11 thoughts on “What does Modesty mean in I Timothy 2:9?

  1. Pingback: 7 Biblical Principles for how to dress as a Christian woman | Biblical Gender Roles

  2. Good write-up. I agree, largely, with the line of reasoning. However, Paul didn’t write 1Peter, Peter did 🙂

  3. Well I guess my parents have to read this
    They are one of those christians who say girls are not allowed to wear pants (and earrings) even a dress with legging isnt allowed (because they say a legging is the same as pants!?)

    But I’m kinda sure they won’t believe what tou wrote here and they wouldnt let me read this stuff

  4. Genuine question: What are your thoughts on bikinis in general? Before I was saved I used to wear bikinis to the pool/beach etc with both male and female friends, but now I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so as I would feel too naked, and that such a large amount of visible skin should be for my husband. The beach/pool = swimsuit though, in my opinion. What would you advise? May I ask what your wife wears? I haven’t been swimming since I had my daughter. My husband and I feel that a bikini or one-piece would be acceptable within our family (or I would even feel ok with my own sisters/mother) but not on a public beach with men around. What are your thoughts? I’ve just discovered your blog and it is so, SO helpful.
    God Bless

  5. Blackie,

    Your Statement:

    “Genuine question: What are your thoughts on bikinis in general? Before I was saved I used to wear bikinis to the pool/beach etc with both male and female friends, but now I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so as I would feel too naked, and that such a large amount of visible skin should be for my husband. The beach/pool = swimsuit though, in my opinion. What would you advise? May I ask what your wife wears? I haven’t been swimming since I had my daughter. My husband and I feel that a bikini or one-piece would be acceptable within our family (or I would even feel ok with my own sisters/mother) but not on a public beach with men around. What are your thoughts? I’ve just discovered your blog and it is so, SO helpful.”

    Sexual relations with you are reserved for your husband and him alone. The scriptures make it clear the only sexual relations God honors are those between a man and woman in the covenant of marriage.

    “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
    Hebrews 13:4 (KJV)

    Before I give my advice on the bikini – first know that your husband is your spiritual authority. I am simply giving advice that he can consider. If he feels you should only wear a bikini with just him or just your family you need to follow his guidance in this matter.

    Having said that here is my advice on bikinis. While no man may have sexual relations with you(of any kind) nothing in the Scriptures says that your husband is required to hide your body from other men either because it belongs to him or for fear of causing other men to lust. You won’t find that concept that is so often taught today in churches and other venues anywhere in the Scriptures.

    If you or your husband are uncomfortable with you wearing a bikini around other men(that are not close family) you have to ask yourselves why you feel that way. Is it because you are afraid that other men might have sexual thoughts about you? If it is, you have to ask why that bothers you. The scriptures do not forbid men from enjoying the beauty of women that are not their wife – it is not found anywhere despite the massive misuse of Matthew 5:28 and Job 31:1 to try and teach that it does. These passages are talking about lust which is covetousness or the desire to seduce a woman into having sex outside of marriage. It does not mean men cannot enjoy the beauty of women they are not married to or even be aroused by such beauty.

    The fact is men are creatures of variety and polygamous by design as I discuss often on this site.

    I have given this example before about my father. My mother who is a very conservative Christian(and does not agree with all my views such as those on porn) knows very well that my father is aroused by other women. There are times when he watches certain TV shows or perhaps they went shopping together and there was an attractive woman on the show or at the store and then he wants to have sex. She will tease him that she knows it was no her who got his engine running but she is fine with that. She accept his nature as a man in this way.

    So in my view if your husband was ok with it – it is perfectly fine for you to wear a bikini at the beach or some place where that is appropriate to the occasion as long as you are not flirting with other men if they happen to glance and enjoy the view why would you condemn such activity.

    Let me put this another way. If your husband purchased a beautiful painting and he covered it up on his wall and only took the cover off when no one was around would you no think that is strange? But on the other hand if a man has a beautiful work of art he wants to enjoy that beauty at all times and he is proud of this work of art he has purchased. Do you know the Bible calls a woman’s body a work of art?

