Up until about two years ago, I used to fit right in with today's society and how they presented themselves in feminine attire. At one point, I had hardly understood what it meant to "dress modestly".
Although I was raised and taught to stand-out as a young Christian woman and segregate myself from the fashions of this world, I hadn't always heeded my parents teachings, or the Bible's for that matter.
Granted, I made it a point not to appear scantily-clad while I was out in public, and I never once wore a bikini when I went to the pool. That was one thing I was convicted on at a very young age.
But as far as my everyday wardrobe choices went, I basically fit in with today's society. I wore the tight-fitting jeans, just like the ones all of my friends were wearing . . . I didn't mind if after a day's activities my shirt neckline stooped lower than it should have . . . nor did I think that there was anything wrong with wearing short shorts like all the teenage girls donning Daisy Dukes you see out there.
Surely there isn't anything wrong with wanting to look pretty and feminine and like your average day woman, is there?
Let me assure you; that mindset is completely wrong.
As I aforementioned, I didn't really put much thought behind my outfits, other than making it a point to fit in as much as possible so people didn't look at me strangely. I just didn't really get modesty, you know what I mean?
It wasn't until a couple years back when I was really convicted that I needed to change. After hearing it repeatedly from my parents, reading about it in God's Word, and then noticing the wardrobe styles of big Christian families such as the Duggars, the Bates, etc . . . I finally started to understand. Although I wasn't dressing entirely like a young teenager who didn't care if she showed off everything on her body, I still had a lot of stepping-up to do if I wanted to portray the Godly example I was telling everyone I was.
At first, it didn't come easy. When I finally made the choice to stop wearing jeans, I worried constantly what my friends would think of me. I dealt with the addled looks other girls gave me when they saw me in my high neck-lined shirts and long jean skirts, and I never once saw a guy look twice when passing me on the streets.
. . . it was dispiriting.
The same worrisome and panicky thoughts came to me when I replaced summer shorts with knee-length skirts and dresses.
Even though, in the past, I had tried to make sure my shorts reached the mid-thigh level and didn't see much wrong with it, later I was deeply convicted when I read this passage in the Bible:
" . . . uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen." - Isaiah 47:2-3
The Webster's Dictionary definition of 'thigh', is: The part of the leg extending from the knee to the hip.
If an uncovered thigh is shameful and God plainly states to avoid such nakedness, then it is clear that although I was considering myself to be covering the most important areas of my body, to God, I was seen as being naked. How convicting is that? I'll honestly admit that it convicted me immediately and I never once reverted to wearing those shorts again.
You might ask me: "Well if you don't wear shorts or jeans anymore, what on earth do you wear every day??"
And to answer that question, I'd inform you that I have chosen to wear skirts and skirts only.
For certain exercises or while hiking, I will opt to wear capri-styled pants that in no way form to my legs. And when it comes to swimming, I abide by God's Word and make it a point to cover my thighs when seen by the public eye. In that case, I will usually wear a t-shirt and boys' swimming trunks that completely cover what is seen as nakedness in God's eyes, or, I will wear a typical swimsuit with a summer dress overtop of it, never once removing it while swimming.
These style codes have convicted me, and if they haven't for you already I pray that they do. I've been abiding by this simple scripture for the past couple of years now:
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." - Romans 12:1
My goal is to present my body as a "living sacrifice". I would hate to get to heaven and discover that I caused a handful of men to stumble because of my defrauding attire. It would break my heart, and I would feel like a failure as a Christian woman. I would feel as though I had failed God, and in a sense, it would have been true.
There are many levels of modesty, and I am continually growing in my convictions. I've heard people say that dressing modestly makes one look frumpy and unstylish. And I must state my opinion when I say that this statement is completely inaccurate. You can be modest and still obtain a sense of style.
My every day fashion choices look somewhat like these:
Note that each one of these outfits is modest, and yet they are still classy and very feminine! Modest, comfortable outfits and clothes can be beautiful, they can be fun, they can be trendy, and they can be all your style and God's at the same time.
If you visit my Pinterest page, you will find a myriad of pretty, feminine modest choices that I refer to when I am making it a point to present myself as the Godly young woman I am telling everyone that I am.
As a Christian, I have learned that my behavior sets the tone for how others see me and my faith.
Being modest in your appearance is just as great a witness to those around you as your words. If you are preaching about Christ to others and claiming to be one of His followers while wearing revealing clothes, what kind of a Christian example are you leading?
When you choose to dress modestly you are allowing people to see your inner faith rather than your outer appearance.
"Modesty is the characteristic of a woman whose
heart has been changed from self will, to godliness.
It reveals the attitude of a woman that
lives to honor God."
Being modest really isn't as hard as it seems, ladies. And once you make that choice to better represent yourselves as Godly women, you will be better representing your Savior and the Christian life you have chosen to follow.
I will leave you with a few scriptures on modesty that have convicted me in the past and still continue to do so:
"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but which becometh women professing godliness with good works." - 1 Timothy 2:9
"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." - 1 John 2:16
"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." - 1 Peter 3:3-4