Pastoral Thoughts on Modesty Pt 4.

Our nation has long since gone past the time when a woman would blush at a foul word or a man would apologize in a woman’s presence after he spoke roughly. Now speech pours out of the mouths of both sexes with little thought and no concern for modesty. But for a modest woman, this cannot be. There cannot be a disconnect between the dress and the lips. They must complement one another.

In that well known passage of Matthew 15:11-19, Jesus makes it clear that what proceeds from the mouth is simply that which is in the heart. Evil speech, angry words, bitter phrases, suggestive statements, and sensual comments all tell us something about what is in the heart. In Proverbs 6:16-19 we find six things that God hates to the uttermost and three of them have to do with the tongue—the lying tongue, the false witness, and the one who spreads strife. Or, as James reminds us in the third chapter, the tongue is a restless evil that can create untold damage.

The modest woman is modest because her heart is modest. And if her heart is modest then her words ought to model that modesty. Her speech is to be redemptive, pointing to the grace of God in Christ Jesus. Her speech is to be gentle and kind, building up rather than tearing down. She should flee the temptation to utter that crass joke or use language that is simply cheap.

I have witnessed in my life beautiful women who sliced and diced with their tongues. They were gossips and backbiters. They loved to have their little gatherings where tea was sipped and secrets discussed. In today’s world of instant communication much immodesty flows over text messages and internet posts.

But not the modest woman. She guards her lips and considers the effects of her words. [S]he who guards [her] mouth and [her] tongue, Guards [her] soul from troubles (Proverbs 21:23).

She understands that her tongue is to be a tool to spread knowledge not folly (Proverbs 15:2).

She values a mouth that is known to be as choice silver (Proverbs 10:20).

As David declared in his longest Psalm, “Let my tongue sing of Thy word . . .” (119:172).

A modest woman understands these things and seeks to employ her tongue in a manner consistent with her faith. She remembers that she is a woman saved by grace and therefore is resistant to harsh comments of others who may have failed. She contemplates how her words help prepare people for the gospel of Jesus Christ and seeks to decrease rather than increase. She seeks to say what needs to be said with little words rather than many.

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