When the topic of modesty comes up – everyone runs to the conversation of clothes. While clothes is a huge part of the topic, it is more than that. It goes into our attitude, our actions, and our apparel.
The constant topic with modesty is about apparel. Although I totally understand that is the outward manifestation – and what usually leads to the physical or internal issues, it isn’t where modesty starts. When we look at scripture – I think we see the immodesty starts before it is every manifested in what we wear – it starts like all sin, in our mind.
- Attitudes- All sin starts in the brain as a thought. Modesty starts in our brain. It is the attitudes that we are around that help form our ideas of modesty. When I was a teenager, I had a lot of friends who were not overly modest. My parents had other rules for what was considered to be modest, and in reality, I probably fell somewhere between the two. However, the people I was around affected my idea of what modesty was, and how it should (or shouldn’t) play out in my life. I remember going to the mall with friends and longing for the day that I could buy my own clothes, and make my own choices. College came, and I had a little bit more freedom – and I took it. Although I didn’t run too far, I began to experiment with shorter shorts, lower tops, and shorter skirts. I took on the mentality that boys should be trained better than to look with lust. Than, I went back to my hometown, and went the opposite direction. I believed everything should be covered, and had an almost negative view of my body because I didn’t want to be a stumbling block. It took me really studying scripture, and learning about who God wanted me to be that I really found the happy medium of modesty. What I learned is- modesty is an attitude. It wasn’t about what I was wearing- because honestly, it was during some of my stricter, more legalistic days of modesty that I struggled with impure and negative thoughts the most. It was because although my apparel was modest, my mind set was not. The attitudes we posses say far more about us than the clothes we wear. If our attitude and our mindset is immodest, it will translate from our brain into our actions.
- Actions- Attitudes and thoughts of sin usually lead to actions. In my case, the actions were not immodest dress, but immodest behavior. My body might have been covered, but I used a loud and obnoxious spirit to become my personality. If I could not use my body to draw boy attention, I would use my personality. So I did. And with that personality, I attracted the wrong kind of boys- boys that were only after the mystery of what I was truly hiding. It attracted the attention of other girls who also wanted the same kind of behavior. I turned into the sweet church girl on Sunday, and the crazy girl M-F at school. In college and young adulthood, I knew the behavior wasn’t becoming, and after all, I wanted to appear beautiful instead of sexy – so I became whatever the boy of my choosing wanted me to be. Again, I didn’t think of what the Lord wanted me to be. I didn’t act with a meek and quiet spirit. I was more like the brawling woman – who no one wants to dwell with. My attitude resulted in a change of actions- and eventually, stretched into my apparel.
- Apparel- The change came slowly. my desire to be attractive to the opposite sex grew with each day. However, what someone failed to instill in me along the way (although I am sure they tried) is that the right kind of guys were not going to be looking at my clothes- they would be chasing the God of my heart. When we have a modest attitude and our actions are modest- having modest apparel is easy. It isn’t a struggle.
The point isn’t about how long or how high. It is about how deep God can get into your life and transform you. To make you want to represent His Son in every area of our lives. Including our dress. I found the deeper I feel in love with God, the more I wanted to respect my Heavenly Father and Heavenly Husband by dressing in a way that brings them glory. When I do that – I find that the highs and lows are in just the right place.
To see the other great post in this series, join us as we talk about the Heart of Modesty (and find the other great links in the series there too!)
Worshiping With My Life,