Before I start this you may want to get a cup of coffee or orange juice because this is going to be a big full post of information, love, and freedom. And please please please come with an open heart and mind into this post. I would love for some feedback and thoughts on this topic after I have finished. 🙂 Okay LETS DO THIS!!
Modesty is a word that I have grown up around. I am a pastor’s daughter with two sisters and parents that have always encouraged modesty through my clothing. I honestly never minded the whole modesty issue while I was younger because I frankly didn’t really pay attention or care about what I was wearing. Actually here’s a little confession: I was actually a big tomboy. Ha! I know I know. I grew up around modest dressing and huge churches. I grew up with a love for my Savior and a growing friendship with Him. Fashion is something that He has given me a huge passion for. I started loving fashion in about middle school when I decided to express myself through my clothing. I have owned a bikini, I have had a pair or two of “short shorts” and I know what it is like to follow the trends. I’ve been a cheerleader, so I’m pretty used to all the short dresses, or skirts. Personally I LOVE fashion and LOVE Jesus, and these two can both mix beautifully with freedom and love.
Recently though I have struggled a lot with modesty. It started when I wanted to buy a bikini for my trip to Cali this summer. As I have grown older I have started to not particularly like the word modesty because I always saw the rules and legalistic views around it. I had never really searched and prayed about modesty, so I let it go and kept searching for the perfect bikini. It was a few months ago when I hesitantly asked my parents about getting a bikini. They were very hesitant about it, but with my manipulation they gave into me buying a “modest bikini”. I felt so happy thinking, “Yes! Finally! I can get those super cute bikinis I see all the time!” But, after a few days of thought I started to doubt my motivation and reasoning behind it. I knew I just wanted it for fashion and the style of one, but I also found it as a way to feel confident in my body and show off my curves. I decided to FINALLY read and pray about the huge issue of Modesty.
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. “
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
1. Modesty is here in a fallen world because of sin and the need to protect our beautiful bodies from the shame of sin.
While I was searching answers to my many questions on modesty I came across Phylicia Delta and her wonderful blog. I came across this post and found that God designed our bodies with beauty, elegance, and holiness. In the beginning, Adam and Eve both are very comfortable with their naked bodies and do not need any covering around each other. After the fall, both Adam and Eve were ashamed, not because they wanted to cover themselves because they were ashamed of their bodies. They covered their sacred bodies to protect it from the shame that sin caused. The leaves covered the beauty of Eve’s body that God created. We do not cover ourselves out of shame or fear to make others lust. We dress modestly to protect the holiness that was created by the Creator of the Universe. We dress modestly to cover our bodies because of the sin in the world and the fact that we are saving ourselves for our husbands. Our bodies are not just commodities to be tossed around. Dressing modestly protects the sacredness that God intended for our bodies. Shame was caused because of sin, not because of our bodies. Please do not feel ashamed of your body or fearful for men to lust after it, but know that you are protecting your holy, beautiful body that God created.
2. Modesty creates self respect and dignity, and emphasizing who women are instead of what our bodies look like.
Recently I read about a women’s march in Cleveland, Ohio. 100 women marched nude down the streets by the convention center while holding mirrors. These women did this because of Trump’s comments or remarks of women and to “light up the sky”. The initiator of this march, Spencer Tunick, speaks about his two daughters and the fact that he wants them to grow up in a place where women are treated fairly and for more than their bodies. When I read this I got more and more confused. I totally support empowering women, but in the right way. These women used their bodies as an asset to celebrate their womanhood. By doing this these women only defined themselves as their bodies, instead of preserving that sacred beauty for their husbands. Our society often wonders why there is still the objectification of women happening. I believe the objectification is caused by things like that women’s march, or wearing things that may show too much. Now I am not saying you need to cover up every inch of your body out of fear of objectification or fear of men lusting over your body. Honestly, there will always be objectification of women in a fallen world. But, I believe as young ladies we can dress in a way that causes us to respect ourselves for more than our bodies, which leads to less emphasis on women’s bodies in the world, and more emphasis on who we are as people.
