“And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.”
--1 Timothy 2:9-10 (NLT)
I’ve always loved to shop—for dresses, in particular. My childhood memory is filled with snapshots of shopping trips devoted to finding the perfect Christmas dress to wear for the church pageant or the prettiest, pastel-colored frock to don Easter morning. Some years, I remember lying in bed, anxiously waiting for the sun to rise so that I could get into my new dress and twirl around in it.
As I’ve grown older, that anticipation has faded. Those shopping trips are now more frustrating than fun. The “modern-yet-modest” goal gets harder and harder to reach each season, and it’s not just the semi-formal section I struggle in. I often find it’s nearly impossible to find a pair of pants that doesn’t stick (or should I say suction) to every curve and bulge. I have a hard time finding shirts without plunging necklines, and I sometimes wonder if skirts longer than mid-thigh even exist anymore.
When my body made a few changes, it seemed as though fashion underwent its own transformation, leaving me with a tough, new grown-up choice to make at the mall: Show it off or keep it covered?
Easy, you say? I might have agreed with you at one time. The high school-aged me found modesty simple. I was a believer but an insecure teenager who wore layers to hide my new curves, no matter what the season. I wanted nothing more than to cover up. The college-aged me, however, grew out of that phase and into a young, independent Christian woman who strived to honor God.
However, I was still under the influence of a skin-driven society. I bought into the lie that as long as I was covered, I was dressing modestly. It wasn’t until I met my husband and began seeing my closet through his eyes that I realized how careless we, as Christian women, can be when it comes to our clothes. I thought I was making wise decisions about what I was wearing. Little did I know that I was still guilty of causing my brothers in Christ to stumble with my covered, yet tightly-clothed, body.
No matter what retailers are selling these days or what is considered fashionable, we, as daughters of the King, are commanded to wear only what pleases our Heavenly Father. Though I doubt Christian women need to dress drab in order to honor God, the Scriptures tell us that He wants us to be more concerned with doing good than looking good (vs. 10). Our goal shouldn’t be to glorify ourselves with the latest fads—instead, we need to be focused on glorifying our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Today, dress shopping still seems like more of a challenge than a treat, but I’ve found that the sacrifices become easier to make when I remember Who my body belongs to and the joy I’m bringing Him by being obedient to His will for me when it comes to my wardrobe.
When I was little, putting on a pretty dress made me feel like a princess. Now I know that it’s dressing for the King that makes me look like one.
Very good reminder. One woman at my church wears really low-cut stuff and feins innocence that "oh, you mean men look?" Sad, but no amount of talking seems to help. Thanks for this good article. We can dress attractively, yet modestly.