For a while now, I’ve been wanting to write to the ladies about modesty. It’s kind of a big deal and a huge study once you try and get the information to talk about it, but I’m going to try to write on this topic in as little words as possible, but with several passages from the Bible.
First off, I’d like to say that although immodesty/modesty is obviously a physical issue, having to do with what you wear and how you wear it, it is not completely about that. Modesty is mainly an issue of attitude. The way you present yourself says a lot about who you are as a person. The way you present yourself physically says a lot about your character and outlook on life. It says a lot about your own self-esteem, but most importantly, is says a lot about your love for others, in particular your brothers in Christ.
When we dress immodestly, we are sending a message to fellow Christians and the world that we don’t really care what people think of us. We are saying it doesn’t matter that we might be distracting to someone or causing a man to stumble — we just selfishly dress in a way that pleases ourselves, and might say it’s not our fault, but theirs for lusting after us.
But this isn’t completely true. Sure, the men need to guard their eyes and hearts and not think bad things, but have you been to town lately, or turned on your TV, or looked at a catalog that came to your mailbox recently? Immodesty is everywhere!The guys have got it tough enough. I don’t think we girls who claim to be Christ followers need to be contributing in any way to that sort of thing. We need to make an effort (no matter how hard you may have to look for modest clothes), to be an encouragement and not a distraction to the men around us.
We need to realize that once we have put on Christ in baptism, that we are no longer our own, but God’s, by purchase. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Once we have put on Christ, we are His and in Him, and have no right to dress inappropriately to draw attention to ourselves. “And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:24-25) “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
We need to look out for the best for not only ourselves, but those around us. What we wear may make us feel good, but it’s not helping those around us to grow closer to the Lord and remain focused on Him. “Let no one seek his own, but each other’s well-being.” (1 Corinthians 10:24) “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interest of others. Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.“(Philippians 2:3-5) “Let all that you do be done with love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14)
“In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” (1 Timothy 2:9-10)
Again, modesty is not only physical. It’s an attitude, looking out for others in the way you behave and the way you present yourself. “Do not let your adornment be merely outward — arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel —rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4) This doesn’t mean we can’t dress up and look pretty; it just means that the outside is not what matters, but rather to be ladylike and pleasing to God.
No one said it’s going to be easy, but doing what is right will never go out of style. We need to lead by example, even if we’re one of the very few who are doing what’s right. “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12) “Be diligent to present yourself approved of God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
“And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.” (2 John 5-6)
Have a blessed day!