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We want to go over a topic today that is the controversy of controversies. Most of you know I don't shy away from controversy. Especially when I feel it's particularly important. Today's topic is going to be very important and it's going to impact the way others see the body of the Messiah. In fact it's going to color everything that you do.
It's going to color every way that you communicate, and it will have this as its backdrop. It is a tough subject, but I also feel it's an important subject. The topic that I wanted to discuss today is: “Modesty and Dress.” The way we look.
This is a controversial topic and it ignites a lot of emotion because of the societal pressures that are put on us to look a certain way. The societal emphasis on appearance, particularly physical appearance, and especially the appearance of women and girls. I want to communicate first of all, that my heart goes out to the ladies among us.
Society brings a lot of pain into a young woman's life with the heavy pressure to look a certain way and it's not really even the fault of the woman. Rather, it's the fault of men in many cases. Because men are very visual and women know that, and consequently there is a lot of emphasis on the visual.
So with young girls, preteens and early teens on up, the emphasis is placed quite a bit on the physical appearance. Therefore, I want to go over this topic without hurting anyone and yet at the same time, be able to present it with it being received.
In our culture today, a person's acceptance is based on their appearance rather than their character. We have media outlets that are just ridiculous in how they glorify youth; having the perfect figure; the perfect face; beauty and it's just insane.
But we know as we've discussed in prior broadcasts, Yahweh does not ask us to glorify the youth. He commands that we honor the gray-headed. He commands that we rise before the elder. And so, our society and its emphasis is in great contrast to the word of Yahweh and the views that Yahweh would have us to have. Scripture says:
Proverbs 31:30 - Charm [is] deceitful and beauty [is] passing, But a woman [who] fears YAHWEH, she shall be praised.
You might wonder, “well, you don't see that happening too often today.” Perhaps it was more common when Proverbs 31 was written, in the society that he was living in. Whose praise are we really after? Are we after the praise of men, or are we seeking the praise that comes from Yahweh.
What's the most important? A woman who does fear Yahweh will be praised by our Father in heaven. He loves the meek and gentle spirit which is very precious in the sight of Elohim along with a modest attitude and a modest appearance. Actually our appearance has a lot to do with our attitude.
A woman could be lovely and beautiful and yet she doesn't seem to have discretion; she doesn't seem to be a wise woman. Scripture says:
Proverbs 11:22 - [As] a ring of gold in a swine's snout, [So is] a lovely woman who lacks discretion.
And so, what Scripture says about appearance – particularly the appearance of a woman – is it's passing; its temporal. It's when a woman fears Yahweh, that she has wisdom and discretion.
You can take a 75-year-old woman and she doesn't have much youth to her skin or her figure or in anything, yet she can be the most beautiful woman because she's bright, lovely, precious and a joy to be around. And a woman who even in her youth is that way, will delight many.
So the outward is not Yahweh's definition of true beauty and therefore it shouldn't be ours either. Yahweh's focus is on the heart and the beauty of the inner person. Not the outer shell. The outer shell will waste away. There is a story I read about a married man, who I don't even know if he was a believer or not.
But they were at this place where immodesty is very common. A place where people swim. And he was laying there on the lawn chair with his eyes shut and sort of half sleeping. Then he heard his wife groan. So he looked over and asked her "what's the matter honey?"
A young girl had just walked by who was about 18 or 19 years old dressed inappropriately and who had a nice figure by the world's standards. His wife said, "I'll never look that way again." That was her heart's cry. She longed to look like the youth. But the husband's comment was just golden and I'm sure she appreciated it.
His response was, "it's okay honey, she won't either." In other words, she's not going to look that way forever either. And that's true. I kind of chuckle a little bit at all the anti-aging products. They have anti-aging this and anti-aging that. It's a new catch phrase now a days. Because there's nothing you can do about it. You're going to age.
There's no way to stop it. But it's all about appearance. Yahweh – He is all about the heart. And so, His desire is that we become men and woman of prayer and who focus on the inner part of men.
1Timothy 2:8 - I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;
Lift up your holy hands everywhere. Don't be ashamed.
1Timothy 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,
10 - but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.
"Which is proper for women professing reverence." That's what's important. A companion verse:
1Peter 3:3 - 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 Elohim.
That's what He is looking for – the heart, isn't He? The Messiah dwelling in you. That's a part that is incorruptible. "An incorruptible beauty, very precious in the sight of Elohim!" And I would say, very precious in my sight also. And I think most men of Yahweh would agree with that. Yahweh resists the proud. So do I!
I hope I resist the pride in myself also. And so should we all resist the proud! And so, we are looking at clothing. What He is really talking about here, is humility. You know, He is not even really talking about if a woman is showing cleavage or something. What He's talking about is humility. Modesty is humility.
Have you ever heard the phrase when somebody is getting a complement and he kind of lets that complement bounce off him, and then somebody says, "well, he's just being modest." In other words, he's not trying to draw attention to himself. Well, that translates not only in our attitude, but in our clothing.
These verses here are often quoted for a person to wear modest clothing, but the very thing that stands out to me is that the modesty here is not really talking about how much a woman ought to cover her body, but rather how she ought not to draw attention to herself through her clothing; her hairstyle; and her jewelry.
I realize some controversy here and so I asked that you just bear with me here and I think at the end of today's study, you'll be able to see a little bit better what we're talking about. We're talking about modest apparel and it says "with propriety and moderation." And then it says, "not with, not with!"
In other words, what is about to describe are things that he considers to be not in agreement with modesty. Look at the standard they had back then. Braided hair! That's to him immodest! Wearing of gold. Pearls! Costly clothing! That's immodest. Oh, that woman with braided hair! That's immodest.
Now, some have said the braided hair is talking about how they used to put gold inside their hair and what not. I don't know? It just says braided hair. I mean, why would braided hair be immodest? Some might say it's a utility thing to kind of keep the hair out of everything. But that's what they considered to be a immodesty in those days.
How about today? Hair arrangements are a big deal today. Hair arrangements! A woman's hair is her glory! We read that in first Corinthians 11.
And so hair arrangements, if done in a way to flaunt yourself – to say, "oh, how beautiful I am" – can be immodest, because it's not humble. And jewelry.
