What are some good guidelines on dressing fashionably yet modestly?


Let’s turn to God’s Word for His counsel in the area of purity of appearance. Because we are His, we should dress to please Him regardless of whether we are single, widowed, divorced or married. God has called us to be beautiful and fearless daughters of promise. To remain free, we choose to live by the Spirit. Let’s gather some New Testament Scriptures that address the issue of clothing. The first is found in Paul’s instruction to Timothy:

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God (1 Timothy 2:9,10, NIV).

First and foremost, a woman’s dress is to be modest; this means void of pride and without the intent of drawing attention to itself. Second, it is to be decent, which means pure, moral and virtuous. Sometimes I question the clothing I see on young girls and single women at church. I remember looking out of step when I first got saved, because I only had a “heathen” wardrobe, but this is not what I am talking about. There is an alarming lack of modesty in daughters who have been raised in the church. I often have mothers of young boys plead with me, “Tell the young girls that how they dress is really affecting the young men!” The third description of dress in this passage is the word propriety. This is best defined as being appropriate and respectful of its setting.

Paul goes from there to the contrast between outer accessories and the adornment of good deeds. He advises women to not spend their time and resources on earthly treasures. Instead, they are to lay up for themselves treasures in heaven by adorning themselves with charitable acts.

We find another group of instructions for a Christian woman’s wardrobe in 1 Peter:

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—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 God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves (1 Peter 3:3–5, NKJV).

Peter says to not let your adornment be merely external, especially to the neglect of your internal beauty. Then he lets us in on the beauty secret of the holy woman—that is, to cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit. A major factor in this adornment is learning to trust God. Paul encourages women to adorn themselves with good works, and Peter instructs them to focus on unseen treasure. If we develop our spirits like the holy women of old, we will put on garments of grace and praise.

Abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22, KJV).

Our clothing should not even appear to be suggestive. Showing cleavage, navels or excessive leg is not appropriate for church services, youth groups or retreats. Neither are overly tight tops, pants or dresses that leave nothing to the imagination. Such clothing is not appropriate anywhere because it is not modest, and its whole intention is to call attention to breasts, navels, legs or bottoms. It is not polite because it can make others uncomfortable—especially hormone-driven, sight-oriented males. It is simply not appropriate for those who profess to belong to God.

Take a good hard look at your wardrobe and ask the Holy Spirit to be your fashion consultant. As you dress, ask yourself:

Is this modest?
Is it decent?
Is it appropriate for where I’m going?
Does it honor whose I am?
How am I affecting the males around me with my clothing?
Am I honoring them and encouraging them in their pursuit of purity?

The enemy of your soul wants to strip you, make sport of you, and merchandise your body, but your heavenly Father wants to clothe you with beauty, strength, dignity, and honor that will endure.

Why don’t women leave their abusers?


Grandville : Cent Proverbes

Grandville : Cent Proverbes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fact is that many women do leave, and they risk their lives in doing so. A woman may leave an average of seven times—leaving and going back home—before she leaves for good. There are many reasons why a woman stays in an abusive relationship or returns home after leaving, but the primary motivation is fear.
Fear

The victim has every reason to be afraid. Many abusers threaten to take the children if she leaves—either by accusing her of being an incompetent parent and gaining custody or by kidnapping them. In extreme cases, he may kill them as the ultimate revenge against his wife.

She also fears for her own safety. She may get killed herself! A woman is at 75 percent greater risk of harm from her abuser when she leaves.1 One abuser threatened to kill his wife, saying, “If I can’t have you, nobody else will either.” In another incident the abuser disfigured his wife’s face with acid, proclaiming, “Now no one will ever want to look at you again.”
Guilt

Religious beliefs and guilt keep many women from leaving abusive situations. They fear the condescending and judgmental reactions of friends and family who believe she is responsible for breaking up the family by leaving. She may also fear offending God and her church family. Most women who have children try to protect them from the trauma of divorce by staying in an abusive marriage. They do not realize their children will suffer more long-lasting trauma by being in an abusive home than in a single-parent home. Women may not realize that leaving does not necessarily lead to divorce. In some cases, separation is the wake-up call that causes her husband to seek help.
Confusion

Confusion and “crazy making” keep many women off balance and unable to make rational decisions. One day he worships her and places her on a pedestal. The next day she doesn’t meet his expectations and falls from grace. The fall is a long one, and she can’t understand why he has changed from a loving, generous husband into a maniacal bully who delights in punishing her.
False Hope

False hope distorts a woman’s view of reality. Many women stay in an abusive home because they love their husbands and long to see their marriage succeed. They simply want the disrespect and violence to stop. She believes if she tries a little harder or waits a little longer, things will change. She believes him when he says the abuse will never happen again. Because he has been wounded in the past, she thinks he needs extra love and care, and she thinks that helping him become whole is her responsibility. Because she loves him, she denies the reality that he is capable of seriously hurting or killing her. False hope convinces her that she needs to protect her husband—even from himself.
Financial Instability

Financial dependence and fear of the unknown paralyze many women as they ponder how they will be able to support themselves and, in many cases, their children. Most women face financial, social, and emotional hardships when they leave, and they often find that assistance is limited or not available to them. Weak criminal justice systems offer no hope, and have failed victims again and again, causing women to be terrified of possibly losing custody of their children and become destitute financially. When a woman’s life is bound up in her family, she worries about continuing important relationships with stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, and friends. She believes her identity will be lost if she leaves.
Lack of Information

Ignorance of the facts and of the consequences of domestic violence causes women to view themselves as the problem rather than understanding the cause of violence is within the heart and mind of the abuser. They believe his violence is caused by temporary problems based on outside circumstances, such as stress at work. Having this mind-set, they believe that once the stress is relieved, the beatings will stop. In addition, some women are unaware that spousal abuse is spiritually and morally wrong.

(If you have been abused or in an abusive relationship, you dont have to suffer in silence feel free to contact us, there is help out there.)

Women


 Biblical Advice for Women’s Issues

Honest biblical advice for the toughest issues women face in crisis situations, personal and spiritual development, relationships, current events, and more. See the categories below for more information on each topic.


Biblical Guidelines for Helping

The experienced Christian counselor, H. NORMAN WRIGHT, author of Helping Those Who Hurt, says that many elements are involved in helping a friend:

  • look to the Word of God (Proverbs 3:5-6): if we try to help a friend within our own strength, we will make mistakes.
  • experience “genuine interest and love” for the individual we are helping. Wright suggests that if we don’t have this, we can’t fake it. Pray about your attitude, or point your friend to someone who could possibly be of more help to them.
  • know when to speak, and when not to: A knowledgeable person chooses words well.
  • ask for more information: this will allow your friend time to talk.
  • keep a confidence: if you are asked not to share information, then keep it to yourself.
  • show understanding: if you make inappropriate comments, your friend can feel the painful effects of your reactions.
  • give tentative (rather than concrete) suggestions to allow your friend to think of many solutions. 
  • use confrontation: Confront with grace and understanding, and to allow your friend “to make better decisions for herself, become more accepting of where she is in life, and to be less destructive and more productive,” Wright says.
Be ready to help and edify your friend, (Galatians 6:2, Romans 14:19), and give encouragement (Proverbs 12:25).

Finally,  “be able to get inside the other person, to look at the world through her perspective or frame of reference, and get a feeling for what her world is like.”

Check the categories on Women Issues for more guidance

Remain Blessed Virtuous One,

Rebecca Ajibola.

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