In Authentic Beauty, Marriage & Love on
9 January, 2013

Modesty matters

woman-legs-flowers-summer

Disgusted.

That’s just about the only word I can come up with to describe how I felt a few weeks ago at the gym. Having just finished some weight training, I proceeded to scour the room for two open treadmills so my sister and I could get in some cardio. “Oh, look,” I said to her. “Let’s grab those two over there.”

So I hopped on, started my warmup walk and flipped through my iTunes library to find just the right song. 22 by Taylor Swift? Check. Pace of 3.5 to get my muscles moving? Check. Sweat towel within reach? Check.

And then I looked up, and what did I see? I saw a string bikini-clad woman hanging all over a shirtless male model on TMZ. I had the unfortunate luck of choosing the treadmill directly in front of TV #6, the one featuring a primetime showing of trashy celebrity gossip. I was able to quickly pick up on the story line within seconds and without even hearing the words, but I’ll spare you all the details.

So I turned my eyes away and took a look around me. What did I see? Young man to my left, young man to my right, and a couple dozen others throughout the room.

“Are they looking at this, too?”

“Is this the standard I am expected to meet, and the standard they are being trained to accept from me?”

Questions filled my mind, and frustration filled my heart.

But it was a righteous anger. And I was mad. As I started running faster, I realized that my anger was not rooted in my own insecurity. Why? Because I know the TRUTH that my heart matters more than my appearance. I’m confident in who I am in CHRIST. What made me upset was that Hollywood, and today’s society for that matter, were telling me that it’s okay to dress myself up like prime rib at a meat market. In fact, it was encouraging me to. It was telling me that I SHOULD.

But this I know to be true:

I appeal to you therefore,brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. {Romans 12:1, 2}

And this, too:

Do not let your adorning be externalβ€”the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wearβ€” but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. {1 Peter 3:3, 4}

And perhaps even more important, I know this:

It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. {Romans 14:21}

One more thing. My body is for my future husband’s eyes only. Alone. Solely. And exclusively. And ladies, I truly believe that if your intention is to marry a man of God, he will fall in love with you AND your modesty. If he’s looking for a Godly woman, he’s going to look at your heart and treasure your high standards and values! {And, you know, I believe it’s possible to look cute AND appropriate!}

But the world around us will tell us that less clothing is better. It’ll tell us that modest bathing suits are for losers. It’ll scorn us for saving ourselves for one person.

But honoring God is more important than what others think of us. We should refuse to cheapen ourselves to the lowly place of becoming objects for lustful eyes.

The Word is our guide, according to Romans 15:4. So if it says that our bodies are our spiritual worship, that we shouldn’t cause others {including men} to stumble, and that our adorning should be internal, then to me, the only logical response is to cover it up.

After all, I don’t think showing all of our skin for the world to see makes us beautiful, ladies. Authentic beauty starts in the heart.

Jen

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8 Comments

  • withloveweovercome

    Speaking as a guy, there is nothing more attractive than a women whose modesty accentuates her beauty. I think women truly underestimate how well God made them, and the world teaches them to put themselves on display, which only deepens their insecurity.

    Totally agree with this post, and pray that God would reward your faith with security and complete assurance of your inner beauty.

    9 January, 2013 at 6:16 pm Reply
    • Jennifer Hope

      Thank you! It is so nice to hear about this from a guy’s perspective. Would you mind me sharing your comment (first half of it) on my blog’s Facebook page?

      9 January, 2013 at 6:29 pm Reply
      • withloveweovercome

        Feel free, thank you for encouraging me this evening πŸ™‚

        9 January, 2013 at 6:32 pm Reply
  • Lori Schulz

    Great post! I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. God bless, Lori
    http://lorischulz.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/the-versatile-blogger-award/

    10 January, 2013 at 2:42 pm Reply
  • SLIMJIM

    Word…

    11 January, 2013 at 4:31 am Reply
  • Desiray

    Modesty is something we must teach more on.

    1 Timothy 2:9 Likewise 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,

    13 January, 2013 at 9:18 am Reply
  • Rachael @ the HELD blog

    Great post – I’ve just been writing about modesty on my blog and came across your post via Twitter. I love your emphasis on the heart πŸ™‚

    21 April, 2013 at 7:19 pm Reply
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