Just for Ladies – by Camille Stahl

Today’s Passages –Acts 14 – 16; (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)

(Second Milers also read –Psalms 96 – 100; Proverbs 20)

Memory passage for the month of November – Psalm 95

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 18:3 & 46

The Study of Women in the Bible

Tamar – A Woman Who Knew How To Get What She Wanted

And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also. Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house. And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah’s wife died; and Judah was comforted, and went up unto his sheepshearers to Timnath, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep. And she put her widow’s garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife. When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face. And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me? And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock. And she said, Wilt thou give me a pledge, till thou send it? And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him. And she arose, and went away, and laid by her vail from her, and put on the garments of her widowhood. And Judah sent the kid by the hand of his friend the Adullamite, to receive his pledge from the woman’s hand: but he found her not. Then he asked the men of that place, saying, Where is the harlot, that was openly by the way side? And they said, There was no harlot in this place. And he returned to Judah, and said, I cannot find her; and also the men of the place said, that there was no harlot in this place. And Judah said, Let her take it to her, lest we be shamed: behold, I sent this kid, and thou hast not found her. And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. When she was brought forth, she sent to her father in law, saying, By the man, whose these are, am I with child: and she said, Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet, and bracelets, and staff. And Judah acknowledged them, and said, She hath been more righteous than I; because that I gave her not to Shelah my son. And he knew her again no more. (Genesis 38:6-26)

The laws of the tribe to which Tamar now belonged prohibited a childless woman from remaining a widow. Onan, Er’s brother, fulfilled his duty and married her, but in appearance only. He prevented his new wife’s pregnancy which resulted in his death by God for his sin. While waiting for the youngest son, Shelah, to grow up, Tamar went home to her parents. Years later Tamar’s circumstances did not change. She knew she was not going to be blessed with a marriage to Shelah. She decided to take matter into her own hands. She took off her mourning garments and put on the garments of a harlot. We know her clothing was convincing because Judah did not recognize her.

With the upbringing Tamar had, Judah would have never suspected her to be wearing the garments of a harlot. We are partly known by what we wear. What we are on the inside, shows on the outside.

Lets look at how our world went from dressing modestly to the nudity we see today.


1600 to 1900:

Women were content with the role God had given them. Keepers of the home, submitted to their husbands and had no desire to be unfeminine in any way.

Their outward appearance was with long hair, covered neck-lines, arms and legs.

This outward appearance was a reflection of their inner feeling of modesty, femininity and submission to God.

1900 to 1910:

Before the turn of the century, women generally made their own clothes.

Then the styles changed. 1907 the peek a boo shirt was introduced.

Eyelet embroidery on sleeves showed the flesh of the arms.

The length of the skirt got shorter.

Women were taking jobs and that demanded simpler clothing.

Women were now more concerned about their jobs then the home and family.

1910 to 1920:

Now women were enjoying their new roles in the work place. Birth control was the new best thing.

Smoking, drinking and short hair was the new fad for many women.

Until 1910, swimsuits of both men and women were very modest. It covered most of the arms and legs, and all of the shoulders. They were also non-clinging.

Then in Milwaukee women’s swimming team wore their revealingly swimsuits.

A cartoonist in the a newspaper depicted a woman of 1615 sitting in a chair reading her Bible and another in a suit from 1915 slouched in a chair smoking a cigarette reading a fashion magazine.

1920 to 1930:

More and more women were cutting their hair short.

The V-neck shirt and dresses above the knee were becoming popular.

Women were now in bars, smoking, drinking and dancing.

The younger generation were questioning the older.

There was a decline of the students in colleges. Going on dates, getting drunk and having sex.

Hollywood movies were copied by their exotic sex and revealing costumes. The actors became idols.

The motto was “ EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY”

1930 to 1940:

Brenda Frazier started the fad of penciled eyebrows, bright colored lipstick and strapless gowns.

Marlene Dietrich, her movies, made pant wearing popular. She also wore men’s trousers, shirts, ties and hats.

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. (Deuteronomy 22:5)

By the end of the 30’s, halter tops and shorts were the fashion which reflected the low moral standards.  Divorce and remarriage swept the country.


(1Timothy 2:9) In like manner also, that women (1.) adorn themselves in (2.) modest (3.) apparel, with (4.) shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; (1Ti 2:10) But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

1. kosmeō = kos-meh’-o – to put in proper order, that is, decorate (literally or figuratively); specifically to snuff (a wick): – adorn, garnish, trim.

2. kosmios = kos’-mee-os – (in its primary sense); orderly, that is, decorous: – of good behaviour, modest.

3.katastolē = kat-as-tol-ay’ – a long dress. Kata meaning down – a garment flowing down; and Stolea long garment, covering or wrapping.

4. aidōs = ahee-doce’ – (as a negative particle) and (through the idea of downcast eyes); bashfulness, that is, (towards men), modesty or (towards God) awe: – reverence, shamefacedness.

The definition of modesty involves both one’s manner of dress and inward qualities. Biblical modesty starts within a person, but is ultimately demonstrated by their outward appearance.

What you wear is between you and God, so I’ll just ask you one question. What would Jesus think if he looked into your clothes closet?

Thank You

1 John 5:13 – 14

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Lisa Love
Lisa Love
11 years ago

Mrs. Stahl, I really appreciate the info you gave us about dressing modestly. It was very interesting to learn of the different time frames that took place along with the attire. I must say, the study has heightend my awareness in a very positive way. Thank you so much.

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