Reclaiming Modesty When Less (Clothing) Is More (Fashionable)

In a world where larger than life Victoria’s Secret ads brazenly plaster store windows, form-gripping black leggings have somehow asserted themselves as viable options for pants, and girls as young as twelve are paraded around in mini skirts and halter tops, how are Christians supposed to react? Our ever-progressive society has relegated modesty to the Victorian era, while stores like Abercrombie & Fitch are burgeoning, unabashedly promoting their jeans with nearly nude images. While we cannot alter national fashion trends, control business ad campaigns, or add layers to scantily clad girls, we can still act. Men can enforce accountability with the women in their life, and women can accept responsibility for the way they dress. MEN: Get involved! Do not hesitate to advise your wife, sister, or daughter if her outfit is too provocative. Because women are not nearly as visual, they are often insensible to the temptation level their outfit may be providing. As a husband, brother, or father, it is your duty to lovingly help your female family members to make godly decisions about their attire. Protect the women in your life! Whether they are deliberately wearing outfits that flaunt their sexiness or are unconsciously donning clothes that you know other men will perceive alluring, it is your place to speak up. Husbands, if your wife looks sultry in that low cut shirt, she can wear it at home. Do you really want other men ogling her? Brothers, kindly let your sister know when her outfit could benefit from the addition of a jacket.  Fathers, take an active interest in your daughter’s wardrobe and safeguard her modesty. Don’t let her leave the house until she is decently attired. So take a stand, realize your role as a leader, and give your wife, sister, or daughter the insight and guidance they need to win the modesty battle.        LADIES: There is nothing wrong with wanting to look pretty and dress fashionably. However, not all fashion trends are conducive to modesty, so exercise discernment when you shop. It is imperative to know where to draw the line between attractive and seductive. If the outfit you choose to wear is sexually alluring, know right now that it is the wrong wardrobe choice. You do not want to be a stumbling block for your visually wired brothers in Christ. Note that just because an ensemble covers all of your curves with fabric, it is not necessarily modest. Excessively tight, low backed, and leggy outfits all pose potential temptation threats for the male mind. So test yourself before blithely walking out the door in that Vogue-worthy dress. Test One: ask, “Whom am I dressing for?” Does your attire honor God or exalt your sex appeal?One way to ascertain this is to judge if your outfit is church-worthy. Would you feel comfortable worshipping God in it? Test Two: if you are still uncertain about a particular outfit, ask your dad, brother, or husband if it is modest enough. They will give you an honest assessment! Check out the biblical perspective on modesty:

“I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety . . .” -1 Timothy 2:9 NIV “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”-Matthew 5:28 NIV “But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” –James 1:14-15 NIV “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” -1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV