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What Does the Bible Say About Modesty in Women?

Ahh. Where to even begin? Our culture is sex saturated. Have you noticed? Unfortunately, we have programmed our children from the time they are old enough to walk and talk, that beauty is key to getting what we want out of life.

According to Buzzfeed, women spend approximately $300,000 on makeup within her lifetime. This number does not even include clothes, hair products, shoes, jewelry, etc.

So, where am I going with all this? How far is too far? Does a woman need this to be a confident, godly woman? And what about attractiveness? What are the limits? Are there limits? What does the Bible say about a woman and modesty?

Well, obviously, I am a woman. I am a woman who loves to wear makeup and pretty clothes and to have a lot of shoes, and I desire to look attractive to those I come in contact with. But where do I draw the line?

The Apostle Paul wrote this to Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:9-10:

"...likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works."

Okay, so what does that mean and why is Paul picking on the female crowd?

First, Paul is giving instructions for worship here. In the verse immediately before this passage, he tells the men to pray and to lift up holy hands without anger or disputing. What does that have to do with a woman's dress? Glad you asked.

Paul is taking aim at the traits in both sexes which can often be a stumbling block. Men need to step up to the plate and be the spiritual leaders. They need to lead the church and their families in prayer, and they are to lift up holy hands...hands that are not involved in evil or deceptive practices. They are to pray without harboring anger towards others.

Likewise, women are to dress in moderation. Not too much, but definitely not too less. Though fancy clothes are appropriate for some special occasions, it is not necessary or warranted for every day living. A woman's beauty should come not simply from outward adornment, but from the good works she does and her beautiful spirit within.

When a woman feels the need to display her assets in a provactive way, it shows something amiss in her heart. I am not being prudish, but simply stating what the Bible is saying to us here.

1 Peter 3:3-4 says, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight."

Second, I believe Paul understands the power of a beautiful woman. As I'm sure you are aware, men are visual creatures. When a woman dresses in a way to draw attention to certain areas, a man is naturally going to gravitate to that which is accentuated. Before long, if he does not keep his thoughts in check, his mind is racing in all different directions. Jesus, too, addressed this in Matthew 5:27-29 when He said...

"You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it a way. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown in to hell."

Ladies, it is our job to be attractive yet modest. When we flaunt what we have been given, we are saying to the world that our heart is not protected, and further, we are setting ourselves up to be a stumbling block for others.

So, go buy those shoes (smile), put on that new outfit, but remember who you are and Whose you are. Being classy and modest displays a heart attuned with the God who made you to be beautiful.



*What are your thoughts on modesty? I would love to hear them.


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