I know I normally just write about what is going on in my family life but this topic has been on my heart lately...modesty in the 21st century...does it exist? I have no idea really who reads this blog or if this entry will turn you off but I am struck lately by just how immodest women dress...including women who call themselves followers of Christ. My sons turn away in embarassement when they see a women in revealing clothes...I pray this heart remains in them as they get older. I notice that many people either harp on womens dress and give a specific list of what they can and can't wear or they steer completely clear of this subject.
I just wonder, as the mother of boys, will they be able to find a women of character who cares enough about them and other Christian brothers who is willing to not dress in a way that provokes sensual thoughts...I sure hope so! So, what exactly does modesty mean? I found a good definition by C.J. Mahaney in his 7 part series called, "God, My Heart, and Clothes." He says, "Modesty means propriety. It means avoiding clothes and adornment that are extravagant or sexually enticing. Modesty is humility expressed in dress. It’s a desire to serve others, particularly men, by not promoting or provoking sensuality.
Immodesty, then, is much more than wearing a short skirt or low-cut top; it’s the act of drawing undue attention to yourself. It’s pride, on display by what you wear.
Self-control is, in a word, restraint. Restraint for the purpose of purity; restraint for the purpose of exalting God and not ourselves. Together, these attitudes of modesty and self-control should be the hallmark of the godly woman’s dress."
I guess what disturbs me most is that Christian women don't even seem to want to discuss modesty or hear any type of teaching on this. When they hear someone start to speak on this they yell, "Legalist! Don't you know I am free from a list of rules!" I was one of these women when I first finished college. My parents had never been overly strict with me but when I got married and left home and left the Christian college I attended I was shouting, "hey no rules, I can wear what I want!" I think what started me thinking about this modesty subject again is the fact that I am trying to raise 5 sons to be lovers of God and to keep their minds pure. We live in a day where a man must choose where to turn his eyes for fear of seeing pornography right on the street. When all we can do is think about our freedom to dress as we want instead of realizing that how I dress is an outward expression of what is in my heart then that is when Christian women stop thinking about their Christian brothers and start dressing because we are "free".
"A woman who focuses on worshiping God will consider carefully how she is dressed, because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance."(John MaCarthur)
I'll close with this quote from C.J. Mahaney's article on modesty and hope that you prayerfully consider whether this is an area you as a women need to work on or you as a man need to be more attentive to when it comes to your wife and daughters:
"There’s an inseparable link between your heart and your clothes. Your clothes say something about your attitude. If they don’t express a heart that is humble, that desires to please God, that longs to serve others, that’s modest, that exercises self-control, then change must begin in the heart.
For modesty is humility expressed in dress."