MODESTY. IT’S AN ISSUE that is thousands of years old, yet we still don’t have everything figured out. After all, it’s a touchy subject for many people. Countless ladies have their opinion on what modesty should and shouldn’t be. It’s a complicated business and a very worthwhile one at that.
However, in this elaborate maze, seeds have been scattered throughout the good intentions of modesty. They are lies that have been conjured up by both our world and sometimes even the church. As a result, we’ve let the true value of modesty become tainted by bitterness and confusion.
Having grown up as the only girl among four brothers, I’ve been able to attain a different perspective on the subject that has personally helped me in my struggles with dressing morally.
Here are five lies that girls believe about guys when it comes to modesty.
“All men are perverts.” Now before I go into this, I want to be clear. I’m not saying that we, as ladies, should throw caution to the wind when it comes to the people around us. There are wicked men in the world with equally wicked intentions. We should definitely be careful, but the fact remains that not all guys are lustful jerks.
While at college my brother had the opportunity to listen to an audio segment on modesty. It was the same one I had previously listened to myself. The segment had a lot of good advice, but we both felt that the overall vibe of the message was this idea that absolutely all men are perverted and there’s nothing you can do about it except try to be modest. This is very unfair to men as a collective group, and especially unfair to our Christian brothers who are doing their best to keep a pure heart. Modesty should be born out of mutual respect for those of the opposite gender and not because we assume their thoughts are always unclean.
“Modesty is a form of sexism.” Society is continually pushing this idea that modesty is anti-woman. It’s “oppressive” when a lady takes the care to cover her most private areas, but it’s “empowering” to wear barely any clothes at all. Apparently, the new definition of freedom is showcasing one’s intimate treasures to as many people as possible.
If you broadcast to the world that you sell jewelry, don’t expect people to come to you to buy shoes.
But immodesty is actually one of the culprits of sexism in my opinion. It devalues womanhood and communicates to men that we place our self-worth in our bodies, not our character or integrity. Feminists complain when guys objectify women, but what else are we to expect if that is the message we are conveying through our clothing or lack thereof? People will always try to cash-in on what you advertise. So if you broadcast to the world that you sell jewelry, don’t expect people to come to you to buy shoes.
“Guys are the only ones who benefit from modesty.” This is where that mutual respect I was speaking of comes back into play. A lot of ladies assume that we don’t get anything out of the deal by dressing wisely, but the rewards flow both ways. By being modest in both your attitude and fashion you are proclaiming to everyone that you have more to offer this world than your body. It proves you are secure enough to know that your value lies elsewhere, saving you from a long road of frustration and second-guessing. Immodesty will always push you a little farther than you are willing to go, while modesty teaches you to be content in the body you’ve been blessed with.
“Guys don’t pay attention to girls who are modest.” Sooooo not true. And if it is then you should be grateful, because you just avoided a man who regards your physique above your heart. Real guys are the ones that seek out modesty. They appreciate a lady who has hidden her treasures away for one man and one man only.
It’s like that rewarding feeling you get when a friend or family member stores away the last of something just with you in mind. Isn’t it nice to know that they were kind enough to think of you before you even came into the picture? The same is true with modesty, and a man of integrity will respect you all the more for it.
“Modesty is all about guys.” Somewhere along the line we got this idea that modesty revolves around men. However, while guys are a very important part of the equation, they are not (or at least should not) be the center of attention. Modesty is a quality set in place by God because when it comes to Him, there’s a time for everything and everything in its time. His rewards are always given in their due season, and we should follow that example in everything we do, but especially when it comes to the treasures He has bestowed to us women. When all is said and done, modesty just gives us another opportunity to become more like Christ, for it is a virtue that should begin in our heart and then extend to our outward appearance.
“Modesty is and should be the same for everyone.” This is probably one of the biggest lies of all. Many of us assume that there is this cookie-cutter mold for modesty, and we judge others for not having the same standard as us. But everyone’s relationship with God is unique which means that everyone’s interpretations of modesty will be unique as well. What matters most is that you open your heart fully to God and let Him create the standards. But don’t be afraid to let Him take some things out. A successful relationship with Christ is born out of a willingness to give Him complete 24/7 access in every area of your life, including your clothes.
God’s instructions are personal and direct. Since He knows exactly what is best, He might require certain things of you that He doesn’t require of someone else. This doesn’t make you less or more of a Christian than anyone. It’s not your job to compare standards, because that’s not what’s important. The key question is, will you do what is asked of you?
There are many angles to modesty and questions that do not have a clear and concise answer, but our job as wonderfully odd ladies is to promote God’s purpose for womanhood—through our closet and through our actions.
Yes, the rest of society may roll their eyes or give us funny looks from time to time, but we have the advantage in knowing that modesty produces worthwhile rewards. The same cannot be said for immodesty. It may give you a false sense of freedom at the beginning, and it may even give some short-term pleasure to your audience, but in the end, women are the ones who lose.
As Christians, it is our duty to combat these lies on a daily basis. We must shed the light of truth in places where there would otherwise be darkness. It will strike a blow for godly feminism, and more importantly, it will please our Creator.