The mystery of modesty.

The 1960s were called the “decade of the miniskirt,” but fifty years later, things haven’t changed much. If it’s not miniskirts, it’s super tight lowrider jeans, t-shirts with deep V-necks, or leggings that masquerade as pants. Modern fashion has no concept of boundaries when it comes to modesty, advertising that this  is what Beauty is, and this  is what women need to wear in order to be attractive. Sadly, our culture has swallowed the lie hook, line, and sinker.

In our frenzy to respond properly and honor God, sometimes the church reacts with more condemnation and legalism than actual truth. What’s a girl to do when confronted with a culture of sexy magazine fashion on one hand and seemingly baseless rules on the other?

Let’s go back to basics for a minute.

Our God is an incredible romantic. It was his idea to put the Song of Solomon in the Bible! He loves romance, and he loves sex. (Yep, I went there.)  He gave us our sexuality, and he called it “good.” Your sexuality isn’t some disgusting thing to be hidden out of shame. God made you HOT, and he likes it that way. (Can I get an “amen”?)

Thing is, ladies, God created your beauty to a blessing to the whole world, but he created the deepest secrets of your beauty to be your sacred gift to one man, and one man only. Your body should be like a hidden treasure waiting to be revealed. And like any true treasure, it demands a search. It’s not free for the taking—it must be pursued and earned.

The power of modesty lies in mystery. When you don’t put everything out on display like the sample table at Costco, a man has to actually work to gain access, to your heart as well as your body. And there’s something in the masculine spirit that really likes this. He wants to rise to the challenge. The result is a love story not built on cheap thrills, but on a real desire to win your heart. And when he succeeds, puts a ring on your finger, and swears before God to be only yours till death do you part, the rewards that follow can be breathtakingly passionate. Pure and unspoiled.

Seriously. Can you imagine anything more romantic? I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of love story I want. That’s what I’m determined to aim for.

In the meantime, what kind of harm can immodesty really do? Well, in addition to cheating you out of that kind of romance, the biggest problem is what it does to men in their minds. The harsh truth is this: whether you mean it to or not, your outfit can actually invite  men to lust after you. It starts with simple psychology. The more skin you show, the more men’s minds automatically want to complete the picture—to imagine what the rest of it looks like. They can’t help it; that’s just how the human brain works. From there, he can mentally slap himself and try to shift his attention before he gets caught in full-blown lust, but it’s a lot harder than most women realize.

1 Corinthians 10:32 talks about not causing others to stumble. That’s not to say that you’re responsible for their sin, but if you care about your brothers in Christ you can spare them the wear and tear mentally, physically, and spiritually by choosing to dress with modesty. (Can I get an “amen” from all the men in the house?)

So then, why do women continue to give away those seductive sneak peeks like candy on Halloween? Yes, it’s because we crave the attention, but it’s got to be deeper than that.

I believe we crave the attention because somewhere deep inside, in a place we may never like to admit, we wonder how much we’re worth without it.

That is what breaks my heart about this whole thing. From young girls barely discovering puberty, to older women trying to prove they’ve still got it, women are relying on their looks and their bodies in their search for love. Beautiful women, created in the image of a beautiful God, believing that the best thing they have to offer is only skin deep. Or at least they’re acting like it.

The answer to a culture of immodesty isn’t in more rules and “how far is too far?” seminars. The answer is in a divine revelation of Truth and Love, reminding us that we are infinitely precious to our Creator, King, and Lover, and our truest beauty is not external but internal, in a wild and brilliant Soul created to reflect a wild and brilliant God. And that his plans are always worth the wait.

That’s what I hope you remember as I close this blog. What this generation needs is a revolution of men and women who won’t settle for the good but dare to dream of God’s very best for their lives. Ladies, dare to protect your secrets and maintain the mystery. Men, dare to pursue the woman who challenges you to earn her heart.

Be one of those who embraces Truth and Love and chooses to follow a different path from the norm—knowing you are gloriously beautiful, knowing you are worth the wait, and knowing you are infinitely loved by the romantic God who is dreaming beautiful dreams for your life.

~                    ~                    ~                    ~

Caitlyn recently graduated from Azusa Pacific University with a degree in Theater Arts. She sees herself primarily as a lover of God and an artist, and she is passionate about using her gifts to worship her King and to incite the youth of this generation to chase after their destiny. Her hobbies include watching Doctor Who, sewing doll clothes, and eating anything chocolate mint, especially all at the same time. Caitlyn blogs at A Beauty Glorious — head over there and check out the amazing Christmas series that she did titled “Diary of a Pregnant Virgin”  – it starts {here}.

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Posted on March 30, 2011, in "Guest Post" March and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. May I tactfully reply with a hearty and heart-felt “AMEN!” to both requests for said response.

    Well said and will be referred.

  2. “The power of modesty lies in mystery.”

    Love.it.

  3. Was impressed by your writing, Caitlin. Very well done.

    Can I tell you what “drew” me to my present wife, Yvonne? Nothing to do with clothing OR personal appearance. I was living in Florida, and had just moved in with a new roommate who was legally blind, very shy, yet an outstanding painter and photographer Yes, it surprised me that he could do either, but he could (he painted with his eye about an inch or two above the canvas), and did both well. He attended a young adult group at a different church than mine, and on weekends would often invite couples from his church over for dinner.

    I didn’t know any of his friends, so I’d usually just go for a walk while they visited. But one night I needed to finish my income tax, and decided I’d better stay. Yvonne was one of his guests. As we ate, her date started “downing” my roommate. She promptly and firmly shut him up; then pulled Charlie aside and started tellilng him all his GOOD qualities. I thought “that’s a person worth knowing better!” During the conversation I found out where she worked. The next day I called her there (though, being an introvert myself and having suffered a divorce three years earlier, the phone felt like it weighed 500 pounds.)

    We were married three months later. And, yes, she WAS well worth knowing better! This summer it’ll be 33 years.

    I’m not a Hebrew expert. But one of our pastors told us that, when God decided to make Eve, the Hebrew word that the King James translates “helpmeet” actually means “strong partner.” Yvonne’s been that in many ways. It’s been a very good lesson that there is much more to a successful marriage than just good looks, nice as those can be. Things like humor, courage, spirituality, communication, giving, sensitivity (and many more).

    God bless your boog and your life.

  4. Whoops. That last line was supposed to say “blog.” Apologies!

  5. Very nice, Caitlyn! Susie Shellenberger and Dannah Gresh would be proud 😛 ❤

  6. To help prove at least part of what you are saying, I was never very attracted to those who revealed a lot of their bodies. My wife dresses very modestly, and of her own accord. I dated someone once that looked less attractive to me as time passed due to her neckline plummeting and her skirt rising.

    My friends and I all said the same thing: we love the mystery and the challenge!

    Also, amen and AMEN!

  7. David Ingraham

    An absolutely wonderful article. Amen to the “mystery of modesty.”

  8. Very good topic. Suitable for people of all countries and races.

  9. Wow. You have a really good grasp on this. I’ve never heard reasons for modesty explained so clearly before! Thanks, Caitlyn!

  10. Very well written, and I do get what you’re saying. I agree modesty is important and God does have a better plan for women than running around showing a lot of skin–BUT–What about men’s responsibility to control himself and think with his brains rather than his hormones? And what about men who run around without their shirts on? Are they being immodest? Is that okay for them if they are? Our society tends to view women as objects and there is a double standard that troubles me. The burden shouldn’t fall totally on the female.

  11. That should be “the man’s responsibility” – Whoops.

  1. Pingback: Carnival of Modesty for June 4th 2011 : Is This Modest?

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