What Christian Modesty Looks Like

Modest clothing is beautiful. While we each have slightly different perspectives on what is ugly, as Christian women we should try and dress in a way that is beautiful. Not elaborate or decadent or seductive, as I said, but beautiful.

Carolyn Mahaney says, “[B]ecause we are created in the image of our Creator, each of us has this propensity to make things beautiful. That means, when we decorate our homes, or plant a lovely flower garden, or seek to add some form of beauty to our surroundings, even when we attempt to enhance our personal appearance—we are actually imitating and delighting in the works of our Great Creator.”

God loves beauty. He created beauty. Christ is the One who is most beautiful, and dressing in ugly clothing denies this truth and dishonours the One who gave us the gift of beauty and creativity. As Christ’s children, we should be delighting in the beauty He gave us by enjoying colour, texture, creativity, skill, and even the beauty of figure and form that are all gifts from a benevolent Creator to His creatures. We should be an adornment to creation. We are the crown of creation but we can look like the dregs without trying.

Read the rest here.

6 thoughts on “What Christian Modesty Looks Like

  1. “They do not seem to understand that nothing excites the male passions so much as the sight of the forbidden female ankle”

    Which is pretty darn sad.


  2. This topic has been very heavy on my heart in recent weeks, and after a friendly debate within my Christian circle, I am currently writing an essay on it (6 pages so far)! In this postmodern world, the teachings of humanism and feminism are becoming more and more rampant in the church. We have lost our Biblical worldview, and have adopted the mindset that as long as our hearts are regenerated, we have the liberty to look and act just like the world! We are so consumed with individualism that we can no longer see that modesty involves more than your clothing choices… it’s about demonstrating- with humility- that you love the Lord Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength – enough to be able to love others more than yourself, and be willing to count others as more important than yourself.


  3. Jenn84, I’m replying late but I hope you see this.

    Concerning that quote, I have quite a different view. The fact that at some point in time a man might have found a woman’s ankle tempting testifies to the fact that men hardly ever saw female ankles, and were therefore sensitive to them when they did. I don’t think it’s sad at all. It may have been a high standard, or even a burden for women, but definitely not sad.

    In today’s culture, with pornography, nudity, and sensuality very rampant, some men have unfortunately seen too much and have had their natural passion and excitement seared by overexposure. Similarly, women who are comfortable in skimpy clothing have killed their natural modesty and shamefacedness. Nudity and promiscuity destroy the awe and beauty of sex, and reduce it to a mere friction of bodily parts. The female body seizes to be exciting, and sexual relations become mundane.

    Whereas I’m not advocating for women to cover their ankles, (I wear mid-calf or longer) I’d much rather live in a time when sex was fascinating and beautiful than in the mess that we have in today’s society.

    In short, I found some beauty in that quote.


  4. Frankly no, I still find it sad; society didn’t mind seeing deep cleavage, but ankles were something women had to cover with cumbersome hems? Women were expected to do many unreasonable things to satisfy men, and part of the major problem of too much mystery was mass ignorance of female medical issues.


  5. I have heard of this definition of modesty before, and I have to say, I disagree with it. When we dress nicely, even if it is not the primary reason, are we not hoping to attract attention? Of course, we aren’t looking for or expecting the entire room to stop what they are doing and declare how beautiful we look, but, are we not somewhere in our minds hoping others are pleased by our appearance?

    In an age where dressing nicely at all except on the most formal occasions has nearly disappeared (how many of us run to the store in our sweats and t-shirts?), just wearing the simplest of pleasant outfits can attract attention. For that matter, wearing an outfit that covers could possibly attract attention. Dressing feminine… lace, ruffles, skirt (especially full ones, which are the only type I like), is very likely to catch attention. I do agree that one’s purpose shouldn’t be to exalt herself, but I disagree that modesty forbids attracting attention at all.

    In my mind, modesty is the lack of trying to attract sexual attention. It puts out an atmosphere that says you expect to be treated as a lady. As for dressing one’s age, you are only as old as you feel. 🙂


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