The Heart of Modesty: The Girl on the Magazine Cover: Fashion and the Power of Dressing Modestly

the Girl on the Magazine Cover

Some time ago, I was at the store picking up some ingredients for a cake I was making, and ended up strolling down the magazine aisle.

As I stopped to look to see if they had my dad’s favorite vintage cars magazine, I spotted something that disturbed me. Right underneath the men’s magazines were the women’s magazines with cover images of scantily clad women.  Women who had these ‘come hither’ looks on their faces while trying to keep hold of what little clothing they had so the most intimate parts of their bodies were [mostly] covered-though, to be quite honest, it wasn’t doing much good.

As I looked at these images, I was filled with anger. Anger that these images, and the models in them, are what girls and women look at thinking that these are the standards they have to look [and live] up to in order to be sees as beautiful.

Then, when I got home, I was scrolling on Facebook, and the link to an article that caught my eye. The name of the article: “10 wardrobe items that instantly make you more attractive”.

The whole entire article was about things that a woman absolutely must have in her wardrobe. There are two main points this article is pushing: how to keep it classy while still maintaining an element of “sensuality” and that to attain that you have to make sure that just enough of your body is showing–just not too much or else you’ll make yourself look ‘trashy’.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “Sensual” as the following: “relating to or consisting in the gratification of the senses”

So, essentially, this article is telling us that women have to dress to appeal to the senses of men. 

I would like to challenge that idea.

The Bible says:

“And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by the wearing of gold or pearls or expensive clothes.” 1 Timothy 2:9

On that note, let me tell you a bit of a story.

When I was in 7th grade, I became obsessed with the 70’s T.V. show adaptation o Little House on the Prairie. So much so, that I became completely in love with the way the women dressed. It also helped that it was modest as well as quite feminine-dresses all day every day? Yes please! However, I didn’t take into consideration the ridicule it would bring me from the other kids in school.

Then, when 8th grade rolled around, I decided to try something else: dress more modern. So, I started wearing mini-dresses that were…well…too mini. In fact, they were so mini, that I couldn’t bend down in them…But, I’ll spare you from those details.

This is when I stumbled upon two books that completely changed the way I look at clothing: The Bride Wore White and Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modesty by speaker and author Dannah Gresh. (It also just so happens that Pure Freedom Ministries donated both of these books for a giveaway at the end of this series!)

So, why dress modestly? Well, we are called to honor God with our bodies. After all, we-our bodies-are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19) If you were to be a representative of someone in a high authoritative position, you wouldn’t dress improperly. You’d dress in the appropriate attire. In the same way, we, as daughters of the King-as representatives of The King of Kings, are called to dress in a way that will bring honor and praise to him.

“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.” Matthew 6:28-29

One of the things I’ve found in my research is how so many basically say “in order to be modest you must dress like this”

However, lets go right back to the main point of this whole series: Modesty starts in your heart and works its way out.

As well-known speaker and author Jefferson Bethke once said, “A Woman must have her heart changed before her clothing ever will!”

At the same time, I also believe that if you are a Christian who is wholeheartedly seeking after Jesus, you need to ask him to convict you of the clothing you have that don’t bring honor to him.

Here are a few questions I go by when purchasing clothes:

First, I ask myself “Would I be wearing this because I like it, or because of the attention it would bring to me?” and “Am I bringing honor to God and the body he’s given me when I wear this?”

Then if it passes that test, these are a few guidelines I like to use when trying clothes on:

  1. If I bend over and feel like there’s nothing covering my back end, I wear a pair of black cycling shorts or tights underneath
  2. If the collar of my shirt is too low or so loose that if I bend down you can see down my shirt, I wear a camisole under it.
  3. I try to keep my dresses no shorter than knee length. If it is just at the top of my knee I wear tights. As for shorts, I never wear short-shorts or bootie shorts. I always find ones that go at least 3/4 of the way down my thighs (Hip-Hooray for Bermuda Shorts!).
  4. I try to keep my bra straps covered and only wear tank tops that have minimum 2 inch straps. Spaghetti straps are ALWAYS worm with a bolero of some kind.
  5. Nothing super, duper tight
  6. And finally, I don’t let any of my midriff show.

GTDM

Here’s the thing, summer doesn’t have to be filled with anxiety over clothes. Yes, it might be a little more difficult to find modest clothing, but there are so many fun modest clothing stores online that have wonderful modest and modern summer (and year round) clothing! And throughout this series, I’m featuring some amazing and affordable modest clothing companies that I highly encourage you to go check out!

Lastly, one of the reasons that is spoken about more often than not, when it comes to modesty, is that we need to dress modestly so that we don’t cause our brothers-in-Christ to stumble and lust after us. And while I totally, completely agree with this, we need to make sure that we aren’t losing focus of the real reason that we are choosing to dress modestly.

You see, when we put all the focus and reasoning for dressing modestly on guys- whether it’s so that you don’t attract the wrong kind of attention, cause your Christian brothers to stumble and lust after you, or so that you will attract the right kind of attention from a nice Christian guy who might see you as being a Godly woman worth pursuing- we are forgetting that the whole reason to dress modestly: To Bring Honor and Glory to God. 

