In 2018, British Vogue fashion designers shocked the world when they came out with their popular line of modest dresses. Many people in the fashion industry were very adamant that this specific “niche” would fail. However, much to the surprise of the naysayers, not only has this industry grown, but it has thrived.
That’s no surprise to you or I. Girls who have grown up in a Christian home know a little bit about modesty. It is likely that their grandmother taught their mother, and their mother instilled these modest values in them. If it didn’t happen like this for you, you took the Word of God and applied it to your life yourself to find a modest lifestyle. Modesty has always been around, not just since 2018. I am actually a little shocked that fashion designers never saw a need for modest clothing until then. Currently, a poll in America revealed that 65% of all Americans claimed the Christian religion.
Indeed there’s a lot that goes without saying in that statement. However, it probably does mean that the majority of these people have heard about modesty or have had it told to them at some point in their lives. Essentially, there are a lot of people who claim modest but don’t really know the whole truth about it. There are lots of people who believe that what’s in their closet is modest apparel, however, they could be mistaken. Let’s look at the parameters of what constitutes as modest in today’s society.
I have seen many boutiques and apparel shops online who claim they are modest. In fact, several high profile websites and businesses say they are modest, however, their social life proves otherwise. Just because you slipped into a niche at the right time doesn’t make you modest, it makes you a good business person. Either way, I was curious to the simple definition of modesty so I looked it up on Google, here’s what it said:
Behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency.
That is a pretty straightforward definition of what modesty means in the dictionary, however, as you may have assumed, many things get lost in translation.
For instance, I have heard someone say, “What is modest to you, may not be modest to me.” Indefinitely, the term modest is clear in the way it described itself. Not only does the term “modest” attach itself to your clothing, but also your lifestyle and behavior. Today’s society is far from modest, and even some of the “Christian” boutiques are leaning more and more towards societies viewpoints of what modesty is as well. Let’s take a look.
What They Think
One of the first things I noticed when looking through social media at other boutiques was how they positioned themselves in clothing and apparel that was definitely “indecent”. Mostly on the beach or out in town. These people immediately went to the old saying, “God doesn’t care what you look like on the outside, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts.”
While they’re not wrong, they are. God does look at the thoughts and the intentions of your heart. He knows whether or not every action that you take was meant for Him or for you. Essentially, this saying is a fallback to get rid of the conviction that hammers away at their heart because they already know it’s not the definition of modest.
The majority of Christians in this world are not being taught the main scriptural references in the Bible that pertain to modesty and building a relationship with the Lord. They are led to believe that you can wear whatever you want, live however you want, with no consequences whatsoever.
Let’s look at the discrepancies and what the Bible says about these actions. Remember, this is not me saying this, this is straight from the Word of God and how everything you know about your closet could be completely wrong if you’re a Christian striving to do better.
What The Bible Says
According to an ecommerce study done in 2019, the fashion industry is expected to grow to 1.2 billion customers in 2020. Understanding this, you begin to realize that fashion impacts every household and pretty much every person on the planet. The clothes we wear are a direct relationship to how these business market to our wants and needs.
Having said that, you begin to understand that a lot of people are on the same path. When a new design comes out, no matter what the style, the normal method for promotion is to get a couple of famous influencers or actors in Hollywood to promote the items. Millions of people follow these influencers and are impacted by what they recommend. In turn, this brings a better marketing experience to the brands who participate in these actions.
This means that the outfits that they want sold, no matter what the design, can be sold at a rate of 87% to their customers according to a Harvard study on commerce and fashion. This is an astounding rate and one you shouldn’t ignore. This means the fashion industry has a direct impact on your family.
The Bible has something to say about following trends.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord. 2 Corinthians 6:17
The term modest refers to your direct relationship with God and if you are following the path of everyone else, you’re not being unique, you’re being like everyone else.
Let your light so shine before men. Matthew 5:16
How can anyone see your light if you are hiding it under a basket as the Bible describes?
The Bible explicitly expresses how much God wants you to be separate from the world.
Not only does becoming separated from the world mean that you don’t act like the rest of society, but it also means you don’t look like the rest of society either. Here is where a lot of people lose the translation because they feel that the “inside” is good enough. If Heaven is the ultimate goal, then there are a lot of parameters that some people are missing with their modest clothing.
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel… 1 Timothy 2:9
The Bible clearly states that modesty for humans is focused on apparel. Later, in 1 Timothy 4:12, the Bible shares how we should act towards other people by setting examples in your speech, your faith, and the way you conduct yourself around anyone else. Clearly, the Word of God is also separating the modest acting from the modest dressing because God felt that we needed this pinpointed example of clothing.
Everyone knows you’re supposed to act like a Christian when you become a Christian, but most people don’t follow the rules of 1 Timothy 2:9 to the letter.
What Defines Modest Apparel?
The real question is this. What defines clothing as modest apparel? One could argue the verse in Philippians 2:12 where it says, …work out your own salvation with fear and trembling because many people have brought this scripture up when it comes to a standard of living in denominational churches.
However, this verse also gets lost in translation because the Bible is referring to “works” here to prove you are a Christian. Work out things with others, do things, serve people, humble yourself so that others may see the light of Christ in you. This is modest action, not modest dressing. The Bible also concludes that it is not of works alone that will get it done in your life, but it is also faith.
So when you realize that you are constantly working and constantly building your faith, you are bringing yourself closer and closer to God. There has been NO ONE on this planet that brought themselves closer to God and not dropped some things in their life. The key to complete modesty in your life and in your closet is your relationship with God and how that light shines before others.
The standard of Christian living is part of your walk with God. Your faith muscle is part of your walk with God. Your outward appearance is part of your walk with God. Every little aspect of your physical being to your spiritual being needs to be brought under subjection to God’s will and Word. When this happens, not only will your closet be modest, your actions will be modest as well.