Sisters in Christ, I ask you to consider my tagline about Modesty being a Revealer of the Heart.
Modesty is a topic that has come up many times throughout my own Christian walk. I can remember sitting in a church sanctuary one Sunday, and quickly, I covered my son’s eyes with my right hand as a teenage girl walked by with a lot of flesh showing, to which he replied, “I already saw her in Bible class.” Oh well, I tried to protect him in that instance, but I was too late. Yes, that was a funny introduction to what I want to talk about, but it is a true story, and in almost all cases, men will not have their mothers present to cover their eyes as women walk by with lots of flesh on display.
Lately, a dear brother in the Lord has been sharing with me his struggles with running into women who dress in very revealing clothing. As I listened to my brother lament to me about how difficult it is for him, as a man, to stay focused and not lust, my heart broke! I know my brother is not exaggerating, as I too have often come across many women who dress in a revealing manner, and I stare; in fact, it is hard to look away. Often, I wonder how men deal with seeing what I see (more-than-likely, not well). I have been in several Christian circles and have heard men speak on this subject, my brothers in the Lord, and I know that the way women dress affects the men around them.
Sisters, in this article, I would like for each of you to consider how the way we dress as women might reveal our hearts. Let us dive in!
Recently, while walking to the store in my neighborhood, I came across a young woman in her 20’s running in what seemed to be a bathing suit, and she had a waist jacket (an article of clothing that covers the top half of the body) on and her running shoes and a pair of ankle socks. I live in Chicago, so I have seen it all, but this was a first. As the young woman ran down the street, men seemed unable not to turn their heads and bodies around to stare at the young woman jogging by in what appeared to be a bathing suit covered by a waist jacket. She chose to appear in public with her bottom exposed, making it look like she had on a pair of women’s undergarments.
As I continued walking, I tried to unsee what I had seen and wondered if the young woman had given any regard to how others would perceive her or what her dress possibly states about her heart. Did she know that men’s tongues would be hanging out as she ran by and that the Adversary might perhaps use her as a stumbling block to men who endeavor to walk upright before God? What exactly was the young woman’s reason for showing so much flesh as she ran through the neighborhood.
I cannot confirm what the young woman was thinking as she got dressed that morning because I do not know her, nor do I know what is in her heart. All my thoughts of the young woman would merely be speculation – so, I will move on.
Sisters, I understand that we live in a world today where Feminism is flourishing, and women are demanding total equality across the board (as it relates to men and women). Suggesting that a woman dress anyway other than what she deems fit will not be popular nowadays. However, as godly women who love God and love His Word, the Feminist Agenda does not dictate how we should live – we have God’s Word! Does God’s Word even speak on the topic of how women should dress? It most certainly does. I submit to you, sisters, that a woman who has a heart that is bent on pleasing the Lord will clothe herself in Modesty, as not to lead her brothers into sin.
Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell (Matthew 5:27-29).
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this – not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way (Romans 14:13).
As Christian women committed to pursuing godliness, we must show commitment in our demeanor, dress, and righteous behavior.
Let us consider what God’s Word says in I Peter 3:3-4:
Your adornment must not be merely external – braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
Also, as women, we can teach our girls, nieces, and other young ladies growing up in our sphere of influence how to dress in a manner that shows their commitment to godliness (and we must be a good example ourselves). We have a front-row seat in the lives of young women around us, and we must share the topic of dressing modestly with them.
Truthfully, they will likely receive intense pushback from the Culture, and it may require that they stand alone in their commitment to Modesty among their peers. They may experience ridicule and mockery for not bending the knee to Cultural Norms, but it will teach them to stand for the things of God, despite the pushback they receive.
Now, having considered how a woman who has a heart bent towards God approaches dressing modestly in a culture where less is more, let us now soberly ponder how a woman who does not have a heart bent towards God shows how her personal appearance bends her heart.
What can we ascertain about a Christian woman who does not dress modestly? What might the clothing that she chooses to wear say about her heart? Well, sadly, we can probably gather that because she shows so much of her body and possibly causes her Christian brothers to stumble. It can be inferred that she is a poor witness to how God would have her to show up in the world as a woman of God and that she is unaware of the truth (shared in I Corinthians 6:19-20) that her body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who resides in her, and that she is not her own, but has been bought with a price, ad that she should glorify God in her body.
So, sisters, we have learned about two types of women in today’s blog:
-A woman who has a heart bent towards godliness, and she dresses modestly,
-A woman who does not have a heart bent toward godliness and shows up as a poor witness for Christ.
Remember, Modesty is not simply how one dresses but shows up in our disposition, our dress, and our righteous behavior.
I realize that there are all types of reasons why women dress in a manner where a lot of flesh is displayed, and I could not possibly have covered them all in this one blog. So, I chose to focus on women who have publicly committed themselves to live a godly life with fear and trembling.
In conclusion, again, I realize that we live in an age where Feminism has relentlessly pushed its message of total equality throughout all the land (more to come on Feminism in a later blog), but as women who love God and who are committed to Him, we must guard our hearts (as instructed in Proverbs 4:23 *see below), and not allow the world to guide us as we live our lives, but instead, we are to allow God’s Word to direct our path (as instructed in Proverbs 3:5-6 *see below).
Sisters, do you practice Modesty?
Do you care about your brother in Christ stumbling in his walk over how you dress, thereby possibly causing him to sin?
Let me know what you think? Looking forward to the discussion!
Your Sister in Christ,
Proverbs 4:23: Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.
Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
Editor's note: I highly recommend you take the time to listen to the Alisa Childers podcast concerning the subject of Modesty. I assure you that you will not be disappointed that you did.