How much thought do you put into your clothes? Are you concerned with being modest? Do you try to look stylish?
Personally, I have always cared about looking nice. Even on days when I am staying home and only my husband and kids will see me….I get kinda dressed up. I’ve never been a “sweats and t-shirt” kind of gal. My girls do the same thing.
Seventeen years ago James and I were challenged about our way of dress and we did some deep thinking. As our society has gone more and more off the deep end of immodesty we, as Christians, must stand firm in God’s standards. It has been our desire to glorify God in every part of our lives, including our clothes. How we present ourselves to the world matters.
So I went through God’s Word to seek out ways to be more God honoring in my attire. It is clear that we are to be….
“A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.” Deut 22:5
“Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire” 1 Tim 2:9
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
and careful not to lead men into lustful thinking.
“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28
But it’s not always clear as to HOW we should do these things. In order to make it easy to find clothes in the stores and get dressed every morning, I have these few guidelines. These are for us and our family. I do not project them onto you and am not making judgments. I tell you this not to get you to do it my way, but to encourage you to make guidelines of your own.
1. My number one tip is to search your heart. If you have a sense that you shouldn’t wear it, don’t. If you know you are trying to be alluring or worldly, let it go.
2. Dresses and skirts only. I was convicted all those years ago that when I wear pants I draw attention to private areas of my body. So I keep covered. We also wear our skirts below the knee (which means they are long enough to stay below the knee when we sit).
3. Loose fitting clothing. This doesn’t mean baggy and dull. It just means that we don’t wear shape fitting clothes. We don’t want to cause any men to stumble.
4. No sleeveless tops. Without sleeves the eye is drawn to the chest area. We will slip a little t-shirt under a tank or wear a lightweight jacket or shrug to cover our armpits.
5. No cleavage.
6. Light make-up.
7. Simple jewelry. Not plain necessarily, but not seductive.
This doesn’t mean we just wear denim jumpers and frumpy dresses. I love to keep up with the latest styles and as long as they fit into our guidelines, we are free to wear what’s current.
Today, for example, we are cleaning house. There’s nothing in particular going on…we are just hanging out together. The girls are dressed way down for cleaning, but they still look nice:
Grace and Faith….both in hand-me-down skirts and old shirts. Grace always wears a bandana when she cleans.
Hope and Patience….we do have a lot of denim skirts because they are pretty easy to find.
Me….heading into town. Nothing special.
I can’t count the number of times I get stopped by strangers and I get the opportunity to talk with them about my love for Christ. Just recently a man stopped me and said, “It is obvious that you are a devoted Christian,” and he went on to ask me questions. How cool! It happens weekly, someone starts to ask me questions and I get to tell them about the Lord. I have to believe that is partly because of the way I am dressed. People can tell we’re different.
Do you have any guidelines that are different than mine? I’d love to hear them. We can all grow and learn from each other.
Update: We have had so much interest in this that we are doing a series on modesty. As the girls have grown up they have updated their look and we have plenty of examples of what we wear in the series.