Summer Temptations: Immodesty

Summer is a time when we see immodestly all around us. At the mall. At the pool. Pretty much everywhere we go. Sadly, we even see it in the church. Take a look at our culture–immodesty is the cultural norm. Really, what difference does it make if I dress immodestly? Why should I even bother trying when so many other women around me choose to dress immodestly.

These questions are ones I have wrestled through. Why should I even bother? Does it really matter? It does matter. Listen to what C.J. Mahaney says about modesty.

Modesty means propriety. It means avoiding clothes and adornment that are extravagant or sexually enticing. Modesty is humility expressed in dress. It is a desire to serve others, particularly man, by not promoting or provoking sensuality.

Here are a couple of things to consider:

1) Modesty cares for and protects our brothers in Christ.

When we choose to dress immodestly, we are seeking to draw attention to ourselves. It by no means serves our brothers in Christ when we show up to church or to any event, dressed in a low top and a short skirt. As sisters in Christ, we are called to care for our brothers in Christ, not causing them stumble. As Paul tells us in Romans 14, “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” Although this passage is specifically talking about food, it applies to modesty as well. Every time a woman dresses immodestly, a man struggles with lustful thoughts. It causes him to stumble, putting a hinderance on his relationship with the Lord. Let us not cause our brothers to stumble! Modesty should be the way we dress wherever we are and whomever we are with.

2) Modesty reveals a humble and self-controlled heart, a heart that trusts in the Lord.

When we choose to go against the tide of the world and dress modestly, we are cultivating humility instead of pride. We are dependent on the Lord for his attention above the attention of man. This attitude of heart glorifies the Lord and shows that we value his approval above the approval of the world. Praise God for the grace he gives so freely!

Now, here are a few great resources we’d like to direct you towards that have been helpful to all three of us.

1) Remember the Worldliness book study last year? Well C.J. Mahaney had a great chapter in this book entitled, “God, My Heart, and Clothes”. It has been very helpful to me! Click HERE to visit a past post for the download of this chapter.

2) The Rebelution had a modesty survey a couple of years ago. Thousands of guys wrote in on what causes them to stumble. It is very helpful. You can visit that site HERE.

3) Girl Talk has a very helpful pamphlet called the Modesty Heart check that is great to take along to the clothing store. It has several questions to ask yourself before purchasing a clothing item. You can read about and download the Modesty Heart check HERE.

4) One of the best resources is your dad. Get your dad’s opinion on what is modest. Get his approval on what you wear. He is a guy after all and knows the struggle. This is the best way and it honors your dad when you consider what he thinks.

Lastly, please don’t fall into legalism about modesty. Modesty does not earn our way to heaven, that work has already been done. Seek Christ and pray when you have questions. Seek the wisdom of older women who have gone before you. Most importantly, keep your eyes on Christ crucified. May the Lord be glorified!

Modesty Check

Here is the Modesty Check written by Carolyn Mahaney along with her daughters Nicole Whitacre, Kristen Chesemore, and Janelle Bradshaw (see their blog HERE). This is incredibly helpful! Please take the time to read it HERE.

The Modesty Survey

The  Modesty Survey is something The Rebelution did a year or two ago. Girls wrote in and asking various questions about modesty and what guys find to be “stumbling blocks.” And then hundreds of guys wrote in with their responses.

We found this really helpful! Check it out!

God, My Heart, and Clothes: Discussion Questions

Sorry we’re a little late. Here are the discussion questions taken from the back of Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World.

For your Mind:

1) Read Timothy 2:3-10. What do these verses say about the motivation for modest dress?

2) How do we know that 1 Timothy 2:9 does not prohibit women from making themselves beautiful?

3) How do women who dress modestly serve men?

For your Heart:

1) Who are you trying to imitate or identify with through your appearance–godly women, or women of the world?

2) This chapter notes that your wardrobe is a public statement of your personal and private motivation. What does your clothing communicate about your motivations and priorities?

3) Think of a woman who is admired for her godly character and good works. What aspects of her godliness do you particularly want to imitate?

For your Life:

1) What about your wardrobe may need to change so that your appearance can better reflect the transforming power of the gospel?

2) What steps can you take on your next shopping trip to ensure that your clothing purchases reflect humility, modesty, and self-control? (Some ideas: Pray for God’s help and provision in finding modest clothing; check each article of clothing you try on for modesty as well as fit; ask your father, husband, or a trusted friend to evaluate items you’re not sure about.)

3) Mothers, what steps can you take to train your daughters to value godliness over fashion, to nurture humility and self-control, and to wear clothing that reflects these virtues? Fathers, what steps can you take to care for and lead your daughters in humility, self-control, and modesty?

Now we can begin the sixth and final chapter: “How to love the World.” Please join us as we take a look into this chapter in the weeks to come!

Immodesty in the Heart

In my pride I expected to be able to read chapter 5 in Worldliness entitled “God, my Heart, and Clothes” with little to no conviction. I mean come on I dress modestly. Even if I wanted to dress immodestly my dad would never let me out of the house.

But as I was reading I realized how immodesty has less to do with what I wear and more about where my heart is. This is such a humbling realization! I became acutely aware of how often I try to impress others with what I wear. As I buy clothes (or even get dressed in the morning) I tend to have a man-centered view more than a God-centered one. Instead of asking myself if I am bringing God glory through the way I’m dressing I usually wonder what “so-and-so” will think. I can dress modestly but still have an immodest attitude. Seeking attention through what I wear is wrong whether or not I dress immodestly.

I thank God that He has revealed this to me and I pray He will continue to turn my heart more towards Him and less to man. Thank God for His neverending grace!