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Modesty and the Christian Woman

by Mrs. M. L. Chancey

Views on dress today cover the spectrum from “anything goes as long as my private parts are covered” to “I cover myself from neck to ankle and never wear anything bolder than navy blue.” It is unfortunate that modest dress is a controversial topic in Christian circles. What should be a fairly easy issue to decide upon (and obey) has been fragmented into dozens of “sub-arguments” about liberty versus legalism, law versus grace and shamefacedness versus ostentation. Our culture is so saturated with immodesty that we have become desensitized to it in many ways. What was once considered pornography is now brazenly displayed on the magazine covers that assault our eyes at the grocery checkout. The world chides us for being “repressed” or “uptight” if we attempt to uphold the barest shadows of modest behavior and dress. Even fellow Christians tell us that there are no absolute guidelines for dress, and that we mustn’t hinder another’s “liberty” by insisting that Scripture gives us boundaries for our attire. In the midst of this confusion, we find it difficult to “rightly divide the Word of Truth,” dividing instead into camps of “us” and “them,” and wasting all our ammunition on our sisters in Christ when we should be building one another up in love. And cursing the darkness may make us feel good temporarily, but we had better start lighting candles if we expect anyone to take God’s Word — and His commands for modesty in particular — seriously. Is there an absolute standard for Christian modesty? Does the Bible give us specific guidelines? Is there room for personal taste at all? I believe the answer to each of these questions is “yes.”

What Scripture Reveals

The first passage most Christian women turn to when asked about modesty is I Timothy 2:9,10: “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” Hard on the heels of this passage follows I Peter 3:3-6: “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” Different sects of Christians have interpreted these commands in various ways. One sect believes that these guidelines are to be adhered to as strictly as possible, forbidding makeup, jewelry, fancy hairstyles, ruffles, bows or other “distractions.” Yet another sect insists the passages are “cultural” and meant only for the Early Church, which lived in a time of luxuriously dressed temple prostitutes. But there are problems with both of these interpretations.

Beautiful Clothing Is Important to God

To say that a woman cannot dress in lovely clothing or adorn herself with jewelry or make-up, we have to throw out a good deal of Scripture. The Old Testament in particular is filled with descriptions of beautiful women (Sarah, Rebecca, Abigail, Esther, the Ideal Woman of Proverbs 31) who wear tapestry, silk, purple, scarlet (Proverbs 31:21,22), jewels, silver, gold (Exodus 3:22), makeup, perfume (Esther 2:12) and other feminine adornments. When the Lord describes how He will dress His bride, Israel (the Church), he declares that he will clothe us “as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:11). The “garments of salvation” described in Isaiah are beautiful, even royal, in their loveliness. In Ezekiel 16:12, the Lord promises to place a “jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.” The Bride of Christ is to be royally appareled and sparkling with gems and diadems. Some would argue that this is just a “spiritual picture” and cannot be applied to physical clothing. But even if this is so, the point cannot be made that jewelry or other adornments are “evil” or even forbidden, since God would not use wicked things to describe the adornment of His pure, spotless Bride. Those who adhere to a severe interpretation of the modesty passages usually have very specific outlines for dress (e.g. skirts no higher than two inches above the ankle; long sleeves only; neckline no lower than the collarbone; no bright colors; etc.). But in this they go beyond what Scripture sets forth and become Pharisaical in their teaching. Orthodox Jews adhere to all the jots and tittles of the Talmud, and many Christians are in danger of setting up their own “Talmuds” as they pretend to know the mind of God on what colors are acceptable for dresses and what exact length is permissible for skirts and sleeves. There is more room than this in Scripture for variety and for differences in taste and style. As we study the whole counsel of God from cover to cover, we find that God delights in beauty and diversity even while giving specific directions on modesty. It is His pleasure to make things lovely — whether that loveliness is displayed in the dainty purity of a snowdrop or the bolder magnificence of a tiger lily.

