The summer heat seems to bring a hot topic with it each year…modesty. With so many articles and resources about modesty available, I’ve contemplated why I should even bother writing this, but I feel like this topic is one I can’t ignore. Modesty is something that I have struggled with and have also seen lots of other Christian girls struggle with. We have heard so many different ideas on modesty that it’s difficult for us to find the standard that God has called us to and to have a strong biblical foundation and right motives behind why we dress modestly.
The Bible does not say “thou shalt not wear tank tops or bikinis and your shorts must have a five-inch inseam.” Sometimes I think it would make things easier if it did tell us exactly what to wear, but it doesn’t. So here we are, left in a gray area of controversy and debate.
First of all, I’m still learning and growing in my faith. As I grow in my faith, I am continuing to grow in Christ and He is continuing to reveal His will for me in every area of my life, including modesty. I may not dress to meet someone else’s modesty standards, or you may dress differently than me. Honestly, I don’t know all the answers, I don’t think there is a clear guide on how we should dress. When I wake up in the morning and get dressed, I genuinely try to dress in a way that reflects the way God sees me. I’m trying to honor God in every aspect of my life. I’m still learning and seeking God for wisdom.
We don’t dress modestly just so men won’t lust at us or because someone at church told us to. We dress modestly to honor God. God tells us to live in a way that will not cause another believer to stumble (Romans 14: 13) , He tells us to honor Him with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20), and He tells us that if we love Him then we should obey Him (John 14:15). Everything we do, including how we dress, is rooted in our love for God and our desire to obey and honor Him. We dress modestly because we love God.
If we focus on a list of rules of what we can and cannot wear, then we are completely missing the point. Modesty isn’t a list of rules, it’s a condition of our hearts. When we grow in our faith and focus on becoming the woman God has created us to be we begin to see ourselves the way God sees us. We begin to see ourselves as God’s masterpiece, as a vessel for His glory, as His temple, as redeemed, as a daughter of God, as holy. When we look into the mirror and we see that, we will naturally want to dress in a way that reflects that. If your motive behind wearing something is to impress someone, or to “prove yourself,” then you aren’t being modest. God has already accepted you and you are beautiful in His eyes, you have no one to impress and nothing to prove because God loves you.
Modesty isn’t easy. Modest isn’t “hottest.” You’re going to have to look a little harder for clothes that reflect your heart. You’re going to have to put back those shorts that are really cute, but that you know are too short. You’re going to have to stop justifying the clothes that you know you shouldn’t be wearing. I speak from experience in my own life, being modest is hard. But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable or to wear the clothes that are the easiest to find. He calls us to honor him in every area of our life. He calls us to total surrender to Him.
With summer quickly approaching, I encourage you to dress in a way that reflects God’s view of you. Every time you step into a dressing room while shopping or every time you stand in front of the mirror when getting dressed in the morning try to see yourself through God’s eyes. Look in the mirror and see forgiven, loved, holy, redeemed, a temple, God’s masterpiece, cherished, accepted, a child of God. If you see yourself in that light, you will be compelled by God’s love to reflect that through the clothes you wear.
So the bottom line is this, as you become the woman God has created you to be and learn to respect your identity in Christ, the way you dress will reflect that. I truly think that if we all saw ourselves through God’s grace filled, loving, and compassionate eyes, we would all dress in a way that glorifies Him.