The Modesty Problem

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Before I begin this post… I should probably start by defining modesty.

Yes, I know. Modesty varies person to person, etc. etc. But can we all agree that it is dressing with the intention of glorifying your body to God?

Yes? Good. we can continue.

All my life, I’ve dressed in a modest fashion. I’m not trying to brag or be ‘holier-than-thou’, but it’s true. I’ve never been allowed to show cleavage, wear strapless dresses (until much recently), show my midriff, wear short shorts, spaghetti straps or bikinis. (NOTE: I AM NOT SAYING WOMEN WHO DRESS THIS WAY ARE IMMODEST. THIS WILL BECOME CLEAR)

However, I never knew why I did this, besides the fact that my mom told me to. I’m plus sized, so if I wore a bikini or short shorts, it would be borderline obscene. Recently, I’ve been wondering WHY I dress the way I do. Is it because I am treating my body as a temple of God worthy of love and respect, or because I’m ashamed of it and covering it up?

Of course, I want to say that it’s because I do it out of love for God, myself, my future husband, and all those around me.

But it would be a lie.

If one day I woke up and all of my excess weight had just melted away… I’d probably dress the same way I do now. Not out of love or respect… but because I’d probably still be uncomfortable in my body.

It’s a scary revelation, but here it is:

I don’t dress modestly.

I dress appropriately, covering up what needs to be covered. But, I don’t do it out of love or respect for God, others, or myself. I do it out of self-consciousness. That’s not modesty. Maybe it is from the outside, and maybe I’m not leading others to sin, and maybe I’m “accidentally modest”, but it’s not being done purposefully. And that bothers me.

I pray that one day, I will be able to love myself enough to be able to treat my body as the temple it is.

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