But we have to be careful not to swing to the opposite extreme. There is also the argument that any New Testament passages on modesty, “shamefacedness” and sobriety in dress are purely cultural and do not apply to modern Christians. In this camp are Christian women who argue that “we are not under law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). According to this view, as long as the private parts are covered, anything else is up for grabs (no pun intended). The feminine body is to be enjoyed and displayed attractively, but any and all rules of dress are up to individual preference or family guidelines. The problem here is one that is more fundamental and goes beyond the issue of dress. The “law versus grace” argument is one that has seriously harmed the Church and undermined our witness to the watching world. (For further insight into this topic–which is an important one–please see the list of articles at the bottom of this page.) The view that “the law no longer applies to me” gives us Christians who, like Britney Spears, believe their way of dressing (or undressing, rather) is perfectly fine, since only personal opinion matters in this area (see Britney’s quotes on this topic at Laugh at Feminism).

Flesh on Parade

We can therefore walk into most churches on any given Sunday and behold a parade of young women pass by in tight tee-shirts, low-slung jeans, form-fitting skirts and other curve- and flesh-revealing styles. Church youth groups participate in mixed-sex pool parties without a second thought, everyone coming in their skivvies and no one batting an eyelash. We have become callused to public nudity, even in the church. Elisabeth Elliot writes, “[N]udity is not supposed to move us. We are asked to behold without shock, without even surprise, the nearly total exposure of every conceivable shape and size of physique. But I don’t want to look at nudity without emotion. I want it reserved to enhance, not exhibited to destroy, the depth of individual experience…. Modesty was a system of protection. But the alarms have all been disconnected. The house is wide open to plunder.”[1]

God says in His Word that we are to cover our nakedness, and He does define what constitutes “nakedness.” After Adam and Eve sinned, the Bible says, “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Genesis 3:7). Adam and Eve immediately covered their private parts, believing this would hide their “shame” from the Lord. But what did God do with these coverings? “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (3:21). The fig-leaf “aprons” fashioned by our first parents were not enough. God made them coats to cover their bodies. This presents us with an important truth that goes beyond clothing. Our feeble works cannot cover our sins; God has to cover us in His way. When Adam and Eve covered their private parts, God replaced their inadequate coverings with coats to completely clothe their bodies. (An interesting side observation can here be noted: the fig-leaf apron was not only too little for Eve; it was too little for Adam. So much for “modest” swim trunks.) This is a beautiful picture of the covering of Christ’s atoning blood, which completely hides our sins rather than putting a patch over the “old man” here and there. “In other words,” writes Jeff Pollard, “God did not give a fur bikini to represent our righteousness and salvation.”[2] When applied specifically to clothing, we learn that our own ideas about what constitutes modest clothing must be governed by God’s infallible Standard. If we refuse to let God’s perfect Word guide us in the area of dress, we are foolish, unsubmissive rebels. And even if we insist upon a “cultural” interpretation of the modesty and dress passages, if the idolatrous cities of Corinth and Rome called for Christian modesty, does not our modern culture with its rampant pornography, prostitution and other abuses of women make the call even more urgent and timely?

Drawing the Line

So where do we draw the line? How can we dress modestly without becoming drab, legalistic Pharisees or sensuous, extravagant pagans? I believe we can learn from Scripture exactly what God requires us to cover, when it is appropriate to uncover (and with whom) and what freedom there is to be creative within God’s boundaries. Perhaps a metaphorical picture would be helpful at this point. Imagine a broad, rolling prairie, filled with all kinds of flowers, meandering streams, swaying poplars, brilliantly plumed birds and lush grasses. Around the prairie is a sturdy stone fence, its foundation deep in the ground and its walls built to keep what is inside safe and protected. Those inside can see over the wall, and those outside can look over the fence into the pasture it surrounds. The walls are God’s guidelines for modest dress, given in Scripture by precept and example. Within the broad, open area contained by the fence are ladies of all shapes, sizes, colors and dispositions (and, yes, there are even non-Christians within). Some are huddled close to the walls, dressed very carefully in a uniform style of dress with their faces showing beneath bonnets and their hands and feet alone sticking out of their long sleeves and skirts. They are happy and content in their dress, although fearful of wandering too far from the wall. In fact, they’ve taken extra precautions to make sure they don’t accidentally get out of the fenced pasture by posting rules and regulations nearby and building additions on top of the wall to make the climb out virtually impossible. Further out in the prairie are women in calico with ruffled skirts, “granny” boots, high-necked blouses and broad-brimmed straw hats. They glory in everything frilly and old-fashioned and enjoy dressing like the fashion plates of a hundred years before. In another section is a group of ladies wearing tweed walking skirts and fitted jackets, sensible shoes and rolled felt hats. They can’t quite relate to the frilly group, but they still enjoy their own brand of femininity. Yet another group sports long, graceful skirts with tailored blouses and fluttering scarves. A group of women wearing jean jumpers, tee shirts and tennis shoes chases children hither and yon.

