“I desire therefore that the men pray
everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without
wrath and doubting; 9 in like manner
also, that the women adorn themselves in
modest apparel, with propriety and
moderation, not with braided hair or gold
or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which
is proper for women professing godliness,
with good works.”
(1 Tim. 2:8-10)
Should Culture Determine Modesty?
 In some cultures, and at
certain times, almost any
show of “skin” is considered immoral
– Sultaana Freeman of Winter Park, Florida earlier this
year wanted to be photographed for her driver’s
license while wearing a veil because, she said, her
religion dictates modesty in public.
– In certain fundamentalist Islam societies women must
be completely covered
– Washington Irving’s quote from The Legend of Sleepy
“A Little of a Coquette”
Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving
"She was withal a little of a coquette, as might be
perceived even in her dress, which was a mixture of
ancient and modern fashions, as most suited to set
off her charms. She wore the ornaments of pure
yellow gold, which her great-great-grandmother had
brought over from Saardam; the tempting stomacher
of the olden time; and withal a provokingly short
petticoat, to display the prettiest foot and ankle in the
country around.“
(Coquette: A usually unscrupulous women who
seduces or exploits men)
Should Culture Determine Modesty?
 In our culture, almost anything goes!
– When French designer Louis Reard introduced the
bikini in 1946, Parisian models would not model it.
He hired a nude dancer to unveil the swimsuit.
– Today, little is frowned upon in society. Thong bathing
suits, “Daisy Duke” shorts, Micro-mini skirts, are
championed on television and in movies, and are
seen everywhere.
– “We don’t wear them that short”… Why not, if it is
accepted by society?
The Bible is the Standard we must follow!
 God is Immutable
– Regardless of what “society” allows, there is a point
at which God has and always will “draw a line”
– Where I draw that line, and where you draw that line
doesn’t matter. What matters is where God draws it.
– It is obvious that the world has crossed the line.
– What about the Christian? He must depend upon
God rather than man to determine whether he is
modest in his behavior and dress.
Isaiah 5:20-21
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!”
The claim, “I don’t see what is wrong with it” will
not help you in judgment if you disregard God’s
directives in this or any other matter.
1 Timothy 2:9
“In like manner also, that the women adorn
themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and
moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls
or costly clothing…”
Terms to Define:
Modest, Propriety, Moderation
1 Peter 3:3-4
“Do not let your adornment be merely outward;
arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine
apparel; 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the
heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and
quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of
Terms to Define:
Gentle, Quiet
Defining Terms (1 Timothy 2:9)
 Modest (kosmios, koVmios)
– “Orderly, well-arranged, decent…” (Vine’s)
– “Respectable, honorable” (Arndt & Gingrich)
– Used by 1st century writers as a contrast to revealing
 Propriety (Shamefacedness,
KJV) (aidos, aidws)
– Lit. “Downcast eyes”; Bashfulness, modesty (Strong’s)
– That modesty which is “fast” rooted in the character (V)
– Word was used in Gk. For opposite of promiscuous
Jeremiah 8:12
“Were they ashamed when they had committed
abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed,
Nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they
shall fall among those who fall; In the time of their
punishment They shall be cast down," says the
The fact that one is not embarrassed to wear a
particular outfit does not mean it is O.K. Some
aren’t ashamed, But they should be!
Defining Terms (1 Timothy 2:9)
 Moderation (Sobriety, KJV)
(sophrosune, swfrosunh)
– “Soundness of mind… Self-control (Strong’s)
– “It is that habitual inner self-government, with its
constant rein on all the passions and desires, which
would hinder the temptation to these from arising.”
– Used in the sense of being free from worldly values and
lusts. In effect – we must see immodest dress as
shameful, (not attractive); as indecent, (not cute)!
Defining Terms (1 Peter 3:3-4)
 Gentle (Meek, KJV)(praus, prauV)
– “Denotes gentle, mild, meek” (Vine’s)
– “It is that temper of spirit in which we accept His
dealings with us as good, and therefore without
disputing or resisting.” (ibid.)
 Quiet (hesuchios,
– “Indicates tranquility arising from within, causing no
disturbance to others.” (Vine’s)
– One’s adornment is to come from a Gentle and
Quiet spirit!
