Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of their honor. -Noah Webster
Modesty is not a light issue. It was only today that even Christians care less. During the early 1900s, Preachers still debate over it and talk about it in their sermons. They wanted to stand on Biblical points, but when liberty became people’s favorite ticket to the world, many women grabbed that opportunity to express themselves externally.
But what does modesty really mean? Is it just about clothes?
Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. -1 Timothy 2:9-10
During their worship service, there were many women who joined church gatherings wearing costly garments and elaborated hairstyle. That has become a distraction to men and a source of envy and insecurity for other women who cannot afford it.
Some said that Apostle Paul intends it to be a rule only applied to worship service, but others said that since the church is the “pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3 15)”, the principles we are taught for ordering our lives in the worship of God should ultimately guide our daily living in the presence of God. I agree. That approach should not just be restricted during Sundays. It should become our lifestyle.
Whether we confess it or not, there’s really a diminishing love for modesty today. We try to blend in and drift away from the standards set by the Bible. We even label those who push this issue too much as ‘legalists’, but honestly if something is commanded in the Bible, it should not be labeled as legalism. It should be followed out of love.
I get it. We are under grace and not under the law, but does grace really allow us to live a sinful life – letting us wear clothes that degrade our value? No. The grace of God is in fact the source of our willingness to follow the commands of God’s Word. Those who do the will of God are the only ones who’ll be in His Kingdom (Matthew 7:21). And God didn’t want us to live a life that is half naked or in too much pride. We are called to deny ourselves and carry our cross daily (Matthew 16:24).
Denying ourselves is giving up our being self-centered, prideful and lustful. Lust is not just limited on sexual sins. It’s anything that allures the mind to do what is contrary to the standards set for Christians. Lust is following what you want but is against the work of the Holy Spirit.
Some women may say, “It’s my body and I can do whatever I want”. But what did the Scripture told us about our bodies?
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. -1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Christian Women, we are not our own. Our whole being, body and soul, is the purchased property of Jesus Christ. We must consider how we adorn His blood-bought property.
Modesty and Chastity
You cannot be called as modest if your thoughts and actions are impure. It should always start in your heart and mind. Because what you desire and think will absolutely reflect your actions and how you display yourself.
Modesty and Humility
You are not modest if you take pride on what you wear. Even if it really doesn’t show a part of you, but if it shouts how wealthy you are, that’s not modesty. As 1 Timothy 2:9 said, “with shamefacedness” it means there is a desire not to show off. It thinks more of respect to yourself but at the same time doesn’t take pride on what you have.
Modesty and Sobriety
You know your limits if you are truly modest. There is an inner control to fight against lust that is offered by expensive garments.
Vanity over self is also a sign of modesty being not visible in your life. There’s a need for us to abhor that kind of life that draws people to you rather that pointing them to God. Practice self-control even in what you show other people.
Instead of showing yourself to the public, show them who is Jesus Christ.
Christian women must self-consciously control their hearts and passions, instead of arraying themselves elaborately, expensively and sensuously. If they are modest, they will not draw attention to themselves in the wrong way. Their dress will not say ‘sex’ or ‘pride’ or ‘money’, but ‘PURITY’, ‘HUMILITY’, ‘MODERATION’. -Jeff Pollard
A FULLY SURRENDERED LIFE
We must live holy lives in accordance to our profession of godliness, dressing modestly and discreetly, and manifesting a proper relationship to men regarding their authority over us. Modesty is not just about dress. It also comprises our submission to the real leaders.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:24-25
Although we are not saved by good works, but we are called to do good works. Having a spiritually healthy lifestyle is not an option in becoming a Christian. It is a command for us to obey because if you really want to follow Christ, we will not desire any forms of praises that is centered to us. Our lives should always glorify our Holy God.
But how about jewelries and make-up? There’s nothing wrong with jewelries. Make-up is not bad, too. But always remember to use both moderately.
“Though it is true that one may dress modestly from a sinful and prideful motive, one cannot knowingly dress lavishly and sensually from a good one. Thus, the purity and humility of a regenerate heart internally must ultimately express itself by modest clothing externally.” -Jeff Pollard
OBEDIENCE OUT OF LOVE
Our main concern here is always the state of mind and the willingness of our hearts to surrender to what God wants us to do. It’s useless if you show the world how modest you are, but deep inside you envy every woman who is free to wear what you really wanted to wear.
There’s no such works in a Christian life that is forced. All are done out of love for the One we are worshiping.
There’s so much self-denial in this lowly walk that we are called to. Even how we display ourselves is a testimony to the lives around us. Let’s not think that those Biblical standards are killing us.
A true Christian Woman loves what God’s Word commands her to do.
“Yet we must always begin with the dispositions; for where debauchery reigns within, there will be no chastity; and where ambition reigns within, there will be no modesty in the outward dress. Undoubtedly the dress of a virtuous and godly woman must differ from that of a strumpet…if piety must be testified by works, this profession ought also to be visible in chaste and becoming dress.” –John Calvin
But it’s so hard for us, women, to do those things when the world expects us to join them, right? But we don’t need to blend in. Count you the cost of being Christ’s follower, it will cost you everything.
“How does a woman discern the sometimes fine line between proper dress and dressing to be the center of attention? The answer starts in the intent of the heart. A woman should examine her motives and goals for the way she dresses. Is her intent to show the grace and beauty of womanhood? Is it to show her love and devotion to her husband and his goodness to her? Is it to reveal a humble heart devoted to worshiping God? Or is it to call attention to herself, and flaunt her wealth and beauty? Or worse, to attempt to allure men sexually? A woman who focuses on worshiping God will consider carefully how she is dressed, because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance.” –John MacArthur
LET’S GO BACK
Let’s go back into the arms of modesty. Let’s live a life that says, ‘I no longer reign in this life. I’m living for Christ.’ Worship Him every second of your life, and that includes how you present yourself.
This is not about legalism. This is about our love and devotion to the One who died for us.
I encourage every woman of this generation to ask God to purify your heart and make you walk in the counsel of His will. We are not called to join the wolves. You can never find your worth there. If you really want to live your life loving God, hate the things that lead you to eternal destruction.
This modern world’s view of modesty is already diminishing, and we, Christian Women, are expected to revive it. Let’s all become the light to this error in our society.