Modesty is a huge topic for today's Christian girls. Questions such as, what is modesty? Why does modesty matter? And where can I find modest clothing? Are at the top of most Christian girls minds. In a world where promiscuity and the allure of sex is all around us, it comes as no surprise that modesty is a hot issue among Christian teens.Let's first look at what modesty really means. According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, the definition of modesty is
1 : freedom from conceit or vanity
2 : propriety in dress, speech, or conduct
Looking at the first definition, we can pull out the meaning that to be modest, or to dress modest, is to not allow the primary purpose of clothing be to draw attention to ourselves, particularly not to draw attention to certain female aspects. In the second definition we see the phrase propriety in dress, which basically means dressing proper, or with appropriateness. Despite many Christian teen's thoughts that the Bible has little to say on the subject of modesty, it actually has much to say on the matter. In Philippians 4:8 we read the words, "...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." This is clear direction informing us that modesty is a matter of our thinking as well as our outward actions. We must consider it a matter of purity. Thinking of modesty as whether we are dressing to be pure and to promote noble admirable thoughts or are we dressing to show off our bodies and draw attention to ourselves in a sexual way.
There are many great resources to aid girls in finding modest clothing for Christians. One very good one is The Modesty Survey, a project of The Rebelution. It goes through many different questions of specific clothing items and had males respond as to which clothing items were immodest and stumbling blocks for them. It is an invaluable tool. There are also many others out there including books and internet resources. However one of the best resources for girls in finding modest clothing for Christians, is their own family. Fathers especially will be able to give their daughters guidelines as to what they consider appropriate dress and inappropriate dress.
Modesty is important for so many reasons but a few of the key ones are 1) dressing modestly is being respectful to our brothers in Christ by eliminating stumbling blocks for them 2) it is a reflection of our hearts, if we are committed to being pure in our hearts then dressing modestly is the outwardly expression of that 3) God is clear about His standards for us, and while it is true that none of us our perfect, it is important that we try our hardest to obey God
Lastly, answering the question of what is considered modest clothing, there is no rulebook handed out to teens or their parents. However, the most important thing to remember is that it all comes down to a matter of where your heart is at and your intentions. When you look in the mirror is the outfit you're wearing one designed to attract male attention in a impure way and encourage impure thoughts? Or is it designed to be fashionable yet cover your important features without drawing attention to them inappropriately?