When I first started living for Christ, there were a WHOLE lotta changes. Layers upon layers of things being chipped away or repaired, spiritually, that no one could see. However, there were some visual signs of this new found renewal in my heart too, my wardrobe! It got a huge makeover, and slowly I began to understand why. Through studying the word more, I learned the fullness of the term, “modesty”–and truthfully, I’m still unraveling the concept everyday. But what I have learned, is that true confidence and a positive body image, as a woman, is not at the expense of modesty. If anything, upholding modesty may even be sexier.
Yes, keeping your clothes ON is sexier! I know, Who would have thought?!
Think about it, how much more rare, mysterious, and alluring is a woman that keeps her clothes on, yet still exudes confidence. She sounds pretty lit to me:-)
Besides being sexy, keeping it modesty is certainly pleasing to God above any other incentives to cover up. But you know what else I’ve learned? Modesty isn’t even about just what you wear. Yes, the plot indeed thickens. Okay, before it gets too random in here, and I lose you any further than I may already have, let me break down my study into some bite size chunks!
The Power Of A Woman
We are quite blessed that God pretty much left a ‘how to get to heaven manual’, free for all to grab hold of. Okay, it’s not exactly THAT easy, but reading and meditating on the Bible, teaches us how to live pleasing in the eyes of God (THEN we can pray, cry, and PLEAD He open up them gates, lol!).
Now, I’m not saying God doesn’t care about men, we know better, but what I am saying is, God has specific guidelines for women.
I strongly believe in the unspoken power of the being that is woman.
The strength of a woman can build things up, keep things functioning, and often times make things 10 times better! Yet it can also, tear things down with as much force as it built them. Everyone who is alive or has ever lived has a woman to thank. Any child who’s had their whole existence made more secure by hearing the soft voice of assurance and encouragement from a woman, knows this power. Generations of men who have felt the intensity of being loved in return by a woman, can attest to this power, as well. Let’s face it. Women are the b-o-m-b! But just as much as we know this, you can believe God knows this as well.
What Does God Say
God formed woman as the perfect compliment to man. As the irreplaceable piece of the puzzle that is family. He gave her beauty, wisdom, and an innate ability to nurture beyond comprehension. But how many of you know that with much power, comes even greater temptation to misuse it. It’s been so since the beginning of time. Listen, I’m not trying to witty or anything, it’s LITERALLY been so since the beginning of time: i.e: Eve and them, smh.
As His chosen highest beings of the earth, God has trusted us to be good stewards of so many things. Time, relationships, money, and resources, are just a few. However, as women, God trusts us to be good stewards of our bodies in addition to these things. God has given all women some degree of beauty, allure, uniqueness, and downright amazingness, as gifts to His sons, reflections of His goodness, and tools for our own individual ministries. But as the vessels entrusted with all of this, we must use wisdom to use these gifts as God intended. This is the part where modesty comes in.
Modesty in the Scripture
Throughout the Bible, there are numerous scriptures, telling us how to behave and live as women to appear modest before God and our peers. He also tells us WHY this demeanor is favorable and safe for us. First, let’ define modesty:
behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency
wait, let’s hit impropriety & indecency (by way of ‘decent’) while we’re at it:
The Lowly Jesus
No where in the Bible is Jesus praised for His good looks. How convicting is that fact alone, that the king of EVERYTHANGGG was described by Biblical scholars as, well, basic. Yes, there was nothing special about Jesus’ appearance, and He was God, in the form of flesh. God the Father could have made Jesus drop dead GORGEOUS. He REALLY could have. However, He made him modest, humble, and average looking.
Isaiah 53:2 describes Jesus:
“For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”
I’m quick to think that this was the most powerful example left to us, by God Almighty, that He cares far more about the beauty of our spirits than our bodies.
Beauty is a gift from God. Thus, I’m not implying we should down play our gifts, and not be confident and enjoy them. Or be what I like to call, “fake humble”, lol. But there’s something to said about having balance. About being thankful for your gift of beauty, yet knowing it doesn’t set you above anyone else in the eyes of God. I love how one of my favorite sites, desiringgod.org, relates us to Christ in terms of modesty:
“Modesty in essence, is to put on Christ”
Or in other words, Romans 13:14, :
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Don’t Get It Twisted: What Modesty Is Not
Modesty is not against fashion.