Now I can understand if somebody wore some kind of ring. I can't find any pagan origins of rings. But if they wore a ring to signify that they were married, great! But, if it is to flaunt yourself – "oh, look at me!" Or, as a substitute in your heart – “this will make me feel good about myself.” We have to be careful about these heart issues.
Now, our appearance a lot of times speaks volumes of what is really going on in the heart. Now some people would say, "what about ancient Israel? Didn't they have lots of gold and silver? Silver was as common as stones in Jerusalem. And wasn't Solomon arrayed in all kinds of glory?
And didn't Yahweh in the book of Ezekiel take Israel who is lying there in her own blood; and he dressed her up and gave her all kinds of ornaments and decked her out?" And I've also heard that it's just Paul. He had this thing against women. He doesn't want women to be drawing attention to to themselves. No, it's Scripture!
And there's a reason why he said what he said. There is a reason why he said it. Why did he say it? And Peter backed him up here, didn't he? It wasn't just Paul's idea. Well, we want to look at differences. You know, there are differences between what Yahweh was doing prior to the Messiah coming and after Messiah coming.
Now, before you get too bent out of shape, remember, people were not baptizing in Yahushua's name prior to the Messiah coming, right? And so, there is one difference. Actually, we see a number of differences. And the reason why there are differences is because of Yahweh's plan and what He is trying to accomplish at the time.
We need to understand Yahweh's plan. Yahweh's plan up until the Messiah, our King came was that He was okay with establishing a kingdom of this world and in this world.
And He did so; through David; through Solomon. And when these men were alive, there was much glory to be brought to Yahweh because Yahweh's nation that He established on the earth through the Exodus events, that's fine. How about now? We read in the New Testament that our kingdom is not of this world.
Yahushua said, "if my kingdom was of this world, my servants would fight!" Instead, our focal point now, is not on setting up a present-day kingdom with this worlds riches and interests. Rather, we're looking toward the future. A kingdom under which Messiah will reign. Yahushua, Ha-Mashiach will reign.
And so, there are some differences now that we have chosen a heavenly King. These were earthly kings – David and Solomon and so on, that Yahweh chose. But now we are looking at a heavenly King that will endure forever. His kingdom will have no end. And he reigns right now in the heavenly's.
It even says that we are seated in the heavenly places with him, and so where is our focus? Where is our affections? Where is our interests supposed to be?
Toward the earthly things or toward the heavenly things? At the time when Yahweh had established His kingdom on earth through David and Solomon, the wearing of gold and costly apparel was fine. It glorifies Yahweh; it glorifies His kingdom. Yes! Absolutely! And it would show forth the blessing of a nation who chose Yahweh to be the King.
A monarchy. Not a republic. Not a democracy. A monarchy. Where Yahweh alone is King. But now we see the wearing of gold and costly apparel signifies a "this world" focus. A "this world" mindset, rather than Messiah. And so, our focal point – things that we're looking to – is futuristic. It's futuristic.
And when our clothing that we wear has what appears to be a "this world" focus to it, it has a way of communicating where our hearts are really wrapped up. Yahweh said:
Ezekiel 16:11 - "I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck.
But then after Messiah, we read:
1Timothy 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,
Do we see a difference? It doesn't mean that Yahweh changes. It doesn't even mean He changes His standards. What it means is, we've got to understand Yahweh's plan. We need to know the times that we are in and our clothing – the things that we wear – are indicative of where our focus really is.
Are we really about our Father's business, or are we pretty much interested in what the world is doing right now? The business of the world. Where is our focus? Very important question. Our clothing does have an impact on that! Look what happened when ancient Israel was dressed so beautifully and adorned. What happened?
Ezekiel 16:14 - "Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it [was] perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you," says the Master YAHWEH.
15 - "But you trusted in your own beauty, played the harlot because of your fame, and poured out your harlotry on everyone passing by who [would have] it.
Yahushua said, “how hard it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Elohim,” because of this very tendency that we have – a "this world" mindset. So we have here some important lessons for us. Yahweh did seek to establish his kingdom on the earth but He knew that it wouldn't work unless there was a truly righteous King. And guess what?
David fell because of women. And Solomon fell because of women. Not that it was the woman’s fault, but David, a man after Yahweh's own heart saw a woman who was dressed immodestly and he and his children paid the price.
Now the women may have been innocent, but he happened to be up on the roof with a higher vantage point and was able to see down into things. And so, he was able to catch a glimpse of an immodest woman. And that brought major, major problems in Israel. And his son also had a problem with women.
Except he didn't fornicate, he just married them all. Up to one thousand. Because he had the money to do that. Imagine a thousand wives! You can only visit each one, once every three years. It was ridiculous and it was against Torah. “Do not multiply wives to yourself." That in turn brought down Solomon because some of the wives were pagan.
They were foreign women who worshiped other gods and he brought idolatry into the land. And then Rehoboam his son had problems with idolatry, and the kingdom of Yahweh was split. The northern tribes and the southern tribes. And it all started with one man and his eyes. One man, his eyes and an immodestly dressed women who is bathing.
I'm not blaming the woman; I'm blaming David. Immodesty can be a very, very powerful tool of the enemy. And that's just one example in Scripture of that. I hope we see that. I hope we see that. Because it really can. Our clothing says much about us. It says much about what kind of identity we have accepted. We talked in recent weeks about identity.
How we are now the “ light of the world.” How we are called to be a "Royal priesthood; a chosen nation; a chosen generation; a holy nation; a peculiar people that would show forth the praises of Yahweh.” Not just by our words, but by other forms of communication. Clothing is communication.
For example: can you tell by this man's clothing what his occupation is? What his identity is? Of course, he is a judge. He's got the gavel in his hand and the courtroom robe there, right? He's communicating to you – “I'm a man of authority in a courtroom, and I've got this garb on, and I'm to be honored and respected.”
We refer to this man as: “your honor,” in a courtroom. How about this man? He's got a uniform on, does he not? Just by his uniform he communicates “I have authority; I can put you in jail if you slip up. Do not do anything against the law around me." How about this man? A young guy. Business. He's probably got an office job somewhere.
Maybe in the corporate world. Professionalism. Politicians wear suit and ties. And so our clothing does communicate things about our identity. Where we have placed our hope. Maybe what occupation we have but where we placed our emphasis in life. The rebellious youth of each generation chooses different clothing than the one before.
