Monday, April 28, 2008


Every spring as the temperature rises and girls' clothes get skimpier and skimpier, my mind returns to the subject of modesty.

I don't have anything groundbreaking to say about it just yet. I'm still mulling it over in my mind. I will hopefully get my thoughts together for a post about it relatively soon. I mean, I know what MY convictions are, but WHY do I have those convictions? What is our motivation for modesty? What are our guidelines to help us determine what is modest and what is not?

Right now I'm meditating specifically on these two popular modesty verses:
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening. -1 Peter 3:1-6

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 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 2:8-10

... and I'm thinking about the correlation between what we wear and our hope being in God.

A quick Google search of "biblical modesty" turns up a whole gamut of different opinions, many making definitive statements that this or that apparel is immodest... but I think they are missing the point. There is a heart issue to modesty that goes deeper than just a list of what not to wear, and that is what I am digging for.

What are your thoughts/convictions on modesty?


  1. Hi. My opinion on modesty is based on this passage here:

    1 Corinthians 6
    12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 1

    3 Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

    14 And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

    15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!

    16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.”

    17 But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

    18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.

    19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

    20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

    This may not have been exactly what you were referring to, but if we are indeed to honor GOD with our body, then I take it that I am to also be mindful of how I clothe my body. If the body is indeed a temple then I should modestly adorn it. Nothing too revealing, nothing too tight -- and nothing "bummy" (if we dress up for a date or an interview or a party...why not dress nicely in general to honor GOD? After all, we are HIS people...).

    Once we accept GOD's gift of salvation, we become royalty, representatives of the King Christ Jesus. If we must be mindful of the words we use or how we behave, perhaps we should also be mindful of how we dress.

    But, as in all things, the Holy Spirit guides in this matter...if you seek His council.

    Good luck.


  2. Modesty is a funky thing. I think that some men could lust after a woman in a potato sack. I certainly don't want to be a source of immorality. But does that mean that I shouldn't wear make-up or do my hair? That might draw attention to myself from the opposite sex? What if my husband likes it? I definitely don't have the answers... But I do think that men and women should be held accountable for their own lusting tendencies.

  3. Hi Stacy Leigh!
    Modesty is something I work for all the time... with myself, with my girls and with my boys.
    When I go places, I try to look nice. I do my hair, I wear a little make-up, I usually wear a skirt or some capri's... I want to show femininity. I want to embrace the woman God has created me to be. My girls wear pants occasionally, they can wear shorts as long as they are not SHORT. ;)
    My boys are usually not too hard to be modest with their dress, which most of the time you never find boys shorts too short.
    I don't make my girls wear dresses all the time, although I do love little girls in dresses... so sweet and feminine. :)
    I want them to know that God made them beautiful, they are in pursuit of being Women of God and my boys Men of God, so that means they need to flee from temptations. And with teaching them that they need to know that short skirts, low cut tops and body hugging outfits are not what we are going to wear.
    I am trying to have my children also learn to avert their eyes when they come across one dressed not so modestly.
    So all in all... I do think there are some things NO woman needs to wear (unless she is alone with her husband! ;) )
    But I don't have a problem with a cute pair of shorts, pants or such... I am not a dresses only, but I do desire to be feminine in whatever my girls or I wear.
    I love that cartoon btw! :)
    Too cute!

  4. Those verses are a good way to start, but, like you said, it does come from the heart. It will start as something small, like, "I just can't wear anything sleeveless." And then you become sensitive to how much your undergarments might show or how tight your pants are. Then your knee caps are just too much to show in public...

    Also, modest does not equal frumpy or "prairie dresses", two terms I hear quite often from Christian women. They seem to want to be the same and still have their modest slice of cake. They want to be "cute". I'd encourage you to to keep out of that trap. If you keep chasing "cuteness", you may never end up modest and chaste.


  5. I have a 12 (going on 13) year old daughter, and I struggle with the relationship between modesty/peer pressure and what is available for her age group. So far, we are doing well, but I imagine that we have many struggles ahead of us yet.

    I have learnt that for me, modesty is about dressing well for my figure type, the life I lead and the people I meet. I do wear trousers, but my criteria is that they are flattering, not form fitting. Gave up wearing shorts years ago when I realised that my legs aren't flattered in them (too much cellulite & veins!), moved over to capri pants which are much nicer.

    One comment I make to my daugher when we are looking at older teenagers (on tv etc) and commenting on whether or not their attire is appropriate is "don't put it in the window if it isn't for sale" ...

    Enjoying reading your thoughts and will look forward to any pearls of wisdom that you may have.

    Smiles, Jen