Monday, April 9, 2012

The Truth About Modesty

Modesty? hmm..

What do you think of when you hear Modesty?  Skirts? Dresses?

I have been recently reading a lot about modesty and it got me to thinking... am I modest? Should I be wearing skirts everyday?  With the thousand other questions that followed, I went and spoke to my husband.  I asked him how he defines modesty and what does modesty mean to him.

Before I continue I want to let you know I am the only girl in my family with three brothers and I am the only woman in my home with four males (and one male cat).  So I thought, I really need to get to the bottom of this whole modesty thing.

As I was saying I spoke to my husband.  He really did not define modesty for me, instead he explained it. My husband I must say is such a man of God.  I truly admire him because when he shares his heart he is careful not to offend.  He knows how to approach.  He explained to me that when he looks at me and what I wear, the first thing that he thinks of is how other women will see an example in me.  He said that I am example for the women and young ladies in our church and the women around me.  He then went on to say that I set an example for our SONS!

In I Timothy 2:9 and10 we are told: “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes but with good works, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.”

My husband never came out and said, Monica I want you to wear skirts all the time, no, he gave me greater insight to what modesty really is.

The key to understanding what constitutes modesty in dress is to examine the attitudes and intents of the heart. Those whose hearts are inclined toward God will make every effort to dress modestly, decently, and appropriately. Those whose hearts are included toward self will dress in a manner designed to draw attention to themselves with little or no regard for the consequences to themselves or others. 

Modesty starts with our heart and relationship with God.  What good is it if I wear dresses and skirts and cover myself up, but I inside of me there is anger and bitterness.  What good is it to dress in this manner if I constantly yell at my children and have an attitude with my husband (no self -control), if I cannot forgive those around me....



My way of dressing cannot cover up what goes on in my heart, in my home nor in my marriage.

1. free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, conceit or great pretensions. 2. propriety in behavior(conduct), speech, dress

So interesting that even the dictionary tells us that modesty has to do with our conduct and our character.

If my heart is inclined towards godliness, everything about me: what I do, what I say and what I wear will reflect God. 

Modesty in dress is simply, and should be, a reflection of modesty and godliness of the heart.  This should be our greatest desire.  I do not just want to dress modestly to please God and my husband, but I want to reflect that the fruit of God dwells in me and pours out of me on a daily basis.
12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. ~ 1 Timothy 4:12
Modesty is humility expressed in the way we dress.  Modesty is the desire to serve those around us. ~ CJ Mahaney

Jerry Bridges calls good works – “deliberate deeds that are helpful to others” (The Practice of Godliness). Our good works are acts of kindness that are evidence of our salvation (that Christ lives in us). 
 CJ Mahaney asks these questions, that I ask myself and that you can meditate on as well.
Which do you think about more – shopping or good works?

What are you most noticed for – what you wear or your kind deeds?

What is most eye-catching about you – your clothing or your character?
Bottom line is this:  I am not saying do not wear skirts, dresses, etc.  I believe that what we wear needs to reflect God in our life.  I believe that we need glorify and honor God with how we dress. I believe that we need to honor our husbands with how we dress.  I also believe that we need to glorify God in our conduct, speech and life.   The first place to do this is in the ministry that God gave me called HOME.  My conduct and speech towards my husband must not be boastful, filled with "me's", but should be humble and submissive.  My conduct and speech toward my children should bring them closer to God and be an example for them. 
May all we do: serve our husbands and children, keep no record of wrongs, especially when our husbands say something that, honestly they do not mean, or when our children do something wrong or misbehave; be a joyful wife and mother, even when things don't go as planned; maintain a home where God's presence dwells, even when we have had a rough day.... honor God and bring Him glory.

Before we go out to change our entire wardrobe in our closet, let's do a heart check...
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails... ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Living By His Grace,
 Linked up to the blogs in the Link up PAGE ABOVE!

My blog has been featured this week at  What Joy is Mine - Naomi has such a beautiful blog and testimony, please stop by, visit and follow!  I know you will be encouraged!


  1. An often overlooked point when discussing modesty, I think!

    It always does point back to our hearts and our behavior first, doesn't it? What good is it to be in our modest/Sunday best if our hearts and actions don't reflect His glory?

    Nicely said!

  2. Wonderfully said! I remember as a teen getting fed-up with the whole "modesty thing" because modesty it seemed to me, was viewed as the be-all, end-all.
    I absolutely agree that proper outward modesty should be a product of inward (heart) modesty!

    1. Hello Elise!
      So glad you stopped by... hope you continue following and were blessed!

      God Bless

  3. Wonderful post, I also live with many boys and it has made me more aware. I love how you point to the heart and do not sound legalistic at all! Your blog looks so pretty I love it!

    1. Hi Tesha!
      I must say as my boys are growing, I am more aware of their curiosity! But rather them be (humanly) curious, I want to direct them to what truly matters our heart for God!

      I am glad you like the FRESH LOOK! The other way was done because my focus was homeschool... but God's Focus is ENCOURAGEMENT... So I changed it and made it more feminine and me!!

      God bless you my friend,
      By His Grace

  4. Great post! I agree modesty is a heart issue. Question I've asked myself before to check my heart is "Who am I dressing for?" Thanks for your encouragement to be a modest mom.

  5. I LOVE this post! So many times when people discuss modesty they focus on the outward clothing. You can be dressed fully covered and still be a shameful person on the inside! Thank you for this perspective!

