What Am I Thinking? . . .
Where to start? Let me first preface this entry by saying that this has been one of the most uncomfortable posts I have ever written. Why you may ask? I have nothing but confidence in the content posted and contributed, yet one still has a right to be afraid that a topic of this nature has potential of great backlash. This topic is not one you see men often write or express thoughts on, at least not in a loving, productive way. Having said all of the above, the topic of this entry is Christian women and modesty from a male’s perspective. GASP! “What on earth is he thinking?!” “Who does he think he is?!” Before you jump to any conclusions, allow me to explain my rationale; but first some words from your sisters in Christ.
Some Words from Your Sisters in Christ:
The following are words from various sisters in Christ, whom I and so many others believe are worth listening to.
1. “This is an important topic. It matters to God! (1 Peter 3, 1 Timothy 2) But because of its nature, talking about it is awkward. It’s usually embarrassing for anyone involved. So, far too often the people that should talk about modesty – mothers, sisters, older women in the church – don’t. Today’s styles and fashions only make it worse, and our culture’s obsession with appearance is detrimental further still. There are a lot of reasons, a lot of excuses, to look like the world, aren’t there? And they’re believable. They’re what we’re used to hearing. They make us feel good about ourselves. They’re also in direct opposition to God’s word, to God’s heart. We are made in God’s image. Ladies, in His perfect plan God designed a special connection between our bodies and men’s brains. And, in the environment it was created for, it is beautiful and can be shamelessly enjoyed by both the husband and the wife. But, the connection between their brains and our appearance doesn’t have an off and on switch, and isn’t limited to one person. Our brothers, as evidenced in this post, care deeply for us as their sisters in Christ and want to be able to see us as just that, without being tempted to think about us in any other way. Dressing modestly is our God-given responsibility, personally as women, and it is also our way of honoring and showing our care for our brothers. Please read the following words through the lens of selfless love for them.”
2. “First, I must confess, this is not coming from a sister who has lived modesty perfectly. I have had times of needing to be reproached and it hurts. My reaction is usually the same, “It’s not my fault”. Obviously all the blame falls on the fact that there are no modest clothes out there or that our brother’s standards are way too high! I have erred by allowing myself to blame my immodesty on these excuses. In contrast a truly beautiful woman is probably the woman who wants God to decide the way she should look.
For just a minute let’s go back to Genesis. Men and women were meant to stand together in life (Genesis 2:18). For all that man could not do on his own, God created a helper. Excuses to be immodest come from our flesh which seeks to destroy the picture God created in Genesis. Those thoughts/excuses should probably not be allowed to reign in our minds. Be prepared because I am about to pull out a word that a large proportion of people today look down on. The word is submission. I seriously have moments of absolutely despising that word! But, in order to help our brothers by living in modesty, we need submission. What I mean by submission is setting aside our will for what is truly best. This is probably a thousand times harder than any of us realize. It may come down to refusing to buy the “75% off certain to make your legs look so good” pair of jeans. But I promise you, submitting will always be worth it to allow Christ His perfect work of making us like Himself. One hard thing about allowing Christ to mold us is that it looks so different than the world. Be ready to face this. It is hard. History tells us that sticking out from normal society is looked down upon. Take the Israelites for example! If our Father could help us in the situation I wonder if He would remind us that He has our best in mind. Instead of allowing women to wear anything (since He understands men’s minds), I think He would encourage us to do all that we can to help the men around us.
As women we all have to face modesty and establish standards. Perhaps the beginning is to set all else aside and consider what God intended when he fashioned our bodies. A good starting point may be through hearing what our brothers have to say.”
3. “As sisters in Christ we are called to help our brothers to not stumble. In 1 Corinthians 10 it talks about how we are not to cause anyone to stumble and that we should not be seeking out own good, but the good other many, so they may be saved. Though this may not be directly related to modesty, as women, we must recognize that what we wear absolutely affects the guys around us. I know I wouldn’t want guys looking at me like I am just a tool or some piece of meat. If we want to respect our bodies and know that guys are appreciating us for more than how we look, dressing in a way that won’t distract is very beneficial for that.”
