Music Videos and Modesty

Music Videos and the Message of Modesty

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.

Shifting Standards

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!)

Outward Focus

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



  • Trevor-Angela Ryks

    I have been a Christian since I was 16. But before that, my dad exposed me to pornography since age 4. It’s important that we don’t judge men who struggle with lust. I am 38 now and still struggle with where my eyes are drawn to. For people who have different struggles, they have different triggers.
    I want people to understand from my post that there are deeper underlying issues that are only noticed by men who share my same struggle. Furthermore, I graduated from college with an associates in fine art and have an extensive background in musical performance. The music is how the artist reaches the heart, the video is how the artist reaches the mind, and the lyrics are how the artist reaches the spirit.
    The struggle I have is with the video. My heart and spirit is grieved because my mind is under attack. But I don’t specifically blame or judge Lauren Daigle. As an artist, I understand that there is a whole team of designers who choose set, costume, camera angles, and lighting. Then a director chooses who does what and when. Lauren Daigle could have been told to just wear something comfortable, (from a select wardrobe). And to sing starting from point A and end at point B.
    My frustration is with whoever directed her video. The lighting and camera angles gradually reveal more and more of the details behind her shirt as she moves from her couch to the porch. As an artist, I see the intentionality, especially with the camera fade-out at the end of the video. Suddenly, instead of her free flowing movement as she worships God, she is just standing there in a pose that allows the lighting and cameras to virtually capture every detail of her upper body shape behind her shirt, (This was intentional). I know from college, that cameras have to be adjusted with a great deal of photographic expertise in order to produce images and video that focus passed the fabric people wear.
    I find the same issues in some Christian movies; that actresses will be showcased in a way that begs the question, “What was the point of that in this movie?”. Then I find out that the actress started in the adult film industry. It makes me wonder, “Why are Christian film directors and music video artists targeting people with my struggle by hiring and directing unnecessary lust triggers into their finished product?” It makes me feel guilt for the thoughts the that cross my mind, sad for others in the audience who feel alone in this struggle, sorry for the young musician whose sexuality is being marketed on the back of her ministry, and angry at the directors (who know better).

    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      Wow, thank you for sharing your story and such powerful thoughts Trevor-Angela! I never even thought about the director or videographer who made the video and the intentionality there, but it’s a great reminder that in everything we do we have the choice to glorify either God, sin, our ourselves. Please remember that you are made new in Christ, and that He sees your struggle and is happy that you are trying to honor Him. Keep seeking Him in love and obedience my friend.

  • Michelle Lynn

    People are commenting on the yellow crop top. And it is discouraging to consider she made a conscious decision to leave her belly showing. But honestly, what I was more distracted by is that it appears she is braless. Am I the only one who got that impression? And she kept moving her arms and turning around which drew more attention to her upper body and short shirt. I was uncomfortable watching her in the video. What a shame because the song is really special.

    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      Thank you for your comment Michelle Lynn! I can definitely see what you mean, especially with her body movements. Though this post is in no way meant to attack Lauren (I love a lot of her music), it should make us question what modesty means, what it looks like today, and how Christian leaders and influencers should be held accountable.

  • Leslie Ramey

    I really love this song! I wonder if she wore a shirt like that because in her song she says “you say I’m held when I am falling short”. Because God loves us no matter what we do. However, we show love back to God in how we give Him glory through how we live our lives- either for Him or self. I worry that a mid drift here or there will segway into an even shorter shirt here and there. The Israelites were led by God to the promised land only to slowly conform to the Canaanites, following their customs and religions. Its a slow fade. We’re no different from them living in a culture where, if we’re not careful, we’ll live in a place of complacency until were numb to the sin. Entertainers are influencers, they will set the standard for the youth. Just a thought.

    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      Thank you Leslie! Forgive me for the late reply. I love your graceful way of looking at the video. I love Lauren’s music as well, but I do agree that entertainers are influencers; especially with youth. We also need to be aware of how the culture is influencing us in order to prevent compromise.

  • Millie

    I don’t care for the clothing she has on, but not because it is tempting for men (although it may be for some), but because it tempts me to envy. I must look away from these images because I struggle with self-image, and although I love her mucic, this attire draws me to self loathing instead of worshipping the Lord. I wonder if anyone else has thought about the temptation of women as well?

    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      Great point Millie! As someone who has recovered from an eating disorder (feel free to search this topic in the search bar of my blog), body image has been one of my biggest struggles. That’s probably why I even noticed her outfit in the first place. I think it’s important to remember that modesty is more than sexuality, it’s about keeping the attention on Christ. All of us fall short, so I hold no condemnation against Ms. Daigle. But we should all strive to glorify God!

