… for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Proverbs 31:21-22
When the word “modest” is spoken, many associate it with frumpy, dull and lifeless. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dress options for modesty are broader and more original than immodest or garish clothing offer. Immodest clothing displays our bodies for everyone to see. Opportunities to express who you are as a woman is better done through the guise of modesty. Modesty gives greater opportunity for creativity while allowing the added benefit of mystery. Believe and say what you like, but there is an attractiveness, even an allure to modesty that immodesty will never enjoy. Look back to one of our heroes, the Proverbs 31 woman. She made herself coverings and they were silk and purple. Covered, and beautiful.
In 2021, modesty is a controversial subject, even in the church. I want to discuss it because I feel it is an important topic. I support modesty; I do not support frumpiness. Dressing in a drab way is not a mark of spirituality. Dressing to an extreme, dull, tasteless, or outlandish is inappropriate. God created beauty and within His guidelines for modesty, we have great latitude. The New Testament makes it clear that we have much liberty. Wearing something immodest will not keep us out of Heaven. We are not saved by our level of modesty obviously.
I care about what people think about me. I claim to be a woman that loves Jesus. Even the lost world knows what a Christian should be like. Think about that. They may not always be right, but are not usually too far off. God has created us with innate sensibilities; we know what is right and what is wrong. Conditioning from popular media and well-known individuals does weaken sensibilities to right and wrong. Following trends is a sure way to broadcast a crowd mentality, void of originality.
Let us move right into modesty. God ordained that our bodies should covered and kept only for husbands. Ladies, we were His final creation and created in a most unique way. We are precious and treasured in His heart. We are to be cherished and protected.
Valuables are protected and often hidden. It is true; we are in the world, but not of it. I want to speak frankly here. Nudity and immorality are always associated with powers of darkness, the evil one, Satan. Evil acts are never associated with our Lord Jesus Christ, unless having to do with repentance (a changed heart and mind) and redemption. Simplicity found in Truth is profound.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:25. Undress with a husband is perfectly natural and right.
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Hebrews 13:4. God is not a prude, but offers us the most fulfilling relationship with the one we share everything.
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 1 Timothy 2:9 Modesty agrees with simplicity, avoiding overdoing of our “costumes or adornments.”
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5:28 Jesus warned men of this! Let us not, particularly as church women, have any part in provoking this behavior. Both sexes are to think of things that are lovely and pure. We should want to possess those characteristics, as well. That is how we want to be thought of; true?
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:20 I am not my own.
They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight. Proverbs 11:20. Froward is unyielding or unable to be governed. It is the “I want it my way” mentality. Abomination is extreme hatred or something that is detested, primarily by God. I can safely say that none of us wants God to look at us as an abomination. Yes. Proverbs is Old Testament, but God never changes, nor do most proverbs. Throughout generations, people have basic traits. Surely God is known by His traits. In Malachi 3:6, God’s stance on change is pronounced: I change not.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31. I ask myself, “Is God glorified in the choices I make?”
If you think you might struggle with immodest dressing, ask yourself four questions questions. I will answer each one too.
- What image do you want to project? Do you want others to think that you are hot, sexy or young? No. I want to look feminine, girlish and maybe fun. (Well; maybe young, but who am I kidding?)
- If you were talking about your faith to someone, would they have trouble reconciling your faith to your appearance? I think yes; not because of immodesty.
- Would you be embarrassed if you were ran into someone as you are dressed? No. There are times I would like to look nicer, but dressing simply, and neatly, I am never caught in that place between testimony and actuality.
- Why do you dress the way that you do? Dignity and grace are high on the list of attributes I admire; I endeavor to dress to reflect those traits.
A woman that is confident will keep some things private. Everything we have and are is not for everybody. Don’t we keep certain things just for ourselves or to share with someone very special? Most of us don’t share the entirety of our hearts freely. It is not because we have secrets or that we are hiding sin. Everything we have is simply not for everybody and protecting our own privacy is prudent, and pleasing to God. A fool utters all their mind; right? Privacy and discretion are good traits. Proverbs 29:11 and Proverbs 2:11.
The attention we get. Young ladies, let me speak with sincerity to you: A man that approaches you based on a revealing outfit is going to be hard to keep, if you want him at all. His appetite for revealing outfits will never be satisfied. In this area, the world is a smorgasbord. If you could keep a man like this, I do not think it would be long until you wish you had made better choices. I do not believe he would keep himself for you. The likely conclusion to this story is years of heartache for both of you. Seemingly mundane choices about wardrobe can affect your entire future, so begin choosing well now.
God’s plan for our lives is marvellous and mysterious. Do you believe that? Truly, I want a man whose eyes are fixed on God before they are on me. That man will care about modesty in your life and in his. Men are called to modesty too, but my heart is toward women on this topic.
“Be an original!” Although the world’s level of modesty is at unbelievable lows, we have options galore. Most of us are online. Do searches for modest clothing. If you are considering marriage, don’t miss searching modest wedding gowns. Think about why and what the bride represents. Modest swimwear. It is there and some choices are beautiful and elegant. Wouldn’t it be nice to be described as beautiful and elegant? And perhaps “brave;” it shows panache to develop your own style! I like that word – panache – it even sounds beautiful and elegant.
Being compared to a contemporary Hollywood celebrity would be an insult to me. Who is it that you admire? I am a 62-year-old woman and not always “on trend” nor do I aim for that. I do, however, know what looks nice and what is stylish/age-appropriate. When I think about dress, I want to be comfortable too. I do not want to feel self-conscious. I want to engage with what and who is going on around me. I want people to think I look like me, and not someone else.
None of us is perfect and we all have things to work on. I am not able to throw stones, nor would I. As a child of God I want to be better this year than I was last year, and I want and pray to be an example of a believer.
An interesting thing about the Bible and what society says about the Bible: In every society where the Bible was important, women’s freedom and position increased within communities and families. This is contrary to what the media tells us. The Bible elevates us in society. If you doubt it, look around to countries that don’t believe in our True and Faithful God. The Bible speaks of women being honoured. Instructing women (and men) to cover their bodies is not Biblical oppression. It is God telling us how to have a better life.
Ladies, we are not under the law or under any sort of oppression, but there are definite guidelines. I try to not live at the border of the law, hoping to cross the line every chance I can. Endeavouring to live on a higher plane, above what is “legal.” Now, that is freedom.
There is a phrase that passes through my mind almost every day and surely, each time I am making “should I or shouldn’t I” decisions. “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient.” (From 1 Corinthians 6:12 and also from 1 Corinthians 10:23) When choosing, I balance the law with expedience, allowing me to make better choices. “I can do this, but should I?”
God gave us the freedom to choose, but we do not have the same freedom to choose the consequences. This is why He lovingly guides us with His Spirit and by His Word. Every choice has a consequence.
A truly feminine woman is always modest. Modesty is a bridge to femininity and next week I will cross that bridge. See you there!
CRUMPETS: Elisabeth Elliot
YouTube has become politicised unfortunately, but I still find value there. Mother’s Day afternoon I watched a 2 part video by Elisabeth Elliot about having a peaceful home. (Part 1) And part 2 … The videos combine for about 2 hours, but well worth it if you find nuggets of help and encouragement for your home. I note that her voice is pleasant, calming and easy to listen to.
If you know me, then you know that I view the home as a haven or a refuge. Listening to her was calming and encouraging. She has several videos on YouTube that I think would be encouraging and instructional. About self-pity. Marriage. Serenity. A grandmother’s influence. Even one on True Womanliness. I plan to take an afternoon break with her periodically to see what she has to say on various topics.