All of the women within the walls are busy about their work, tending to their families, keeping house, gardening, preparing meals, serving the poor and more. All of them have different personalities, likes and dislikes. But all of them are dressed equally modestly. None of them are wearing plunging necklines that bare cleavage. None of them have put on abbreviated skirts that ride up when the wearer sits down. There isn’t a single one parading on the top of the wall wearing a bathing suit and waving to the onlookers. Within the fence are modesty, security, beauty and diversity. The women crowded close to the wall are not “more moral” than the ones gamboling across the prairie in ruffles and lace. The women in tailored tweed are not “better” than the ones in jean jumpers. All are free to express their individual styles and tastes. For those within the wall to criticize other prairie-dwellers for their differing tastes would be both pointless and a waste of time. Instead, their efforts should be focused on the undressed masses glancing over the walls from the outside.

Outside of the boundaries are both pagans and Christians. Some stand right next to the wall and say, “Oh, yes, I am modest. See how close I come to the wall?” Others stand further off and look with curiosity at those inside and those clinging to the stone fence from the outside. They are all in various states of undress. The ones closest to the wall may look feminine, but many of them wear tight sweaters and dresses that outline every curve. Some wear knee-grazing skirts that don’t stay put when they sit down. Others have covered themselves from head to toe, but their clothing is masculine and not distinctly feminine. All of them need to understand God’s unchanging Standard for modesty, femininity and purity. And the ones within the walls need to remember that there is a lot of room within the Standard for a diversity of tastes.

Yes, Ladies, There Is a Standard!

So what does the Standard tell us about dress? Well, as I’ve mentioned above, covering the private parts alone isn’t enough. Adam and Eve’s fig-leaf aprons didn’t cut it. The word “coat” in Hebrew is kuttonet, which refers to a tunic-like garment extending from the neck to below the knees. The root meaning of the word is “cover.” Working men of the ancient world most often wore a sleeveless garment that came to below the knees, while dressier tunics fell from the neck to mid-calf or longer. Women’s tunics were not sleeveless but covered at least the upper arm. When God designed clothing for Israel’s priests, He specified both underclothes (loincloths and breeches) and outer garments or robes. This is not to say that God requires all of his people to wear the robes of ancient times! What is at stake here is not so much the style of the garments we wear as the function of those garments. We must cover ourselves in a manner pleasing to God, keeping in mind what God requires us to hide from public view.

That revealing our private parts constitutes “nakedness” is rarely debated. The Bible is full of passages warning against sexual impurity and nakedness (e.g. Genesis 9:21-24; Leviticus 18:6,7; Nahum 3:5; etc.). However, nakedness includes more than private (reproductive) parts. When Peter went fishing with the disciples in John 21, the Bible declares he was “naked” (21:7). Before jumping out of the boat and swimming to shore, Peter “girt his fisher’s coat unto him.” But Peter wasn’t completely unclothed. The word gumnos used in the passage means “clad in undergarments only (the outer garments or cloak being laid aside).”[3] So Peter had removed his outer cloak while fishing but still retained his breeches or loincloth. This was a perfectly acceptable way for a group of fishermen to dress far out on the sea while at work in unmixed company, but it was not the way to appear before the general public (or the Lord Himself). The “nakedness” of Peter here refers to his bare chest and thighs. The same standard of nakedness also applies to women, as we see in God’s judgment of Babylon in Isaiah 47:2,3: “Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen.” The woman’s “shame” includes her bared leg and thigh. Later in the passage, the “lady” replies, “I shall be a lady for ever…. None seeth me” (47:7a and 10a). It is therefore either ignorance or willful self-deceit to believe that we can parade that which should be covered and still consider ourselves modest “ladies.”

