No I don’t honestly believe that modesty rules! This post is about the traps that we can sometimes set for ourselves and others when it comes to the rules of modesty. So many times modesty comes with a package list of rules. You may do this. You may not do this. This certain type of clothing is always considered immodest. This other type is perfectly acceptable. However, I want to challenge you to think about modesty not according to a strict list of rules, but about what is in your heart, and what works for you and your body shape.
Modesty cannot always be broken down into rules. There is no one size fits all rulebook. For example….(and some of these might sound really silly to some people).
Certain high heels could be considered immodest, while other high heels are not.
Some V shape necklines are cut really low and show off lots of cleavage, while other V necks are fine. Therefore you can’t say all V necklines are bad.
A shorter length skirt might be totally appropriate on one person, but the same skirt might look like a mini skirt on a different person. While I think anyone who cares about modesty can agree that mini skirts are not appropriate, you can’t set a certain inch length because ladies are all different heights. One common way to determine an appropriate skirt length for yourself is to not wear skirts that come above your knees.
A fitted blouse might look ok on someone that is petite, but could look really immodest on a woman that is busty.
Some jeans are immodest no matter what (princess written on the bottom area in sparkly colored bling!). Other jeans can be paired with a modest long shirt and it not draw attention to tight fitting areas of the jeans. You can see some examples here, here, and here. Your family standard will definitely need to take precedence; some husbands/fathers feel ok with jeans paired a certain way and others don’t. I’ve seen almost a hatred in women’s hearts towards other women who profess modesty, yet wear jeans sometimes. That is definitely not a modest nor a Christlike attitude to have.
We are all in different seasons of life. What works for one woman will not work for the next. There might be a young lady who is working as a receptionist before she gets married, but the mama of 3 children who stays home with active young children can’t wear the same outfit and be modest. It stands to reason then, that the mama of 3 should not look at the young lady and judge her outfit, just because she can’t wear it. The young lady is not bending over to pick up children all day, chasing children, sitting on the floor playing blocks, or cleaning up the kitchen. What you do everyday makes a big difference on the outfit you wear. I hear a lot of stay at home moms say it is just easier to wear a longer skirt when they are going to be with little children all day, and I tend to agree with that. I wear my shorter skirts more when I’m going out places, or in the winter months with leggings under them.
In short, it is very difficult, if not downright impossible in some areas, to set down hard and fast rules when it comes to modesty. Because the scriptures are largely silent on many of the above issues, we should not take it upon ourselves to act as God’s mouthpiece when it comes to standards of modesty. Make no mistake, we must attempt to defend and proclaim all that the scriptures teach us concerning modesty, but we must also be oh so careful when we begin to advocate certain non scriptural standards as if they were the word of God. We would do well to remember that not only is it dangerous to teach people to do less than God’s law requires, it can be just as dangerous to teach them to do more.
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