A Guest Post by a Fellow Wife:
My journey into modesty was indeed a journey. Modesty was not a concept I gave any respect to before embarking on my quest to become a godly wife. I didn’t think it was worthwhile, I didn’t think it was important and to be honest, I thought it was downright self-righteous to focus on modesty. My thoughts on modesty were very wrong.
While I never dressed as what I thought of as “trashy”, I enjoyed showing some skin. I liked tops that showed a hint of cleavage, tops that showed bare shoulders and shorts and skirts that were closer to the hip than the knee. I felt attractive in them. I felt alluring. I felt I had to dress like that if I wanted to look pretty. I thought there was no other way to look pretty. I thought this was the only way to look feminine.
My thoughts are different now.
After I began this journey, I was so curious as to my husband’s thoughts and opinions on everything I did, including what I chose to wear. While my husband had always told me what I wore was fine, I had never really had an open, honest conversation where I encouraged him to share his true feelings and really listened to him. I decided I wanted to know what he really thought of how I dressed.
He was reluctant to share his thoughts with me. I treasure that about him; the fact that he was afraid of hurting me with his opinion. But I encouraged his honesty and he finally opened up. He told me that while I didn’t displease him overall, there were some things that I wore that he would like to move to “only wear at home” clothes.
- It stung just a little but I eagerly listened to him and asked more questions.
He shared some things with me that I had never thought of before. He told me that when I showed parts of my body such as hints of cleavage and parts of my legs, that I was “advertising”. I was fully taken aback with that because the last thing I wanted to do was advertise! I was not available! I was very taken and wanted everyone to know that.
He also told me he did not want other men seeing parts of my body that were only meant for his eyes. This made me feel very treasured, cherished and loved. Now, I see modesty as a gift, both to myself and my husband. My body is precious and should be treated as such instead of being treated as if it has little value and is available for display to everyone. Dressing modestly is something I do to save my body for my husband’s eyes only.
He delivered his words truthfully but oh-so-kindly and carefully but I was still so ashamed that I had dressed in a way he did not approve of for years and he never said a word to me. He probably never would have if I had not asked him and been such a willing listener. There is a huge lesson in that last sentence that I have learned over and over in the last 14 months;
Husbands are usually willing to talk if WE are WILLING to listen.
I immediately moved the clothing he didn’t approve of to an “only wear at home” place of my wardrobe. I would never wear them out of our home now, or for that matter, in front of company. They are only worn to clean house or to workout in, within the walls of our home.
I begin shopping with a focus on choosing modest clothing. If I have any reservations, I ask my husband to weigh in with his opinion. I am fully capable of choosing my own clothing but I choose to allow my husband to make the decision if I am on the fence about an article of clothing.
- I am thankful for his opinions and want to honor them.
Because I am not very tall (5 foot 2), I have to be more careful than most about choosing tops. Things fall lower on me than they would other women. But there are certainly ways to work around this. Tank tops and camis make almost every top an option. I have also learned to look at necklines more carefully when I shop and (if shopping online) picture how low they may fall.
I had always believed that you had to dress in a very boring and dull manner if you dressed modest but that is not true. You can still be fashionable and be adequately covered. It is a bit more challenging but not impossible. I enjoy the search for feminine, modest clothing. Everyone has their own taste but I tend to go for clothing items that are in the colors that work best for me and feature some sort of feminine detail, such as beading, ruffles, sheer layers on top of a thicker one, tops with pretty, flowy sleeves. And accessories are always a great option. Just some ideas of how I personally make this work. And I would love to hear other ladies share how they make modesty look beautiful, too!
Now that I have discovered that dressing modestly can still be attractive, I enjoy it a lot more. I also feel very precious to my husband when I make ‘modest choices’ to honor him and his requests that what is his remains only for his eyes.
Everyone is going to have different standards of what feels right for them. I recently read a very good book by Leslie Ludy (The Lost Art of True Beauty) and she gave a piece of advice that I felt was very wise. Do not show areas of your body you would be uncomfortable with others touching. For example, we are not uncomfortable if someone touches our lower arm when they are speaking to us but how would we feel if someone touched us where our cleavage begins or other exposed areas? I thought this was very insightful…. I think about that sometimes when I shop. If a part of my body is showing that I would not want someone else to touch (besides my husband), it is probably not an article of clothing that I should purchase.
Where I once felt that dressing in an immodest manner could be sexy, I now feel shame when I think of how I dressed before. I now feel sorry for girls that dress like I used to. I am embarrassed for them. I want to take by the hands and tell them just how precious they are and that they are worth more than showing their body off to everyone. I want to tell them their body is precious, that they don’t have to show it off to everyone and to save it for someone who really has earned that right. But they have to find that out for themselves.
Modesty is a personal journey and everyone’s is going to look unique.
This was just a little peek into mine.
Our culture says that a woman dressing immodestly and having sexual “liberation” is empowering. These are lies from the enemy. But our culture has embraced it. We use immodesty and sex to sell everything these days. 🙁
As we obey God’s Word, we are empowered to become the beautiful women God created us to be. Our power does not come from publicly showing our bodies, but from God’s Spirit dwelling inside of us and from lives that bring glory to Christ. We honor and reverence God by showing honor and reverence for our bodies. And, in so doing, we also honor and respect our husbands and other men as well.