An Issue of the Heart:
By Ruth Faust
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues
of life" Proverbs 4:23
I want to talk about one of the issues of life, but first I
want to talk about truth. I believe that the church has lost
something valuable and is looking in the wrong place to find it.
Jesus said I am the truth, but the world rejects that truth and
the church today is looking to the world because that is the easy
place to look: but the truth is not there.
We know that Satan is the father of lies, and he is the
deceiver. In Matthew 13 Jesus tells a story about a man who sowed
good seed and while he slept his enemy came and sowed tares among
the wheat. I believe that is the condition of the church today,
while it has slept the enemy has sown seeds of deception. Steve
Wilkins, Pastor of Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church, in Monroe,
Louisiana said. we live in a world so dulled that we can no
longer discern good from evil. We have lost all sense of
propriety and thus have seen the virtual disappearance of
purity." (Propriety meaning-proper; character) So today, I want
to share with you some truth from the Word of God that I feel has
The message is that our Creator designed a beautiful plan
for young men and young women. What God created as beautiful and
sacred was to be shared between one man and one woman in holy
matrimony. Satan has taken this truth and distorted it into
something to be casually thrown around, causing it to appear
cheap and vulgar. What has been lost: purity, innocence, even the
ability to blush.
Also, the following profound words were written on the back
of a CD I recently purchased from Vision Forum Ministries.
"The Church is being destroyed by sacred cows. A "sacred
cow" is an untouchable subject that we are not supposed to
discuss. To do so impinges upon another's "Christian
liberty....there are few sacred cows quite as sacred as the
right of modern Christians to dress however they please."
And we find in Ephesians, chapter four, Paul admonished the
church to stop being children tossed about by those who lie in
wait to deceive, but to speak the truth in love, in order to
"grow up" into Christ which is the head of the church.
I intend to speak the truth in love and I hope I may present
to you some eye-opening and thought-provoking ideas. I believe
this study is long overdue. And, while the word "modesty" may
sound sadly antique in these days, we also know we want to fit in
and to be accepted, but understand, there is a price to pay.
I want to share some information from a book called "Secret
Keeper - The Delicate Power of Modesty." 1 Mrs. Gresh divided
her book, directed towards a teen girl audience, into six
chapters. She states that she is going to give the raw facts and
she does speak relatively openly. I will briefly summarize them
Mrs. Gresh explains that this power is unique to girls, i.e.
women, and that it is multidimensional. She defines it as their
allure, the mystifying, indefinable power of the female
attraction. The source of the power is modesty, a delicate, yet
formidable power. It is delicate because it can be so innocently
given away, without their even knowing it. It is formidable
because once they master it, no man will be given access to the
full secrets behind it until a woman so desires.
There is a story in Mark 6:21-23 that clearly illustrates
the allure or power of a woman. It says she danced before him and
that he was pleased. That is allures--that is power! What else
could incite a man to offer to give away up to half of his
kingdom? She must have been very beautiful and very graceful.
God said, "it is not good for man to be alone" so he crafted
a masterpiece ... woman.
People are drawn to the beauty of the female image.
Advertisers have discovered that a photo of a woman will
increase the length of time someone spends with an ad by 14 to 30
percent! That is the allure.
Author Henry Rogers writes, "Women are beautiful to us
because God made them that way. Their beauty and our desire are
God-given. The nakedness of a woman has a powerful impact on us."
A woman's body can create quite a stir in guys. In Proverbs
5:18-19 NIV it tells a man to "rejoice in the wife of your youth"
and "...May you ever be captivated by her love." Mrs. Gresh
states that the Hebrew word "captivated" would be better
translated "intoxicated." She also emphasizes the important point
of explaining that the "captivation" is only to be shared with
one guy - after you are married. Until then it is to be kept
"under wraps," it is a secret to be shared only with your
husband. "The fullest secrets of the incredible masterpiece of
your body are to be your unique secret."
We all know that some girls are not the best secret keepers,
they flaunt their bodies. However, this doesn't mean that we
should dress unattractively; on the contrary, we have many
examples of women in the Bible who were called beautiful. Sarah
was so beautiful that Abraham was afraid other men might kill him
so they could have his wife.
Rebekah was "very beautiful and "a virgin."
Esther is probably the most acclaimed for her beauty.
I believe that people were attracted to these women not only
because of their outward beauty but because of their purity and
the fact that they were virtuous women. They possessed and inner
modesty. We must focus on more than outward beauty because that
beauty seems to fade as an unattractive personality comes
through. We have also met girls that become more and more
attractive as we get to know them, hence, their inner modesty and
beauty becomes more apparent.
Often we can get caught up in the motion of everything
around us and mirror the world instead of mirroring God's
holiness. She explains the illustration of a bull's - eye to
represent God's intended purpose for our lives and explains that
in the area of sexuality, God's purpose is for you to be an
expression of His beauty, and to "intoxicate" one man with that
beauty. The key is ONE MAN.