I don’t know about ya’ll, but just because I’m seeking modesty does not mean I’m gonna be seen with dresses to my ankles everyday! If I’m honest with you, those super religious women who adhere to this principle of dress (in MY experiences), have been some of the meanest little ladies I’ve ever met, lol! There is nothing wrong with wanting to express yourself through fashion, as long as you keep a sensitivity to looking respectable. Have fun with your clothing! No one is suggesting to dress old fashioned or boring, but as with all things, we must stay before the Lord in making sure we’re not being controlled by our flesh.
Modesty is not all about the skin.
If you think modesty is all about how much skin you’re showing, you’ve missed it. It’s not about monitoring how low your shirt is cut–it’s a matter of your heart. But keep in mind, THROUGH the Holy Spirit guiding you into biblical woman, you’ll have convictions naturally, and you won’t desire to go out in clothes that aren’t portraying you in your best light. Or HIS light, I should say 🙂
The mere desire to want to push the “am I still holy in this?” envelope is immodesty in and of itself! Because the desire is rooted in trying to serve self (pride), while still managing to “technically” serve God too. This is a lack of “decency” in the heart. If you need a checklist to make sure you can get away with wearing something, it should have these questions:
- What am I accomplishing wearing this?
- Am I aware of (if any) of the message this communicates to the world about me (regardless of it’s true or not!)
If there are no convictions in your Spirit, and you can wear it to lunch with Jesus, then rock it boo! lol 🙂
Modesty is not slavery.
Immodesty is actually slavery. Not being able to control yourself in any area, means you’re a slave to it. Letting how you dress define who you are and not being able to control wanting to appear sexy ALL the time–THESE things are slavery. But get this, the flip side of the coin houses women who are a slave to the concept of modesty, as well! They say things like, “modest is the hottest”, defining THEIR worth by how LONG their dresses are or how ‘holy’ their image appears. They don’t get it either. Even if we stop just shy of “too much makeup”, or to low cleavage, if our hearts aren’t centered on humility THROUGH modesty, we miss the mark.
See how easy it is to drift to either side of the spectrum if you’re not focused on the basics: pleasing God. That’s it. Being Spirit led in all we do, grants us freedom beyond measure.
Modesty is NOT just subject to women.
A slew of things can make a person immodest, or indecent/inappropriate. Clearly, this fact means, immodesty can apply to men too. Distasteful speech and behavior, immoral relationships, and hateful actions towards others are all not modest. These are things performed by women AND men!
Modesty is not a cure for lust.
Men are grown humans, they are responsible for keeping their heart in check and in tune with God’s standard of holiness. HOWEVER, this isn’t to say we should lose our convictions, wear what we want, and “if men lust after us, that’s THEIR problem, not mine!”. I’m not waving that flag either, lol. What I am saying is that everyday, we all have a CHOICE to lust or not. If we’re leaning on God to help us not give in to those temptations, we have to be faithful that He will. On the contrary, if a man has already decided he wants to give in to his lust, forget it. No skirt will ever be long enough, and no sweater can be baggy enough to prevent this!
What Does Society Say
The world around us encourages us to do and say whatever we feel. In fact, anytime someone has the slightest disagreement with the cultural norm, they’re accused to “shaming” or “bullying”. Worse, they’re made to feel guilty for having a different set of standards (which is bullying as well, go figure?! lol). I decided long ago, if I’m going to live for Christ, I had to abandon society’s right to influence any area of my life. One of my main reminders for living this way, is remembering 1 simple truth. This world is sssooo temporary. We will all run out of time one day, and sadly, it always comes sooner than anyone expected.
I realized that if I lived to please people in a realm that even I will one day have to leave, how ridiculous would I be to expect God to open up eternity with Him for me? Especially when He gave me a choice? How could I choose the world over Him publicly, then try to hop back into His word privately–it’s too late! This is why God demands we choose who we will serve while we’re still alive! Because once we take our last breath, it doesn’t matter how many people we satisfied by agreeing with what God said was wrong, nor how many followers we obtained. It’s just you, Jesus, and the realization that you let the influence of society determine where you’d spend eternity.
Why It Doesn’t Matter What They Say
Within the pages of the Bible, are the accounts of men and women who knew 1 thing to be true, and lived forsaking everything else. That God and what He instructs is sovereign and above everything and everyone. The brave early believers of the Bible, were ALWAYS the outsiders, often thought of as strange and rebellious. The kingdom of God operates under the law of holiness. The “world”, as we know it, operates under the law of self and flesh. These 2 things will always oppose each other, thereby, making Christians seem weird and ‘doing too much’!
