she is modest in her appearance.
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 wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do. 1 Timothy 2:9-10 (NLT)
it’s funny how the discussion of modesty can cause an uproar among women. it seems like you are one extreme or the other. When i think of modesty i do not imagine wearing only dresses, only turtlenecks, or head coverings and so on. I think of modesty as a heart issue. an issue within my heart, who am i dressing for?, who am i seeking attention from?. And also the hearts of those around me. am i causing someone to stumble, am i tempting them, or attracting attention from them?, am i distracting others from worshiping God?
1 Corinthians 8 in the message version explains it so much better than i can. although they are discussing food the same rule can be applied (and should be) to how we dress)
“Clothes are not meant to make people think about what is under them. Clothes are meant to direct attention to what is not under them: Arms and hands that serve others in the name of Christ, “beautiful” feet that carry the gospel to where it is needed, and the brightness of a face that has beheld the glory of Jesus.” -John Piper
It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from within you—the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit that will never be destroyed and is very precious to God. In this same way the holy women who lived long ago and followed God made themselves beautiful, yielding to their own husbands.1 Peter 3:3-5 (NCV)
now let’s pause for a moment and clear up a few things up. this passage is NOT saying we can not wear braids, or jewelry. C.J. Mahaney explains it in his modesty series:
Then, Paul addresses the women in the verse we just read (1 Tim 2:9). He is concerned because some of them are imitating the dress and adornment of the ladies of the Roman court and the prostitutes. Those women were known for their expensive clothes and jewelry and elaborate hairstyles; they dressed, not only to attract attention, but to seduce as well.
When the women of the church arrived dressed like this, it’s no surprise that they distracted others from worshiping God. What’s more, through their ostentatious dress they associated themselves with the wealthy (thus separating themselves from the poor) and the ungodly (thus distancing themselves from their fellow church members). Their dress was distracting, and maybe even divisive.
That’s why Paul urges them to dress in “respectable apparel” and “not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire.” He wants the Savior, not seductive style, to be the focus of the church gathering—and indeed, the focus of all of life.
So the real issue wasn’t actually braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly attire. The issue was—and is—clothing that associates with worldly and not godly values: clothes that say “look at me” and “I’m with the world.”
my favorite part of looking through 1 timothy is that these instructions are given in context with the gospel.
1 Timothy 2:1-10 (NLT)
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. And I have been chosen as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles this message about faith and truth. I’m not exaggerating—just telling the truth.
In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.
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 wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.
you see how we dress, act, and speak effects more than just us. we are supposed to be God’s hands and feet. spreading the good news. and if our dress is causing someone else to sin than we are doing a disservice to them. let’s let Jesus be our spotlight, let others see Jesus when they see you not, not your cleavage, tiny wast and perfectly round bottom. Let them see the gospel.
i feel this quote sums up modesty and how we should view it.
“Modesty is humility expressed in dress, a desire to serve others, neither promoting nor provoking sensuality or lust. It is rooted in a desire to lose any and all consideration of self and live hidden behind the cross of Christ.”- Jenni
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