Modesty by definition is defined as freedom from conceit or vanity, propriety or decency in dress, speech, or conduct. According to 1 Timothy 2:9, in like manner also, women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array. Here we read in Scripture, the Apostle Paul giving one of his young leaders by the name of Timothy instructions for the church on structured discipline. We see specifically in this verse how Paul informs us women on how we are to govern ourselves both inwardly and outwardly. He has given us guidelines for public worship. Teaching us how we should not exploit our feminine charm.
Oftentimes we hear the sayings beauty is in the eye of the beholder, beauty is only skin deep, and going further to say that you are only as beautiful outwardly as you are inwardly. I find each one of these statements to be true because we see it demonstrated daily. When there is a lack of an essential quality present whether it is of confidence, or having insecurities inwardly, it shows outwardly. To give you a much clearer example, when we are not confident and secure within ourselves we oftentimes feel that we have to present ourselves in such a manner as to receive validation from someone, in order to make us feel worthy. This manner is not just seen in attire, but it is displayed in our speech and conduct as well. It is almost a normal sight to see women degrade themselves in attire in order to attract attention, as well as conducting themselves with distasteful and obscene behavior using corrupt and profane language to try to prove meaningless points. I believe that this happens because some women have adopted a false reality that allowed them to believe that in order to be desired or accepted they have to degrade themselves. What this type of behavior really shows is, there are women who are unsure of themselves in terms of knowing who they really are in Christ. It is not unscriptural for a women to want to be attractive. However, to what degree should women pursue attractiveness?
Now, we are not to get sidetracked or thrown off when Paul talks about the braiding of hair, gold, pearls, and expensive clothes and think that we can’t have those things. While understanding the Scripture you have to understand the time period. So for us today Paul is not implying that we should not wear these things, he is simply indicating that we should not try to draw attention to ourselves with these things. I believe that this general rule emphasize that the way we dress and our behavior must express reverence for our God.
As for me, I have always been fashion forward. I have been a true lover of fashion since I was a little girl. It’s my birth mark, it’s going to stick with me forever. Growing up I was big on being different. I literately would get upset if someone had the same shirt or shoes that I did and my mom knew it and came up with a solution by redesigning everything that I wore, because I wanted to stand out. My mom worked in the retail industry so I was always exposed to trends early. However, I was taught early in life that appearance played a big part in how people would perceive you. And that has stuck with me since my youth.
Now was I always a conservative dresser, umm! Not every day, but for the most part I was. I didn’t care too much for short shorts because I had very skinny legs and I didn’t think that I looked right in them. Halter tops and tied up shirts were my thing. Now, in these days we have far too many women wearing things that are not made to fit them. That goes for every shape and size. We have to understand that what looks good on someone else does not always look great on us. You have to go with what works for you. I believe that as women who represent God, we have to raise the standard in this area. Although God is not focused on the outer appearance, he looks on the heart, I believe there needs to be some accountability to have respect for both ourselves and God.
The reason why I am big on modesty, dressing appropriately, is because of my love and reverence for God. My heart’s desire is to please God and represent him well. Oftentimes we claim to be followers of Christ, but our action demonstrate otherwise. Our life and life style should model that of Christ. I want to cause people to come to Christ, not run away from him. The only way I could be that light is by living my life according to his will.
We as women of God have to be actively concerned with the things of God. There is a generation of young believers seeking to be led by women who are equipped and ready to win with Christ. God does not want us to be preoccupied with materialistic things causing us to give our attention to everything except him. Looking good is a plus for the believer in Christ, however God does not want us to become overly consumed with primping ourselves before a mirror, chasing the latest fashion, but he wants us doing something beautiful for him, and become beautiful doing it. True beauty is possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see. We as women of God possess an abundance of great qualities.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just be remembered as the lady who wore nice jewelry and fine clothes. I want my life to exemplify more than just materialistic things.
Modesty and Decency are the key words to reflect on.
How do they fit into your vocabulary?