With Summer officially here as of today in the USA, I thought I would share my thoughts and feelings on modesty, which sadly, more and more these days, is a vanishing value the world over. I will also share links to some of my favorite shops for modest clothing at the end of the article.
As woman who is driven by her faith and trust in HaShem and His Word, it is my duty, as someone who bears His name, to represent His kingdom and standards to the best of my ability. That ability includes maintaining to the highest standards obedience, humility and modesty in all areas of my life as His child and servant.
When most people think of the word modesty their first thoughts are usually about the way a person is dressed. But modesty goes far beyond our choice of clothing! Modesty extends to our speech, actions, attitude and behavior as well! For example, a woman can be in a long-sleeved turtle neck, head covering, and long skirt and yet still be considered immodest because she is screaming at her husband! Or maybe she is dressed modestly but is using curse words. Perhaps she is even being loud, brash and bossy. Maybe she is dressed in modest clothing, but her accessories are bold, flashy, and showy, meant to draw attention to herself. All the aforementioned behavior, words and actions can hardly be considered modest by biblical standards! 1 Peter tells us that a gentle and quiet spirit is of great value in our Father’s sight!
1 Peter 3:1-6
~In the same way, wives, submit to your husbands; so that even if some of them do not believe the Word, they will be won over by your conduct, without your saying anything, as they see your respectful and pure behavior. Your beauty should not consist in externals such as fancy hairstyles, gold jewelry or what you wear; rather, let it be the inner character of your heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit. In Elohim’s sight this is of great value. This is how the holy women of the past who put their hope in Yahweh used to adorn themselves and submit to their husbands, the way Sarah obeyed Avraham, honoring him as her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not succumb to fear.~
1 Timothy 2:8-15
~Therefore, it is my wish that when the men pray, no matter where, they should lift up hands that are holy – they should not become angry, get loud and get into arguments. Likewise, the women, when they pray, should be dressed modestly and sensibly in respectable attire, not with elaborate hairstyles and gold jewelry, or pearls, or expensive clothes. Rather, they should adorn themselves with what is appropriate for women who claim to be worshiping Elohim, namely, good deeds. Let a woman learn in peace, fully submitted; but I do not permit a woman to teach a man or exercise authority over him; rather, she is to remain at peace. For Adam was formed first, then Havah. Also it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman who, on being deceived, became involved in the transgression. Nevertheless, the woman will be delivered through childbearing, provided that she continues trusting, loving and living a holy life with modesty.~
A man can also be immodest with his choice of clothing, speech, actions and attitude! Modesty isn’t just a woman’s responsibility!
1 Peter 3:7-11
~You husbands, likewise, conduct your married lives with understanding. Although your wife may be weaker physically, you should respect her as a fellow-heir of the gift of Life. If you don’t, your prayers will be blocked. Finally, all of you, be one in mind and feeling; love as brothers; and be compassionate and humble-minded, not repaying evil with evil or insult with insult, but, on the contrary, with blessing. For it is to this that you have been called, so that you may receive a blessing. For “Whoever wants to love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit, turn from evil and do good, seek peace and chase after it.~
Ok, all that being said, turning back to the issue of modest dressing/clothing….It saddens and also disturbs my heart to see those who call themselves believers in our Messiah dressing exactly the opposite way! If you are going to claim to be servants in HIS name, does the packaging represent HIS company well? Does showing your cleavage (women), thighs, legs, and shoulders to anyone other than your husband speak highly of Him? Does it tell others you are reserved for your husband and your Elohim ALONE or does it advertise to others they can look upon your body, too? Men, does showing your chest, thighs, upper arms and back say you are reserved for your wife alone or does it say to other women, “Hey, it’s ok to look upon my manly physique”?
~But I tell you that a man who even looks at a woman with the purpose of lusting after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.~
Some would argue with me that we can cover all we want, but the fact is that there are some that will STILL be tempted by, say, our eyes, hands, feet, etc. This is certainly true, but what exactly are they trying to argue with me about? Does this mean we should NOT do what is within our own power to help keep the majority of our brothers/sisters from being tempted by our dress?! If one is still tempted despite our modest dress, then that becomes their issue and we can walk away knowing we did NOT assist our brother/sister in stumbling and sinning with lust!
Everyone’s idea of what is and is not modest is a bit different, but when looking at biblical dress, we can surmise one thing…they wore long robes and tunics. So showing thighs is out, showing cleavage is out! If we are set-apart, chosen people, we MUST dress like we are so we can be known as such! If we dress (and ACT for that matter) like the world, how are they to tell we are set-apart from them?!
For me, personally, I find revealing legs above the knees to be immodest as well as revealing arms too far above the elbows and for women, any low-cut cleavage, and for men, baring their chests/abdomen. Tight clothing is also immodest in my opinion as it highlights the very shape and curve of body parts. I find covering my hair as well for me is a must.
Why do I feel that way? Here are MY reasons: body parts can be a source of temptation for some, and some of the main areas folks struggle with are the ones I mentioned covering. I can remember a time when I did not cover my long hair, and the compliments I would get about it from men especially. When I married, my entire body became my husband’s, and that includes my hair. He LOVES my hair, so to reserve this for him alone, I cover it when I am out. The same goes for other body parts that should solely be for my husband, my lover here on earth, and for my Elohim, the lover of my soul!
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
~Or don’t you know that your body is a temple for the Ruach HaKodesh who lives inside you, whom you received from Yahweh? The fact is, you don’t belong to yourselves; for you were bought at a price. So use your bodies to glorify Elohim.~
I Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us that our bodies are the temple of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), and as such we should treat them with respect and use them to glorify Elohim.
So the question we should ask ourselves is: Does what I am wearing glorify Yahweh’s temple? Does the speech that falls from the lips of His temple glorify Him? Do my actions bring glory to His temple or tear it down? Does my attitude reflect the sheer majesty and glory of His temple?
I, for one, want to glorify the temple of my Elohim in every way, and strive daily to do so. Will you join me in being obedient to His Word?
I have included pictures of modest clothing, swim wear, head coverings, and links to some of my favorite sites for such for those who want to join me or need ideas! NOTE: Where I have the spaghetti strap maxi dresses, I add short sleeve t-shirts underneath to keep them modest!
Links for some modest clothing and swimwear sites (please feel free to add your own in the comments section):