The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines modesty as “freedom from conceit or vanity” and “propriety in dress, speech, or conduct.” I Timothy 2:9-10 says “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.”
One of the earliest standards we see for clothing is in Genesis 3 in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve, after realizing they were naked, tried to make clothes out of leaves (Gen. 3:7 ) but God made them a tunic of animal skins (Gen. 3:21 ). The fact that God made something different for them means that what they were wearing wouldn’t do. A definition of a tunic is “A loose-fitting garment, sleeved or sleeveless, extending to the knees and worn by men and women especially in ancient Greece and Rome.” Over the years we’ve realized that different people have varying concepts of modesty.
Despite what we want to believe, people gauge their first opinions and impressions of us on what they see. If people were to look at you, what would they think? In today’s society, we can’t simply go with the fashion. We have to look at ourselves and discern the motives behind why we wear what we wear. Do we want people to look at us because we flaunt ourselves or because we look different from everyone else? Do we want people to recognize us by our bodies or by our moral character and what we stand for? Romans 12:1-2 tells us “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Christians are also to consider the spiritual wellbeing of others. Lust is a sin (I Pet. 2:11; Matt. 5:28 ) and we are not to cause others to stumble either (Rom. 14:13 ). As we’ve gotten older, we’ve begun to realize how visually stimulated men are. Are we dressing in a way that is going to edify others or distract them and cause them to stumble in sin?
Is it ok to lower standards based on the activity we’re engaged in? If we wouldn’t wear it out in public, we wouldn’t wear it to swim in. Most bathing suits are smaller than many undergarments and there is no way we’d ever walk around in our underwear. Another thing we’ve heard is that people need to wear smaller, immodest clothes to perform better in sports. In that case, it’d be better not to play sports if doing so will negatively impact someone else’s soul. Instead of looking at modest clothes as a hindrance to performing better in sports view it as a challenge to overcome. When I, Sarah, was running cross-country in high school I didn’t wear the short shorts that other girls wore. I bought a pair of black running pants and wore those the entire season, even in the races. And guess what, I ran my last race about five minutes faster than my first race that season. Saying that a person can’t perform well in modest clothing is just an excuse not to put in the amount of work necessary to do so. Leggings and other tight clothes are almost like a second skin and leave nothing to the imagination. It’s almost like not wearing clothes. We know a father that told his daughters that if they look in a mirror, bend over, and can see down their shirts, they need to go change because that meant everyone would be able to see down their shirts. Not to mention, layering clothing is in fashion nowadays so it’s an easy option for women of every age and allows you to be fashionable while being modest at the same time.
Proverbs 31:30 says “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” We asked a group of guys a couple of questions and thought we would share their responses.
Question 1 with Answers: What advice would you give girls on how to dress?
Response #1: “No cleavage of course”; “showing your stomach isn't good either”, “shorts/dresses must go to the knee
or below it”.
Response #2: “Dress classy not trashy. If you dress like trash people are going to treat you like it.”
Response #3: “By dressing modestly you show that you have standard respect and self confidence. You show that not just any guy can date you and that you demand a certain level of respect.”
Question 2 with Answers: Are modest girls more/less attractive/likely for you to date/appealing?
Response #1: “MUCH more attractive.”; “If you don't leave much to the imagination, why would you bother dating them in the first place? It tells men that they have a low self esteem and that's all they think they're good for.”; “Think of modesty like a garden. There are a lot of weeds out there [people prancing around in as little as possible] and they're very noticeable, but that also makes those beautiful roses [those who live modestly] even more so.”
Response #2: “How you dress determines who you attract. If you dress immodestly you’re going to attract men that only want you for that. If you dress modestly than you attract people that want you for you not what you have.”
Response #3: “by far modest girls are far more attractive. Girls who dress modestly show more respect and care for themselves.”; “As for more appealing, by far modest girls are because they present a bigger challenge and a greater friendship, a greater passion and also a greater love.”
Response #4: “I don’t want to pursue anyone that looks like they are willing to let anyone use them.”
We’ve also seen a post a man put on facebook that says “You’re looking for a good guy who will love and respect you, but you post half naked pics on your facebook wall? Well, that’s brilliant.”
If anything, we hope this article just gets you to think and do some self examination. It’s not impossible to be modest; you just have to give it a little thought. By being modest, we keep people guessing. You don’t have to be revealing to gain positive attention from people. Our aunt gave us this to think about and we’ll leave it with you too; “Dress the way you want other women to dress around your boyfriend/husband.”