Modest is Hottest
When you hear the word modesty do you cringe? Do you think, “I know I wear revealing clothes but its not TOO revealing. It won’t hurt anyone.” or maybe you don’t really know what modesty is. Now, I want to be completely honest with you before you start to read: I have struggled with modesty and sometimes I still do. I am not trying to judge anyone or hurt anyone’s feelings. I want to help open your eyes to how important modesty is. Many women struggle with this topic, so let’s tackle it!
Modesty is a big issue in the non-Christian and, unfortunately, the Christian world today. Men are constantly bombarded with half dressed women walking down the street, in the media, at work, and even at church! How are men supposed to keep their minds pure when us women walk around flaunting all we got? Shouldn’t women (especially Christians) want to keep themselves covered to help protect the minds of our fellow brothers?
Modesty can be hard. Trust me, I know! About a year ago I started dressing less to impress but more to actually cover myself. Believe it or not, clothes were actually made to hide our bodies. I know… surprising right? My boyfriend was actually the one that brought it to my attention that I was not dressing modestly. Honestly, I was pretty upset at first. I was embarrassed and a little mad. I thought I was modest. I mean c’mon… I wore a pair of jeans and a tee shirt every day. But what I didn’t realize was that my jeans and shirts were way too tight. Before that day, I didn’t think twice about what I wore. I never thought that I may have been tempting the men around me to sin. Today, I am very happy that I changed my wardrobe and realized that I was not following Gods word.
Being Immodest Draws Attention to you, not to God
In 1 Timothy 2, it is explained rather clearly how Christian woman should dress and why. Paul wrote 1 Timothy to the Ephesian church because women were basically out of control. These women were taking on roles of men (a completely different topic) and dressing immodestly. They were purposely dressing to draw men away from God and from their wives! All that mattered to these attention seekers was pleasure. Keep in mind that women were not the only issue in the Ephesian church at this time, but we’re just going to focus on the them.
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
Paul makes it clear that women should wear “respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control.” We shouldn’t be dressing up to show off our bodies but to show off our God! What do you think would draw more attention to God? A low cut tee-shirt and skinny jeans or a sweatshirt and loose jeans? Maybe neither of those options would come out and say “Look! I love Jesus!” but when you are wearing immodest clothing, men are focused on your body not on your God.
You probably read the second part to this verse in a panic so let me clarify. When Paul writes, “not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire” he is not saying that you can’t braid your hair or wear nice clothes. He is saying that you should not braid your hair or wear costly attire to take attention away from God. There is a time and place to dress fancy, but if you are dressing up to impress and draw attention to yourself in the church, then there is an issue.
Picture this: you’re sitting in church, singing a worship song. Then walks in a group of 3 women. One is wearing a skin tight tee shirt and mini skirt, another is wearing a strapless, gold dress, and the last one is wearing a tube top and skinny jeans. Their hair is done up, their faces are painted in makeup, and they have diamonds the size of Jupiter on their fingers. They are wearing the most expensive and latest clothing. When they know that all eyes are on them, they walk to the front of the church and sit down. What are you focused on? Worshiping God or looking at the flashy women? I think you know the answer.
When a woman dresses for the worship service to attract attention to herself, she has violated the purpose of worship.
-1 Peter 3:3-4
God does not take the issue of modestly lightly. We, as godly women, should fear God. In the topic of modesty, this means we should be filled with shame when we tempt men to lust and sin. We should be so in love with God that we should be hurt when we cause someone to sin. God takes this issue very seriously. This is what He says should happen to someone who causes another person to sin.
“And whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drawn in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes.”
This is serious. God is saying that if we cause someone to sin, it would be better for us to be thrown into the sea with a huge rock tied around our neck. God hates sin! It hurts him to see his children sin. So we should not want to cause a man to lust by the way we dress. We want to help lead our brothers to Christ, not turn them away from Him.
One passage that shows the seriousness of immodesty is shown in Isaiah 3:16-26. Here, it is speaking about the women of Zion. These women were only focused on looking good. Nothing else mattered; not even God. In verse 16 says, “…the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks, glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet…” These women focused so much on attention that they wore chains on their ankles to make jingling noises so people would look at them. You may be thinking “wow…that’s pretty low.” But think about how you try to get attention. Instead of chains, women today wear bikinis, low cut tops and booty shorts. Are you wearing chains on your ankles?
The following verses describe what will happen to these women:
In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarves; the perfume boxes, and the amulets; the signet rings and nose rings; the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; the mirrors, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils. Instead of perfume there will be rottenness; instead of a belt, a rope; and instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty. Your men shall fall by the sword and your mighty men in battle. And her gates shall lament and mourn; empty she shall sit on the ground.
Having the latest fashions and looking hot should be the least of your problems. News flash: You don’t have to dress immodestly to get attention! It is more important to make God happy then to fit in. If new clothing and attention is all you care about, re-read Isaiah 18-26. God doesn’t mess around.
I want to say again that it is okay to want to look good if you are dressing modestly and for the right purposes. John MacArthur, in one of his books God’s High Calling for Women, says that when women get up and get dressed in the morning they should ask themselves “Why am I dressed the way I am? What is my goal? Am I trying to draw attention to God or to myself? Will what I’m wearing stand out, or will it be considered appropriate for the occasion?”
I hope and pray that you understand the seriousness of this problem. I hope instead of saying “I know I wear revealing clothes but its not TOO revealing. It won’t hurt anyone.” you are now saying “I know my clothes are too revealing and I am hurting God and fellow believers.” I encourage you to step up and change the way you dress.
If you have decided to jump on the modest train, Congratulations! I must warn you, it’s not easy. It will be upsetting to have to go through your closet and get rid of most of your wardrobe. It will be hard when you go shopping and try on 20 pairs of jeans and still can’t find a pair that is loose enough. Being modest will pay off. You will be helping your brothers in Christ stay pure and you will be making God happy. This is the greatest reward anyone can have.
The First Steps to Becoming Modest
- Go through your closet and throw away any piece of clothing that is low cut, too tight, or too short. If you have problems deciding what is immodest, ask a close, modest friend to help you out.
- Get an accountability partner that is a modest Christian and ask her to help you stay modest. If she sees you dressing immodestly and she confronts you, don’t be mad! She is there to help you.
- After tossing almost all your clothes (don’t cry), go out and buy a few new pieces of clothes. Make sure they are modest and bring your accountability partner!
- Stay in the Word. Read more about modesty in the Bible and pray about it. If you are struggling, ask God to help you!