4. “My dear sisters in Christ, before you read this post please do two things. First pray. Pray that the Lord will open your heart and your eyes to what you are about to read. Secondly, ask yourselves these questions: “Is my identity found in Christ, and, do I seek to find my worth from the King of Kings or am I seeking to find my worth by gaining attention from men?” Please do not read this post lightly. It is an issue that needs to be addressed and acted upon. Often as women we long to get a glimpse of what goes on inside a man’s head. Well this post will give you a little peek. Please don’t take it for granted.”
The Objective of this Article is to:
- Provide a male perspective on the effects of female modesty, or lack thereof, from brothers in Christ who are pursuing the Lord.
- Exhort and encourage our sisters, affirming who they are in Christ, upholding the Scriptural truth that they are not objects nor should they be objectified.
- Reinforce the fact that our sisters value in Christ should define all aspects of their life, including what they wear.
What this Article is not Supposed to Do:
- Condemn, judge or attack, any woman, anywhere, especially our sisters in Christ.
- Impose any form of legalism or old fashioned moralistic thinking.
- Tell you what to wear.
Off We Go then
Males are wired differently than females, which is a fact of life and our biology. What a surprise, right? So take this as simply a different perspective on things. Women deal more with the emotional, men deal more with the physical. What does that mean exactly? It means that men are looking at you. Some do so purely and appropriately, the rest, the very many rest of them, not so much. We live in a culture determined to sex up anything and everything humanly possible. Everything from models in commercials for cleaning products to cartoon princesses all seem to be required to have some form of sex appeal. For crying out loud even children’s clothing, is becoming more immodest! Sex is everywhere, and for the modern woman, fashions and styles are very much affected by this. We males know it is hard for you gals to find things to wear. We do! Shorts are too short, pants too tight, skirts that if the wind caught them would leave nothing to the imagination, leggings as pants outlining every crack and crevice; no matter what you do, you are stuck making do with the clothes you have been given. It seems like, apart from making your own, there really are few options available. Stores like Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, Aeropostale , American Eagle and many more, are not driven to help you be modest, their goal is actually to do the opposite. Modesty is hard when you shop at places meant to make you immodest. The problem is that when you dress like the world, you are going to draw in men of the world or believing brothers who act like the world. If you constantly have to pull down or pull up an article of clothing, is that not a sign of the piece being unfit for you? When you wear short shorts, tight pants, revealing or tight shirts, GUYS LOOK AT YOU. That is how it works. Do not ask me all the mechanics behind it, but they do. Is that really what you want a guy to notice you for? You might say they are appreciating you, but the reality is all you become is an object of lust, nothing more. Do you really desire this? When that happens, when we brothers notice people noticing you that way, objectifying you, it hurts. I mean you are our sisters; you have infinite worth in Christ, so to see you, anyone, being objectified and seen as anything less, is painful. Are your clothes really worth your integrity?
The important fact to realize is that while how you are dressed may provide an opportunity for stumbling, it is ultimately the guy’s decision as to whether or not he will sin. When a guy looks at you lustfully or in an impure way, he is making the conscious decision to sin, and he is the only person responsible. So it is still just as much, and actually more so the guy’s problem than it is the girls. That goes the same for anyone who willingly sins. The point is that you should strive to be above that, to be something more. Ask yourself, what is the heart behind the things you wear? Sure modest yet stylish clothing is harder to come by, but it is not impossible. Is what you wear reflecting the person in Christ you have become? Are you looking out for your brothers, and honoring the weaker ones in their struggles by what you wear? We have all been called, men and women alike, to live in a manner that reflects Christ and looks out for our brothers and sisters. Should I continue to wear a bow tie if it causes people around me to stumble, because I like bow ties, or should I give up such a small detail out of love for them? As believers we live life by a higher standard; we should look different from the world, both physically and mentally, not blend in with it.
