Do Beauty Pageants, Cheerleading, Gymnastics, and certain Sporting Events reflect Godliness?
I know there will be some mommas (and maybe some daddies) who will literally hate me after this study article. I can only ask and pray that you read this and study it for yourself with an open mind, open heart, and open Bible.
Whatever you do, do NOT trust me on this. Search the scriptures, as I encourage everyone to do, then use what God says with some reasonable thinking to make your own conclusion. Hopefully, I can help you with the reasonable thinking part. Ultimately, what we think is irrelevant to a certain point; what saith the Lord is what matters. What we think is certainly dangerous if we are wrong and follow that wrong thinking. Yet, it will take some reasonable thinking to come to a valid conclusion on the subject.
We should ask ourselves if any of these activities include immodest apparel, and do we understand what immodest apparel is? You may want to check out Unclothing Modesty for a complete study on immodesty.
Most beauty pageants I’ve ever seen are all females revealing their flesh immodestly and provocatively, whether intentionally or not. Why do they wear swimsuits other than to show off their bodies? Why are all the girls typically small if the only thing that matters is character and personality? Most cheerleaders wear skimpy outfits, and their bodily movements are lascivious. Gymnastics generally have young women wearing skimpy outfits that draw attention to sexual aspects of the body, again... whether intentionally or not. Sporting events such as swimming, volleyball, and many others also require swimsuits or very little clothing. Granted, some pageants with very young girls may not require swimsuits, but immodest apparel is not only lack of dress, it is also overdressing to draw attention to oneself... as in "Look at me!" It is vanity! What does the Bible say about these things?
In his first letter to Timothy, the inspired Paul wrote the following.
"In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works" (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
Brother Harold Littrell translated the ESB (English Study Bible), which is considered an extremely literal translation of the New Testament, translated the passage as follows.
"Likewise, that the woman should dress becomingly, adorning themselves in a respectable and sound-minded manner; not with braids and gold or pearls or expensive clothes" (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
The KJV translates the passage as follows.
"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; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works" (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
The Greek word for "modesty" is "kosmio," and according to Thayer's Biblical Dictionary, it means "well arranged, seemly, modest." Strong's Biblical Dictionary defines it as "orderly, of good behavior, modest." Webster defines it as "behaving according to a standard of what is proper... especially not displaying one's body." Thorndike-Barnhart defines it as "decent or chaste; not calling attention to one's body."
Considering these definitions of "modest," modest apparel is clothing that will not draw attention to a person. Given these definitions and logical common sense, modest apparel should de-emphasize the sexual aspect of the body, which in turn will help prevent evil thoughts and desires (lust of the eyes). "Well, that's just silly!" some may say... but it's not silly according to God.
Immodest apparel is lascivious. Lascivious comes from the Greek word "aselgeia" and means "something that causes lust," "filthy words," "indecent bodily movements - as in dancing," "unchaste handling of males and females," "unbridled lust," and "shamelessness."
Consider apparel advertised as being sexually attractive, such as swimsuits, skimpy outfits, sport and exercise apparel... all intentionally designed to be lascivious. Lascivious apparel will excite lustful thoughts and desires.
"Shamefacedness" that is used in the KJV of 1 Timothy 2:9 is from the Greek word "aidōs," and according to Strong's Biblical Dictionary, it means (through the idea of downcast eyes); bashfulness, that is, (towards men), modesty or (towards God) awe: - reverence.
Thayer's Bible Dictionary defines it as a sense of shame or honor, bashfulness, reverence, regard for others, and respect.
Refer back to how Adam and Eve reacted when God called for them in the garden when all they were wearing were fig leaves. They were ashamed!
The word "sobriety" from this same verse means "soundness of mind, self-control."
God intends for a woman to dress in a bashful and sober manner. Where she happens to be matters not; she could be in the garden where Adam and Eve were, at work, at the beach, cheerleading, in a beauty contest, or participating in a sporting event. Regardless, she is to profess godliness in how she dresses. The fact that we may be in one place or another that accepts or requires immodest dress does not make it acceptable to God. It's worth repeating... the fact that we may be in one place or another that accepts or requires immodest dress does not make it acceptable to God.
A beauty pageant is the very definition of calling attention to oneself. It is the very definition of the wrong kind of pride (self-pride) and vanity. Events with swimsuits, or swimsuit-like apparel, and skimpy outfits show off the very definition of immodest dress... as do events that require overdressing to impress the crowd and judges.
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself (Philippians 2:3).
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised (Proverbs 31:30).
How can these young women profess godliness if they are wearing lascivious apparel and being lascivious with their bodies and dancing? How can these young women profess godliness, be shamefaced, with sobriety, and do good works while wearing a swimsuit or skimpy public outfits or when shaking their rear end on a football field or across a stage? How is dressing up so much that you wouldn't recognize a young girl from her everyday life reflecting dress in a bashful and sober manner with a quiet and gentle spirit? Common sense should answer these questions... it is absolutely beyond the realm of possibility, and if our common sense doesn't populate that answer, God's Word does.
Mature women and wives should be reminded that they are to encourage young women to be discreet and chaste (from Titus 3:2-5).
Peter wrote the following to women…
Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God (1 Peter 3:3,4).
Mothers and fathers… do you really want your little girl dressed up like a harlot, sexualized, and paraded around like eye candy in front of a crowd, and being attracted to pedophiles? What? You don't think they are watching? They look for this kind of thing to satisfy their fantasies of lust.
Yes… events that have young women dressed in swimsuits or clothing similar to swimsuits, gymnastic suits, and skimpy outfits are going to cause some men to lust, especially men who struggle with the lust of the eyes and lust of the flesh.
Young women who are of the age of accountability are responsible for causing others to sin. Parents are responsible for children not of the age of accountability when they allow their daughters to participate in events that cause others to sin.
Parents may say this is not their fault or their daughter's fault; how can they control what men think?
Consider what Jesus says.
"Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!" (Matthew 18:4-7)
Verse 7 in the ESV reads as follows.
"Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!" (Matthew 18:7)
This passage teaches us that causing someone else to sin is a sin in itself. It is very clear that if a woman causes a man to stumble, she has sinned herself. In this case, a young girl below the age of accountability is not held responsible, but if the parents allow it, how can this not fall into what Jesus is explaining in Matthew 18? If the daughter is over the age of accountability, she is held responsible if she causes the sin by how she dresses. Remember, reasonable thinking here.
Why are young women risking their souls… and why are parents allowing it? Please do not try to justify something that could cost you or any of your children their soul; it’s just not worth it. Let's keep our children and young women away from situations that can create immodesty and vanity... and from things that might exploit them. Let's teach them healthy and Godly things. There are plenty of sports and events that don't require the risks... and there is no good reason to want to be like the world. COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, SAYS THE LORD (from 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
God bless you!