"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:4-5

Monday, November 15, 2010

How We Dress

1 Timothy 2:9-10 (NKJV): "in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works."

Wow, God has really been showing me a lot!  I have heard this verse so many times in my life, and whenever I would hear it, I would automatically associate it with two ideas: 1)dress modestly, as in not causing a man to stumble, and 2) let my beauty come from within.  These are very true concepts that are taught here;  however, this time around the Lord has taught me one more truth from these verses, that had never occurred to me before.  And it happens to be an area where He wants me to change!  Uh oh....

Modesty...what does modesty mean?  What definition comes to your mind?  If you're like me, you think of shirts that are not too low cut, skirts that are a decent length...basically not showing off too much.  That IS one definition, and it is an important one.  But if you look the word "modest" up in the dictionary, the first definition that you will get is "having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one's merits, importance, etc; free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions".  The second definition is "free from ostentation or showy extravangance". 

Ouch. OUCH.  What?? Huh??

There was a time in my life when I wanted to plug my ears and run away from this verse in the first place, for two reasons.  One, I didn't want to hear about dressing modestly, because I was blessed with a figure and I didn't see any need to hide it (I'm being very candid here); and two, I wanted my beauty to come from outside!  And now....here we go with a third whammy to the verse!

Let's take a quick break and give you a little background on me.  Growing up, I was the poor kid in a rich kid's school.  I never had the "in" clothes, and the kids were mean, and the teasing was constant.  As a result, I came to believe that my identity came from what I wore...not true, my identity is in Christ....but I believed that at the time.  If I just had the right clothes, then I would have lots of friends and everyone would like me.  This concept followed me into adulthood.  It followed me to the point that it became an obsession... I'll even go as far as to say it was an idol.  Then from there, as I bought nice clothes and started looking more pretty and "in fashion", it turned into being prideful and showy and arrogant ....dressing to get attention.  This was not good either!

Okay, now that you understand where I'm coming from, back to the verse.  The third thing that the Lord has shown me recently in this verse, is that we are not to dress in a way that draws attention to ourselves.  This meaning never, ever occurred to me before!  But really, it makes total sense, as it fits in with the rest of the theme of the Bible.  Dressing to bring ourselves attention is being self-focused, and when we're self-focused we're not Jesus-focused.  It becomes all about what I look like, what I can do....hey everybody, look at ME!  So let's review the definitions of modesty again: "having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one's merits, importance, etc; free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions"; "free from ostentation or showy extravangance".  1 Timothy 2:9-10 states that we are to be modest in our dress.  Being modest in our dress takes the attention OFF of us, and keeps it where it should be: on JESUS.

Jesus is what life is all about.  It's not about us.  We are here to bring people to Jesus and to work for kingdom purposes and for God's glory.  We should be working on bringing people's attention to God, rather than to us.

Am I saying that we shouldn't dress nicely?  That we shouldn't wear make-up or jewelry?  Not at all!  But we shouldn't be purposely drawing attention to ourselves by our jewelry, our hair, or our clothes, AND we need to keep our motives pure.  For many years my motives were not, and it is our hearts are that the Lord looks at.

"for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

Now, there is one last thing I want to throw out there....dress for your husband!!  He is the one person whose eyes you should be attracting!  That is one exception the the "rule".

I really hope that this post doesn't sound too disjointed.  I haven't had a lot of quiet time to write and I've had a hard time pulling my thoughts together.  May God bless you!


  1. It is a great post! This and a lot of other "womanly" subjects have been jamming up my brain as well. How to communicate these lessons to the ladies and young girls in our lives. Thank you for putting this word together!

  2. Great post and a much-needed reminder! Thanks :]

  3. Girl!! This is great! ;D My daughter and I are doing a character study on meekness this month. We had about 15 words to look up that describe what it means to be meek...WOW! I hav a lot of work to do in that department for sure so I know how it feels to want to run away from a verse! lol! ;D I'll pray for you! Will you pray for me?! Keep it up! Loving the blog! Thank you for sharing! ;D--Sara

  4. This is a wonderful post, and I am so glad that I stumbled upon your blog for the first time on this very day. I needed to read this, I was supposed to read this. Thank you so much for this post, and I didn't find it disjointed at all I found it to be beautifully written and put together.

  5. There is such peace in these verses, isn't there? We don't have to try to be the prettiest. The Lord loves a humble heart. Something I struggled with for many years was wanting to be noticed, wanting to be beautiful. Not so much anymore. Praise God!

  6. I will be discussing this today. Great post.LucyT

  7. Loved your post! This is something that I've been thinking on so much. The whole modesty thing had me a little perplexed because I knew there was more to it than I was understanding. You explained it perfectly for me, and I 100% agree with you.

  8. I am coming upon my first year anniversary of being divorced. I have two pre-teen daughters and the woman they have to live with part of the time dresses immodestly. My struggle is in getting to my girls' hearts and helping them to understand that God cares about the inside. Thank you for your post. Thank you also to those of you that responded. I pray that I will actively draw my girls to their Creator.