Modesty in the Summer Months

Modesty in the Summer Months

When I began writing this post, I meant to write about the undressing of women in the warmer months which is happening here in California. I decided to do a word study on the word ‘modest’ and did you know that it appears only one time in the Bible? “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with modesty and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array” (1 Timothy 2:9).  Modest in the dictionary means “free from ostentation or showy extravagance.” Since it appears only one time in the Word, I decided to go to the commentaries to see what the men of old had to say about it.

“Being present and taking part silently—avoiding especially in these services anything like a conspicuous dress or showy ornaments—anything, in fact, which would be likely to arouse attention, or distract the thoughts of others” (Elliot’s Commentary). This verse about modesty appears in the context where the Apostle Paul is explaining worship in a church setting. Men are to lift holy hands; women are to adorn themselves in modest apparel and good works, learn in silence with subjection, and not teach nor be in authority over men.

Therefore, what we wear to church should not be anything that attracts attention to ourselves or distracts others from worship, but it seems that it should be this way in our daily lives, too, since our lives should be lived in worship to Him! (I do love how this commentary describes women in the church service; “being present and taking part silently.” A good reminder for us all since this is a discipline women must learn and many are rebelling against today as we can see from all the women preachers on the scene.)

“What the apostle especially forbids is that immodest manner of dressing which is calculated to excite impure desires in the spectators, or a vain admiration of the beauty of those that use it: also that gaudiness or showiness of dress which proceeds from vanity, and nourishes vanity, wastes time and money, and so prevents many good works” (Benson Commentary). Our culture is obsessed with clothes. Our closets are packed full with them. Styles change often so we mistakenly believe we must too. Most of us spend way too much money on clothes and on ourselves, yet the Lord wants us to spend our time and money on good works instead. Let’s not dress to attract undue attention from others since we are called to be shamefaced. The only thing that should attract others to ourselves is our joy and kindness towards them.

“Good works are the best ornament; these are, in the sight of God, of great price. Modesty and neatness are more to be consulted in garments than elegance and fashion. And it would be well if the professors of serious godliness were wholly free from vanity in dress. They should spend more time and money in relieving the sick and distressed, than in decorating themselves and their children. To do this in a manner unsuitable to their rank in life, and their profession of godliness, is sinful. These are not trifles, but Divine commands. The best ornaments for professors of godliness, are good works” (Matthew Henry). What are good works? Joyfully serving our families and taking good care of them. Helping those in need. Being generous with our time, money, and energy. Praying for others. It’s being living sacrifices as the Lord has asked us to be. Let’s learnt to care a lot more about this instead of how we look; for true beauty is the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit (being gentle and kind).

“A female may as truly violate the precepts of her religion by neglecting her personal appearance as by excessive attention to it. The true idea here is, that her attention to her appearance should be such that she will be offensive to no class of persons; such as to show that her mind is supremely fixed on higher and more important things, and such as to interfere with no duty which she owes, and no good which she can do, either by spending her time needlessly in personal adorning, or by lavishing that money for dress which might do good to others, or by neglecting the proprieties of her station, and making herself offensive to others” (Barnes’ Notes). There needs to be balance. Yes, let’s do our best to look neat and tidy. Our husbands do like us to look pretty and clean. Some women go to the opposite extreme and live in sweats and t-shirts all day without even fixing their hair. This is just as wrong as spending too much time and money on ourselves. We are daughters of the King and so let’s look like it!

“Your appearance is the first thing people will notice about you and thus creates an impression of who you are and what your influence will be. You are often faced with a dilemma of choosing between contemporary fashion trends and the commitments to purity and holiness of your faith…Just as I assume that the label on a product is accurate, so God’s Word challenges me to dress in such a way that my outward appearance is an accurate label for my character.” (Pat Ennis)

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.
1 Peter 1:15

***Now, onto dressing modestly for the warmer months! I found this skirt I’m wearing in the picture at Zappos. (It was on sale when I bought it and you have to buy it one size smaller than you usually wear.) I love it! It is so comfortable. The first time I wore it was on a walk near our home that Ken and I take every day. At the end of the walk, he said to me, “I like you a lot more in that skirt than in jeans!” I was actually surprised but happy since it’s a lot more comfortable. (I wear these soft bike shorts under them for comfort and more modesty.) I used to wear shorts in the warmer months but I’m switching to wearing more dresses and skirts since I do believe they are more modest, especially as I grow older. How do you dress modestly in summer?

27 thoughts on “Modesty in the Summer Months

  1. Lori — an interesting post. How do you and Ken incorporate this comment from above into your lives? “Most of us spend way too much money on clothes and on ourselves, yet the Lord wants us to spend our time and money on good works instead. ”

    Besides the family do you have any favorite charities or community programs you like to support (with money time, energy, etc)?

