Modesty in Speech

Greetings Sisters in Christ,

There is a subject that has weighed heavily on my heart lately and I would like to share this with you. I have been thinking about modesty in the context of how we speak. Modesty in general seems to be spoken of very little, when and if modesty is addressed it is usually in the context of dress, rarely do I hear about modest speech being discussed. Recently, a dear sister in Christ told me she was very shocked and deeply saddened by something she experienced. She had been in a Christian chat room and a young woman who professed Christ was speaking very provocatively. She spoke in a way that was quite contrary to her profession of faith in Christ. The worst part of this experience for this sister was the fact that the other Christians in this chat room were silent. With the exception of herself not one Christian confronted this woman’s speech and some encouraged this woman in her sin. I agree with the sister’s sadness over this issue, this is a cause for concern. Let’s look what Scripture says about a Christian’s speech.

“But fornication and all uncleanness or unbridled lust, let it not be even named among you, as it becomes saints; and filthiness and foolish talking, or jesting, which are not convenient; but rather thanksgiving. For this ye are [well] informed of, knowing that no fornicator, or unclean person, or person of unbridled lust, who is an idolater, has inheritance in the kingdom of the Christ and God.” (Ephesians 5:3-5)

We can see Scripture is clear on this matter; a Christian must not tell dirty jokes or laugh when others tell them. To speak unchastely is forbidden and the Christian should avoid any language that is questionable. To do otherwise is a sin, and this gives a very bad testimony. Also, we see the correct way for the Christian to speak, the verse above says for us to speak of our thankfulness. As Christians we have much to be thankful for! We can boast of our Lord and Savior and confess our thankfulness of our new birth.

We see the words of our Lord below explaining how sin originates in our hearts, then, from our mouths as spoken words. As Christian women, meaning those of us who have been regenerated (born again), we are given a new heart and a new mind. We are truly new creations, thus we are to war against sinful thoughts, words, and deeds.

“But the things which go forth out of the mouth come out of the heart, and those defile man. For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnessings, blasphemies.” (Matthew 15:18-19)

The Westminster Catechism explains below the seventh commandment:
Q. 70. Which is the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Q. 71. What is required in the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment requireth the preservation of our own and our neighbor’s chastity, in heart, speech, and behavior.

Q. 72. What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.

Please take note of both the positive application and the prohibition of the seventh commandment. The positive application speaks of us preserving BOTH our own and our neighbor’s chastity in speech. The prohibition we see that unchaste words are forbidden. I know that we are daily confronted with unchaste speech. It’s on the television, the radio and in most public places, this is not surprising, it is how the world speaks. But we, dear sisters are not of this world; we are set apart from the world. We belong to the Lord and we should conform to His image, in every way including our speech.

The Lord bless you,
HL4 Jesus

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