By Lauren DeMoss
I have been taught to dress modestly all my life, and there is nothing wrong with my mindset or view of myself because of it. In fact, I believe that modesty has done quite the opposite.
My body is something special and was not meant to be seen by just every average joe I walk by on the street. I have saved my secrets for the man who makes me the promise of a lifetime. He alone is the only man who will be allowed to uncover what God has made. I have nothing to be ashamed of in that. God made me special, unique, and valuable and to dress immodestly would make me ashamed to cheapen God's creation.
That's what the Bible means when it talks of "shamefacedness." Any woman with a proper sense of shame will dress in such a way as not to be the source of temptation. I would be ashamed to dress in a manner that would cause others to sin or to bring shame on myself or my God. I am not ashamed of my body, I'm not ashamed to be a woman, I am not ashamed to be the beautiful masterpiece that God has made me to be. My body is the temple of God and it belongs to Him. I am proud to be His daughter and I am proud to dress like it.
God designed marriage to be a beautiful and wonderful covenant between a husband and his bride. Modesty has taught me to keep that covenant sacred. It has taught me more than anything that God owns my body, and when the time comes, my husband will receive all that God intended for me to give alongside my marriage vows. He will get it all, and I will be happy to give it to him.
I have heard it said that women who attempt to live modesty sacrifice their freedom and control to the men around them, this couldn't be more backwards. In keeping my body covered, I have chosen to remain in control of who sees what. I have chosen to walk down the street and know that I am free of the responsibility of causing men to lust or look at me in a perverted way. No, modesty will not stop all men from dirty thinking, but modesty has put me in control of what I allow them to see for free. Modesty actually puts me in control.
The lust in the hearts of the men around me is not my responsibility. However, allowing my body to be used as a catalyst for that lust is. I dress modestly for Jesus Christ - so that he will be pleased with what He sees when He looks at me. I also dress modestly for the sake of my brothers in Christ. God created them to be visually stimulated for a reason, and God gave women rules to follow in regard to this area. I understand that men are responsible for every thought they think in regard to me and my body. They can control their thoughts. However, because I have love toward them, I will take them into regard as I choose my wardrobe. I will take responsibility for my part in the equation so that I am not responsible for luring men into temptation with what I wear.
I limit my fashion choices in order be obedient to God, serve my brothers in Christ, and to be in control of how the world views my body. Modesty never ever means that you have to look ugly or unfashionable. You are beautiful, and there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who embraces her femininity in her appearance while keeping true beauty and modesty in mind. To me, that is truly being in control of my wardrobe.
To me, modesty is a beautiful word. It has taught me to value my body, to keep desires inside of my marriage, to take control of my body by keeping it covered, to understand my responsibility in this area toward Christ and my brothers, and to embrace beauty and femininity. This is how I choose to live not because I have to, not because I'm forced to, but because I want to and because this is where I find freedom to be the beautiful person God has created me to be. Girls, embrace modesty, for your own sake, and for the sake of Jesus Christ, and you will not be ashamed of your decision.