Encouragement

What’s Up (or down) In the Dressing Room?

Hey, so I’ve been wanting to share a post like this with you for a long time! But I wasn’t planning on this week! In fact, I was planning to share on a completely different subject this week, but while laying in bed thinking, trying to go to sleep, the Lord reminded me that I should really write about modesty. So here I am.

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One of my blogger friends challenged me to write about modesty a few months ago, and I’ve been really scared to do it. Probably because it’s a bit of a controversial issue. We ladies tend to bristle a bit when anyone says what we should or shouldn’t wear. Am I right or am I right? Because, “I don’t want to be judged by what I wear.” Yes. I understand that.

But before I actually dig into this topic, I should make something clear:

I have a biased opinion because, as some of you already know, I grew up in a Mennonite home and still am a Mennonite. But I don’t want being a Mennonite to affect my practice of Biblical principles. I don’t believe that being a Baptist, Methodist, Evangelical or Mennonite should affect if we obey the Bible or not. That said, I know there are many different ways to practice Biblical principles, be they modesty, discipleship, missions, and or whatever.

I’m not actually here to talk about what clothing is modest or what isn’t. I believe modesty is a heart condition that will carry over into clothing and actions.

First let’s define the word – Modest means:

1a :placing a moderate estimate on one’s abilities or worth
  b :neither bold nor self-assertive :tending toward diffidence
2   :arising from or characteristic of a modest nature
3   :observing the proprieties of dress and behavior :decent
4a :limited in size, amount, or scope 
Hmm. The meaning surprised me a bit. I guess I never looked it up before.
But it brings out an obvious point: Modesty is so, so much more than clothing.
Of course, we all go to the verses in 1 Peter 3:3 and 4
 ‘Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. ‘ KJV
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And then we think of 1 Timothy 2:9

‘In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. ‘ KJV

I’d like to inject here, that we can wear all the plain clothes we want to and look as righteous and holy as can be but if we do not have the right spirit behind it, it’s so useless. If we are not showcasing the ornament of Christ’s beauty from the inside out, there is no point in making ourselves feel better by saying, “Well, at least I dress right!”

Modesty starts in our hearts. It starts with an attitude. An attitude that says, “I am second. He is first.” When we have that attitude, our minds will be off of ourselves. We will have a Jesus focus, and following that an others focus. Our joy and fulfillment will come from serving and giving, not from what we are accomplishing in our own lives

Modesty does not start with asking our peers, looking around at the pop-culture and saying, “Oh, this dress or skirt or shirt is modest, because it’s more modest than that person’s.” It’s not by looking within our own church culture and comparing to others that may dress plainer or wear uglier or prettier clothes than we do, that we should decide what is modest. It starts by asking the Holy Spirit to direct all of our clothing choices. It starts with evaluating our own motives before we purchase that piece of fabric or article of clothing.

Too many times we don’t even think about what Jesus thinks of what we wear. We just think, “oh that’s cute!” and purchase it! I’m not saying cute is bad. I’m saying, does the cute honor Jesus, or does it glorify me? Okay, most of us like cute (beautiful, attractive, classy or whatever your adjective is) clothes. And I’m going to say this yet: Each of us knows in our hearts why we pick the outfits that we do. Each of us knows in our hearts that line that we don’t want to cross on how we dress. We have the Holy Spirit, after all! Let’s listen for the Spirit’s voice and abide within that line in our own lives. And let’s not judge others when they draw a line in a different place than we do.

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I want to leave us with a thought that I probably don’t think about often enough. That is, how does what I wear affect those around me? Is it causing others to stumble? It’s easy to just say, “Men need to keep their eyes where they belong,” and it’s true; they do. Women do too. We all need to keep our eyes and hearts focused on eternal souls, and not judge people by appearances. But we also need to look out for one another, and be careful that we are not causing a stumbling block. Here’s some verses that really jumped out at me in relation to this:
“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:1-4‬ ‭KJV‬‬
Okay y’all… Does this make sense? I realize that there could probably be more said on the subject. But I really don’t want to bore you to tears with my own opinions. So I’m going to leave it at that and encourage you to keep studying the Scripture for yourself. I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments.

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2 Comments

  1. Yes, this made total sense, and no, you did not bore me. In fact you could have went on and on! 🙂 This subject is one we women need to be reminded of again and again. It is so easy to buy that sweater that is just a little on the tight side, or just a bit to short. Thanks for the timely reminder for dressing modestly! Blessings to you. <3

    1. Joella says:

      Yes, we definitely need reminders! Thank you for reading and your sweet comment!

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