By Mrs. E. F. Harvey from the I. H. Convention Herald.
French fashion designers have decreed this year that women should wear their skirts the shortest since Eve. We should have thought skirts had gone up just about as high as women would have dared to wear them in a Christian country. But even (professing) Christian women will doubtless follow, if only slightly, the trend in shorter skirts.
It is no accident that the terrible immoral trend should blend with the short fashions in dress. The women of any nation determine its morals. So, it is to the (professing) Christian women I wish to direct this article. Many of you could not be discerned from the worldly unbeliever walking beside you.
It is known that men are greatly attracted and tempted by the things which they see. The devil, who certainly is one of the chief dress designers for women, sees to it that he lures thousands upon thousands of young boys and men to lust, immorality, mental homes and early graves through a woman’s undue display of her body. Cannot we Christian women do something about this moral landslide? There are some Biblical injunctions we are terribly keen to accentuate, but what about the Bible’s plain command to dress modestly (1 Tim. 2:9)? A true Christian, like St. Paul, will not indulge in any freedom if he makes his brother to offend. Well might we say, “If any unseemly dress fashions make men to offend, I will not dress so.”
But why do Christian women dress so? It is not because we would knowingly, I am sure, lure a man to temptation. It is certainly not to please our husbands, for they violently object, many times in vain, to their wives’ short dresses. It is largely because we cannot endure the pitying looks and remarks of our fellow-female friends. Have you not had some revered Christian friend advise you to raise your skirts and use some such argument as that of hoping to win the young modern women to Christianity? “How can you believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only?” Let us rather endure the sneers and remarks of our fashion-conscious sisters than have countless men point their fingers at us and say, “You heaped upon men an unendurable burden in their search for clean thoughts and pure living.”
Let us illustrate. A young teenager is under deep conviction. He is a worldly young man and has been freely imbibing the new morality. He has sown his wild oats free and far, indulging in promiscuity. Now, he comes under the sound of the gospel. He is enduring remorse for his untamed sex desires. We witness the utter soul distress and distraught pacing of the floor as he tells of his fight against lust during the past months. He has decided that if he refrains from drink and stays in at nights that will help. He turns on the TV. Does he find help in his passionate battle with his lust? No! Women, dressed to tempt, appear; scenes in plays depict that which stimulates the imagination. The young man wearily turns off the knob.
He tries companionship solely with his male friends. Out in the open he takes long walks, but without exception, dirty, smudgy conversations are indulged in, and again the young man shakes his head. He has not as yet been so fortunate as to cultivate a circle of true Christian friends. He searches for a modern young woman, but she is keen to prove her desirable sex availability and fling herself at him.
Let us suppose that we should bring him into your Christian circle. Would he find there at last the pure atmosphere where his soul could obtain help in its struggle for mental and spiritual purity? Will young professing girls sit opposite him with dresses so short that their legs up to their thighs may be seen? Will the married women be so conformed that they, too, shamelessly expose themselves? What chance has a man in the world today for purity of thought and life?
Not long ago we had helped a young man who had gotten himself in a hopeless fix. He was visiting us in our home. He had the sins of immorality to cope with. A young Christian girl sat hemming a skirt when he picked up the garment, asking, “What are you doing?” After receiving her answer about the hemming of the skirt, he pleadingly asked, “Please make it long enough. You don’t half know how those short skirts tempt us men.” He was not a saved young man, but he was struggling with the Sodom all about him, and pleading with Christian girls to make their skirts long enough.
We have had other young men voice the same opinion: “The short skirts are an encouragement to us boys.” You perhaps say, they should get saved and get the Holy Spirit to help them, and they wouldn’t be heeding such things. But Christian men of maturity have told my husband and me of the deplorable scenes in Christian circles and their inevitable embarrassment.
Are we Christian women guilty of decrying the terrible immorality and pulling our skirts about us for fear of contamination? Do we deplore the lowering of moral standards? Let us do something about lowering our skirts long enough to let the world know that we are separated Christians and not lending our influence to the devilish fashions geared to the lust of today. If a young prodigal should be fleeing from the half-nude hoardings, advertising propaganda of half clad women, the TV portrayals of the same, the suggestive jokes in newspapers and factory and office, the vast multitudes of young women pushing past him, walking in front of him, sitting across from him dressed with design to allure – shall he, will he, find a holy sanctuary in our Christian church, fellowship, home or prayer meeting? “Enter not into temptation,” says the Bible. Have we a place prepared for the prodigal where he may flee temptation and find purity under the precious blood of Jesus? Or shall he turn his back upon our lowered standards, plunging himself once again into the blackness of spiritual night to bitterly denounce Christianity and lose himself once more upon the swelling mass of humanity, a hopelessly lost sex maniac, chiding himself in this life and lost for all eternity.