There is such blessing in purity, and our clothes should reflect it. Matthew 5:8 says “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
The question of modesty reminds me of the title of a film series by Francis Schaeffer entitled - “How Should We Then Live?” the answer is very simple – biblically! I was raised wearing skirts and am thankful for that. However, I do know what it was like to always feel the odd one out. (Always in a modest skirt!) The problem was I obeyed the rules, but didn’t love my Lord and see what his Word had to say. Of course, when I earned my own money, then I had the right to wear what I wanted to, didn’t I? In my early 20’s, I saw a large group of young women who all wore skirts, were diligent in soul-winning and had lots of fun, and were very happy. That was a surprise, because I was under the impression that feminine modesty did not lead to happiness. The night I was saved, I knew that obedience required getting rid of some clothes. It was easy; because then I knew that I was not my own, but was bought with a price. (I Corinthians 7:23). Why is it so important to be modest?
1. It is a command with warning of God’s chastening. Mark 10:19 says “Thou knowest the commandments, do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, defraud not, honour thy father and mother.” 1Thessalonians 4:6 “That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.” Defraud means to cause to covet – Barnes notes, “It is a general command not to defraud in any way, or to take advantage of another. Another description of defraud, is to raise an expectation you have no intention of fulfilling.”
2. We want to please the Lord. He loves me and bore my sin on his own body on the tree, that I might have forgiveness from sin, and spend eternity with him in Glory. The Lord Jesus is God the Son and revealed himself in human form. If the Lord visited me here on earth, I try to imagine how he would look at me? – Would he not notice what I was wearing, because it was balanced and drew attention to a sweet countenance, or would I feel ashamed in his presence? Would he see a plunging neckline, fit too fine, backless, strapless, short hemline? Nakedness and shame go together in the Bible (i.e. exodus 32:25, rev 3:18; 16:15)
Well, where is the focus? Every year, the fashion dictates a different flesh focus. In the Beatles era, it was the mini skirt. Today the focus is another part of the body. Who is our counselor when we are buying our clothes? If it is the TV and movies, then we can’t help but be affected by the styles. If it is women in the workplace, we need to be careful. (The biblical qualifications for counselors is found in Titus 2:2,3.) If our work colleagues or the movies don’t have those qualifications, then they shouldn’t be followed. Our clothing should focus on our face. I mean we don’t want someone to look at us and say, “There goes a shoulder!” or “There goes a plunging neckline!” or “There goes a split skirt!” It is wonderful if someone can say of a young lady, that she is very beautiful and one is drawn to her face. When you look at her, you see the Lord. Job and his wife lost 10 children in one major storm. I could weep just thinking about the grief that must have been. God gave them 10 more children. Picture growing up in that home, knowing that you had 10 siblings you would never see till heaven. Job and his wife would tell the family about all their ways, and the time of great suffering, when mum felt like giving up altogether, but how God sustained them through the fiery trial, and blessed them very much again. The Bible says that the second family had 3 daughters “and in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job:” Job 42:15a. I am sure that is a description of their inner beauty. There are some young ladies I know and love, who are beautiful, because they reflect the lord. They seek to please him with their lives, not just what they wear. What they wear compliments their inner beauty.
What about trousers?
Matthew 19:4b says, “He which made them at the beginning made them male and female,” Satan’s lie is to cause society to blur the distinction between male and female. Its unisex advertising promotes the unisex look which promotes the role confusion. God’s model for man and woman leads to protection. Today it is the culture to wear trousers most of the time. Culture should never be elevated above the Bible. When should I be modest? There is protection in a life-style of modesty.
• At home
• At camp
• Doing sport. You can do a lot of things and still be modest.
• On your Wedding Day.
Christian weddings today are becoming the most immodest, sensual day of a woman’s life. It should be such a special day where God’s blessing and presence is the prevailing atmosphere. The physical beauty with modesty should show the wonder of God’s working in two people’s lives to unite them in the bonds of holy matrimony. The lord should have the pre-eminence especially on our Wedding day.
What about boyfriends & fiancés?
Do you want him to notice you, and be attracted to you, because you have the cutest figure? Does he want you to be well displayed to make him look good? It is a sad thing that too many marriages built on sensuality don’t last. Proverbs 31:10a “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” It is a wonderful thing if during the courtship, you lift each other.
A few tips
We don’t always get it right, even when our motives are pure. So go shopping with a friend who has the same desires as yourself, and ask her advice. Try movement to see if activity makes the outfit immodest. Chat with mum. If necessary, ask your dad or brother, if it’s ok. Help others be a blessing in being modest. When involved in sport, work out what is going to work for you so you can maintain your modesty testimony.
Years ago, a lady at church made a lot of lycra swimming dresses for the girls in the youth group. We had so much fun. Teach your own children modesty from babyhood. Don’t let it just happen and hope for the best when they turn a magical age sometime in the future.
My prayer for you is that the Lord would use you to reflect his life in you by your beauty coupled with modesty. May you be bold in being different, when it is needed. Modesty reflects purity, and remember “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”