Modesty, Shmodesty…What’s The Big Deal?

Spring is fast approaching. Warmer air, beautiful flowers, toe nail polish and…FLIP FLOPS!!!! Pardon my little outburst, the only thing I enjoy about the warmer air is wearing flip flops. I love my painted toes & flip flops. :)

With the warmer air comes the inevitable, shopping for summer clothes. Ah, the joys of spending endless hours looking for shirts, capris, jeans, shoes, and jewelry (read much sarcasm here). I love to go shopping, but I detest shopping for summer clothes. It is a source of much frustration and aggravation. All the colors are light and bright (which make me look like I’m on death’s door) and all the styles are extreme, a.k.a. low and short. Not helpful for a tall girl.

At this point you may be asking, “Why do you care? Why put so much effort into it? Why not just buy what’s cute? Who cares if it’s low and short?” Simply put, God does. Contrary to what most people seem to think, God does care about fashion…

…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, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 1 Timothy 2:9-10

What Paul ISN’T saying is to dress wear a bag and never wear make-up. Women were created to make things beautiful. We love beauty, we’re like our Creator. Paul is saying that we should be modest and have self-control. There’s a big difference. What is modesty?

Modesty is humility expressed in dress. It’s a desire to serve others, particularly men, by not promoting or provoking sensuality.

Self-control, is in a word, restraint. Restraint for the purpose of purity; restraint for the purpose of exalting God and not ourselves.

–C.J. Mahaney, Worldliness

Modesty doesn’t start at Old Navy, modestly starts in the heart. Why do you wear what you wear? Are you more concerned with how people view you and the attention you get? Does the fear of man rule as you browse through the racks of Areopostle? Do you desire to promote the gospel or yourself?

I have a concern. I have all too often walked into a church or Christian conference and seen far too much cleavage, tight attire, etc. It often leads me to wonder, “Where are that girls friends? Why hasn’t someone ever gently and graciously given her a hint?” Most times, I do not think Christian women dress provocatively on purpose. I’ve known VERY godly woman who needed some wardrobe advice. I think they simply do not know any better. It’s the culture. It’s the norm. No one has the guts to suggest that there should be another way. Yet, Paul clearly instructs us to be modest and have self-control. And that starts in the heart. Long before the trek to the mall has been made, modesty should rule supreme. There are two reasons for my concern…the Gospel and my Christian brothers.

Immodesty shows what’s truly in the heart. It is not radiating the glorious truths of the gospel. It’s not displaying Christ’s work in me. It shows a preoccupation with myself, not Jesus Christ. Immodesty also shows that I’m selfish. I care more about how I look, feel, and the attention I want; than how I am tempting my brother to stumble. Lust is a very real temptation for every man alive. Why do we as women make it worse? I think it’s because we’re selfish, we do what we want, and often times we’re not aware of just how much our dress can tempt.

Over the next week or so, I plan to go into this in more detail. There’s a lot more to modesty than I can cover in one post. But, please do not hear what I am not saying. Look beautiful! Wear nice clothes! Wear jewelry! But, before you go to Gap, examine your heart. Ask yourself the hard questions. Better yet, find a godly friend who you know to be modest. Ask them. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate your heart and show you areas where you heart needs adjustment? And ultimately depend on the Savior for grace to change. Ask Him for help, rely on Him for strength.

What do your clothes reveal about your heart?


2 thoughts on “Modesty, Shmodesty…What’s The Big Deal?

  1. Do you desire to promote the Gospel or yourself??? Great question to ask! Excellent topic Jessica. Where is the girls friend(s)? Another great question. What does immodesty reveal about what is going on in our heart? Yet another great question. Thanks for taking the time to serve us with great questions and reminders.

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