A Look at Modesty

It's that time of year again. You know when temperatures rise and the amount of clothing lessens? In public, it's nearly impossible to avoid seeing. But sadly, many proclaiming the name christian will follow suit as well. Picture of their proms, beach trips, and just hanging out with friends whole dressed immodestly have begun to flood Facebook and Instagram. It just hurts my heart seeing these friends and brothers/sisters in Christ dressed so and then on top of that, posting it for the world to see!

What's the big deal with modesty anyways?

God expects modesty from his children. We must honor this command. These are a few other reasons that we would be modest.
  • Out of self-respect -- God made us and our bodies are his temple. (1 Cor 6:9) We are precious to God and we don't need to be immodest in order to fit in or show off. Doing so shows that we do not respect God's creation-ourselves.
  • Out of respect for our (future)husband -- God meant for your body to be seen by one person and one person only-your husband. Dressing immodestly doesn't keep this gift for your husband. You are showing off your body to the world. Respect your (future)husband enough to save this precious gift for him alone!
  • Out of respect for our Christian brother -- Wait a minute! Are you telling me that it is my fault if a man lusts after me? If it's because of the way you have dressed, then yes! I'm sure it's no surprise to you that men think differently from us, they are more visual thinkers. Your immodest dress may stir up feelings that he doesn't want to be having. Of course, this is something that he has to work on as well. He is responsible for guarding his heart. But as a sister in Christ, we must dress in a way that is not leading him into temptations, and help him not to stumble and fall in this area. 
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. (1 Cor 8:9-13)
Via The Time Warp Wife

How do I possess modesty?

Modesty, like all other aspects of our Christian lives, starts in the heart.  
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. (1 Peter 3:3-4)

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; ( 1 Tim 2:9)

If we don't have the right attitude, even if we are covered head to toe, we're still clothed in immodesty. We can't dress with the hopes of drawing attention to ourselves.  We must have a humble spirit. Modesty and humility go hand in hand. 

These verses are not saying that it's sinful for us to braid our hair or to wear jewelry. We can dress cute and wear things that make us feel good as long as we are not doing so in order to draw attention to ourselves. 

So what does modest dress look like?

This is a little more difficult to answer, as some have different convictions regarding modesty. But a good standard for us to start with is that of the old testament priests. (We are after all a "royal priesthood"-1 Peter 2:9) 

Exodus 28 tells us of the dress required of  Aaron and his sons. Basically, they were to be covered from their shoulders to their knees. This standard obviously rules out wearing short or low cut garments. But the tightness of clothing is an issue too. Leggings, tights, skinny jeans, and other tight things do little to cover our bodies. If anything, they emphasize them!  If you are in doubt as to whether something is modest ask your husband or dad. 

When should I be modest?

All the time!! If others will be seeing you, you need to be modestly clothed. Yes, this means even at the pool or beach. Just because a tankini and skirted bottom covers more than a tiny bikini doesn't make it modest! I don't understand why people would try to justify immodest dress in these places. God's commands are always in affect for us. We cannot pick and choose when to follow His commands.  

What does modesty look like to me?

As mentioned previously, the standards of dress found in Exodus 28 are a good place to start. Some may have through prayer and study developed further convictions regarding their dress. So here is what modesty looks like to me--

  • Cleavage--none shown. If someone can see down my shirt by either being taller and looking down or by my bending over then my top is too low cut. A shirt should be placed under it.
  • Sleeves/Straps--shoulders should be covered, no strapless/sleeveless tops. (This is a fairly new conviction of mine. This issue was placed on my heart a while back but I really didn't give it too much thought. But when I felt that issue tugging again, I decided to study and pray more about it.) In Exodus the priests wore a sleeveless garment and then had a robe to cover their shoulders. 
  • Midriff--cover it! Cropped tops are in style now but simply layering a t-shirt under one will make it modest(most likely). 
  • Tightness--no skin tight items. If an item of clothing makes it hard to move or is very clingy, it is too tight. 
  • Length--to the knees. This should be checked when sitting as well. Somethings like to ride up!
  • Bottoms--no pants, only skirts/dresses. I feel that the legs of pants draw a lot of attention to the bottom/crotch and attention doesn't need to be there. (I will probably do another post on this in the future.)
  • Swimsuits--meets all above requirements. I have a swim skirt that is long enough. I wear knee length bicycle shorts underneath because the skirt likes to ride up under water. I am currently on the search for a top. I will most likely get an athletic material shirt and layer a swim top under it. 
I hope you have found this encouraging! 

Thank you so much for stopping by! 
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Linked to: The Modest Mom, A Mama's Story, Joy Dare

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