I’ll be modest here, but not there

“…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.” (1 Timothy 2:9-10) When women are given the command to dress modestly it does not give exceptions. The scripture does not say, “adorn themselves in modest apparel, unless everyone else is dressing a certain way and it is accepted by others as decent.” Why are we to dress modestly? We dress modestly to not cause our brothers to stumble (Matthew 5:18) and to profess godliness (1 Timothy 2:10). With knowing why we need to dress modestly, it should be a HUGE priority in our lives to follow God’s rule. God (of course!) knows what He is doing when He gives us commands. Since we want to obey Him fully, we know we need to dress modestly and discreetly. But do we ever reason with our own conscience and give into the world’s view of modest on certain occasions?

*Wedding Day!

Most every girl dreams of their wedding day! White is the chosen color for wedding dresses to symbolize purity. In Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1849, this statement was printed: “Custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one.” The wedding day (for many) is one of the most precious days of one’s life. Lord willing, two young people, pure in heart, are uniting with their life long spouse for the rest of their life. All eyes will be on the beautiful bride in her big white gown. She will have pictures for the rest of her life that will be passed down to children and grandchildren. She will hang pictures on her home walls of this big day. Sadly, many decide that since this is their special day, they can splurge for once and not be as modest as they usually are. But of all days, this should be one where you use the most caution you can in making sure you are not revealing your body to everyone. Wearing the white dress, you are symbolizing purity. When you wear a revealing wedding gown, no one will be thinking of how pure you look. From experience, finding a modest wedding dress is nearly impossible these days! But it is possible and you must make sure you find a dress that God would approve of. You can have sleeves put on, you can have tops raised, you can wear a bolero jacket or you can even have a dress custom made. Whatever you do, just make it modest and something you will not look back on and regret.

*Beach Day!

I have not spent much time at a public beach, but what I have seen of it is just a lot of SKIN. Most Christian women would agree that bikinis are no-no’s. Honestly, if a woman were to wear anything more than a bikini at a beach she would feel that she were being pretty modest compared to the other sun-bathers. We should not be striving to meet the world’s standards of modesty, but God’s. Many moral women would never dream of wearing a mini skirt and spaghetti strap or halter top outfit to the grocery store. But then they find themselves in that exact outfit (just in swim material) at a beach because it has more coverage than the average bathing suit. Many of these women have sincere hearts and are trying to be decent but we need to step back and ask ourselves if we are being completely modest. Could we cause a brother to stumble if he saw us?  Would we be embarrassed if someone from our congregation showed up? Are we professing godliness in our choice of outfit?

These are just two examples that I am pointing out. God has given us women bodies that we can use for pleasing Him, or causing others to stumble. Romans 12:1,2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Our main goal in life is not to get as close to the world’s thinking as possible, but to do everything in our power to be women who others can tell are professing godliness! We need to remember this when we get dressed, no matter what the occasion.

By Alicia Bookout
Alicia and her husband, Garrett live in Clovis, NM where Garrett is the pulpit minister for 16th and Pile church of Christ. They have one sweet two-year old daughter, Emma and a second little one due in February. Alicia is a stay-at-home wife and mother. They both graduated from the Bear Valley Institute of Denver.



Filed under Christian living

18 responses to “I’ll be modest here, but not there

  1. Cyndi Hughes

    Thank you!

  2. Judy Cook

    Very good, Alicia!!

  3. Very, Very good! I appreciate this article!!!!!

  4. When we went to a “fancy” wedding dress shop recently, our only request was that the dress must include shoulders. Not one in the whole place. Then we went to a mom and pop type wedding shop and asked for the same thing, they brought us about twenty strapless dresses, thinking we didn’t really mean it. So we went digging ourselves, and finally found a beautiful dress that includes a top! yay.

  5. So much was said here that I hope we all take to heart. So many Christian women don’t see the need to take this issue seriously. Our standard is so easily set by the world….let’s allow God to set it. By the way, Utah is a great place to look for modest wedding dresses.

  6. Wonderful article Leesha! :)

  7. Alicia Bookout

    Thanks for all the comments! I found my bridesmaids dresses for my wedding at (what we believe) was a little shop in Denver owned by Mormons. Everything was SUPER modest! So, it is possible to find dresses, it just takes a LOT of looking!!

  8. Thank you for this wonderful post! I don’t understand why so many Christians think it’s ok to wear something to a wedding or to the beach that they would NEVER wear to worship or to town.

    This website has a great list of modest formal wear:

    Most of their modest swimwear is more modest than the stores, but still not modest, with maybe one or two exceptions (and the Islamic stuff, most of that’s covered literally head to toe, don’t know that I’d want to swim in it).

    Again, Thank you!!! <3

  9. Alicia Bookout

    Thanks for the encouraging comment, Lori! And the site looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Thanks so much for this article. Yes!!!! It is encouraging to see other sisters out there who are like-minded. I think that sometimes we “fall” to pressure because we are convinced we are alone in our battle and, therefore are “weird” or out of step. I made my daughter’s wedding dress and it was so much more special because of it. We may forget that there are wonderful seamstresses out there and the young lady can then design her dream dress too!

  11. Good Advice!!! We need to remember to that we are are God’s chosen, set-apart from the world…..even in modesty.
    ~Love how you said that you can have your wedding dress custom made. My Mom made my wedding dress, all 5 of my bridesmaid’s dresses, and 4 flower girl dresses. She’s amazing!

  12. Susan Follis

    Thank you, Alicia for a wonderful article. I love it when women talk of modesty and I wish men would speak from the pulpit on it. I am so weary of seeing Christian women’s bare shoulders and cleavage in worship. I am so weary of seeing women’s tight skirts and pants in worship, too. Not to mention, seeing the details of their under garments. I try to drop kind and gentle hints, but they don’t get it. Sadly, the problem is not getting better, but worse. My girls had no problem finding modest and beautiful wedding dresses. Yes, the shops have mainly strapless, but you can easily find modest clothing with just a Google search. And there are so many good, modest swimsuits out there that are pretty and comfortable. The Hopkins website: http://swimmodest.com/ has some very nice choices. Thanks, Alicia and God bless you and yours!

  13. Pingback: Should Christians Be Modest All The Time? : Is This Modest?

  14. Great article Alicia!! Thank you so much for your thoughts and the Bible’s instruction on that topic! Love you!

  15. striving daily

    Thank you for being well versed on this subject. I read it often & have shared it with other women of Christ.

  16. Kara Davison

    I did a devo talk for our teen girls on modesty. Before the devo I had handed out a questionnaire for our teen boys to fill out with their thoughts on that subject. A couple of the boys mentioned that it bothers them when they see girls from their congregation wear something at school and then change into something more appropriate for church services that night. I think it is so important to teach consistency with the modesty issue. Thanks for your article!

  17. Catherine Hinkle

    Great article! I posted something similar on facebook, mostly about swimwear. I got some responses that were slightly negative – something to the effect that “are you saying that we should not go swimming or such places?” Even if we can find modest swimwear (pants down to knees, top with neckline and sleeves) are we really pleasing God by surrounding ourselves with others who are very scantily clad? Are we not tempting ourselves to think wrong thoughts or lust after one of these people? To me it is just like going to a bar but not drinking. How many “real Christians” would think of doing that? We would not go to a bar because all those there are sinning by drinking, but we go to the beach or pool with those who are sinning in their attire. Sometimes following Jesus means we have to give up some things in this life – maybe public swimming is one of them.

  18. Thanks for sharing these!Best wishes for you!

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