It’s been sitting on my mind for the past few months and I decided I was going to do some serious soul searching and Bible reading and church talking about how to be a more Biblical woman. For years, I’ve been going along with what I’ve seen, read, and heard. I’m at this point in my spiritual journey where I finally feel I can revisit and figure out how to be a Biblical woman, using my own knowledge of the Bible, relying on trustworthy women and men of God and discerning what is right and what is worldly. In that list, I have been exploring modesty, submission, prayer, and fellowship. I have chosen to share my discoveries with you. Please remember your Christian path and journey will never be the same as mine and this is what I feel called to; not what I am telling YOU to live as.
About a year ago, I began to have some feelings about how I was dressed. I was beginning to lose weight from my first pregnancy and I was becoming proud of my body again. Weight loss, while a dangerous area of topic for a person in recovery from an eating disorder, is something that was healthy for my body and self-esteem. But as I got dressed in the morning, I found myself wondering, “Who am I dressing for?”
Modesty. It’s a topic I’ve shied away from most my Christian life, because every time it comes up I become angry-I have always felt like the discussion only feeds into women taking care of men’s needs. Growing up in a pretty liberal family, I believed from a young age that lust is a heart issue for the person who is feeling it, not something I need to protect those around me from.
And honestly, that belief has not changed for me. I still believe if a man is feeling lustful, no matter what I wear he will find something to lust over. This isn’t about to be an article telling young women they need to respect themselves by hiding their body from men. This is about a heart issue for and within myself.
See, as I sat there about a year ago, wondering who I was dressing for, I found the answer wasn’t God. It wasn’t my husband. It wasn’t even myself. And I was horrified by what it ended up being.
I was dressing to look good for other people.
Even when it was dressing up to go out to dinner with my main man, I was thinking to myself about looking good so other women would want to look more like me and other men would wish I was on their arm. When it was just going to be myself at home with my husband, dressing nicely didn’t even come into mind. Pride was the number one thing urging me as I got dressed. Pride in the way I looked and how much I could cause others to lust over me-be it how good I looked, my waist or bosom size, or the usual thought when others think “lust.”
I’m a believer that lust is not only sexual. It is when you look at someone else and want to have what they have. I did not want to instigate that in others.
And that didn’t feel that great for me to recognize. Pride is not a thing I wish to show in my daily life, in any aspect. I realized this and I have begun to make a few decisions on how to make changes to how I dress, in hopes of oozing Jesus and not myself.
The first change I’ve made is the attitude in which I approach clothing and modesty. A lot of the time I see articles that try to define what is modest by clarifying what you should cover, what you have to cover, what isn’t necessary to cover, etc. Too many things come up when searching Pinterest that have pictures depicting how high a shirt should be or how low a skirt should end. For me, that’s not what is important when it comes to the modesty discussions. What makes something modest in my learnings is the heart of the matter-where does your heart stand when putting clothing on in the morning?
I don’t advocate dressing to keep others from stumbling, but there are some ways I’m not comfortable with every person who walks by seeing things of my body. When I purposefully wear a low cut shirt, it’s not because I’m comfortable in it. I’m wearing it to attract attention to me…and for reasons I believe are not okay.
1 Timothy 2:9-10, “I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.”
The second change I’ve made is what I actually wear. Recently I went through my closet and rid it of shirts that showed too much cleavage with this new heart I approached it with. I pulled out each shirt and thought to myself “Do I wear this to get attention or do I wear this because it makes my appearance professional and does not deprive my mind and heart from the focus?” That ended with a lot of shirts going into the to go or charity box. As I said before, this is all about my attitude towards the clothing, so the standards I judged my choices by were not based off the coverage it provided, but the reasons I would wear it. Modesty is all about the heart, y’all.
I’ve been doing this little heart exercise for about a month, where when I get dressed in the morning, I ask myself, “And who am I wearing this for?” I’ve found my outfits haven’t suffered from a huge change…but my faith has been tested and has grown in this endeavor.
And in my quest to become a more Biblical, Christian woman, what is more important than ones faith growing?