Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be married in a few weeks and their wedding announcements clearly state that there will be a dress code! The strict royal wedding dress code that guests will have to follow requires men wearing uniforms or mourning coats that include waistcoat and striped trousers and very conservative dress for the ladies: No open toed shoes, no bare shoulders, and dresses below the knee or just above. No black dresses and no wedges “since the Queen hates them.”
That’s a more decent standard than what I see in very Conservative churches weekly! This concern for proper attire is even popping up in secular organizations and businesses!
I never expected to see the day when secular organizations were concerned with proper clothing! But it’s here. Psychology Today published an article, “The First Impression,” revealing that decisions are made about us in 20 to 30 seconds so our dress must be appropriate. For office work men should wear suits with black or brown shoes–no tennis shoes. Women’s blouses should not be sleeveless or see-through and skirts should not be “too tight” and no more than two inches above the knee! I prefer the middle of the knee.
Many Christian schools and Christian colleges don’t have such tight standards! What’s going on? Maybe folks are finally willing to say that there should be some parameters in everything. Maybe we should exercise some discretion in dress, speech, and actions. Although to watch female entertainers parade around on the red carpet it seems they have not received the message: there are some standards that decent people won’t break.
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Recently, I walked into a room where the television news had been on and one of the award shows was on. What I saw was pure exhibitionism as female after female exposed themselves to the world. It seems some people have no standards.
Yes, I spend much of my life in a bubble but anyone should be able to agree that a woman should not expose her breasts to anyone except her husband. And with splits and see-through dresses, they almost expose other special parts of the female body. Of course, the human body is not “dirty” but it should be private.
It is noteworthy that men are still dressing basically as they did a hundred years ago but women seem to have been bitten by the slutbug that some say originated in France but its source is questionable.
I don’t hear many preachers, priests, or rabbis saying much about the exhibition on television. Maybe we need another Jerome who, in the fourth century, scolded a female Roman church member: “Your vest is slit on purpose….Your breasts are confined in strips of linen, your chest is imprisoned in a tight girdle…your shawl sometimes drops so as to leave your white shoulders bare; and then it hastily hides what it intentionally revealed.” His statement, “intentionally revealed” seems right on target to describe female entertainers today. Not many preachers like Jerome today, but there are a few.
In his Sunday sermon, a Baptist pastor in Chattanooga said to his congregation (and to the woman in question): “There’s a woman here who I’ve seen more of [while preaching] than any man should see who is not your husband–and you know who you are.” That takes courage.
Major secular magazines and newspapers are discussing (and cussing) modesty in dress. Who would have thunk it? Jews, Roman Catholics, Mormons, Muslims, Fundamentalists, and even Evangelicals are talking about modesty.
In a speech, former actress Jessica Rey (I don’t know her but then, the last actor I knew about was John Wayne) discussed the evolution of the swimsuit and her opinions on modesty. Her video caused a mini storm–even some Christians responded negatively. She mentioned that the first bikini was publically introduced by a stripper because no other models would wear it indicating devolution in modesty. But now, even Christian women wear one without concern. Where are the parents or husbands of those women?
We know that at the dawn of the twentieth century, women wore bathing suits that covered most of their bodies. Some women were taken to the water’s edge in a kind of outhouse pulled by horses (or people) so the women could exit into the water without being seen by the public.
Of course, a better answer if a woman is concerned with modesty is not to go swimming in public. That’s better than exiting from a floating outhouse. After all, is public swimming such a major thing is one’s life?
Jessica stopped wearing a bikini and started her own line of modest one-piece swimsuits. Of course, she is not alone since others have done the same thing. Everyone seems to have an opinion and even their own line of clothes! Even the Mormons have their own line of modest clothing sold in high-end department stores, and the Muslims also have their own line–sold at Macys. The Mormons’ dresses are much more stylish than the Muslims since you can’t do much with black sheeting except cut two eye holes in them. With that, voilà, we have a dress!
For many years some Roman Catholics, Mormons, and Jews have tried to combat the rise in immodest dress. On some of my tours to the Middle East, we stopped for a couple days in Rome and when I took the large group to the Vatican, there was a notice that informed us what was acceptable and unacceptable dress. At other Catholic churches, women were given wraparounds if they wore shorts or scandalous skirts. None of my group was dressed scandalously.
But feminists and many modern Christian leaders argue that the Bible’s demand for modesty refers to display of things such as wealth, not seductive clothes. It is both! We should be more concerned with modesty and neatness in our garments than elegance, cost, and fashion. However, if church leaders are immodest, ordinary members will follow their bad example.
Maybe strict Bible-preaching churches should take a lesson from the Royal Family (at least in this regard) and require all church leaders, choir members, special singers, instrumentalists, etc., to meet the Queen’s standard.
I think the King would be pleased!
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