Friday, February 10, 2012

Why Modesty?

Why do we even care about modesty? Who draws the line of what is modest and immodest? And how does the culture play into this? You may live in a beach town where wearing a swimsuit and a t-shirt to Walmart is the norm, but what is our responsibility as young ladies in Christ?

Our eyes don't have to travel too far to find something that should make us blush.

One day my mother and I were running some routine errands, and I looked out the car window and saw a billboard displaying a photo of a less-than-virtuous woman. My mother and I were embarrassed and thought it was just an advertisement associated with some pop culture figure. To our great surprise, it was an ad for......water. Yes, water! One of the most simple, pure things in life turned into a stumbling block for eyes and hearts. Having a younger brother, I realize how hard it must be for him to drive down the highway without being attacked by impure images.

The woman on the billboard knew exactly what she was doing when she posed for the photo. Many women understand why they present their bodies immodestly. Women are always advertising something. Always. Some are in search of fame; others of men. If you're not advertising for one of these, then think about what you are advertising. We all do it, but not all ads are bad. Advertising a humble, intelligent, and beautifully content woman is wonderful!

  What many young ladies don't realize is as they adorn themselves in immodest apparel, they are presenting as trash the treasure God has bestowed. Women desire to be admired, but immodest dress creates all the wrong kinds of attention. Our culture has, unfortunately, seared in our brains that flaunting ourselves is the only way to be admired. We live in a world that keeps people in all kinds of slavery. The idea of wearing "sexy" clothes in order to gain favor is a form of slavery to sin.

Now, we shouldn't expect the world to understand our convictions about dressing modestly and becomingly. Before we received the gift of freedom in Christ, we also were on the precarious path as described in the scriptures below. But for the grace and mercy of Christ, we all were once in the same condition.

"For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
Titus 3:3-7

Ladies, we have a special mission.

As young ladies, it is a privilege to help protect our fellow Christian brothers. I have had many friends of the opposite gender explain how hard it can be at times to divert their eyes away from young women because of their apparel. I'm not saying that this is our entire responsibility. We cannot solely carry the weight of our brothers' temptations -- there is a point where a young man's thoughts and self-control must be refined in scripture and held accountable to Christ. His personal responsibility is tested constantly, so why should we, his sisters in Christ, create more temptation?

I once heard the saying that we should desire to turn hearts, not heads. I think that sums it up pretty well. Turning heads can be accomplished very easily. Just throw on a tight dress with a deep-cut neckline and you'll get plenty of "attention." Turning hearts is showing Christ -- and that takes time.

So why modesty? Why not?
Modesty displays our value and identity in Christ, brings lasting relationships, encourages our brothers, and pleases our heavenly Father!

Lord, give us clean hands and pure hearts!
Hear one man's heart here.

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