It is vital to understand how guys are affected by what they
see and what it means when a guy is "intoxicated" by a woman's
beauty. The autonomic nervous system, ANS, activates many of our
bodies' responses. This system is controlled by the environment
and NOT the will. If, for example you get lost or frightened, the
ANS basically takes over and you experience a rapid pulse or
maybe a sick feeling in your stomach. YOU cannot control these
With a guy, who was created to be visually stimulated, and
he sees a woman in revealing clothing, his brain sends chemicals
throughout his body, he may notice a change in his pulse, his
body temperature will rise and blood will begin to pump more
rapidly through his body. For guys this is an arousal process and
it is very strong. It presents clear physical changes. Yes, a guy
can choose how to respond to this arousal, but he cannot control
that it has occurred.
An important point here is that even Christian girls with
skirts or tops which are too-short, too-tight, or too-low, can
cause their Christian brothers to stumble. Immodesty creates
arousal in many men and it misses the mark of God's intended
purpose for you.
Philippians 3:14 says, "I press toward the mark for the
prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus". The New
Testament word for sin is "hamartia" which means, "To miss the
mark and so not share in the prize." Because immodesty creates
arousal in many men, it misses the mark of God's intended
purpose. Immodesty is not just fashion, it is sin!
Showing Less - Controls More
The Gestalt Theory teaches that our brains force the person
to mentally complete a visual image, thereby controlling a
viewer's time. The brain is intrigued by completing the
incomplete and will always pause to finish an unfinished picture.
When a guy sees a girl walk by him wearing a long, tight skirt
with a slit all the way up the sides, what does he see? The slit
invites him to finish the picture: to see past the fabric. So,
what is yet to be seen is what actually tempts him. Showing the
curve of your hips under a tight skirt, or a little bit of your
belly, etc... can actually be devastating to a guy who wants to
please Christ. It can be a constant source of spiritual failure
for men. I repeat: these temptations can be a constant source of
spiritual failure for men! You are inviting him to lust after
Perceived Value Increases Worth!
This principle explains that immodesty removes the obstacles
and invites any passing guy to desire you in his mind. For him,
it is a cheap thrill that requires no investment on his part.
Modesty on the other hand protects the true secrets of your body
for one man and requires him to invest into your life in order to
one day enjoy your allure. He must earn your virtue, it is a
thing of value - something to be worked for and earned, not
something to be carelessly tossed about. Finding love this way is
a long and slow process, but that is part of what makes it so
sweet; he must work to earn your heart. When it comes to true
love men consistently state that they want the modest, pure girl.
What makes a woman's perceived value high? When she has protected
her reputation and her sexuality, her perceived value is high.
The temporary attention immodesty may gain can never equal the
thrill of passion that follows a life protected by the power of
So we pose the question to women everywhere: "Do you want
guys to just get a cheap thrill in their minds, or do you want to
be romantically and passionately pursued because your modesty
demands it?" When a guy with true interest in a woman perceives
that her purity and reputation have been protected, he will rise
to romance her and earn her heart. A point to recognize is that
modesty is the first line of defense for purity. When you see a
young woman showing too much, fear for her; she may be
unwittingly making herself vulnerable for the wrong kind of
attention. Immodesty makes a statement about one's moral values.
The Inner Quality
The Bible challenges women to be careful about inner
modesty. It says that the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet
spirit is in God's eyes a thing of great price. It says that
women's beauty should not come from outward adorning such as
braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.
No, the power of modesty is not limited just to what one wears;
modesty is also controlled, or forfeited, by where a woman is
willing to go and how a woman may act. Modesty finds no need to
flaunt or flirt around guys or to invade their personal space. A
woman's external presentation is the first indication of her
modesty, but if it is not followed by the confidence of internal
modesty, she shall forfeit the power of her virtue. Remember, it
is true that an immodest woman creates insatiable curiosity in a
guy, but it is the modest girl whose heart he most desires.
What do you think modesty looks like? Mrs. Gresh suggests
that perhaps it is seen in the woman who doesn't hang all over a
guy but acknowledges them nonchalantly, or in the woman whose
morning dress routine helps her to reflect God's beauty. Internal
modesty is seen in the woman whose conversation revolves more
around other people than herself; one who is more focused on
pleasing the Lord than attracting a boyfriend. The woman who is
confident in her value has no reason to immodestly flaunt herself
but will confidently bless others when she is around.
The Bottom Line
Women, Mrs. Gresh is very honest and says that if you are
aggravated with this information or are planning to ignore it,
you may not have a modesty problem but a love problem. Modesty is
possible only if you truly love God, and when you truly love God,
you obey Him--even in the way that you dress. Knowing about God
is not the same as knowing Him. When you truly know Him, you
cannot help but love Him because you realize everything in His
plan for your life is for the purpose of blessing you. And when
you love Him, you want to please Him--even in the way you dress.
As daughters of the King of Kings, our appearance should honor
Him. We have the responsibility to dress as women professing
godliness. God desires to see you happy and He knows that the
best pathway to finding a truly blessed marriage requires you to
live modestly. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, whom
we have received from God and we are not our own, but are bought
with a price, the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and that is what
gives us value!
1 Dannah Gresh, "Secret Keeper - The Delicate Power of Modesty
(by MOODY PRESS.)
From "ACTS" magazine - November/December 2011 - a publication of
The General Council Churches of God (Seventh Day), Maridian, ID.
See also on this website the studies on "Women's Adornment" and "Make-up"