Before a crowd of ten thousand people stands a woman giving a powerful speech. She is intelligent, witty, and an all-together persuasive speaker; the crowd loves her. However, one must question her appearance. She is dressed in a thigh-high form-fitting black dress revealing more than any woman should in a public setting. The question to be asked is, what kind of impression is she leaving on her audience? Are they thinking about what a bright young woman she is, or is her outfit getting the audience’s attention? In society today, the fashion is to expose as much skin as possible. Underwear has become outerwear, and lingerie is no longer something worn privately. Yes, this may receive a great deal of attention, but what kind of attention? Positive or negative? People’s perception of a woman is dictated by her actions and her appearance. She controls whether she is treated with respect or disrespect by the way she presents herself—modestly or immodestly.
People view immodest dress a few different ways. Some women look to the latest fashion magazines and other media, without consideration for modesty. They allow these things to control their appearances and justify their immodesty because society says it is acceptable. They do not want to be the “odd balls”; therefore, they choose to follow the crowd in an effort to “fit in.” These women are choosing to be immodest, while there are others that are ignorant to the fact that they are dressing immodestly. They do not realize that it is very unnecessary and inappropriate to be exposing that much skin. Not even seeing it as immodesty, these women simply view it as the acceptable way to dress. They are not thinking of the presentation they are giving.
Yet there is another group of women who dress immodestly for the attention it brings them. They think that if they dress inappropriately, it will bring them the attention they need to uplift them and overcome their insecurities. However, the opposite is true. If they keep this mentality, they will forever look to society in general and men in particular to give them the confidence and security they need, and they will never be completely satisfied. They do not realize that the satisfaction they are looking for comes from within them, and dressing modestly is a great place to start.
Many positive aspects come with dressing modestly. First of all, a woman will display sexual integrity. She will be able to teach people how to treat her, and she will receive attention not just for the way she is dressed, but for her attitude and actions. Colossians 3:12,14 says: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience…And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (NIV). Also, Proverbs 31:25 says: “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come” (NIV). Both of these Scriptures describe how a woman should present herself, and the positive things that come of it. If she possesses these attributes, she will have complete happiness and confidence.
Another positive effect of modesty is that others will see God through the woman. Romans 13:14 says, “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature” (NIV). Therefore, if that woman presents herself appropriately, others will see God in her and hold her in a higher respect. Every Christian woman should be conscious of the fact that she is representing God. I Timothy 2:9 says, “And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. Women who are devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do” (NLT). When people look at a woman, they should be able to tell directly from her appearance that she is a woman of moral character and someone that is to be respected.
Lastly, but probably most importantly, dressing modestly reduces the visual stimulation of men. When women dress seductively, they do not realize the effect it has on men. In Every Young Woman’s Battle, a Christian young man talks about how distracting it is for him when he sees a girl wearing revealing clothing. He also says he does not want a girlfriend with this quality; he wants someone he respects. Therefore, he does not respect these girls who expose themselves to other men by dressing immodestly. By dressing modestly, a woman gains this respect from a man, and helps him to avoid temptation.
When women dress, they should think about the impression they are leaving. Remember, presentation leaves a lasting impression, and dressing modestly preserves a woman’s sexual integrity. When a woman has this integrity, she gains the respect of men as well as others around her. To be God-like and to bring glory to Him should be a Christian woman’s main goal, and fulfilling this goal is to honor God with her body.
– Haylee Miller