    1. The verse that comes to my mind with your question is this one:

      “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:3, 4)

      I have always found it odd when people share how much and to whom they’ve given money to, therefore, I am not going to do it, since we are told in His Word not to do this. We are each only accountable to the Lord in this area but yes, we absolutely should be generous and give to those in need!

  2. Very good post Lori. I rarely wear pants anymore as I love skirts too. Years ago my daughters and I went dresses and skirts only for about 2 yrs. It really put a wall up between some of our believing friends and community. We decided it was best to wear pants and capris sometimes too. We all prefer the comfort of skirts in the summer and warm months. I really love the commentaries in your posts. Thanks so much for all your hard work here. I have been teaching my 15 yr old daughter from your blog. ~Diane

    1. You’re welcome, Diane! I have loved studying and learning from the godly men of old. I love wearing pants at times also, especially in the cooler months. It’s too bad that what you wear put up a wall even with your believing friends. It certainly is not the way it should be among Christians!

  3. Good morning Lori! Since I live a plain lifestyle my modesty standards for warm weather is pretty much the same the rest of the year. I wear long dresses but I think I want to learn to sew some dresses with shorter but still modest sleeves. Your skirt is so cute on you☺
    I totally hear you on the “undressing” of women in warmer weather. I see this girls and ladies wearing next to nothing and I wonder if they really looked in the mirror before they left the house. ?

    1. I am sure they do, Regina. They like the attention they get from men. It all goes back to the breakdown of the family. Daughters who are deeply loved by their fathers don’t need to dress sexy to gain male attention because they are so loved and secure. So many today sell themselves cheaply and suffer a lifetime because of it, sadly.

  4. Modesty is a form of submission of the heart, unto the Lord. Sadly a lot of “christians” don’t even follow what the Bible says in its entire. Muslim women have a firm of godliness but they dress more modest than most women who say they are following Jesus. If the church understood modesty there would be a great difference. Modesty and submission go hand in hand.

    1. The Bible does call women to adorn themselves with submission to their husbands: “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands” (1 Peter 3:5) so they do seem to go hand-in-hand. Most women today are in rebellion and hate the concepts of submission and modesty but as godly women, we love these concepts and joyfully obey the Lord in both of them.

      1. Well said:) I agree. A lot of people I don’t know think I am Muslim because of the way I dress and I keep my head covered. When I tell them I’m a follower of Jesus they are shocked because of what a modern day Christian women carries herself. It’s really sad. Rebellion is like a cancer,if not taken care of it spread not only to other parts of the body but also the children.

  5. In summer I wear capris and cute knee-length skirt. I love wearing something colorful, because I feel it’s giving a happy note to something that’s uncommon for a woman my age to wear. I am 40 and women my age wear generally very immodest clothes.
    My husband says he prefers me wearing that I wear than wearing what other women wear! He says I’m for him only, and he doesn’t want other men seeing what’s for him only ☺! Have an happy week end dear Lori!

  6. Hi Lori, your post today was wonderfully encouraging. I dress the way I wish other women would dress around my husband. Looking forward to your posts next week!

  7. Found this article saying more young people support sahm. I’ve just skimmed it but thought it might be something you’d be interested.

    It doesn’t relate to today’s post, but just wanted to share it with you, if you’re interested.

  8. You look lovely and modest in your pretty skirt! I’m​ sure it will be a very useful piece for a long time because you can wear it with a lot of different clothing items. 🙂

    I have been wearing skirts and dresses exclusively for over 3 years and I’ve never run into any issues with being limited in my capabilities. I try and dress in a manner that I would want other women around my husband to dress, just as the woman above said.

    I have heard other women say that dressing femininely like this has caused a bad reaction in people around them who think it’s somehow “judgmental” to dress this way exclusively. I guess that surprises me because I’ve never so much as received a comment from friends or family members, and my family is quite an opinionated bunch. 😉 My daughters and I do receive a lot of nice compliments from strangers when we are out and about, who treat us much more sweetly and tell us how nice it is to see ladies dressing like ladies. I think it has made me much more approachable to other women, as well, because I’m not a visual “threat” to their marriage.

    I think the key to reaching people instead of repelling them has a lot more to do with our behavior. For example, because I’m naturally a shy person, I used to walk into a room and kind of keep to myself. This caused others to think I was judging them. One day, when I was lementing about it to my husband, he told me that I should go into a room and, within the first 10 seconds, establish myself as friendly and encouraging. That if I would go in there and “tell” people what to think of me by my behavior, instead of letting them form their own negative opinions based on my standoffishness, I could reach more people. This changed everything for me! I’ve taught my children to do the same and it’s a blessing to see them walk through the grocery store with me and make it their aim to be a light and a smile to all we walk by. In some way, I think that’s a way we can be modest in spirit by letting Christ’s light shine in us to reach others.

