Why Guys Aren’t the Reason I Dress Modestly

"Sometimes I wonder why I even dress modestly. I mean, guys see immodest women all the time anyway. It's not like they don't know what cleavage is. I'm starting to wonder if modesty is really worth it."

Those were the words of a girl who opened up to me about her discouragement. As she shared her heart, I felt like I was looking in a mirror. Her words could have been my own. I had experienced similar thoughts running through my own mind.

Why am I even doing this? Do guys really appreciate the effort that dressing modestly takes? Do they realize how inconvenient modesty can be at times? Does this even matter?

I felt like I was dressing modestly for guys, but most of them didn't seem to appreciate the effort I put into it. Can you relate?

Where I Went Wrong

Looking back, I see where I went wrong with my perspectives on modesty and why I looked at my closet and felt mostly . . . discouraged. Maybe some of you are struggling for the same reason.

If people are the reason why we do what we do, we will lose our motivation to press on.

My biggest problem was this: I was ultimately dressing modestly for guys and not for God.

It's a fact of life that people will fail us. They will let us down. If people are the reason why we do what we do, we will lose our motivation to press on. God helped me realize that my motivation for modesty (and anything else in life) must be rooted in a desire to honor and glorify my King. Christ must be the ultimate reason for why I do what I do.

A Better Motivation

I still seek to dress modestly, but I do it for reasons bigger and better than impressing or protecting the guys around me. Guys are no longer the main reason for why I dress modestly; God is.

Here are a few reasons for why I dress modestly:

  • Because I desire to honor God with my life.
  • Because I want to represent Christ well.
  • Because I understand that God created men and women differently and want to bear God's image in ways that are uniquely feminine.
  • Because I want to bless and encourage the men around me.
  • Because I want to point others to Christ and not my body.

Guys are no longer the main reason for why I dress modestly; God is.

Don't make guys the main reason for why you choose modesty. Make Christ the main reason instead. Choose modesty . . .

  • Because you love God.
  • Out of an overflow of your understanding of why God created clothes in the first place.
  • Because you understand the value of the gospel and how your clothing is a reflection of that incredible truth.

I'll never forget the words Susan Hunt shared with me at conference a few years back:

Make sure that everything you write is centered around Christ and the gospel. He should ultimately be the center of why you do what you do.

Every part of our identity, including our wardrobe, should be centered around Christ and the gospel.

Wow! Her words apply to what we do and what we wear. Every part of our identity, including our wardrobe, should be centered around Christ and the gospel.

I want you to evaluate your own heart. Ask yourself these questions:

1. Why do I dress modestly? 2. Why do I have convictions in this area? 3. Who am I striving to please?

PS: If you desire to understand the "why" behind modesty, check out my e-book, Project Modesty: How to Honor God With Your Wardrobe While Looking Totally Adorable in the Process. I dig deep into the purpose of clothing and show you the big picture for why we even wear clothes.

About the Author

Bethany Beal

Bethany Beal is the co-founder of GirlDefined Ministries and co-author of several books, including Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity. She is passionate about spreading the truth of biblical womanhood through writing, speaking, and mentoring women, and you can catch her unpacking exciting and controversial topics every week on her podcast, The Girl Defined Show. Bethany is married to her best friend and husband, David, and they have one son, Davey Jr.