One young lady’s journey of the heart toward modesty. Heartfelt, genuine, and humble!
Jennifer touches on a number of thoughts that I think we all go through…rebellion, “brother’s keeper”, gossip and judging others for what they wear, as well as the most important issue—having a modest heart and soul. Kudos to Jennifer for her heartfelt wisdom!
In the midst of all this can come a judgment in the hearts of women looking at each other. “Can you believe so and so showed up in jeans today?” “How legalistic to think you shouldn’t wear shorts on a hot day like today!” I have seen this backbiting and hardness of hearts, and it’s not pretty. My own heart needs to be submitted to the love of Christ in this matter, as it says in Galations 5: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another…” Our prayer for each other should be that God would give each of us a modest heart. If we have a heart that desires modesty this will be reflected in the outward appearance of our clothing and in the spirit that we carry with us.
When I was 16, my Mom came across writing about modesty and came to believe it was best for my younger sister and me to wear dresses and skirts for everyday life. The issue of modesty really struck a cord with my Mom. Before she became a Christian, she spent her youth wearing clothes to gain the attention of the men around her. She knew first-hand how important it was in God’s plan to dress in such a way that you do not cause your brother to stumble, let alone trying to make him stumble on purpose!
As I was asked to wear the dresses and skirts, I was horrified. Give up my jeans? No way would this work! We lived next to a horse farm at the time, and I would go into the stalls, climb up to the top of the stalls, and walk on top of the stall edges to the end of the barn. Do that in a dress? I listened to my Mom and changed my clothing selections, but inwardly my heart was stewing. I was mad and feeling rebellious. This nonsense would end someday!
In the next few months, I decided to pray about this whole modesty and clothing thing. Surely God would be fair to me! What did he expect of me? I started looking for scriptures about clothing and modesty. I began in Genesis with Adam and Eve sinning and realizing they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together to make aprons for themselves. I thought, “just like all the pictures I have seen in our Bible story books.” Several verses later I read that God himself came along and saw those aprons. He decided to clothe Adam and Eve himself and replaced the aprons with coats of skins. That sure impressed me! God really cared how they were dressed? I had never thought about God himself wanting me to dress in a certain way.
God used a situation from a few years previous to this to help me understand my need to protect my brother from stumbling. Sometimes I would wear pretty tight jeans (looking back on it, I realized that) and didn’t think anything of it. One day I turned around to see a man looking at me, and I knew in my heart I didn’t want to wear this pair of jeans around him again! As I prayed, God brought that moment back to my mind. The study and prayer became a time to ask God to help me have a modest heart. From that day, I have continued to pray and strive to have a spirit of modesty in my heart.