Modesty Today

The balance to be attractive and modest is a struggle for many women. I have been wanting to write on this for a while and in my research on this topic, was pointed to a friends blog. This is the best blog I have read on modesty and I have been given permission to share it with you. I am excited to guest post Charissa Strobolakos's blog "How Then Shall We Live?". I pray you are as challenged and encouraged by this as I was. Enjoy.

"I honestly don’t feel I have any original, corrective or insightful thoughts to contribute – that’s not the purpose of this blog. This is my attempt to work out, in my own head and heart, the role and definition of Christian modesty.

Chastity. Purity. Modesty.

Those are beautiful words. Intimate, sacred, even holy words.

They thrive in silence;
but our culture has lost the ability to keep a secret.

We market everything. We sexualize everything. We speak everything. We critique everything. We voice everything. We post everything. We film everything.
and yet, for all our sharing, we remain isolated – individualistic in our thinking; loners in our living.
We’ve lost sight of the souls behind the sculpted bodies, the hearts behind the athletes and the people behind the lyrics.

We’ve reduced ourselves to a jeans size, number on a scale, job title, athletic abilities, degree,bank account, talent, possession or relationship.

When all that remains, matters and defines us is the external we can’t afford to be modest.
Purity can’t be separated from its accompanying traits of respect and love. When we isolate skinny jeans, boxers and bikinis as defining factors we strip the word of its full power;
Modesty is a meant to be a lifestyle of sacrificial love.

As Christians we should excel in this area – driven by a deep love for our God, our neighbors and ourselves. Too often, instead of abiding in a grace-filled attitude of chastity, we Christianize cultural standards of modesty (or what remains of them);

That’s when clothing sizes become the benchmark of purity, swimwear decides holiness and accomplishments determine spiritual value.

We become human doings not human beings.

It takes courage and humility to live with modesty. The lifestyle described in 1 Thessalonians 4:11 is so counter-cultural it’s humorous; “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: you should mind your own business and work with your hands”.
Jesus summarized that way of life with the simple command to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and, love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27).

Scripture is not replete with commands on dress and modesty because appropriate attire and attitudes are a natural byproduct of a love-filled heart.

Let us learn to love each other’s souls.

At times, there may be an appropriate place to correct immodest behaviors; whether they be in dress, words or actions. We should strive to receive and give such corrections in grace, evaluating our own motives and recognizing our own weakness.

Much of this sounds idealistic, even to its author, but it’s what we’re called too. It’s what is best.
The body is a beautiful creation. Sexuality is a wonderful gift. Intimacy is crucial to healing, growth and joy. Vulnerability and safety are the stuff of life. We’ve embraced counterfeits of each by clinging to the false intimacy and shallow acceptance which accompany immodesty and blatant sexuality.
Is it any wonder the world, and many Christians, are lonely? When beauty, sexuality and intimacy are exploited, reduced to momentary thrills and external definitions they are incapable of satisfying our souls.

Our cultures obsession with immodesty is a revealing testimony to its perpetual dissatisfaction. Always seeking the next salacious person, story or thing (and that’s all any of it truly becomes; things).

Let us be people defined by our God.

That is achingly difficult. For me, it’s a fight every single day.

Biblical modesty is simpler when understood as “loving one another” – it’s simultaneously far more complex when it encompasses every moment of our day.

Purity is a daily battle.

Modest living, Biblical living is surrendering the need to achieve, to be “the best”, to be defined by the external, to dress in a way that demands attention, to be known for our successes. It takes humility.
Loving people as they are, wading through each others brokenness, refusing to satisfy our lust with each others bodies, confronting our own sinfulness. It takes courage.

God, give us a deep appreciation of simple things. Let us delight in hard work, sacred secrets and the beauty of silence. Lord, refine our hearts to crave purity and authenticity. Give us the courage and humility to live with modesty; trusting our reputations to you and not our efforts; Give us your mighty grace to sacrificially love each other."

Thank you Charissa! To check out other thoughts from Charissa please visit her blog: Old Enough For Fairy Tales.

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I'm a fun loving, people person, with a passion for ministry and the Lord. My greatest desire is to see people come to realize who they are in Christ and how that effects every area of their relationships and lives.I want to know Him more.