What Modesty Means to Me - A Christian Perspective

What Modesty Means to Me - A Christian Perspective

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" 

I Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV

Did you know that studies show that when a man looks at an immodestly-dressed woman, his brain waves light up as if he was looking at a tool or an inanimate object at his disposal? And when he looks at a modestly-dressed woman, his brain actually recognizes her as an individual, and his brain reacts with her with kindness and respect rather than as an object for one's use? (Don't believe me? Watch this!)

I Corinthians 6:19-20 Image Modesty

There is scientific evidence that the way you dress has an affect on the opposite sex's brain, and the world has taken advantage of this natural tendency to evil. The feminist movement pushes less clothes and tells you that it makes you powerful. Books, movies, and social media tells you that you look sexy and that is the goal. But my experience and my Bible tells me that none of this will fill that gap in your heart that yearns for more. That is something that can only be filled with the outpouring of the Father's love that comes from pursuing Him with your whole heart.

That attention you are trying to gain is not going to make you feel seen like you want. That "trendy" outfit that reveals more than it should is not going to make you fit in with the right crowd. That revealing swimsuit is not going to get you the man of your dreams - or at least the man you want in the long run. It just won't because it isn't in alignment with the perfect plan - the one God has for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

"Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way."
Romans 14:13 KJV

Modesty is not about outward conformity to a legalistic rule, but rather about inward conformity to God's Word and a posture of the heart in response to a dedication to His Will.

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

I Corinthians 10:31 KJV

I recently saw some catechism set for young kids that went something like this...

Question 1: Who created you and all things? 

Answer: God did.

Question 2: Why did He create you and all things?

Answer: For His honor and glory.

If I am created for God's glory, then it goes without saying that my life should be showing Him glory, right? 

 If I am created for God's glory, then it goes without saying that my life should be showing Him glory, right?

My dad walked me through this brain exercise once, and it really applies here, so I'd like you to do it with me. The idea is to ask why at least 5 times to anything you want to do.

For example, you want to wear that bikini, right? Well, why? Your answer is probably, "Well I look good in it." Well, why do you want to look good in it? Your answer is probably something like, "I will get compliments on how good I look in it" or maybe "I will attract someone's attention." Well, why do you want compliments or why do you want that person's attention? If you are being honest, the answer is probably "I like the attention and take pride in how good I look" or "I get a good feeling when guys lust over me" or "I want someone to want me." Do you see how this will get to the root of the issue? Now it is not about wearing that piece of clothing, but rather the issue in your heart - it's a pride issue or a lust issue or any other form of sinful heart postures. God tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things and therefore, do not be surprised when you get to an ugly issue at the root of something you always thought had no malicious intent.

Been there. Done that. Lord had mercy.

What the Word Says...

Now let's look at the Word and what God says about modesty. Note that modesty is more than just what you wear but how you carry yourself, how you act, AND how you appear.

"Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised." 

Proverbs 31:30 KJV

"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;"

I Peter 3:3-4 KJV

"As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion."

 Proverbs 11:32 KJV

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"

 I Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV

"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;"

I Timothy 2:9 KJV

What Modesty Means to Me - A Change of Heart

My Change of Heart...

About a year ago, I would have argued that the outfits I was going out in were perfectly modest and okay. Today, I would squirm to walk out of the house in such revealing apparel. The Lord has been working on my heart and what I find acceptable and pleasing to Him. So what I am saying is that as you seek the Lord with your whole heart, you will find Him. Ask Him to reveal to you what His will and way is. But remember to get out of your own way. Remember to ask Him to change your heart posture, and lay down your biases and your disposition to be right. We are sheep that have gone astray, He says. We need His illuminating power, and we need to submit to His Spirit's working in our heart.

I truly find joy and happiness in dressing modestly today. The Lord has really been working on my heart in this matter, and every day I pray that He would renew me with a desire for righteousness as Jesus blessed in the Sermon on the Mount. I feel a sense of purpose and contentment as I step into the feminine role God created for women, and He fills me and sustains me. As I continue to dig deep into His Word and learn more every day, I know He is crafting me for His eternal kingdom.

Two reasons to strive for modesty...

If I had to sum up why Christian women should dress modestly (other than the explicit command in Scripture), it would be (1) to honor and glorify God in all I do and (2) to not be a stumblingblock unto a godly man.

Honoring God

The Word tells us that we are to do all for His honor and glory. But what does that look like practically? Well, that is to say that we strive to follow His commands that He laid out in His Word for living as a Biblical woman. According to His Words and not mine, a Biblical woman is modest, submissive, humble, meek, and loving. She is not the center of attention, nor a distraction to godly men. Her goal is not to be outwardly flashy but inwardly pure and holy as He is holy.

The question then becomes, "How can I best glorify God?" instead of "How much can I get away with before it becomes sinful?"

Not an Occasion for Anyone to Stumble

Recently, a friend on Instagram posted a question box on her story. She asked for opinions on women dressing modestly. One particular answer struck me. It was from a gentleman and he thanked women who dress modestly for dressing modestly.  He said that, as a man who struggles with lust, a woman who dresses modestly is such a relief because she does not make the battle with sin harder but instead encourages him with her godly example.

What will we have to say to the Lord when He calls us to account for EVERY DEED we did on earth? What would he say to your wardrobe and my wardrobe? Will he look at our hearts and tell us that they were never truly renewed and made holy? Are they still desperately wicked? Or are we doing our part to bring His kingdom in by being the light in the darkened world?

Learn More with These Resources...

A resource that I found oh so helpful in my devotions and working through this topic in my own life was a book called "Christian Modesty: the Public Undressing of America" by Jeff Pollard. I got it on Amazon and here is the link. It is a short read that is very helpful and well-written. If you have questions or interest in this topic, I would encourage you to read it! The author is much more eloquent of speech and clear in discussion than I am. I am sure you will be blessed by it. 

I also recommend listening to an episode on the Harvest Work podcast called "Modesty and the Hunger for Holiness." This episode really pushed me deeper into my conviction for modesty, and I love the view shown here. 

 

1 comment

This has been something that has been on my mind and heart for a while now. From long dresses and head coverings to shorts and bikinis, I could not decide where the sweet middle was where it became more about God and the inward posture. this has definitely helped so much, thankyou so much <3 Keep doing what you’re doing, I’m sure you will help so many more people :)

Violet

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.