Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

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)

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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)

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8 Comments

  1. 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

      August 7, 2018 at 8:57 pm

      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

  2. 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

      August 1, 2018 at 4:29 am

      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. 💓

  3. 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

      July 31, 2018 at 1:41 am

      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 🙂

  4. 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.

    -Lou

    • fearfullywonderfullyme

      July 26, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      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!

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