  • H

    After I watched the video of “You Say” for the first time, I read the comments people had left about Lauren Daigle’s choice of clothing. I had not even noticed her shirt. I had just been focusing on the lyrics of the song. I watched it again and looked more closely at the T-shirt. I was interested to see what my husband and two teenage boys would think. They like Lauren’s music so I thought they would like to hear her new song. I was also very interested to see if they would notice the shirt. I showed them the video on our big 60-inch TV. At the end they commented on how much they liked the words and sentiment of the song. I asked if they had any comments or thoughts about her clothing. Guess what? They hadn’t even noticed her shirt.
    So many Christians are assuming that everyone who sees the video will notice/be affected by/get upset about Lauren’s shorter T-shirt, but I’m wondering if that’s actually the case at all? To me it says something about the hearts and minds of people watching, for them to be so caught up in her appearance and not even listen to the lyrics. Just my opinion.

    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      Thank you for your comment H! I think you do have a point of how powerful appearance is in society, even to the point of becoming an idol. However, I think one can still enjoy the song and still notice her clothing choice. It’s important we address modesty without judgement, as we must look at our own hearts when we make our clothing choices.

  • Anonymous

    I saw another picture of lauren in I think it was a photo shoot for her new album cover and shes wearing a tube top like shirt showing her all her shoulders and a lot of skin…its so subtle but it totally turns me off from listening to any of her music. We need to be modest especially if we are in positions of leadership and influence as she is.

    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      Thank you for sharing! Although I do enjoy her music, it’s true that leaders in faith should be held to a higher standard. We all have a platform in this world as believers, and we should try to represent Christ in all aspects of our lives, including how we dress.

  • Johnna

    I am so glad that others have noticed how awful Lauren Daigle’s appearance affects her testimony in song. I LOVED the song “You Say” and it’s message, so much that I was telling others how great the song is. Then as I was expressing my awe to my 14 year old daughter, she informed me what Lauren Daigle was wearing in her video. My heart dropped! This lady has a powerful influence and affect on so many people – especially young girls like my daughter. I was so disappointed. I go to a fairly large church and one of my heart hurts is watching young girls and ladies dress in seductive clothing, and it’s affect on: men, who God designed to be visually affected sexually, and young girls who see her and say “Lauren Daigle is wearing cool clothes, she says she loves God, therefore, why can’t I wear cool clothes and still love Jesus!” Personally, I fight an extremely tough battle with my daughter trying to explain to her what God’s word says about modesty. We go to church and see females dressed provocatively, some with their hineys hanging out of their shorts. I get so embarrassed for these young girls who think that they are cute. A large majority of these girls who dress immodestly, are the church leaders’ daughters. Not only am I so embarrassed for the girls, I look at my daughter and wonder, “How do I explain?!?” Sure I can tell her the world is lost and does not know better, but how do I convince her that it is still honoring to dress modestly, when the biggest influences are coming through the leaders’ children? “How can they do this? And why?” My daughter asks me. My heart has gotten so heavy by this, and I have wanted to quit going. I have tried to say how I feel about this escalating situation, but I have been shut down, and now it is a “hush, and keep your mouth shut” underlying issue throughout the church. Through this, I am reminded that God wants me to pray over our church and the young ladies of our church. So now, by the prompting of the Lord (a bit against my will), I am involved in the High school ministry and fervently praying over my church as a whole, this ministry, and especially for a weight of conviction to come over my pastor to set up some Godly dress boundaries with the staff and the females of their families. Nonbelievers of the world seemed to be unaware of dressing in a way that honors God and others, so that is why I feel that their convictions on modest dress shoulld not be judged. The example starts with people like my pastor and Lauren Daigle. If they are affected and make changes that support modesty, the world may begin to respect it more and, possibly, females would dress more appropriately. I also want to mention that there are so many men who try so desperately to fight the onslaught of the females who recklessly and carelessly dress seductively. People try to convince society that it’s a person’s right to express themselves any way they want, but I say it is not about them or even “us”, but that it is about bringing honor to God! And if what we do, causes or potentially causes someone to fall, then DON’T DO IT! Believers should think outside themselves and how others are affected by what we do. I could go on and on, but I won’t. I just pray that this will help someone else that has the same heart tug as myself. And what would be really cool is that our voices would become so strong and united that Lauren Daigle would hear and replace her video with one that she intentionally dresses modestly. Let’s pray for her!

