Modesty

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A stumbling block is something that can cause someone to sin or something that can help someone sin. For example, suppose I knew that someone who an alcoholic and trying not to drink. Now, suppose I took them to a bar. By taking them to a bar, where they would be tempted to drink, I would become a stumbling block to them. In the same way, if I offered that person a drink, I would, again, be a stumbling block for them. I would be giving them a way to sin or giving them the opportunity to sin. We never want to be in the position where we can be accused to leading someone to sin.

Rom 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

We can all see that we should never knowingly do something that would cause someone else to sin. That may even make us accountable for their sin in some way. But have you ever considered that the way you dress may cause someone to sin?

Mat 5:27-28 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: (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 told us plainly that a man could sin with a woman just by looking at her. We also know a man can sin by looking from David’s example. His sin began when he looked across the rooftops and he saw Bathsheba bathing. Now, we clearly know that David’s sin was David’s fault. There is no doubt of this. However, if Bathsheba had not been on the rooftop bathing, David would never have seen her. We have to assume that Bathsheba sinned here also. She created the circumstances that enticed David to sin. We could even say that the devil set a trap for David and used Bathsheba as the bait.

Today, the bait to sin is all around us. We cannot walk through the mall, go to a high school football game or, sadly, go to many churches without being surrounded by more bait. Yes, everywhere we turn, we are surrounded by women who are dressed in such a way as to entice a man to sin. Perhaps it is a short skirt or shorts or perhaps she is completely covered but her clothes are tight and reveal her form. Either way, the trap is set. What is even more sad is that these women often do not realize they are being used as bait in Satan’s snare.

Prov 6:24-26 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. (25) Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. (26) For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.

A woman’s speech can be just as powerful as her attire. With her words or even with her eyes, a woman can convince even the strongest man to do things he would never consider doing. Literally, as this passage says, a man can be brought down to the cost of a piece of bread. Consider Samson. He never dreamed that a woman would cause him to literally give his strength away. On three different times, she teased him, begging him for the secret of his strength. Likewise, three different times, he played her game. Finally, however, he was taken. Many women do not realize the power they have over men. The most critical thing women, mostly unmarried women, do not realize is that men are stimulated, literally enticed, by their eyes. That is, they are attracted by what they see. On the other hand, woman are attracted by their emotions – by what is said to them and how they are treated. Whether she realizes what she is doing or not, an immodest woman will reveal her body. Perhaps she will actually reveal her skin or perhaps she will only reveal the form or outline of her body – in either case, she is revealing herself in a way which will draw a man’s eye. By doing this, she will become the bait in a trap the devil would use to snare the unsuspecting man.

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We know that Adam and Eve realized they were naked and were ashamed. One could argue that they were ashamed because of their sin. Certainly, they were ashamed of their sin and how they disappointed God. However, as we examine Scripture, we can see that revealing the body, outside of marriage, also reveals one’s shame. If it is shameful to show nakedness, it would be unreasonable of God to set a standard for us without defining that standard. So, how does God define naked? Answering this question will solve many of the problems we face as a result of the indecency we see around us today. If you go to the typical beach in America during the summer and ask the people if they are naked, they will quickly tell you no. Though it conceals what many consider to be the “private parts,” a woman’s bathing suit still reveals much of the woman’s body. No one on the beach would admit they are naked. In fact, you may even be able to find many who are quite proud of their bodies and are showing them off. Is this God’s plan? Does God approve of this? Continue reading