    “How beautiful are your feet in sandals, O prince’s daughter! The curves of your hips are like jewels, The work of the hands of an artist.”
    Song of Solomon 7:1 (KJV)

    Yes if a man owns purchases a piece of art he does not want any other person touching it – but why would he be jealous of others enjoying the beauty of that which is his?

    I absolutely believe men ought to be jealous of their wives in the sense of their wives not being alone with, or speaking inappropriately with other men. But I do not think men need to be jealous of other men enjoying the beauty of their wives as long as they don’t get weird and start gawking and making the woman or others around feel uncomfortable.

    But then we have another issue when it comes to biknis – if you don’t got it don’t flaunt it. Especially if a woman is really overweight or older and has a lot of loose skin it might not always be flattering to her. I think husbands need to make this decision with their wives.

    My wife is a bit overweight and unlike her sister who is not would never feel comfortable in a bikini and I agree it is not right for her body type.

    If my teenage daughter wanted to wear a bikini I would not oppose it. Up till now she has not been brave enough to do it because she has a little bit of a belly and she is paranoid about it.

  6. Love your point of view on this!

    The one thing I have a question about is would it be OK to go to a nude beach? I have NO desire to ever go to one but do you think it would be appropriate for a Christian woman or man to go to one.

    Thanks!

  7. Emma,

    Well when we understand that modesty from a Biblical perspective is not speaking of “non-sexual” attire specifically, but rather wearing what is “appropriate” to the occasion then yes I believe absolutely it would be fine for a Christian man or woman to go to a nude beach and be nude. This is by definition an appropriate occasion for nudity when bathing either to clean ones self or even when swimming as long it is understood by the people there. Obviously it would inappropriate to take off your swim suit at a beach that was not a nude beach.

    As to causing men to lust – I have covered that many times throughout my articles. There is no such principle taught in the Scriptures that women must dress in a way that hides their beauty(as Muslim and some other women of various religious sects do) in order not to tempt men to lust. When we understand that lust is not mere sexual arousal – but a conscious thought of how you might unlawfully take that which is not yours to take(in this case a woman sexually) that is lust.

    What I have argued many times on my site is that it is not female nudity or how a woman dresses(or does not does not dress in the case of nude beach) that causes men to lust. It is the woman’s attitude and mannerism that causes a man to lust. If a woman whether fully clothed, or nude at beach flirts with a man this will in many cases cause him to lust. This is what women must guard against.

    One other thing I will add – some people think I am in favor of Christian nudism based on my writings. I am not. There is a difference between exposing one’s nakedness for limited times at appropriate occasions and believing that humans are meant to be nude at all times and all places as Christian nudists believe. It is one thing to be nude by one’s self in their home, to be nude around one’s spouse, to be nude to bathe(whether in tub, shower or at a beach) and also to remove one’s clothes to model for painting or photos or even to make an arousing photograph. In these cases nudity has a purpose and it is for a short and designated duration. But to simply go nude to the grocery store or out to dinner or the way nudists go to nudist colonies and go nude every where they go – this is not right. God meant for man to be clothed – and this was not just because of sin. This is proven by the fact that in heaven(where there is no sin) those who are there wear white robes. They are not nude. Clothing separates mankind from every other creature on earth. Another problem with nudism is that it tries to separate sexual arousal from nudity and this is unnatural and goes against God’s design.

    But again – the short answer to your question is – it is absolutely fine for a Christian woman to go nude at a nude beach.

  8. So in a 100 years if it has become normal for guys to wear dresses just like it is now normal for women to wear pants, it would be OK for a Christian guy to wear a dress?

  9. David,

    There was already many times in history when men did not wear pants. The toga that men wore in the Roman era and robes they wore before that were not pants. In fact this is why God commanded that the priests where breeches when going up the altar to do their duties(Exodus 28:41-43) else their nakedness would be exposed at the altar. But they were not required to where breeches at all times – only at the altar. That means in most cases men were garments that were NOT pants and if they bent over the wrong way might expose them.

    So yes if in 100 years we return to togas and robes for men instead of pants as men used to wear(before about 500 years ago when pants became the norm for men) then yes that would be perfectly fine for men to do. I doubt that will happen – but if it did it would be fine.

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