If you have not read the post before this, rather go and read it before you read this one.
First of all, let me say how incredible you all are! Your responses to Adeye’s post on modesty show great thought and wisdom.
This is a very hot topic, and I’m blogging because I want to give a man’s perspective.
All comments, save one or two, leaned toward modesty, while one person in a comment stated “Oh, please. What year are we living in?”
I wish it were that easy. If the times or cultural mores dictated how modest or not to be, this would be a no-brainer. Sort of.
In Munich where I lived, I knew a German woman who spent every day at a popular park, where hundreds of men and women sunbathe half or fully naked. But she would NEVER walk down the street topless because it would be “immodest.” (Ee-ur-ee-ur. That’s me scratching my head.)
Fly to Afghanistan and a woman is quick to cover the top of her hand to remain modest.
Fact is, if times or cultures defined modesty, then modesty becomes subjective. And you know what? It is. The Bible gives no guidelines, as many of you have, as to how to cover up. God leaves it completely up to you, girls and mothers, how to fulfill His biblical mandate to dress modestly.
The Pharisees ran into this problem with the Sabbath. The Bible teaches that no “work” is to occur on the Sabbath. But to ensure that they would never violate this law, which was ambiguous to them, they came up with a list of other laws to keep them far from this threat. This was a GOOD thing that they did, but Jesus criticized them for elevating their extra laws to the level of what God’s laws stated. Ouch.
In my humble opinion, modesty, like all other areas of God’s guidance, is an issue of the heart. AND common sense.
Are women responsible for men’s lust? In some cases, most definitely, especially if they wear next to nothing. But ultimately, lust is a man’s responsibility with what he does with it. Just because I see a near naked woman on the street does not justify me accosting her. God simply asks us to do our part, as it reads in Romans 14:19-22:
“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.”
Fact: Men are more sexually turned on by sight.
In an article in a NON-CHRISTIAN magazine, Women’s Health (May 2009), a doctor writes, “A powerful pleasure cocktail of endorphins and epinephrine (hormones responsible for arousal and alertness) are released while a man watches porn.”
Like food, showing off your body is an issue of the heart, a consideration (or lack of it) toward others. All God is asking us is to consider what COULD lead others to sin, then don’t do it, even though we have every right! We don’t need to ask every man on the street how he feels about the dress we’re wearing in order to be sensitive. We simply remain aware of what causes men to stumble, then have the heart to dress accordingly.
Girls, mothers, even grandmothers, there are brothers falling all around us today. And even more since our time on earth is very short. Satan is upping the ante. He’s going out all-guns for the church. And a HUGE area he’s focusing on is sexual impurity.
Fathers, take up your spiritual headship of your family and impart the heart—not as Pharisaic law, but through a love relationship with your daughter whom you dote over. Form your words so that it’s like the heavenly Father speaking directly to her about how beautiful she is in the pure beauty of her heart.
Girls, do not listen to others, even others in your church, who encourage you to flaunt your God-given body. It’s not yours to flaunt in the first place. Let Jesus grab your heart. I trust His Holy Spirit to guide you in this as you seek His face.
Now I want to end with a story about common sense.
A very good friend of ours, I’ll call him Ethan, is a young 19-year-old man. And he is also very good looking. VERY. Ethan also loves Jesus immensely and strives to control sexual temptation. Ethan has church-hopped a bit, not because he’s flighty or an immature Christian, but because the teen girls in those churches dressed no differently from those in the world. Ethan was looking for a girl who was so confident with who she is in Jesus, that she didn’t need to use her body to bait the big catch.
The girls in those churches dressed (or didn’t!) that way, but like any other prize fish, too much bait makes the big one swim away.
How sad. They just drove away the man of their dreams, a man who’s after God’s own heart and who will love a woman like no worldly man can, because they wanted to entice him with their flesh. These girls will land someone, rest assured. And he may even be charming and goodlooking. But they’ll snag a guy who fell in love with the goods first, then was hoping the brain and the spirit caught up with it.
If you happen to be one of those girls reading this, I got news for you—The Ethans of our churches don’t want someone like you. You wanted him to “stumble,” and to stumble right into your arms, and the Ethans know it.
You are in the world but are not OF it. Show off your Jesus-vibrant soul, not your body. You don’t have to dress like a Benedictine nun to be trendy, and yes, to look cute.
Let your Jesus light shine from the inside, and let your beauty beam from your “inner self,” as it’s stated in 1 Peter 3:4. That’s the stuff world-changers are made of. Change your heart, change your wardrobe, then go and change the world.