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My Problem: I Was Dressing Modestly for Guys and Not for God

By: Bethany Beal

“Sometimes I wonder why I even dress modestly. I mean, guys see immodest women all the time anyway. It’s not like they don’t know what cleavage is. I’m starting to wonder if modesty is really worth it.”

Those were the words of a girl who was feeling super discouraged about modesty.

As she shared her heart with me, I felt like her words could have been my own. At this point in time (mid-high school) I had some very similar thoughts running through my own mind.

Why am I even doing this?

Do guys really appreciate the effort that dressing modestly takes? Do they realize how inconvenient modesty can be at times? Do they even appreciate it?

I clearly remember days of feeling down, discouraged, and not even wanting to dress modestly. I felt like I was dressing modestly for guys, but then most of them didn’t seem to appreciate the effort I put into it anyway.

I’m sure some of you girls can relate to my feelings of frustration.

Looking back on my middle school/high school years, I clearly see where I went wrong with my perspectives on modesty. I see how my priorities were out of whack. I understand why I was feeling discouraged. I can see why I wanted to give up on modesty. And I can see where some of you might be going wrong as well.

My biggest problem was this: I was ultimately dressing modestly for guys and not for God.

That’s where I went wrong. I had my priorities out of place and that is why I was discouraged about modesty. I was doing what I was doing for people rather than for Christ.

As we all know, people will fail us. People will let us down. If “people” are the reason for why we do what we do, we will lose our motivation and desire.

I now realize that my motivation for modesty (and anything else in life) must be rooted in a desire to honor and glorify my King.

Christ must be the ultimate reason for why I do what I do.

I now dress modestly for a bigger and better reason. Guys are no longer the main reason for why I dress modestly. God is the main reason I choose to dress modestly.

Here are a few reasons for why I now dress modestly:

I dress modestly because I understand God’s big perspective on the purpose of clothing.
I dress modestly because I desire to honor God with my life.
I dress modestly because I love God and want to reflect Him well in the way I represent Him.
I dress modestly because I understand that God created men and women differently and I want to bless and encourage the men around me.
I dress modestly because I want to point others to Christ and not my body.

If you desire to understand the “why” behind modesty, I highly encourage you to check out my e-book, Project Modesty: How to Honor God WIth Your Wardrobe While Looking Totally Adorable in the Process. Kristen and I dig deep into the purpose of clothing and show you the big picture for why we even wear clothes. You can also check out my blog post, The Naked Truth About Why We Wear Clothes.

My encouragement to you is this…dress modestly out of a desire to honor and glorify Christ.

Dress modestly because you love God.

Dress modestly out of an overflow of your understanding of why God created clothes in the first place. Dress modestly because you understand the value of the Gospel and you understand how your clothing is a reflection of that incredible truth.

Don’t make “guys” the main reason for why you dress modestly. Make “Christ” the main reason for why you dress modestly.

I’ll never forget the words Susan Hunt shared with me at a conference a few years back. Kristen and I were talking with her about our new book, Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity. We were asking Susan for advice relating to our book and this is what she said (in a nutshell).

“Make sure that everything you write is centered around Christ and the gospel. He should ultimately be the center of why you do what you do.”

Wow! That applies so perfectly to the topic of modesty. Christ should be the number one reason for why we dress modestly. Everything else should be a secondary reason.

I want you to evaluate your own heart. Ask yourself these questions:

Why do I dress modestly?
Who am I striving to please?

Share with me in the comments section below and let’s continue the conversation.

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