I’m a Christian, and I don’t believe in modesty—I believe in healthy confidence and self-worth. Look at the Proverbs 31 woman. She has it all: a husband, children, and a job.
That’s right: a j-o-b.
I honestly don’t know why we don’t hear more about her in this way. I mean, really! The Proverbs 31 husband has full confidence in his wife, and lacks nothing of value (verse 11).
Does that sound modest to you?
It certainly doesn’t to me.
What does modesty even mean, anyway?
According to the Miriam-Website Dictionary online it means, “the quality of not being too proud of confident about yourself or your abilities” and “the quality of behaving and especially dressing in ways that do not attract sexual attention.”
As a female, my biggest complaint about another modesty lecture is that it feels so one-sided. How can such a broad topic be narrowed down to the bikini? Thankfully, I am not going to give another “one-piece” talk. Modest means so much more than just a string.
Purity For All
The lie that has been spread around the church is: if women dress modesty, men will not be tempted to sin. If a woman chooses to wear a one-piece, tankini, or bikini—she should be able to wear one without shame or judgment from men.
Jesus says, You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. – Matthew 5:27
Thank you Jesus.
Men and women both have a responsibility to modesty. No one gets a hall pass. Period. So why do women in the church feel the need to run in the opposite direction or hide behind their spouses, family, or jobs?
Let’s talk about false modesty for a moment.
Depending on which church you attend—women might be told they can only wear dresses. I was even told once at a private school that I couldn’t wear shorts or pants—only skirts or dresses.
Women might also be given an ultimatum about working outside the home if they have a family. When I was single, I attended this kind of church—where the only options for women after marriage were having children and homeschooling them. Let’s just say, I didn’t stay at that church for very long!
We live in a culture of extremes. Shouldn’t we as believers be setting an example of love and purity? We—women and men—are created in the image of Christ. We hold equal value. We can both take confidence in being a child of God.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. – Hebrews 4:15-16
Are you struggling with the way you dress?
Are you struggling with lust in your heart?
There’s help for you too.
Here’s a concept. Instead of lecturing or judging others—let’s learn to affirm one another.
Your worth should be found in Christ first. It’s okay to take confidence in the abilities God gave you. You can have joy not because of the way you dress, but because you are God’s child. Why set your standards so low?
A woman of God doesn’t need validation from the standards set by the world. She uses the gifts and strengths she’s given to bring joy to others. There’s nothing sexier than a woman who knows her worth and doesn’t feel the need to flaunt her worth. Am I right?
When I was 15, I lost the skin off my face and feet due to extreme eczema. If that weren’t bad enough—the medication the doctors gave me for my rash made me gain 100 pounds in 10 months. Although I believed that no man might never love me, I never lost my confidence. Something inside me knew I had what it takes. Maybe that’s why God allowed me to go through such a horrific incident.
It took me two whole years, but I lost the weight I gained from the prednisone. And four years later my skin was fully healed. In total, those six years could have been the most devastating years of my life—but they weren’t.
I knew I was going through something terrible for others. I turned my story around for good. I motivated others to health and wellness. And now I spend my days spurring others forward.
I encourage others because of how God has transformed my own personal brokenness. God never judged or condemned me in my sin; He loved me.
I love that God turned the single most tragic event in my life to bring healing and wholeness to others. Never for a moment did I doubt my confidence or self-worth in Christ, and I’m so glad I didn’t.
So to those who don’t want to listen to another lecture on modesty or be forced to choose—I say why bother? If you are a woman of God then you can have confidence and self-worth. What are you waiting for?
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More about Renee: Fisher is a veteran blogger and author of five books including Dream Devotional (2014). She is the founding editor of DevotionalDiva.com, and a graduate of Biola University. Renee enjoys running on sunny days in San Diego. She lives with her adoring husband, Marc, and their fur child named Star who has his own Instagram account. Connect at ReneeFisher.com.