  6. "Modesty in dress is simply, and should be, a reflection of modesty and godliness of the heart." Very well put! Without your character in check, dressing a certain way has no real value. I love how you put in the definition of modesty according to the dictionary and how it is a trait, not necessarily a way of dressing! Perspective change for me there, thank you! -Nicole @ Working Kansas Homemaker

  7. hi friend...passing by to invite you im hosting a tuesday bloghop...hope you join...if you feel to...your welcome...loves soraya

  8. Monica, I love this post! My 18 year old just did a guest post on my blog about this very thing...a hard subject, but one that needs to be addressed. Thank you for your well thought out post!

  9. Very well written post. I agree completely! Glad you stopped by my blog.

  10. This is a wonderful topic. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and your husbands response. Very thought provoking.

    Thank you for joining us and NOBH. I look forward to reading more of your posts. God bless you!

  11. I've been reading a lot on modesty too. There's a few books on my list to buy, but why buy a book when you can read blog posts on the subject?

    I'd love for you to link up with my blog,

  12. Such a good point that modesty is about attitude more than anything else. Thanks.

  13. Well stated, carefully supported by other sources, GENTLY given guidance so pertinent for women especially ones mightily influenced by media. All covered up in dark colors does not guarantee a character and heart following our Lord. One might also look at Ester. A queen who carefully prepared her appearance to carry out God's plan to save his people.

  14. Good Point! Modesty is important, but our heart attitude is more important.

  15. Wonderful post! We can be modest in our dress but if our attitude is wrong it doesn't mean a thing!

    Thanks so much for linking this post up at Consider the Lilies! :)

  16. I'm visiting from Jennifer's blog. Thanks for your thoughts. I have six daughters and based on their current clothing choices I know we need to revisit this topic again. I am praying for ways to address this issue with them.

  17. There's a few different angles of Modesty generally it would seem (to me), matter of appropriate dress, not being a stumbling block to males and the heart issues.
    Thanks for the encouraging post and the respectful loving views of your husband
    Blessings xx

  18. I enjoyed reading this post and your husband had great insight as well on this topic. Modesty is definitely not something our society values and completely understands so thank you for shedding some light on this misunderstood topic that is so important for us spiritually. Thanks for sharing at NOBH!

  19. Yes, to dress with modesty, but to dress the heart with humility and grace. Thank you for sharing.

  20. Good points here. I like how you focus on the heart and attitudes before the outer coverings. Great post!

  21. Wonderful post on a much-needed and often neglected topic. Our ornament should be that of a meek and quiet spirit, which is well-pleasing to the Lord. Your blog is a blessing and I am now following it, and I invite you to follow mine, Saved by Grace
    Laurie Collett

  22. Hi Monica - beautiful, and such great wisdom from your husband.
    So glad you linked this post up. God bless and hope to see you there next week

  23. Great post, Monica. Many women today, even Christians, do not think about modesty. Your husband indeed sounds like a very wise and godly man.

    Thank you so much for linking up at Reflections of His Grace.


  24. Great post! I agree, sometimes when we talk about modesty, we immediately think about dresses, skirts...but it's not the point.
    First we must have a modest heart, full of love..
    I think dressing in a modest way is good, but it's not modesty.
    The way we dress is just a consequence of our modest heart.
    And a women with a modest heart surely wears modest dresses.

    Thank you for this beautiful post!

  25. Monica, I also have 2 sons who are now young men. I have had to wrestle with this in years past, but now I look at my motives so much more closely. We must clean up our hearts for the sweetness to show thorough. Thank your husband for me. Excellent post!

  26. Amen and amen!!!!!! We live in an area where Apostolic Christians are abundant and they dress extremely modestly and I actually avoid wearing skirts when in public to avoid being characterized as one of them. They are very legalistic and known to be so. What matters is the heart, not the clothing. Because if you take care of the heart, the clothing will shine forward much brighter and more beautiful! Thanks for linking up!!!


  27. Thank you so much for this!! It's only recently (through blogs linking up on sites I visit) that I have ever been exposed to people who define the term "modesty" as being synonymous to "wearing dresses/skirts all the time." I find it so frustrating. There needs to be a whole new word created for it, because "wearing dresses/skirts" is NOT the be all end all definition of modesty. Modesty has it's own definition and it has nothing to do with skirts/dresses (except that they be modest when you do wear them! lol)

    -Crystal @ Serving Joyfully

  28. I enjoyed your post and I totally agree with you. Too often modesty is thought to be what you put on your body, while that is a part of it, it's not the TRUE definition of modesty. The Lord wants our hearts to be just as modest as our clothing choices. Too often women have a prideful spirit about dressing modestly, not realizing that while their bodies may be clothed modestly, their heart is far from it.

    Thanks for participating in Feminine Friday last week! I'd love for you to come back again this week!

    Susan Godfrey

  29. Stopping by from Growing Home: I really appreciate this post because I have lived under the system where one placed greater emphasis on the clothing (and generally the heavier burden was placed on the women, while men were given a pass for not taking the responsibility to control their thoughts). It caused me to become extremely insecure and self conscious. But when our hearts are pure, our motives will right themselves and we will WANT to protect ourselves and those around us out of a heart of love and care for them...not focusing on ourselves but on others. Whether that be dresses/skirts...or modest pants/shorts. Thank you for your wonderful thoughts. Have a great day! Blessings from Croatia: A Little R & R:



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