    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts Johnna. It does make me sad to see people acting as though modesty is a virtue to be ashamed of. It’s so true that modesty is more than just rules. It’s about dressing as royal daughters of God’s kingdom! It feels so good to dress up for a night out or a work meeting. Why not dress in decency for our King? My prayer is that you will be able to minister to the youth and be a good example to them. I loved being a youth leader and learned so much from them. God will surprise you!

    • Anonymous

      Well said!! I feel the exact same way. I have the same story about this song and her video. Also my husband and I finding a church because of this. It’s sad. Your right let’s pray and hope to find answers are kids will understand and bring honor to God.

  • Alicia

    What stuck out to me in addition to the crop top was the casual way the whole video was portrayed. The song lyrics sound like a prayer TO GOD. However, part way through the video, she starts singing and eventually dancing while at the camera! This is what typical love songs about boys look like! It felt like she was singing this song to some guy and flirting with him with her whole body. I would categorize this as a “boyfriend Jesus” song. It could have been a great video if she were singing TO God and really worshiping Him. The whole video was all about her. And how can the crop top be justified??? Let’s suppose I’ll show up at another Christian couple’s house with my husband wearing Lauren Daigle’s crop shirt and we’ll see how awkward my immodesty is for everyone. It’s not just young men with hormones. It’s ALL men we are honoring by being modest and ourselves AND most importantly God. It’s sad she is influencing so many young vulnerable Christian women. She lost any potential of me being a fan.

    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      Thank you for commenting Alicia! I wonder what it would be like if Christian music videos were less about the artist and more about Christ. This definitely gives some food for thought.

      • Brynn

        When I look in the mirror, the Holy Spirit dresses me. I always know, because of the spirit that lives within me if I am appropriate for the occassion, etc. Example: If I’m going to be recording a Christian music video for the world to see, the spirit inside me would say “Dress modestly. That means nothing that MAY offend or be perceived as worldly, carnal, or fleshly. This is NOT going to minister to your viewers or listeners, so cover it up or take it off (excessive bangles, scarves on wrist, etc)”. Don’t get me wrong. She is a beautiful girl – with or without it. Her voice, song, lyrics ARE beautiful. But when unbelievers see the “look” – it deminishes the truth of God’s word that she is singing about. God also says (no pun intended) what it means to be a “Godly woman” in the Proverbs. So, don’t pull out “selective” words from the scriptures. We all have to take the bitter AND the sweet.

        • fearfullywonderfullyme

          Thank you for your comment Brynn! I love the idea of the Holy Spirit dressing us. I definitely feel like that is how we should live as Christians.

    • Susan Grey

      I noticed that too, about her dancing and singing towards the camera….and then it dawned on me–she’s singing a cross-over song. The song is such an awesome prayer but it could also be sung to a boyfriend. The girl has done some secular songs and is slowly making her way to the world. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Maybe the crop top is part of the marketing, which still can’t be justified. She could have made a better choice but something tells me it was carefully thought out.

      • Susan Grey

        Also, she was the same girl dancing to “Closer” by the Chain Smokers on Instagram several years ago. So maybe her standards are different than ours or what we want for our kids. But she is just one person, so it’s a good reminder that we can’t model our lives after just anyone. Everyone will make mistakes; we can teach our kids to ask what convictions God has given us. (And if they don’t know, we tell them.:))

        • fearfullywonderfullyme

          Thank you for sharing Susan! It’s so hard to find a balance between culture and living for God. We are supposed to be sold out for Christ, but what does that look like? Jesus is, and always should be, our ultimate example.

  • Lona Davis

    It’s about being a role model to young girls. It’s about NOT tempting men or boys adding to their struggle they already have with testosterone. Just sell out completely to your message instead of trying to fit in with the world.

