The definition of Modesty is 1.the quality of being modest; freedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc. 2. regard for decency of behavior, speech, dress, etc. 3. simplicity; moderation. 4. Neither bold nor self-assertive; decent. Synonyms: shy, chaste.
I will start from the beginning and how Adam and Hawwah dressed themselves. Bereshith/Genesis 3:7 – Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made loin coverings for themselves.So they only covered their private parts. Now let’s see how Yahuah dressed them. Bereshith/Genesis 3:21 – And יהוה Alahiym made coats of skin for the man and his wife and dressed them. Adam and Hawwah were not covered enough so Yahuah had to cover them over again. The word coat is the Hebrew 3801 and it means to cover, a shirt: coat, garment, robe. So we see that covering up is very important to the Most High. Also, this is the first animal sacrifice which symbolizes a covering.
If we show our thigh, it is considered nakedness:
Exodus 28:42 “And make linen trousers for them, to cover their nakedness, reaching from the waist to the thighs.”
Isaiah 47:2-3 “Take the millstones and grind flour. Remove your veil, lift up the skirt, uncover the leg, pass through rivers.
Let your nakedness be uncovered, let your shame also be exposed. I take vengeance, and meet no man.”
Nakedness is considered a shame in scripture:
Isaiah 20:2-4 “at that same time יהוה spoke by means of Yeshayahu son of Amots, saying, “Go, and remove the sackcloth from your body, and take your sandals off your feet. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.” And יהוה said, “As My servant Yeshayahu has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder against Mitsrayim and Kush, so does the sovereign of Ashshur lead away the captives of Mitsrayim and the exiles of Kush, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered – the shame of Mitsrayim.”
Yahuah purposefully had Yeshayahu uncover his nakedness as a sign against Mitsrayim and Kush. Our ancestors were also naked and barefoot on those slave ships as a sign of our disobedience to Yahuah.
*In your spare time go to Wayyiqra/ Leviticus 18 where it talks about the sins of uncovering nakedness.
Modesty is not just an apparel issue, it’s a behavior issue:
1 Timothy 2:9-10 “Likewise, that the women dress themselves becomingly, with decency and sensibleness, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly garments, but with good works, which is becoming for women undertaking worship of Alahiym.”
1 Peter 3:4-6 “but the hidden Man of the heart, with the incorruptible ornament of a meek and peaceable spirit, which is of great value before Alahiym. For in this way, in former times, the set-apart women who trusted in Alahiym also adorned themselves, being subject to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Aḇraham, calling him master, of whom you became children, doing good, and not frightened by any fear.”
So we should exhibit a meek and peaceable spirit as women of Zion and reverence our husbands with wisdom and understanding. This took me to Proverbs 7 which shows us how not to be.
Proverbs 7:4-27 “Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” And call understanding a close friend, To guard you against the strange woman, Against the foreigner who flatters with her words. For at the window of my house I looked through my lattice, And I saw among the simple, I perceived among the youths, A young man lacking heart, Passing through the street near her corner; And he went the way to her house In the twilight, in the evening, In the black and dark night. And look, a woman met him, Dressed like a whore, With a hidden heart. She was boisterous and stubborn, Her feet did not stay at her own house. Now in the street, Now in the square, And at every corner she lurks. And she took hold of him and kissed him; She hardened her face and said to him: “Peace offerings are with me; Today I have paid my vows. “Therefore I came out to meet you, To earnestly seek your face, and I found you. “I have spread my bed with coverings, Coloured linens of Mitsrayim. “I have sprinkled my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. “Come, let us take our fill of love until morning; Let us delight ourselves with love. “For my husband is not at home; He has gone on a long journey; “He took a bag of silver with him; He comes home on the day of the new moon.” With her many words she leads him astray, With her smooth lips she seduces him. He goes after her immediately, Like an ox he goes to the slaughter, And as in chains, a fool to the punishment, Till an arrow strikes through his liver; Like a bird rushing into a snare, And did not know it would take his life. And now, listen to me, you children; Pay attention to the words of my mouth: Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, Do not go astray in her paths. For many are the wounded she has caused to fall, And numerous all her slain ones. Her house is the way to the grave, Going down to the rooms of death.”
Sisters, no one but your husband should see your breast, thighs, butt, or any other intimate part of your body. We should not be like this Proverbs 7 woman who has a hidden heart. We should strive to be like the Proverbs 31 woman who deals with the affairs of her home. Our bodies are the temple of Yahuah and it need to be kept sacred and secret, and we need to be covered.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is the Dwelling Place of the Set-apart Spirit who is in you, which you have from Alahiym, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price, therefore esteem Alahiym in your body and in your spirit, which are of Alahiym.”
