Modesty is a term that is easily misunderstood. What you mean when you speak of modesty may or may not be what others in the conversation are thinking. Dictionaries don’t agree entirely on the definition. Besides that, the word may mean different things depending on the context. The google.com definition is 1. the quality or state of being unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one’s abilities. 2. the quality of being relatively moderate, limited, or small in amount, rate, or level. 3. behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency. Thus we have three different definitions from one source.
To complicate the matter further, each of these definitions may mean different things to different people and in different cultures. For example, what is modest attire? In a Muslim culture women must wear the hijab (A veil Muslim women wear to cover the head and face). It is immodest to reveal the beauty of the face. In India women expose their midriffs and navels but are careful to avoid showing their knees. In Malawi women typically nurse in public without shame of exposing their breasts. In some cultures, a one-piece bathing suit is shameful yet in France topless bathing is common.
This makes the matter difficult for Christians. What may seem right for one Christian in one culture or context may be abhorrent in another. Maybe this is one reason we read verses such as Colossians 3:12 which say, “Put on therefore (clothe yourselves), as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering,” or Romans 13:14 which says, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof,” or 1 Peter 3:4 which says, “4But let it be (your clothing) the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” It appears from these verses that the important matter is that we project strength, dignity, good deeds, and godly character to our world.
So what is modesty? What is immodesty?
In this lesson we will be looking at a blog which went viral on the internet, being shared 87,000 times in less than a month. In her article, “Why I Chose to no longer Wear Leggings,” Veronica Partridge defined why she felt it was wrong for her to wear leggings. She came to the conclusion that they are immodest. We will look to the Scriptures to determine what God’s Word has to say about the subject of modesty and what the universal principles are for the people of God.
Lesson Objective: By the end of the lesson the students should have an understanding of the importance of applying Biblical modesty in their lives.