Please remember that you are not defined by your body; your body does not make who you are as a person. In dressing modestly we are showing self respect for ourselves. Many people complain that modesty is all for the men and I have even thought why can’t I just wear what I want to wear, and men just don’t lust after me?! Girl I feel you BIG TIME. But then I realized that I should be dressing to respect myself first & foremost and dressing to glorify Jesus. I dress modestly to respect myself, to show dignity, and to show that I am more than my body. And yes, men can still lust after women with completely modest clothing on, but modest clothing will prevent objectification more and help the men (no it’s not all about the men). I believe it is a two way street that men and women both have to help each other out on. Modesty causes dignity and helps women grow free from objectification. Many women who are famous for women’s empowerment say they are not slaves to anyone. They are free and strong, and they say that they belong to no one. But, by the way some dress they use their bodies to make their point of female empowerment. They are slaves to their bodies because they decide to advertise who they are as their bodies. Modesty is a decision to show the world who you are as an empowered individual, to express your personality and not your body, and to show Christ.
3. Modesty is freedom and is a personal journey for everyone.
“That dress is too short.” “You should not wear that bikini.” “Only wear Bermuda shorts.” “No yoga pants!” All these rules and so many more are not the right ways to go about modesty. God creates us with freedom of choice, freedom of expression, and freedom to dress modestly in our own way. God is not a God that is legalistic and judgmental. He is a God of love and freedom. I’m not going to tell you what length of dress you should wear or what kind of swimsuit you should wear. Another one of my favorite bloggers, Erin Morris recently posted about Faith and Fashion and it was amazing! She mentions the freedom and grace that God has given us to dress as we choose as long as it glorifies Him. I believe that there are different times and different places to wear clothes. Would I wear a short dress or short shorts to church? Probably not, but in other appropriate situations I may decide to. Just remember that we represent who we are by the way we dress. People see your outfit first, so dress accordingly! Modesty is different for everyone because of what they’ve been through or how they’ve grown up. Use wisdom and prayer for every situation.
After reading this post please do not feel even more overwhelmed! I remember when I started researching this and looking at blogs or other people’s opinions on the modesty issue, I started to find so many different opinions and rules for what to wear and what not to wear. But, I found that I wasn’t doing the one thing that I should be doing: talking to my Father and using His wisdom and freedom He has given me for how I dress. Do not become so caught up in wearing the right length of a skirt or whether or not to wear a bikini; instead just chase after Jesus and everything else will come with time. He will give you wisdom for each moment and what to wear. God cares about the little things and He does not want you to feel bound or confused. It is a personal journey for all of us 🙂 He has given us freedom and joy to live a life full of fashion and style!
Practical Tips to Stay Modest:
1. Pray & ask God for freedom, love, and wisdom with every outfit and situation.
The very best thing you can do (and first thing to do) is pray and talk to God about this. He understands you, He knows how hard this may be, He knows your story. He will show you what is modest in time. He is not a God that will leave you alone; He will be with you for this journey. I promise that if you keep growing your relationship with Jesus, your clothes will change to fall in line with God’s holiness.
2. Follow modest women with great style!
I think one of the best things to do (besides prayer) is to follow other like-minded women who have the same style as you and that dress modestly! This is a way to see that modesty is not frumpy, but instead it is respectable & classy. I love to get inspiration from Christian women or even women that have my style who are modest! My favorites for this are Rebecca Robertson Loflin, Erin Morris, BonnieKate Zoghbi, Joanna Gaines, and even Kate Middleton!
3. Don’t get rid of clothes, just use clothes accordingly.
Like I have discussed before: where and when you wear certain clothing pieces is a key to modesty. Don’t feel like you have to get rid of everything “immodest” in your closet, but instead just wear those clothes in certain settings. This will be different for everyone; just remember that Jesus gives us freedom instead of bondage to legalism.
Yay! I am done 🙂 I hope that this post will leave you feeling free instead of more confused. Ultimately, just bring this to Jesus. Don’t listen to so many different voices, but instead listen to Him and Him only. Fashion is an art of expression and is an amazing thing! I love you all dearly and I hope to see you again! Leave any comments or feedback down below! Have a fantastic day 🙂