Climbing the staircase to the church auditorium one Sunday morning, I met a girl sitting on the stairway. Not only was she obscuring traffic, she was wearing skirts way too short, revealing so much flesh. I was grieved, knowing how difficult it would be for young men and adults going up those stairs.
On another church picnic gathering, a young lady was greeting people excitedly. Every time she bent to shake hands, men had to avert their eyes because her low cut blouse revealed too much cleavage.
The church doesn’t have a ‘dress code’. It seems like many do not even care about being modest anymore. Definitely, we wouldn’t ask ourselves now ‘what would Jesus wear?’ our present culture doesn’t go about like the old Hebrews wearing robes clutched with sashes and sandals. I’m truly not looking for hard and fast rules nut I keep longing for and praying for healthy, biblical guidelines.
Modesty is a very controversial subject in Christian circles. It is one of the most abused words in christianese dialect, which is not meant to be. This article is meant for both male and female. The ultimate goal of this post is to discuss biblical principles and not to dictate what to or what not to wear (chuckles, I do not have that authority). If you want to proceed and read the rest of the article, you would have to keep your convictions private, I do not want to veer into personal convictions, rather I’d dish out the scripture.
How modest is modest? Dressing modest isn’t just for when you want to go to church, it is how one dresses everyday. The worldly women may have given us the impression that whenever we leave our houses, we should look like we are going for a fashion show to get attention from others. While there is nothing wrong with looking good and taking care of our looks (we don’t want to go out looking like beggars) we have to be wary of crossing the line and inviting lust from men instead.
NB: This article is for Christians, those who have surrendered their hearts, lives and will to Christ.
What exactly is modesty?
Modesty according to the Noah Webster 1828 dictionary defines modest as not being bold or forward; moderate, not excessive or extreme. Modesty is simply humility in display. It goes round every sphere of life, it is not just about what we put on. Modesty is all about exalting Christ and not ourselves. But the main anchor of this write-up is on dressing. It is about covering our bodies in a way that draws others to Christ and not to our bodies. It is all about being beautiful, radiating God’s glory in a spiritual way rather than a wordly way. Modesty is about looking feminine in ways that are wholesome and appropriate to Christ and the public, advertising my faith in Christ rather showing off my curves, skin or wealth, or even being the most beautiful or expensive girl dressed in the room.
What does the bible say about modesty?
• 1Tim 2:9 NLT “And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.”
• 1 Peter 3:2-5
• Duet22:5 “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”
• Proverbs 31:25 “she is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”
If a woman is clothed with strength and dignity, she will be confident enough to say that ‘I am God’s wonderful and beautiful creation!’ she wouldn’t need to dress in a sexy way just for a man to like her.
Why should we be modest?
• Because our bodies are not ours. 1cor 6:19-20
• Because there are woes attached to those who cause others to sin. Matt 18:7, Rom 14:13
Questions to ask yourself.
• Why am I putting on this dress?. ( Is it to look better than everyone else? Is it to attract the opposite sex? it doesn’t matter if the dress covers your entire body, if your motive for wearing the dress is wrong. Then its bad)
• Does my clothing illustrate my surrender to the Lord and my commitment to holiness? Rom 12:1, Titus 2: 11-12, 1 Tim 2:10.
• Am I making my clothing choices consistent with transformed thinking? Rom12:2
• Do I live with contentment regarding clothing purchases? Matt6:28-30
• Are my clothing choices bringing glory to God? 1cor6:19-20
• Will this clothing draw attention to myself or to Christ?
• Does this cloth cover all sensitive areas?
• Will I be comfortable if I want to bend over, lean down or reach up?
• Am I likely to have a wardrobe malfunction wearing this?
• Is it see through?
• Is the hemline too short?……..
It would be important to note
• Modesty is not just about what you wear. You could wear a thick sack from head to toe and still be immodest about your speech and behavior. Modesty begins as an attitude and involves all the decisions we make, how we carry ourselves and the impression we leave with others, our appearance, words and actions.
• Modesty doesn’t keep men from lusting. Those who wants to lust will still lust even after fully clothed females. Our part is not to don outfits that would tempt most red-blooded males even in our Christian circles. We cannot lust proof the world but we can do the right thing by honoring Christ and respecting others by not putting stumbling blocks before them.
• The main point is that we please the Lord all in all, not our selves or brothers and sisters in Christ. If we please Christ, we will not harm them.