I remember hearing a really great series by Nancy Leigh DeMoss on the controversial topic of modesty. I thought this may be a good time of year to remind us women what modesty means and so I headed over to Revive Our Hearts to see if there was anything written regarding this subject.
I’ve always thought I hold a pretty high standard, but as I read this article, I was challenged to remove some items of clothing occupying space in my closet. I hope that you have a heart yielded to God and His will as you read this helpful article, just in time for our summer wardrobes–
There’s no question about it. The decision to live your life for God’s glory will require some tough choices. It will probably take more time to shop, and your clothing may actually cost a little more.
You may not look as cool or “in” as you would like, and sometimes you just might have to stand out in a crowd as someone who is different. But remember, you are different. You have a different citizenship, and you were bought with a costly price!
As you evaluate your wardrobe, you’ll need courage to ask specific, practical questions, like these:
- Is there writing (or pictures) on my clothing that emphasizes private parts of my body?
- If someone were to look at me, where would their eyes naturally go—to my face, eyes, hips, thighs, breasts, etc.? Where do I want men looking when I come into view?
- Is the fabric that I’m wearing too sheer? Could someone see through it to private parts of my body?
- Am I wearing tight, form-fitting clothes? (A well-known designer once said, “Your clothing should be tight enough to show that you’re a woman, but loose enough to show that you’re a lady!”)
- Do my pants fit correctly? Are they too tight? Do they cling to the hips, thighs, etc.?
- Am I wearing anything provocative? (Today, underwear has become outerwear—often designed to be provocative. To expose undergarments is to tease men.)
As you examine individual items in your wardrobe, stand in front of a mirror. Bend forward and ask yourself, “Can I see private parts that a man (other than your husband, if you’re married) shouldn’t see?” If the answer is “yes,” you are dressed immodestly.
Look from all angles— front, back, and sides—while walking, sitting, moving, stretching, and bending. Remember, we often bend over to pick up packages or children, or to get into and out of a car. Ask yourself, “What will others notice and see? Where will others’ attention be drawn—towards breasts, hips, thighs, etc.? Why do I want to wear this outfit? Why do I like this style?”
Your heart attitude is key here. Ask the Lord to help you represent Him well. Ask for a teachable, open, obedient heart. If you’re married, ask your husband to help you understand what your clothes and appearance communicate to men. Ask him if your clothing is modest. If you’re not married, ask your father or an older woman these same questions.
Prayerfully consider, “Am I truly modest—according to God’s standard?” Then determine to be a woman after God’s own heart. Do you desire for your appearance to reveal a modest, godly heart?
If so, here are seven choices I challenge you to make:
- Resolve to live to please God and to bring Him glory.
- Yield (dedicate) your body to God. Say, “Lord, this body belongs to You.”
- Resolve to be modest because that’s what pleases God.
- Resolve to be pure (inwardly and outwardly).
- Resolve never to dress in a way that could tempt men to have lustful thoughts.
- Be willing to stand against the culture, whenever the culture is contrary to the Word and ways of God.
- Be humble and open to the input of others.
Remember that it’s possible to have a modest outward appearance while having the heart of a Pharisee (critical, self-righteous, and judgmental towards those who do not see things the way you do). Modesty doesn’t mean that you have the corner on truth. Give God room and time to work in the lives of other people—don’t say, “Because I see it that way, that’s how it should be.” Remember, you’re not the Holy Spirit! Ask God to help you communicate modesty to others in a winsome way. Speak truth with a tender heart, compassion, and love.
Make the truth as attractive as possible.
-This article was written by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and can be found here, along with many other good articles.