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: It’s Appearance to All

THe Case for Biblical Modesty 3

This article is Part 3 in the series about Biblical Modesty. You are welcome to read the earlier posts. The Case for Biblical Modesty: Being Discreet and Chaste (Part 1)
and The Case for Biblical Modesty: God’s True Purpose (Part 2).

Titus 2, has been the basis for our entire series. Studying it has helped us see God’s emphasis on modesty in two simple words: discreet and chaste (2:5). Now we will learn more about the importance of modesty by looking further into Titus chapter 2.

This chapter instructs Titus to teach certain people (older men, aged women, young men, servants) “sound doctrine.” Doctrine is the teaching and instructions given in the Bible. The purpose for teaching these doctrines is found in Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”

Notice these words, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men…” How could it appear to all men?

Then the thought occurred to me, that our outward lifestyle is displayed for the world to see! Titus was encouraging people to live righteously so that the matters of the heart were an accurate reflection of what could be seen from the outside.

This verse means the grace of God that brings salvation has been shown to most people in this world by the outward righteous lifestyles of Christian people. There are still unreached people groups without a Christian influence in this world.

In looking up the definition of appeared in this verse it means, “visible, give light.” Maybe the popular children’s Sunday School song comes to your mind, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine…” That song speaks of the Biblical illustration of a candle in Matthew 5:15, as a picture of God’s light inside us that shines out into a dark world pointing the lost to Him.

Matthew 5:16 is a personal encouragement from Christ, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Our outward lifestyle and dress sends out a light that glorifies or defames the Word of God.

Modesty is one way that God’s grace appears to all men.

Let’s look at verse 12 again, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.

Modesty silently teaches unsaved people and newborn Christians to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and encourages them to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.

Ask yourself these questions and allow God to speak to your heart.

  • Are any of my clothes a hindrance to God’s purpose of drawing all men unto Himself?
  • Do I dress in a way that helps other people learn to live the Christian life and helps them live a more godly life?
  • Do I genuinely desire for unsaved people to see a difference in me?
  • Am I concerned about lost souls enough to change my clothing styles and wardrobe?
  • Am I committed to wearing modest clothing each day so I can be a consistent witness?
  • Does what I wear match what I say about being a Christian?
  • Do any of my clothes accentuate or reveal my body in a way that would cause my brothers in Christ to stumble?

Titus 2 goes on to explain in verses 13 and 14 more of God’s reasons for living godly and righteously, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Jesus is coming back and we should be looking for His appearing! He gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity (sin). He wants to change us into a “peculiar people.” God wants us to be special! Modest dress makes us special, not weird or out-dated.

In the area of intentional modesty we must always be monitoring and modifying our dress so that we stay righteous and pure. It helps enable us to be actively pursuing good works. This is the opposite purpose of immodest clothing, that may tempt us to actively pursue sinfulness.

God’s Intentions for Biblical Modesty are:

  1. That the word of God be not blasphemed. (Titus 2:5)
  2. That the grace of God that bringeth salvation appears to all men. (Titus 2:11)
  3. It helps deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. (Titus 2:12)
  4. It helps us and others live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. (Titus 2:12)
  5. To be a sign that we are ready and waiting for Christ’s second appearing. (Titus 2:13)
  6. To identify us as a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14)

Each and every one of these points gives us a clear reason why we should dress appropriately out in the world and in front of our brothers in Christ.

If you have clothes that bring a question mark in your mind, then ask God first what He thinks about it. Then, go down the list of God’s intentions of Biblical modesty ask yourself if your dress is fulfilling each Biblical intention.

Ask trusted modest women in your church to help you if you have questions. Most women would love to help you! We have such a great responsibility as women to help men deny ungodliness and worldly lusts.

Now that we have learned these things from the Bible about modesty we have an accountability to God for how we dress. We also have a duty to teach the younger women how to be discreet and modest, and an obligation to point lost souls to Christ by our clothing styles.

“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.” (Part 1)

Heaven will reveal the effects of our modesty, or the lack thereof.

If someone came to Christ because your clothing matched your beliefs in God and His Word, it would be worth every effort to dress modestly. If our dress also encouraged other believers to be zealous of good works then it would also be worth every effort!

God has no greater desire than for us to be consistent Christians, full of faith, and zealous of His good works. Now let us do it in all that we wear!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Case for Biblical Modesty: God’s True Purpose

The Case for Biblical Modesty - God's True Purpose

Have you ever considered God’s true purpose for Biblical modesty? Let’s take another look at The Case for Biblical Modesty. This is Part 2 in a series, the earlier topic covered the importance of being discreet and chaste in our clothing styles, you can learn more about the heart of the matter, The Case for Biblical Modesty: Being Discreet and Chaste.