We men following the Lord care about all of you, we truly do! Again, it aches us to see you taken advantage of, to be “checked out”, and seen as anything lesser than your position in Christ. You do not have to be viewed like this! Sure there will always be “those guys” who will check out anything with a pulse, but you are worth so much more; show that to people. The only person who should see your body, is the one whose ring you have on your finger. If people can get the gist of your anatomy through the things you wear, you probably should not be wearing it. You do not have to use your body to find value from people, who in the end will never truly value you. You are in Christ, your value is infinite, your heart is His, and those who are in Him will want you, will see you, for just that, and everything else is an added bonus. Ladies: you are not objects. Take this from a guy’s perspective. Some guys, whether you are in Bible College or a secular job, may view you that way, or treat you like that is the case, but it cannot be said enough you are not an object. You may not view yourself as an object, but there are a plethora of impure guys that will. YOU ARE NOT AN OBJECT! Be mindful of if you are unknowingly selling yourself as such, or stop trying to be something Christ says you are not.
You Reap What You Sow
Assumingly a great deal of you young ladies reading this would like to one day get married. There is nothing wrong with that! Marriage is a wonderful lifestyle instituted by God for man. There is one thing that should be noted though. Godly men are not going to pursue a woman who looks like the world. Even if you are one of the Godliest women around, how you dress, how you carry yourself, the way that you act, can all raise immediate red flags for Godly men, and loud invitations to guys who are not. The goal of modesty is the heart and your relationship with God, but if your outer does not reflect your “inner”, you are going to draw in people you should not want to draw in, and drive away those you should. Scrutinize me if you must, but I am a guy, I talk to other guys, and for the solid guys modesty is one of the first things they look at. I am not trying to be mean, but honest. The same thing goes for guys too. Are you going to be attracted to a dude who shows off his biceps and V-necks to any girl that will give him the time of day? Do you find it appealing when a guy’s underwear or backside is hanging out for the world to see? What about skinny jeans that appear to have been painted on? I hope not! Bad example, but you get the idea. We should all pursue people who look, act, live and love like Christ. It is just like the saying “you are what you eat.” What you truly value and digest, will define most aspects of your life. As you pursue Christ and a life of Godliness, you should look for the same in your relationships with others as well. That is not to say you should not be attracted to someone, but attraction is something that goes beyond the mere physical aspect of a person; you want a person who is looking at your heart miles before are your body. So do not make it difficult for them by showing your body first and your heart second.
Not All is Lost
The goal of this post was simply to bring awareness to you, my sisters, a problem that seems to be recurring amongst many Christian circles. We all have issues to deal with and some people struggle more openly than others, but regardless we are in this together. As men of the Lord our responsibility is to look out for you ladies, and our hope is nothing more than to see you made more like Christ. All cards on the table, this is not about spiritual swagger, to seem better than other Christian guys, to attract you, or to even have marriage appeal, but to genuinely and honestly see you further pursue Him. Truly and dearly it is. Sisters: seek older women walking with the Lord, meet with each other, and be more like Him in how you think, what you do, the way you dress, and how you act. There is not one of you I do not pray and hope this for. As I have sought to write the post, like the girls above, other guys have also contributed their thoughts to this topic. To end with, here are a few statements your brothers in Christ have also made, who think the same of you as I do. These men, all with slightly differing views, express opinions I have heard over and over again, from solid believing brothers. The guys chosen are men who are walking with the Lord, brothers who have the same desire, as I do, to see our sisters accepting their full value in Christ. These are godly men, some married, others in relationships, the rest not, who too desire to see you, our sisters, to not be objects of lust, but to be objects of Christ.
