Modesty and the Older Woman

Modesty. So many values tied up in that one little word.Summer's Day in the Flower Garden

A woman comes to my mind when I think of modesty. She’s an older woman, one almost through rearing her children. She’s a pastor’s wife, a real lady, gracious and intuitive with kind brown eyes and long dark hair. At first glance you know this woman has class, and exchanging a few sentences with her confirms it.

She puts her faith and her family first, which translates to a whole lot of compassion and genuine caring about the rest of us.

As a younger mom, I want to be like a woman like this. I want to get to know her and have it rub off on me. As we get to know each other, I observe her in this order:

  • what does she wear to church?
  • how do her children behave?
  • how does she juggle all her responsibilities?
  • how does she respond to her husband in the good and bad times?

I notice a couple things up front:

  1. She’s extremely feminine, always wears dresses to church w/o drawing attention to herself or appearing dowdy
  2. She’s content

Then I find out she homeschools. So I watch her children and am convinced. I want to be like this woman.

Because I was attracted to all these outward expressions of modesty, I got to know this woman, who thirteen years ago was my pastor’s wife. I soon realized that her attractiveness was directly related to her relationship with her Heavenly Father.

And I learned an important lesson about modesty. It’s not confined to how we dress, it’s a heart-response to a desire to downplay us and in doing so, let His light shine however it may bring Him glory.

We can try in our flesh to be modest, to dress the “right” way, but if we’re not doing it in the right spirit, what difference will it make to those watching?

Trends have changed…little girls wearing Daisy Kingdom aren’t the rage anymore…nor are the dainty Laura Ashley type dresses we all used to wear.

I look around on Sunday morning and believe me, I notice who decided to wear a dress/skirt. I don’t notice from a judgmental perspective, but from a mother-raising-three-daughters perspective, and maybe, if I’m honest, there’s a little bit of that younger woman still in me that needs an older woman to hold the standard high.

Because with the standards all around us dipping low and riding high, doesn’t the church need to stand firm?

Whether we realize it or not, we’re sending a message and my little girls, among others, are watching.Young Girls Dressing

Next Sunday, join me in something. Search out a young girl wearing a dress and admire her choice. Reinforce her modesty and her desire to dress “up” for church by telling her how nice she looks.

In this jean and Capri-clad fashion-dictated world, you might be the only one who does.

For more submissions on modesty, visit Rebecca, this month’s modesty carnival hostess, at Between My Peers