Most of us have heard the phrase “modest is hottest” in regard to female modesty. For some that brings to mind colonial long sleeved dresses or turtlenecks in July humidity. Maybe others think, “that’s just what homely people say.” And for some women, it may bring up painful memories of middle school years when they were forced to wear oversized boys clothes in the name of purity.
The reality is modesty is a topic that needs to be addressed. On the flip side, focusing on modesty above all else can birth legalism, which is essentially reducing God to rules. Our acceptance, then, is based on how well we’ve followed them. The question we sometimes forget to ask is “why”. It’s much easier to follow a set of rules than to prayerfully consider why modesty holds such a high importance.
I’m sure there are many reasons some girls dress immodestly. A few I’ve heard from girls… Desire to be stylish and fit in with no intentions of alluring males. Appetite to get attention from males with the intention of self-validation. Wanting to feel beautiful and/or sexy. It’s exciting.
Regardless of the motives, there are some things that could be helpful for girls to hear from a guy’s perspective. My hope is that by glimpsing into a male’s mind, girls can get more of an understanding of why modesty is important
Genesis1:26, God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” The Hebrew word “man” here is the generic term for mankind, which includes women. Then verse 27 states, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Ladies, did you get that? You are made in God’s image. Most of you have heard that a thousand times, but stop and ruminate on that truth. Females display incredible and delightful attributes of God that no other part of creation is capable of. God spoke into existence all the brilliant galaxies, hung the stars, invented the sunrise, and crafted every flower under the sun. But only after creating Adam and Eve did He step back, look at creation, and see that “it was very good.”
The fact that women have a deep desire for their beauty to be recognized and pursued is a testament to God’s desire to have His beauty be worshipped and adored. This desire to be pursued is placed in girls’ hearts by God, ultimately to be fulfilled by Himself. No guy will ever pursue you like He has and currently is. Union with our Father is the ultimate fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). Being pursued by, in relationship with, and even married to “the perfect guy” is only a deficient taste of what Christ has to offer.
As believers in Christ, we have hope in God in the deepest parts of our beings. For females this means your hope is in more than in being pursued by a guy. A whole woman is one who is like a tree firmly rooted in the soil of hope that God completes her. She trusts that God knows what’s best for her. She doesn’t try to manipulate God’s timing by flaunting her body. She is confident in His love for her.
Guys who are called to be married are called to mirror Christ’s pursuit of the church in their pursuit of a woman. God’s pursuit of us isn’t based on what we can offer him (that’s good news). His pursuit of us is rooted in His deep love for us. If a girl is trying to attract a guy by helping him lust, he’s not going to pursue her like Christ pursues us, the church. He’s pursuing her as a consumer. His faithfulness will be feeble at best. This is not how God designed relationships to work.
To be up front, a lot of guys struggle with pornography. Porn addicts settle for an empty, counterfeit, one-dimensional “love” experience in which they treat women as objects… as pieces of meat. A girl dressing immodestly invites males to do the same thing with her. Forget being treated as a precious daughter of the King when guys are in this sort of mindset.
The means by which a female attracts males to herself directly correlates with both the caliber of guy she will find herself with and what is most important to the guy. For example, if a girl’s primary way of attracting a man to herself is with dressing immodestly, it shows that the most important factor to him is her body. On the flip side, guys who are searching for godly girls notice when they dress in ways that please the Lord. I know it’s not easy, but it’s worth it! God’s way is the best way… every time.
This isn’t to say girls should be ashamed of the beauty their Creator gave them. Guilt and shame are very effective behavior modifiers, but they’re unhealthy reasons to dress modestly and a sad way to live. It’s not sinful to be attractive to men. That’s kinda how it’s supposed to work and it’s going to happen without girls advertising their cleavage.
I’m blessed to have an amazing girlfriend who is beautiful in every way. Out of the overflow of her relationship with Jesus, she dresses modestly—she also happens to be quite fashionable (believe it or not, it’s possible). One way she keeps herself mindful of how she’s dressing is thinking of Jesus standing there as she walks out of her door to start the day.
I’m not here to tell you how long your skirts have to be. I’m not saying you should dress as the Amish dress or wear a full body wet suit when you go to the pool. However, I will tell you the way to attract a man of godly character: live in the fullness of Christ’s love as his daughter, and out of that fullness run after him with all your heart. There is nothing more attractive to guys who are doing the same.