That was the email teaser sent as part of the 31 day devotions following the True Woman conference I attended in September. Here is the rest of Nancy DeMoss's devotion.
A Woman’s Great Loveliness
What comes to mind when you hear the word modesty?*
- To be modest is to:
- know how to be appropriately embarrassed
- be discreet
- be reserved
- see yourself as you really are
- be ashamed if your attitudes or dress were ever to cause dishonor to Christ
- To be immodest is to:
- be showy
- talk too much
- be arrogant
- be aggressive, controlling or domineering.
1 Timothy 2 reads as follows, I have highlighted verses 9-10:
Nancy makes a point of saying how this includes women of all ages...girls, teens and adults. We are to be modest in how we present ourselves. How we dress should show our modesty of heart.
1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. 7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle ( I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
8I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.
Different bible versions translate these words differently. Above you see how the english standard version approaches it "With modesty and self-control". Other versions will put it as
If you have the New American Standard Bible, it says "modestly and discreetly." In the New International Version it says "with decency and propriety." And then I like the King James Version because it's intriguing, one of the words it uses. It says women should be adorned "with shamefacedness and sobriety."Two heart attitudes need to be shown when we are clothing ourselves.
Modesty/decency/shamefacedness and discreetly/propriety and sobriety. Today Nancy is only looking at the first aspect of this. The Modesty/decency/shamefacedness aspect.
Take seriously how you dress...it reflects the inner you. Do you want to seem BEFORE GOD as a flashy person who cares not about others? Come on...think about it. If you dress with your cleavage or your tummy showing...are you showing care and concern for your brothers in Christ? Caring for the family of God is part of what we do as believers.....our brothers in Christ need to do the same for us too. WE just need to take more care in how we dress because it affects them more. It really does. Have a solid talk sometime with a solid Christian brother and ask them how they are affected by the things that they see. It'll be an eye-opener! :)
If you knew that how you dressed caused men to be distracted in their Christian walk how would that make you feel? Would you be appropriately embarrassed?
How do you want to be seen as a believing woman?
Do you want your humble, modest heart showing? Or do you wish to be loud and boisterous?
Now honestly I read this and I go okay....Does that mean that folks have to go around dressed in long skirts and long sleeves? I don't think so. But we all know the difference between someone who is well put-together and someone who well...is showing more than they aught. :) Are the clothes they wear well-fitting or just a tad bit tight? Are appropriate areas of the body covered well? Do you have to be careful when you bend down? That kind of thing.
It's more than a taste of fashion....it's a heart attitude and knowing how to wear what that is helpful to the larger Christian family and shows ....Ah... i don't know. Honestly when it comes to clothing and apparell...I"M NOT THE PERSON TO TALK TO. Go read Nancy's piece...she's better at that than I am. :) Here's some questions she has:
Let me ask you some questions that I was just thinking about that maybe will help apply this matter and ask, "Am I a modest woman?"
- Do I wear respectable clothing, clothing that is orderly, decent, that doesn't cause distraction or temptation to others?
- Do I have a humble view of myself?
- Do I have a high view of God?
- Am I guilty of advertising or promoting myself? If I am guilty of advertising or guilty of promoting myself, I am not a modest woman. I don't have a modest heart.
- Am I appropriately reserved in the way I talk, in my speech? Or do I talk too much? Most of us as women have to wrestle with that one. The answer for most of us is yes, we do talk too much.
But show what your heart is before God...that's what we're to do as Christian women...show our hearts...even in the things that we wear. It's not always just what we do, but it's in our attitude toward life. Are we walking in ways that show a heart that is submissive to God? This is shown in our clothing, in our actions, in our speech...it's a whole life thing.
For me...clothing is a non-issue. I dress conservatively and somewhat casually. I don't for the most part do dresses (beyond a sun dress in the summer). I like skirts and pants and coverage. :) For the most part...it's just clothes...does it fit? Do the colours go together? Okay...I'm good. I depend on my mom and my hubby for advice in this department.
For me....it's my attitude that I need to watch. Am I treating my fellow believers with the concern that I aught? Am I showing my submissive heart (before God) to the world without rebellion? Am I showing proper respect to God and others by getting to church on time and not being loud and boisterous? Not always so easy that! But God calls for me to do this....to have a proper respect to worship. To have a humble, modest heart that doesn't promote ME.
What do you need to work on?