Nearly two years ago, I wrote an article about modesty and how not only is it physical, as in how we dress, but it is also a mindset we are to have– an attitude of love for our brothers so we choose to dress respectfully in order to help them maintain their purity and we, at the same time, preserve our dignity and still look beautiful, the way God intended.
Today I’m going to elaborate on a different aspect–sort of–on modesty. Yes, it is physical. Yes, it is an attitude, a reflection of the heart. And yes, it is what God desires of us all.
“Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4 NASB)
But it is also a choice. Once we realize it’s God’s way, we must decide whether or not His way is going to become our way. And once we make the decision to begin making His standards our own, we are going to have a lot to think about, guidelines to go by, and rules to follow.
“…[C]hoose for yourselves today whom you will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15 NASB)
It won’t be easy.
There will be days when you’ll think those girls at the mall look “sooo cute!!” and you’ll wonder why you can’t dress that way too, because “what’s the harm in it?” and you’ll need to pay close attention to the little voice in your head reminding you why you’re choosing godly standards for your outfits. There may even be some days you look at what the girls at church are wearing and you start thinking, They’re good girls; if they can wear a dress a little too short or a little too tight or a little too low, why can’t I? And that’s when you’ll desperately need to hear that small voice in the back of your mind telling you it’s not about looking cute, it’s not about getting looks from the guys or a compliment from someone, and it’s not even about following the standards and guidelines of other young ladies you may look up to (yes, maybe even at church). No, this is about honoring God.
“Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men, to be seen of them; else ye have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1 ASV)
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 ASV)
I was raised my whole life knowing I had to dress modestly, but that didn’t mean it was always easy. There were times when I was younger when my mom or dad would have to tell me I couldn’t wear or buy a certain outfit because it wasn’t appropriate. As I got older, I knew what my parents allowed me to wear and what they didn’t, and I began to also make my own rules and standards along with theirs.
I remember one pair of jeans in particular that I had when I was about seventeen. I had worn them two or three times before one day my dad saw me and asked if I really thought I should be wearing them. He was going to let me make the decision, but I knew that if he had felt the need to ask me what I thought about them, there must be something wrong. I did think about it, and he was right. The pants were very snug. So I changed and got rid of the tight jeans. A simple question from my dad put my focus back in the right place. I needed that reminder so I would set my priorities straight again.
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30 NASB)
Just this past Sunday I had to get rid of a dress my husband and I decided that although it may not have been considered immodest, it was almost too short and just the fact that we were having the discussion about whether or not I should wear it was good enough reason not to. I’m extremely thankful to my husband for helping me to dress modestly and for encouraging me when it gets me down some days.
Choosing modesty is an every day commitment, and from what I’ve noticed, it doesn’t really get any easier, but with the right attitude, you’ll know it’s worth the extra hassle on shopping trips and you can still look and feel beautiful without revealing your body. I’m 5’6″ and long-legged, so dress shopping can be quite discouraging sometimes, but thank goodness for maxis!
“Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.” (1 Timothy 2:9-10 NASB)
So, to the good girl out there who wears extra layers even in the Summer, looser pants even though they’re so hard to find, and covers up at the pool even though it’s “not cool,” way to go! You’re not alone, and it’s worth the extra time and hassle and care you take to get ready.
“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4:12 NASB)
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey the lusts thereof: neither present your members unto sin [as] instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves unto God, as alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.” (Romans 6:12-13 ASV)
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NASB)
Have a blessed day!
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)