My article on Anabaptist Perspectives
When it comes to modesty, considering your community and context doesn’t mean seeking their approval…but it does mean prioritizing their good. It means placing the well-being of others as greater than your individual freedom.
Modesty in the context of finances might mean choosing not to plan a multiple-day bachelor party out of town, because you know that some of the people in your wedding party are financially struggling. Modesty in the context of clothing might mean not posting Instagram pictures of yourself in a minidress, because you know that the middle school students you lead are looking to you for a standard. Modesty in the context of your community might mean not constantly talking about the new relationship you’re in to a friend who just went through a breakup.
I remember when my dad got a new job when I was in the fourth grade, and our family had a little more income than we had before. Our family was growing, so my mom began to look at other houses to accommodate the need for more space. There was one house that sat on a hill over a pond, with a big yard and beautiful street value in a nice neighborhood. Our family strongly considered purchasing it, but ultimately my mom felt convicted that its outward appearance came across a little too “prestigious.” Would it have been sinful or wrong for our family to move into that house? No. You could probably make the argument that it would have been a good thing! But ultimately, my mom wanted our home to be reflective of our heart…a bit messy, obviously imperfect, but open to all and content as is. It was a choice she made in modesty, from a humble posture.