Let's Talk About Modesty
“She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.” – Proverbs 31:25
Modesty isn’t about veiling your body from the world, rather it’s about revealing your dignity. As women of faith, modesty is such a beautiful choice to make, yet when it comes to talking about modesty, people don’t want to talk about it because it makes them feel uncomfortable. But maybe that’s an indication that the truth hurts.
At the end of the day, modesty is purely a reflection of one’s heart – it’s a reflection of who you are and what you represent. Modesty isn’t just about the clothes we wear but is about the motive behind why we wear them.
If I’m being honest: modesty is not an easy choice and it’s definitely something I’ve struggled with…
In a society that advocates “my body – my choice”, we believers know that this simply ain’t true. Our bodies are not our own and therefore, we are called to modesty and to glorify God with our bodies. As believers, we should be upheld to this standard, rather than blend in with the crowd.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honour God with your bodies.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Now I’m not saying you should cover up completely, but there is a line. I think sometimes we expose our bodies, but really and truly that doesn’t reveal much about ourselves deep down. It’s not the fact that we show too much, but the fact that we show far too little of ourselves.
It’s about what am I revealing about myself when I wear this outfit and am I glorifying God with my body or am I just glorifying my body?
“Then Saul outfitted David as a soldier in armour. He put his bronze helmet on his head and belted his sword on him over the armour. David tried to walk but he could hardly budge. David told Saul, “I can’t even move with all this stuff on me. I’m not used to this.” And he took it all off.” — 1 Samuel 17:38-39
The concept of modesty occurred to me when I read this passage, because like David, when we know who we are and we wear stuff that doesn’t fit us well or doesn’t suit us, we feel uncomfortable and we don’t walk right or talk right. Everything about us changes because what we wear is a reflection of who we represent.
If my identity lies in Christ, then I want to be a reflection of the daughter of the King. There are so many cute outfits that I could wear, but I know that if I were to wear them, I wouldn’t fully represent myself as an ambassador for Christ. When we walk in the Spirit, we can allow the Spirit to guide us to make the right modesty choices.
Since, we’re all different shapes and sizes, what might be modest for me might not be for someone else. If I was to wear a crop top, I would pair it with high waisted jeans or leggings to balance it out and that’s something I’m comfortable with wearing.
I’ve had to get rid of some of the clothes in my wardrobe that failed to make me look like a women of worth and dignity. For example: I’m no longer comfortable with wearing low-cut tops or really short shorts because I feel like these types of clothing aim to attract attention to certain aspects of my body, that I would rather veil.
In a world where the “perfect” body has big boobs, a big butt and a tiny waist, is skinny but curvy at the same time, toned but not too muscly – it seems like we’re held to such an unrealistic expectation of beauty. The enemy has fed us the lie that the more skin you show, the more attractive you become and so we body pose on social media and that’s how comparison becomes the thief of our joy.
It’s a vicious circle of constant comparison and false validation, which can either lead to the sin of pride or the feeling of insecurity and it all stems from immodesty.
What we don’t realise is, that other girl whose body we’re envying has insecurities too, but when we comment “body goals”, it gives that person affirmation that they are pretty enough. As a result, they post and reveal themselves more and more and it’s a cycle that keeps on repeating.
When we body pose on social media, we ultimately are seeking attention and that’s not why we should be posting. It’s a hard truth to face, but I was that girl and I had to delete my feed to reassess why I was posting those pictures in the first place. Are we representing Christ with our Instagram feeds or are we denying Him with our lifestyle?
What you post really is a reflection of your heart and what you desire. If you’re a girl who desires a godly man, then he’s going to be looking for a girl who’s confident enough that she doesn’t have to reveal her body to the world to confirm in herself that she’s pretty. A God-fearing man won’t be anywhere near your dms, if what you post is causing him to stumble.
Some girls complain they can’t find the right guy, but it all goes back to what we’re using as bait to get the guy. If you fish with your body, don’t be mad when you get body-snatchers. If you get a guy with your body, you’re likely to lose them with your body, because there is always a better body out there.
We know that boys are attracted to certain body parts, so why would we want to tempt them and cause them to stumble? I think it’s because we believe the lie that if you dress modestly, you’re somehow less attractive because you show less skin and therefore, attract less attention.
So, I put these to the test and asked some of my closest brothers in Christ to answer a few questions about modesty:
Do you notice when a girl is dressed modestly?
“Yes, because they don’t dress or post things on Instagram like other girls, so they do stand out in a way.”
“Yeah – it’s quite obvious and it kinda forces preconceptions about the person's morals.”
“Ummm to be honest, yes I kinda do notice when a girl dresses modestly.”
“It’s not a big thing but it does get noticed.”
Do you see a girl as less pretty/attractive if she dresses modestly?
“If we’re talking physical attraction maybe, but overall not really.”
“Personally, no I don’t because if they’re dressed modestly, it makes me think they have the same morals as me.”
“If someone dresses modestly, they are definitely not less attractive, but they’re not more attractive either, it just gives the opportunity for other things to cause attraction.”
“Not at all, sometimes even more attractive.”
All of my guy friends seemed to agree that modest girls do get noticed (for the right reasons) and that dressing modestly doesn’t at all make you less attractive. One of them made a good point, that it’s more about your motives and why you do what you do.
When we walk the path of modesty, we choose to glorify God, help out our sisters in Christ with their struggles with comparison and also help out our brothers in Christ by not causing them to lust.
I hope this gives you a bit of encouragement that you can be modest and still look cute. You don’t have to expose yourself to look good, instead clothe yourself with strength and dignity...