I keep seeing a lot of posts lately about how modesty is such a disgraceful thing to expect of a Christian woman. How it’s now considered “body shaming” and that it’s actually “grooming” young ladies to feel bad about their bodies and/or making it easier to become sexual abuse victims.
I totally understand that men need to practice self control with their eyes and their thought life. I get that. Jesus said, “If your eye causes you to sin then gouge it out” since it would be better to have one eye and still go to heaven than to fall into the temptation of lust and go to hell with two eyes. I agree that the full weight of that responsibility does not lie on women, but on men.
BUT, the thing I keep coming back to is that in all things, it doesn’t really matter what I think about something or how something makes so and so feel: what matters when you’re following Christ is how HE thinks about it. What does the Bible say?
The Bible says a whole lot about this! Of course there are the verses that talk about women dressing modestly, but I’m not going to focus on that as much today.
I’m over in 1 Corinthians chapters 8 and 10 to see what Paul wrote about it. He’s talking to believers in Corinth about eating food that had been sacrificed to idols and whether or not they should partake of it. There was some freedom there, but ultimately it came down to honoring others above yourself. He didn’t want anyone (even accidentally) to cause another brother or sister to sin. Here’s a quote.
“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” (8:9)
And verses 12-13 say, “When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.”
Basically, the idea is that when you’re living for Jesus, you put others and what’s best for them ABOVE your own desires and feelings. Your main desire is for people to be able to live for Jesus the best they can and not be a stumbling block for anyone. Paul was willing to never eat meat again to avoid being a stumbling block to someone.
You see ladies, it’s not about you anymore. It’s about bringing glory to Jesus and honoring OTHERS above yourselves. Romans 12:10 says, Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Another good one to consider is Romans 10:31-33.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble….For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.”
Again, it’s not about you and your desire to look as attractive in that crop top and short, tight skirt that shows off your curves and highlights the ol’ booty anymore. It’s about seeking the good of others now.
I’ve heard enough stories from Christian brothers who are working SO HARD to keep their eyes on Jesus and their wives alone, but who struggle through those temptations everyday as girls prance before their eyes in the grocery stores wearing “booty” shorts and revealing tons of cleavage. These aren’t disgusting men who are perverts. They’re just regular guys who love Jesus and love their families, but whose brains are wired to like to see beautiful things. And it’s a temptation for them.
Again, it’s not our fault as women that we are beautiful for them to look at, but as their sisters in Christ, we should do whatever it takes (like Paul said) to honor them over our own desires to wear whatever we want. We can be beautiful without revealing things and trying to look sexy. That should be for our husbands alone.
So, as for me, I’m teaching my girls to be as modest as possible. We don’t wear bikinis in front of guys, and we try to wear the longest shorts we can find. (They’re still too short for my liking, as it’s pretty impossible to find things that aren’t tiny and short anymore, but I try at least.)
I don’t make them wear turtlenecks and long skirts, but I am teaching them to care MORE about others and helping their brothers in Christ keep their focus on Jesus and away from tempting thoughts than their desires to be attractive in the world’s view of what attractive is.
You see, my girls are gorgeous, and like all the other girls in their generation they desire to be thought of as beautiful. But unlike what the world teaches, I’m [trying to] teach them that they don’t have to try and fit in with fashion trends that come and go. Their beauty comes from within! They’re beautiful because God called them beautiful and created them fearfully and wonderfully. And their beauty won’t fade since it comes from a love for their Lord and Savior. This beauty won’t spoil or fade, but instead will grow and grow as they grow in their love for Jesus and others.
I’d love to hear your thoughts if there are other Bible verses I’m not considering. If I’m off on this in anyway (BIBLICALLY) let me know!
Love you all!
- Love, Crissy