The truth is, we’re been called to live differently. Jesus challenged us, with the example of sacrificing His own life, to love others more than ourselves. In this social media driven culture, this concept is unheard of. But that’s what we’re called to do as believers. To live ABOVE the standards of MEN, and act according to the word set by a perfect and loving God. We will never be able to please our peers AND God.
Therefore choose to live by this 1 truth: IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT THE WORLD THINKS! We live for an audience of 1; we live to store up riches in heaven; and we live with ETERNITY in mind, not just the day at hand.
Modesty is Fueled By Humility
Something the Lord showed about modesty, was so interesting, yet makes total sense. True modesty is a direct reflection of humility.
Humility helps us STAY in the freedom of Christ, and not be a slave to anything. Pride makes us slaves because it forces us to “put on” due to fear. Fear that we’re not good enough; fear that the world isn’t seeing our amazingness in this area. Making us forget that the most amazing thing we got going for us is the Spirit of Christ within us, everything else is just grace from a God who’s so good to give us EXTRA.
As a woman, who is considered to be moderately attractive (thanks guys, lol), I understand the struggle. We want to walk in that gift with the confidence only a woman can exude, but not let it overpower my desire to please God. Perfect example coming your way below!
The Lord used fitness to bring and KEEP me out of depression a few years ago. I had gained about 50 pounds from emotional eating, and I talked about that part of my life, HERE, if you want to read it. Anyway, I had never been a big girl, I was curvy, yet small most of my life So besides exercising being now instrumental for my mental health–it was beginning to be important for my physical well being too. I lost ALL the weight and got so toned and fell in love my body! I still do:-)
But that first exposure to what I COULD look like when I was in shape–mind, body, and soul, was exhilarating. And I had to fight the carnal urge to show the world what I was now working with! Kidding:-) Not really! lol.
But what happened was, God would convict me when I even attempted to wear something way too tight or way too revealing. He showed me that yes, my body is nice, but this pride. I was reminded that God has allowed me to rent this body out on this Earth, and in His graciousness, He just so happened to make it a nice one, lol. But that’s just the icing, its not the whole cake (no pun intended, lol!) The cake is the condition of my heart.
How to Stay Free
I truly hope this post has inspired all of you beautiful women out there to check your heart CONSTANTLY. Check it for pride disguised as confidence, “women empowerment”, or anything else if can be so easily confused with. I do the same. I promise you, it’s still a struggle for me, so I ain’t preaching girl, lol.
Listen, media and the culture isn’t going anywhere, it may even get worse. So we have to decide in advance that we’re not going to be out here looking like the world with our dress, with our speech, or anything else that can make us immodest before God.
Let’s take Instagram or Facebook for example. We log on, and see the loud chatter of people shouting their awesomeness over each other and letting it fill them up. Yes, compliments are great, there’s nothing wrong with accepting them:-) Or if you post your work, and people enjoy it–that’s great, keep working hard. But in terms of modesty, I notice sometimes for women, it’s easy to dress provocatively a liiiitttttle bit more each post. Because let’s face it, those are the accounts that get all the likes and followers.
But I encourage you to remember, that well will never fill you up. That ‘s why those accounts HAVE to post everyday. The high doesn’t last, and any junkie will admit they need more and more each time to stay high. ***Now we’re talking about drugs, don’t know how we got here, but let’s keep flowing, lol*** Don’t fall for the trap. The best thing I ever feasted on was the word of God, and it’s good EVERY SINGLE TIME!
Let God keep your heart geared towards him, through modesty in ALL areas of your life. He can do it, if you let Him 🙂
Questions I constantly ask myself are:
- In wearing or saying this, am I using this body or my words, to be manipulative or seductive?
- Do I understand the balance of feeling good about my body but not worshipping it?
And I say constantly asking myself, because in this walk you don’t get over things 1 time and it’s done forever. For the most part, lol, there are exceptions. But things concerning this flesh, we’ll battle repetitively, that’s why the word of God always tells us to take heart, because honestly—fighting gets tiring. How awesome is it that we don’t have to fight alone?!
So yes, I know you fine and stuff and want the world to know. But trust me, they already know! A diamond never has to tell people it’s a diamond, it just shines! So rest and stay encouraged if you’re privately battling with modesty. Ask the Lord to show you whatever needs to change, be it your dress, your speech, your interactions with others. Then trust that He’ll do it, and be obedient to whatever He leads you to do.
All my best, and until next time, bye loves 💋