Modesty, or actually the lack there of, has become a major cultural issue in our society. It’s hard to walk through any mall or grocery store without seeing someone”s booty hanging out of the backside of their jeans, or every inch of cleavage proudly on display for all to see. And what’s scary is that a lot of people who dress immodestly don’t have clue that their way of dressing is inappropriate. Kids aren’t being taught modesty from the home. They are taking their modest clues from T.V. and magazines. And God knows we don’t need thousands of Miley Cyrus’ running around!
Christians need to be the ones setting an example for modest dress. However, it’s very common on a Sunday morning or at our youth group to see just as much cleavage and legs as I do at the local mall. The only way we are going to break this cycle is by stepping up as a young adult generation and show that modest is hottest, and for all of us young parents or parents to be to make modesty an important issue in our homes.
First though, let’s begin with God’s word. Because it doesn’t matter what I think about modesty, or what the world says; ultimately it comes down to God’s truth which is found in the word.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16)
Jami Balmet, blogger on Young Wife’s Guide, points out that, “scripture does not go into every detail. It doesn’t talk about hemline lengths or how tight is too tight. But it does give general principles on how to live a Godly life. From there we must go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to convict our hearts and show us His way for modesty.”
“Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” (1 Tim. 2:9-10)
Jami also stated that, “while Paul does not speak to specific guidelines when it comes to dress, he does call women to be modest and to have self control. The New Testament church hearing this for the first time would not have been confused on what modest dress means. Many in the church that Paul wrote to were copying the fashion of the Roman ladies, which was provocative and extravagant. They dressed to seduce. In contrast, the woman of the church were expected to wear modest clothing that did not draw sexual attention to themselves.”
As Christians, we should not want to cause another brother to stumble. It’s hard enough for guys, and girls alike, to not visually lust after the opposite sex, so we don’t need to add to that temptation by dressing to appeal sexy.
C.J. Mahaney, author of God, My Heart, and Clothes, says that, “Modesty means propriety. It means avoiding clothes and adornment that are extravagant or sexually enticing. Modesty is humility expressed in dress. It’s a desire to serve others, particularly men, by not promoting or provoking sensuality.”
He also points out what immodesty looks like. “Immodesty, then, is much more than wearing a short skirt or low-cut top; it’s the act of drawing undue attention to yourself. It’s pride, on display by what you wear.”
I know how hard it is to fight the feeling that I need to look sexy all the time. It’s constantly put in our heads. But the truth is, the only person I should look sexy for is my husband. Single ladies, by dressing sexy in hopes of attracting a guy, you will more than likely attract the kind of guy you’re not going to want waiting for you at the end of the aisle on your wedding day. Dress modestly; allow the beauty of who you are and whose you are to be what attracts your future forever to you, because those are the things that last. External beauty fades.
If you’re not sure what in your wardrobe is considered modest or immodest, then do what I do whenever I buy something new: I do the bend check. Stand in front of a mirror and bend down. If my cleavage shows, the shirt is too low cut or too loose. If my backside shows, the pants are too low. For a skirt or dress, when I bend over it should still cover the back of my thighs and not ride up almost to the point of showing my booty. I try to wear dresses and skirts that come close to the knee. When dresses and skirts are higher than that it just causes guys to visually continue up your exposed thigh and think about what is at the end of that trail.
Yes, it’s not our job to keep another person holy, but it is our job to be humble, to have self-control, to dress modestly and to not cause our brother to stumble.
I encourage you today to not only dress modestly, but to influence those around you in the same manner.