the context of holiness, Paul instructs women to “...adorn themselves in
modest apparel, with shamefastness and sobriety; not with braided hair,
and gold or pearls or costly raiment; but (which becometh women
professing godliness) through good works”
(I Timothy 2:9-10).
communicate many things about our selves through dress. It should not be
surprising that the woman of a “wily” heart is dressed “with the attire
of a harlot”
(Proverbs 7:10). The disposition of heart not only finds
expression in word but often it manifests its character in dress.
ostentatious or showy spirit often finds an outlet through extravagant
hair styles, expensive jewelry and costly raiment. Paul is warning women
readers to guard against inappropriate dress.
does he combat the problem? Fight fire with fire. An unbecoming spirit
is behind inappropriate dress, so if we concentrate on having a right
spirit when we dress, our adornment should be appropriate.
characteristic of a holy and godly heart is “shamefastness”. According
to Vine, this “is that modesty which is ‘fast” or rooted in the
character.” Like “bedfast” is describing one confined to bed,
“shamefast” is modesty firmly imbedded in character. This godly heart
understands the limits or boundaries of propriety and shrinks back from
ever crossing the line instead of seeing how close one can come to the
Shamefastness is that character of heart that is concerned with how
certain actions will affect others. We see this clearly when Jesus
speaks of the “importunity” or “shameless persistence” (the opposite of
shamefastness) of one who approaches the door of a friend at midnight.
He is persistent in asking for bread, but shamelessly so. He does not
care if his friend is in bed at midnight with his children or what the
friend will have to do to accommodate his request. He has no shame
regarding how his actions are affecting his friend (Luke 11:5-8).
dress has an effect upon others. “Shamefastness” factors this in and
makes sure the dress for the occasion will be fitting within the limits
of propriety, therefore not adversely affecting others.
purpose in assembling this morning is to worship and honor God, not put
on a show with the new spring fashions. Shamefastness does not keep
women from new things, it keeps her within the limits of modest dress,
that manifests sobriety. Her dress never distracts other worshippers
from the lofty purpose of honoring God by bringing undue attention to
herself, or attracting the envious or even lustful gaze of the
Spring and summer seasons also tempt the ostentatious and showy spirit
to show off more of the body rather than keep it modestly covered.
Shamefastness will not allow an ostentatious spirit to take root and
find expression in skimpy clothing. The woman with shamefastness
considers how shorts exposing the thighs; halter tops, attracting eyes
to the bare midriff; or swimsuits boldly revealing the female form will
attract the wrong kind of response from men. So, she avoids such attire
before the public’s eye.
woman wanting to dress becomingly as one who is manifesting godliness
can do so in any society. Developing shamefastness will help
tremendously in dressing for all occasions.
The Christian's Apparel - Inside and Out
Family Time Together is Essential
Would you like
others to read this article?