When did modesty become unpopular among Christian women?

 

Let’s be real here, the topic of modesty is not a “hot” topic, it’s more like a taboo conversation. So much so, that if you speak about modesty, you’re considered either “old fashioned and religious” or “judgmental.” In today’s culture, women are taught that modesty is an impediment to being “empowered” and doing what you want. When I first came to Christ, I remember modesty being so far from my radar, the concept was literally foreign to me. No one actually ever explained it or preached about it at church. The secular world taught me that the pursuit of “sexiness” was alluring, attractive, and accepted. Fortunately for me, the Holy Spirit took over and taught me overtime, and I listened. It is a continuous process and continual self-examination.

The pursuit of modesty is indeed an essential virtue all Christian women should desire and it is biblical. But the reality is… while our society puts “modesty” as something shameful to pursue, it’s actually something God sees as precious. As time progresses, our culture evolves into a more lascivious society that celebrates perversion and narcissism (lovers of themselves). We’re in the business of excessive selfies and constant self exaltation. As Christians, both men and women cannot be ignorant to Satans devices and how he uses this Jezebel spirit to infiltrate the church. We need to have a clear understanding and discernment as to what is modest and what is not. You may say, “Well, there is no clear black and white.” That is true, the Bible doesn’t manually draw it out for us, but it does it spell it out. As Christians, we need to definitely understand what is acceptable to God and what is not. Modesty is indeed a matter of the heart.

When we concern ourselves with the way we represent Jesus, we realize that everything, from what comes out of our mouths to what is expressed in our outward appearance matters. Yes, God sees what is in the heart, but what is in the heart comes out through our actions. If your heart is full of sensual thoughts and attention seeking, you will portray that very character. We cannot be oblivious or choose to ignore the facts. We’re living in a time where Christian women and worldly women are not distinguishable. Dare I say that other women from other religions understand this concept better than Christian women? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we now need to dress like nuns, but we do have to have a level of conservatism…where we not only represent Jesus correctly, but we honor Him as our husband who covers us.

So why does this matter? It matters because if we’re to call ourselves disciples of Christ, then modesty is not irrelevant in the church community. The pressure for women or girls to take “selfies” and be expressive with their sexuality is applauded in this culture. The flesh wants what it wants and people will go to any lengths to defend what God clearly does not approve of. What can we do to put the breaks on this Jezebel spirit that is infiltrating the church? Below are a few points as to why we should see this as a matter that concerns us.

#1 Modesty and discretion keep you. Modesty protects your intimacy. God desires that you walk in holiness and not in exposure. Song of Solomon 2:7 says, “Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.” (This is a call for Christians to be wise and discreet. Basically it is saying not to awaken sexual arousal until you are married, not to the public). Proverbs 2:11 says, “Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.” If we are wise to protect ourselves and be discreet with our dressing and actions, our hearts will be guarded and so will our minds.

#2 Your virtue brings glory to Jesus. When we as Christians (both men and women) concern ourselves with what we say, desire, act, and dress, we bring glory to God’s name. Our goal is not to bring attention to ourselves and to cause others to lust after us, or for us to lust after others. You may say to yourself, “But that’s not my intent.” Perhaps it isn’t, but like Jeremiah 17:9 says, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” God calls us to have discernment and for us to examine ourselves. Always ask yourself, what am I portraying and what message am I conveying? I always ask myself…would Mary the mother of Jesus post a selfie looking like this? If your answer is no, then you’re headed the right way. Matthew 5:28 says, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Let me be clear, this goes for both men and women. We cannot be a stumbling block to each other. If Job had to do a covenant with his eyes, so do we. This means not only are we responsible to keep our eyes on Jesus, but we are also responsible in not causing others to lust after us. Job 31:1 – “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.” I encourage you to make a covenant with your eyes as well, both single and married Christians. Glorify God in everything you do. 1 Corinth 10:31

#3 When you’re modest, you close the door to the Jezebel spirit. The Jezebel spirit affects both men and women. The Jezebel spirit loves to bask in the satisfaction of “attention seeking.” It attacks women to portray themselves as sensual and it attacks men to seek “power” and “show off.” It’s a serious problem that we too often ignore and accept in the church. If you want your future spouse to respect you and honor you, begin now. If you want to honor your wife or husband, protect yourself from unwanted attention and respect your spouse.

#4 Modesty sets you apart. Whether it matters to you or not, the reality is, God calls us to be set apart from the world. To look different, act different, and be the salt of the Earth. If our God is Holy, He asks us to be holy too. Holy in our nature, the way we dress and carry ourselves. Modesty demonstrates that we are concerned about the things of God, rather than ourselves. We glorify God with our bodies. We don’t show the world what belongs to God. Our sexuality belongs to God and our bodies belong to God. When we dress modest, our character shines and not our outward appearance. Notice how 1 Peter 3:3-4 is not prohibiting us to dress beautifully, but instead it admonishes women to examine their motives and the focus of the attention. Are we exposing too much is a question we should always ask ourselves. It’s our virtuous character that God sees. Our character encompasses the way we dress and carry ourselves. Modesty allows relationship, it allows distractions to be removed from your personality. “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”- 1 Peter 3:3-4

The bottomline, we are what we dress, eat, think, and act. If we are to be distinguished from the world, we’re to have higher standards than those around us. We have the standard that God has set before us. Whether we choose to agree with it or not, it is the Holy Spirit that will convict us of our rebellion. We definitely have a lot more to offer than just good looks, sex appeal, and self-attention. We can’t just wear anything we want, nor act any way we want. We don’t show everyone what we think is worth looking at because our flesh says so. We are guided by the Spirit of God, we protect our hearts, our minds, and we give glory to God with our bodies by simply covering up what is most precious to God. Hope this ministers to you. God bless!

Like a famous fashion designer once said, “Modesty is the highest elegance.” – Coco Chanel.

 

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