Modest and Pure in Heart and Dress

Modest and Pure in Heart and Dress

A godly, pastor’s wife lent me her book Modesty: More Think a Change of Clothes by Martha Peace and Pastor Kent Keller. I love that it has a godly man chime in since it’s good to know men’s opinions about these things. They state that the purpose of this book is “about repenting from immodesty and becoming modest and pure in your heart and outward dress.”

We should not dress or act in any way that would cause another person to be tempted to sin. The Bible tells us we are not to be a ‘stumbling block to the weak'( 1 Corinthians 8:9). Since men are weaker in this area, we females should try to make it as easy as possible for them to remain pure…A woman could show love to the men in her life, whether she personally knows them or not, by not dressing in a way that would entice them to think of her in an unrighteous manner.

Another vivid picture of how difficult it is for a man not to lust after an immodestly dressed woman comes to us from one of the sermons of a seventeenth-century pastor, Richard Baxter. This part of the sermon was to help women understand the man’s struggle. Baxter suggested that you think of yourself as a candle in a room filled with gunpowder. Gunpowder is harmless in a room filled with gunpowder. When exposed to a flame, it immediately blows the entire building to bits. You cannot take it back once the explosion happens.

Therefore, protect your flame (be modest) so that you do not ignite explosive, sinful passion in guys who are quickly and easily inflamed by immodesty…You don’t have to hide, but you do have to cover those God-given gifts that are meant to be revealed only to your husband. Exposing those gifts outside the context of marriage cries out for the lustful attention of guys.”

Recently, I read a popular post that was going around Facebook that stated that the word ‘modest’ is only mentioned one time in the Bible and the Church makes too big of a deal about it, thus shaming women and placing all of the blame upon them for men lusting. I don’t know what church he goes to but in the 58 years that I’ve been attending church, I have never heard modesty taught from older women in the church or preached from the pulpit.

The concept of modesty isn’t mentioned only once in the Bible as he claimed. Nakedness and shame go together throughout the Word. The word ‘shamefaced’ is also mentioned referring to how women should behave which means to not draw attention to themselves. Women are also instructed to be discreet (prudent) and chaste (purity) which includes being modest. We are told to have meek and quiet spirits and our apparel, actions, and words either prove this to be true of us or false.

I also disagree that any of God’s principles can be made too big a deal about, especially in our overly immodest and highly-sexualized culture and yes, women need to know what their immodest dressing does to men. We are to be wise as serpents and not be children in our thinking or actions anymore.

What we wear IS important! It’s the first thing people notice about us when they see us. Are we bringing glory to the Lord in the way we dress or are we bringing glory to ourselves? We are to deny ourselves and think more highly of others than we do ourselves. We are to love other as ourselves. Do you love the men around you enough to cover up and not to be a stumbling block for them?

If you are married to a godly man, he should be your barometer on what is modest and immodest, not other women’s convictions or their husband’s convictions, but your husband’s convictions since he is head over you and you are called to submit to him. Since he is a man, he will easily know what men lust after today and what is modest. Modesty standards do change with the culture and times or we’d all be wearing dresses down to our feet and sleeves down to our wrists. Thankfully, the Lord didn’t define modesty for us so we do have freedom in Him to figure out our convictions individually, although there are some things that are definitely immodest which even ungodly men will admit.

Finally, your modesty should come from a place of love and devotion to your Heavenly Father. Your heart’s desire should be to please Him in everything by living in obedience to all of His ways. When you love Him deeply, dressing and acting modestly will come easily for you since you represent Jesus on this earth and you will want to adorn the Gospel of Christ. Ultimately, modesty is a heart issue and the way you dress shows if your heart has been transformed by the power of the Word or not.

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
1 Corinthians 6:19, 20

20 thoughts on “Modest and Pure in Heart and Dress

  1. Great post! I’m always striving to dress in a way that please the Lord. My standards are higher than my husband’s in that area..some dresses I’ve put on and felt uncomfortable in them but my husband doesn’t see a problem with them. It’s interesting having a more strict view on clothes than my hubby 🙂 we could use prayer this week and next..we live right where the Sturgis motorcycle rally goes on and it’s a disgusting environment during this time. Billboards and bike washes. And just the women on the bikes. My hubby will be around it since he delivers all over. I need prayer that I wouldn’t worry and he needs prayer to stand strong.

    1. Yes, just give it to the Lord in prayer, Brittany, and then leave it there. Don’t worry but trust Him to protect your husband. It’s your husband’s responsibility to not look, not yours. We must not take on burdens that the Lord never intended for us to take!

    2. My question is if our standards are higher than our husbands, how does that work. If we are to be submissive and his modest is less than ours, I don’t understand. If he still desires modest ok, but I don’t think we should go even more than what he desires. I have heard some men say that they prefer their wife to dress to please them, not others. I dress modest but still pleasing my husband’s modest and yet not frumpy looking.

      My husband has been in contact with some men that desire their wife to dress for them, so they don’t look at other women.

      1. We obey our husbands, Jo, since they are head over us. Ken likes my skirts and dresses above my knees a few inches so this is where I wear them. Others believe this is immodest but I don’t care since it’s my husband who sets my standards.

        If a woman is married to an unbeliever, God commands that she live in subjection to her husband with godly behavior in order to win him. Therefore, she dresses to please him but as modest as possible within what he likes.

