no matter what the clothing of the body may suggest). If you dress to cover and yet are a flirt, you are immodest.

Well, that about covers it. Please make sure your clothes cover you!