I still remember vividly the first time (but not the only time) that someone told me that I need to “be comfortable in my own skin”. I had gone to a swimming/birthday party and worn my swimming clothes (I call them clothes, because, if you really think about it, they wouldn’t qualify as a suit)… while the other girls had worn bikinis.
The situation was awkward and one I wish I didn’t have to endure, but it happened and it gave me something to think about. Someone told me that I was beautiful and shouldn’t feel ashamed of my body by covering it up so much. I think I might have mumbled, “I don’t feel ashamed”, offered a quick half-hearted smile, and left it at that. I wanted to get out of there!
Another time I was talking with a friend who didn’t share the same convictions as me about modesty and I told her what I wore (skirts/dresses)… of course, I got the usual responses. “How can you do anything in that?” “Why can’t you wear pants?” “Why can’t you wear normal clothes?” “Do your parents make you wear that?” Then this girl asked something that most people don’t ask: “Are you embarrassed about your body?” I had an answer to every one of her questions but that one totally caught me off guard!
“No,” I said semi-confidently. “I’d be embarrassed to wear what’s normal today!”
Why do people tend to assume that us modest girls don’t respect ourselves because we’re not wearing revealing clothes? Why do people assume we think less of ourselves because we’re not showing the world what we have? Why do people assume that we wear modest clothes because we can’t stand the sight of ourselves? Modest girls tend to be seen as people with low self-esteem!
According to the culture, wearing skimpy and scandalous clothes means you’re confident in who you are. According to God, dressing modestly is how we honor Him.
“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, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” (1 Tim. 2:2-10)
I think that the world has it turned around. We show confidence in our modesty by going against what’s normal for the girls in our culture. We show confidence by trusting God and what he says… and honoring Him in that.
When the world says that we don’t have enough respect for ourselves, we can confidently say that we are respecting God and our future husband by keeping ourselves covered.
I’m pretty sure it requires more confidence to go against the crowd than it does to go with the crowd.
Dressing modestly requires a willingness (and courage!) to go against the crowd. You need enough confidence to be able to look to only one Person for approval… God! Modesty should never, ever be related to weakness, shame, or lack of self-respect, embarrassment, insecurity, etc.
“Modesty is simply acknowledging that the woman’s body was designed by God to be breathtakingly beautiful and extremely valuable.” -Bethany Baird, Girl Defined
“Modesty doesn’t mean that you’re ashamed of your body. Modesty is simply you valuing what has value.” –Project Modesty
I want to encourage you, girls, to see modesty in a new light. See modesty as showing confidence in the Lord and respect for yourselves. You’re not showing you respect yourself when you wear sexy and scandalous clothes… you’re showing you have so little respect for yourself that you’d bow so low as to dress how the world expects. You’re treating yourself as a prize to be won by the men of this world, and not as a human being that is to be respected as a creature made in God’s own image.
I hope this gives you something to think about. God bless you, my dears! I want you to know that I pray every day for all of you and have much love in my heart for you. ❤