1 Timothy 2:8-9 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
What if the modesty of the ladies reflected the spirituality of the men? How would our churches look? Paul addressed two timeless principles that were just as relevant 2,000 years ago as they are today: the need for spiritual men, and modest women.
First, let’s look at what Paul says about the men. Generally, when we hear a preacher begin to quote 1 Timothy 2:8-9 (or, generally, vs 9), we’re quick to let out a hearty “amen!”. However, when we realize how verses 8 and 9 are interconnected, we’d do well to take an honest assessment of our condition first. Paul first begins by exhorting the men to “pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting”. We could pull this verse apart and get a lot of principles that are needed among men. But to put it in a nutshell, Paul “wills” (desires, asks, hopes that, exhorts) men to be spiritual men. For, when we get to verse 9, we see that the exhortation to the ladies is to be done “likewise”, or, after the manner of, the prayer and spirituality exemplified by the men. For myself as a man, I’m reminded of the importance of my prayer life, and my example of spirituality in private, as well as in the church. Further, when I’m the Christian I ought to be, I’ll then have the discernment to help my wife and daughters to be the modest ladies the Lord desires, as well as the have ability to teach the ladies under my influence to do likewise.
Of course, we do then come to verse 9, which is addressed to the ladies. I believe there is an all-out assault on biblical modesty in our churches. The church used to be a place where we came and had an oasis from the sensuality and indecency of the worldly ladies’ dress. But unfortunately, every Sunday, and even among the faithful, that has changed. What used to be unacceptable in the public square is now common in the house of God. As Paul says, “brethren, (or “sisteren”) these things ought not so to be”. I’m just being honest – during a church service recently I opened my iPad commentary, and my Bible. And instead of watching pastor preach, I had to focus on something else, because right in front of me was immodesty that, though I tried, continually drew my eyes in. “Brethren, these things ought not so to be”.
In this age where sensuality and ungodliness assaults our senses daily, might there be a place of refuge – a place where godly, modest ladies, and prayerful, spiritual men gather, worship, and seek to please the Lord. Might the men For it’s when we’re right in the church, that we can effectively go out as lights in a dark world that desperately needs us.