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Modesty in Christian Weddings

I knew this would be a hot topic, and so it was. On Tuesday’s edition of The Albert Mohler Program we dealt with the issue of modesty as related to the dress of women (especially of brides and bridesmaids) at weddings. My special guest was my wife, Mary, who is the author of Modeling Modesty.

Over at Girltalk, Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters have been discussing the same issue. They cited Todd Murray, worship minister at The Bible Church of Little Rock, who concluded a women’s conference with these words:

Ladies, please don’t forget to apply these principles of modesty to formal events and weddings. In recent years, I have become increasingly grieved by the immodest dresses of both brides and bridesmaids at the weddings that I officiate. I have observed a number of young ladies in our fellowship who have dressed modestly all their lives appearing on their wedding day in extremely provocative dresses, exposing more of themselves than on any other day of their lives.

I assume the best about what is going on in the hearts of these young women. I don’t think that they went to the wedding dress shop determined to be provocative. No doubt, they just wanted a dress that would be elegant on this day that they have dreamed of all their lives. When a bride and mother set out on their expedition to find a wedding dress, they are, quite naturally, thinking like… women! Unfortunately, there is no one in the shop who is thinking like a man! I’d like to make a radical proposal, girls. Why not take your father with you to the wedding boutique? If that thought is just too much for you (or your Dad!) at least consider taking the dress out on approval and allowing your dad to see it before you make your final purchase.

Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself when shopping for a wedding or bridesmaid’s dress:

Does this dress reflect the fact that a wedding ceremony is a holy service of worship and not a fashion show?

Can I picture myself standing in this dress, for an extended period of time, just a few feet from my pastor as he opens the Word of God and leads me in my solemn vows?

They also offered the principles C.J. provided for his own daughters, along with some very helpful suggestions:

Once again, we hope these specifics assist you in evaluating modest bridal and evening attire. However, please be on guard against the temptation to be self-righteous toward those who choose differently. If you think a bride is dressed immodestly, her wedding day is not the appropriate occasion to comment on her dress! Simply rejoice with her in the goodness of God displayed in her marriage.

And if you are preparing to get married, we hope these thoughts serve you in your effort to plan a ceremony that brings glory to God. May He give you much joy on that special day!

There is tremendous wisdom in these suggestions — and tremendous courage in even raising the issue.

OTHER BLOGS DEALING WITH THIS ISSUE:  Joshua Harris, Trying to be Mary in a Martha World, A Puritan’s Hope.