“Great, another modesty article,” some might think.
Let’s go ahead and get the necessary caveats out of the way: I don’t have a right to tell you how to dress (but Yehueh does); it isn’t a sin to be pretty/handsome; ultimately we are all responsible for our own thoughts and will answer before Yehueh in Judgment; the line between being modest and immodest isn’t always black and white; modesty isn’t just about dress; modesty isn’t just for women; yada, yada, yada.
Yet, as much as some want to water this down, the stubborn fact is that Yehueh still expects Believers to be modest. He inspired the apostle to write:
[…] Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. (1 Tim. 2:9-10)
Roll your eyes at me, but not at Yehueh.
Here are some reasons why Believers need to actively pursue modesty (rather than being indifferent about it – or worse, viewing the Bible’s commands with contempt)
Modesty is a gift to those around you.
I heard a guy once say –
“As a man, I have an admission to make to the women around me: How you dress affects me. The more your outfit reveals, the more I want to look and the more I don’t want to look. Then there’s the guilt that I even wanted to look in the first place. It’s that huge conflict between the flesh and my inner being, described in Romans 7:15-25.”
Sharing some Perspectives from some Godly Young Men’s viewpoints..
“This is almost a daily struggle, because even “Christian” women dress in an incredibly revealing way – at the mall, at the post office, on social media, out running, even at church. I know there’s something wrong with me – much like almost all Christian men in this regard. The temptation to lust is always there, and I must fight it until I go on to glory. I don’t want to look. I hate it. And thankfully, there’s Yah’s grace – so long as I continue to fight it and maintain boundaries. I understand that at the end of the day, I’m accountable for my own thoughts and actions.
With that said, you need to know that your modesty is a gift to me. It makes walking with Christ a little bit easier. And maybe I’m not alone in this.”
– Modesty is the acknowledgment that you are your brother/sister’s keeper.
Sure, it may sound liberating to say, “It’s my body. I can do with it what I please. If I want to let it all hang out, you can’t stop me.” Statements like this will get you plenty of applause from worldly people. Yet, this attitude is anti-Christian in that it pretends that the spiritual state of those around you is inconsequential. All Christians live within a community of believers, and we need to care less about self and more about others (see Gal. 5:13; 1 Thess. 5:11; Rom. 12:10; Heb. 10:24; Eph. 5:21; Phil. 2:3).
Of course, we all know men (and women) are responsible for their own actions: their affairs, their fornication, their viewing of pornography, their lust, and their criminal sexual behavior (rape, sexual assault). No matter how many times Potiphar’s wife threw herself at Joseph, he was still personally responsible for refusing her sexual advances (Gen. 39). A woman’s lack of modesty does not justify a man’s sexual indulgence.
But doesn’t the Law of Yehueh demand that we go out of our way to avoid anything that will invite others to stumble (Gal. 6:2)? Some like to dress a certain way because they like the attention, status, and power of being pursued by the opposite sex. But inviting others to sin is just as sinfully heinous.
Modesty is the Biblical way of fleeing sensuality.
Sometimes people use the [sadly] obsolete King James word, “lasciviousness.” Newer Bibles now render the word, “sensuality.” The Greek word is aselgeia, and it is found in passages like Romans 13:13-14, Galatians 5:19-21, and 2 Peter 2:2, 18. Aselgeia refers to activities that arouse sexual desire, movements that accentuate the body, and feelings of unrestraint. Sensuality, as the Bible uses it, is the opposite of being embarrassed by sin.
This is why the King James translates “modesty” in 1 Timothy 2:9 as “shamefacedness.” It is the recognition that there are parts of the body that should remain private – parts that should still cause us to blush when they are exposed (either because something is too short or too tight). There’s a big problem when we are more embarrassed to wear modest clothing than we are when we wear revealing clothing. We should never become so desensitized by culture that we lose our ability to know when we need “greater modesty” for our “unpresentable parts” (1 Cor. 12:23).
The Bible doesn’t tell us how long skirts and shorts need to be, what sort of bathing suit to wear, and whether or not men should jog outside shirtless here in hot, humid TN (please, don’t). But we don’t need to insult Yah by pretending we’re too stupid to know when an outfit lends itself to sensuality.
Modesty is the demonstration that we are more than just sex objects.
Passages like 1 Timothy 2:9 and 1 Peter 3:3-4 are not teaching that it is wrong to try to look nice. The point the Holy Spirit is communicating is this: Don’t try to get attention by your hair, jewelry, or sex appeal – stand out from the crowd by your uncanny likeness to the Messiah, Yehshua. When you dress immodestly, you’re telling people that you don’t have anything more to offer than your body.
So where does this leave us?
There are several scriptures, but I will share a couple more in closing..
I Corinthians 3: 16 – 17 — “Know you not that you are the temple of Yahweh, and that the Spirit of Yahweh dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of Yahweh, him shall Yahweh destroy; for the temple of Yahweh is holy, which temple you are.” If we have something that precious within our body, it should really be an incentive to take care of it. To keep it and dress it. Our appearance does mean something to Him.
When He sees us He is looking for the motivation behind what we are wearing. He checks our attitude. In I Samuel 16:7, it says, “But Yahweh said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for Yahweh sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks on the heart.”
Dress to edify your Heavenly Father as you are His Ambassador; representing Him.
I’d like to share a song that I used to play for my children….❤️ .. it sings of Modesty in His wife that is reserved for Abba. It was such a blessing to my family, I hope that it’s a blessing for you all as well. 💕