What immediately pops up in your mind when you think of the word modesty? An outdated outfit and frumpy clothes? Or a sober heart, not too proud or overly excessive?
Do you think balance or restriction from being who you really are? Maybe some of us think, “That’s not for me. I’m just not there yet.” And that’s okay that we know how we feel and where we are…we are all entitled to start where we are judgment free!
GOD knows and He will take us in our current state, gradually adding His own convictions for each one of us.
God will take us in our current state, gradually adding His own convictions for each one of us.
For example, when I was in my early twenties my modesty journey began. I was so excited to follow the Lord in every area of my life, that when He began to convict me about certain pieces of clothing in my wardrobe, I said, “Lord, this is so hard, but okay.”
Clothes that were a bit too tight here or there began to escape my wardrobe.
Clothes that weren’t reflective of what I wanted to represent began to be filtered.
And then I came across a woman of God teaching on Deuteronomy 22:5. I read the Scripture. I studied it. I thought about it deeply. Today it’s fully how this one Scripture on, you guessed it, the clothes we wear has become one of the most controversial Scriptures for Christian women.
But I was convinced God was convicting me to wear only skirts. The key words here are, “Convicting me.” This was a personal conviction God gave to me.
And I saw the benefit of it in my life. I dressed up a lot more, explored more feminine options and no longer was attracting the type of attention I didn’t want from guys.
For a season, this was also very helpful for me to overcome superficiality, finding my beauty in my inward man, not the outward. But over time I felt the Lord begin to release me from that conviction.
What I did wrong was place too much of my zeal and excitement about this life change on others. It was important not to place my conviction on others or teach it as if it was a law of God. It was also important not to make this conviction a source of “holiness” or “arriving in God.”
What I did wrong was place too much of my zeal and excitement about this life change on others. It was important not to place my conviction on others or teach it as if it was a law of God.
But on the other hand, I know what it’s like to be persecuted for my personal convictions, even by those I never mentioned skirts to! Please don’t do this to your friends or loved ones. It has developed a great deal of compassion in my heart towards those who God leads to break cultural norms.
Placing our convictions on others is a danger many new believers experience as the excitement of hearing God’s voice can cause us to miscalculate the purpose of that experience–forcing it on our friends and family–not just in how we dress, but in what we watch, where we go, and what we eat. This creates a haughty attitude and a “better than thou” demeanor that repels others from us. Learn from my experience, this is not a healthy way to go and it stifles our relationships.
But on the flip side, if someone you know develops a new conviction, please do your best to respectfully support what God has told them to do–Remember, this is the same God that told Samson to wear his hair in locks and never cut his hair on a Nazarite vow. The vows people make with God should be respected and honored. For me, I see my period of wearing skirts as a personal vow between me and the Lord.
If someone you know develops a new conviction, please do your best to respectfully support what God has told them to do
An outward expression of obeying what He asked me to do. And I am grateful to say God led me through a 13 year season of embracing this conviction, whether others were pleased or not. I was content to please God.
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
At the end of those 13 years the Lord gave me a sense of peace about wearing pants again (which was not new to me, it’s the way I grew up for many years). It was the time and He confirmed why to me through various means.
I was reminded of Peter, who’s conviction as a Jew was to not eat meat. Then, after living out this lifelong conviction, God gave him a vision of eating “all” of His creation. Was Peter wrong to be on a mainly plant based diet before this “discovery”? No way! He was following God’s law.
But Peter was about to reach the Gentiles. And he was experiencing the freedom to obey God’s voice, which is what Christianity is all about!
So with all these thoughts on real life lessons about convictions, let’s talk about what modesty really is. First, it will help to understand that modesty is not our own idea. It comes from the Bible. And though it may look different for each lady, it is important for it to be a part of our lifestyle.
This word appears in 1 Timothy 2:9 and 1 Timothy 3:2. It’s the word kosmios meaning well arranged, seemly, modest.
I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes 1 Timothy 2:9
In the dictionary, it means
“placing a moderate estimate on one’s abilities or worth; neither bold nor self-assertive : tending toward diffidence” or “limited in size, amount, or scope a family of modest meansb : unpretentious a modest home”
So modesty is about being self controlled in our attitude, not putting on an act for someone else (pretentiousness) or going over the top with something. We can be modest in our thoughts, in our speech, in our actions, and in how we dress.
Modesty is about being self controlled in our attitude, not putting on an act for someone else or going over the top with something.
Modesty is not just about how we dress. It comes from the realization that we are where God chooses to reside and because of that we want to walk in the Spirit. We want to respect His presence. We want to be humble in all that we do. This comes from the heart.
1 Corinthians 6:19 says Our body is a temple of God. We want to represent Him well.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own 1 Corinthians 6:19
Let’s keep in mind that, as Christians, what is in the heart is what is most important, not the outward appearance. And we don’t win God’s approval by how we dress. We are justified by Jesus Christ alone!
1 Timothy 2:8-10 give us the principle behind an inward focus, not an outward one alone. If we begin to put how we look on the outside (whether modest or inmodest) before God who is in our temple, we’ll probably find ourselves in bondage.
Is what I’m wearing reflecting Godliness? Am I wearing this to attract the right attention or to get a lustful stare, the attention of some guy I don’t even know? Am I wearing this to help heal insecurities?
As we know our heart, we focus on ways we need healing we will realize why we do what what do. We will discover our motives. God can help us see this and this is the Holy Spirit’s role to personally convict us. If He convicts you it will lead to freedom, not a sense of negativity or bondage.
Another principle that I like to apply is knowing my “areas”:
Is my chest showing, cleavage becoming a distraction? This is not a hard and fast rule, but we want to keep our private parts discreet for our current or future hubby if possible. Pray about this and ask the Lord how He feels. He will show you where He wants you to draw the line.
Am I depending on the praise of people to give me identity? If I wear something cute, I get a bunch of compliments and I feel better. There’s nothing wrong with that but the core of who we are comes from who Jesus says we are in the Bible…fearfully and wonderfully made.
Many times we are told as women in the church that we have to dress more modest to protect our brothers and although this does have a role of putting our brother before ourselves, this can also be abused. Men also have to carry their own spiritual responsibility in how they keep their eyes, but are we at least concerned about helping a brother out from stumbling?
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10
By the way, even when we are modest it’s really important that beneath the surface we love ourselves, care for our bodies, try our best–this is not an excuse to go to the other extreme of not putting forth effort to look our best.
Well those are my words on modesty plus here’s a few fashion tips:
There’s a few ways you can “work your own look”:
- Know Your Body Type (Are you an apple, pear, hourglass or banana)?
- Know Your Style (Are you classic, trendy, bohemian, or dramatic?)
- Learn to Love Yourself! Who you are in essence rarely changes.
- Learn your Undertone (color) and Color Wheel, are you a winter, spring, summer or fall?
- Explore a Few Trends- Certain cuts, looks and even colors could be on trend from year to year. Don’t try to wear all of them lol figure out which ones look best on you Here’s a few for 2017:
I’m a classic but I do trends and chic looks as well. Classic tops, bottoms and earrings never go out of style! You can still have fun by mixing colors and trends.
And here’s a link to natural makeup options that don’t have any preservatives or chemicals that will seep into your pores.
Well, I hope this helped you understand a little bit more about modesty and I know you will be well on your way to hear from God for your own modesty journey. But let’s keep in mind that it’s what is in our hearts that matters most!