Bible Beauty

When you hear the word modesty, what comes to mind? A woman covered from head to toe?

Our minds should go to the words of Paul and Peter:

Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness (1 Timothy 2:9, 10).

Your adornment must not be merely external — braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God (1 Peter 3:3, 4).

These verses are directed to Christian women who “make a claim to godliness” regarding how we should adorn ourselves. As we look in the Word, I pray this will give us a better picture of what biblical modesty is.



Let’s begin by defining a few key words. The first is proper. According to Strong’s Concordance, it means “orderly, of good behavior, modest.” The second word is modestly, which can mean “bashfulness (toward men), modesty, or awe (toward God), reverence.” The third key word, discreet, describes someone who is sober minded or self-controlled.

God’s Word says that our inner adornment, or “the hidden person of the heart,” should be the imperishable quality of a gentle (humble) and quiet (peaceful) spirit, precious to God. In other words, true beauty begins from within. When our hearts are consistently transformed by God’s Spirit and Word, our lives will consistently line up with His ways.

Immodesty goes beyond scanty clothing. Our two texts also refer to costly garments, hairstyles, and jewelry, as well as attitudes that detract from true beauty. Paul and Peter addressed this issue back in their day. Women used their fashion to draw attention to their worldly wealth and status. God calls that vanity.


Inside and out

So does this mean that women should neglect their outer appearance? The answer is in 1 Peter 3:3’s reference to “not merely external.” While we should make the inside our priority, we shouldn’t neglect the outside. Cleanliness and exercise, for example, care for the body the way God intended. But the key is to glorify God in our bodies while not glorifying our bodies
(1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). We need balance.

The virtuous woman (Proverbs 31) is one of the greatest examples of true beauty, strength, and modesty of appearance and heart. She is excellent, trustworthy, submissive, a godly homemaker, a good steward of her time and money, hardworking, compassionate, kind, gentle, humble, a doer of good, wise, joyful, and clothed in strength and dignity (self-respect). Today’s society views a lot of these qualities as weaknesses, but the Bible describes them as spiritual strengths (v. 30).


Personal evaluation

My wardrobe and attitude regarding modesty have evolved throughout my years of walking with the Lord. In my early teens and as a new babe in Christ, I was approached by a young Christian man regarding my immodest attire. What he said still remains with me today: “Why is it that you talk a lot about Christ but dress this way? Don’t you know that you can be a stumbling block for other men?” (Romans 14:13).

Taken aback, I thought, If a man has a problem with lust, it’s not my fault. It’s his! Simply look away! But I knew deep down that God used this young man to rebuke me and help me see the real issue of my heart.

Regarding modesty, Pastor John MacArthur writes in Grace to You (

How does a woman discern the sometimes fine line between proper dress and dressing to be the center of attention? The answer starts in the intent of the heart. A woman should examine her motives and goals for the way she dresses. Is her intent to show the grace and beauty of womanhood? . . . Is it to reveal a humble heart devoted to worshipping God? Or is it to call attention to herself, and flaunt her beauty? Or worse, to attempt to allure men sexually? A woman who focuses on worshiping God will consider carefully how she is dressed, because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance.

Nancy Lee DeMoss, from Revive Our Hearts (reviveour, says, “You cannot be responsible for governing the eyes of the men around you, but ladies, we can be responsible and — here’s the challenge — we are responsible for governing our modesty.”



Dear sisters, I challenge us to do a quick heart check. Are we dressing and accessorizing in a worldly, flashy, sensual way, to get attention? Let’s spend time in prayer and allow God to search our hearts and thoughts. Let’s evaluate our wardrobe through the eyes of Scripture. Here are a few questions to help us: “Is this outfit a good representation of my faith? Does it show my love and respect for God and others? Am I drawing attention toward God or away from God?”

This issue of modesty is not only for women. Men too must guard their eyes and minds from lust and vanity. Parents and churches are responsible to address this issue in love and truth. What we wear and what we do reflect our hearts and represent our faith. It matters to God, and it should matter to us!

Body and Blood Muddy Feet

Written By

Sonya Lopez Orr is a wife and homeschool mom of two precious girls. She has been married to Aaron Orr for eight years. Powerfully saved by Jesus Christ at the age of 16, Sonya has served the Lord throughout the years in various capacities, but mainly in youth/SWORD ministry. She is a graduate from the College of Biblical Studies with an associate’s degree in Biblical Education. The Orrs currently reside outside Houston, TX, where they own a coffee roasting business that invests after-tax profits to spreading the gospel. They attend CoG7 “The Way” in Willis, TX.

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