There are signs upon the earth that God is warming it once more according to His promise of seedtime and harvest, cold and heat. Wild geese flying north and other warm weather birds are responding in like manner. Flowers are pushing the ground away from above them and making their beautiful appearance.
Trees are budding in prospect of another harvest. It is time to get seed into the ground if you want a harvest. These are some of the many purposes God has in returning warm weather to the earth, and the earth responds in such a marvelous way. No warm weather warnings are needed for nature. But when we look at the human race and their response to warm weather, we need to say, “Man, be careful, take warning.”
A definition of the word warning may be helpful in evaluating this subject. Warning means “to put on guard, take heed, warn of approaching danger of evil.” The warnings we want to consider relate to those things that may be harmful to us and may also tempt others to evil. Remember, all of God’s warnings are for our eternal welfare.
The Clothing Warning
“It is too warm to be fully clothed” is what some people say. So America is the scene of almost nude bodies in public life. The warm weather warning of the authorities of this country in the early twenties was that if women were seen in public without hosiery, they could be arrested. I do not recall seeing partly clothed people in public in my early boyhood days. Neither did we ever hear of someone smothering because of being fully clothed.
When Adam and Eve sinned, guilt and shame possessed them, and they realized they were unclothed. In God’s sight, it is shameful to expose the body in an immodest manner. Warm weather is not an exception. Adam and Eve’s attempt to cover their bodies with fig leaves even in that apparently warm climate did not satisfy God. He clothed them with animal skins. They might have said to God, “This is too extreme to go from no clothes to coats of skin in this warm climate. How can we bear it?” We read of no complaint, and God was satisfied. Adam and Eve were no longer ashamed of their unclothed condition.
Warm weather may tempt us to wear sleeves that are too short. Sleeves should cover the upper arm for brethren and sisters. Shirts that are not closed below the neck expose the body and do not express modesty.
The Water Warning
The water is warm, why not go swimming? But where? Shall we go to the beach? Before we would even think of going there, as children of God we should consider a few warnings. Would we want to be found among the scantily clothed crowd when the Lord returns? Should we bow to the world’s type of swimwear? Should the headship veiling be replaced with something else? These questions all have a negative answer. “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1Th 5:22).
We may ask, “Is the warm water God has provided therefore completely forbidden to enjoy?” It is the writer’s opinion that there could be a place for a limited amount of water activity, in a somewhat secluded place for women alone, and also the same for men. even in such an exclusive place, the world’s type of swimwear would not be sufficient. One concern still lays on my heart—should our sisters be engaged in an activity that would require the removal of the headship veiling (1Co 11:1-15)? There are some things we as strangers and pilgrims in this world will need to deny ourselves to remain faithful to God (Luke 9:23).
The Vacation Warning
It is so warm, we must escape it somewhere, someway. So we plan a trip to some mountain cabin. This is alright, but when do we go and when do we come home again? Plans should be made with home congregational activities in mind. Our goal should be to never miss our local services for this kind of interest unless there is a church of like faith in the area with which we could fellowship. “Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together…” (Heb 10:25). I know of families that plan around local church activities. They leave early Monday morning and return home for midweek services.
Popular churches sometimes have such poor attendance in the summer that they are tempted to close the doors because their people go on vacations, to seashores, to mountains, etc. May this never happen to us.
The Shopping Warning
The Scriptures declare that God’s people are in this world but not of this world. We cannot live in this area of the world and not see or come close to scantily dressed men and women. An immodestly dressed woman makes it harder for a man to maintain a pure mind and heart. The warning is to live with a pure heart and mind, and endeavor by God’s grace to do as 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
When we are shopping, we should pay attention to our shopping and try not to notice people unduly. I don’t mean to appear unsociable, but be careful about the second look. Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt because she took another look at Sodom, a type of the world. Take heed to warm weather warnings!
There are some things we as strangers and pilgrims will need to deny ourselves to remain faithful to God.
The foregoing dangers need to be overcome by Biblical and practical modesty as 1 Timothy 2:8-9 teaches. Modesty in dress helps to lessen physical and spiritual harm. God commands modesty in all areas of public life; His children love it, and most people will respect us for it. The demon possessed man that wore no clothes till Jesus cast the demon out was afterward clothed and in his right mind. We conclude that God’s children are in their right mind when they are fully and modestly clothed.
Galatians 6:14 should be the motto for our lives, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
Reprinted June 2014