Modesty doesn’t come easy in today’s world
Growing up, I hated going shopping for clothes. I knew what would happen. I would inevitably spend hours and hours on Saturday looking through racks of clothes with my mom, before trying dozens of things on and visiting every department store in the mall. And, at the end of the day, we would still have little to show for it.
It wasn’t because we didn’t try. My dad would ask us when we got home why we were so discouraged. It was because everywhere we went, it was a chore to find clothes that weren’t too tight, too short (or if it met both of those requirements) were actually pretty. It was hard enough for a woman to be modest then (the mid-2000s), but today it is exponentially worse—especially for teens!
As young as elementary school, girls’ styles are now pushing the limits of what was once considered edgy even for adults. Instead of celebrating their innocence and joys of childhood, girls are encouraged to dress and act like mini adults.
No room for modesty in Hollywood
Society’s concept of beauty is heavily skewed. Hollywood and magazines tell us that beauty is a glamorous woman caked in makeup and striking a suggestive pose on a magazine cover wearing the “latest fashions” (often sporting shocking splits, cleavage or see-through tops!). Sadly, little is left to the imagination, and it often seems that in order to be “stylish” or “beautiful,” we must sacrifice modesty.
We feel pressured to do so by our culture even through movies and TV. Frequently, we see these values mocked as outdated and old-fashioned. Characters find pleasure in encouraging their co-star to violate their conscience in favor of pleasure or giving in to pressure to realize their “true potential”! With role models like these, how can any girl know their true value?
Clothe yourself in strength and dignity
As Christian women and girls, where should we look for our value, beauty, and affirmation?
The world will tell us our value depends on the external—how fit we are, how much money we make, what we do, how attractive or funny we are, or how expensive our clothes are—and it is sometimes hard not to get sucked into that lie. Just scroll through social media for a few minutes and try not to get pulled in!
But Scripture tells us clearly that: "The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (1 Sam 16:7)
Your value is found in Christ
Your worth is not defined by any of the things the world values or says is important!
You are a child of the King! YOU are treasured and loved by Him! None of this is dependent on your appearance, “success” or efforts. Before you were born, He knew you and loved you!
True beauty is found within
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
There is nothing wrong with taking care with our clothing and appearance, but none of this should become the most important, driving force in our lives. We must instead focus our efforts on developing our character, values, and identity in Christ. These things are of the greatest value.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Prov 31:30)
Living modestly honors God
When we truly understand how much God loves and cherishes us, we want to live and act in a way that reflects our real value in Him. Dressing and living in a way that honors God will always be a struggle in our culture, but it is a battle worth fighting! When we clothe ourselves in strength and dignity, we are telling the world we believe our bodies are worthy of honor and respect.
She is clothed with strength and dignity. (Prov 31:25)
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