Since we are dealing with modesty, we should define the word modest. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (Fourth Edition, copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company) defines modesty as, “Reserve or propriety in speech, dress, or behavior.” Noah Webster defined MODEST in the 1828 version of the American Dictionary of the English Language as:
- Properly, restrained by a sense of propriety; hence, not forward or bold; not presumptuous or arrogant; not boastful; as a modest youth; a modest man.
- Not bold or forward; as a modest maid. The word may be thus used without reference to chastity. — The blushing beauties of a modest maid.
- Not loose; not lewd. — Mrs. Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife.
- Moderate; not excessive or extreme; not extravagant; as a modest request; modest joy; a modest computation.
Few would argue that a Christian should guard her speech and behavior. However, for many it would seem that modesty has lost its definition. Followers of Christ should also demonstrate God-like character in every aspect of their lives, including their appearance. When you think of modesty, what images come to your mind? Do you think about a woman who is dressed a certain way or do you think about other things? Modesty is revealed in a sense restraint, in not being bold or boastful, in having a sense of chastity. In other words, modesty is much more than just the clothes you wear, modesty is revealing nothing but Christ.