It is usually increasingly immodest and I don't need to show you that. But they are communicating. They are in rebellion against former generations and want to do something different to communicate, “oh, the former generation – they are out of touch; they're not with it.” And gangs will wear certain clothing that will communicate who they stand for.
Years ago there was the "Gothic" appearance that was popular. Now, it's the saggy pants. It's audibly silent but it speaks loudly of where our values are. And as long as the eyes of others are upon us, it never stopped speaking its message. In fact, it sets the context of everything we say.
Some young kid or should we say a 50-year-old walks up with saggy pants on and half his underwear is showing and he stands up there and says, “I'm going to give a sermon now.” Nobody is going to take him seriously. Because his clothes indicate where his mindset is.
And so, an important question for all of us is, what are we saying to others by what we wear? What are we saying? We want to avoid drawing lots of attention to ourselves through wealth and elaborate hairstyles because our focus is not to be on self. Self is supposed to be dead, right? It's not to be on carnal and earthly things.
Our King is Yahushua and our kingdom is not of this world. The riches that we seek are not this worlds riches. It's not the fading treasures of this age, it's the heavenly things. So does our clothing communicate that we love and enjoy the things of this world?
Or does our clothing communicate, our kingdom is not of this world? You can tell a lot by what we wear. Scripture says:
1John 2:15 - Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 - For all that [is] in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world.
And so, are we, through the things that we wear, sharing a message of conformity to the world? Or are we communicating a marked stand against conformity? Are we turning the world upside down with the message of the good news, or have we been turned upside down by the world? Our clothing is expressing our attitude.
If you wear immodest closing that exposes the form of the private parts of your body, you're communicating promiscuity. You're possibly available for fornication or adultery. At least, others can do so in their mind towards you.
Clothing will attract those of the opposite gender if it is immodest in terms of displaying your private parts of your body or the form thereof. And people will lavish attention on such persons.
Not because they love you as a person; not because they think you're just a great wonderful person, but because if they're of the world, what they think you might do for them. I don't need to go into details. And so, what is the standard of modesty that Yahweh seeks? What is acceptable clothing in His eyes?
What kind of clothing would communicate purity and nonconformity to the world? Believe me, I don't believe that there is a double standard. Both men and woman are called to communicate righteousness and purity. I'm not a person that says that there is one standard for women and another for the men. But what is the answer?
Can we look into the Scriptures and find clarity? Many people have been challenged to find a scriptural basis for what kind of clothing would be considered modest in the eyes of Yahweh. And you've got to look a little harder. I mean, can we really find an answer in Scripture or do we just do what's right in our own eyes?
Now, I'm going to start with a foundation when it comes to looking at the biblical principles of modesty, and how much of our bodies are supposed to be displayed and how much shouldn't be displayed? How short should a dress be for example?
Are regular pants considered to be acceptable? Well, I'm going to start with the foundation and I hope we can all agree on that. Genesis tells us that it is not Yahweh's will that we go around naked. I hope we can all agree on that! Yahweh does not believe that nakedness is appropriate. Some might say, didn't Isaiah walk around naked for three years?
We need to understand naked in terms of there not being an outer garment and nakedness in terms of just bare nakedness. The nakedness that Isaiah; that Peter; that Saul had going on is not talking about naked flesh, but that they were not wearing the outer garment, which was common. In ancient Israel there was the inner garment and the outer garments.
That's what I have come to understand. But we would agree I hope, it's not his will for us to walk around naked. And we can see that pretty clearly in the book of Genesis.
Genesis 3:7 - 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.
Okay. We see here that they made something out of fig leaves. Now fig leaves are pretty good size leaves. I've looked up this word here translated “coverings.” It's from the Hebrew word “khag-o-raw.” It can mean 1) girdle, belt 2) girdle, loin-covering, belt, loin-cloth, armor.
So, essentially it's a loincloth to cover the reproductive parts of a persons body. Now, when Yahweh had a choice as to how much of our body should be covered, He decided that what Adam and Eve were wearing was insufficient. And so, He created a different kind of garment for them.
Genesis 3:21 - Also for Adam and his wife YAHWEH Elohim made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
So, they had the tunic. In this word, tunic comes from the Hebrew word “kethoneth.” It was basically a shirt-like garment usually made out of linen. We wear them today except the shirt was longer. We have just the question how long? Well, we see in the King James that the word is translated “coat” in some places.
And so, it's referring to a shirt like garment that would hang down off the shoulders and toward the knees or ankles. Now, we have to remember that prior to this time, there is no such thing as clothing. It had not been invented yet. Yahweh invented the tunic or kethoneth. He invented it. It was His idea. He came up with it.
And He chose to clothe Adam and Eve with it. This garment is called in Genesis 37:3:
Genesis 37:3 - Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he [was] the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of [many] colors.
And in Exodus 39 the priests made tunics:
Exodus 39:27 -
We see also that the King's daughters in second Samuel:
2Samuel 13:18 - Now she had on a robe of many colors, for the king's virgin daughters wore such apparel. And his servant put her out and bolted the door behind her.
This was talking about David's daughter. He deemed this to be acceptable as far as modesty was concerned. And Yahweh considered the kethoneth (tunic) to be a sufficient covering for a person's nakedness. But the next question would be, how long did the tunic need to hang down in order to adequately cover a person's nakedness?
Somebody might say the ankles or somebody might say the knees. Somebody might say halfway up the thigh. In the Torah (the law of Yahweh), Yahweh is discussing the clothing of the high priest. The clothing of the high priest included the tunic; a robe outside that; and he also had trousers. In this, we find an interesting comment in here.
Exodus 28:42 - "And you shall make for them linen trousers to cover their nakedness; they shall reach from the waist to the thighs.
From the waist to the thighs. And so, what he's trying to do in covering nakedness here is to cover this area from the waist to the thighs. Now, this is two Hebrew words “basar” and “ervah.” The word nakedness, that is is two Hebrew words and their literal meaning is translated “naked flesh.”
Genesis 2:21 - And YAHWEH Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.
The word is translated “flesh” in Genesis 2 21, where Adam's rib was closed up.
