Modesty: the quality or state of being unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one's abilities.
Personally, I consider myself a big advocate for modesty. It is a subject that God has put very close to my heart. I believe He has given me certain experiences and knowledge on the subject.
I feel as though when someone hears “modesty” most of the time they jump to fashion and clothing; which is a huge part of being modest. But, modesty isn’t just about the clothes you wear. It is also about how you present yourself.
Proverbs 31:11-12 says:
“Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”
I really love that last part. One of my super awesome friends from Ministry talked about Proverbs 31 during one of our Valentine’s Day meetings. She and I were reading When God Writes Your Love Story at the time. Whenever I think of and apply modest dress to myself, this verse always pops into my mind. I try really hard to dress in a way that would honor my future husband. Let’s say for instance it is the future and I am married and everything. I would not wear a super low-cut, tight shirt. That would draw unnecessary and unwanted attention to me. If I’m being honest, I don’t want a bunch of random men hitting on me because of what I am wearing. I know my husband would definitely not appreciate it. Just like I would not appreciate him wearing pants that droop down too low and reveal more than what I would want any other girls to see. So that is the rule I typically follow for modest dress. I know that most all of my friends and my momma dress this way too. I typically don’t go for knit tops, cut-off shorts, those knit skirts that hug your butt, crop tops, super short skirts and dresses and “v” neck or low cut shirts. I also do not own any bikinis; I don’t like showing too much skin. I am perfectly happy and comfortable wearing a one piece and so are a few of my friends. Now, I’m not saying that if you wear any clothes like that you are wrong and should change. No, all I’m trying to do here is to share how God has taught me to be modest and in passing on this information, maybe help someone who is trying to learn more ways to be modest.
Another aspect of modesty, as I mentioned above, is how you present yourself. If I think back to when I first heard the term “modest” it was in a scenario similar to this:
Johnny’s basketball team is in the final quarter of the championship game. Right before the buzzer, Johnny scores the winning basket. As everyone afterwards starts telling Johnny how amazing that was and how he is just one of the best, Johnny say “Oh thanks. But, I could not have done it without my teammates. Without them I would not have been able to.” “Oh Johnny, you are always so modest and humble.”
Presenting yourself in a modest way is hard. We all have moments where we crave attention, especially if the same person is getting attention consistently. But, live in such a way that others can see Jesus through you. If Johnny were to have bragged about how awesome the winning shot was, people would only see a bragger. To me, modest living is also about not doing things on your own to draw attention to yourself. For example, if you want someone to know how awesome and huge your grandma’s house is, t you start talking in such a way that prompts someone to ask about it. I used to be very guilty of this; I still have my moments too. Again, people aren’t going to see how awesome and big your grandma’s house is, even if she hosts a weekly bible study there. All they are going to see is someone who wants attention.
The ultimate goal is to show people how amazing Jesus is, how much his love for us burns. If we live in such a way that people don’t see that, then we need to figure out how to do just that. Being modest is just one way that we can.
1 Peter 3:3-4:
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”