The Modesty of Personal Restraint
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves.”
1 Peter 3:3-5
I’m sure many of us have been in the situation where our mom, friend, or church leader have told us that our dress is too short or our shirt is too low. When we think about modesty these are probably the situations or experiences that come to mind. But immodesty deals with a lot more than just revealing too much skin. We are just as tempted—if not more so—to overexpose what’s under our skin. Revealing too much about ourselves can be just as immodest. When Peter painted the picture of godly womanhood, it included outward modesty—how we handle “the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing”—but it also included the modesty of personal restraint—“a gentle and quiet spirit,” which, he said, is very precious in God’s sight (1 Pet. 3:4).
The word restrain has the following definitions:
1: to prevent from doing, exhibiting, or expressing something
2: to limit, restrict, or keep under control
As women, we love to talk and share our feelings and emotions. But there are some that have no boundaries on what they say or whom they express their feelings to. There is a time and place to open up and share our struggles, personal concerns, dreams and aspirations. We have to be wise not only about the time and the place, but also about the people we choose to share our hearts and thoughts with. The book of Proverbs warns us, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life”(4:23). What we are called to guard is our heart -our passion – for God.
Sharing personal things with someone forms a bond. This can lead to sin especially when it is with the opposite sex. If we share a little bit with someone and all goes well, it seems safe to share more, and before we know it, a bond has formed. This can be a great blessing, but when we allow it to happen in the wrong context or at the wrong time, it is unwise, and great hurt can result.
Let us be examples of holy women in the present age not only through our outward appearance but also by what flows from our heart through our mouths. It is great worth in the eyes of our Holy King.
Prayer Focus: Are you as modest with your heart as you are with your clothing? It is the best way to guard your heart and the reputation of your Savior. Ask the Lord to show you how to cultivate a godly self-restraint.