This is part of a series in 1 Timothy. My piece is taken from 1 Timothy 2:8-10.
I grew up in a church that handed out a modesty checklist to young girls. Some of the rules were:
- You can’t wear shirts with spaghetti straps unless you wear something under it or over it.
- You cannot wear any prints or fabrics that drew attention to your chest.
- Your tank top straps should measure four fingers wide or else pitch it.
- You must always wear board shorts over the bottoms of any bathing suit (even a traditional one piece).
We tried to follow and enforce these rules. And it all bred severe criticism, judgment, legalism, and self-righteousness. We began to assess ourselves and other girls through the narrow lens of externals, believing it to be the standard of a godly woman. From this list, it seemed as if this was the norm of a godly woman. The list above was not a biblical standard, but a man-made one. If only godly womanhood and gospel living were as easy as checking off a list that some church ladies made up. But it’s not. Godly womanhood and gospel living stem from the heart, and only God can change hearts. We can only change our outfits.
Putting on certain outfits or behaviors does not make someone godly. Only when the gospel changes our hearts can there be practical, visible change. The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 1, when God awakens our hearts to the power of the gospel, our outward behavior changes.
You can read the rest at Servants of Grace >>