Male and Female Modesty

Discussion in 'The Pilgrims Progress' started by Reformed Covenanter, Mar 20, 2008.

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  1. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

  2. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    What does he define as modest? I cannot listen but am interested.
  3. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    I think that should be obvious. Do you know immodesty when you see it?
  4. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Exactly! But who is you. Immodesty is actually somewhat cultural so it isn't a question that is immaterial. There are certain cultures where it does not tempt men to see women clad in a manner that would be very tempting to Western males.
  5. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    Though in my culture, Christian women should dress in a way that does not cause men (in my culture) to lust.
  6. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member

    Thanks. Is that what Pastor Al says?
  7. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    No problem, I plan to listen to it later today; just thought I would post it in advance for the benefit of others. I presumes Pastor Martin would take this view. I think a good Biblical example of this is 1 Cor. 11:2-16, where a lady not wearing a veil was an act of immodesty (she "dishonoured her head"), while in western society today it is not immodest.
  8. JOwen

    JOwen Puritan Board Junior

    Ummmm, there is nothing in that passage that says anything about cultural immodesty. It does however say things like "ordinance" and "light of nature". These are not cultural but biblical. :)
  9. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    The light of nature is referring to long hair, while the word ordinances really means "teachings", yet this is not even referring to the headcovering as Paul says "2. Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. 3. But I want you to understand that", therefore, he changes the subject when he speaks about the headcovering. I agree that the underlying principle in that passage is Biblical, but the literal application has expired. Note that in the next chapter Paul explains that rationale for covering parts of the body: "on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty" (1 Cor. 12:23), thus the reason why a woman's hair was to be covered is because the public display of it in that culture was seen as immodest. Moreover, I have yet to see any modern proponents of head-coverings make their women wear veils which fully cover the hair. A hat which merely covers part of the head, while the lady has two-feet of hair on display, does not conform to what Paul told the Corinthians.

    Anyway, I have not got time to go into it further; see my RPW book for more.;)
  10. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior


    Personally I have trouble labeling 1 Cor. 11 as a mere worship practice But more of a headship practice.... I guess it is one view if they believe it is linked to the following sections which describe worship under the Lord Supper sacrament. Difficult to say for sure since there was no chapter or verse distinction until the Geneva Bible.

    I do believe it holds out a modesty clause in addition to other passages teachings woman to cover for modesty.. Passages in Genesis, Song, Isaiah 47:2, etc..

    Personally I hold to headcoverings for modesty and still believe them to be for the Christian woman today.. I believe for a woman to show her hair is immodest, as hair is very lustful, even for the Western Man today.. I see nothing cultural about it.

    I also do believe that the whole head constitute the woman.. So I am a proponent that believes the whole hair is to be covered.

    Many of the Early Church Fathers taught that even the face of the woman was to be covered... It is plausible and I could lean that way but I am not going to be dogmatic about the face.

    All in all, I believe that a wrap that covers the hair is required and would be closer to a muslim shayla or a hijab head scarf aleast according to my Hebrew and Greek study of the words.

    I am also not for hats which is a protected head gear for the cold and not a sign of submission to headship.

    As for my wife.... Currently she covers in worship and she understands my position.. I have been given her space to study my work and come to it on her own without "Lording It Over Her".. Husbands must dwell with their wives in Understanding. A time may come when I politely ask her to cover even if it is not her conviction for her husband but that is not today... Time and Space must be given..

    Here are a few photos describing what I meant according to my Hebrew and Greek word studies....

    Here is a Christian woman from England around the year 800 A.D.


    Here is a Modern Day Christian woman from the Middle East, I believe from Israel.


    Last edited: Mar 21, 2008
  11. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor

    He's talking about the ten things that are magnets to men's eyes..

    1. Dresses or skirts w/ slits to the knee or above..

    2. Dresses, skirts, jeans that hug the buttocks

    3. Upper garmets that hug the breast

    4. unbuttoned blouses that have one button left covering the breasts, and if you lean over your breasts are exposed.

    5. Sleeveless blouses or long arm holes that men sitting behind you can look and see in your shirt or dress..

    6. low rise skirts and pants that barely cover the buttocks

    7. See through clothing

    8. Skirts & dresses that are so short that if you move around shows your undergarmets, and everyone can see them.

    9. Pants, slacks, jeans that hug the buttocks, hips and crotch..

    10. Bared middrift..
  12. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    Well for me and others men I have talked to, say that the calf between the knee and ankle are lustful and are magnets to men's eyes....

    The same for the hair... The Song of Solomon talks about how hair is very lustful and erotic.. Again for me and other men I have talk to agree that hair is a magnet for men's eyes and can be a problem for us men.....

  13. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor

    Coram Deo;

    While I understand that men can lust over all of these things, as a woman, it is a HUGE burden to carry and to know that no matter what I wear, I am being held accountable for being responsible for that man's lust. Where is the man's responsibility for his heart before God in this?

    I know men who lust more over women who are fully covered modestly, thinking about what they can't see and what these women ARE covering, and mentally undressing her fully clothed body..but as a woman, I have no control over a man's lustful thoughts, no matter what I'm wearing.

    Granted I can wear things *I* feel are not going to cause a man to lust, but that doesn't mean he's NOT going to lust anyway, if that is what's in his heart to do.

    Should men and women live in totally seperate societies so that men will never have to deal with their lustful thoughts before God? That to me would be THE ONLY way to prevent men from lusting over women at all.
  14. ChristopherPaul

    ChristopherPaul Puritan Board Senior

    Also keep in mind that prostitution, rape, and the like are still problems in societies where women are fully covered (head to toe). :2cents:
  15. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Excellent point, Bobbi.

