My Call for Some Modesty, Wisdom, and Discretion

A few weeks ago, I logged into my sons Instagram and scrolled through his feed. I do that quite frequently because of an agreement that he and I have regarding our pursuit of purity. It is our way of adding a measure of real life accountability to our use of social media.  It is a great idea for a teenager – and for an adult as well! In a culture of immorality and pornography, all of us need accountability and all of us have to continually be on guard to maintain a life that is clean and godly.  As I scrolled through his account, I was caught off guard by a photo of a girl dressed very immodestly and I deleted her from his account. I later asked him about it and he said, very sincerely, “Dad, I don’t follow bikini models! I don’t know who she was, but all of the girls I follow are church girls.” 

I also have unfollowed some ladies because of photos they have posted of themselves – photos that made me uncomfortable and that I would not have wanted someone seeing on my phone or computer. My wife and I have been surprised more than a few times by how comfortable some are with posting “revealing” and “somewhat risqué” photos. I am very aware that the culture around us would likely not care very much at all. My challenge is this: shouldn’t we as believers care? Shouldn’t we embrace modesty, wisdom, and discretion. I believe we should.

Think of it like this.  Would you want your brother, son, husband, or dad to follow bikini models, subscribe to their magazines, and hang posters of them in their office, bedroom, or workshop? Would you want them to do the same with ladies dressed provocatively or revealingly? I hope your answer is a resounding NO!  Wouldn’t wisdom then say that one should not post photos of themselves dressed in such a way? Wouldn’t discretion call for wiser actions?  Wouldn’t modesty suggest more discernment?  I personally think it would!

Dear friends: please don’t be offended, but can I gently suggest that we can do better. God’s Word teaches that believing ladies should dress modestly, shamefacedly, and with sobriety.  Modest simply means “orderly” and implies that it is wise to dress well and to look beautiful.  Shamefaced actually means “modest” and implies that we should never lose our ability to “blush” at that which is revealing and provocative.  Sobreity implies that believers must continually think through what they permit and what they embrace in the area of dress. In 1 Timothy 2, where these truths are found, Paul challenges ladies to use their dress to promote godliness, good works, and the gospel! It is really an awesome chapter and I have enjoyed learning from it. I would recommend you examine it as well.

Just a few weeks ago, I heard a young man mention that he sometimes feels awkward at church – awkward at how our generation is willing to dress to even serve on church platforms. Sadly enough, I find myself agreeing with him. I don’t want to have a critical spirit and I don’t want to be unkind at all, but I am always saddened when I have to guard my eyes while participating in a church worship service. I know that I am not alone!

Can we do better?  I believe so. I also believe we should.  Beauty is part of God’s creation and should be admired and embraced.  So dress beautifully.  Femininity is also part of God’s creation, so be beautifully feminine.  Modesty is part of God’s command for promoting the gospel, for protecting our hearts, and for separating ourselves from the ungodly culture around us.  So be beautiful and feminine and modest.  All three matter . . . .

Thanks for reading. 

Am I wrong?  Does it no longer matter in our culture?  I would love to hear from you.

Your sincere friend,

Dave Young

19 thoughts on “My Call for Some Modesty, Wisdom, and Discretion

  1. Thank you for this article. As a young lady in the increasingly anti-Christian culture, it is easy to be discouraged and feel that I (and my family) are alone in this Modesty endeavor. I’m thankful for men that stand on the Word of God in all matters of faith and practice. Keep on! For your labor is not in vain!


  2. You said it very well and kindly. And you are right. People are very casual about church, and that is revealed by their dress. Yes, that is judging a book by its cover, but the cover is all most people, who see us, has. Women should keep in mind that men think differently, and what women find acceptable, men may find provocative. Men also have a responsibility to keep their minds and eyes on pure things. And, yes, that is extremely hard these days, especially with so much immodesty around us. It is wise to have accountability.

    While we want to make visitors, in their worldly attire, feel welcome and comfortable, church members should dress modestly and receive the visitors without looking them up and down. As for provocative clothes, each church needs to have a thoroughly written platform and worker dress standard. In my experience, the majority of members see that as the desired standard and follow it to some degree.

    Hold fast to the right, and do all to the glory of God, brethren!


  3. Thank you my Brother. You are absolutely right. Much of what is called Christianity has been blinded by our culture where anything goes. If you question the culture you are politically incorrect, or out of step or narrow minded, or too picky. The Scriptures should be our guide. Beautifully feminine is a wonderful way to say it.


  4. A great and timely article. We certainly need more, not less, clear and direct teaching on this Biblical subject!


  5. I so agree with you. I am a woman and raised 3 daughters. There have been times through those years that I could hardly find modest clothes for them. But try and succeed I did! I have often wondered how, especially men, but also women can focus in church when so much skin is exposed. Also, wondered how boys continue to be the stronger students with the way girls dress at school. God bless the wholesome hearts that dress modestly and those who avert their eyes. Thanks for the gentleness of your article. There should be no offense at what you’ve written.


  6. Great article. So needed!! But I definitely believe if there is a mother present in the family she should be the one to patrol the social media accounts of the teenagers. This also protects her husbands eyes that triggers impure thoughts in doing so unintentionally. Keep on the firing line!


    • Thanks for the comment and I agree and understand. However, in our home I watch over the boys because it is both accountability and discipleship. We have discovered that our boys are more open with me than with their mom and I am able to be more frank with them than she can be. My wife does the same for our daughters – and for me too.


  7. Thank you for this article. I felt you were very kind in your words and biblical. Many of these comments, comment about women’s dress inside the church, but as Christian women we should be dressing modestly outside the Church as well. It boggles my mind and saddens me when I see Christian women who wear revealing clothing both inside and outside the church. I’m glad to hear that you all are keeping each other accountable. We did that with our children and use Covenant Eyes


  8. Such truth and an excellent reminder. The last place we as believers should feel tempted is in the church amongst other believers.


  9. Thank you Dave Young, I remember when you came to Ambassador Baptist College, and you preached about modesty, purity, and the battle with pornography that many men involve with ministry. I appreciate your article, and challenge to all that call themselves a believer. I’m glad someone is willing to discuss it, and challenge us to a God’s standard for the gospel’s sake.


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