        1. Lori, I have thought about this so much lately that I’m going in circles in my mind! Forgive me if you’ve already covered this topic in a previous blog post, but in your opinion, does the Bible suggest that skirts/dresses are more appropriate for women than pants/shorts? There are tight and loose versions of each type of clothing so that would matter concerning modesty, but I am confused which is more “Biblical” (if that makes sense!) I have to say that for me when I wear long skirts (ankle length) I feel the most modest and feminine. I generally don’t wear anything tight and my husband has never commented out of concern.

          1. I think it depends on what activity you are doing and your body type. An ankle length skirt swallows my chunky 5 ft frame up. And I’m outside on the homestead 90% of the time and I’d just be tripping over a long skirt anyway. I’m generally in pants or shorts while working.

            I’m unclear exactly what “feeling feminine” means? I’m feminine because I’m a woman, I’m bethadilly, with curves & long curly hair. My clothes can’t change that either way.

          2. I always feel more feminine when wearing skirts/dresses than pants, but I do wear jeans quite a lot because they’re practical. My husband doesn’t mind me in either jeans or a skirt, but he doesn’t like me wearing a skirt above my knees unless I have leggings under it. He also doesn’t like me wearing tight pants (my jeans are not skin-tight). He always prefers me to look feminine and modest.

            Someone directed me to an article once about why skirts are more modest than pants and the reason given was that when women wear pants, men’s eyes are drawn to the woman’s crotch and bottom, but when she wears a flowing skirt, men aren’t as tempted to look because the fabric isn’t clinging and revealing body parts.
            I don’t know whether that’s true or not, but it could be worth considering.

            I do know some Christian women who wear skirts/dresses exclusively and the Bible verse they give is the one in Deueronomy 22:5 that speaks of women not wearing man’s clothing. But I have always been of the opinion that that verse pertains to cross-dressing/transvestites.

    3. Certainly my husband is of the view that my standards should be more conservative than his. In that he would never want to feel he needed to ask me to be more modest

  2. Thank you for your post today. I love being constantly reminded of these precious truths for women from the Word. This is an area where I strive to be a silent witness by dressing to please the Lord. I take the opportunities God gives me , but so many have hardened their hearts in this area of modest.

    1. Yes, our culture is good at hardening women’s hearts to what is right, good, and godly. They have breathed the feminist air their entire lives and have no concept of modesty and virtue, unfortunately. This is why older women are to teach them so they at least know the truth and then can decide whether to obey it or not.

  3. I have recently ordered several dresses from a website that only supplies modest clothes. I have never received so many compliments on my clothes since I started wearing them. From both Christians and secular friends. I think some women truly want to dress with elegance and modesty, but it can be hard to even find clothing options that are modest. I know I have had a really hard time finding the right clothes, especially the are modern, cute, and cover enough to run around with my little kids all day. Thanks for the great message, it’s always encouraging in my day.

  4. This morning I have visited a holistic dentist. Since there aren’t any in my city, I went to another city. While I was in the waiting room, a Muslim woman came in. She was dressed conservatively, wearing a dark blue ankle length dress with long sleeves, a large headscarf and socks with shoes. Only her face and hands were visible. This is really conservative for Muslim women in the West, since most of them wear western clothes (long sleeves, trousers, tunic and hijab).
    In the past I would have been uneasy around her, judging her to be prude and a doormat to her husband. Now I’m not so sure anymore.
    While I was waiting for my bus, I saw a big advertising at a bus stop, eye level. It depicted a woman with a VERY skimpy bikini, practically naked, in a very provocative pose. It was not even advertising bikinis, I don’t even remember what.
    I thought about the Muslim woman at the dentist office. While I would never dress like her, she’s much better than the practically naked woman of that advertisement. She has self respect and dignity, the other is a harlot. And those who paid for that advertisement are just encouraging immodesty, women objectification and immorality.
    To be honest, if I have to choose between those two attired, I choose the one of the Muslim woman.

    1. I think its just we associate a muslim with terror. Ive spoken to some lovely, well spoken and polite mmuslim women. But a shiver goes down my spine whenever i see islamic dress. But your right, id rather be in a roomfull of women in islamic dress, than a roomfull of bikini clad women. At least i know my husband wouldnt go near an islamic woman with a 10 ft barge pole.

      1. I don’t. Not at all.
        I leave in a country were the biggest immigrant groups are Muslim, so I’m pretty used to them. I used to have several Muslim co-workers in the past. I just see people, albeit from a different cultural background.
        I guess that I was uneasy around them because many dress like that to please their husbands and not be lusted over by men. This seemed prude and exaggerated. I was also uneasy about the place that religion has in their life, in most Muslim societies there is not a real separation between the state snd religion, so people take religion very seriously. How backward, I thought. We know better, right?
        Well, not really. To be honest, I’m becoming more conservative. While I have never been pro-choice or feminist, I used to be a progressive. The point is that this “progress” is going at such a fast pace (people more and more undressed, traditional family more and more destroyed, sexual satisfaction more and more important, no room for disagreements), that I can’t keep with it. So much that now I’m a conservative and slowly but surely Christianity is taking a bigger space in my life. Of course I’m revising my position around Muslim women, and I’m not uneasy anymore about their attire choices. While I would never dress like them, I totally respect their position.

        1. I have visited Moslem countries and whilst doing so chosen to dress very modestly (covering my arms, full length skirts and covered my hair) honestly I felt very comfortable and my husband was very much in favour of my doing so.

          Definitely my husband would like me to dress much more modestly than I do (which is already very modest by most standards) but is reluctant to insist because it would make me ‘stand out’ more than he feels comfortable with.

  5. Just ordered 2 dresses. I cant wait! Just what ive been looking for and prices are good too. Will buy more in the future. 😍

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