Dear Immodest Girl,
I’m not here to tell you that your shorts cannot be shorter than four inches above your knees. Sometimes mine are.
I’m not here to tell you that you have to wear board shorts over your bathing suit. I don’t.
I’m not here to tell you that your necklines have to come up to your collarbones or that your hemlines have to fall beneath your knees. Sometimes mine don’t.
I’m not here to tell you that you can never wear yoga pants in public. Sometimes I do.
And that’s okay.
But I am here to encourage you…to tell you that you are worth more than posing like a lingerie model in a scanty bikini…to tell you that your heart and the way you treat people matter more than your body and the way you look…to remind you that while people may look at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7b).
Back when I first started blogging, I promised myself that I would never write a post on modesty. I’d read one too many posts on the subject and was sick of hearing that Christian women should practice modesty for the sake of keeping men from lusting and falling into sin. That may be an admirable aspiration, but keeping tabs on another person’s sin is not our primary responsibility. Yes, we are called to hold one another accountable (Galatians 6:1). Yes, we are called to spur one another on towards holiness (Hebrews 10:24). Yes, we are called to be aware of the weaker brother and not tempt him to sin (Romans 14:1-23). Those things are surely aspects of the Christian life, but they are not our main goal. Our main goal is to glorify God, becoming more like Christ in the process.
That should be the Christian woman’s primary motivation for modesty.
Quite obviously, I’ve broken the promise I made to myself to never write a post about modesty. But I hope this post is different than the ones I’ve read in the past. It is not my goal to convince you through this post to wear longer skirts or looser pants or a bathing suit that provides more coverage. Rather it is my hope to remind you of the worth you have in Christ and of His holy call on your life.
1 Corinthians 6:20 tells us that we were bought with a price and that therefore, we are to honor God with our bodies. When it comes to modesty, I’m far less about the “rules,” and far more interested in the heart behind the outfit choices. When we get dressed in the morning, may we remember that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19a). May we dress them as such.
It saddens me to see young women posting on social media suggestive photos of themselves wearing next to nothing. It saddens me not primarily because of what a man might think when he sees it or because of what demeaning comments her followers might say about it, but because a woman who does something like that clearly does not understand her worth in Christ.
Immodest girl, you are worth more than that.
Just last summer, someone asked me if I ever felt out of place wearing so much clothing at the beach (I really wasn’t wearing that much clothing; I was wearing a one-piece bathing suit and an SPF cover-up). They quickly followed up by asking if I did it merely for sun protection or if it was because I was ashamed of my body. In order, the answers to those questions are sometimes, in part, and no, thank you very much.
So why, then, do I choose modesty?
Because I value my soul more than my outward appearance.
Because I’m more proud of my brain than my butt.
Because my character is more important than my cleavage.
Because I have been called to be in this world, but not of it (John 17:15-16).
Because I have been bought with a price.
Because I am a child of God.
Sister in Christ, those things are true of you as well.
And to those of you who struggle with immodesty and may not yet know our gracious Savior, I encourage you to pray. Call out to the One Who is more concerned with the condition of your heart than with how many times you’ve “broken the rules.” He stands ready to welcome the penitent into His loving arms, short shorts and all.
An Imperfect Girl, Clothed by Christ