Ahhh…how do you describe it other than to say: summer is almost here. Though the official start of summer is still a few weeks away, this past week was Memorial Day, meaning summer has unofficially started. I get excited every year about this time for several reasons. First, I get to smell fresh cut grass every Saturday. After a long day of working hard outside, I can just sit on the front porch as the sun goes down and watch the lightning bugs come out to play. The kids can finally get out of the house to let out some of the energy that has been bottled up during the cold. You can make impromptu trips to the zoo or to get ice cream. There’s so many great things happening this time of year.
However, there’s a major problem that surfaces around this time of year, and I’m disturbed by it more and more as I get older. It seems the warmer it gets outside, the more the clothes come off. I can already hear you thinking…’Really? Another article about modesty? We’ve heard this 1,000 times!’ Well, our family just returned this weekend from a vacation in Florida, and from what I saw then and still see around me every year at home, we need to talk about this more often. But do you want to know the most disturbing thing to me? It seems like the members of the Lord’s Church are being sucked into the sinfulness that immodesty brings. And what’s worse? We don’t seem to feel a bit of shame! Please allow me a moment to be blunt.
First, the Bible gives us examples of what parts of our bodies we should keep covered. In Genesis 3, after Adam and Eve sinned, the very first thing they did was sew together fig leaves for coverings because they realized they were naked (v. 7). However, when God came into the garden, what did Adam and Eve do? They hid themselves because they were naked (v. 10). Wait a minute! Didn’t they make coverings for themselves? How could they have still been naked? The indication is that they made garments that did nothing but cover the most sacred parts of the body. (I don’t know about you, but I’m picturing something like our modern day bathing suit.) God was obviously not satisfied with this covering, because He “made tunics of skin, and clothed them” (v. 21). Though Adam and Eve had done something to cover themselves, it wasn’t enough to take away their nakedness.
Second, our society has gone downhill to the point that sex is used to sell everything, and I mean everything. Sorry women, but I don’t think it’s any secret that society is putting more pressure on you than on men to dress provocatively. That’s very unfortunate. Our daughters are being taught at a young age by their peers, by the media, and simply by the other women they encounter that the more flesh they show, the more attractive they will be. That is simply not true. Young ladies, if you feel that you need to show more skin or curves to get a guy’s attention, then I promise that he’s not the guy that you need to be with. And you men, the same holds true in reverse. Keep in mind guys that Exodus 28:42-43 describes the “linen trousers” that the priests were to wear to cover their nakedness while performing their priestly duties.
Finally, don’t even leave the impression that you are accepting of this style of dress. Not only should we avoid this type of dress ourselves, but we should avoid surrounding ourselves with it. If you see someone dressed inappropriately, explain to your children right then that they cannot dress that way and please God. How are we to have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16) if we surround ourselves with sinful activities? “Whatever things are pure…meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8). If a show on TV has immodest dress, turn the channel. Don’t allow the filth into your mind, and eventually your mind will change for the better.
Though the summer brings a lot of great things, it opens the Christian to a world of sin. Guys, keep your shirts on while working in the yard or at the pool. Ladies, I know it’s harder on you, so you will have to make a greater effort to find the clothes that are appropriate for Christians to wear, especially to the beach or the lake. I beg you, for the sake of your own soul, put forth the effort to find them. For everyone…don’t let sunbathing be an excuse for dressing immodestly this summer. If you have no intentions of showing that part of your body to anyone, then it doesn’t matter how tan it is. Let’s all strive this year to show the world how a Christian is supposed to dress. Show the world what it means to avoid conformity and accept transformation (Romans 12:1-2).