There is a lie that has been floating around for a long, long time in the culture and also in the church and I would like to make a stab at it with the Sword of Truth.
In our long quest to help women with being confident in their own skin and bodies, we have picked up this lie of what being confident actually looks like.
This lie is that when one finally achieves confidence in their body, they will have the freedom to dress however they wish. You and I have all seen the fashion shows that “help” women to dress confident and it always results in showing off more skin. Because somehow being confident means shorter dresses, lower necklines, and tighter jeans.
I say whoa! Hold up!
Does being able to show off more skin mean you are confident?
I don’t think so and I would like to share why.
(If you would like to know where I’m coming from on modesty, you should read my last post called “Simple Modesty”.)
Before we talk about the immodesty part of the whole “self-confidence” movement I would like to talk first about how the church has made self-confidence a virtue.
How did that happen?
Whenever I find verses in scripture talking about confidence, it is always directed towards Christ. It is not about self-image. It literally has nothing to do with self-confidence, body image or being comfortable in your own skin.
“Being confident in this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
“For the Lord shall be your confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” Proverbs 3:26
“And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;”
2 Corinthians 3:4-5
All through scripture we get this idea that our confidence should be on, and in, God alone. We were never told to seek out self-confidence in our bodies or skin. We were never told to preach self-confidence to women or men. It’s just not there in the bible and self-confidence is definitely not a virtue. Below are the virtues we should be seeking after.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:22-26
In 1 Timothy 2:9-10, modesty is addressed and also shamefacedness. I do not believe that being confident means freedom to dress however you want and feel okay in. I believe that the shame or struggle one may feel to show off more skin…IS A GOOD THING! When the fall and sin happened in the garden, Adam and Eve felt shame for their nakedness and tried to cover themselves. When God showed up, He didn’t chide them for not being confident in their own skin. He was displeased with them and made them more suitable clothing to cover themselves.
“The Greek word for shamefacedness is:
(through the idea of downcast eyes); bashfulness, that is (towards men), modesty or awe (towards God): -reverence, shame”
I know many of you are cringing with this definition of the word.
See, our culture hates these ideas. Bashfulness is seen as not confident and weak. But why is bashfulness a bad thing? I think it also goes along with the meek and quiet spirit we are told to seek after, which is Christlikeness.
Now, this does not mean that bashfulness or meekness cuts me off from being a kind and friendly human with the ability to hold conversations with men and women alike. The “downcast eyes” holds the opposite of what a loud, brash, wild, attention-seeking flirt looks like. The shamefacedness also holds the idea of not dressing or acting in such a way that is a distraction. We should want to dress in such a way that brings honor to our King and draws attention to Him through our godly dress and manner instead of ourselves. I think a girl who is dressing immodestly and feels the need to show off more and more skin, shows a great lack of confidence in her life. She is not confident in Christ, or God’s Word for her femininity. There is a quiet strength that comes with a godly woman who is unconcerned with herself and who has confidence enough in her Lord to follow His Word for femininity.
I truly believe that God is calling us to live higher.
There is a true sense of being a woman of modest dress and manner with quiet dignity who is confident in Christ and not herself that I don’t think we have not fully grasped yet. We have bought into so many lies that were never founded upon God’s Word. When we stop trying to love ourselves, be confident in our own beauty or body, and just plain get our eyes off ourselves and get them on Christ, we will find true freedom.
I am writing these things because I am concerned. Sisters, we have to be so, so careful not to make ourselves idols and commit idolatry with body image. Idolatry is being obsessed with anything other than God. We live in a self-obsessed culture. I’ve been guilty of it. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness and help to overcome.
Do you not want to help bring back what godly femininity should be?
I believe that a woman who dresses modestly for the glory of God, while keeping her eyes on Christ and His kingdom work, will find her worth and confidence in Him, not herself.
Then true peace and freedom will come.
The fear of herself not looking just right will flee.
Sisters, it’s a burden.
A burden we were not meant to carry.
It’s a prison that we were never meant to be in.
Run to Christ and ask Him to open your eyes to the lie of achieving self-confidence. He will help!
Oh, if I could just covey to you the freedom I have found through Christ over this issue! We were never meant to be satisfied with ourselves.
We were meant to be satisfied with the goodness, beauty, worthiness, holiness, and trustworthiness of Christ alone. Because, He, and only He, has all those things from the beginning of time until forever.