So you've decided to dress modestly... when is the best time to start?
Choosing modesty is a big turnaround for many girls, especially for those who like to dress up and look nice. If you previously were wearing less-than-modest clothing on a daily basis but you've had the conviction to dress modestly, you have to begin the transition somewhere. So when is the best time to start the transition and how do you change?
Well, it is a conscious choice that you make everyday what you wear. Begin with your mind and heart. Determine first why you are switching to modesty. Are you doing it to please the Christian community, or is it a choice from your heart to be obedient to your heavenly Father? If you do not have the right intentions from the start, the change will not be permanent. It must begin in the heart.
How do you make that heart change?
Do your homework. In that I mean study the Word of God to see exactly why you ought to dress modestly. And keep in mind that modesty isn't just how you dress, but it also involves a whole attitude change. Your dress simply reflects what is in your heart. That is why we must begin there. Read the Word, study it, and spend time in prayer. As God changes your heart, that conviction will follow.
A key verse that I use as a "filter" for everything in my life is 1 Corinthians 10:31. It says, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever things ye do, do all to the glory of God." When you choose your clothing, ask yourself "would this glorify God?" And if you just don't know what would be glorifying to God and what would not, that is an excellent indicator that you need to start reading your Bible so that you can get to know God better!
It's not a joke, you really need to get reading! Don't put it off!
Once you've examined the Word and have been convinced in your heart that this is what you need to do, the outward appearance comes next. I submit to you that this should change as soon as possible. Some suggest for changing old habits and patterns of life that you should take the transition slow. However, I believe that changing from immodest dress to modest should be immediate.
I believe that it should be because when you dress immodestly and in revealing clothing, you are affecting everyone around you. They all have to look at you. Some will look at you and lust.
Now, you are not responsible for the sin of others, but you certainly can help if whether or not you are setting yourself up as a stumbling block for them to sin. Some of you may be shocked or even angry right now. Yes, you may have had perfectly sincere and innocent reasons for dressing immodestly, but now you know what it does. You don't have that excuse anymore.
So change the way that you dress. It is as simple as that. Start the change right now, now is the best time.
Now, I want to warn you about something. The "radicalness" of this change depends entirely on how you dressed previously. If you were extravagant in your immodestly, people will definitely notice the change. If you were not so much of an extravagant dresser, probably not many will notice the change. Whether you were extravagant or not, it is not about whether people notice or not.
Let me repeat that again because I really want you to know this. It is not about the attention of people and whether they notice the change or not.
This is a heart issue between you and God alone. If He has given you the conviction to change the way that you dress, follow that conviction for Him, not for the attention of people.
Again, some may notice and some may not, but it is not about that. It is about obedience to God.
Now, I know that this has been pretty heavy so far, but I just have one more warning for you. When you make this change in your heart and then in your dress, the people around you may not. Here is the problem that many girls face. When they begin dressing modestly, they begin to judge others in a condemning way.
They set themselves up as high and lofty individuals with super holy motives and perfect obedience to God. They compare themselves to those around them according to how they are dressed and start to determine who is closest to God. DO NOT DO THIS!
Yes, the way that you dress may reflect what is in your heart. But man judges only by the outward appearance. Who judges the heart? God does.
It doesn't matter how good of x-ray vision you think you have, you cannot see that person's heart. Only God can. It is not your job to condemn people for the way that they dress, and it is not my job either. I am not saying that you should accept sinful behavior or dress at all, please don't misunderstand me, but it is God's job to judge, not yours and not mine.
So focus on changing your own heart first. And who knows, God may give you an opportunity to minister to another person in helping them understand why modesty is important. If you see or know another individual who really needs to understand it, they best thing you can do for them is pray that God will open their hearts to it. Prayer is a pretty powerful thing, and God answers!
Okay, so let's review really quickly. The best time to change is right now, starting with your heart, then let that affect your dress. Don't do it for attention, and don't condemn those who don't live according to your convictions. Let God do that, okay?
Thanks for toughing it through this. I know it was a bit on the heavier side, but I hope that you have been encouraged and reassured by it. I don't have it all perfect and I struggle with judging others according to their appearance, so if you are struggling, you are not alone!
The key is to stay in the Word. I can never stress that enough.
Thank you again.