Gabrielle Douglas and the case for modesty

Gabrielle Douglas and the case for modesty

Article By Patricia Wallace // EEW Magazine // Faith & Culture

In November of last year,  U.S. gold medalist Gabby Douglas spoke about the importance of modest dress while discussing sexual abuse.

The 22-year-old Christian regrets lumping the two, making it seem as though she believes that women who are scantily clad somehow invite sexual assault.

No matter what a woman is wearing, no one ever deserves to be violated. Predators don’t rape clothes; they rape people.
— Dianna Hobbs, Sexual Assault Survivor

Now that the dust has settled and the vicious attacks on the once beloved athlete have waned, her views on modesty are worth exploring more closely, and discussing.

The truth of the matter is, what Douglas articulated about modesty is not out of step with the Bible's teaching.

“It is our responsibility as women to dress modestly and be classy," she said, adding, "Dressing in a provocative/sexual way entices the wrong crowd."

Though many modern women resent and reject the notion that how a woman dresses has anything to do with how she is viewed, that doesn't make it any less true. Furthermore, the word of God says in 1 Timothy 2:9 NASB that women should "adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly."

God wants our character, not our bodies, to be put on display.

It's too bad that, in this day and age, certain principles that are treasured by the Word are trashed by the world. But the word of God must remain the final authority in all things.

Whether or not Douglas had linked immodest dress to sexual assault, she likely would have been scorched online for broaching the subject at all.

Remember when Ayesha Curry—chef, author and wife of NBA superstar, Stephen Curry—caught major flak for speaking up about her decision to dress modestly?

Her short tweet simply said, “Everyone's into barely wearing clothes these days huh? Not my style. I like to keep the good stuff covered up for the one who matters.”

That was it.

Ayesha Curry (Photo Credit: Getty)

Ayesha Curry (Photo Credit: Getty)

But from the way the online community acted, you would have thought Curry had said or done something mean, heartless and cold.

This ought not be the case.

As an empowered woman of faith, don't fall into the trap of modernism that treats Scripture as if it is antiquated and outdated. The Bible's virtues are timeless, despite what popular culture says. Its teaching is essential to daily living just as much today as it was thousands of years ago.

No matter what the world deems trendy, acceptable and normal, as believers, we must be governed by Scripture.

1 Peter 3:3-4 (NKJV) frames the discussion on modesty so well. It says, “Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”

The “I can wear what I want and embrace my sexuality” crew won’t like these verses too much. They won't approve of God's prescription for how a woman should make outfit choices. They won't see that flaunting our image takes away from the image of the Almighty God we claim to represent.

But don't be like them.

The world says let it all hang out and express your individuality, but the Word says what’s kept inside is of real value.  If you are a woman and a disciple of Christ,  the meek and modest values you possess on the inside will influence how you dress on the outside.

Modesty is a touchy subject among women. What are your thoughts on this subject?

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