In the end, it all comes down to this: What is your purpose? What are the secret thoughts in your heart, behind the clothes you are picking? To bring glory and attention to God, or to yourself? 

I want to challenge you, take a few moments today to ask God to start convicting you of the clothes that don’t bring glory to his name. Some of the clothes may be perfectly modest, however the reason behind the purchase may not be-I myself have gotten rid of several outfits that I bought because of that very thing.  And finally, ask him to change your heart, to work in you from the inside out, to make you the woman of God that he desires for you to become!

Finally, here are a few of my favorite modest summer outfits-including a new completely adorable swim dress from Dainty Jewell’s which is perfect for going to the beach and then running errands or to out to eat before or right after! (By-the-Way, Their clothing is SO adorable and SO worth the money spent!) The other outfits are clothing I bought at Walmart for relatively good prices. The blue jean shirt was my dad’s that he bought off e-bay that I expropriated from his closet. It’s one of my staple pieces as it’s big enough that you don’t get too hot when you’re wearing it in the summer!

 

 

 

 

Also, don’t forget about our book giveaway at the end of this series! We’ll be providing more information on how you can enter when we get closer to it! The books were donated from Dannah Gresh’s Ministry Pure Freedom Ministries (of which I also encourage you to go check out) and the notebook was custom designed (by yours truly!) specifically for this giveaway!

 

 

 

Until next time!

XoXo,

~Kristen~

The Heart of Modesty: What is Modesty?

what is modesty

What is Modesty? The dictionary describes it as “not too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities; not showing or feeling great or excessive pride.” and “of clothing; not showing too much of a person’s body.”

So, from those two definitions, we are able to gather one thing: Modesty isn’t just about how you dress, but also pertains to who you are-your inner self!

I have done many hours of research about modesty and there’s something I’ve noticed.

The main focus is on clothing. Through reading many different articles about modesty I soon realized that there are three main topics/reasons that people tend to focus on why you should dress modesty.

  1. Not to Make Christian men stumble and lust after you
  2. So that we don’t catch the eyes of men who “Only Want One Thing”
  3. So that we do catch the eye of a good, Godly man so that we can get married

Now, while these are all very valid points, I believe there is another key issue about modesty that sorely needs to be addressed.

You see, after all my hours of work, I have come to one definite conclusion: Modesty Begins on the Inside. What am I trying to say exactly? 

Modesty is a Matter of the Heart!

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23

Modesty is about so much more than just how we dress outwardly. It’s about how we dress ourselves inwardly as well. How we act, how we talk, how we treat other people and yes, how we dress is part of it too!

When I started putting all my notes and thoughts and plans together to make it into a viable outcome, I put out a mini-questionnaire-for both guys and girls to answer-and asked two questions: 

  1. What does a Modest Woman look like to you?
  2. What is the most important aspect(s) of modesty for a woman? Is it who she is as a person, how she dresses, how she acts/presents/carries herself? Something else?

The results I received were actually quite surprising. They all varied in one way or another, however there was one commonality among them. Everyone answered that modesty-whatever form it may take, starts in the heart and works its way out.

There was one particular answer to the second question that completely blew me away that came from a guy I personally know. He stated:

“I think it all originates from who a woman is. If she sees herself as God’s masterpiece and gets her validation from Him, her character will follow that. She won’t try and present herself to other people and men to get the validation that she is getting from God. It’s all in the heart. One of the factors that plays into this is culture. There’s a balance in staying culturally relevant while maintaining biblical modesty. That’s up to her discretion and conscience. All of this–the most important thing–originates in the heart of the person.”

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to stuff like this, I LOVE getting a Christian guys viewpoint. It helps me see a little clearer into what men think on these issues, and this answer is no exception! 

Anywho, over the next few months, I am going to be diving into the different types of modesty that God has laid on my heart! There’s even going to be a giveaway at the end of the whole series!

Finally, in each post, I am going to be featuring some different modest outfits for the upcoming season-a few of which have been donated specifically for this project by some absolutely wonderful companies-because wearing modest clothing is important to! *wind*wink*

For this first installment of the series, I’d like to feature a dress that I got from NeeSee’s Dresses. I figured, because it’s springtime (and Easter is this Sunday!) this is the perfect dress!

The thing I love about it is it has the perfect collar-not too high and not too low-and it goes down just below my knee!

When it comes to fashion, I am all about making it your own! I love adding little accessories like a cute hat, some dainty gloves and an adorable pair of shoes, and then I’m good to go! 

To me, Fashion isn’t about what’s “in”, it’s about a reflection of my personality and I believe it’s so important to add those little things that make your outfit your very own-as I do with my accessories of choice!

So, without further adieu, here’s my featured outfit. I like to call it ‘The Vintage Rose” 

I am SO excited you are joining me for this series!

And finally, At the end of the series, We are going to be having a fabulous giveaway (our first giveaway too!

Author Dannah Gresh’s Ministry Pure Freedom Ministries was wonderful enough to donate two amazing books (I read them in High School and they changed my life!) and I designed a special one-of-a-kind notebook for the lucky winner to write notes in as they read these books! 

Now, I want to know how YOU dress with modesty-both inwards and outwards! Use the tags #TheHeartOfModesty and #UnfadingBeautyMinistries so that I can see how you live a life of modesty!

XoXo

~Kristen~