Let’s be honest, no one likes to be told what to wear. I remember as a six-year-old girl putting up a fight with my mom over the clothes I put on. I thought the plaid shorts and floral vest I picked out went great together and were totally “in.” Oh my, how I wish I listened to my mother, because unfortunately there were pictures taken.
Today I am not writing to tell you what is, and what isn’t ok to wear. To be honest I have no place to do that. My purpose in this blog is to simply share with you what I have learned from Scripture on the subject of clothing and modesty. I pray it’s a new and refreshing reminder of a subject that can be seen as strict and overdone, and that the Lord will burden your heart for obedience to His Word.
Modesty isn’t about yoga pants and Mini skirts…
Did the title catch you off guard? I think too often we can put modesty into a box of do’s and don’ts. We get caught up in defining modesty as as not wearing x, y, and z, when really we are missing out on what modesty is.
Modesty isn’t about the right and wrong clothes; it’s about the HEART and THE GOSPEL.
I find these two elements of modesty in 1 Timothy 2:9.
“Likewise also the women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but what is proper for women who profess godliness-with good works.”
The first section of this verse has to do with the HEART. Paul says women are to “adorn themselves with respectable apparel” and he gives two guidelines for that apparel…
Modesty is not just clothing, but an attitude and a behavior. This means honoring God in the way we present ourselves: our actions, our words, and our attire. If we have a personal relationship with God, then our heart’s desire should be to honor Him in how we present ourselves.
“And self control”
Self control is being able to control your emotions and desires. This means we honor and trust God with our lives. We do not allow our emotions and desires to guide us, but we allow God’s Word and our faith in Him to guide us. Our hearts should be dependent upon the Lord and not ourselves. We should have a heart that trusts God no matter what is going on around us.
We then move onto the second section of the verse that has to do with the GOSPEL.
“Not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire”
Here, Paul was asking the women not to wear specific things because they were distracting those in the early church from worshiping God. Though it’s ok to wear pearls and braid our hair in today’s culture, we can take away a timeless principle from this verse. We need to make sure that our attire is not distracting others from seeing Christ.
Clothing is a big deal in our society. Though it isn’t wrong to want to be cute (Trust me I like clothes and being told my outfit is cute), we must make sure the heart behind the clothing desires to bring glory to God first and foremost, and does not distract from the gospel being proclaimed. This means that when I put on clothes everyday I need to ask myself, “Is what I am wearing distracting from the gospel?” Just like in 1 Timothy 3, we need to make sure that we are not hindering people from looking past our body to the one who lives in us, Jesus Christ. If we define ourselves by Christ, then we should desire to do whatever it takes to make sure that we do not hinder the gospel from being seen in our own lives, and in the lives of others.
Putting it all together…
My clothes don’t define me, but they do display how I define myself.
If I truly find my worth and definition in Christ and not in the world, then the way I look, act, and speak will display that.
So everyday when I get dressed I need to reflect on these two things…
Is my HEART desiring to honor and glorify Christ, and am I doing or wearing anything that would distract from the GOSPEL?