    Mat 5:28 "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

    Jesus spoke to the greater sin. I don't recall him directly condemning a woman's clothing.

    I think the modesty issue is similar to the "decent and good order" issue. The key is to avoid unnecessary distractions, not prevent another from sinning.
  16. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    I agree that it is also Man's responsibility to avoid lust... But the two issues I brought out I believe have direct bearing within scripture and what scripture describes as modest for the woman...

    We have on the board been over this before and I am not really wanting to get into it very deeply right now but I believe Isaiah 47:2 describes modesty for the woman by the covering of the hair and the entire leg. The Song describes woman covered modestly with a veil over their head and in Genesis the Rebekah covers her head with a covering before seeing a man she had never met before..

    In other passages it talks about the veil being removed from the woman as punishment since it was lewd to be uncovered...

    So when men have problems with certain areas of the body and the scripture describes them as covered and to uncover is to show forth nakedness then I believe I am correct that they deal with modesty and it does rest there on the woman but it does not take away mans responsibilities to not lust after woman...

    Both Woman and Man must be guarded when dealing with modesty. For themselves and for each other....
  17. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    To add one more thought to what Bobbi and Vic have already said:

    Modesty for a woman is not only in clothing, but in attitude. I have seen fully clothed women drive men to near insanity with their words and their eyes. If a woman is honest before the Lord, she will be careful not only with her dress, but with her attitude.
  18. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritanboard Commissioner

    One of the Christian satire sites had a goof ad for "Emerjeans: the missional fashion of the emerging church."

    It read: "You Christian girls know where those boys are looking, so why not tell them about Jesus while they're there? Meet them where they're at." With embroidery on the rear pocket it advertised: "Five skin-tight Gospel messages: turn your eyes upon Jesus; Jesus is my boyfriend; looking fine for Jesus; baby got Jesus; or Jesus, like Buddha, only better! Available in Daisy Dukes."

    Obviously satire. But . . . not all that far off the mark unfortunately.
  19. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior


    Yes, it is in attitude but also outwardly in clothing... The scripture speaks of both...

    Calvin speaks of modesty of the attitude in the passage Isaiah 3:16

    "Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:"

    This does not distract from outward modesty or outward coverings. Isaiah 47:2, Song, Genesis, Timothy, etc...

  20. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    If you read my post carefully, you will that is what I said. It is not only clothing, but attitude. The only "clothing" I see mentioned here is something that might resemble bells on the feet.
  21. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner


    Thankful for your useful input; even though I am not convinced of your position, I respect your view and think that you make a number of very good points.

    Moreover it should be noted that 1 Cor. 11:2-16 is not merely referring to public worship, because in verses 17-18 Paul goes on to distinguish this from what goes on specifically when they "come together as a church". Thus if one is going to say that headcovering is a moral principle, then ladies should wear proper headcoverings (not hats) on all occasions which they are seen in public. :2cents:

  22. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    Passages Concerning Modesty

    "Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them." (Genesis 3:21)

    "And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. For she [had] said unto the servant, What man [is] this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant [had] said, It [is] my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself." (Genesis 24:64,65)

    “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. " (Deuteronomy 22:5)

    "‘And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD. The priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water. Then the priest shall stand the woman before the LORD, uncover the woman’s head, and put the offering for remembering in her hands, which is the grain offering of jealousy. And the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that brings a curse." (Numbers 5:16-18)

    “The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me.” (Song of Solomon 5:7)

    "Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:" (Isaiah 3:16)

    “Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy veil, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen.” (Isaiah 47:2-3)

    "In 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; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works." (1 Timothy 2:9-10)

    "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart" (1 Peter 3:3-4)
  23. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    Thank You Brother.. :handshake:

    I also concur with what you said regarding 1 Cor. 11:2-16 and what is said in verses 17-18. In fact I agree with your entire last paragraph... :)

  24. Reformed Covenanter

    Reformed Covenanter Puritanboard Commissioner

    Concerning verses 17-18 Pastor Sam Waldron was the first to point this out to me; he has a series of four sermons on women in the church (on tape) which I found useful.
  25. Simply_Nikki

    Simply_Nikki Puritan Board Junior

    Does modesty ever apply to men as well? Like men wearing tight shirts that show their muscles? Or men wearing no sleeved shirts or even short sleeved shirts? Or men wearing shorts? I know some women lust when they see men's arms or legs or muscles. :think:
  26. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    Yes they apply... Because of Isaiah 47:2 I will not wear shorts in the summer... My legs are always covered...

    I won't wear tight shirts either.. They are always loose fitting... But I am far from muscular... :lol:

  27. christianyouth

    christianyouth Puritan Board Senior

    Sorry brother, but I'm not sure if you are being serious or joking?:confused:
  28. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    I was quite serious.... It has been aleast 4 years since I donned my last pair of shorts.... I have gotten quite use to wearing pants in 100 degree days....

    I am also never without a shirt on... Including at the pool or at the empty beach... A tee shirt is a must.... And unless with my wife privately never at a pool or beach in mixed company...

  29. Simply_Nikki

    Simply_Nikki Puritan Board Junior

    Wait you wear pants in the pool? :confused:
  30. Coram Deo

    Coram Deo Puritan Board Junior

    Well, you know I do not remember the last time I went swimming accept when I went over a 25 foot dam while whitewater kayaking and I was wearing a wet suit under a loose top and loose fitting almost to the ankles pants (only a few inches away from the ankle).. And I was swimming for my life.... :barfy:

    So If I went swimming again I would probably wear that loose fitting pants...
    I have seen swim wear designed for modesty and covered legs down to the ankles for sell on the internet for both man and woman...

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