thoughts-from-my-heart

To Those Who Write about Modesty

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Modesty is a hugely popular subject online these days. Blog posts run the gamut. Some take a broad look, some are more specific, like the recent surge in articles about yoga pants. Those who know me in real life, know that I can be *ahem* a tad bit opinionated. It may be hard to believe, but I really do try to think before I speak, and write, so that my words will be edifying and encouraging. I have refrained from writing about modesty because, frankly, it’s none of my business. I am confident that the same Holy Spirit Who is working on me, will also work in the lives of other believers. I leave Him to do that work. But I do have a few thoughts for those who are daring enough to tackle the subject.

If you’re going to write about modesty, please don’t be too descriptive. I recently read an article on yoga pants by a man who was, in my opinion, rather risque in his description of the problem. I asked my husband if he had read that particular article. He said no. I said, “DON’T!” Discussing the issue in such a vulgar manner only compounds the problem. Mental images can be just as destructive as visual ones.

If you’re going to write about modesty, be sure you never change your standards. After all, you’re setting yourself up as the standard. So, if you back down or change your mind for any reason, then you’re a hypocrite. I suppose you could go back and delete those posts from the Internet, but you can’t delete them from people’s minds.

If you are the standard, then you have replaced Christ. If you are bothered because another woman (who may not be a Christian, or may be a young Christian, for all you know) is dressing wrongly, then you believe that you’ve become the example to follow, not Christ. By the way, is the sin of your anger or pride any worse than the sin of her immodest clothing?

If you have given up a type of clothing or a style of dress as unto the Lord, then that is between you and Christ. Why would you expect others to share in your personal relationship with Christ? It’s. . .well. . . personal! According to 1 Timothy 2:9, modesty is about behavior. In fact,that’s what the Greek word for “modest” means, “of good behavior”.

A friend told me as a teenager, “My parents said your skirt is immodest. It cups under when you walk.” My face grew warm and humiliation covered me from head to toe. I certainly never intended to wear anything too tight. My parents were very strict about clothing and they had seen me leave for church that night. They had said nothing. But this friend thought that she, and her parents, were the standard. They may have been modest outwardly, but their rancid, bitter spirits bubbled over in spite of their exterior cleanness. Remember, the Pharisees looked great on the outside, yet Christ told them plainly, “ye are of your father the devil.” (John 8:44)

When I was a young mother, a pastor’s wife pulled me into a Sunday school classroom and informed me that my four-year-old daughter was dressed immodestly for a church activity. She was wearing culottes (split skirt), which had a crotch, and were therefore extremely immodest. {Chapter and verse for that, please?} During our thirty minute drive home, I stared out the window weeping. My husband was speechless. I sobbed after I got home. There I was, doing all I could to BE modest, and yet I was still being charged with immodesty! These many years later, I can see that, in reality, she was immodest. Her behavior was not right. She had allowed pride to control her spirit to the point she had to reach out with bony fingers and control others.

Jesus says in Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Proper teaching on modesty is needed. I have read a few blog posts about modesty that stayed within the context of Scripture. We do need sound teaching on this subject, but the source should be the local New Testament church from a pastor who has a name and face that you know.

Do you wonder what you should wear? Search the Scriptures. Ask your husband, as the Word of the Lord says in 1 Corinthians 14:35. Avoid the women who are all-too-eager to share their thoughts. They might be giving their opinion instead of Bible. Seek wisdom from the humble women, the women who are truly modest.

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*I would like to thank my husband, Terry Basham, II, for his counsel regarding this article.

4 thoughts on “To Those Who Write about Modesty

  1. Well said, Valerie. Having been raised in a super-conservative church (dresses only and some frowned upon culottes, though my parents and Christian school allowed them for PE or some activities), I have seen (and been appalled by) similar situations, some in my own family, which really did nothing to bring the victim’s heart closer to Jesus and instead caused unnecessary shame. You handled this topic very well.

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  2. Since God did not grant me physical beauty, it was easy to be modest even as a young person. Then, and even more so now, I want to hide as much of myself as possible. :o) I don’t like it, but I can see why some young women want to be admired for their trim, well-toned bodies. Surely the others I see in the bank or in the stores don’t own mirrors!
    Love,
    Mother

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