The Matter of Modesty: Why it Matters

I’ve noticed that there has been a lot of talk floating around about modesty lately.  Maybe it’s because summer is here so it resurfaces again.  I got into a good conversation with a fellow Momma blogger on Instagram about it.  It’s something near and dear to my heart so I thought I would have a go at sharing my perspective.  It’s quite a hot topic and it stirs up a pretty big reaction in people. Why?

(I’m going to be addressing this topic talking to my fellow lady friends.  I mean yes, guys should be modest too but let’s be honest, other than wearing a speedo to the beach -please, please, no!-  guys attire is pretty well…modest.)

Why do our feathers get so ruffled when this topic comes up?  It is because it’s just another set of “rules” that you have to follow?  Is it because it’s not your fault if a man stumbles in his thinking while looking at you therefore you should be able to dress however you want?  Is it because “times have changed” so what modesty used to mean doesn’t apply to today?

I have to ask you, does the word of God change?  Does the meaning somehow lighten to allow things that creep into our ever relaxing mindsets?

Your answer dear friend, should be no!

You see, the devil is crafty.  He knows how to take something so wrong and make it seem so innocent.  It’s easy to think it’s ok when everyone else is dressing a certain way acting so nonchalantly about it!  Sadly, it seeps into the Christian community and that is what makes it so dangerous.  “If most Christians are doing it, then it has to be ok…. right?”

I think what people miss is that the matter of modesty is not just what you wear, but the reason behind why you would want to wear it.  It’s the attitude behind the matter.  This modesty talk isn’t going to be what you should and shouldn’t wear (although we can talk about that later ;)) but about the heart issue and what being modest is really about.  What and who are you portraying?

Like everything, we should look to what the Bible says.  What does God’s inspired word say about modesty?  I think we all recognize 1 Timothy 2:9-10;

likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

Everyone wants to go straight to the second half of verse 9.  “Does that really mean we can’t braid our hair or wear jewelry?”  What Paul is saying here is, don’t dress and act the same way the worldly people do.  Back then the rich women wore more elaborate styles and the prostitutes overly adorned themselves.  That kind of look is a “LOOK AT ME” thing.  Something to turn heads and distract.  The focus is on ME.  Isn’t that the opposite of what we are supposed to do as Christians?

Let’s look at verse 10;

10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

Do you profess godliness?  If you profess to be a Christian, then your answer should be yes.  Being modest is choosing not to put the focus and attention on ourselves but rather on our Lord!

Styles and fashion do change.  It is now very normal for women of all ages to braid their hair and wear jewelry, but just because the times and fashions change, doesn’t make it ok to adapt to whatever has changed.  God’s word, and what he wants of us, does not change.

How can we be effective Godly women if our outward appearance is distracting and portraying worldliness?

Let’s face it.  Clothes and jewelry are a look at me thing, at least they can be.  To an extent there is nothing wrong with that!  It feels good if someone compliments you on your cute earrings or your cool shirt but, that shouldn’t be your sole aim.

A modest woman uses self-control to dress in a way that does not bring attention to herself.  She instead adorns herself with the ways of the Lord so that through her, others see Christ.

So you see, the matter behind being modest isn’t just about what you should or shouldn’t wear.  When you choose what you are going to put on for the day, it’s about what people are going to notice more.  You, or the Lord through you?

Now hold up, don’t get me wrong here, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to look modern, cute, and beautiful!  I believe that it is very important to look feminine and to raise our daughters to take pride in the way they look and represent themselves!  The way a woman dresses says a lot about her!  It’s so important for us to be a good example for our daughters to the appropriate way we should clothe ourselves!

Women don’t really dress elaborately anymore.  Actually, it’s quite the opposite.  A lot dress minimally to show off their body to attract attention to certain areas of their physique.  Lots of others dress for comfort- that’s right I’m going there.  I’m sorry ladies but you know what I’m talking about.  The ever blessed yoga pants and leggings.   Let’s be honest now, they aren’t the most modest as they are very form fitting and leave nothing to the imagination.  I hope I didn’t lose you there!

 If you give me some more time I have a little bit more to share with you on the modesty topic but I will do so at another time.  Until then, when you go to get dressed, take into consideration what you are putting on and why.  What do you want people to notice about you?  Who do you represent?   Make sure first and foremost you are putting on and representing Christ!

Romans 13:14

14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh

2 Comments

  1. Yay!! I’m so glad you finally wrote this one!! I think part of the problem today is that we have stopped thinking about modesty at all when we get dressed in the morning. Its just become part of our daily routine and we forget to even take God into consideration when we choose what we are wearing for the day. We should be including him in every decision we make each day and getting dressed shouldn’t be any different.
    I also think in todays culture there is a lot of entitlement. Even if we didn’t think yoga pants were appropriate to wear outside of working out the first time someone says we shouldn’t it becomes an argument. We don’t like being told no or feeling like our free will or rights are being taken away. But just because you have the free will or the right to wear something doesn’t mean you should.

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