Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Modesty in the Real World

Leslie Basham: Finding modest clothes in today’s stores is hard. Next time you’re at the mall, remember this question from Nancy Leigh DeMoss:

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Don’t you think it’s worth that additional effort to be the women that the men need us to be and that God made us to be in the body of Christ? I think it’s worth it.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, June 21st.

We’ve been talking about modesty for the last couple of weeks. We’ve gotten a great foundation from 1 Timothy 2 which tells women to “adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, . . . with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works” (verses 9-10).

Today we’re making it practical. Nancy and some of the women who have been listening along with us are discussing the tough issues surrounding modesty. Let’s start with one of our younger listeners.

Bethany: This morning when I was getting ready, my dad looked at my outfit and told me that it wasn’t going to work, and it wasn’t modest enough for him. Even though in the back of my head I was thinking, Well, Mom’s let me wear this before; I can wear this; she’ll let me wear it; my dad saw it differently, and he just didn’t think it was appropriate.

Now that we’ve talked about this, I see it totally differently. I understand why he’s said so many times that “those are too tight” or “that’s too baggy” or whatever.

I think a lot of girls in my youth group, when they go to their closet . . . I mean, they go in and look for stuff that’s going to make them look good. They don’t think about how it’s going to affect the guys in our youth group. But it’s just really changed my perspective.

Nancy: Thank you, Bethany.

Woman: That is why this message is so needed, because that is a prime example. She is a precious girl that loves the Lord, raised by godly individuals, and you heard her say, “After hearing this, my perspective has been changed.” It made a difference. That’s why this is so needed.

Nancy: Is there someone else who’d like to share just what today has meant to you, anything the Lord has spoken to you about?

Theresa: My name is Theresa Withers, and God has hit me with a bag of bricks today. I have been blessed with a very modest daughter. I mean, it’s not anything I have done; it’s something that God put in her 15 years ago when she was born. She has taught me things. I mean, I don’t teach her things. She teaches me things.

Where it gets hard is, it’s hard to just run out and find clothes. To me it’s like, “Well, why can’t you just wear . . . I mean, not anything Brittany Spears would wear, but go into Goody’s or something like that and just pick out a t-shirt?"

That’s not okay with her. It’s really hard to make that extra effort to pay more for modest clothes. It’s almost like . . . I just want to confess in front of everybody that I have not been the godly influence my daughter needs.

I want to take that extra effort. If it takes me a month to find her a new pair of jeans, then that’s okay. I’m just seeing the whole other perspective. I think I was supposed to be here even more than she was today.

Nancy: That’s great. Thank you, Theresa. By the way, one of the things I learned in my study was that in the New Testament times for a woman to buy a dress, it cost five to six hundred denarii.

One denarius was one day’s wage, so a year and a half to two years of income to buy one dress. That means that most women only ever owned one dress, and if they had two or three in a lifetime, that was a big deal.

Part of our problem today is that we have to have two or three dresses a day. It is true that it’s more costly to dress teenagers and women modestly. But you may consider that one of the reasons the immodest, faddish clothing can afford to be so inexpensive is because it’s cheaply made. It’s only going to last a season anyway, in terms of the fad and the style, and then it’s out. So you throw it through the washing machine one round, and it’s going to fall apart.

It’s worth investing in your wardrobe, to buy fewer items that are better quality, and classic styles that will be in style next year. They may not be the fads next year—probably won’t be—but they’ll be stylish and classic and acceptable a long time from now.

So consider, it does take more money, and it takes more time and effort to dress modestly. But don’t you think it’s worth that additional effort to be the women that the men need us to be and that God made us to be in the body of Christ? I think it’s worth it.

I’ve been shopping with my mother, even as an adult woman, and oh, it was awful. My poor mother, bless her heart, was exhausted by the end of that day because there was hardly anything that would do for me. “That’s too short. That’s too low. That’s too tight.” You know, it was hard.

But you know what? I have to, and you have to, know that we can face the Lord; so I’ve gotten to the place where if I have to wear the same black skirt several days a week, that’s okay. It’s worth it to know that . . . I don’t want the time or the effort or the money to be an excuse for giving up something as precious as modesty. Modesty is priceless; priceless. Alicia?

Alicia: My name is Alicia McDaniel, and I don’t normally do this, but God has really put this on my heart. I have often times blown off my parents’ suggestions about my clothes. I honor their opinions, but sometimes I thought, Oh, Mom and Dad, you know, I don’t want to be the oddball. I want to be in style while still looking stylish.

