Why Do So Many Women Show Off Cleavage in Church?
As believers, we are called to love one another as Christ loved us. This takes the focus off of ourselves and onto others. A woman could work at honoring her brothers in Christ. Maybe there’s nothing sinful about how she dresses, but would love require for her change the way she dresses for the sake of her brothers or sisters, so that they do not stumble? Is she willing to put others before her own preferences?
What about the brother and sister out there bothered by some cleavage, what does love require of them? To be judgmental, condeming, and critical…I am sure not. Maybe she needs to be gently corrected, but that needs to be Spirit led and fully done in love. But maybe she also needs to be seen as the potentially insecure, broken woman she is. Maybe the exterior needs to be looked past and she needs to be honored and loved, because if nothing else, she is created in the image of the God we love and serve.
Read 1 Tim 2 in context. The idea is never of cumbersome wardrobe, but of not putting on an unseemly display of wealth. Even if it did, the idea was never to protect a man from anything.
The idea of *modesty* has been misconstrued to the point that women should never expose anything ankle to collarbone, and should never wear buttons or snaps in front, slacks or jeans, name tags, or anything with a print.
It would have been nice if the author had actually answered his own question, because I’d be interested in knowing why women do that (is it on purpose or are they oblivious?) Living in a cold weather region, we don’t come across this too often, but I can think of one woman at our church who dresses more on the side of ‘clubbing’ than ‘off to church.’ And her husband also dresses like he’s headed to the beach or Wal-Mart. I think that’s just the way they dress all the time and they don’t think anything of it, since our church is more of a ‘come as you are’ than ‘dress to impress’ kind of congregation.
I lean towards bgavtek’s thinking, in that the onus is on each individual to guard our own thoughts and eyes. I deal with lots of distractions in church: everything from the pastor’s arm pit stains to people with purple hair and nose piercings. That’s my problem, not everyone else’s.
The woman’s attire may not have been appropriate for the occasion and maybe she should have worn something more professional but I’m not in a position to judge the woman. A man should guard his thoughts and if said outfit causes him to stumble then he should work on his lusting. Other men probably didn’t have an issue lusting after her. Basically my take on this is work on the beam in your own eye before you start working on the speck in someone else’s eye.
bgavtek…I humbly and strongly disagree with everything you said.
“work on his lusting”…that’s a pretty bold statement to make. Where should a man learn to work on his lusting? At work where the world wears whatever they want?…how about at a bar, or the beach…NO, at a Church! Where people should recognize that all men and woman are sinners and that NO ONE should do anything that would cause there brother to stumble. (Romans 14:21)
Did you read the whole of the article? Because there are some pretty good Bible verses in there that support NOT wearing revealing clothing. 1 Tim 2:9, 1 Cor 12:23. I’m a worship leader and I am VERY careful and so should every other worship leader I might add about what I wear when I am in front of the congregation. I’m not up there for a fashion show. I’m there to lead my Church in the worship of our Savior, and I can’t do that if all they are thinking about is how I’m dressed, or thoughts of lust. This quote from the article is perfectly stated…”Men and women are urged to pursue a modesty by which our glory is minimized and God’s is maximized.”
So lets talk about logs and specks for a second…so I’m supposed to come to Church and have to concern myself with keeping my eyes out of woman’s cleavage or staring from her low cut skirt, but yet NOT correct her?…is that really your stance? Let’s consider 2 Tim 4:2, ” “Be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” Don’t leave people with their specks in their eye. Reprove, rebuke, exhort.” Sounds to me like I should help that woman out who’s dressed to cause men to stumble. But that doesn’t cover the log…so let’s look at Gal 6:1 “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” Keep watch on myself…that log Paul is referring to is pride. So the question before your approach someone to correct should be ‘why am i doing this…is it to be right, or to truly correct their path and bring them closer to Christ.’ The log most of us suffer from when correcting others is PRIDE.
I will tell you that if a woman is dressed too provocatively, I’m not going to approach her and tell her to cover up. What I am going to do is get my wife involved, who is a far more humble, patient, and understanding person than I’ll ever be. And who by the way, can keep covered up and still look fantastic without making men want to flirt with her with their eyes.
Lastly you said you’re not in a position to “judge” a woman. Are you saying you aren’t in a position to judge what she’s wearing or judge her sinful nature and salvation? Because only God can judge the latter, but we as Christians as absolutely supposed to keep each other in check. Read Matthew 18. And if we are to correct that others are doing that is sinful or not good, causing another to stumble should qualify.
Oh my. Years ago when Lori and I ran a church music team, Lori had to tell the female clarinet payer she could not wear a short skirt and part her legs. She had apparently shown half the church her panties during worship. 🙄
I see two issues here. There are those who are doing something, and those who are in the congregation.
- I think it’s appropriate to required to deal with those “up front” who fail to be modest. Of course, it must be done in love, and it must be done with the awareness that many women have no idea how much they are showing, and many don’t understand what it does to some men to show so much.
- For the congregation the issue is different. Some are saved, some are new in Christ, some are not saved. May we never chase someone away from God because of what they wear!
I used to make a lot of noise about the modesty issue. In retrospect, I can see that this was largely motivated by my own struggle with lust. Ranting about half-naked women made me feel less bad about my sin. So my motivation was bad, and the effects on me were bad. I’m not going to put that on everyone who gets upset about immodesty, but I fear it’s a common part of it for men, and for women with husband’s who lust.
As I have learned to understand other’s reality I have a lot more grace for this. I am also learning that while being the weaker brother is a real thing, we should be doing all we can to not be the weaker brother, IOW, we are supposed to grow up!
As a nursing mama my perspective might be odd but…. I nurse in public frequently and try to be discrete but hey there is only so much discretion u can have… its changed my views of modesty and esp boobs a bit and I no longer view my breasts as sexual so I dont think much anymore if a bit of breast shows on me or anyone else… honestly I dont think I’d think much of it