I think in both cases, we’re missing the point. Modesty is not a rule you can legislate. It is not a concept you can ignore either. It is an attitude that is reflected in our entire appearance, not just clothing (or lack thereof, as the case may be). Modesty says, I do not wish to bring attention to myself as a sex object. I am not trying to entice men. I am seeking to glorify God in the way he created me to express beauty, creativity, femininity and grace. It is a posture of the heart that seeks to ask questions such as: Is how I am dressed distracting from God’s purpose for my life or enhancing it? Is the way I carry myself promoting seduction? Am I approachable and comfortable for people to be around? Does my speech uplift others or draw their mind down “in the gutter”? Am I seeing myself as an object of desire, or a woman of worth?
Modesty should at the very least, include an understanding that beauty is a powerful gift that can be used for good or evil. Sexuality is a sacred treasure to be shared within the context of a life-long committed marriage. And while beauty is of some value, it can be used as a mask to hide behind. So, this summer, I will shed the layers and let the legs see the light of day (which means I have to shave my whole leg, not just my calf…..I should blog about laziness soon). But I will also be asking, is this “look”, outfit or item of clothing sending the right message?