Well, those two don’t really go together anymore, and I’m so blessed that I have two parents that truly care about how I look and what kind of person I am and grow up to be. And something’s going to change when I go home because I’m not going to blow off their opinions anymore.

Nancy: Amen. Thank you, Alicia. Way to go! That takes courage. Great! I believe we’ve got a number of teenage women here today who are going to be women of courage, Esthers, and God’s going to use you to change your world, not just to fit into it.

I wouldn’t want to close without just giving us a chance to say yes to all that God has said to us today. Here’s what I want to ask: How many of you would say—and for some of you this may be a first-time commitment, for some of you it’s just reaffirming where your heart has already been—but by God’s grace, you are committed to be a modest woman?

If He’ll show you how and teach you how, that’s your heart’s desire for the rest of your life, to be a woman who demonstrates the spirit of modesty in every area of your life, including what you wear; and that as part of that, you’re going to start, if you haven’t, or continue if you have, to ask the Lord about your wardrobe and to find out what’s pleasing to the Lord, and then make those choices regardless of how hard it is, what it costs; that in your heart you are resolving to be modest and to dress modestly as a woman?

If that’s true of you and that’s your heart’s commitment, would you just slip your hand up in the air? I want to thank the Lord. Amen. Almost every hand in this room, everyone I can see. Thank you so much. Put them down.

Lord, I see the hands, but You see the hearts, and what a blessing! I think of the 90 or so women in this room, and others who will be listening to these programs down the road, who are a remnant.

We don’t expect that the culture will ever be modest or that modesty will ever be the “in” thing; but when I think about the seeds of the counter revolution in this room and the hearts of women who are listening and responding to this message, I think, Oh, Lord, what a privilege it is, and what a calling, to be women who stand out in this generation!

Not so people can say, “Aren’t Christians weird?” but as they look at us and they see the light in our eyes and the spirit in our countenance, and they see us clothed with modesty and humility and self-control and respectable clothing, as 1 Timothy 2 says, they will be drawn to Jesus. O Lord, make us lights in this very dark culture.

It doesn’t take a lot of light to expose the darkness. So as we go from this place, help us know how to apply, how to live out what changes we need to make—where we need to repent for heart attitudes or for choices or wardrobe choices that have not been pleasing to You.

Maybe we didn’t know. Maybe we did know. But now we know, and we want to be obedient to what You’ve said.

Lord, I pray a special blessing on every mom in this room who’s seeking to raise sons and daughters to walk with You. Give those moms wisdom and a mighty spirit to know what the priorities are and how to win their children’s hearts for You.

I pray for every young woman, every teenage gal, high school, college students; I pray for each one, Lord, that You give her courage and faith and the self-control and the discipline and the humility that it takes to be a modest teenager today.

Help them, Lord. Bless them; bless them for being here today. Encourage them; encourage them in their relationship with their parents, and mostly in their relationship with You. And, Lord, preserve that treasure that You’ve given to them.

I pray that one day every young woman in this room that You have chosen to be married someday, that every one of those young women will be able to present her body to her husband as a gift, a treasure for his eyes and for Yours alone.

Thank You, Lord, for meeting with us today. We bless You; we worship You. Thank You for making us women and for the privilege of reflecting Your glory in this world. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Leslie Basham: That’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss praying for us and encouraging us to reflect God’s glory to the world. Before praying, Nancy asked women to raise their hands if they were ready for a life-long commitment to modesty.

Now, we can’t see your hand over the radio, but we would still like to hear from you. If you’ve made that commitment, would you let us know? You can e-mail us at www. We’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like some practical pointers on evaluating your wardrobe and your heart, go to our website and download the free article by Nancy called “Mirror, Mirror On the Wall.” There’s also a list of the blessings that come from modesty.

When you contact us and include a donation of at least $25, we’ll send our current series called The Attractive Christian Woman. It comes on three CDs, and we’ll also include two helpful booklets from Nancy called The Look and Becoming a Woman of Discretion.

Just ask for “The Attractive Christian Woman Package" when you get in touch with us. The simplest way is online, but you can also call 800-569-5959.

Tomorrow Nancy will address this subject with her friend, Holly Elliff, on the practical issues of modesty. We hope you can join us for Revive Our Hearts .

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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About the Teacher

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love for Christ and His Word is infectious, and permeates her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily nationally syndicated radio programs—Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him.

She has authored twenty-two books, including Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Seeking Him (coauthored), Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together, and You Can Trust God to Write Your Story (coauthored with her husband). Her books have sold more than five million copies and are reaching the hearts of women around the world. Nancy and her husband, Robert, live in Michigan.