There has been a lot of discussion of late, about modesty and what that means. There have been online discussions by godly men recently, discerning what God’s Word says about modesty. Not just in women but men too, and you know what I noticed? I noticed that while these men never gave a standard of how long a skirt should be or how low neckline should come, women swarmed the posts to call foul. Calling foul that men could not possibly know anything about modesty, and how that would look in our culture. Men can know as much as women on the subject. As men and women both get our instruction and wisdom from God’s Word. God Word is not a book of suggestions. It is the unadulterated Truth that God has given to His people.
Because I kept seeing these threads on social media continue to grow with more and more women, insisting God’s Word is ambiguous about modesty. Saying things like “we can’t really know.” And “men are always lusting and trying to dress us in Burkas.” And “modesty is more an attitude”. And of course, the trusty stand by; “Modesty starts in the heart”.
I think I nervously laughed. I’ll admit it was either that or cry because these responses are getting to sound like the feminists in the world, with their “my body my choice” You know, they really don’t have any idea of what they are saying they have just heard it said so many times, it’s all they got. That is where the Christian modesty discussions always go. Down a rabbit trail. The kind that involves feelings and opinion. And those things are not in the least bit reliable in applying biblical wisdom on modesty.
Largly, nowhere will you hear or see the Scripture brought in, and on the rare occasions that you do, well “that was then, and this is now.” See how that goes? Espousing that culture dictates godly modesty. That Ladies, is secular humanism. Culture dictates nothing when it comes to a child of God.
It seems that young women in the Church today have decided that their feelings trump scripture. Because if “the heart is modest” then we don’t need to worry about what we wear. Hmmm…to be perfectly honest, if you don’t want to know what godly modesty is from scripture and are fine with your feelings and opinion, you choose to suppress the truth. You choose to be in sin. I will tell you that modesty is not this elusive abstract mystery that cannot be deciphered from Scripture. On the contrary. Modesty is laid out clearly in scripture.
We are told as Christians to “come out from their midst and be separate” we are to be a “peculiar people zealous for good works”. Now, to start with that gives us a stepping off place, right? So, to “come out from their midst” it means we are not to join with the wicked and the profane. Well, we know what that is, don’t we? Then we have “peculiar people zealous for good works”. So, Jesus would set apart and purify for Himself a people, which for His sake should devote itself to God, in contrast to the rest of humanity sunk in selfish sins. Selfish Sins.
Immodesty is a selfish sin… It is a sin, that says “I know better than God.” And that isn’t usually said in that way, but displayed in how we dress our bodies, choosing to ignore what God has already said.
Here we have a people that that are commanded to come out from the profane and wicked. So, if we are to come out and have no part of the wicked and profane, that would mean we don’t dress like the wicked or profane, either. No ambiguity there, right? Then when we move onto being a peculiar people zealous for good works,that as Christians, we are a special people, for God’s own possession. We see ourselves rightly as God’s people. That means that we represent, in every part of our lives, our God in this dark and dying world. If we dress like the world, how are we coming out of it? How are we being a “peculiar” people? How are we glorifying God in our clothing that looks just like the profane and wicked world God saved us out of?
We are only dealing with a very few verses, there are so many more that can be applied to how we dress our bodies. Dressing our bodies should represent the holiness of God. We are to be ashamed of showing that which we know to be immodest. We are not to be proud. Not proud and haughty, given to “flaunt our bodies for attention”
We will look at one more verse:
1 Timothy 2:8-10
“I desire…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.
Yes, modesty matters a great deal to the Christian woman desiring to live all of life holy, as our Father in Heaven is holy. God does not leave us in the dark on modesty. He is very clear. We are to be respectable in our clothing and wear what is proper for women who profess godliness. This is not a mystery.
I was one of the most immodest people in my fallen unredeemed state. But after my redemption and through the reading of God’s Word, my heart was convicted and shame fell on me. This shame was good, and for my good. I thank God for that. God saves us from our sin. We once were slaves to our sin, but we have a new master, and are now slaves to Christ. We cannot serve two masters; we will serve one and hate the other. Who do you love and worship in how you dress?
As I said previously, there are so many scriptures, commands to women on how not to act, dress and speak. God’s Word is sufficient for His people to conduct themselves in a manner that is glorifying to God and for our good.
If we struggle with our clothing being modest, we need to look at our motives. Why do we want to dress like the wicked and profane world? Why do we want the attention we know it draws? Are we not reading God’s Word? Do we desire to be godlier in our dress? These are important questions.
Christian women, where is our shame? Where is our zeal for good works? Our lives are not our own. Our lives are in service to our King.
Paul Washer on Modesty:
You say, “It’s legalism.” No it’s not. They’re commands in the Bible. It doesn’t say we’re all supposed to dress like a Puritan, but it does say we’re supposed to be decent and cause no offense or stumbling. “Well you can’t judge a book by its cover.” Yes you can! Jesus said you can; by their fruits you will know them.
“Modesty is rarely seen in this generation of Christians. Many who claim Christ are as uncovered, lewd, and brazen as the world.”
“This is going to make you mad, and I’m talking to boys and girls. Radical Christians are those who do not dress sensually in order to show off their bodies. If your clothing is a frame for your face, God is pleased with your clothing. If your clothing is a frame for your body, it’s sensual and God hates what you’re doing.”
Things to think about
- Do you dress in a way that honors our King?
- Do you dress like the wicked and profane world? (Who are they?) Those in the world that hate God with their mouths and lives.
- As Christian women we know what modesty is, God’s Word does not leave this a mystery.
- Do we desire that which is holy, or that which is profane?
- It really comes down to what we desire, and who we worship.