The quality or state of being unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one's abilities.
Reserve or propriety in speech, dress, or behavior.
Lack of pretentiousness; simplicity.
Modesty is something that our culture values less and less over time. If we just look at the history of fashion in the U.S. alone, we can see how clothing has played a big role in how men and women view and treat one another. Over the years "less is more" seems to be the motto for how a women should dress to attract men. Ironically, when men "suit up" it has a similar sway on women. However, the important thing for those that follow Christ to remember is that our value does not come from the worldly clothes that we wear (Matthew 6:28-29) but from a different kind of clothing:
But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts).
A wise friend once told me:
"What you fish with is what you will get. If you fish with your body, you will catch body snatchers."
Media and "trendy" fashion drives our culture to believe certain lies about body image and attractiveness. Women are lead to believe that bikinis and scantily clad styles cause men to "fall in love" because they are seen as "beautiful." However, that's not the truth of the matter... A National Geographic news story stated that brain scans of men (when they see a woman dressed to reveal her body) show that a man's brain lights up in the same areas as when they are excited about a new "tool set." Ironically, women often state that they don't want to be viewed as objects but don't realize that they way they attract men has an influence on how the are treated.
Scripture describes Modesty in several different ways for both Men and Women, in order that we might honor one another.
Also [I desire] that women should adorn themselves modestly and appropriately and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with [elaborate] hair arrangement or gold or pearls or expensive clothing, But by doing good deeds (deeds in themselves good and for the good and advantage of those contacted by them), as befits women who profess reverential fear for and devotion to God. -1 Timothy 2:9-10
As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman who is without discretion.-Proverbs 11:22
These verses show that the true value of a woman is in how she honors the Lord and her brothers in Christ, not how little she wears. Even if she were to dress to kill, if she is not aware that men are wired differently, it is the same as being a ring of gold (woman) in a swine's (man) snout. She will be an attractive woman who is merely decoration for someone who rolls around in the mud.
But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28). Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death (James 1:15).
*These are pretty strong and clear words to describe how lust, when confused with love...will lead to the death of a relationship and spiritual death of a person.
Be honest in your judgment and do not decide at a glance (superficially and by appearances); but judge fairly and righteously. -John 7:24
The Lord made man and woman beautiful as they [we] were made in His image. We are not to superficially, and quickly judge one another by appearances, since they are fleeting (Proverbs 31:30), but instead we are to
"Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another -Romans 12:10
Being modest doesn't mean that men and women need to dress in burlap sacks, be covered from head to toe, and stand 6 feet away from one another at all times. It means that men and women are tasked with following the example that Christ set before us to outdo one another in showing honor, even in the clothing we choose to wear. If there's anything we should be competing over, it is how we can honor others more. If Godly men and women could do that for each other, the rest of the world would have an incredible example to follow. No longer would the divorce rate inside the church match that of the world. Instead, it would give hope to a world that is broken and dying.
Modesty: it's just another way to show that we love one another with a greater love than this world has to offer us.