Modesty: Another Christian Liberty

Modesty is a very touchy subject with many Christian women. It’s an easy way to divide friends and entire churches. So instead of telling you about my opinion on the matter let’s instead go to the Bible, our authority over our entire lives. With this basis, we still will probably offend people, but we can rest assured that we are being biblical and not legalistic. I hope you will come along on this journey of modesty!

Never expect unbelievers to dress modestly (in Christian standards):

I would like to talk about this first before we say anything else about the subject of modesty. I believe that in every aspect of our lives we must not hold unbelievers to the standards that are set up in the Bible. We must remember that unbelievers are veiled in darkness and “…the god of the world [Satan] has blinded the minds of the unbelieving…” 1  We were once as lost as them, but by God’s mercy, He pulled us out of the darkness and into the light. There is no reason for any unbeliever to follow the laws of the Bible because it is foolish in their eyes, just as it was for us.

We have freedom in Christ:

In Christ, we are free from the bondage of sin. We are no longer controlled by our fleshly desires, but that does not mean that we are free to do whatever we like. Christ’s blood purchased us from the bondage of sin and death, but now we are Christ’s possession. Romans 6:18-19 clarifies this, “…and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness… For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.” We are now slaves to our righteous, loving God. We are slaves for His glory, but don’t worry….. for His glory is our good. Now since we are slaves of righteousness we can live as we were created to live. We can live in communion with our God through Jesus Christ. Thank the Lord for this freedom!

Never let your freedom make other believers stumble:

Our freedoms in Christ are a beautiful thing that can be used in so many wonderful ways, but just like with any freedom we must use it carefully and with responsibility. 1 Corinthians 8:9 is a good reminder to us about this… “but take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” There are stronger believers and there are weaker believers and both are responsible in this area. If you are a stronger believer, you must be a good example of how a Christian should act; while at the same time, if you are a weaker believer, you must also be careful that your convictions are biblical. This is a fine line, but if we earnestly seek the truth and continue in prayer I believe that we can find the answer in His word.

While we’re talking about convictions, I would like to bring up Romans 14:21-23 I think that these verses are very applicable to the topic of modesty. “It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats because his eating is not from faith, and whatever is not from faith is a sin.” So in the last couple of sentences we see that Paul is telling us that if we are convicted by whatever we are doing (in this case wearing) and we continue to do it then we are in fact sinning. If we are convicted by what we wear and then continue to wear the same clothing this means that we are sinning. How awful! I know for me it can be easy to just say to myself, “oh whatever it doesn’t matter I’m not being as immodest as they are!”

It can be so easy to fall into this trap, but there are ways that we can help guard ourselves and others against sinning in this way.

We must be humble about all of this:

The only way we can truly be modest and humble at the same time is through the power of the Holy Spirit working through us. Without Him, it is impossible to really be humble. Humility then produces actions in a believer’s life. No longer are we bound by our selfishness.  He has broken those chains. Our servitude to sin has now changed to servitude to righteousness. Galatians 5:13 puts it into an understandable idea.”For you [believer] were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Our humility and modesty help mold us into who God called us to be. Paul brings it all home in 1 Corinthians 9:19 by saying, “For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more.”

Through modesty and all of the other Christian liberties, our goal should be the salvation of others. We must remember that our lives are not our own, for we were bought with a price. Our Christian liberties bring us back to our main goal in this life; to bring others to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. I pray that this goal never leaves my mind or yours.

If all of this makes you defensive or angry, I ask that you really pray over these next couple of days. Ask God for a humble and receptive heart to His teachings. Also, I am not the one who created these rules and regulations. Our loving heavenly Father is the one who created them. I pray that He continues to teach us and mold us into the Christian women that He desires us all to be.

Thank you for reading

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  1. 2 Corinthians 4:4

Thoughts?