Friday, October 30, 2009
Modesty and Femininity
"Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of their honor."
Noah Webste's 1828 Dictionary
Starting tomorrow, I will be participating in the "Feelin' Feminine Challenge hosted by my dear friend Jessica. I encourage you to check it out and hope that you will decide to take the challenge as well.
Since I have started this blog, I have wanted to do a post on this topic and this seems like the perfect occasion for it, so here goes:
"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31
As in all things, whenever when we are choosing clothes to wear we should be primariliy concerned with promoting God's glory. But what exactly does that look like? If you're like me, you like things spelled out to you. But the beauty of God's Word is that it does not do that. Rather, it chooses to focus primarily on the issue of the heart.
"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Proverbs 31:30
"....Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness---with good works." 1 Timothy 2:9
"Do not let your adorning be external----the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing--but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imiperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." 1 Peter 3:4
The first requirement in the area of modesty is that our heart should be in the right place. We should not be concerned primarily with the external and forget about the importance of a gentle and quiet spirit. It does not matter how "modest" your apparel is if your attitude is rebellious.
However, I personally do not believe that these verses mean that you have to be plain or frumpy in order to be considered modest in God's eyes. On the contrary, the Proverbs 31 woman, the model for all godly women, was dressed beautifully:
" She is not afraid for snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple." Proverbs 31:21-22
Another example for us is the Bride of Christ, of whom (I hope) we all are a part:
"Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure.."
I believe that God wants us to dress modestly. But I also believe that it is important to be feminine as well.
" A woman shall not wear a man's garment, nor shall a man put on a woman's cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God." Deuteronomy 22:7
God has created us women to be beautiful and lovely. Yes, we are supposed to dress modestly. But I do not believe it follows we are supposed to sacrifice feminity for the sake of modesty. I think they are both important in the sight of God. And when they are both present, there is nothing more beautiful.
"Stength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come." Proverbs 31:25
I do not know exactly how it is supposed to look like for everyone. For me, skirts are what makes me feel both modest and feminine. But I would never say anyone who does not wear skirts is sinning. To be honest, I have met some people who are more modest in pants then they are in skirts. Once again, the issue comes back to the heart.
I hope that, at the very least, this will remind you of the importance of modesty and feminity and cause to re-examine your motive behind the way you dress. Rember Webster's words: it is the richest gem in the diadem of our honor!