“How do I look?” Aren’t those words important to us as girls? Even when we grow into women, we like to look pretty. The challenge for a Christian girl when choosing her clothing is not just asking “is this pretty?”, but “is this modest?”
Most of the time, when we are mindful of how modest our clothing is, we are concerned with how much skin is showing. We check to make sure that our shorts or skirts are low enough that we are not showing too much leg. We check our tops to be sure that the neckline is high enough to cover our cleavage and long enough to meet our pants and cover our midriffs. But how concerned are we about how tight our clothes fit our bodies?
I asked my 14 year old son what girls wear that makes it difficult for him to keep his thoughts pure. He answered that tight clothes, no matter how long the pants or shirts, were what gave him trouble. You see, guys are wired differently than we are. They are very stimulated by things that they see. We girls enjoy admiring handsome boys, but usually not in the same way that boys and men are tempted to lust by the things that they see. Clothes that don’t show any skin, yet are tight, can show a man exactly what you look like under those clothes. Unmarried young ladies cannot understand the way men are affected by what they wear because they do not have the experience. So, you should trust older Christian women who try to let you in on the secret to modest behavior and dress.
“Aren’t men responsible for their own thoughts and actions?” you might ask. Yes. Every person is responsible for their own actions, and will be accountable on the Judgment Day. But notice what Jesus said in Matthew 5:28: “whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Women have the ability, with their actions and apparel, to cause a man to sin.
When we become Christians, we are clothed with Christ (Galatians 3:27). Living faithfully involves us taking a daily assessment of our thoughts and actions. When you are deciding what to wear, consider these questions:
- When I wear these clothes, will I help my brothers in their Christian lives?
- Do these clothes help me represent Jesus?
- When I wear these clothes, could I talk to someone about Jesus?
Girls, please consider how your clothing affects your Christian influence. Consider the souls of the men and boys that you meet each day at school or at work, and the brothers in Christ who you will be worshiping with on Sundays. Be sure before you leave your house that what you are wearing will not cause someone else to stumble, or interfere with the godly influence that you are called upon to exhibit. “Women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation,…which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works” (1 Timothy 2:9-10).
Here are some practical tips to remember when you check the mirror before heading out of the house:
- Use a full-length mirror to make sure enough leg is covered (you can’t go wrong using the knee as your measure.)
- Bend over while looking in the mirror to check your top in the front, and your skirt in the back.
- Sit down to make sure your shorts/skirt don’t ride up too high.
- Can your underwear be seen through your clothes? (If so, they are too thin.)
- When in doubt, change into something else.
The heart of the modesty matter is your heart. Do you want to wear Christ and be pleasing to God? If so, you will look in the mirror and think of your brothers in Christ.