Okay, so we’ve talked about modesty, and why it’s important. But how do we apply what the Bible has to say about it? It’s nice to be familiar with the concept, but when it comes right down to picking out your clothes, how do you know what’s descent and what isn’t?
Well, first, I can’t (and WON’T) tell you what to wear. Because we are all individuals, the Spirit directs us all individually; that’s why no two Christian women have the exact same standard of modesty. I believe God shapes our beliefs and standards through our stories, our understanding of His Word, and our relationship with Him, and that’s a beautiful thing! But, that doesn’t mean it’s automatically easy to decide what we should and shouldn’t wear. God isn’t going to walk up to us and tell us what is appropriate or classy. Conforming to His image and acting in ways that please Him is a process.
So, what do you do during that process? When you don’t know what to wear?
I came up with four important questions we can ask ourselves to help us along in forming personal modesty standards, and I want to share them with you.
1) “Is my goal to draw attention to myself by wearing as little as possible, or seeking to honor God with my body?”
Like I mentioned in the last post (Modesty: Should I Even Bother?), attitude and motive are the core issues we need to focus on when it comes to clothes. It’s possible to dress modestly and have a completely wrong attitude, as it is to wear near-to-nothing with the wrong attitude. Modesty is a heart matter.
2) “Am I trying to blend in with the world or trying to please God?”
When it comes to fashion, the pressure is on. It’s easy to just go with the flow no matter how indecent the latest trend is. I love clothes and shopping is one of my favorite things to do. I’m not at all saying fashion is wrong. But when a trend comes along that isn’t very classy or is downright weird (even gross), do you flow with it? Is the world’s opinion of you more important than God’s?
We can dress fashionably and modestly at the same time. Our goal shouldn’t be to blend in, but to be faithful in pleasing God throughout all the changing trends.
Rebekah Baird, a fashion and modesty blogger, has a great balance of trendy and decency in the outfits she puts together. If you need some fashion inspo, hit this blog up!
3) “Am I reflecting inward beauty and dignity, or am I flaunting my body?”
See 1 Timothy 2:9-10
4) “Am I safe to look at, or will a guy have trouble keeping his eyes off my body?”
Like I said in the last post, a guy’s purity is not all on you. But as brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to help each other and be considerate of one another. Skin and cleavage are attractive, but, whether we like it or not, they don’t get the right kind of attention. Don’t get me wrong: God created men and women to be attracted to each other, and that’s a good thing! But lust is not a good thing, and while someone else’s thoughts aren’t our responsibility, we can try leave more room to the imagination and do our part to make inappropriate thoughts towards our bodies more difficult.
There’s such a fine line here, so I hope that makes sense.
To sum it up…
We all know 2 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (2 Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV). …But, do we really stop to understand its meaning?
Let’s dissect it a little bit…
The first part says, “your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit.”
Alright, so what are some characteristics of temples?
We know they are clean and well cared-for. They’re a place of worship and beauty. (Certainly no piece of junk!) God wants us to act as the temple that we are. We could even go so far as to ask ourselves if our bodies are worthy of being “worshiped in” so-to-speak. In other words, are they pure and righteous?
The next part says “You are not your own; you were bought with a price.”
Christ bought us with His blood. It’s only right that we treat our bodies as we would treat Jesus Himself. We are His and His representatives.
And, the last part: “therefore honor God with your bodies.”
The New World Dictionary puts honor this way: “high regard or great respect given, received or enjoyed; glory; fame; a keen sense of right and integrity; chastity or purity.”
When God says “Honor Me with your body” He’s telling us to show high regard for the bodies He’s given us. To show integrity and purity in the way we care for ourselves–what we put on.
Clothing really does play a role in how people view us as Christians, and God as Creator. We need take what we wear seriously and do our best to show forth godly character and dignity.
I hope these questions help you better decide what to wear. 🙂 If you need a little more guidance or inspiration, here are two great resources for you!
- Emily Wilson: The Thing I Couldn’t Stand About Modesty Talks (Best video I’ve ever seen on this topic.)
- Fashion Inspiration Pinterest Board (This is my personal board if you need some ideas! Again, my ideas and standards may differ from yours, and that’s totally okay. I hope there’s something you can glean from here though 🙂
That’s it! See you around the blog 🙂