When I clicked on Lauren Daigle’s music video for her new song “You Say,” I was amazed at her beautiful voice and powerful lyrics of discovering our identity in Christ. Knowing our identity as God’s daughters is a major theme of my blog, so of course this song is playing on my phone non-stop.
But that’s not the only thing I noticed about the video. Right when I clicked on it and saw Ms. Daigle’s yellow crop top, I knew she was walking a tricky tightrope.
Christians in the comments section were divided. Some said that modesty standards are too prude, and that men should learn to control their own lust. Others said that examples like this could hurt teen girls and convince believers that the Bible isn’t serious in its call for modesty.
To be honest, I find truth in all of these positions. It saddens my heart that such a beautiful song like “You Say” is overlooked by people fighting over Ms. Daigle’s outfit. However, I felt the need to write this post, as I can see that modesty is still a big issue in this culture.
Modesty is an important virtue and should not be ignored. However, we must also fight the tendency of our hearts to fall into legalistic rules regarding clothing.
Standards of modesty vary by culture. Although bearing our middles in the U.S. is what many would consider immodest, in other countries, it’s everyday fashion. And although it’s normal for women to wear jeans in many countries, it’s actually frowned upon in others.
Our standards of dress change just from time of day. For example, my office attire isn’t the same as the clothing I wear on a casual lunch date with friends.
The point is, when we come up with all of these legalistic standards on what is modest or what is not, we fall into the trap of the enemy. The devil would rather have us busy over measuring everyone’s hemlines than on giving to charities or preaching the Gospel.
It’s easy to fall for the lie that our clothing or actions help us earn God’s grace. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Our clothing does not determine our salvation or God’s love for us. Only the sacrifice of Jesus does that.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)
(Like this post? SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL for more!)
When our heart is focused on what others are doing or how they are dressed, we put ourselves at risk for judging others.
I admit that sometimes I look at the way a person is dressed and may think that it is improper and not setting a good example. However, I don’t know anything about this person and where they are in their walk with God.
When we judge others for what they wear or other things that we don’t agree with, we are the ones who ultimately lose. Instead of finding common ground and ways to connect with one another, we build walls. This isn’t what Jesus would do.
I’m not saying we can’t judge whether an action is sinful or not. If you’re in a close relationship with a sister in Christ who is clearly backsliding, you can gently shed God’s light into her life to help her repent. But that can only come from a heart that’s free of judgment against the person.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matthew 7:1-2 NIV)
Judging other Christians based on their convictions can keep us from seeing the issues in our own hearts. Perhaps instead of questioning a music artist’s clothing choice, we should examine our own wardrobe.
The Case for Modesty
So far we’ve established that modesty varies by culture and often falls victim to legalistic standards. We’ve also explored judging others based on choices like clothing, and how that can harm our witness.
That being said, there is still a case for modesty. I’ve written about the subject many times, and I fully believe what Scripture says about modesty. So let’s break it down.
in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. (1 Timothy 2:9-10 NKJV)
The key word here is moderation. Although many people think modesty is about not tempting guys, that really isn’t the point of these verses. Women in this Biblical time period were too focused on their looks and getting attention through their clothing. This is something women (and men) still struggle with today.
True modesty means balance. We shouldn’t walk around looking like we’re from the 1800’s. However, we need to avoid clothes that are too revealing, costly, or attention getting.
Modesty is a heart issue. You can dress up head to toe in a burlap sack and still miss the point if your heart isn’t focused on Jesus. Whenever we get dressed, we should ask ourselves if this outfit reflects our identity as royal daughters of God.
Lauren Daigle’s video is a sign of the deeper need we have to connect with our identity in God. Instead of focusing on her shirt, I’m going to focus on her beautiful music and the amazing message of our worth in Christ. This is the message that truly matters.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below
(Photography by Unsplash)
SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!
Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme
**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1