Romans 12:1-2 “I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Alahiym, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Alahiym – your reasonable worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Alahiym.”
Are we supposed to follow the fashion of the world that promote low shirts, short skirts, tight clothing that reveal our shapes, and bras and panties as bathing suits or should we dress set-apart to Yahuah having respect and honor for him? Not only him, but respect for ourselves, our husbands (if we have one) and the husband of our sisters as well (who are our brothers). We should definitely be considerate of married men because we can cause them to sin. Not only through the way we look, but also through our conversation and smile. We should not be conversing with men about personal issues if we are married. It will cause them to become attached and eventually fall into a trap.
Sirach 9:8-9 “Turn away your eyes from a shapely woman, and do not look intently at beauty belonging to another; many have been misled by a woman’s beauty, and by it passion is kindled like a fire. Never dine with another man’s wife, nor revel with her at wine; lest your heart turn aside to her, and in blood you be plunged into destruction.
Wearing revealing clothing and/or acting loose is not good for anyone overall. It can cause some women to gossip, some men to lust, and the women who wear the revealing clothing can be boastful or proud due to the attention they are getting. Immodesty is more than wearing a short skirt or low top; it’s the act of drawing undo attention to yourself. It’s pride on display. Immodesty can also be a sign of low self-esteem. I hear women use excuses like these to continue to be immodest: 1) the weather is hot 2) everybody does it 3) it’s fashionable 4) my husband doesn’t mind (5) or, it doesn’t matter because men don’t pay attention to me anyway (but they forget that Yah see everything). Our dress should exalt Alahiym and not ourselves. Modesty is humility. Your wardrobe is a public statement of your personal and private motivation. If you are using your dress to seduce men or to be admired by men then that is not glorifying the Most High, it’s glorifying yourself. We present a picture of Yahuah in the way we present ourselves. Our stance should be to model a humble and teachable spirit and dress with modesty. How you dress matters to Yahuah and it also matters to those of the faith. You never realize how important your clothing is until you realize how important you are to Alahiym. Cover up for the glory of Yahuah, and if you are married, for the good of your husband. And if you are single, a potential husband will definitely respect your modesty as a daughter of Zion.
We are called to be set-apart as Deuteronomy 14:2 and Deuteronomy 26:17-19 reveal. Let’s not be like the seductive women in Isaiah 3:16-26. We should be associated with words like modest, sober, meek, quiet, submissive, moderate, calm, and gentle. Not words like hot, sexy, revealing, or provocative. My question to you is, “What does your clothes say about you?”
Deuteronomy 14:2 “for you are a set-apart people to יהוה your Alahiym, and יהוה has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a treasured possession above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
Deuteronomy 26:17-19 “You have today caused יהוה to proclaim to be your Alahiym, and to walk in His ways and guard His laws, and His commands, and His right-rulings, and to obey His voice. “And יהוה has caused you to proclaim today to be His people, a treasured possession, as He has spoken to you, and to guard all His commands, so as to set you high above all nations which He has made, for a praise, and for a name, and for esteem, and for you to be a set-apart people to יהוה your Alahiym, as He has spoken.”
Isaiah 3:16-26 “And יהוה says, “Because the daughters of Tsiyon are haughty, and walk with outstretched necks and seductive eyes, walking and mincing as they go, making a jingling with their feet, therefore יהוה shall smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Tsiyon, and יהוה expose their nakedness.” In that day יהוה takes away the finery of the anklets, and the headbands, and the crescents, the pendants, the bracelets and the veils, the headdresses, and the leg ornaments, and the sashes, and the perfume bottles, and the amulets, the rings, and the nose jewels, the costly robes, and the cloaks, and the shawls, and the purses, the mirrors, and the fine linen, and the turbans, and the large veils. And it shall be: Instead of a sweet fragrance, a smell of decay; and instead of a belt, a rope; and instead of well-set hair, baldness; and instead of a festal robe, a girding of sackcloth; and branding instead of loveliness. Your men shall fall by the sword, and your strength in battle. And her gates shall lament and mourn, and she, deserted, shall sit on the ground.
1 Peter 2:9-12 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light, who once were not a people, but now the people of Alahiym; who had not obtained compassion, but now obtained compassion. Beloved ones, I appeal to you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts which battle against the life, having your behaviour among the gentiles good so that when they speak against you as evil-doers, let them, by observing your good works, esteem Alahiym in a day of visitation.