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Friday, May 13, 2011

The Modesty Quest, pt 2. What does the Bible say?

Since I posted last on my modesty quest I’ve received a lot of really great feedback and comments. The coldness issue is one I’m not alone in, and I was given some great ideas to stay warmer while wearing skirts. I’m really excited for the journey that the Lord has sent me on, and there’s so much on my mind regarding modesty and femininity, but I need to start at the top- the top being the Word of God.
In this post I’m going to be talking about what the Bible says about women’s clothing, because what we base our decisions on, whether about our clothing or otherwise, has to come from God’s Word.
I pulled out our concordance and looked up some words related to clothing, the words I looked up were:
Attire, clothing, adorn, woman, prudent, virtuous, and pertaineth.
So I'm going to start with a few verses that really stood out to me.

The first verse I’m going to start with is probably not what you would expect, the passage is in Proverbs chapter 7 and it is a warning for men to keep from the strange woman, this woman being a harlot. Verse 10 and 11 says: “And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house.”
So, in this verse it states that there is a certain attire of a harlot, it doesn’t exactly say what that is, but we can get a pretty good idea that it was not good and not pleasing to the Lord. I’m sure it was seductive, slinky, and revealing- something that would catch the eye of a man and cause him to sin. This attire was something she had planned well in advance, to lure the eyes of men. So we may not know what her clothing looked like but we know what her attitude and intentions were like. We, as godly women need to be the exact opposite of this woman. We should not be clothed in a way that lures the eyes of men around us, we should not intentionally put on something form-fitting and tight that would cause a man to look upon us and sin in his heart. Our clothing should not be revealing or slinky, like that of a harlot. When we get dressed in the morning we ought to be intentional in the way we dress, we should intentionally dress in a way that the Lord would be pleased with, not that men would be pleased with. There will be times that men will look no matter what, but what they ought to see is a modestly dressed female, not a female intentionally trying to get another man's attention. This is something that we need to be careful of, the Bible calls it 'taking heed unto yourselves'.

Moving on now to what we should dress like, in other words, how we adorn ourselves. This particular passage is one I’m sure you are familiar with. In 1 Timothy 2 :9 & 10 the Bible says: “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”
We are to adorn ourselves in a modest way, and what is a modest way? Well, it says “with shamefacedness and sobriety”. Shamefacedness means ‘great modesty, bashfulness, or shyness’. And sobriety means ‘seriousness’. We aren’t to be wild and crazy with our clothes, and I’m sure that this probably isn’t the case with most, but we also shouldn’t want to draw attention to ourselves in the way we dress, as if dressing in a wild and crazy way. Our clothes shouldn’t be attention-getters, but what should be an attention-getter? Well, I’ll move on to the next verse, another familiar one that will answer that question. 1 Peter 3:3 says, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”  So a meek and quiet spirit is the ornament, or appearance that is most important. This is what should get the attention of others, this is what we should be known for, not the clothing and attire we wear. If your clothing choices are getting the attention of another man, besides your husband, then you need to take heed. We should not be out to gain attention of other men, and if our clothing choices cause this then we need to change our clothes.

Just about everyone has read the second chapter of Titus, speaking of the aged women and the young women. The aged women should “be in behaviour as becometh holiness” . How often, when we choose our clothes, do we ask ourselves if our clothing becometh holiness? This should be a question we ask ourselves each day. The young women should be “discreet and chaste”, again, is this a way we dress- in a discreet and chaste way? Not flashy and not revealing, but in a way that will bring honor and glory to God. These were commands to women, to godly women like ourselves. If our hearts are where they should be, then our clothing choices will fall in line with this particular passage of scripture.

