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  • Writer's pictureMichaela A de Guire

What is modesty and why should I care?

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

The definition of Modesty: behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency.

Modesty is not just the idea of avoiding impropriety or indecency. It is also about respect. Respect for yourself and for others.

Dressing modestly might be hard to start, but once you start there is no turning back. Once you begin your journey to dressing with respect for your body you do not yearn to dress as you did before.

I have dressed modestly from a very young age, since childhood. Granted when I was deemed old enough to choose the clothes from the store I started choosing pieces that I thought were beautiful, and some truly were, but others were not respectable and thank God mom was there to guide me in my decisions.

As mothers, as women it is our job to guide the youth in the ways of the Lord. If we have the ability, then we also have the responsibility to guide, instruct, and sometimes protect the youth. Whether they be your children, a friend's children, or stranger's children. We are responsible for guiding them as they grow.

And when you take notice of other children (“strangers”) and help them to stay modest the parents will notice and respect you for it.

I remember a little while ago, I helped at a huge celebration (Wada Shuda Days) my town puts on over the weekend after Independence day. I was assisting at the rock climbing wall. My brother would hook the children’s harness onto some bungees that would keep the children from falling straight to the ground if they lost their grip. However, before he could do so I had to size up the harness to the children. The challenge was not so much as finding one that fit, but rather ensuring the girls who came in dresses didn’t display their unmentionables to the world while they climbed their way to the top.

Thus, I would help them tuck their dresses into the harness in such a way to make them appear as if they were shorts. Granted this added a few minutes to getting them ready to climb, but it offered them the security and respect they deserved. If I had not taken the time to assist the girls they would not have seen how important it is to respect their own bodies. You have heard the saying, “children catch what they see more than what is taught.” Thus, when I took the extra few minutes out in assisting the girls with their dresses they walked away caring and carrying themselves a little differently. When a parent saw the extra attention I offered in assisting the young girls with their beautiful dresses they would come to me and thank me for doing so (and, yes, even the fathers expressed their thanks).

So why should one care about modesty? Because it is you stating to the world (at every age) how much you really care about your body, the temple God has placed in your care. How much respect you give it and expect in return. It is you displaying to the world how much in the deepest part of your heart you love and respect yourself.

“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” - Matthew 12:37

What we do, our actions, what we decide to wear for the day, we have thought (perhaps out loud) in our mind, thus we have spoken perhaps only to ourselves, but God knows. And thus we have sent out a message to Him. Now, whether that message is good or bad, it is for you to decide, for you have said it. However, the words said to oneself affect your decisions and thoughts, these decisions come to fruition through your attire.

If you dress your body in a way that is like advertising your body. You may be extraordinarily confident in your own skin and that is wonderful, (do not get me wrong, this is exactly what God wishes) but there are other ways of displaying your confidence other than displaying every possible part of your body to the world to see. Let me ask you this, if you are confident in your own skin and you want to display it, you pull on a bikini for the beach or pool, now what are people going to see?

Your body. This is not incorrect, as a matter of fact this is exactly what you wanted them to pay tribute to, and thus they have. However, What if you want people to have deeper and more meaningful relationships with you? Not your body. When you display everything you possibly can at one time, people are not interested in your personality, your laugh, your smile. They only see your body. The surface, the flesh, not your heart and soul.

What do you do to gain relationships that are not centered on your body, how about deeper, more meaningful relationships? Focus on covering your body in beautiful robes (clothes) fit for a queen. Because you, darling, are the daughter of God the Father Almighty. You deserve to dress in beautiful things, you deserve to cover your body in such a way that says you respect your temple. Dress in a way that says, “I love myself deeper than skin, I love my personality, my big open heart, my soul. I love me.”

Where do you start? Try exchanging your bikini for a beautiful one-piece or a two piece that offers good coverage, and pay close attention to how others treat you when you go to the beach or pool. What do you think they see? Is it your smile, the way your eyes sparkle in the sun, your personality. Darling, you will notice that they see you, for who God created you to be.

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