Leviticus 18:6 - `None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness: I [am] YAHWEH.
So “ervah” and “basar” and looking back here in Exodus 28 42 we see a covering of naked flesh was something that Yahweh wanted to make sure was done. Now, in order to cover the naked flesh, his trousers it said, needed to reach from the waist to the thighs.
All right, we have pictured here a silhouette of a man and about right here is the waist and it says “to the thighs.”
Well about right here, it might be the beginning of the thigh, but then down here close to the knee would be the end of the thigh. So, when he's talking about “waste to the thigh,” is he saying from the waist to the top of the thigh or the bottom of the thigh?
The Hebrew is a little bit unclear here, but I think we can say pretty safely that this phrase "to the thigh," is there to cover the reproductive parts. Therefore, if it was only to the top of the thigh, it might not. So, I'm thinking it would be here at the bottom of the thigh. The thighs actually being a definition of nakedness, is actually found in Isaiah 47.
Isaiah 47:1 - "Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; Sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no more be called Tender and delicate.
2 - 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."
So we're talking about nakedness that would bring shame, which was the very thing that concerned Yahweh in Genesis chapter 3 when He was discussing the clothing which Adam and Eve should be covered with. Because at first they were not ashamed and then, after they knew of sin, they were ashamed.
So, it's talking about nakedness that would uncover the thigh, would be a nakedness that would cause shame.
This is the description of them being taken into captivity. And so in light of this, it would seem to me that when a thigh is uncovered, it is a nakedness that causes shame and therefore contrary to what Yahweh was trying to accomplish in Genesis 3 when covering Adam and Eve.
If we would go against what He is trying to accomplish in Genesis 3, it would seem to me that we are not doing the will of Yahweh. I know today that our thighs are so commonly bare. But can we really go by our society today? If you were to go in some remote jungle in South America, you might find women with no shirts on.
And to them, they don't think anything of it. They walk around and no one says to them, “hey, that's immodest.” It's just so much in their culture. What I'm saying is, maybe we are there too and we just don't realize it. For us, it's not the chest. Although lately it is getting that way.
But we may think shorts are perfectly modest, but in the eyes of Yahweh they are not. Just as those in the remote jungles of South America may think, “what I'm wearing is fine.” But, we are like, “wait a minute, you need to go put a shirt on!” I'm trying to encourage us to get back to the standard that Yahweh established in the very beginning.
He invented the tunic. Obviously, the tunic would've covered the thighs because it needed to cover the shame.
Isaiah 47:2 - 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."
We see here that the shame was the thigh being uncovered. Now, the tunic that only reaches the knees can sometimes present a problem. Let's say you have a tunic or a dress for a woman. And they didn't have trousers, but basically men and woman wore long shirts. They didn't have the trousers underneath.
That was something the priest did. But let's say the tunic only went down to the bottom of the thigh. What's the first thing that happens when the person sits down? Obviously, the tunic will go higher. That's what happens when you sit down.
And that exposes the thighs. In order to have a garment that would be long enough to cover the thighs, it would probably need to go at least halfway down the calf in order for it to not expose the thighs when the person sat down.
And the truth is, when you expose the thighs – particularly if you're wearing a dress – you're going to expose more than that if the knee cap is not covered. That's why women always have to sit with their legs crossed and they're always fighting with the clothes that they're wearing so that their underwear is not showing.
So, when we look at how things just have to be in order to keep the thigh from being uncovered, it would seem to me that adequate length would be about mid-calf. Now, we see also archaeological evidence of this. Believe it or not there is archaeological evidence for how ancient Israel was dressed.
There is a archaeological discovery called Sennacherib's Prism and It dates to about 689 – 691bc. It is describing Sennacherib's attack of various cities, one of which was Lachish. And in his conquering he actually had them drawing reliefs of slaves.
People that were taken captive. And in this prism, they have a depiction of how the ancient Israelite was dressed. Now, I hope you're able to see this clearly enough in your video. I think you should be able to.
But you see here, that they're playing a harp – they're playing music or a lyre and you see what they're clothing is, it's about mid-calf as far as the length is concerned. And these are even men! The way they're dressed is short hair, beards, barefoot and we know that the custom of Babylon when they carried away Judah to require of them a song.
And we see in Psalm 137:
Psalms 137:3 - For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, And those who plundered us [requested] mirth, [Saying], "Sing us [one] of the songs of Zion!"
And the reply of that Psalm is “how can we sing a song of Yahweh in a foreign land.” You see here, they're requiring of these captives a song. And look what they're wearing! And this was when Israel was wicked! Some of them. And yet they're still wearing clothing that is hanging down to about mid-calf.
And then we see here also, on the shoulders, that it appears that the tunic is going to approximately halfway down their arms or close to the elbow. It's not a completely long sleeve shirt. And that's what they were wearing in those days. Now, I'm not saying that we necessarily need to go around dressed like this as men. Women?
It's societal; it's acceptable for a woman to wear a dress and this appears to be an appropriate dress length based on what we've seen so far in Scripture. Now, if a woman was to wear a similar garment or even a man, we see that the area of immodesty is from the shoulders down to the mid-calf – particularly the thigh area.
And so if a man's upper arm is showing, as soon as he lifts up his arm you would be able to see inside to the armpit, chest and so forth. And so they have adequate length on the arms; they cover the chest area part of the body; and we have adequate covering down here to make sure that the thighs are properly covered at all times.
And so, the garment itself actually makes a whole lot of sense. So, I do think the standard of immodesty is the same for both men and women. I don't believe men need to go around bare chested anymore than women should. And we see that they're both wearing, basically, the same kind of garment.
Now, a woman's clothing would've been different and more feminine colors than what the men wore.
What about modern clothing styles? How do we adapt the principles here for modesty into modern clothe style? I would say certainly that the modern practice of wearing "shorts" would fail to cover the thighs. The mid-drift on a woman being uncovered is a very popular thing nowadays. You know, a very short shirt so as to expose the belly.
The same would go for man. A man with the shirt off is a temptation for women, most of the time. Also, modern swimsuits, obviously, would be inadequate. Now, there's no indication that Yahweh suddenly lowers his standards of modesty, the minute we decided we wanted to go swimming. That's a cultural concept.