I want to bring up another verse that I have been thinking about quite frequently, this passage of scripture is in regards to what pertaineth to a man, and what pertaineth to a woman. Deuteronomy 22:5 says, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”
This is the biggie, isn’t it? That which pertaineth, or that which is associated with. If there is some piece of clothing that is associated towards a man, or you think looks more like a man’s attire rather than a woman’s, then I believe, through what the Bible says, that wearing such clothes is wrong. This is where femininity comes into play, God created women to be women, to be feminine, and not to look like men. We ought to look pretty and feminine, not in a flashy way, but in a godly way. I know what one person considers feminine may not be what another person considers feminine, so like one lady said in the comments, this is a heart issue. If you know that the way you’re dressed is more in line with a man’s attire and yet you still insist on wearing it, then this is an issue with your heart, and not yielding to the Lord’s commands. We should be examining our hearts and dealing with any rebellious attitudes we may have in regards to our clothing. I know with this particular verse that there are a lot of women that consider this a command to only wear skirts, because pants are considered to be a man's attire. I will say this, I have seen alot of jeans or pants that don't look at all feminine, also because the entire outfit is not feminine. I have dressed this way before- faded jeans, t-shirts, tennis shoes, etc. The whole outfit together could be put on a man and look like it came from his closet. Now, on the other hand, I know of godly women who wear nice pants or jeans along with a very pretty and feminine blouse, and there's no mistaking them for a man. I believe this is where the heart issue is most important. You can leave the house in a nice pair of pants and a floral top with a cute pair of ballet flats and look feminine and pretty, not revealing, not scantily clad, not slinky or tight or form-fitting, and I believe you're better off than the woman with the long skirt that is too form-fitting and a blouse that is too flashy that grabs the attention of men. Just because you wear a skirt doesn't make you any more pious than the lady wearing the pants, it's a heart issue. God sees our hearts, whether they be focused on Him, and wanting to please Him, or whether they be focused on showing others that you are a holier-than-thou woman who only wears skirts. Please don't get me wrong, you may be a woman who wears only skirts because that is what the Lord has layed on your heart, and you are not 'holier-than-thou' about it, you mindset is to truly please the Lord in all you do, and that includes your wardrobe. That is where all women ought to be, whether wearing modest pants or modest skirts, we should be only concerned with how the Lord views our hearts.

The virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 knew something about proper attire, “she maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple”. I can only imagine that this was a feminine lady, she was obviously a godly woman who was praised by her husband and children. But the main thing she had right was found in verse 30, “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” This should be our goal, this should be our attitude, this should be our mark. Her clothing was right because her fear of the Lord was right.

Let’s examine our hearts ladies, and strive to be where the Lord would have us be, including in the way we dress.

Read part One of my modest quest HERE!

and next time...Keeping Warm!   Subscribe to my blog so that you don't miss any posts on this series!  and Follow my blog too!  :)

Homemaking Link-Up at Raising Homemakers!


  1. Amen. I really love this post. So often, women write about the verse about not putting on that which pertains to man - as a 'skirt' issue. I've heard that a lot. What do you feel about skirts? For a long time I was very snobbish about it but lately, I've been feeling called to much more diligent modesty. I find wearing skirts is both feminine and modest. (Well, given, you're wearing long, loose skirts). You can wear skirts and still look 'cute'. Especially with the styles right now. I've leaned towards this but don't feel a complete compulsion to never wear pants. I do, however, cover my bum and upper legs if I am wearing 'pants' and they are not tight. Thoughts?
    Cass @

  2. Hi, and thanks for your comment. I've read alot of posts regarding the verse in Deut. as well, proving that women should only wears skirts or dresses. At this point I don't necessarily think that all pants or jeans are wrong, like I said, you can still look feminine if your outfit is feminine. I have recently gotten rid of 3 pairs of jeans due to the fact that they were too tight, I had recently felt uncomfortable wearing them and it felt like the Lord was urging me to take a stand against those kind of jeans and pants. But at the same time I also had to get rid of 2 skirts because they were also too tight. I have a couple cute longer cardigan sweaters that I wear with my jeans and for now I'm not feeling compelled to get rid of all of my pants. I have 2 pairs of jeans and one pair of pants left, so for me that's not a whole lot. I used to have about 10 pairs of jeans. My goal in all of this is to just go where the Lord leads me, and if I do start wearing skirt more, which I feel like I will, not to be snobbish about it, like you mentioned.
    I'm so glad you commented, it's nice to "talk" to others about the same things.

  3. I would like to say that I have never met a women who wears skirts and dresses only, with an 'Holier than thou ' attitude. Try wearing this apparel for a while and you will see that you will feel humbled in our society. When people see that you only wear skirts and dresses you will get many reactions one of which is hostility by other women who feel that they are being threatened in some way. Perhaps it's their interpretations to this and not the women who have actually decided to go in this direction.

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  5. In my last comment I was just saying how it is easy to be misunderstood when wearing skirts or dresses on a daily basis, that is a sad fact. I think the majority of skirt-wearers have a heart to live in a way that the Lord is leading them to. My hope is that by wearing skirts or dresses more often that I never have a puffed up air about it. I do it only to please the Lord. :)

  6. I would love to wear skirts more. I guess I need to figure out how to go about it. The main issue is finding some that fit. And having shoes that do not look awful with skirts. I have bunions so I am not going to be wearing any kid of dress shoes...certainly no high heels.

  7. Elle, I know how you feel about the shoe issue! If I am going to wear a skirt during the day then my feet need to be comfortable too! I found that ballet flats are the best for me, they are comfortable and not big or bulky. I find alot of skirts on ebay, the only problem is that you can't try them on. So I always ask for the measurements of the skirt before I buy it, that way I have a better idea on how they fit.
    Thanks for your comment!

