“You are not your own. You were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body!”
1 Corinthians 6:20
When I was in sixth grade, my middle school had a fairly strict dress code. Shorts had to go to the tips of your fingers — spaghetti straps and tank tops weren’t allowed and dresses and skirts had to be at the knee… at least.
As I got older, the rules relaxed and I was more free to explore with different types of clothing. If anyone knows me, or has seen my Instagram, I love a good outfit and wearing different things. I grew up striving to be modest and for the most part, I did just that.
But lately, God has put word “MODESTY” on my heart. He has been showing me that there is more to being modest than I realized…
Chances are, you know what the word “modesty” means. Maybe you’re like me and you’ve grown up hearing it from your mom as you get ready for school or church. Maybe you’ve grown up hearing the word used when you’re picking out your new school wardrobe.
But, I’d like to look at what modesty means from a Biblical standpoint — what does GOD say about modesty? What does it mean for us today & how do we live it out?
living for God’s glory & not our own
humble, God-honoring and simple
an outward expression of inner purity
This verse has penned itself one of the most famous verses on modesty in the Bible. But sadly, many people misinterpret this verse. In order to understand what true Biblical modesty is, we have to look deeper into the context.
The apostle Paul, author of 1 Timothy, began this chapter by encouraging the church to pray for a life of godly character and dignity. Paul knew that every decision made has the ability to impact their life & influence.
Many people look at this verse and think, "It sounds like Paul is trying to say that we as women can’t wear nice things. Maybe I should just wear a sack?!”
WRONG. What the apostle Paul was trying to say is that modesty, humility & self control are more important than how we dress. More than what we wear or accessorize with, Paul is encouraging women to work on their character. He knows that women love to be beautiful and love to dress beautifully and that’s not a problem — unless we become too OBSESSED or WORRIED about how we look. True beauty & modesty is about an inner heart on fire for Jesus — and it flows over to the outside.
So being modest isn’t about gaining approval of cute boys or your parents — it’s about honoring God. BOTTOM. LINE. Modesty isn’t about covering up what’s bad but revealing what’s dignified!
Modesty isn’t a pursuit of attractiveness or something that makes someone 10x hotter. It’s about what’s on the inside rather than the outside! Modesty sets our hearts on the Lord and not ourselves — it shifts the focus from our status to HIS status! Just like 1 Samuel 6, God cares more about our hearts because He knows that whatever is in our hearts mirrors what we wear, do, say & think.
So I’m challenging you to really reconsider MODESTY. The only we can live modestly is by pursuing God’s glory and a committing to His honor.
As we wrap up, I wanted to quickly chat about IMMODESTY. We’ve talked quit a bit about what a modest (Proverbs 31) woman looks like, but I know some are struggling with immodesty — and it can feel like such an an empty trap with no lasting satisfaction. But I want to remind you that God is able to reorient your heart and you can trust Him to help you live a pure, humble & God-centered life!
You can usually spot an immodest person, strutting around with their private parts hanging out and their short bottoms that are riding up on purpose. When someone is dressing provocatively and scandalously, it points to a bigger problem. It’s deeper than a trend that Kim Kardashian started.
It points to a heart problem…a heart that isn’t pure or God-honoring (Matthew 5:8)
Immodesty rears its ugly head by starting in the heart and then moving to the outward appearance. A small seed of insecurity gets planted in the heart and then suddenly, the focus isn’t about loving God and His people — it’s about loving ourselves and advancing our own agendas.
How can I live & dress modestly?
In closing, I wanted to suggest ONE SIMPLE WAY TO BE MODEST. There are multiple ways, but I just wanted to bring up one. Again, modesty isn’t just about what you wear — it’s about the status of your heart. It’s about whether or not your heart’s desire is to glorify God in whatever you do (1 Cor. 10:31) and honor Him in everything.
Live by intention, not by a list of “do’s and don’ts.”
I hear a lot of girls talk about certain rules when it comes to fashion. Like, “your skirt should go to your ankles and your shirts should always come up to your neck.” I think we need to get rid of those legalistic rules and just ask ourselves this question every time we get dressed: “Does this outfit honor God, bring Him glory and show a pure heart?” When you ask yourself that question, items like booty shorts and cleavage-spilling tees won’t be desirable because they aren’t pure and they will only draw the wrong kind of attention.
Modesty is a heart posture… and it’s all about God’s glory.