Modesty, or the Lack Thereof...  

Posted by Daniel in ,

I know for some of you this will be old hat, though it is never bad to restudy things. Our society today, well really every society throughout history, has an extreme problem with dressing in a tempting way. You go to the mall or practically anywhere else, churches seems to be worse at times even, you are inundated with skin everywhere. Mini-skirts, short shorts, tight t-shirts, low cut shirts, short shirts, really tight pants (though I do wonder how they get them on...) and a lot of other stuff. It seems females in our society are trying to sell themselves as sexual objects, or if they aren't they want to make it seem like they are. To a degree i expect this from unbelievers, though it is sad, it does not "phase" me. What makes me truly sad is when Christians, and even fairly conservative homeschoolers seem to have no qualms on this. We are commanded in the Bible to not cause our brothers (and sisters) to stumble/sin. (1st Cor 8:9) Now I will caution here that yes there is personal freedom, that isn't a huge issue here but I will address it later on. Some of you girls know some of you may not, guys are very visual, we are made that way, it's a good thing. The problem is that because of sin this is tainted, and it can be "used correctly" in marriage but outside of marriage sin causes problems. Guys lust (well everyone does), it is sadly true, and when a girl dresses immodestly (we'll get to what that is later)it creates an environment that is conducive to that lust. I'm not saying a girl causes the guy to lust, but girls have a responsibility to protect their brothers from it, and I believe you will be held responsible by God for it. I also want to point out that there are girls who struggle with it, and yea you probably don't want to think about it, but it's true. I wonder why so many christian girls seem to have no idea what is going on, I have talked to multiple girls who didn't know any better until I asked them to dress more modestly. Are fathers and brothers just not man enough to be honest with their wives/daughters/sisters? Are they trying to deceive themselves and others, and make it seem like they don't have this problem? Or do they just not care... I will call any guy out who says they don't struggle with lust at all, it may not be with girls, maybe it's emotional and not physical lust, but everyone does. I challenge any guy who reads this and is not being honest with themselves, or have a close female relative or friend who needs to dress better. Man up (I know it's a terrible cliche but there it is), the Bible calls us to be men of God, this is part of it, sometimes we are called to do hard things but it's worth it.

Everyone has a different opinion on what is modest and what isn't. Though there are some fairly general things that most people agree on. Some people are more conservative in this than others, the specifics are between you, your spiritual authority (dad, husband, maybe someone else depending on the circumstance), and God. Some people don't think pants can be modest, much less shorts, and some people have no problem with them, thats one of the big ones people feel strongly about. But some general stuff, with skirts not much above the knee, a little is fine but not more than a few inches, same thing applies to shorts. Low cut shirts are a big one, not much lower than your shoulders, sometimes its ok if you have another shirt underneath, but just be careful not to wear something that really draws the eye to your chest. No tank tops, even if it's not technically one be careful on how much shoulder area is getting shown. Try and keep any part of your bra hidden, i understand straps sometimes go where they aren't supposed to but depending on the shirt your wearing it won't show... ;)On shirts also be careful of how easily they ride up and expose your back, that's a big one.

This one just drives me up the wall, girls would you wear just your underwear out in public, especially around a guy you like? Because that is basically what you are doing when you wear a bikini, it isn't any different.

Those are just some general guidelines, a great resource is the modestly survey that the Harris brothers did. Some of the comments on there I do disagree with but it has some good stuff.

I also want to make a point about guy modesty, I don't know how much it affects girls, so if any of you ladies want to say something... Guys just like girls do have responsibility in this too. It may not be such a big deal, but I do know some girls who struggle with it. Pants need to be pulled up, just like girls shouldn't be showing off their underwear, neither should guys. Don't take off your shirt around girls, I don't period. Just like a girl taking off hers isn't good, the same applies for guys.

Something else I want to point out is that even if you dress modestly but you still flirt and act like you're ready to jump in bed with someone you are still immodest. Modesty is both physical and spiritual/mental, so be aware of how you act towards people. Treat them as the brothers and sisters they are.

