Quite often, when it comes to the virtue of modesty, we initially think that it’s all about how we dress. We start asking ourselves about our own modest dress:
Are my pants to tight?
Is my shirt too low? Is it too tight?
Is my dress, skirt, or shorts too short?
You may even be in the midst of teaching your children about modesty. However, modesty is more than the clothes you wear. Rather, modesty is an all-encompassing virtue that requires you to look at what’s in your heart just as much as what’s on your body. Furthermore, it includes actions and thoughts, along with clothes.
What Is The Connection Between Modest Dress And Behavior?
When we learn about virtues, grace and sin, and right and wrong, we are mostly taught what not to do. Don’t wear shirts that are too low. Don’t wear dresses that are too short. Don’t wear pants that are too tight. Unfortunately, very rarely do we have a conversation on actions that come from the heart. However, the heart is one of the most important things emphasized throughout Scripture – both in the Old Testament and in the New.
Time and again, Jesus tells us how important our heart is over appearance, warning us not to be like the Pharisees. Moreover, both Saint Paul and Saint Peter emphasize that we must pay more attention to our heart and have inward change, as this is where sin first begins. We could be the most modest dress person in the world, and yet harbor lust and immodest thoughts that bring us further away from the life of virtue and grace.
What Is Modest Behavior?
So if modesty includes both outward appearance and inward thoughts, what is modest behavior? As Scripture (Matthew 15:18) and the Church teaches, sin begins in the heart and so to be wholly virtuous and modest, we must be modest within our hearts. Lust, sexually explicit speech and gestures, crude jokes, and any thought that objectifies the human body is immodest behavior.
Moreover, modest behavior is any thought, action, or speech that disrespects the dignity of the human person as a son or daughter of God. God calls us to have purity of heart, which means not only dressing modestly to respect our own bodies, but also controlling our thoughts and actions in ways that respect the temple of the Holy Spirit.
How Do We Act Modestly?
Just like there are guidelines for dressing modestly, there are some guidelines for acting modestly as well. With God’s grace, we can live out the virtue of modesty fully from our hearts.
- Remain chaste, both before marriage and even after marriage by remaining faithful to your vows.
- Don’t be complicit with impure thoughts.
- Be patient and temperate in loving relationships, especially before marriage.
- Use speech that respects the human body and doesn’t degrade it.
Most importantly, constant prayer for support from Mary and the saints is essential to living a wholly modest and virtuous life.
Put On Christ, Crown Athletica’s Modesty Promise
Put On Christ is committed to helping you live out your faith through modest athletic and leisure clothing. Although modesty is more than clothes, this is the toughest thing to accomplish in our society. Finding modest clothes is extremely difficult, but at Crown Athletica, you can live modestly and dress modestly, while still remaining fashionable.