Why Is Modest Clothing Important?

In our day, the culture has set the standards for clothing…or lack thereof. Sadly, many women (including Christians) have fallen into the idea that they must go along with the current trends in order to be accepted. However, I believe that Christian women should wear modest clothing. “But,” you may ask, “why bother?” That’s an excellent question!

Defining “Modesty”

Let’s take a look at Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language to learn what “modesty” is.

MOD’ESTY, noun [Latin modestia.]

2. Modesty as an act or series of acts, consists in humble, unobtrusive deportment, as opposed to extreme boldness, forwardness, arrogance, presumption, audacity or impudence.

3. In females, modesty has the like character as in males; but the word is used also as synonymous with chastity, or purity of manners. In this sense, modesty results from purity of mind, or from the fear of disgrace and ignominy fortified by education and principle. Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of their honor.

Now, let’s examine some of the key words used in this definition.

UNOBTRU’SIVE, adjective Not obtrusive; not forward; modest.

CHASTITY, noun

1. Purity of the body; freedom from all unlawful commerce of sexes. Before marriage, purity from all commerce of sexes; after marriage, fidelity to the marriage bed.

PU’RITY, noun [Latin puritas, form purus.]

3. Freedom from guilt or the defilement of sin; innocence; as purity of heart or life.

4. Chastity; freedom from contamination by illicit sexual connection.

Now that we’ve examined these definitions, let’s discuss some key concepts that they address.

Why is Modesty Important?

It is a reflection of the heart

Who is on the throne?

As believers, we need to recognize that our behavior will reflect our hearts. In Proverbs 23:7, we read “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. …”

As Christian women, we should desire to dress modestly because we want to honor God. If we find that we’re wanting to wear clothing that is more revealing, we should consider what our priorities are. Is God on the throne of our hearts? Or our we letting something else (e.g. a desire to please the world) reign over our lives?

What are you feeding yourself?

Growing up, my parents taught me that what goes in will eventually comes out. In other words, if someone “feeds” themselves sinful things (e.g. watches, reads, or hears sinful things), they shouldn’t be surprised when their lifestyle grows sinful. If you find yourself struggling with wanting to dress or behave in a way that is not God-honoring, I encourage you to consider what may be feeding those ideas.

Christians are called to be pure.

While it can be challenging, it’s critical for Christians to live in a pure manner. This includes our thoughts and physical activity. Sexually immorality is not taken lightly in Scripture.

We do not want to cause others to stumble

We shouldn’t want to cause others to fall into sin. If we wear immodest clothing (or even behave immodestly), we can cause others to stumble into sins such as lust, adultery, etc. Dressing skimpily does not leave much to the imagination. As a Christian woman, I don’t want to encourage others (especially men) to sin. Rather, I want to encourage others to live in a pure, God-honoring way.

Conclusion

As Christian women, our selection of clothing should not be based on the culture’s standards or expectations. Rather, how we dress should reflect our desire to honor God and to prevent other from falling into sin. Unlike what the world tries to tell us, modest clothing is still important! As Christians, we should set the biblical standard.

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