Why Modesty Is Not About You

Monday, May 6, 2019
Modesty is a controversial topic, even for Christians. Modesty should never be about shame or condemnation, but about love, service, and Christ-likeness. Modesty is about Christ - but what does that mean? What should Christians think about modesty? Learn why modesty is not about you today.


Every time I go on Instagram or scroll through Facebook, I see a lot of beautiful Christian women wearing really cute outfits, but they are often extremely revealing. Cleavage from here to Idaho and legs for days. I am the first to admit that these women look beautiful, and I am so glad that they feel confident in their own skin, but something always troubles me about these photos, and it all comes down to modesty.

I know that a lot of women feel that modesty means we need to be ashamed of our bodies. So they will push back with the argument of "My body is beautiful. I have nothing to be ashamed of." There are other women who feel that men should be able to control their own minds when they see an attractive woman. Others scream to the rooftops that it's not their fault that men lust after them, and still others will say that modesty is not just a female issue. And you know what? Every single one of these arguments are true!

Modesty is not just an issue for females. However, I am writing for an audience of mostly women, so I write this post in light of that. It's true that your body is beautiful, and you should never be ashamed of it - you will never hear me say otherwise. And yes, men should be able to control their lust. Their sin is not your fault and you are not responsible for it.

Still, after all of these arguments have been presented and answered, there's something that continues to nag at me when I try to explain to people why you wouldn't catch me in a bikini even if I were thin, or why I think Christian women should stop wearing short dresses and mini-skirts. Despite the fact that my opinion on the matter is wildly unpopular, I have come to realize why I still stick to my guns. It's because modesty is not about me and you. In fact, it's not about the person trying to be modest at all.


Modesty is About Compassion

Men often get the reputation of dogs who drool over women and their bodies - and sometimes that title is deserved. But I know so many good- great even - Christian men who genuinely want to keep their thoughts and feelings pure. They want to only think sexual thoughts about their wives and no one else. They want to keep their minds pure until they've found the woman they are going to marry. They want to guard their thoughts in order to guard their words and actions. But that's a daunting task when you're walking past women in tight skirts, plunging necklines, and daringly short dresses all day.

And that's why I believe that modesty is more about being compassionate and considerate towards my brothers in Christ. It's not about me, my worth, or my attractiveness. Instead, it's about me doing all I can to help those who are trying their best to live a Christ-focused life.

"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." Philippians 2:3, ESV

Modesty Is An Act of Humility and Service

I know it can feel so frustrating to have to put a gorgeous dress back on the rack when we realize it's too short or too tight. It can be so annoying to be wearing an uncomfortable one-piece or tankini instead of that stinkin' adorable bikini we saw at Target. I really do get it.

But let's put this into perspective, shall we?

What if you like to get a glass of wine or a cocktail when you go out to eat, but you are out to dinner with a friend who is a recovering alcoholic. Would you choose to order a drink, or would you prioritize your friend and their struggles over that Bahama Mama? If you had a drink and your friend relapsed, it would still be their sin and their responsibility, but your choice was nevertheless a hindrance to them. Your consideration could have made a world of difference. When we choose to humble ourselves and put the needs of others ahead of our own, even when it is inconvenient, we are serving our brothers and sisters in Christ well.

"Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died."
-Romans 14:13-15, ESV

Modesty Is Not About Shaming, It's About Love

Ladies, we should never be ashamed of our bodies. You are beautiful - each of us are - and there is nothing wrong with your Beyonce' booty, long legs, or cleavage. But, consideration for others should always come before our desires to wear that revealing shirt we love, or that dress that shows off our sexy legs. It's good that we feel beautiful in those things- because we should- but perhaps it's more edifying to be considerate and compassionate for our brothers in Christ than it is for us to wear whatever we want.

Don't ever be ashamed of your body. Don't ever feel that there is something wrong with your womanly figure. Don't feel guilty for being attractive or desirable. But search your heart and make sure that in your freedom to love your body, you aren't also choosing to harm your brother by not caring for the state of his soul.



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