Nothing can rile up conservative Christian women like the subject of modesty. I have seen so many innocent women dragged into a false idea of modesty simply by blog hopping. Judgements, preconceived notions and finally arguments all are the product of the modesty debate.
It’s no secret…the ladies, young and old, in our home do not wear pants.
But is that the end-all-be-all to modesty? The line in the sand? If you cross that line are you venturing into worldliness?
In our little conservative bubble I see so many different definitions of modesty.
Every one of them are the correct definition. Every one, that is, that has been brought about by prayer, conviction, and searching the Word of God.
In one blog I see a family with 8 children who wear pants, a little light makeup, and even cut their hair….that family is modest. They make sure necklines are high enough and pants loose enough to not show off anything. They are not loud in their spirits. They do not flaunt their bodies. They dress in a way that is modern, yet does not show off or accentuate their sexuality.
In another blog I see a family with 2 children. The mother and daughter wear only skirts and dresses. They also practice head covering. They have never cut their hair. They are modest. They are not loud in their spirits. They do not flaunt their bodies. They dress in a way that is a little more conservative, and they do not show off or accentuate their sexuality.
In yet another blog I see a family with 14 children. They are in the middle of the road. They wear only skirts and dresses, but do not choose to cover their heads. They style their hair and their clothes, while very conservative, also follow the trends of modern fashion. They wear a little jewelry. They are modest. They are not loud of spirit. They do not accentuate their sexuality.
Each of these families have a different definition of modesty.
Modesty in an of itself is relative.
I think we all can agree that there are some base factors that define modesty.
Not accentuating our sexuality would be the biggest. Next might be to have a quiet spirit (by that I mean not boastful or self-centered)
After that base is defined, each family will have to add the blocks of modesty that fits best with what they feel God is calling them to.
To some that will be higher necklines and giving up shorts.
To some that will be giving up pants and opting for skirts only.
To some that will be not cutting their hair.
To some that will be giving up jewelry.
To some that will be covering their heads.
To some that will be giving up printed fabrics.
To some that will be covering arms and legs.
When we focus on others’ details in modesty and not the spirit of modesty itself, we are setting the subject up on a pedestal. That is when it becomes an idol.
Should modesty matter? Absolutely.
Should we care what image we are sharing with the world? Yes!
Should we try and encourage others to adopt a more modest mindset? By all means.
But when we care more about what’s on someone’s body (including our own) than we care about what is in the heart, we have our priorities misaligned.