Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Why Modesty?

Guest writer Heather Greenwood shares some thoughts with us on modesty.

Why Modesty?

“And this is his name whereby he shall be called: ‘The LORD our righteousness’.” Jer. 23:6

Why modesty? Why, when one becomes a Christian, is there a new awareness of the need to dress in a way that is described as modest (without extravagance or showiness; not showing off skin or form)? 

“..In like manner also, that woman adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety...” 1 Tim. 2:9

When one takes note of all the clothing sold in stores that does not actually cover up the wearer, but rather provides ornamentation for the flesh, it seems that the way clothing is made in these days defeats its original purpose. Clothing should be synonymous with “modesty”; clothing should actually clothe.

And why clothing? “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” Gen 3:7 

The purpose of clothing is to cover the shame of our nakedness, ever since the fall of Adam and Eve. Clothing that reveals bare skin that ought to be hidden, or reveals the outline of the form underneath through tightness, or draws attention to sensualize the body through ornaments and tailoring,is inadequate to cover the shame of nakedness and falls short of God’s intended purpose.

The necessity for clothing to cover the shame of nakedness points to our need for Jesus to give us an adequate covering for the shame of sin. Every time we have chosen sin we have made ourselves unacceptable to God and worthy of his condemnation. 

“ I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and annoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see." Rev. 3:18  

The day of judgment, when each one will stand before God, will reveal whether we have covered ourselves adequately. When one is awakened to their sin in this life, the right response is a sense of shame and need for covering before God. Many seek to cover themselves by becoming a white-washed tomb that outwardly looks good but is full of dead men’s bones, but without the Lord Jesus Christ and the application of his blood to atone for our sin (“It is finished”), any inferior covering fails in the same way that most retail-store clothing fails to hide nakedness! God does not find our fig-leaf loin-cloths acceptable.

He must provide a suitable covering or we die in our sin. God, in Christ, has made available to us a “robe” that proves the one acceptable covering for our shame! Those who have trusted in Christ Jesus our Lord will be wearing these garments of “The LORD our righteousness” for all eternity! And those who have trusted in fig leaves and the whitewash of dead works cannot, and will not, stand before his righteous indignation for the sin they still bear, having not trusted in Jesus alone in this life.

Modest clothing, and our need for it, is merely the shadow of the substance, Christ.
Those who wear clothes that don’t cover, and those who are modest but without the Lord Jesus, have missed the point. He is the substance; his righteousness is what we have great need of, and whether or not we “put on” the Lord Jesus Christ today has eternal ramifications.
Do you have a sufficient robe for the day of judgment?

"As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving." Col 2:6-7

Another post on Modesty by guest writer Melissa Bickish
For great outfit ideas click here
What Godly young men think of modesty 


  1. Thank you Heather for sharing this on our blog. I really appreciate how you addressed the reason behind the command for clothing and modesty. And also, how you brought out that Christ is our clothing for sin. You said, "He is the substance; his righteousness is what we have great need of, and whether or not we “put on” the Lord Jesus Christ today has eternal ramifications." So true. Thank you for sharing truly was helpful.

  2. I really appreciated this post Heather. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. It's practical and also encouraging.

  3. Thank you for pointing out the meaning and purpose of true modesty, obeying God's standards and also reflecting the work of Christ in redeeming us. Simply wearing a long skirt doesn't make one truly modest... therefore I appreciated the distinction that was made! (Honestly, it challenges me in my own life, because sometimes I feel *virtuous* because of my clothing when, really, true modesty will never manifest itself together with pride!!!)

    I have an issue, though, with the practical aspect of this: when it comes to choosing T-shirts, my mother (who always has a say in clothing purchases and in fact still buys most of my clothes, with me there) feels that some are fine and, well, age-appropriate, you might say. I, on the other hand, sometimes feel uncomfortable at not knowing exactly where to draw the line between fitted and too-tight. Mom does leave the final choice with me but the discrepancy between our estimations worries me sometimes! To clarify, she does have high standards for herself and all of us. That's why I can't understand why some things she approves still leave me doubting. Should I go with my initial reaction when this happens, or trust her experience and preference?


  4. Dear M, I know this is addressed to Heather, but I did want to make a comment. I really appreciate your desire to put modesty to practical application.
    It sounds to me like your mother desires you to dress modestly. You mentioned her high standards. It also sounds like she cares about your opinion since she gives you the final say. What a blessing to have a mom who cares! With such a mom like that, I would think it safe to say, if you were uncomfortable with a certain shirt, even if your mom thought it was okay, she would be more than willing to buy something else you were more comfortable with. I know if I have an initial "red flag" when it comes to clothing, even if my Dad or my friends says it's okay, I normally go around feeling self-conscious about it, and it is normally better just not to wear it. Wearing something that makes you feel uncomfortable, or iffy, just because your authorities says it's okay seems a little silly. Maybe this is a good opportunity the Lord has given you to discuss this subject with your mom. It's okay if your perception of modesty is a little different than your moms. Obviously, as daughters we need to honor our mother's opinions and abide by her rules, but there is nothing wrong with following your preference in what you feel is modest. (As long as it is not a lesser standard than your mom!). Your mom sounds like a caring and wise person, and I would guess she would rather you be comfortable, than doubting, even if she finds the shirt appropriate. I hope this answers your question, and maybe Heather has a few thoughts to share with you as well. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Also M, there are more posts here on Maid Arise if you are interested:

    Modesty - by Melissa Bickish
    Femininity -by Toni Hutto
    What the Men Think -by Knight #5