A Secret to Keep - Part 1

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(WARNING: Girl talk ahead!) 
So here we are, two years past A Beauty Glorious’ launch. We’ve talked about a lot of different things, from beauty to art to dreams, but there’s one topic I’ve kind of avoided up to this point. Truth is, I’ve been a little scared of it.

It’s a big topic. Some people basically ignore it, and some people get hardcore legalistic about it and start making up crazy rules. Everyone has some sort of experience with it, and thus everyone has an opinion. Whoa! How’s a girl to know how to blog about such a thing? Where do I start?

The topic I’m talking about is modesty.

As soon as I say that word, a ton of reactions probably come to mind. (Something like this picture, maybe?) Do any of these sound familiar?

“It’s just fashion! If guys take it the wrong way, that’s their problem.”
“Come on, my shorts aren’t that short!”
“Times change. People are used to seeing a little more skin than in the old days, so it doesn’t really matter.”

I admit, I’m guilty of throwing out these responses from time to time. I definitely did when I was in high school and craving a little extra attention, from fashion-conscious girls and from skin-conscious guys. But the more I delve into discovering the real purpose and power of modesty, the more I start making different choices about what I wear. And surprisingly enough, I feel way more beautiful and confident that way.

The truth is, modest really is hottest. And I will explain why.

The purpose of modesty is saving the full secrets of your beauty for the man you marry. Think about it. Who would you rather be: the hot chick that every man drools for, like a T-bone steak on display, or the hidden treasure who saves the full secret of her glorious beauty for the one man who is madly in love with her and dares to pursue her?

Think of the movie National Treasure. At one point after yet another mysterious clue, Riley complains, “Why can’t they just say, ‘Go to this place, here’s the treasure, spend it wisely’?” But how valuable would that treasure be if we found it in the first ten minutes of the movie? How breathtaking would the big reveal be if we saw peeks of it throughout the movie? A true treasure must be sought and earned--or else it loses its value.

The power of modesty is in maintaining the mystery. Believe it or not, this makes guys way more interested than if you give them everything right away. Modesty isn’t about pretending you’re not sexy or beautiful. In fact, it’s just the opposite. This is an attitude that says, “I am gloriously beautiful, but I’m not the sample table at Costco. My body and my heart are a package deal, and unless you’ve won my heart and sealed it with a covenant before God, you have no right to expect freebies.” And those freebies can be visual as well as tactile.

When you show too much, what you’re doing is inviting guys to complete the picture. The mind does this automatically. The more skin you show, the easier it is for a guy to automatically imagine what the rest of your skin looks like. And suddenly your “just fashion” takes guys somewhere in their minds that it can be really hard to ignore.

There is an aspect of truth in saying that guys need to be careful how they respond to what you wear, but you have a role to play too. Most Christian guys know they have a battle to fight and really don’t want to stare, but they are male and it’s a whole lot harder than most girls realize. We can help them by quite simply being careful and not unconsciously (or consciously!) inviting them to stare. What seems okay to you might come off entirely differently to them. The Bible calls this not causing each other to stumble. (1 Corinthians 10:32) (Do you see the irony in telling guys “Hands off! Respect me!” while at the same time your outfit is flashing neon signs?)

For a lot of girls, the reason they flaunt their bodies is insecurity, even fear. They crave that attention. Maybe they have gotten used to the attention and are afraid if they covered up a bit more, they would lose all that. Maybe they don’t value themselves enough as people to believe they can be loved for who they are, rather than for what they show.

But you know what? It’s not true. You have so much more to offer to this world than your curves. You have your beautiful smile and the light in your eyes. You have your unique and beautiful personality. You have so much love to share that has nothing to do with what you wear. You are a wonderful person, and the world is better because you are in it.

Embrace this truth. You are gloriously beautiful, and you don’t need to show off to prove it. Challenge the man who's right for you to honorably pursue you by not giving away your secrets ahead of time!

Now that's hot.

In Part II, we’ll look at some practical ways you can protect your secrets and renovate your wardrobe into reflecting the beautifully modest woman of God you are called to be!

GIVEAWAY: Wanna read more about the power of modesty and the beauty you were born with? I have a copy of Secret Keeper: The Delicate Power of Modesty by Dannah Gresh I’m going to give away! This is the book that completely redefined my view of modesty and inspired this blog post. Trust me, it will rock your world. Leave a comment below describing your favorite modest outfit, along with your email address, to be entered to win! One week from today (that will be Sunday, February 13) I’ll post Part II and announce the winner!

If you don't want to post your email on the internet, that's totally okay; you can still enter! Go ahead and post your comment here, then also email me (abeautyglorious@gmail.com) a copy of the comment, just so I know which address goes with which comment. :)

ALSO, to get more entries into the drawing, tell your friends to enter! Have them leave a comment describing their outfit with your name, like this: "My favorite modest outfit is blah blah blah... and YOUR NAME sent me here." Each friend you send to the blog will earn YOU an extra entry into the giveaway!

12 comments:

Koneko said...

My favorite modest outfit: Dark blue boot-cut jeans, light gray T-shirt, darker grey... Goodness, I think people have called it a vest, but its really not... its like, a shawl? No.. Its one of those things where its like a sleeveless jacket-thing... Made of a really thin fabric. I wish they had a real term for those. pretty sure there isnt one.
ANYWAYS. Darker grey ^that. My circle pendant, a few bracelets, and my favorite shoes C: Yeah its really boring, but I like it.