I hope this is all clear, and if anyone has anything to add please go for it. :) And if the girls could comment too on guys modesty, and what that looks like I would appreciate it.
A slave of Christ,
Daniel

*Thanks to Josh for looking it all over for me*

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This entry was posted on Sunday, August 2, 2009 at Sunday, August 02, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

13 comments

Wow, that is AWESOME! So powerful and strong. That is such a great post, and exactly how I feel about modesty etc. It is so disgusting how girls/guys are becoming so blinded about themselves and will wear ANYTHING and some, NOTHING! I did a post on this a few weeks back, and I got tons of comments and really appreciated the input from the guys. Just like you want some input from a girl, I like the perspective on my blog from a guy! Anyways, I'll list a few things that bug me about guys...just as you were being bold, I'll be kinda bold as well! :)

Ok, going shirtless, that really annoys me and I don't understand why some guys HAVE to do that?!?! I mean some guys are just stunning and really hard to block out, and going shirtless, that's a hard one to ignore. I had a discussion about this a few weeks ago and going shirtless is just for your wife to see, I personally believe.

Low pants...ew! Just nasty and gives the total impression of rebellious, and disrespectful.

And, the other things besides dressing modestly, is the fact of guys being so flirty and soft these days. It kills me and just burns me up because they are destroying their purity and the girl as well. Or when he shows more favoritism to other girls, and the main one is, being a total flirt!

Also giving that eye, like the look that says, "I like you and give me some of you!" That kinda 'eye' is terrible and so immature and once again flirty! All those hugs and stuff, just impure and stupid because we're youngsters, suppose to be pure and kept for our future husband/wife.

So, overall dressing pure and acting blameless is what God wants of us, and it is so sad as you said how even Christians/homeschoolers are doing the opposite. Your post was great, and blunt, more bold then my own, I backed off just a tad on my post because I often think as being a girl I can't tell y'all guys about all the ins and outs of purity/modesty etc. Nevertheless, your post taught me otherwise!

Vanessa

August 3, 2009 at 7:29 PM

BTW, just curious, was that Joshua H. who looked it all over??

August 3, 2009 at 7:31 PM

Yes, it was Josh Horvath. I love your wording of saying some guys are stunning, it makes me laugh. While perhaps true it just sounds funny.

Yea flirting is annoying and bad, I think I mentioned it on Josh's blog, people have told me at work that I flirt. That was a very disturbing revelation for me because I am very friendly in general and that was not something i wanted to do or have the illusion i was.

Thanks for the comment and the input :)

August 3, 2009 at 8:32 PM

Very very good post and much needed, especially from brothers in Christ. I appreciate too, that you mentioned modesty of the heart, which is even more important.

The thing I love to emphasize to girls and women is that modesty is a POSITIVE thing. It PROTECTS us from being seen as an object, from the eyes of men with less than pure motives, and it gives a girls/women dignity and confidence knowing that she is saving herself for the eyes of one man, Lord willing. It also is such a wonderful privilege to honor our brothers in Christ through modesty as well.

When I'm speaking on modesty I quote William Willberforce, "You can choose to look the other way, but you can never again say you did not know." I have only pity on girls who don't understand modesty and are hence missing out on it's blessings, but to young women who know God's command to dress modesty and continue to do otherwise, you will be held accountable, because you know what you are doing.

And to the pastors who choose to treat the command of modesty as optional, I take serious issue. Unfortunately it is most.

As to the guys modesty issue, it was one I was asked about recently by someone else... I've not given much thought to it, personally (except in really obvious examples). Usually an "immodest guy" (the kind that just look ridiculous) ends up being the brunt of laughter by we sisters when their back is turned. :P My dad doesn't wear a shirt when he swims, but maybe if we had brother it would be different? I don't know... like I said, it's never been an issue or focus in our family personally, but I certainly respect the decision of those who choose not to!

Lastly, one thing I was curious about... you said "with skirts not much above the knee, a little is fine but not more than a few inches" That sounds like a skirt (depending, perhaps, on whether you are referring to the bottom or top of the knee, I suppose)that I would consider to be immodest... would you clarify?

August 4, 2009 at 9:23 PM

Basically the limit I would say is a couple inches above the knee is still modest, though it is pushing it. Make sense?

August 4, 2009 at 9:34 PM

Well my mother pointed out that really what I am talking about is the top of the knee :D and depending on your height a couple inches above the knee is quite a bit, so I stand corrected.