It's not something found in the Scriptures and actually in America, if you research the history, this was the beginning of where immodesty really started. I mean, there was one time in American history it was considered to be improper for a women to even show her wrists. Now that is a little bit extreme.
But, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, they started saying, “well, you can't wear that while you're swimming." So they decided slowly, that it would be more acceptable, “well, if you're swimming – fine.”
And that's where immodest clothing styles actually began. And it is that principle (that it's okay when you're swimming), that has fueled immodesty in other contexts.
What happened was, once a person would get over the embarrassment of undressing themselves in public, (because it was something they wouldn't normally wear), and saw the attention that they were getting, as a result they began to glory in that which was shameful.
And so it affected all the other clothing styles worn at other times in other contexts. I know a brother here locally who took his family swimming in a lake here in Missouri a few years ago. He and his family were wearing their regular clothes while swimming.
A young woman approached him who is wearing immodest bathing attire and said, "can I ask you a question, why are you all swimming in your regular clothes?" She apparently thought it was silly. His reply was something to the effect of "well, maybe you can answer me something, why in the world is everyone else out here in their brawn underwear?”
And she says, “oohh, yes.” His simple reply really made the point. We're not the ones doing something contradictory and strange, the rest of the world is. The same woman who would be embarrassed because you saw her underwear or bra in public, will wear the same thing when going swimming. It's just a different color is the only difference.
So, it really doesn't make any sense what people are doing today. But for some reason, when they go swimming all of a sudden "all bets are off; it doesn't really matter,” and it gets ridiculous. I don't see Yahweh changing his standard. Now, I do think we have to be careful when swimming.
A woman or girl who is swimming does need to wear a very light kind of garment so as to not make it very difficult to swim, but at the same time adequately covering. But what we have today is ridiculous! What used to be shameful, is now their glory. And we see this in Philippians chapter 3:
This is what I've been talking about here. We don't want to set our minds on earthly things and that goes for our clothing as well. Historically, those who had less clothing were the poorest in society. Those who wore less clothing were considered to be naked and in need of financial assistance, because they were ashamed.
Isaiah 58:6 - "[Is] this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke?
7 - [Is it] not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Those who were naked were in need of financial help. But in today's perverted and adulterous generation, people who wear less clothing don't do so because they lack the finances. Whether they're wearing a swimsuit or regular clothing, they purposely wear less clothing to provoke lust, adultery and fornication.
And they are actually naked in Yahweh's eyes but they don't care, because they want to draw attention to those things. And each generation lowers the standards and lowers the bar even more. What is shocking in the previous generation is the norm in the next.
We need to ask ourselves – how much of this kind of influence do we have in our generation today? How much of this have we sold ourselves into? Have we just assumed something was modest because it's what were used to. We need to realize that Yahweh views the lust and adultery sins to be very serious.
He forbade adultery in the seventh commandment and he forbade lust in the 10th commandment.
Exodus 20:14 - "You shall not commit adultery.
Exodus 20:17 - "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that [is] your neighbor's."
So lust and adultery are covered in the top ten list here. Even in modern societies we know that adultery is generally frowned upon, but Yahweh's disdain for adultery is clearly illustrated, and what he thinks ought to happen to those who commit it.
Leviticus 20:10 - `The man who commits adultery with [another] man's wife, [he] who commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.
That's it! You do it once and you're put to death! But today, it's not even a crime. It's committed regularly without any civil punishment whatsoever. And there ought to be. Because the ones who bear the pain of this kind of thing most often, are the most innocent of our society – the children.
Children suffer the most when a society is full of lust; when a society is full of fornication and adultery. Immodesty is an attack on children. I know that's a bold statement. Immodesty is an attack on children! Because children are the ones who suffer. Unwanted pregnancies! 25% of the time the mother murders them in the womb in America.
In other countries, it's even higher than that! Of the ones who are born, one out of three are born out of wedlock. A child conceived in the United States today, has a 75% chance of either being murdered in the womb or of not having a biological mother or father in the house at age 18.
Think of it! A seventy-five percent chance! Children who have no active father in their home are twenty times more likely to end up in prison. Twenty times more likely! The divorce rate has skyrocketed in the last sixty years, in part, because of adultery.
And today's divorce rate would actually be higher, but there is a high percentage of people now living together; regularly committing fornication and harlotry; having children without being married and then they break up and the children are like, “where's my father.” In some cases, "where's my mother."
Gallup polls tell us that only one out of three Americans believe fornication (relations outside of marriage), is morally wrong. Only one out of three! Only about half believe that homosexuality is wrong and that is literally dropping down. In fact, more people believe it's wrong to wear a fur coat, then believe it's wrong to commit fornication.
But look what it does to children! What happens? What are society's problems today? We have lots of violent crime, drugs, high prison population. Trace it back to the source: broken homes, fatherless families. Twenty times more likely a child is likely to go to prison if the father is not in the home. You have a broken home!
Well, from whence comes the broken homes and fatherless families? Adultery; fornication; unwanted pregnancies. Adultery breaks up marriages; fornication produces unwanted pregnancies because the man (older or young) are irresponsible and don't take care of their children. Physically, emotionally, spiritually.
And from whence comes adultery and fornication? Same thing as King David – temptations from lust provoking dress. Now, I'm not making a blanket statement, that every time it's the reason why there's adultery and fornication but it is a major, major contributor toward it. Don't tell me that immodesty doesn't have an impact on society. It does!
Because when you tear apart the family, you tear apart a child's heart. He's far more likely to do things he should not do. Because he's hurting! So, when we're looking for the answer of why the prison population has exploded in the past 100 years; of why the sexual revolution happened in the 60s and all these other things that are happening.
Well, men couldn't take it any more; they wanted unbridled lust. Free love and all that stuff. So, when we're looking at society, we can't go there. We can't walk in their standards. We need to make sure that we're doing everything we can to avoid being part of the problem.
We don't want to be part of the problem, we want to be part of the solution. We see it happen, even in churches we have major problems with immodesty. We have pastors who are engaging in scandalous behavior involving adultery and fornication.
We ought to be known brothers and sisters, for our purity; our modesty; and calling the men and women of this world back to the standard of Yahweh's original intent of one man and one woman cleaving together in a lifetime commitment to each other.