  8. Great post! I have the conviction of wearing skirts. When I go out in public I always wear skirts but at home I wear long shorts or lounge pants for comfort. Since most of my day is spent teaching, cooking and cleaning house I don't wear my good skirts or dresses to do these things in. Being an adventurous & athletic person I have also come across some occasions where I have realized that pants or shorts are the only way to participate in an activity and stay modest...such as skiing, running, working out, sky diving, zip lining, rock climbing and the list goes on. Now I haven't done the last three activities yet but I plan on doing so in the future :) I know some people might think that a lady shouldn't be doing such things but I love to have fun and stay active with my children so I won't be old before my time. Oh, and don't get me started on swimming apparel! That one is a doozy! Thoughts? :)

  9. Hi Mom of 5,
    well it def. sounds like you're a very adventurous mom- how fun! Over the summer we went on a road trip and made alot of stops along the way. One stop was to Arches national Park (awesome!!), we did alot of hiking. It was so hot and I wore a skirt the whole time- so much more comfortable for me, it was just below my knees and really flowey, so it worked well. Now, however, the other activities you talked about I'm sure you're right- more modest to be in pants, capris, etc. if you're doing something that you might end up flashing the people around or below you if you were in a skirt. And as far as swimming goes, over the summer I would wear my one piece and a pair of longer swim shorts over them. I was just not comfortable without the shorts. I think there are instances that pants or otherwise are more modest than skirts if the activity calls for it.
    thanks for commenting!!

  10. Am blog hopping and found yours! I'm now following and would love for you to check out my blog and follow back!

  11. Nice to see the chatter on here. I think for me, it's about wearing what I feel modest in. Because God has been carving at my heart in this very way (see my post on "Hot Mom Syndrome" here,

    For me, it's about listening to my heart and convictions.

    Your're spot on with the fact that skirts can ALSO be immodest! Ha! I've been on a major wardrobe splurge and purge lately. I only have 2 pairs of 'pants' left - loose fitting jean capris and a pair of loose Khakis to wear while gardening, biking, etc. Just this morning I tossed my last pair of jeans I was holding onto because I no long feel comfortable in them... they also barely fit, but that is another story.... haha. They started off tight - now they are ridiculous.

    Anyways, I think it's the kind of thing that CAN be a legalistic thing for some people. We don't want to do something because we feel it's an enlightened way to God - we want to do something because we love Jesus and want to please Him, knowing still that only His Grace does anything for us.

    For me, I've been on a journey and I feel that things have been revealed to me on the way. I want to stand apart. I want to step away from normal 'cultural' womanhood and work toward Biblical womanhood. That doesn't make me better than anyone else, it just makes me different, you know?

    It's funny looking back... there's NO WAY IN THE WORLD I would have ever thought I'd be a 'long skirt lady'... OH the journeys we take!!!


    Cass @ Unplug Your Family

  12. Oh Cass- your comment sounds so very much like me! The part you said about standing apart is exactly how I'm feeling, not to be a show-off, but for others to see a difference in me- the light of Jesus that shines from inside.
    I've been purging too, I have 2 jeans and 1 pair of pants left. My other big thing is that I have an almost 9 year old daughter that can be influenced in a good way by me, or a bad way. She notices other girls and women that are dressed immodestly, I would never want to set a bad example for her.
    And I did read your Hot Mom Syndrome, I'm ashamed to say that early on in motherhood I felt a certain pride for being in shape after my first baby, I would get people telling me how good I looked after being prego. and I was prideful about it. I def. had a different outlook on things 9 years ago.
    Thanks for your comments, they help alot!

  13. One advantage I've found to wearing long skirts more (other than me being more comfortable with my own body!) is that people seem to look at me differently, treat me more maturely and take me more seriously. I VERY much appreciate that. I am 26 but have been married since I was 18 and now we have three children, but I have always been "older" than my years and it's been pretty damaging to me to have people treat me as if I'm too young for this or that, as if I can't make good, wise decisions as a woman or as a wife and mother. Or that I simply don't know what I'm talking about. Stuff like that, that's really hard, especially when I DO put SO much effort into the role God has given me the honor of taking. But I've noticed that, at least in public, even if it's just strangers, I get taken more seriously and it's GREATLY appreciated.

  14. Interesting about the longer skirts issue. I have always liked long skirts or pants so my legs are covered. Nothing wrong with them i just have wanted them covered since childhood. Today, I gave my 9 yr old daughter the choice of jeans or a skort. She chose the jeans because they cover her, the skort is too short, even though it would be modest having a pair of shorts with it. My boys will not be without a t-shirt either. Their bodies are okay too. Interesting, maybe children are more modest than adults.

  15. Great post! TMH has been speaking to me about dresses and skirts only. What about high heels?

  16. preach it on Sisters , this generation need more Bible teaching than Iphone. iPads and all the i's