Image courtesy of [David Castillo Dominici] / FreeDigitalPhotos.netThere are a few blessed women in our generation with very wise mothers who, from the very beginning, taught them the importance of modesty in dress and demeanor. My own mother is a lovely woman who I am very close to; but modesty was one area that was never emphasized when I was growing up. In this article, I want to share with my readers 3 things I wish my mother would have taught me about modesty. My hope is that those of you who are like me, and didn't have a mom who guided you down the path to modesty in girlhood, can learn these important truths now. It's never too late to make a change when you know that change is what is called for.
Three Things I Wish My Mother Would Have Taught Me About Modesty
1. The world will tell you that beauty is about what you wear and how your body looks in what what you wear. True beauty though, lies in your heart. In 1 Samuel 16:7, we read the Lord's words: “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” [emphasis mine]. I can clearly remember the transition in my heart and body from little girl to young woman. I remember realizing that what I wore and what my body looked like was crucial in my popularity at school, in making friends and in getting the attention of boys. How I wish my mother had taught me that the Lord doesn't judge us by our outward appearance, but instead by our hearts.
2. The world will praise you for emphasizing your outward beauty through immodest apparel. Look not to the world for your acceptance, but to God. Galatians 1:10 says this: "For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." As a teenager I remember many times when I acted a certain way because I knew it would gain the approval of my peers. But the Word says that the only opinion that matters is that of our Lord. Let us seek Him as we choose what to wear on a daily basis.
3. If you choose to dress modestly, even those in the church will not always understand your choice. If the Lord shows you that you should be dressing more modestly, do so without worrying about whether your Christian friends will understand your decision. As a teen, I became heavily involved in a youth group at a church I attended with my friend from school. I can't remember even one sermon or devotional on modesty or biblical womanhood. Looking back and remembering what we all wore, I'm realizing a talk like that was sorely needed. But the truth is, many Christians have never given the idea of modesty much thought. In many ways, the modern church has decided that Christian teens can act like the world as long as they are doing so while socializing with other Christian teens. But the Bible tells us something different: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Notice that right before we read that we should not conform the world in any way, Paul says that we should offer our bodies to God as true and proper worship. What would it look like if I worshipped God in the way I dressed? What would it look like if our youth knew that it pleases the Lord when we don't conform to the world's standards of dress, but to His?
My mom may not have thought to teach me these things, and perhaps yours didn't either. But it's never too late to change when you've learned something new.