Eight years ago when I came into a relationship with Jesus Christ I had no idea what modesty was. Honestly, I don’t know if I had ever even heard the word. At that time clothing was a way to “express myself” which mostly meant getting attention and feeling good about myself. I often didn’t care about comfort or proper fit if I felt that I looked good.
I thought that if I showed off certain parts of my body I would get attention, and attention meant acceptance and love. However, all people are really only looking for the true love and acceptance that only comes through Jesus Christ. So when I found that love my heart was filled to bursting and I only wanted with all of my heart to please my Lord.
This led to a total transformation by Jesus and it was a journey I was very happy to go on. I cut my hair into a pixie cut so I could get rid of all the hair dye, and I went on a huge weight loss journey. I also started learning what it meant to dress modestly because honestly, I was dressing provocatively most of the time. I leaned more towards dresses and skirts because I felt very pretty and feminine in them, but also because it did seem to be the modest standard.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17
I know in the Christian community of modesty (and even other religious modesty communities) covering up more is better, and wearing dresses and skirts is the standard. However, modesty is not just about covering up certain parts of your body. Modesty is a part of glorifying God by using our clothing and mannerisms to reflect the inner beauty of our spirit and who God created us to be. Our bodies are simply a home for our spirit and as Christians a temple for the living God.
In the beginning, when Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden they were naked and they were unashamed. God created sex to be a private act between a husband and wife, yet Lucifer exploited that beautiful act of love and human sexuality. They walked in the garden with God and it was natural, it was normal, it was not shameful. It was not until the interaction with Lucifer where they took in the knowledge of good and evil that they became aware of newfound knowledge of sexuality that they did not have before. After that, we see sexual promiscuity, perversion, and abuse all throughout the Bible.
That is not because God says it’s okay; as a matter of fact, He says quite the opposite. It was not until Lucifer introduced his ways and his ideas to mankind that these things became a part of our world. Before that things were innocent, they were pure; they were the way God intended them to be. Once Adam and Eve wore clothing it was not for a fashion statement but simply to cover their nakedness and their shame.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “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.”
1 Samuel 16:7
Over time the purpose of clothing changed from being a simple covering or protection to a statement of who you are. People often dressed for their occupation, and women often dressed to reflect whether they were single or married or widowed. As nicer fabrics and dyes became more widely available to all classes, more and more people began to dress as a reflection of their beliefs and ideals. Clothing became a form of self-expression so we can stand out, blend in, be noticed, or impress others.
For women, clothing has morphed with the sexual revolution because sexuality has become a form of empowerment for many women. Showing your body means being brave and powerful, and the clothing sold in stores today reflects that. But what I think many don’t realize is that our clothing is still highly influenced by Lucifer’s invasion into our sexuality with the introduction of the knowledge of good and evil. He has truly twisted our understanding of who we are and who God has created us to be, and he will continue to do so if we allow it.
Believing that we are sexual beings who are empowered by our sexuality reminds me of the temple prostitutes of ancient times. The women were priestesses of foreign gods, such as Asherah and Baal, and their job was to worship them through sex. Men would come to the temple and find women dressed to accentuate their sexuality and they would come together as an act of worship.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Sex was created as an act of worship, and our bodies were meant to worship God, but not Baal or Asherah. We cannot be fooled by the standards set by society today that we are just being ourselves by dressing provocatively, or that we are completely innocent if we as women are flaunting our sexuality. We do have a responsibility to God, to ourselves, our families, and yes others around us to show that we respect the bodies that God gave us as a gift as a holy temple.
If we do not care how we dress or represent ourselves to others, then we are not fully aware of the higher calling we have as ambassadors of Christ. Yes, we need to be comfortable and I do think that clothing can be fun and a part of who we are, but only when we put them into proper perspective. In this day and age, people have become obsessed with beauty and fashion which can turn into idolatry. I believe we should use our clothing to accentuate our inner beauty and thereby honoring our bodies. When we honor our bodies and our spirits, we are honoring God and other people.
For me, modesty is a way I can glorify Jesus Christ by reflecting on who He created me to be. A beautiful woman, who is gentle, nurturing, kind, brave, and strong. I don’t want my clothing to deter me from who I am by accentuating my sexuality, and I don’t think it has to. I think it’s easy to go too far either way where you either dress very provocatively or you feel the need to cover up all skin but Modesty is not about following a certain set of rules, it’s very simply honoring God and others.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry.
For me, I feel most comfortable in a dress or sweats. I love dresses because I feel beautiful and free and I feel like when I see myself I see the beauty that God sees. I feel inspired and happy. When I wear sweats I’m just freezing cold. I don’t think it’s wrong to wear pants, I just personally have a hard time finding pants that are comfortable and fit my body, and aren’t tight. It’s very hard in this culture to find clothing that doesn’t seem to promote my sexuality or show off my body.
I know some women are more comfortable in pants, and there is nothing wrong with that! Everyone has to go through their own walk with Jesus to find what is modest for them which means what they wear that glorifies God and honors who He created them to be. I think that every woman is beautiful, intelligent, and worthy of respect and honor, and I know Jesus Christ feels the same way too!
No matter what, God does not condemn you for how you dress. He loves you exactly as you are because He created you and that means you are good, perfectly, and wonderfully made! Clothes do not and never will change that about it. Jesus simply wants us to see ourselves as a reflection of the Christ identity He has given us when we were renewed by His cleansing blood. He loves us so very much and He does not want to see us being victimized by the lies of Lucifer that he is still perpetrating to this day.
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.