Why Do You Dress That Way?

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Question:  What might be some reasons that women dress immodestly?

  • Never having been taught differently
  • Examples of other women (mom, sister, friends, media)
  • Ignorance as to the effect on men
  • Desire for love from someone of the opposite sex
  • Lack of love for others
  • To attract attention
  • To show off
  • Body type and difficulty in finding clothing
  • Selfishness
  • Insecurity
  • Wrong role models
  • Love of the world, lust of the flesh, pride of life
  • Clothes not fitting (due to weight-gain:  due to pregnancy or other circumstances; or clothes handed down being too large)
  • Inadequate funds to buy replacements when clothes wear out

These are some “reasons”–I’m sure there are more–that girls and women might give for appearing as they do.  They are not excuses, but reasons.

I dressed in varying degrees of immodesty when I was growing up, all the way through high school, and into college, and for a time after I was married. I had no clue. After I was married, and as I grew as a Christian, my husband and Godly Titus 2 women helped me to understand how men are impacted by immodesty, and I became aghast at the thought of purposely dressing in this way anymore.  But, it has been a slow process to learn what is modesty, to change my wardrobe and to appear modest in my dress, and I don’t always achieve it, I am sure, even now.

We still haven’t talked about what is modesty.  But, first, here are some things you can do right away.

Helpful Hints to Maintain Modesty

  • Look at  yourself from all angles in the mirror.
  • Videotape yourself from a higher vantage point (say, the angle of a taller man). Turn around and bend over, frontwards and back.  Sit down, cross your legs, sit as you normally do. What do others see, front and back?
  • Take time when dressing, so that if you find yourself uncomfortable with your immodesty,  you have time to change.
  • When in doubt, don’t buy it!
  • Ask your husband, brother, father about each piece of clothing in your closet.  Don’t ask why or argue, but listen, and watch for clues that this piece should not be in your closet. Remember that they have been impacted by the culture, as well and/or they may be uncomfortable about telling you your clothes are inappropriate, and explaining the reaction men have to them.
  • If you’re a girl still at home, listen to your mother, if she’s telling you your clothes aren’t modest:  though your father may not say it to you, your mother knows.
  • Find a Godly girl or woman who dresses modestly, and ask her to help you.
  • Study the Word of God; ask the Lord to show you how He wants you to look, and to provide the resources, and the pieces of clothing, etc., which He desires you to have.

Scripture Verses Which Relate

“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:14-16

“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”
Titus 2:12

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”
1 Timothy 2:9-10

“And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.”
Proverbs 7:10

Many verses speak of the importance of our countenance.  We should seek, in our dress, to cause the eye to go upward to the face.  God says there is a light that shines in our eyes when we are His and we have a bright countenance. My hope is that others will be drawn to Him, as they look at my face and countenance, and that nothing about my dress will hinder that.

There are many, many other verses which will guide you.  I encourage you to do a Bible study.  A verse may say nothing directly about dress, and yet may speak to your heart, if you are listening, and you’re asking God to show you, and making your heart open to what He has to say to you.

Other posts in this Series on Modesty:
Do You (Really) Know What Modesty Means?
What In The World Is A Woman To Wear?
Does What I Wear Matter To God?

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