Defining An Opposite Term
 Lewdness (Lasciviousness,
(aselgeia, aselgeia)
– “Denotes excess, absence of restraint, indecency,
wantonness” (Vine’s)
– “The prominent idea is shameless conduct (ibid.)
– Also translated as Licentiousness, Wantonness
– Contrast the term shamefacedness (downcast eyes,
blushing, modesty) with Lewdness (shameless
conduct), and consider the common dress of our
Galatians 5:19-21
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which
are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies,
outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions,
heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries,
and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I
also told you in time past, that those who practice
such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Defining Nakedness
 Naked (arowm, Hebrew)
– “nude, either partially or totally” (Strong)
 Naked (gumnos, gumnoV)
– “nude (absol. or rel., lit. or fig.)” (Strong)
– “unclothed; scantily clad or poorly clad; clad in the
undergarment only (the outer being laid aside)” (Vine’s)
– Best defined by context and descriptions.
(Genesis 3; Exodus 28; Isaiah 47)
– Note: Definitions not implying binding O.T. God has not
loosened what he considers sin (cf. Acts 17:30)
Genesis 3:7, 9-10
(7), “Then the eyes of both of them were
opened, and they knew that they were naked; and
they sewed fig leaves together and made
themselves coverings.”
(9-10), “Then the LORD God called to Adam and
said to him, ‘Where are you?’ 10 So he said, ‘I
heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid
because I was naked; and I hid myself.’”
Genesis 3:21
“Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God
made tunics of skin, and clothed them.”
Tunic – (kethoneth, Hebrews) lit. to cover.
“a tunic, an inner garment next the skin; also
worn by women; generally with sleeves, coming
down to the knees, rarely to the ankles.” (Genesius,
pg. 420) (Note: No distinction between men and
women in this).
Exodus 28:42
“And you shall make for them linen trousers to
cover their nakedness; they shall reach from the
waist to the thighs.”
Note: Well aware that this was ceremonial
dress. However, note that the linen trousers had
a practical purpose! To cover their nakedness
as the ascended to the altar. The phrase is an
inclusive Hebrew idiom, indicating a covering
complete to the knee.
Isaiah 47:2-3
“Take the millstones and grind meal. Remove
your veil, Take off the skirt, Uncover the thigh, Pass
through the rivers. 3 Your nakedness shall be
uncovered, Yes, your shame will be seen; I will take
vengeance, And I will not arbitrate with a man.”
Note: Yes, figurative of Israel. But, the
picture does not make sense if the definition of
nakedness is not valid. An uncovering of the
What Body Parts incite lust?
The Woman’s Body
– The Bosom
(Including cleavage)
– The Midriff
– The Loins
– The Thigh
Common sense
indicates that outside
of marriage, these
should be covered!
The Man’s Body
The Chest
The Abdomen
The Loins
The Thigh
Common sense
indicates that outside
of marriage, these
should be covered!
Proverbs 5
(1-2), “My son, pay attention to my wisdom; Lend
your ear to my understanding, 2 That you may
preserve discretion, And your lips may keep
(3-4), “For the lips of an immoral woman drip
honey, And her mouth is smoother than oil; 4 But in
the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a twoedged sword.”
Proverbs 5, cont.
(16-20), “Drink water from your own cistern, And
running water from your own well. 16 Should your
fountains be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in
the streets? 17 Let them be only your own, And not
for strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain be
blessed, And rejoice with the wife of your youth. 19
As a loving deer and a graceful doe, Let her breasts
satisfy you at all times; And always be enraptured
with her love. 20 For why should you, my son, be
enraptured by an immoral woman, And be
embraced in the arms of a
Hebrews 13:4
“Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed
undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will
What Modest Dress Does
 Covers nakedness (Gen. 3)
 Reflects shamefacedness, sobriety,
godliness & good works (1 Tim. 2:9-10)
 Reflects purity, reverence & a quiet
(1 Peter 3:3-4)
 Based on the Bible definitions, some dress is
always indecent. Revealing (see thru, skin-tight);
Insufficient (exposing thigh, midriff or chest);
Provocative (sensual, sexually alluring); Showy
(ostentatious or extravagant)
Every Christian should be careful
to dress modestly so as to reflect
godliness, good works and a meek
and quiet spirit.
To achieve this, we must examine
our hearts to develop and keep a
basic sense of decency and
shamefacedness. Dress Modestly!