I recently listened to a sermon by C.J. Mahaney on modesty. It was a very convicting message, but I am so grateful for his absolute honesty on this issue. I know it is a difficult issue for males to address in front of women, but it is needed, desperately.
I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; also women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire. 1 Timothy 2:8-9
"Ladies your wardrobe is a public statement of your personal and private motivation. And if you profess godliness, your motivation is to be distinct from our culture." - C.J. Mahaney
So, I began to examine my heart. Why do I choose the clothes I choose? What is my motivation?
Examining your motivation for how you dress is much more challenging than examining if your hemline is too short or if your neckline is too low. Examining motivation gets to the heart of the matter. Am I dressing this way because I want people to think I am attractive? Am I dressing this way because I want others to think I have good fashion taste? Do I consider if my selections glorify God?
If you are anything like me, you have spent many years measuring modesty by the wrong standard. I am guilty of looking at the women around me and feeling modest because I am not showing as much skin as her or wearing clothes as tight as hers. Instead, we should ONLY judge our own motivation for what we wear.
As women of God, our motivation should be to glorify God. We should not draw attention to ourselves. We should not wear anything that may cause our brothers in Christ to stumble. We should be sensitive to the stuggles of the men around us. We should not say, "Well, that's their problem," as this only reveals our own selfishness.
Also, we should realize that women who dress in a way to call attention to themselves don't need rules to abide by (how short, how low, how tight). The rules are not the underlying issue. Lack of modesty is a direct result of a woman not being satisfied in the Lord and filled with the truth of the Gospel.
Women, we also need to be more open with each other in accountability regarding this issue. Not in a rude or condescending way, but in a humble and loving way. When someone approaches us with concerns about our dress we should THANK them. Even if we do not agree, it is a blessing to have women who are willing to speak up.
As a minister's wife, I know I have a special responsibility in this. My husband cannot expect anything of a church member that he does not expect of me. When someone asks, "Do the women in your church dress modestly?" the first place one would look, and rightfully so, is at the minister's wives.
So, ladies I challenge you as I have been challenged to examine our motivation for the way we dress. May we dress in a way that reveals our humility before God and our motivation to glorify God in all we do.