As girls, we can appreciate the pleasure found in knowing a secret that nobody else knows. We like knowing that our friend trusts us enough to allow us to be the one person she tells her secret to. Not only does it make us feel special, but it also strengthens our friendship. Whether we’re married or waiting for our future husbands, as Christian women, we have a secret that is only for our husbands, a secret that is only to be revealed after marriage, and only to the men we marry. We want our husbands someday to appreciate that we thought enough of them to keep ourselves a secret for them, and that this secret-keeping will strengthen our bonds with them. So how do we keep this secret a secret? With modesty.
Why is modesty important? The virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 is said to do “her husband good and not evil ALL the days of her life” (31:12, emphasis added). I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone who’s been married all the days she’s been alive. This can only mean one thing: I’m supposed to do my husband good before I’m married to him, and before I even know his name. This means not sharing my secret and keeping it safe by being modest. Needless to say, if you’re married, this includes you too; you just have the blessing of knowing the man you’re secret-keeping for. Not only this, but modesty keeps us from causing our brothers in Christ to stumble. Guys need to stay pure for their wives just as much as we need to stay pure for our husbands. Matthew 5:28 says that any man who lusts after a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Too often we write off lust as “the guy’s problem.” We think that if guys are lusting after us, they’re being pigs and need to control themselves. However, if we’re dressing in a lust-provoking way, we’re not helping them out! Look at Romans 14:13. We need to quit judging the guys as pigs and start removing the stumbling blocks! Let’s keep in mind, too, that our physical appearance isn’t modesty’s only factor. A woman can be completely covered from head to toe and still betray her secret by talking suggestively and provocatively. Our speech and actions play into our purity just as much as our dress does.
How do we stay modest? In this day and age, it’s hard to find modest clothes, especially if you’re a teenager. Sometimes it’s even hard to tell if something is modest or not. If you’re having trouble, here are a few tips:
1. Ask your sisters in Christ for help in deciding if something is modest. Multiple opinions from good, God-fearing women who care about your purity usually do a lot of good.
2. As women, it’s not always easy for us to tell what’s going to cause guys to stumble, because we’re not guys! If you’re not sure, always ask your dad. If you’re married, ask your husband. He’s a guy, and he knows what’s a problem for them and what’s not. This way you can get a man’s perspective without causing any stumbling.
3. Lots of otherwise immodest clothes can be “fixed” with layering. A low-cut top can be fixed with a camisole (provided the cami comes up high enough to help). A jacket easily fixes a strapless dress. I’m sure you get the picture.
Modesty doesn’t mean we have to hide the fact that we’re women. The objective is not to dress like men and/ or to dress in a way that isn’t flattering. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being physically beautiful and feeling beautiful as long as we are doing so in a God-glorifying way. However, no matter how we look on the outside, it is important to realize that our true beauty comes from within. Read through Psalm 45:9-13. These gorgeous descriptions are how God sees those who follow Him. If we’re emulating Christ and setting His example, we’re TRULY beautiful.
“Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” 1 Peter 3:3-4
By Melissa Hite
Melissa Hite is (almost) a sophomore studying English at Harding University. While she may live in Arkansas, her heart has stayed in Colorado with her family at Bear Valley Church of Christ. She hopes someday to be not only a mom, but also a Christian writer.