Modesty. I get nervous just saying the word. No matter what your opinion is on this issue, you're bound to offend someone; it's just a touchy subject, particularly in the Christian arena. I think most of us would agree that modesty is important, if you don't think it's important, keep reading, this is for you too.
I recently saw a blog post, one of the many “dear girls” posts that run rampant on the web these days. I decided to read it, as I often will, and I found myself nodding in agreement; my too-quick-to-judgement self quickly reared her ugly head. “yeah! Put on some clothes!” My holier-than-thou self shouted inside. I felt bad for those poor teenaged boys having to avert their eyes on Facebook and at school. Those unwitting men having to avoid talking to that girl at church because she's got her “goodies” on display! “Yeah put on some clothes,” I thought again.
I furrowed my brow, but wait, are those the writer's teenaged sons prancing about in their swim trunks in the accompanying photos? Flexing their muscles in all their teenaged glory? The hypocrisy was just the cold water necessary for a much needed attitude adjustment.
I'd like to have a quick sidebar with the ladies, the excuse that they don't make modest clothing is the biggest load of garbage out there. You're lying to yourself. Does it take a little more effort to find modest clothing? Yup, it sure does. Will there be some missteps along the way? You betcha. Does that mean we just throw in the towel and wear any old thing because it's “easier?” I hope not, especially since the root word there is easy, surely none of us want to be considered “easy.”
Now back to the main point, yes, we have a responsibility, as Christians, to be loving toward each other to, “not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way” (Romans 14:13 Romans 14:13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
American King James Version×). However, modesty is not — and should not be — only about protecting our brothers from sinful thoughts, and here's why: Boys and men are responsible for their own thoughts, they should be “…bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5 2 Corinthians 10:5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
American King James Version×). They are NOT simply animals with no control over their thoughts and their responses. Does that let us ladies off the hook? No way! You can't un-see what you've seen. So ladies, think about it, do you really want everyone knowing what you look like in your underwear (because that's pretty much what bikinis are), able to recall it at will? Your uncle? Your little brother? The creepy guy that holds eye contact just a little bit too long?
Choosing to be modest should be about having self-respect, a proper sense of pride in oneself and an understanding of who and what you are; and modesty knows no gender.
Guys, you deserve to be treated with honor, dignity and respect because of who you are. You deserve to be recognized for your thoughts, your abilities and your talents. More importantly you deserve these things because you are sons of God. You are smarter, stronger and more deserving of love than you probably realize. Please remember that you must also treat yourself and others with dignity and respect for those very same reasons. So pull up your pants (wear a belt if you need to). Wear a shirt. Spend the time to find clothing that is attractive and modest.
Ladies, you deserve to be treated with honor, dignity and respect because of who you are. You deserve to be recognized for your thoughts, your abilities and your talents. More importantly you deserve these things because you are daughters of God. You are smarter, stronger and more deserving of love than you probably realize. Please, remember that you must also treat yourself and others with dignity and respect for those very same reasons. Wear skirts, dresses and shorts that are an appropriate length, button up that shirt or wear a tank top under it. Spend the time to find clothing that is attractive and modest.
Be modest because you have respect for yourself.