It’s a tricky line to walk.
On one hand, we all, deep down perhaps, want to be a lady, or at least know we should. Sure we can be dramatic, emotional and a bit silly but at the end of the day, those inspiring quotes we post on our bathroom mirrors in blushing pink lipstick point to the serious, sophisticated and womanly way we wish to see ourselves.
We praise girls in the church who seem strong and feminine and criticize and judge the ones who’s hem line is a bit too short. We laugh at the ones who’s outfit reminds us of that amish movie we saw on Netflix and secretly hate the girl who’s outfit is everything we want to be and more… but would never wear!
Does anyone have any earthly idea what we Christian gals are supposed to be striving for when it comes to modesty? Do we have any thought whatsoever what the word “modesty” even means in our modern world? Is it even a word we should apply to ourselves because come on, we’re not in bible times anymore, right?
How do we walk this delicate tightrope between holy and hot? What’s a girl to do when she get’s dressed in the morning and wants to look attractive but not a bimbo… do we still say that? And is it wrong for a godly gal to even WANT to look good? Where’s the dang guide book on this thing!
I believe the first place to start is in debunking the myth that modesty is strictly about the clothes you wear. For it starts far from anything you put on.
Think about it, everything in the Christian life is about transformation from the inside out. The Jews were full of laws, do’s and don’ts, rights and wrongs. They were plagued by a list of rules and regulations that when Jesus came to teach them a new way to live, they kept reverting back to what they DO, when Jesus was speaking to who they WERE.
I know what you’re thinking… What the heck does forgiveness have to do with how I dress? I know, just give me a sec.
Peter thought he was going to impress Jesus by how much he was willing to forgive (an action) someone who had wronged him… seven times. Jesus was like, “Peter, come on now. You’re missing the point. There should be no end to how often you extend forgiveness to someone because it is no longer an action you must take but it will be an overflow of your identity in me.”
Everyone kept pointing to what they must do and Jesus kept pointing them back to such a high standard, it would take someone with beyond human abilities to be able to live like that. Enter, the Holy Spirit.
When you became a Christian, you didn’t just enter a club that has it’s set of rules (like in those really strict Facebook groups) about what you can and cannot do, and you are now bound to an endless life of frustration between what you really want to do and what a good Christian girl “should” do.
You were changed from the inside. Your old spirit was done away with and you were given a new spirit identical to Jesus. Yes, you are identical to Jesus… in your spirit. It’s our souls we’re workin’ on. So wouldn’t it make more sense to assume that modesty (like everything in this life) begins at a heart level and works it’s way out into how we dress, act and treat others?
It doesn’t take a skimpy outfit for a girl to be dripping with lust in her heart. A girl who’s heart is set on God while lying in a bikini on the beach, can be more modest than that girl in the maxi dress who’s heart is full of lust. Yes I said it… LUST! It’s not a dirty word but it dirties our souls. It keeps the life of God from flowing through us and hinders our growth, joy and peace.
So before we get dressed (or after, I don’t care) let’s take a quick heart check. Because if Christianity is all about the inside flowing out, then we might want to make sure our insides are lining up with what we want reflected on the outside.
If we want to live lives that represent God and become women of strength, dignity and power, then we must begin to look at what’s going on in our hearts. Because there will never be a set of rules for what clothes you should and shouldn’t wear (I think we can use a bit of common sense here too!). You weren’t called out of darkness and into His marvelous rules, but into his light. Become so familiar with it that it starts to shine out of you in everything you do, including your clothing choices.
The more time you spend in His presence, the more your soul will be conformed into His image and the more wisdom, maturity and understanding you’ll have to make the right decisions at the right time.
I’m NOT saying clothes don’t matter. But I believe the solution isn’t found in the closet, but rather in the journey our hearts are on. Spend more time focusing on what’s going on there and you’ll arrive at the place you want to be… beautiful, powerful, and inspiring other girls there’s a better way, too.
Write your story well… and hey, look good while doing it ;)