Editor's Note: In April of 2007, Crosswalk ran a series of articles on modesty by Carolyn Mahaney and her three grown daughters Kristin, Nicole and Janelle. Spring 2010 is just around the corner, and with each new fashion cycle, questions about modesty continue to crop up. So we've resurrected this series in hopes that it will once again be a helpful guide for women and girls. All articles were modified from entries on the blog, "GirlTalk: Conversations on Biblical Womanhood and Other Fun Stuff." 

Carolyn: It's that time of year again. The fashion magazines are touting the newest and hottest clothing trends for spring and summer. And because fashion is so fickle, a woman is sure to find that what was popular last season, must not see the light of day this season. But more than just the latest style, spring and summer (in particular) usher in a vast array of immodest and indecent clothing. Thus the racks and shelves at the nearest mall are crammed full of body-revealing attire.

So, what's a Christian woman to do?

We must consult God's Word rather than the fashion magazines. We must take God with us when we go shopping. And what's interesting--and freeing, I might add--is that God's clothing style for women doesn't change from season to season. He presents his fashion standard to us in 1 Timothy 2:9-10:

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.

We will be talking about this verse and what it means for our 2010 spring and summer wardrobes. We hope you will join us for this discussion: Fashion and Following the Savior.

Modesty - A Matter of the Heart

Janelle: Just a small disclaimer before we begin-- some of the content that we will be presenting this week is adapted from a message by my dad entitled "The Soul of Modesty."  He has kindly agreed to let us steal his material and give it a little girltalk twist. Thanks, Dad! 

We are gonna hang out on three main points:     

  1. The attitude of a modest woman
  2. The appearance of a modest woman
  3. The allegiance of a modest woman

Soon after Caly was born, I packed away all of my maternity clothes and eagerly dug out my "regular" clothes.  I was excited.  I thought it would feel like shopping, but without spending any money.  When I pulled out my storage bags from under the bed, however, there wasn't much there. What happened to all of my clothes?  What was I wearing before I got pregnant? I still haven't figured that one out. Anyway, I'm currently borrowing a pair of jeans from my mom and planning a little "wardrobe rebuilding" trip soon. 

But before my trip to the mall, something far more important must take place. I must first evaluate my heart. My dad says it this way, "Any biblical discussion of modesty begins by addressing the heart, not the hemline." So what is this heart we're supposed to have? 1 Timothy 2:9-10 makes it clear.  It says that "Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control."  These two qualities are to inform the way that I dress. Let's check out these definitions.

Modesty: "Propriety: The avoidance of clothing and adornment that is extravagant, showy, and sexually enticing."

Self Control: "Restraint, moderation for the purpose of purity."