Look on the Heart

And shameful immodesty isn’t a matter of clothing alone. When God judges Israel for her harlotry, He says, “Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts. In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, the chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, the bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, the rings, and nose jewels, the changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, the glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty” (Isaiah3:16-24). It isn’t the mantles, jewelry, fine linen and veils that the Lord is judging here. It is the haughty, proud and wicked heart of His people Israel. As Rev. Steve Schlissel explains, “It isn’t the matter, it is the manner.” [4] We can dress in drab greys and browns, wear no makeup and grease our hair back flat, but if we are haughty in heart and proud of our own “righteousness,” we are as worthy of judgment as the “mincing” daughters of Zion.

Another point that immediately stirs up hot debate is that of feminine distinctives in dress. God’s Word clearly states in Deuteronomy 22:5, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” The word “abomination” is pretty unequivocal. It means “disgusting” and “wicked.” In other words, God hates it, and we know from His Word that God “changeth not” (Malachi 3:6). Some approach the Deuteronomy passage by saying, “Yes, but in those days, both men and women wore robes, so you can’t really say that men and women today have to dress differently. I can wear baggy trousers and a man’s shirt and still look like a woman.” But this passage does not merely address clothing; it is speaks about role swapping. The Hebrew word kaeliy used for “that which pertaineth unto a man” refers specifically to armor, while the word simlah, used for a “woman’s garment” refers to any type of woman’s clothing. There were and are distinctions in dress that do more than reveal our different genders; they also reveal our God-ordained roles. The woman who wears a man’s clothing is, in essence, declaring herself to be a man and able to do whatever a man does (enlist as a soldier, defend cities from attackers, and take an arrow like a man). The man who wears a woman’s clothing declares that he has shunned his maleness as God defines it and prefers not to protect, fight, defend or even fully provide for those under his care. So we must take care to see that our clothing is a correct portrayal of who we are–whether male or female. As women, our clothing should tell the truth of our position in God’s economy. We are the “weaker vessel,” softer and gentler than the man and in submission rather than in leadership. When we dress for the day, does our clothing declare that we are feminine and precious — people to be protected and cared for? Or does it proclaim that we can earn our own way in the world and slay our own dragons? The woman clomping around in “tank pants” and combat boots doesn’t bespeak maidenly virtues or a need to be treasured and cared for. In fact, she invites others to treat her as “one of the guys,” slapping her on the back, slamming doors in her face and leaving her to fend for herself in a dark parking lot. But the woman of gentle, discreet femininity invites honor and distinction. Men hush their rough talk when she enters the room. Men think twice before letting a door close in her face. No one would dream of slapping her on the back or sharing a coarse jest with her. The clothing she chooses to wear partially explains the preferential treatment she receives, but it goes deeper than what is on the outside. Her feminine beauty grows from within–from her obedience to God’s commands for womanly behavior. As our culture continues to toss aside male-female distinctions in favor of “gender neutrality,” we must strive even more to be womanly and make modesty look as wonderful as it really is.

No matter how we approach this topic, we have to understand that modesty must always begin on the inside. Outward apparel is important, but it is not the be-all and end-all of modesty. Modesty begins by putting others first, by dying to self and loving the Body of Christ. Girls, when you pull on that tight sweater that amplifies your bosom and reveals your bare midriff, are you putting your Christian brothers before yourself? When you sit down and let your skirt ride up to reveal your thighs and underclothing, are you helping your Christian brothers “keep a covenant with [their] eyes” (Job 31:1)? The man who “looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart,” according to our Lord in Matthew 5:28. Are you laying a trap for this lust and adultery by the way you dress? You may respond, “Well, I am not responsible for the way boys think. That is their fault if they can’t keep their minds off my body.” Dear sister, you are grievously mistaken. “Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eateth, and wipeth her mouth, and saith, I have done no wickedness” (Proverbs 30:20).