An Overview and Review of Titus 2

Titus chapter 2 begins explaining to different groups of people (men, women, & servants) how they ought to act and behave as Christians. In verse 3 it begins explaining to older women that they should be “teachers of good things.” In verse 4, we learn what good things the older women are supposed to teach younger women. “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.” The next verse continues explaining more subjects of their teaching. “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
The two words that describe modesty in this verse are discreet and chaste.

Modesty by my definition is: the covering of your body as not to distract from Christ by being discreet and chaste. And when I talk about intentional modesty, it is something done with thoughtfulness and carefulness.  Our clothing is an outward reflection of the clean heart that Christ made when He forgave our sins.

The Importance of Modesty Explained

The first step is understanding what modesty is. The second step is understanding why God emphasizes it’s importance.

Let’s look at the end of Titus 2:5, it says, “that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

The word blaspheme has been defined as:

  • to speak injurously toward another’s good name
  • defame
  • revile
  • to be evil spoken of
  • impious (lacking in reverence or respect) against God

Jesus was accused of blasphemy by his enemies, this was one of the accusations against Him when they wanted to stone Him. The biggest problem the Pharisees had with Christ was His claiming to be God. They believed that He was showing a lack of reverence to the God of the law. The only problem was, Christ being God Himself, could never be irreverent and the miracles and preaching He gave never once contradicted the law. Their accusations were false and they simply became the excuse to crucify Him.

Did you know taking the Lord’s name in vain is also considered blasphemy? According to Titus 2, when women are not discreet and chaste it is equal to committing the 3rd commandment. (Exodus 20:7) Many of us would never take God’s name in vain, but if at any time we dress immodestly it is just the same.

Modesty’s purpose is that “the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Intentional modesty  identifies you with the word of God. It displays an identity of belonging to Christ, like a logo identifies a brand. Immodesty on a Christian cheapens the “brand” of the name of Christ as well as the word of God.

The importance of the word of God is that it is a revelation of God Himself, proven in John chapter 1. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” To blaspheme God’s word is to blaspheme God. It is very serious to take the entire context of Titus 2 seriously, but most specifically to this article, our modesty seriously.

Matthew Henry said, “Every godly man’s endeavor must be to stop the mouths of adversaries.”

To stop the mouths of adversaries, we must be consistent in our life and consistent in our modest dress. Unsaved people are watching Christians, choosing by what they know about the Bible and what they know about people who say they believe the Bible (God’s Word) and making decisions every day. They decide whether Christianity and God are something worth believing in.  Immodesty becomes a distraction or stumbling block for unbelievers.

What does wearing immodest clothing do for the Christian?

  1. It causes others to put a question mark in their mind of whether a person is genuinely associated with Christ.
  2. It causes both saved and unsaved people to speak evil of you because your clothing does not match the profession of Christ that comes out of your mouth.
  3. It shows a lack of reverence or respect toward God in your heart and attitude.
  4. It casts doubt and defames God’s good name because dressing and acting immodestly tempts you to act impulsive and to commit sin. Many sins of comparing, pride, sexual temptations, etc. are associated with immodesty. The majority of Satan’s work is to defame the good name of God.

It has been said that we are the only Bible that some people will ever read. Our clothing tells the meaning of our Bible to us and shows the sincerity of our beliefs.

Choosing to be modest does the following:

  1. It protects God’s word, therefore protecting God and His name from ill-use.
  2. It confirms in the heart of unsaved people to believe the Bible because you are dressing according to the beliefs of the Bible.
  3. It encourages righteous living, because it is discouraging you from temptation and sin and unto God and holy living.
  4. It places God at the top of your priority list and shows Him reverence and respect.
  5. It can be a reflection of your clean heart.

Disclaimer: Wearing modest clothing does not give you a clean heart. Accepting God’s gift of salvation and choosing to repent from your sins, allows God to clean your heart. Many modest women are also guilty of gossip, self-righteousness, and other sins, making their hearts dirty again. Modest clothing will only work if it is a reflection of the discreet (self-controlled & temperate) godly woman.

As you notice there is no list of clothing here in this article labeled “good” or “bad.” These articles are meant for you to learn from God’s Word, His standard for modesty, and allow Him to work in your life and in your closet. The Holy Spirit will direct you, convince you of what to wear, convict you of what not to wear, it’s that easy… all you have to do is ask God for wisdom!

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” James 1:5-6

And like I said in my last article, “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!” God will give you the wisdom on how to be modest if you’ll only ask!

The next article (#3) in this series is Modesty: It’s Appearance For All.