I think you already know my email address and if not, just message me on EC or FB or something.

Melody said...

Thank-you so much for this post! I've read a lot about modesty, but for some reason had never really thought about it in this light. I'm very interested in that book, now!

My favorite modest outfit - I have a thick, warm turtleneck sweater that I like to wear with a cute scarf, jeans, and boots. I like to make a modest outfit "cute" with accessories. :)

Blessings,
~Melody (vividryblog@gmail.com)

Caitlyn said...

Koneko: lol, do you mean something like a cardigan vest-ish thing? http://www.styleceo.com/images/stores/297/o/olive-juniors-fang-cardigan-vest-scroll-tee-12181288 I just bought one today and I love it!

Thanks, Koneko and Melody! Spread the word! :)

warrior_princess said...

My favorite outfit depends on the weather:
If its cold-dark wash, boot cut jeans, long sleeved undershirt with a cute t-shirt over it, sneakers or boots, and hoodie or nice jacket(depending on where I'm going)
if its warm- canvas shorts that go to just above my knees, a long waisted t-shirt and flip-flops

Koneko said...

Caitlyn: Ah, yes! That'd be it! :D My strange desctiption worked, then!

And I love them too! They're floofy (for lack of a better word) and cute C:

Shannon said...

I think my favorite modest outfit is either...

1) Cold weather: My favorite pair of boot-cut, medium wash jeans, a white shirt, a cute cardigan, a pair of flats, and a pretty scarf...oh, and some cute earrings! :-)

or...

2)Warm weather: A summery skirt, a light-weight blouse, some comfy flip-flops, and some really pretty chandelier earrings. :-)

Thank you so much for having such a great giveaway! I love Dannah Gresh's books! :-)

Love and blessings,
Shannon

email:
novel (dot) thought (at) gmail (dot) com

Ashley said...

Caitlyn! I love this post! A beauty glorious has been such an encouragement to me over these past two years and it is still continuing to encourage me as this blog today proves!
My favorite modest outfit would have to be a flowy flower print skirt with brown tights to match underneath. Boots that end right below the knee and a white shirt with a brown cardigan for the top. Accompanied with a nice necklace and earings too if you'd like :)

With so much thanks,
Ashley(ashley.coaston@pepperdine.edu)

Kailey said...

The most fun thing about being modest is that it can be stylish too. :) Most people think modest and pair it with "blah." :P But that is SO not true. (Just thought I'd share that bit of excitement) ;)

I have so many outfits that I love....it depends on what I'm feeling like - lately my favorite has been my "skinny jeans" (they're pretty loose on me, so they are definitely NOT skinny), some cute boots, a nice shirt (anything from a cute t-shirt to a nicer "blouse"-ish shirt, a cardigan and a scarf to finish it off. I don't usually wear much jewelry (just earrings), but I love makeup. I've been LOVING the natural colors lately, like tans and light browns and adding a bit of a glittery light tan eyeshadow on my eye-lids to finish it off (nothing too dark or too flashy).
In the summer, I usually wear a t-shirt or modest nicer top and either gym shorts (never shorter than my fingertips) or Bermuda shorts. Having long legs makes it hard to find shorts that are long enough without getting Bermudas! ;)

Thanks, Caitlyn, for these awesome blog posts. :) Love you!
~Kailey
(KaileyA24@gmail.com)

A HopeFul Romantic said...

I have so many different outfits(all modest, of course! I wouldn't have it otherwise!) that it changes with time and seasons! =P
When it's spring and summer, dresses and skirts all the way--I just adore them! They are instantely cute, and flouncy! =D I usually like to wear a white sundress with a royal blue cami/jacket if it needs one, and then I love my pearls! Pearls are just so...classy?

Anyways, since it is cold out and dresses/skirts are not so fun to wear this bitter cold time of year, then I would have to say my current favorite outfit is;
A solid, tight, long sleeve red shirt(you'll find out why its tight in a moment)
A loose, flowy, elegant Victorian pattern black and white two in one shirt. This particular piece rocks because you can wear it two ways; as a modest skirt, or as a shirt that can be made modest(hence the red shirt).
I love it!
It has a black band going around the waist, and then one big black rose!
I wear fitted jeans(since this dress/shirt comes down to my thighs when worn as a shirt) and then I wear these red boots to go with the red shirt underneath.
Then I put on my pearls and I'm good to go! =D
I love it because it is easily modest, elegant, and cute!

my e-mail is: becomingahopefulromantic@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

my favorite modest outfit is a white long sleeve sweater paired with a pair of dark jeans with a pair of white flats. i usually add a necklace or scarf and a headband.
my email is: mncastro3@gmail.com

growup318.com said...

My favorite outfit would be:
long denim skirt with a tad bit of a worn-out look. A baby-t with some fun, random print or cartoon character on it, and flip flops!
Add some hemp jewelry, a pair of small diamond stud earrings, and a hoodie, and it's complete!

*sigh* I can't wait for summer!

I'm looking forward to seeing who the winner will be!

Best Web Hosting said...

My favorite modest for white long sleeve sweater paired with dark jeans with white flats.