A Modest Heart

Text: 1 Timothy 2:9-15

When we talk about modesty, we often think about clothing, especially women’s clothing. However, modesty is about more than clothing – it begins with the heart. In this lesson, we will see how a modest heart is to manifest itself in a woman (a subsequent lesson will discuss applications for men).

How Does a Modest Heart Manifest Itself in a Woman?

Proper Clothing (1 Timothy 2:9)

  • Proper clothing reflects a mindset – modesty, having a sense of shame (cf. 1 Timothy 4:2; Jeremiah 6:15); discretion, meaning self-control (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:25-27)
  • Improper clothing seeks to draw attention to oneself by accentuating what should not be flaunted – one’s body (Proverbs 7:10); one’s wealth (1 Timothy 2:9); one’s status (James 2:1-4)

Good Works (1 Timothy 2:10)

  • This is what should be put on rather than improper/immodest clothing
  • This is “proper for women making a claim to godliness” – anyone can make a claim, but we are not to be like the hypocrites (Matthew 23:2-3)
  • We must understand what godliness is (reverence toward God) – practice it (Ecclesiastes 12:13; Acts 10:34-35)

Submissiveness (1 Timothy 2:11-12)

  • Submissiveness does not mean inferiority (Galatians 3:28) – this is about the order of Creation and the events in the beginning (1 Timothy 2:13-14)
  • This will affect the work of the church – women are not to teach over men (1 Corinthians 14:34) or rule over men (1 Peter 5:1-2; 1 Timothy 3:1-2)
  • However, this is about more than just in the church – must be an attitude of submissiveness (1 Peter 3:4)

Domestically Focused (1 Timothy 2:15)

  • This does not mean it is sinful for a woman to work outside of the home – this is about her primary role
  • God gave different roles to men and women (Genesis 2:15, 17; Ephesians 5:22-25, 33; 1 Timothy 5:8, 14) – the older women are to teach the young women to do this (Titus 2:5)

Self-Restraint (1 Timothy 2:15)

  • This summarizes everything that Paul mentioned in this passage – keep from dressing improperly, adorn oneself with proper clothing; keep from sin, practice good deeds; keep from elevating self, have an attitude of submissiveness; keep from neglecting one’s God-given role to pursue selfish ambitions
  • Being a disciple is about denying self and following Christ (Luke 9:23)


  • Modesty is about more than clothing – it begins in the heart
  • Despite the different roles men and women have, this type of heart is necessary for all of us

When you subscribe, you’ll also receive 3 free PDF’s: Plain Bible Teaching on Hope, the latest issue of Plain Bible Teaching Quarterly Review, and Road Trip.