    1. I was so happy when I say your name, TJFW! It’s been a long time. I would love to see your wardrobe and see what you wear on a daily basis. This skirt is very well made and gives me the option to wear a different shirt every day since everything matches jean material. I am very happy with it!

      And yes, training our children to be kind is so important. My sister was very intentional about this and it paid off; her children are all very friendly. My mom just told me when I was young that being shy is being selfish so that woke me up quickly because I didn’t want to be selfish!

      1. I read your blog everyday after I finish reading my Bible, so I’m sorry our friendship has been so one-sided lately. Haha. 😉

        I just texted you a few pictures of some outfits I wear daily. I know you and I are different heights, but we’re both slender so I find putting on a belt when I wear dresses or wearing an A-line style that’s slightly cinched at the waist helps to look more feminine and less boyish. I did this with a knee-length denim dress I have and my husband loved it.

        I tend to choose solid-colored shirts and then a solid, pattern, or feminine details on the skirts. I get a lot more use out of my outfits this way because I can rotate tops. Your skirt you’re wearing is perfect for that!

        1. Thank you! I have responded to your text but for some reason my phone isn’t sending it. It tells me it is sending it but it’s been 20 minutes so I don’t know why it’s taking so long but someday it will get to you! 🙂

  9. I don’t think being shy is necessarily selfish. I have been shy my whole life as was my mother. I feel more comfortable in small groups rather than large ones. People have made rude comments to me over the years about me being quiet and shy. I get frustrated about this. Not everyone is an extrovert. I hope this doesn’t come across as rude .

    1. Carolyn,

      I can relate to being an introvert as I am perhaps more naturally introverted than most people. I also am way more comfortable in smaller settings rather than large ones. When I was growing up, I was so shy that I would hind behind my mother for many years and even cry if someone paid attention to me. I was very insecure.

      When Lori and I talk about shyness, we encourage people to overcome it because shyness is a result of self-focus. When I was behaving in a shy manner, it was because I didn’t want to feel uncomfortable by stepping outside of my comfort zone to acknowledge and sow words, attention, and encouragement into others. Shyness is focused on how *I* feel, at the expense of causing others to feel that I don’t like them or don’t think they are deserving of acknowledgement and a smile. Does that make sense? I don’t think that people who are shy are usually thinking “How can I put my own feelings above the feelings of others?” but that’s exactly what we are doing when we won’t engage with people around us. We are called to make an impact and to be a light to those around us, which we are incapable of doing when our focus is on our own comfort rather than God’s desire that we reach out to others.

      One of my children was excessively shy as a small child. They wouldn’t respond to people when they would say “hello” or smile. My husband and I knew that this was not acceptable behavior in our Christian family because we would be allowing our child to be selfish instead of putting the other person’s need for acknowledgement and being valued above self comfort. What we did was take this child out every single day for a couple of hours to walk around the park, stores, etc and smile and say “hello” to everyone we passed. It took about 9 months of this before we saw them choose to acknowledge people out of the desire to make the other person feel valued, but they eventually did it without being prompted. The most amazing thing has happened since then: This child won’t be quiet around others now! They compliment everyone they walk by (I never taught them this formally), smile and initiate conversation with even the most intimidating-looking people, and are sooooo much more joyful of a child! It is a delight to see them engage others and really enjoy adding value to people. I first made the change in myself and then taught my child by example. I could ask this of them because I had first required it of myself. We are both infinitely happier people because of the joy we bring to those around us. The world is a mission field and I never want to miss an opportunity God puts in front of me to reach someone in even the most basic and simple of ways. 🙂

      1. Thank you for responding to Carloyn, TJFW. I had forgotten but you gave her great advice. Yes, how can we be loving, caring, and tenderhearted towards others if we are shy? I was very shy and life is a whole lot better not being shy. My sister was intentional about teaching her children to not be shy too and it has helped them throughout life!

        As parents, the best gift we can give our children is to train them in all of the ways of godliness which includes taking our eyes off of ourselves, not giving ourselves labels, and understanding who we are in Christ and the confidence we have in Him.

  10. My daughters and I dress modestly by wearing skirts or modest dresses in the summer. My boys wear whatever they want to, given that they’re not the ones calling attention to themselves!!! We try not to go to the pool or beach often, because women at those places do not know how modest God wants them to be! But when we do find ourselves at one of those places, my daughters and I wear swim tights under swim skirts, with a full coverage top. Have a blessed day!!!!!

    1. Thank you, Connie. The way the women dress or not dress is getting worse year by year. Eventually, they will be naked which is shameful in God’s eyes. You are a wise mother!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *