Before I came into the church as a young adult, I owned one black dress and maybe two skirts. All of them hit above my knees. I didn’t realize that how I dressed mattered to God. Clothing was always used as a way to express myself and gain attention. What I didn’t know was the only attention that mattered was the Lord’s.
This month marks 14 years since starting this journey with God. Here are four things I’ve learned about modesty when I ditched my old clothes for something more pleasing to the Lord.
1. Modesty is more than clothes.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
When our hearts are right with the Lord, what we do on the outside will reflect that relationship. Wearing modest clothes is honoring the God who created you -- inside and out. We are more than bodies. We are souls. How we represent ourselves matters.
2. Modesty is our responsibility.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
Being modest is your service to God. Through serving the Lord in this way, it accomplishes two things. The first is it humbles you to clothe your body in a respectful way that honors God and your walk with Him. The second is that modesty honors your brothers in Christ by minimizing chances that you become a visual stumbling block to their flesh. It is our own responsibility to dress modestly. We must own it and be good stewards of ourselves and our relationships by being modest in what we wear.
3. Modesty is God’s design.
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
Dressing modestly is a symbol that you belong to God. It sets you apart from a world where purity and holiness are mocked. We are chosen and have a royal inheritance. A princess would never wear something not approved by the King because she represents a higher standard. It's the same between us and the Lord. He has chosen us to be His heirs. We are to become royalty someday. It is time to dress our best.
4. Modesty is not about being perfect.
"It’s dangerous when we worship the standard more than the God who sets them."
This statement is from my book, Give it to God Girl, and it really is true. Just because we dress up and do good church doesn't mean we're healed. It doesn't mean we have a good relationship with Jesus. Do we dress modestly to appear superior and perfect?
Perfectionism doesn't help our witness. Being healed does. The principles of modesty should lead us closer to God, so we are truly worshiping Him with our whole heart and our whole body.
When we choose to be modest, we are in agreement with our Creator. I challenge us in 2021 to not just choose modesty because we know we should, but to choose modesty because we know Jesus. Focus on clothing your heart with His Word and with prayer, allowing God to heal you inside, so that you can be a better representative of Him on the outside.