August 5, 2009 at 7:59 AM

Great post and I heartily agree with Marianna, it is MUCH needed!!! Marianna, I thought it was really neat how you pointed out the fact that modesty is a positive thing. Another saddening thing is that people associate modesty with stifling personality and expression. What they don't realize is that modesty is just as much of an "expression" as wearing a skimpy outfit. No matter what you wear, you're saying something about yourself, like it or not! I don't think I have to go into what immodest girls are saying about themselves, but to me, modest women are much more attractive than immodest women because it says so much more about a girl's character.

And yes, guys do have a great responsibility in regards to modesty. Personally, I could go either way as far as swimming shirtless and even working shirtless out in the yard at times, but I can't excuse the issue based on my own personal preferences. I have to show deference so as not to cause anyone to stumble that may be convicted differently than I do. However, I DO swim with a shirt on, and the reason is because my parents want me to. I am still under their authority and I am told to honor them.

Great post bro!

August 5, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Thank you so much for this post! There is a general lack of frankness when it comes to these discussions. But I think it's a very positive thing to be bold when discussing these issues.

I have six sisters and needless to say, have grown up with all the girl "stuff". My parents have never tried to cover up reality and I've just never had a problem with it.

Marianna, I totally agree with you on guy modesty and being the brunt of laughing when their pants are falling off! My sisters and I think it's hilarious some are so desparate they pull their pants down to get attention. Sad ;)

Thanks again Daniel for this post!

In Christ,
Josh

August 7, 2009 at 4:31 PM

great post! You hit the nail on the head perfectly..... and I just want to say something about guy's modesty.

The low pants thing, underwear being visible, really DOES bother me, and I KNOW that other girls notice it and it really does do soemthing to their thoughts, because sometimes they'll comment aloud!
And when a guy is really muscular, seriously guys, don't show it all off! It's like inviting the ladies to feel how strong you are. You only want one girl doing that, right? Your future spouse? So that's just what's currently on my mind right now when you mention guy's modesty.
And the shirtless thing is a BIG NO. I commented about that on Maiden of Purity's blog. Ü

August 11, 2009 at 5:13 PM

I just found your blog. Excellent thoughts! I appreciate it when guys take time and give their thoughts on modesty. I hear it way too much from girls and I'm always like "and where are the guys on this matter? they are the ones we are trying to keep from stumbling!"

I don't think girls are nearly as visual as guys. To me, when guys are walking around with their pants falling down and hats turned sideways and just looking sloppy altogether, I see a person who is lost and is searching for something. I usually end up praying for them. Doesn't usually cause lust and such. But that could just be me......

Ok, but there still are other modesty issues. I would say that going shirtless is distracting to say the least. Oh and like Southern Maiden said, if guys are quite muscular, don't be wearing tight shirts to show it all off. Sure it attracts, but why on earth do you need to attract that way especially if it causes a girl to stumble.

Just my $0.02 :)

A sister in Christ,
~Bethany~

August 13, 2009 at 5:05 AM

Thanks for the comment, they do it for the same reason as girls, they want attention and sex. I do think there are a few guys who do it somewhat innocently like some girls, but most just want your attention.

August 13, 2009 at 7:04 AM

Thank you sooo much for a wonderful post. Like Bethany said we hear this message from girls all the time, So it is such an encouragement to hear it from the guys.

~Marci~

August 13, 2009 at 8:14 PM

Amen! What a great post! Any have tried so hard to get this across to the ladies in our church, and they always say that its a guys fault for not keeping his eyes to himself. Makes me want to knock some sense into them!

I have never read anything by the Harris brothers, how is their stuff? The best book I've read on modestly was "Dressing for the Lord" by David Cloud, but I would like to get ahold of one thats geared more for teens.

I have to agree with Vanessa, guys going shirtless is soooo annoying! You know, I think a girl loses respect for a guy when he's immodest more then really lusting after him. I grew up in a home where my Daddy and brothers were NEVER shirtless even inside of our home, which is how I believe it should be. If it causes a girl to lose respect, why would a father what his daughter to lose respect for him?

Sorry to ramble, but I love to see Christian young people standing strong for God. It does my heart a world of good. :-)

Katie

August 18, 2009 at 2:57 PM

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