Why Does Modesty Matter?
Modest is hottest….But is it really? Every girl has wrestled with finding what is cute yet not revealing or suggestive at some point or another. Does God really care about what we wear? Kara points us straight to His heart on the matter.
“Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” -1 Timothy 2:9-10 (ESV)
Throughout my adolescent life, I had a tendency to challenge the value of modesty. I felt restricted by rules of ‘too tight, too short, too revealing, too much…’ Did what I put on my body really matter as much as my parents, teachers and youth group leaders emphasized? Since then, my view has changed.
I am convinced the way I dress matters to God, impacts others and reflects my identity. However, even as I impress this value upon our college staff, I notice their same tendency to push against it. So, how can we influence the next generation to value modesty as God does? More than rules about what not to wear, modesty is a matter of the heart.
- Dress to reflect Jesus. Just like our actions and speech, how we dress can bring glory to God or draw it away from Him. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says our bodies are not our own. We have been bought with a price, and we are called to glorify God with our bodies, including how we clothe them. Do we dress to draw attention to ourselves, our possessions or our Jesus? How we model this for our kids will impact the way they learn to dress themselves. Instead of giving attention to how clothes make us beautiful, let us emphasize how we can dress to glorify God.
- Dress with respect. God has shown us just how valuable our bodies are to Him, but do we reflect that belief in what we wear and how we view one another as children of God? To dress in a modest manner is about believing our bodies are precious and worth protecting for what is intimate. We can train our children to respect their own bodies with proper boundaries as we affirm their dignity, value and worthiness as Jesus has. When we believe our identity in Jesus, we are less tempted to dress in an inappropriate manner to prove ourselves as worthy of this world. Let us dress in a manner showing respect to what is valuable to God.
- Dress from the inside out. Modesty is a matter of the heart. Instead of obsessing over what to wear or not wear, let us focus on clothing ourselves in godliness from the inside out. Yes, what we wear on the outside matters to God, but He cares most about what we put on inside our hearts. Therefore, clothe yourselves (and your kids) from the inside out with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience (Colossians 3:12). When our heart is modest, humbled by a proper devotion to God, chances are, our dress will be modest, too!
More than managing what our kids can and cannot wear, we train them to dress modestly as we tend to their heart’s belief of who God is, and how they are valued by what He has done.
Why is it important to get dressed? How do you decide what to wear? What we wear can glorify God and protect our bodies. The Bible even says to clothe ourselves with the character of Jesus. What characteristics of Jesus can you think to ‘put on’ each day?