    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      Thank you for commenting Lona. This is a reminder that we are called to be role models for young Christian women. And of course, it’s a loving thing to try and protect our brothers in Christ, as they should do for us. We are called to be in the world but not of it. Of course there are a lot of “gray areas,” but the Holy Spirit helps us discern how to dress and live in a Godly way

  • Beverly

    I 100% disagree with you. This has become such an issue with Christians now a days. We want to sugar coat everything. If she hadn’t worn the top in the first place, there would be no call for anyone to even have this discussion. She is a young girl and is WELL aware that what she has on is questionable at the very least! You discussed what is appropriate and inappropriate in different cultures, but that matters not when you live somewhere where it is considered inappropriate. It is considered inappropriate here and she shouldn’t have worn it period. As a Christian young lady who is in the spotlight, she should be doing everything she can to stay away from even a hint of immorality, for all of the young girls who look up to her and for all of the young boys and men who will see it as well. I could see this causing all of the above to stumble! As a Mom, if one of my girls wanted to wear a crop top, it would be a flat out no! I would have a hard time explaining why a lady who is supposed to be a Christian example and leader is dressed in such a way, yet I don’t want them dressing that way. As Christians, we are supposed to stand out from the world, not blend in to look like them to appease those around us. It’s highly disappointing and disheartening that she would wear something like this! And highly disheartening that Christians everywhere are trying to defend it as being ok. Then again we live in an age and time when anything goes, so really it’s not surprising that a Christian singer is dressed exactly like a non-Christian singer would be in her video. 🤦‍♀️☹️

    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      Thank you for your comment Beverly. I tried to write this post in a way that was respectful to Ms.Daigle and her music, as I would have wanted to be done for me. However, I did not actually defend her attire, but opened a dialogue of why modesty is important. Truthfully, I don’t agree with her clothing choice, which is why I posted this. I remember being a new Christian and wearing crop tops because I didn’t know better. We definitely need role models who will stand up for what they believe in. Modesty and purity begin in the heart, so we must pray for the hearts of our brothers and sisters in Christ. 💓

  • beckielindsey

    Another great post on the subject of modesty, Emily!
    I fully agree with you. I can’t help but think if my eyes went to the crop top, others did, too. It’s difficult not to notice.
    When I was a worship leader at church, I tried to keep in mind that the focus was supposed to be on God, not my outfit. I would hate to distract someone from worship. Then one day the Lord convicted me that I needed to be dressing to worship Him every single day, not just on stage.

    It comes down to this: whether we eat, drink, or whatever we do, it should glorify God. We must be mindful if our behavior could cause another to stumble.

    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      Amen Beckie! I love what you wrote about dressing to worship God every day. If that is how we looked at our clothes (and our entire lives) it would change everything! Thank you for commenting 🙂

    • Jess

      I love this comment so much, I’m on stage at church too and have this same exact thought! It’s so encouraging to read that someone else feels the same way, especially when you feel you’re alone in it at times!
      Also this article brought up a lot of good points. I have 2 young kids, and am trying to teach them the value of modesty in a world where it’s pretty rare. My daughter (5 years old!) has always loved LD, I remember thinking she was so modest for a young artist and was so impressed by it. I’d lie if I said I wasn’t really disappointed w the video bc I feel she could’ve been such a powerful proponent for modesty and all that 🙂 and instead she chose something I believe she knew would be controversial. So unfortunately the focus is instantly shifted. It’s not just what’s on the video but also her Instagram 😔 I don’t know if she’s really changed, or if they told her to tone it down in the beginning of her career. I pray she’ll just listen to what God expects, that’s most important! I’m not claiming to be perfect, I just hope what God wants me to represent outweighs what I may want at certain times. Praying for some amazing modest role models for my daughter in the future 🤗

      • fearfullywonderfullyme

        Thank you for commenting Jess! It’s awesome to hear the perspective of a worship leader. It does make me sad to see how modesty is going to the wayside in our culture. It honestly frightens me for when young men and women actually enter the workforce and don’t know how to dress with class! Our bodies are sacred temples, and should be valued as such. I really do hope that Miss Daigle and other artists will take that into consideration when they decide how to represent themselves. Again, I don’t mean to bash Lauren or any of her beautiful songs. I do believe she loves the Lord, but this is something that I think should be taken into consideration. We all have things we can definitely grow in 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I agree. My parents set guidelines when I was young (I.e. skirts have to touch my knees, completely covered midriff…), but now that I’m older I understand the deeper meaning of modesty. It’s not covering yourself to hide it’s clothing yourself in honor. It’s standing out and sticking to your convictions. I must admit that sometimes I want to run around in revealing athletic wear while I play sports, and I have to remind myself that that is NOT who I am. That I am more than my body and the looks I get from guys. I have set the standard for myself as “Cute, but not Sexy” and that seems to have worked well.


    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      I agree with you Lou! Modesty, like most things with our faith, does come from personal convictions. And I love what you wrote about not covering to hide, but to honor. We can honor ourselves, God, and even our future husbands by dressing with modesty. Thank you for commenting and God bless you!

Share Your Thoughts!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.