Richard Baxter, the prolific Puritan, wrote,

If it [the manner of dress] tend to the ensnaring of the minds of the beholders in procacious [shameful], lustful, wanton passions, though you say you intend it not, it is your sin, that you do that which probably will procure it, yea, that you did not your best to avoid it…. And you must not lay a stumbling block in their way, nor blow up the fire of their lust, nor make your ornaments snares; but you must walk among sinful persons as you would do with a candle among straw or gunpowder, or else you may see the flame which you would not foresee, when it is too late to quench it. [5]

God designed man to enjoy and appreciate a woman’s body — more specifically, his wife’s body. The Song of Solomon is a breathtaking tribute to the beauties of human love and the gifts of femininity and masculinity. Proverbs exhorts a husband to enjoy his wife’s body, which is his own and belongs to the gaze of no other man (Prov. 5:19). When you wear low-cut necklines, you are offering to the public what belongs to your husband alone to enjoy. Will your husband be happy to know that countless men before him have enjoyed beauties that should “ravish” him alone? It is the “strange woman” of Scripture who attires herself as “an harlot” (Prov. 7:10). She does it to trap the foolish man who is easily turned aside by her wiles. Cover yourself, ladies! Do it because you fear God and love His commandments. Do it because it is the “more excellent way.” Do it because it is a way to love your brothers in Christ and put them first. Do it because it is a protection given to us by a loving Father.

“As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion” (Prov. 11:22). Let us be discreet, which means “showing discernment or judgment in the guidance of one’s own speech and action; judicious, prudent, circumspect, cautious.”[6] If you would like young men to treat you with discretion (“not rude, not doing anything inconsistent with delicacy towards a female”[7]), you must deserve it by dressing modesty and chastely, according to the precepts of God’s Word. You have liberty to be creative in your choice of styles, but you do not have liberty to sin or to cause others to sin (“God forbid!” — Romans 6). You have the freedom to choose colors that suit you, but you are not “free” to dress ostentatiously with the intent of attracting the notice of others by “costly apparel” or garments that are ill-suited for the occasion (no mink coats at the grocery store; no soiled gardening clothes in God’s House). Your freedom is bounded by the Word of God. John Piper writes,

[M]any women (and men) today … judge [freedom] on the basis of immediate sensations or unrestrained license or independence. But true freedom takes God’s reality and God’s purpose for creation into account and seeks to fit smoothly into God’s good design. Freedom does include doing what we want to do. But the mature and wise woman does not seek this freedom by bending reality to fit her desires. She seeks it by being transformed in the renewal of her desires to fit in with God’s perfect will (Romans 12:2). The greatest freedom is found in being so changed by God’s spirit that you can do what you love to do and know that it conforms to the design of God and leads to life and glory. [8]

There is room within God’s boundaries for the old-fashioned Romantics who love full, sweeping skirts and for the practical ladies who prefer more tailored lines. But there is no room for licentiousness. There is no room to stumble your brothers. There is no room to parade about in gaudy apparel designed to draw attention to your status or your feminine “assets.” And mothers, please take care in how you dress before your children. It grieves me to see many older women who have apparently decided, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” I don’t know what is more distressing: the young, beautiful girl in tight pants and cropped shirt or her mother, following in her wake in an attempt to look “hip.” Let us be sober, dressing as befits our age and station in the world and in the Church. This is even more important than ever as our culture continues to slide down the drain. We are called to be “set apart” and different. Today it is nearly impossible to tell many Christian ladies from their worldly counterparts. And if you feel that this intrudes upon your “liberty” or “freedom,” please consider that your “freedom” to dress immodestly is eating away at the freedoms of modest women to be treated with respect by men and not as mere sexual objects for sport or jest. Let’s let the men be men, and let us be thoroughly feminine, from the inside out. It’s not only God-honoring; it is beautiful and gratifying! I think artist Tasha Tudor puts it best:

