My Modesty Maintenance Meditation

I began Bible College in the fall of 2001 and even though I had read the student handbook I was pretty green in Bible College modesty. I did get written up a few times and even stored my jeans up in a large plastic tub at the top of my closet hiding them above my rod of dresses and skirts.

God has since worked in my heart about Biblical modesty and I do wear skirts and dresses on a daily basis now. My reason for not going back to my pants may or may not be discussed in a future post…but not now, not today. I know this can be a hot topic and some people will bash and hate but in all honesty, this topic has weighed on my mind and I would like to disclose some of my meditations.

I am not condescending or condemning of people who wear pants, and do not wish for any comments or condemnation because of my choice to wear skirts and dresses. I have family and friends that wear pants and it does not bother me in the least, just like any other life decisions, that is between them and God and I love them so that is where it lies in my heart. I am however concerned when women, whether wearing pants, dresses, or skirts, are not aware of their modesty. Even more so I am concerned when women in the ministry do not maintain modesty, that is why I watch this very closely for myself.

God is still working on my heart about modesty, like He did many years ago. Although I still have a small frame I have changed since having 4 children and I have had to continually adjust my wardrobe to be appropriate. I have been pregnant and gained 50-80 pounds in pregnancies and I have nursed a baby and fallen to 98 pounds and had to stop nursing. These fluctuations have helped me learn how to adjust my modesty.

I have taken my concerns and made practical application for myself. Every type of woman has their own obstacles to maintain modesty, so my applications may not do you any good. I am not bull-nosing others into doing the same things I do, or expecting others to live up to my standard.

These are my modesty maintenance meditations…

  • Cover the cracks. I watch for cracks of cleavage, the crack of my backside, and the “crack” between my legs above my knees. These are areas I do not want to flash or show.
  • Longer skirts are sometimes best. When I walk from our van to the church building holding the baby and the hand of our 3-year-old, there is no extra hand to push my skirt down if the wind decides to blow it up. I may have to choose not to wear shorter skirts temporarily until the girls are older and I have both hands available for the skirt alert. Also, considering the times I need to work at the church climbing on ladders and bringing things down from our storage area or hanging things on walls, I like to wear longer skirts so that I do not embarrass any men that may help me.
  • Squatting at the knees instead of bending in half to pick things up off of the floor, tie my son’s shoe, or put a baby in a car seat. I use this technique so that my backside is not the main attraction when I bend over.
  • I’m taking notes. If my husband is continually frustrated about how other women at church dress immodestly, then I just dress the opposite! If he complains about not being able to speak to someone without feeling uncomfortable, then I purpose in my heart not to let another man feel uncomfortable around me by the way I dress. I create a safety zone to communicate with brothers and sisters in Christ by dressing appropriately at all times.
  • Not allowing myself to be a hypocrite. When I have the opportunity to speak to young ladies and women about modesty, I want them to be able to learn and then see it displayed. I never want a young lady to say, “she taught me to dress like this, but she dresses way different,” or think “the standard is ______, but the clothes she gave me were lower than the standard.” Sometimes when I give things away to other ladies, I need to clarify that some of the outfits need an under shirt underneath them or a slip because they are a little see through. This helps me be genuine about modesty.
  • Avoid lace and see-through clothing. What women wear on lingerie is usually for a reason… those attributes of every day clothing tend to attract eyes where they should not go, so I try to layer an extra slip or two under see-through skirts and dresses and steer away from some types of sheer tops and lace under shirts. What may not matter to some, may give someone else difficulty.
  • I do the “bend over” check. If I bend over while looking in the mirror and see my cracks then I make adjustments to my outfit. Safety pins can work wonders!
  • The attitude check. The right clothes are one thing but how I act is another. Acting sensual or bending over on purpose to encourage guys to look is also a matter of modesty that involves the heart. The words I say and the way I conduct myself can make even the most modest outfit immodest. I watch my words and my actions as well as my outfit. I always want to do my husband good, and not evil.

This is something that is continually being worked on in my life. As I receive new outfits then the adjustments have to be made all over again. It is never something we come to the place where we arrive… unless you’re wearing turtle necks and floor length dresses all the time. Yikes! I am not always perfect and sometimes me and my attire go ’round and ’round. But truly down in my heart  I hope to never be a stumbling block to those around me by my dress.

Modesty maintenance is always a must!

I have written 3 other articles on the topic of Biblical modesty. I invite you to read them and learn from Titus chapter 2 about the topic of modesty. In doing this study, it has helped me learn so much of why I want to maintain my modesty.

The Biblical Case for Modesty: Being Discreet and Chaste

The Biblical Case for Modesty: God’s True Purpose for Modesty

The Biblical Case for Modesty: It’s Appearance to All

I hope you have read this with an understanding heart of who I am, not forcing any type of standards on others. I believe that most women who have a heart for understanding modesty will understand my point of view and applications.

May we all dress to please the King and help others learn the Bible principles of modesty!