And immodesty undermines that very principle. Any clothing that undermines the principle of purity should not even be considered a part of our wardrobe. Immodest clothing provokes lust; lust leads to adultery and fornication; adultery and fornication leads to broken homes, unwanted pregnancies , fatherless families and a hurting society.
You know, just being covered enough isn't really a solution either. I mean a woman could be covered head to toe, but what if it's made out of spandex? I mean, there's little to the imagination, right? So, we've got to have discretion! In ancient Israel, they wore hanging clothing that hung down over the body rather than wrapping around the body.
Form fitting clothing wasn't really an issue in those days. The closest thing that came to form fitting clothing was the high priest's trousers. But that was considered to be his underwear! What does Yahweh think? That we are walking around in our underwear?
Typical clothing styles that are worn today are rooted in attempts by previous generations to provoke lust and immorality. And that kind of wore off, and the next generation had to make it worse. Over the last 100 years dresses have gotten shorter and shorter and clothing styles have gotten tighter and tighter.
Well, they couldn't get any tighter......immodest woman just decided to wear baggy clothes to kind of expose the undergarments. And men too! The Hollywood celebrities; the idols; the icons became glorified. Such as Marilyn Monroe, Britney Spears and immodest women became popular because of this.
Their example of moral depravity became a pattern for the whole world – after the initial shock. And eventually, the world followed after them and invited them into their living room through various forms of media – books, television shows, magazines, catalogs, newspapers and now, the Internet.
The Internet offers windows into the immodest lifestyles of the heathen rich and famous. Thanks in part to that, we have a generation of orphaned and fatherless children who, except by the grace of Yahweh are destined to follow the same patterns or worse. Why is immodest clothing such an issue?
I want to say first of all, it is always the fault of the man. If a man chooses to lust, it is always his fault. He can't blame anybody. He is not absolved. He can't say, this woman that was walking by or like Adam, this woman you gave me. He can't say that!
In fact, we should be people who, when it comes to temptation, be willing to die rather than sin.
Hebrews 12:4 - You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.
And so, I want to emphasize that it's the man's fault if he chooses to do this. He can't blame anybody; he can't be absolved of responsibility. He can choose to turn away his eyes and pray for Yahweh to help him no matter how someone is dressed. At the same time, we need to understand it's sinful for a person to provoke stumbling in another person.
Clothing that exposes the shape and form of the private parts of the body do just that! Private parts are supposed to be just that – private! Not on display for the world to see. And the private parts of our body are only intended to be seen by a person's spouse. They're not created to be objects for anyone else's desire. Anyone else!
And so, the shape and the form of our private parts should be unknown. In spite of what the world seeks and their longing of various clothing styles to draw attention and flaunt those parts of the body, it should be very clear to us. That we want to be as far from that as possible.
Matthew 18:7 - "Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
Luke 17:1 - Then He said to the disciples, "It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe [to him] through whom they do come!
2 - "It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
And brothers and sisters, I just showed you the graph of how immodesty does offend the little ones. But there are garments that people wear today; various churches and assemblies today! And they are in there showing off cleavage! Things that a prostitute would have been ashamed to wear seventy five years ago!
And they are in there wearing that at Church! We need to forsake these things. We're called to edify one another. Build up and strengthen one another. We need to be sure that we are not being a stumbling block.
Partly because of the immodesty today, we have children who grow up and their various earliest memories of themselves committing lust, is really fairly young! I'll tell you something, myself – a story about me. I was maybe 11 or I don't know 13 or so, and my grandmother took me to her Catholic Church ( although she was Russian Orthodox).
In a Catholic Church you got the sit, kneel and stand, right? Well, there was a woman in a pew right in front of us, who had a skirt on and it was one of those “form fitting” skirts. A lot like skirts that I see in many Messianic groups today. Very “form fitting” on the behind.
And I was sitting there in the Church, not being really a believer, and was having major lust issues. I wasn't thinking about the sermon. I was so young I hardly even knew that was an area to even lust after, but it was provoking things in me. I had strange feelings and I didn't recognize what it was at the time. I just new that I couldn't stop!
I didn't have Messiah in my life and I didn't know that I was supposed to stop. And it provoked an unclean thought in me, because of the way the woman was dressed – in Church! A form fitting skirt. And that led to other things. I'm not saying she was the only one dressing immodest.
But this kind of thing leads to pornography; leads to fornication; leads to unwanted pregnancies; and young men (if they don't have Messiah in their life), become hard wired to lust. It becomes so habitual that it's difficult when they become believers, to shut if off like a light.
My point is, the immodesty that is around us has corrupted our consciences when we're very, very young. And one of the hardest things to overcome for a believer is the sins of our youth. And I praise Yahweh, who has helped me overcome lust. Now I'm not going to act like that will always be the case, because any man can fall, even David.
But right now, praise Yahweh! He's given me victory in that. But my point is this: among us as believers, we shouldn't have that! We shouldn't have that! You're going to get that at Walmart.
But among us, we ought to be a light to the world in this area. Because even men who didn't grow up in our generation, such as David and Solomon, where there wasn't a lot of immodesty going on, yet they still fell! How much more so do we see problems in this age.
The gatherings of where Yahweh's people are, ought to be a place where the body of Messiah is strengthened, encouraged and blessed. And that's why I have a dress code at our festival in the fall. That's why I have it. Because the brothers ought to be able to go to a feast and not be doing battle all week long.
So, I feel it's very important. We know that the devil and his demons are always looking for a way to cause us to trip up. Looking for a way to cause us to be tempted to sin. And so, a question for all of us – men and women – do we want to imitate him?
Do we want to imitate the devil and wear clothing that causes temptation in other people. Is that what we want? If we knew that our clothing caused temptation for other people, and we wore it anyway, then are we really walking in love?
Are we really walking as the Messiah walked, or are we imitating the adversary who is always trying to get people to trip up. There are two forces in this world. One force is trying to get us to commit sin; the other force is trying to bring us to righteousness. We don't want to be one of the agents of the enemy.
We don't want to be on his side, working for him. We want to be on Yahweh's side in everything that we do. When Yahushua spoke to the assembly in Pergamus:
Revelation 2:12 - "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, `These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:
13 - "I know your works, and where you dwell, where Satan's throne [is]. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas [was] My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.
