Modesty is about more than mere covering up. A decision to be modest is a decision to live for God's glory.
There's no question about it. The decision to live your life for God's glory will require some tough choices. It will probably take more time to shop, and your clothing may actually cost a little more. You may not look as cool or “in” as your would like, and sometimes you just might have to stand out in a crowd as someone who is different. But remember, you are different. You have a different citizenship and you were bought with a costly price!
As you evaluate your wardrobe, you’ll need courage to ask specific, practical questions, like these:
• Is there writing (or picture) on my clothing that emphasizes private parts of my body?
• If someone were to look me, where would their eyes naturally go— to my face, eyes, hips, thighs, breasts, etc.?
• Where do I want men looking when I come into view?
• Is the fabric that I’m wearing too sheer?
• Could someone see through it to private parts of my body?
• Am I wearing tight, form-fitting clothes?
• Do my pants fit correctly?
• Are my pants too tight? Do they cling to the hips, thighs, etc.?
• Am I wearing anything provocative?
As you examine individual items in your wardrobe, stand in front of a mirror. Bend forward and ask yourself, “Can I see private parts that a man (other than my husband, if you’re married) shouldn’t see?” If the answer is “yes,” you are dressed immodestly.
Look from all angles—front, back, and sides—while walking, sitting, moving, stretching, and bending.
Remember, we often bend over to pick up packages or children, or to get into and out of a car. Ask yourself, “What will others notice and see? Where will others’ attention be drawn—towards breasts, hips, thighs, etc.? Why do I want to wear this outfit? Why do I like this style?”
Your heart attitude is key here. Ask the Lord to help you represent Him well. Ask for a teachable, open, obedient heart.
If you’re married, ask your husband to help you understand what your clothes and appearance communicate to men. Ask him if your clothing is modest. If you’re not married, ask your father or older woman these same questions.
Prayerfully consider, “Am I truly modest—according to God’s standard?” Then determine to be a woman after God’s own heart.
Do you desire for your appearance to reveal a modest, godly heart? If so, here are seven choices I’d like to challenge you to make:
“Your clothing should be tight enough to show that you’re a woman, but loose enough to show that you’re a lady!”
1. Resolve to live to please God and to bring Him glory.
2. Yield (dedicate) your body to God. Say, “Lord, this body belongs to You.”
3. Resolve to be modest because that’s what pleases God.
4. Resolve to be pure (inwardly and outwardly).
5. Resolve never to dress in a way that could tempt men to have lustful thoughts.
6. Be willing to stand against the culture, whenever the culture is contrary to the Word and ways of God.
7. Be humble and open to the input of others.
Remember that it’s possible to have a modest outward appearance while having the heart of a Pharisee (critical, self-righteous, and judgmental towards those who do not see things the way you do). Modesty doesn’t mean that you have the corner on truth.
Give God room and time to work in the lives of other people—don’t say, “Because I see it that way, that’s how it should be.” Remember, you’re not the Holy Spirit.
Ask God to help you communicate modesty to others in a winsome way. Speak truth with a tender heart,compassion, and love. Make the truth as attractive as possible.
The Blessings of Modesty
Modesty is something good, desirable, and precious. There are many blessings you can experience as a result of modesty. They include:
• Peace: You’ll know that you are obedient to God.
• Power: You’ll be free from enslavement to fashion, fads, and others’ opinions.
• Protection: You’ll be guarded from the wrong kind of attention from the wrong kind of men. (Dressing modestly doesn’t guarantee that “the wrong kind of men” will never give you unwanted attention, but it sure helps!)
• Purity: You’ll attract the right kind of attention from the right kind of guys.
• Privilege: You’ll experience greater freedom in marriage as your body is reserved only for your husband.
• Praise: You’ll be valued for spiritual and heart qualities more than physical characteristics.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)