 

The Case for Biblical Modesty: Being Discreet & Chaste

The Case for Biblical Modesty - Discreet & ChasteThere is a Biblical case for modesty! Women either love this topic or they hate it…

When I talk about modesty most people will automatically understand, others will not. I simply mean, the covering of your body as not to distract. And when I talk about intentional modesty, it is something done with thoughtfulness and carefulness.

You can relate intentional modesty to that of a bride getting ready for her wedding. The dress is chosen and fitted, the details of the flowers, the shoes, and the perfect jewelry. The bride is intentional about her dress on one special day for one special man, for one special covenant, marriage. Our dress every other day should be similarly thought out and planned because intentional modesty can be just as beautiful as a wedding dress when a godly woman adorns herself to please the Lord.

The Biblical basis by which I am sharing this with you today is found in Titus 2:4 which explains that older women should teach younger women to be discreet and chaste.

“To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:4

Discreet in this text according to Strong’s Biblical Concordance means: of a sound mind, sane, in one’s senses; curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate

Chaste according to Strong’s means: properly, clean, (figuratively) innocent, modest, perfect: – chaste, clean, and pure. Purity from carnality and fault.

The order in this verse is right,  we have to be discreet first before we decide to be chaste. Notice discreet means: “of a sound mind” and “curbing one’s desires and impulses.” What we act out or do is a direct result of what we think about.

We have to get the issue of dress established in our minds and hearts before we will decide that we will dress to be chaste and modest.

Modesty in our clothing choices, is a decision to put out of our mind the thought of pleasing others with what we wear. Women seek to please others in many areas, whether it be pleasing men by wearing clothes that accentuate the body or pleasing their peers by trying to fit in to a certain clothing style that our friends or desired friends have. Modesty should have God in mind at all times.

Little girls that wear big fluffy dresses tend to twirl in them and watch as the skirt comes in close and wraps around their legs and as they turn the opposite way, it ruffles back out to wrap around them again. Our dress can determine our behavior. How we act in what we wear often gives away our heart’s intention of our clothing choices. Some people truly have not learned how to dress or act modestly… others choose to be immodest to attract unrighteous attention to their bodies to satisfy their own desires for acceptance or lust.

At the point of salvation, we become a new creation. Ephesians 4 speaks about putting off the former conversation (lifestyle) and putting on the new man who after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

If there is an old lifestyle in which we wore certain clothes and behaved a certain way wearing them and God tells us to put away those lifestyles, then naturally, we should put away these clothes.

If our clothing sparks a desire in us to be impulsive sinfully (the opposite of discreet) then we should recognize that red flag immediately and get rid of that clothing. We can immediately think of the type of clothing that we wear that makes us want to walk differently and act differently. Now think of the clothes that make you feel like a beautiful ambassador, as God’s child, the kind that make you proud to serve the Lord. These two types of clothes should be very different, like water and oil, they should not mix.

As a new creature our outward appearance should reflect something new, lovely, and righteous!

You may be thinking, “well, I already put away all of my old clothes that tempted me to have a lack of self-control and do things that were not godly, what now?” It would be easy to make a list of do’s and don’ts but it would just be easier for you to consult God each day about the clothes that you put on and allow the Holy Spirit to speak in your heart as you go through your day so that when you notice the private parts of your body being shown or accentuated or the spark of lust that makes you want a man to look at you in a sexual way, you will quickly be alert and repent. Then, if God tells you that you probably should put that shirt or other article of clothing in the trash can, you will do it gladly because you now have an understanding that modesty begins in the heart by obedience.

There are practical helps that I like to give to people to help them understand how to keep themselves covered and modest while doing real-life every day activities, but today I just want you to look into God’s Word out of this one simple verse and test your heart and your wardrobe yourself without any thoughts about my list or ideas and whether you think that type of clothing is right or not.

“To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:4

When you are in transition from your former lifestyle and your new one, God has a way of working on one article of clothing at a time, beautifying women that really want to please Him. He likes producing women to look godly in their modesty! He continues to speak to women as they grow in Him about their clothing, always helping women maintain discretion and chastity. Be willing to do whatever He asks you to do with your clothes. If God knows how to clothe the lily of the field, then He can clothe you modestly.

Matthew 6:28-30 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

A word of warning, when you buck the Holy Spirit when He speaks quietly in your heart, then your heart hardens toward God’s voice. If you harden your heart long enough, then you won’t even listen to what He has to say about anything in your life, least of all your clothes. Discretion and chastity go out the window like a piece of litter. The choice to reject God’s promptings by the Holy Spirit is to choose the way of impurity.

Impulsive and sinful decisions leave blotches of impurity on the heart and life of God’s child that sometimes even though they can be forgiven, are not easily wiped away or forgotten.

Be wise dear women, and listen to God’s biblical case for modesty by studying and learning His Word, and allow Him to make changes in your heart and wardrobe if He wants to.

We will learn more about the reason we should be modest in our biblical case for modesty in The Case for Biblical Modesty: God’s True Purpose. It’s amazing how God’s Word can teach us just what we need to be what He wants us to be. If this topic bothers you, then please pray and ask God “Is there something in my life that I need to change?” Then listen… you might be surprised at what He has to say!