Revelation 2:14 - "But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.
The sin of Balaam was that he sent the Moabite Woman to Israel and tried to get them to commit sexual immorality with these women. He didn't directly make them sin; he just sent women who would be a stumbling block to the men. This is something that I believe Messiah has against us in the assemblies today.
Women who are being stumbling blocks before the children of Israel; before the assemblies to commit sexual immorality.
Revelation 2:15 - "Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
To accept immodesty into the assembly, is to accept the spirit of Balaam's doctrine, who taught Balaak to send the Moabite women in.
Numbers 31:16 - "Look, these [women] caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against YAHWEH in the incident of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of YAHWEH.
So, we are called to not be a stumbling block! We don't want to be followers of Balaam's doctrines. We want to be careful; in fact, we want to deliver those who are stumbling.
Proverbs 24:11 - Deliver [those who] are drawn toward death, And hold back [those] stumbling to the slaughter.
12 - If you say, "Surely we did not know this," Does not He who weighs the hearts consider [it]? He who keeps your soul, does He [not] know [it]? And will He [not] render to [each] man according to his deeds?
Now this proverb is speaking of those who are headed towards a physical death, but wouldn't a spiritual death be even more weighty and more important? Scripture talks about the need for us to beware of another person's weaknesses in regards to the things that we consider to be permissible.
If nothing I've said to you today really hits home; doesn't convict you in regard to immodesty, I want you to think about Romans chapter 14.
Romans 14:21 -
So even in what you deem to be permissible, if that causes another brother to stumble, it's not good. We see here in first Corinthians chapter 8:
1Corinthians 8:8 - But food does not commend us to Elohim; for neither if we eat are we the better, nor if we do not eat are we the worse.
9 - But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.
To the extent he says:
1Corinthians 8:13 - Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
So even what you deem to be permissible, if it causes your brother to stumble, we ought not. And in fact, if we are unwilling to concern ourselves with doing whatever is needful to avoid being a stumbling block toward another brother, we have stopped walking in love. We are not loving that brother! We see in Romans 14:
Romans 14:15 - Yet if your brother is grieved because of [your] food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Messiah died.
In this case it was creating a temptation in that brother to worship an idol. If your brother is grieved because of your clothing or anything, you are not walking in love. “Do not destroy with your food” or clothing (I would add) “the one for whom Messiah died.” It doesn't matter whether it is food or clothing, or whatever it is.
If it's causing a brother to stumble, it says what? "You are no longer walking in love." It's a very serious matter to be no longer walking in love.
1John 3:10 - In this the children of Elohim and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of Elohim, nor [is] he who does not love his brother.
It's a very serious matter to stop walking in love for your brother, and to be selfish and say “look at me.” Yahushua held to this principle; he was paying the Temple tax.
Matthew 17:24 - When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the [temple] tax came to Peter and said, "Does your Teacher not pay the [temple] tax?"
25 - He said, "Yes." And when he had come into the house, Yahushua anticipated him, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?"
Matthew 17:26 - Peter said to Him, "From strangers." Yahushua said to him, "Then the sons are free.
27 - "Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you."
So in even what Yahushua did not deem to be necessary, he wanted to be careful and he was not a stumbling block to another person. And actually, historically, the Temple tax was not a requirement in the Torah. But any devout Jew would pay that. So, Yahushua would not want them to stumble over that.
And you know what? Neither should we want others to stumble over anything that we're doing. And so rather than judging those who have lust issues, let's judge ourselves and be sure that we're not doing anything to create a stumbling block or temptation in others.
Romans 14:13 - Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in [our] brother's way.
Yahushua deemed that to be a very serious thing.
Matthew 13:40 - "Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.
41 - "The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,
All things that offend!
Matthew 13:42 - "and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 - "Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
And so it's a very serious matter; I'm not judging salvation in anybody. I'm showing the Scriptures here and it's serious in the eyes of Messiah if you're not walking in love. If we're being like Balaam; a stumbling block. And so may Yahweh give us the ears to hear. Satan is already on the assault with his tools in the media, such as pornography.
We need to understand that just as men are tempted to look at pornography, women are tempted to commit pornography. The truth is, you don't have to be a star in a movie or pose for a picture in order to commit pornography.
All you need is a dress or some kind of garment that is worn in such a way that arouses lust in men, and you're committing pornography with your life. The truth is when there is a picture of an immodestly dressed woman in an advertisement somewhere, the women are usually tempted to want to look like the woman in the ad.
And the men are often tempted to desire that woman. Both are temptations we need to reject. Advertisers are playing on the temptations in order to sell their product and they know it works time and time again. For a woman to dress in a way that says “look at me,” is nothing short of pride. “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! Look at my body!
Look at my this! Look at my this! Look what I'm doing!” Are we clothed with humility? We're supposed to be clothed with humility. Not with prideful things. And so, we don't parade ourselves. We don't!
1Corinthians 13:4 - Love suffers long [and] is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
All you have to do is look on “Facebook”and you'll see men and women parading themselves. "Look at me! Look at me!" Silly camera shots; and poses; and duck lips and bizarre things to try and look alluring. We need to be as far from that as the East is from the west. We don't parade ourselves, we are modest. That means we're humble.
Our intention is to glorify our father in heaven. As men, we have to maintain eye to eye contact; not eye to body contact. And since men are called to do that women, don't wear the equivalent of that flashing neon sign trying to draw attention to things that men are not supposed to be looking at.
A man who is weak in this area and walks into a room with immodestly dressed women, is like a former alcoholic walking into the bar he used to visit. We aren't called to serve as bartenders. We're called to serve one another in love and even lay down our very life for one another if necessary.
And so let's not wear the tight T-shirts; the shirts with the low necklines drawing attention to the chest. If you're going to wear pants, at least cover your behind with the shirt thoroughly. Shirts should not be tight around the waist as we so commonly see today. It should be loose.
The tight around the waist is an attempt to draw attention to the private parts of the body. Because if its tight around the waist, then what's below the waist is going to wrap right around, and that's exposing the private parts of the body. That's supposed to be private.
Yahweh sought to cover that part of the body in Genesis chapter 3 and we should not reverse that. Pants or dresses that expose the shape of a person's rear end; a dress that allows the thighs to be exposed, are clear examples of clothing designer's trying to provoke temptations and we should have no part of that kind of dress.
