#5 Myth of Modesty: Modesty is just something I do.
“The more you cover up, the more [a Christian man] will want you. Men like mystery, and when you reveal that mystery walking down the street, there is no reason for them to pursue you. They’ve already gotten their reward.” —Mr. M.
Would you like to reward passing men with a glimpse of your body?
Men who couldn’t care less about who you are?
Modesty affects us, ladies. It affects us greatly. It affects how we are perceived, how we are respected, how we advance in our careers, and even whether we get asked on a date by a God-fearing, decent man.
Our choices in how we dress—how short our skirt is, how low our shirt is, how tight our pants are—is the clearest reflection of our personal priorities and our openness to letting God’s Word alter our lives. I realize that is a bold statement, but it is very, very true. When I am not walking in God’s Spirit and seeking to do what I read in His Word, I will wear whatever I want at the expense of the men around me and my own self-respect. In those moments, I would rather be trendy, Pinterest-y and provocative than prove to the world that I worship God.
When we stubbornly resist the call to cover up, we reveal hearts that have misplaced priorities. We have a high calling, ladies, clearly laid out in Romans 12:17-18. This passage talks about forgiveness, which applies to all treatment of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.”
Modesty is respectable in the sight of all men. It just is. Additionally, in our relationships with men, it depends upon us to dress in a way that keeps peace between us and our brothers.
“But Phylicia,” you may say, “how am I causing a lack of peace by how I dress?!”
“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul … .” (1 Peter 2:11)
When we dress in a way that causes a man to lust (as far as it depends upon us), we create an unnecessary war against his soul.
Think about that for a moment.
Dressing in the way God commands—with modesty, propriety and decency—protects the men around us from waging a needless war in their souls. When we REFUSE to accept our responsibility to protect our brothers—our sisters’ husbands and sons—from lust, we are creating a war and inciting unrest in the church.
Yes, it is the responsibility of the men to turn their eyes away. So let’s entrust them to the Lord and let Him deal with their responsibilities while we concern ourselves with our own.
Ladies, I am right here with you, dealing with this issue, struggling with it, fighting with my closet over it! I am asking you to join me in this endeavor. I want to trust Mr. M. around you. I want you to trust your husbands around me.
On a final note, here is some encouragement. 1 Peter 2:12 says:
“Having your way of life honest among the Gentiles, that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
When we keep ourselves hidden, those who see us glorify God because they see a different woman than they are used to. Anyone can join the trends; anyone can be status quo. But the woman who chooses to change in order to obey God will be blessed in her doing.
We’re in this together, girls! Let’s honor God and earn the respect of the men around us by pursuing His standards for all of life and living.