I once watched a T.V. movie that centered on some teenagers and their relationships. One young man was totally infatuated with the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. Fashionably dressed at all times, she chose clothing that would entice the eyes of males and toy with their affections – concerned only with her conquests.

Meanwhile, another lovely, modest beauty with a deeply caring heart longed for the young man to notice her as more than a friend. But he was caught up fantasizing about dating the other girl.

When he finally dated her he found out that all she cared about was enticing him and talking about herself and her fashions. He finally came to his senses, realizing that he missed his other female friend and really cared deeply about her. But, by this time she was skeptical and questioned his sincerity. In assuring her that he had been wrong to pursue the other girl at all, he commented that you can only look for long. The deep substance of a mutually caring relationship was not there.

I was glad to see that the outcome of this movie celebrated love born of respect, modesty, admiration and unselfishness; especially since the hype of appearance – most of it immodest today – is prevalent. Clothing is designed to barely cover and then to be strategically crafted to show off tattoos in areas of the body which used to be concealed, not exposed.

As our young people into advertising deceptions, their modesty is compromised. Modest behavior touches all areas of life. It exhibits humility in one’s achievements and abilities. It doesn’t put oneself forward. And, it is expressed in appropriate dress that doesn’t leave room for indecency.

This sense of modesty is inherent in females and, I believe, was given by God to protect them and help them to remain pure. In today’s society, where so many barriers have come down, that protective covering given a girl is being torn to shreds. But that’s what I love about the Bible. Its changelessness is appropriate for all times because its wisdom is timeless. Second Peter 3: 3 and 4 in “The Message” addresses this issue by saying,

“What matters is not your outer appearance – the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes – but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.” I long for young girls to get in touch with their deep sense of modesty once again so that they will be appreciated for the vibrant beauties they are as individuals. As they do this and develop their gifts and talents, life will be fulfilling. Fashionable, appropriate dress will have its proper place as they participate in school, careers and relationships.

But modesty must be modeled at home first, in attitudes as well as clothing. Perhaps that’s happening as I’ve been noticing more young ladies who are wearing clothing that is fashionable, yet modest. I applaud them and hope their influence will impact others. They are in keeping with the times, but the times are not dictating their propriety. They’re beautiful from the inside out.

By Jan Merop