Lord began to convict me in the area of modesty I made the mistake many times of
"going by my feelings" on what to wear or what not to wear. I did not really
think about whether or not what I was choosing to wear was bringing honor and
glory to the Lord instead, I tried to make myself look as trendy and fashionable
as possible. Now please do not get me wrong, I do not think it is wrong to put
some effort in looking nice. However, I took that to an extreme. The way I chose
my clothing was: "Hmmm, this makes me look good, ok I will definately wear
this." or "WOW, I can't believe how 'cool' I look! Guys will be sure to notice
me now!". That was wrong. In fact, my whole attitude was wrong. I was more
interested in portraying a sexy, put together, all American girl instead of a
110% surrendered daughter of God to those around me.
What is modesty? Is it what to or what not to wear? Is it just about how we look on the outside or is it something deeper then that?
I knew that the Bible had things to say about modesty but in my mind there was the extreme of modesty being an outward chore (with no heart involved) of just following man made rules and regulations and the extreme of not caring what you wore just so long as it looked good (in a sensual way).
I think that the most important truth I have been learning about modesty these past few months is that it is not about a list of man made rules and regulations but instead an attitude of the heart that has been shaped from what the Bible has to say about modesty. A dear friend reminded me of this just last night. She said:"...We can...have Biblical principles to guide us. Some, in short, include modesty (not dressing to show off), decency (not dressing to draw attention to the body sensually), propriety (what is fitting and proper for the situation), and femininity (embracing our gift as females)."
A few years ago I had made the decision to wear skirts and skirts only (except when I absolutely HAD to wear pants for decencies sake!). The sad part was that I thought that in order to be modest and embrace my femininity meant that I had to be as plain as possible and frumpish. That lasted about a year and then I left it all behind me and did not go near skirts for about two years.
A few months ago I felt the Lord again encouraging me to wear primarily skirts. But, there were some changes in my attitude. I realized that in order to be modest and feminine DID NOT mean that I had to make myself as plain as possible. In fact, now that I have been striving to honor God in my dress I look more like a young lady (hair and make-up done, dressed tastefully not my normal grungy look :-p) than I ever did before!
"Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."
~ 1 Peter 3:3-4
As Christian young woman we are to be examples to those around. As young women I believe that God has called us to (as the verse says above) work on perfecting our inside beauty versus our outward beauty. Because guess what girls? In 50 years I am guessing that it really will not make a difference whether or not we were known for our sense of "fashion" and our "sexy outfits". What will matter however, is whether or not we cultivated our inward beauty. "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised." (Proverbs 31:30). Here is a really good illustration of this that I found which made me think about this concept in a whole new way: Beauty is Fleeting.
Do I believe that it is wrong to wear pants sometimes and the only thing that we can be modest in is skirts? Absolutely not! I have realized that is not about what I am or what I am not going to wear (obviously to a certain extent). It is about an attitude of the heart. That is where it all stems from! From wanting to honor and glorify Jesus in that area of my life. When people look at me I do not want them to be distracted by what I am (or am not) wearing (especially my brothers in the Lord). Instead, when people look at me I want them to not see me but instead to see my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ shining through me whether they have known me two seconds or 12 years.
Let me just leave you with this question to ponder:
When people look at you what to they see? Merely outward adornment OR "the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."?