Today’s fashion is all about showing off your body. Be an individual. Express yourself. By any means necessary, let people know you do not fit into a box. And that’s fine. But it also can lead to inappropriate, revealing, and unsuitable dress which is not modest.
Modest/Modesty is defined as ‘having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one’s merits, importance, etc.; free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions; free from ostentation or showy extravagance; decent.’
As a Christian you now face the question:
DOES GOD EXPECT ME TO BE MODEST?
Despite popular belief, modesty does not only apply to women. You may have heard modesty defined more in terms of what modest is not. “Pull those pants up. Pull that skirt down. Take off that jewelry. Put on a jacket.” Eventually it all begins to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher, and nothing changes.
Although people may give good advice and may have great intentions, it does not legitimately help anyone understand the purpose and value of modesty when it is forced on them. Often times, especially when it comes to dress, people will act as though their opinions are part of God’s Word when it is not. Fam, this is a form of legalism that you should be aware of. Which is why you will find 3 opinions that are out of bounds and only opinions as it relates to modesty below.
1. I don’t like your outfit.
Although this statement may be true, it is not grounds to call someone’s attire immodest. You may never wear the Jordans, shades, jewelry, or jeans they wear because that is not your style, not because it is inappropriate. Often times, so many people want to label things as being wrong when they just don’t understand. Don’t be one of those people to look down on someone who embraces who God made them to be because you have been confined to religious traditions and ‘Church Clothes’.
2. What would Jesus wear?
Whatever we have on today, Jesus probably wouldn’t be caught wearing it through Jerusalem. Can’t even lie about that. Jesus wore the clothes of the culture in that day. We knew John the Baptist dressed differently because the Bible says so, but not Jesus. If Jesus were around today and part of the contemporary culture, He may be hip and rock a fitted or v-neck. Who knows? I say that to say just because someone decides to wear cargo shorts and not a suit jacket does not make their dress improper. You should ask yourself ‘Would Jesus be ok with me wearing this?’ As a Christian, we are looking to please Him above anyone else, including ourselves. Check your outfit before checking someone elses.
3. Christians don’t wear that.
Where’s that in the Bible? Grant it, ladies some threads (and I do literally mean outfits made of 2-3 threads) should not be worn. But Christian men and women can have style. Many young people try to figure out how to possibly be modest AND embrace individuality by living free of any stereotypes and norms. It can be done. Christ gave us all unique personalities and characteristics that should be shared. But ladies, your ‘unique personality’ can not be seen with a really low cut top or skin tight skirt. Fellas, that Godly character may be hidden beneath all of the world’s swag that you have to layer on each morning. Christians ought not wear the world but wear Christ.
Those 3 things have absolutely nothing to do with modesty and should not be used to define your view of what is appropriate. Know what the Word says not what people say! You may now be wondering of ways to be modest but still embrace your individualism. Can it be done?
CAN YOU MODESTLY BE YOU?
The answer is yes. God wants you to be just who He made you. And yes, you can do that appropriately, cleanly, and decently. Every article of clothing or accessory you have on should not take any glory away from God or be a hindrance for those around us. Guys, if you see a piece of jewelry that glistened like God’s throne, that may be a bit too much. Ladies, if that dress shows all of God’s handiwork, it may need to stay at the store.
Our clothes should point to Christ just like our lives. Christ should be glorified in all that we say, do, and wear. My rule of thumb, if I have to question it (i.e. Is this too: short, tight, low, high, etc) I don’t wear it.
How do you embrace your individuality modestly?