"...women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control..." (1Timothy 2:9)
I wouldn't say Old Me was all about showing it all off every chance I got. Most of the time I did feel like there was an "appropriate time and place" for plunging neck lines, mid-driffs, bikinis and short skirts...notice I said most of the time. I had my share of not so decent moments however. Those moments were not intentional in the sense of a "totally flaunt it attitude," but at the very same time, they kind of were, you know what I mean?
Slowly, compromises were made. Very fitted shirts. Lower cut tops. I was always comfortable in a bikini - those are totally normal right!? (hmmm...) Then came mid-driff tops at any time of year. Hey, who shouldn't show off a flat tummy!? All these things were in style and I had no qualms with the things I wore and neither did the people that surrounded me, I assume. I was never terribly daring. I just liked to be stylish and I no longer had a school dress code to adhere to, so these tiny changes were no big deal in my opinion. Like I said, I typically would only show some skin, not lots all at once - You know, I liked to keep it classy, I wasn't one of those girls! (oh how silly I was). Eventually I allowed myself to almost blindly take the worldly bait by trying to be sexy during times I felt like I could get away with it. I can think of a couple instances that are etched in my mind (mainly because I've seen pictures of myself) and I feel so embarrassed I even went there. Looking back I can clearly pin-point my thinking and it wasn't in line with godliness, that's for sure. More along the lines of conforming and chasing something that was mainstream culture.
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2)
So what changed for me? I honestly can't say I remember having some moment where I thought, "oh man, I gotta change everything" but at some point I did become much more conscientious of choosing my clothing more wisely. I know I have heard messages on modesty, and that has had it's impact of course, but I think the more God has grabbed hold of my heart, the more I transformed into something that He prefers rather than conforming to mainstream fashions and ideas of this world, which can be what my flesh prefers at times. Do I think I'm the best dressed now? By no means, do I! But now I am much more aware of the choices I make and I work at doing a much better job at being guided by the Spirit so not to cause another brother or sister to stumble by the way I dress. I also have a much greater awareness of the little eyes watching me from home. I am their primary model and example of modesty. I am the one who shapes how they will handle themselves (and view others - thinking of my son) in the quickly approaching future. We live in a lost world and we will constantly be tempted, maybe in ways we don't even realize are testing our faith. We have to be in God's Word so He may illuminate within us His righteousness. We are all works in progress, so be joyful in knowing He's pruning you to be more like Him.
"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised" (Prov. 31:30)"
A few things I'll leave you with that have impacted me.
First, a saying that Paul Washer's wife uses "Your clothes should be a frame for your face, NOT a frame for your body." He mentioned she noted that your face is what the glory of God shines upon so if it frames your face, it's of God. If it frames your body, it is sensual and not of God.
David Platt said immodest clothing is at best is a distraction from honoring God and at worst an attempt to draw men to look at you and fall into sin, particularly when it comes to the gathering of the church. He asked, when you get dressed, are you asking what will make me look best, or draw eyes to look at me, or draw attention to me? Or are you asking what can I wear that can best express a humble heart that wants nothing but the worship of God?-You are competing with God himself! Don't distract others from God, but rather attract others to God. Adorn yourself with godliness!
And finally, the following made me laugh. This was a caption I read on the Revive Our Hearts website on modesty:Your philosophy is showing... What do your clothing choices say about what you believe? Are you being influenced by the world's philosophy? Or is your thinking based on the Word and the ways of God?
"What you wear reflects your heart."
Here's a link from this site I encourage you to check out that may help you with questions pertaining to modesty: Revive Our Hearts Plus they have tons of other helpful notions regarding modesty and all sorts of things ranging from dealing with modesty and small children, teens, husbands, etc. This link is a viewpoint on bikinis, have a listen here