‘My sister and I have felt convicted lately to try dressing more modestly, but we’re worried about what our family and friends will say.’
‘I have received some negative attention lately at my college, and I would like to try dressing more modestly. I’m nervous about what my peers will think of me if I do.’
‘I have family who say the way I dress is legalistic.’
‘What if I stick out?’
‘What will others think of me?’
I have heard all of these things being said by ladies who feel led to dress more modestly. Some of us have friends or family who disagree with how we dress, and they will be very sure to tell us how they feel. We can get discouraged. All we’re trying to do is please the Lord and protect ourselves, and others seem all too eager to tear us down. How do we react?
I had a close friend in 8th grade. Well, I thought she was my close friend. She would always comment on the lack of jeans in my wardrobe. ; ) We were in the same dance class, and I saw her three times a week. She didn’t understand why I never wore pants, and with a teasing smile she would ask,
“Why do you always wear skirts? Are pants bad?”
Her questions were asked almost mockingly. After a while, I finally got the picture that she thought the way I dressed was strange.
Remembering this incident and hearing the stories of others makes me realize that oftentimes people won’t understand or agree with us. That’s okay. As long as we don’t seek approval from people before we seek approval from God.
What if we do worry about being different or sticking out? Almost everyone craves acceptance. We don’t want to be the ‘odd one.’ Sometimes dressing modestly will guarantee that we will look different. When you think about it, shouldn’t we want to look different? After all, we are sons and daughters of God. We shouldn’t be reflecting the world in anything, including in the way we dress. Jesus didn’t call us to conform to the world’s ways. He didn’t call us to follow the crowd out of fear. Yet oftentimes Christians will lower their standards out of fear of what their peers will think.
What about when other Christians dress immodestly? It’s not like we’re just dressing differently from worldly people, we are also dressing more modestly than most Christians! This can be a tough one. They may accuse us of being legalistic or thinking too much about modestly. After all, they claim to love the Lord too and we may be tempted to follow their advice! But… we should listen to God, not to our friends. After all, no matter how nice the person, we are all fallen sinners. Not one of us is perfect. So why would we ever take a friend’s advice over doing the Lord’s will? Dressing modestly is pleasing to the Lord. Some people don’t see it or they don’t see it yet. God convicts different people of different things at times. It is our responsibility to listen to his call.
What God thinks of you far surpasses any opinion your family or friends have of you. If you are being scorned or mocked or discouraged from your modesty convictions, you are probably doing the right thing! If we are accepted by the world, it probably means we look too much like the world. Christians will be persecuted. Is your faith strong enough to endure?