Some Words from Your Brothers in Christ:
1. “Shocked, surprised, stunned, speechless and shaken might be a few words to describe what a woman might feel if she lived in a man’s head and body for a day. As a brother to my sisters in Christ, it is my desire that women protect both themselves and men from the danger that they (or you if you are a woman reading this) have the potential to cause. The way that a man’s mind works is like a hypersensitive camera that does not have the capability to turn off or erase images. This camera is always aware of appealing sights in any given room on any given day at any given moment . . . Church, chapel, meals, athletic activities, class, and so forth. The camera always comes with us and is always on. Things that cause this camera to take photos are a plethora of things such tight jeans, form fitting shirts, tops that reveal cleavage even if it is only when a lady bends down or when a man is taller than a woman and can see a shadow of cleavage, holes in jeans that reveal skin, lower backs that can be seen when a lady bends down and the list goes on. Men don’t go searching for these sights and many men do everything within their power to avoid seeing things like this. Men can fight against it but it is the reality for pretty much all of us. Our minds are like cameras. It takes a split second for a picture to be captured and a lifetime to erase the images from our minds. Our flesh and Satan want us to play these images over and over in our minds which we must fight against all day long. This is where the help of our sisters in the Lord would be so valuable. My heart is often times grieved for both men and women on this matter. Ladies, please care about your brothers and understand that men have enough sights to avoid in the world. Our sisters in Christ should not make this harder on us than it needs to be. From my own experience I can honestly say that the number of women who I have not seen their cleavage at least once (which is enough to always remember) can be counted on one of my hands. Please Don’t straddle the line of something being “a little too tight” or “showing a little too much.” Don’t even go near it! If something is questionable run the other direction! In that there is great integrity, modesty, and Godly character. THOSE are the kinds of reasons that you want a man to like you. You are valuable. Please remember that and dress like that, which will help your brothers in Christ love and respect you as we ought to. God bless you.”
2. “You can tell a lot about someone based on the way they dress. You can tell what school they go to, what clubs they’re in, what their favorite sports team is, what their favorite show is, what phrase they live their life by, what bands they enjoy and much more. All of these things reflect the personality of the wearer. Go to the shopping mall, attend a large university, even go to Wal-mart and you will see all kinds of crazy outfits, or lack there of. This brings up the issue of modesty. As a brother of two sisters I know it’s extremely difficult to find a pair of shorts that are long enough. The world just does not think along the lines of modesty many times it is the exact opposite. This pertains to both men and women, but frankly many women in today’s society don’t respect themselves. So many different angles could be taken from this subject, but one thing that I want to focus on is who you are trying to impress. I hear some women say all the time, “where are all the good guys? Why can’t I find a good guy.” It’s sad to say, but many times good guys aren’t looking for them. I would encourage any young woman reading this to dress modestly. There are guys out there who respect that. Let your choice of clothing reflect who you are, because they way you dress tells so much about your personality.”
3. “I view the issue of modesty in terms of what are you trying to attract, and what are you trying to attract with. No guy in his right mind will blame you for their sin, but girls who make an effort to be modest will attract the right kind of guys. The wrong guys will be won with good looks; the right kind of guys will be won with a good heart, a heart that makes it easy to love you for the right reasons.”
4. “The concept of modesty in today’s world seems to rapidly change for both genders. In regards to being modest in today’s world as a Christian woman means doing your best to not allow your fellow brothers in Christ to lust over you. Things that can get a man’s mind going or at least looking in the wrong places are such things as: pants that have writing on the butt, extremely tight jeans that will highlight the butt, low cut shirts with writing around the chest, tight fitting tops that will draw extra attention to the chest of a women, and very loose tops that can reveal the chest (even partially) when they lean over or bend down. The apparel that has writing around the chest and the butt is specifically there to grab men’s attention. Why? Those are the features that can cause men’s minds to wander and to even possibly cause one to lust after and commit adultery with one in their minds. So apparel that draws excessive attention their features in my mind is just setting up the man for disaster and making it hard on him to resist that very strong temptation of the mind. My advice to woman would be to be aware of the types of clothing they are wearing and how they draw extra attention to their features (butt and chest) so that they may be able to help their fellow brothers in Christ out against the ever-present attack of the lust of the eyes. This lust of the eyes is one men struggle with a lot and leads to sin. Yes men have a responsibility for their minds and their thoughts but as a man we would love all the help we can get from the women so that we can stay pure in both our thoughts and mind.”
For Further Reading on Modesty Follow the Link Below!