Today I would like to talk about the why behind the pursuit of modesty. Why should we guard our words, our actions, and our appearance? Why should we bring them all under the Lordship of our Savior in this way–in a modest way. If I were explaining modesty to a new believer, who had never contemplated the subject before, what purpose would I give her for no longer seeking to draw attention to herself? What motivation should I have for my own pursuit of modesty?
Three big truths come to mind as I ponder these questions:
1.) We are daughters of the King
“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.“ (Galatians 4:4-7 ESV)
Immodesty is all about attracting the attention of others and making much of yourself. At the heart of immodesty is the desire to be loved, respected, and admired by those around you. It is driven by a deep longing to be noticed, wanted, and honored: it is self-worship.
The beautiful and startling truth is that God lavished his love on us, his daughters, when we were at our darkest. When we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. When we were still following the course of this world and flying high the banner of the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2), the Father sent the Holy Spirit to give us life. We are his beloved children, whom he sacrificed his own Son for, for the praise of his glorious name.
We need not seek the approval and admiration of the world, when Christ has secured the affections of the Father for us! Our identity as daughters of the living God frees us to humbly live modest lives because our worth is not found in what others think of us, but in who our Father is. We are daughters of the King.
2.) We are servants of the King
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10 ESV)
This marvelous gospel which has transformed us from rebels to daughters has also claimed our allegiance. This Savior who humbled himself, taking on the form of a servant and dying a sinner’s death, is worthy of the willing and joyful worship we bring him. He has, by his blood, ransomed a people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation (of which we are a part!). Our lives are being transformed day by day by his Spirit and for his glory. We seeksanctification for his glory. We live modestly for his glory.
We needn’t care what the world thinks of us any longer. The opinion of popular culture is not our master. The lustful eyes of the men around us are not what we desire to attract. The jealous stares of covetous women are not what we seek. Instead we aim to honor and glorify the Risen Son. We are not servants of the world and its standards. We are servants of the King.
3.) We are on the mission of the King
“Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” (2 Timothy 2:10 ESV)
In his letter to Timothy, Paul emphasizes his willingness to suffer for the sake of the gospel. He is so burdened for those who have yet to hear the good news of salvation that he is willing to die for their sake.
We desire to live modest lives for the same purpose. Who are we to draw attention to ourselves and make much of our own abilities, talents, physical appearance, and sensuality when there are people around us perishing? How could we willingly put up a barrier of pride between ourselves and those who have yet to turn from their sins and place their faith in Christ? How could we selfishly demand that they worship us when we should be directing them to the Lord?
We pursue the virtue of modesty because we want people to see Christ in us. All that we are, all that we do, all that we say has one grand and ultimate mission now–to share this marvelous grace we have been given with those who have yet to taste of it. This is the mission of God and therefore as his servants it is now our mission as well.