Why do women want to dress like men when they’re fortunate enough to be women? Why lose our femininity, which is one of our greatest charms? We get much more accomplished by being charming than we would by flaunting around in pants and smoking. I’m very fond of men. I think they’re wonderful creatures. I love them dearly. But I don’t want to look like one. When women gave up their long skirts, they made a grave error. Things half seen are so much more mysterious and delightful. Remember the term “a neatly turned ankle”? Think of the thrill that gentlemen used to get if they caught even a glimpse of one. Now women go around in their union suits. And what a multitude of sins you could cover up with a long skirt if you had piano legs. [9]

Dress Often Determines Your Mood and Performance

In the same vein, dress as nicely as you can. Schlepping around the house in untidy, dowdy, unkempt outfits is no better than following current fads. You do not inspire your girls or create a vision of womanhood that gives the world pause. No matter what your income, you can afford to create lovely, feminine clothing that clearly declares your role to all who see you. You are not a shabby housefrau but a radiant queen who glories in her womanly realm. And don’t save your prettiest clothes for company or eating out. Who deserves your modest beauty more than your own family? As Richard Wells wrote in 1891,

Never let your husband have cause to complain that you are more agreeable abroad than at home; nor permit him to see in you an object of admiration as respects your dress and manners, when in company, while you are negligent of both in the domestic circle. Many an unhappy marriage has been occasioned by neglect in these particulars. Nothing can be more senseless than the conduct of a young woman, who seeks to be admired in general society for her politeness and engaging manners, or skill in music, when, at the same time, she makes no effort to render her home attractive; and yet that home whether a palace or a cottage, is the very centre of her being — the nucleus around which her affections should resolve, and beyond which she has comparatively small concern. [10]

I find that putting on a lovely outfit first thing in the morning helps me set the tone for the entire day. Who says lovely outfits are to be reserved for “special” occasions? Dress as if every day is special (and it is!). And wear what is appropriate for the job at hand. A ready stock of serviceable aprons is great for kitchen tasks, and sturdy “housedresses” are super for scrubbing floors, straightening rooms and even gardening. Then make a point of attiring for the family meal in something a bit dressier. This is your family’s time to feast together, sharing the day’s happenings and enjoying one another’s company and conversation. Help to make it fine by dressing beautifully for those who count most — your husband, your children and the Body of Christ.

Sisters, let us be modest! Let us be women! It is time to embrace again the unchanging commands and precepts of Scripture with giddy abandon. There is joy in modesty! This is not about soulless rituals or rigid rulemaking. This is not about trying to win “brownie points” with God (our works never justify us; instead, they flow out of our love for Christ). This is about glorying in God’s distinctions and embracing them for their loveliness. We should strive to make modesty so attractive and soul nourishing that the world looks on in wonder and even jealousy. Prick their consciences by covering what God has made special and private and enjoying the very fact that they are private! “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:7-11).


1. Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me Be a Woman. (Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1976), 167.

2. Jeff Pollard, Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America. (Florida: Mt. Zion Publications, 2000), 10.

3. Strong’s Concordance, reference number 1131.

4. Rev. Steve Schlissel, Christian Student Worldview Conference talk, “The Covenant,” July, 1999.

5. Richard Baxter, A Christian Directory in Baxter’s Practical Works, Volume I, (London: George Virtue; reprint ed., Ligonier, Pennsylvania: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1990), 392.

6. Oxford English Dictionary definition.

7. Ibid.

8. John Piper, What’s the Difference? Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible. (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 1990), 53.

9. Tasha Tudor and Richard Brown, The Private World of Tasha Tudor. (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1992), 63.

10. Richard A. Wells, Manners, Culture and Dress of the Best American Society (1891), 529.

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