We ought to cover the parts of the Body the Way Yahweh covered it. By a garment that hangs down off the shoulders rather than wraps around. If we have to wear pants, again, at least have a long shirt. And that's the principles I have at our festival this year. The high priest had the trousers on, and yet still:
Exodus 20:26 - `Nor shall you go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed on it.'
It seems to me that maybe trousers are insufficient. There needs to be something over it, to keep the private parts private.........men or woman. And we should be mindful of these Scriptures when we are looking for a righteous standard of modesty. So the priest had his trousers on, and alright, going up by steps to the altar. What nakedness?
That's an interesting question. For woman, dressing immodestly maybe it gives you a sense of power or control; increasing possibly the potential suitors for marriage if you're a young girl? I would agree, you'll be able to wield a certain amount of control over other men. Because as powerful as Samson was, Delilah was able to bring him down.
But as believers, we don't seek to control each other with temptations and stumbling blocks. An unmarried woman's clothing ought to communicate, "you can't touch me!
I'm not for sale; I'm not for your eyes; I'm covered; I'm protected; I'm saving myself for my husband and only he will know; you should not know; I'm too valuable in the eyes of Yahweh to cheapen myself into some kind of object for visual harlotry."
A married woman's clothing ought to communicate, "already taken." As I said in the beginning, clothing is communication. It's the backdrop of all of our verbal communication. What does it communicate? When it comes to seeking a spouse, the initial attraction between a man and a woman ought to first be spiritual.
Yahweh is the one who is supposed to be directing our lives not our lustful lie. Many a man sought after a pretty little girl; didn't have much of a spiritual life and he paid for it later when she ran off with another man. And took his children; his home and his money with her.
As young women, if you're seeking to attract a man and increase your choices of men by displaying or highlighting parts of your body, don't think for a moment that the man you happen to catch, will always be satisfied with yours alone.
Proverbs 27:20 - Hell and Destruction are never full; So the eyes of man are never satisfied.
And so, if you were to marry such a man, who was attracted to your body, there will always be others besides you who will be physically attractive. And for that reason, when such women get married long enough for their physical bodies to begin fading, many men in their 40s and 50s seek other pastures to their own destruction.
This is because there is never a point when lust is finally satisfied. Lust will continue to desire the forbidden, until he ventures into the unthinkable and the wrong. And for this reason:
Romans 1:26 - For this reason Elohim gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
27 - Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
Isn't that exactly what has happened in our society today? It started with the vile passions provoked by the immodestly and now we have this very thing. The things which are shameful. Men, we need to realize this actually! You might say, “well, women aren't so visual you know. So they're not really attracted by a man's appearance."
Well believe it or not, in today's society there are men – even in the assemblies – who can be tempted by the immodest dress of other men. Because they have that in their background. I know, because I've had to counsel some of them. I know one man who lost his wife (she died), and he went right back into his former lifestyle which was homosexuality.
And he was a believer, until then. It may be hard for us to fathom such a thing, but men too; we need to be sure we're building up the body of Messiah, rather than tempting others to go into their former ways. And yes it's a mistake to assume that women never have a wrongful lust toward men.
If you don't believe me, look how the teenage girls scream over various boy heartthrobs and whatnot. An entire genre of magazines is devoted to this very thing. But when Yahweh covered Adams body, he covered it with a tunic and he covered the same areas of the body he covered a woman with.
And Yahweh made no distinction, and so I find no reason to set aside, explain away or ignore that example. Men should dress like gentlemen and women should dress like ladies. Women who dress like a lady, will often be amazed how men will start treating them like a lady – with respect.
And so brothers and sisters, let's dress in a way that glorifies the ways of Yahweh, rather than dressing in such a way that glorifies ourselves or glorifies sin. Yahweh's ways are ways of purity; ways of holiness; ways of loveliness; ways of honor.
1Corinthians 6:19 - Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit [who is] in you, whom you have from Elohim, and you are not your own?
You don't even belong to yourself! You are not your own! Don't act like you are! You flaunt yourself. You didn't make yourself. You didn't create yourself. Yahweh could have just as easily have made you as ugly as sin – in the eyes of the world. Although, he doesn't create anything ugly.
1Corinthians 6:20 - For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are Elohim's.
Do we do that? We were bought, our body is not our own, so what are we doing with it? What are we doing with Yahweh's body? Are we glorifying him or are we advancing the kingdom of his enemy? Glorify him in your body. And in your spirit. Both of which belong to Elohim. This means that we're going to have to look different than the world.
We're going to act different. We're going to talk different and we're going to look different. We are called to glorify Yahweh with our body and spirit which belong to Him.
Romans 12:2 - And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of Elohim.
And so, in everything we do.
1Corinthians 10:31 - Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of Elohim.
32 - Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of Elohim,
Give no offense. And so my brothers and sisters, lets seek to live out the pure and the holy life that we are called to live in Messiah Yahushua. Glorifying Him with our body, not ourselves. Advancing the Kingdom of Elohim with our dress and not the Kingdom of His enemy. And walk worthy of the high calling to which we are called.
Ephesians 5:3 - But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;
4 - neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
5 - For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Messiah and Elohim.
Ephesians 5:6 - Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of Elohim comes upon the sons of disobedience.
7 - Therefore do not be partakers with them.
8 - For you were once darkness, but now [you are] light in Yahweh. Walk as children of light
We are called, that's our identity – “the light of the world,” not the stumbling block of the world.
And so children of light, I'm calling out to you as your brother in the faith, let's walk in the light and do all we can to encourage each other; to build up each other; to under-gird one another; to strengthen one another; edify one another; help one another; serve one another.
Bearing one another's burdens; breaking every yoke with the strong ones bearing the infirmities of the weak; laying down our lives for each other. Doing so will fulfill the will of the One and fulfill the example of the One; the just One – Yahushua Hamashiach, who seeks to live His life through us.
The One who bore our weaknesses wants to bear the weaknesses of our brother through us. So that we all might be a glory to Him, walking in righteousness and impurity with Him forever and ever.
And as we do so my brothers and my sisters, may Yahweh bless you and may Yahweh truly have mercy on us all.