Monday, June 13, 2011

My Post on Modesty

In my neverending search for modest bathing suits that don't look like a typical "mom" suit I swore I'd never wear as a teenager, I've come across some doozies. I'll spare you the touched-up images of women clad in all but four squares of spandex. 

(Here's where I go off a bit.)
Some women are deceived in thinking that if they have a rockin' body and work hard for it, that it gives them the right to wear whatever they want. They've "earned" it.

Wrong.

Let me make a very general statement about women who dress this way. Here goes: Women dress inappropriate for one reason and one reason alone ... attention, no matter how wrong that attention is. And boy do they get it from both men and women. 

Attention from men in an inappropriate way because that's just the way they're wired. I really have compassion upon men that are Christians that are bombarded with these images, not only in the form of media, but in real life. And, worse yet from women in the church. That in itself makes me fired up. There are times I literally have wanted to go right up to a stranger and tell her to cover herself because she looked like a fool. Have some dignity. Have some respect for yourself. You should know better. 

The attention they get from women is one of disdain. Women that are Christians immediately look down upon a scantily-clad girl. Should this be the case? No. But, it is. There have been other times when I've just felt sorry for a woman who flaunted her body in front of others and I thought in the way most women think: "Aw ... she's insecure," which is a real part of why a woman does dress inappropriately. Women also feel uncomfortable around other women who are dressed inappropriately, but typically try to look past it.

But, let's go back to the men here for a second. Think about a man who is, like we are, trying to keep a pure mind and heart on a daily basis. And, let's say an attractive woman with her bosom (yeah, I said "bosom" ... I like that word better) exposed comes over to greet him in a friendly manner and carry on a nice conversation. Poor guy. He feels uncomfortable and he tries, at all cost, to overlook her bosom staring him in the face. His mind becomes that battlefield between purity and impurity. Or maybe he just makes his mind a blank slate. This has got to be a difficult thing until a man gets to an age where he's just  trained his mind to overcome such situations.

A situation happened long ago where my Beau and I were at dinner with friends and an acquaintance came over to the table to say a friendly hello. This woman had on an extremely low-cut top on that even made me avert my eyes. I felt uncomfortable and I think others at the table did too. When something was said about it, one of the other women at the table said that she worked hard for her body. What my Beau said has stuck with me for years. He said, "I guarantee you she doesn't work as hard on her body as I do on trying to keep my mind pure." Yep. That pretty much sums it all up.

I think of this Scripture when considering Christian women who see this as someone else's issue and not their problem because, after all, they "work hard for their body."

Luke 17:1-3a (Amplified)
AND [Jesus] said to His disciples, Temptations (snares, traps set to entice to sin) are sure to come, but woe to him by or through whom they come!
    It would be more profitable for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea than that he should cause to sin or be a snare to one of these little ones [lowly in rank or influence].

It's the same with this issue. Women ... you do not want to be the cause of any man or woman's sin. We should strive to be the opposite.

I hope that women will begin to see this as their issue, not men's. It would be great if we could teach and encourage young women to pride themselves in modesty. To see modesty as a good thing and something that does not take away from their beauty but only adds to it.

12 Comments:

sara said...

This was a great post and very well said. As a pastor's wife, I have had to talk to other women in the church about how they dress...it is never easy or comfortable. Because we are not wired like men, we do think about what affect our dressing inappropriately does to them.

Alli said...

Love it and totally agree!

Anonymous said...

I know for me when i wasn't toned, i wasnt showing anything off!!! It's not about attention for me at all. It's just being proud. I get it in my scrubs on a daily basis... I'm very proud of the hard work and dedication it took to get me my body. I think it's sad when you have to scold and make it biblical, when i feel its just hating plain and simple. When women wear fitted clothing or show a little leg or shoulders, you are doing the same thing just to a lesser degree. If you weren't trying to show the curve of a womans body than you would just wear a sheet. As for men, to act as if they are just all animals whose minds they can't control is a bunch of crock Pastor Ed Young preached on this very thing... I honestly think if most women felt comfortable in a bikini they would wear it. Now there is a difference in just looking like your about to go to work at a strip club or something(: I'm not saying that. I just hate it when christian women sit around and talk about a girl and what she is wearing acting so self-righteous.... I have seen it my whole life. Anyways, no hard feelings here just dont agree with everything in your post.

Penny said...

Amen!!

I found a dress in a store that I LOVED, but I am highly modest and, while it was not low cut at all, I was concerned that it accentuated the, ahem, bosom, more than it should. Two of my friends (both fairly modest dressers) said it was fine, so I bought it. However, I did not take the tags off until I tried it on for my hubby. God bless a man who, while he wants his wife to be attractive, he also doesn't want her to be a burden for other men, either (and lovingly will give his honest opinion!). =)

Mama Belle said...

Anonymous ...

Sounds like you do agree with most everything in my post. I said that women dress for themselves ... attention. You said it's out of pride in your body and what you've achieved. Same thing.

I think any woman can dress stylishly and still look attractive. I'm talking about inappropriate dressing not just showing a little leg. I wear dresses above my knee and I don't feel inappropriate. I'm talking inappropriate.

And, I never said I was against bikinis. I said most bikinis out there are way too skimpy. And, that's the God's-honest truth. I'm pretty sure we can agree on that. I have a bikini, but it covers my behind and bosom. I feel ok in it but would feel uncomfortable in it with a bunch of men I knew. But, that's just me. And, it's not because of the way my body looks in it.

And, yes, women do need to be aware of how their dress affects other people just like we need to be aware of how any of our actions affect others.

Thanks for sharing your opinion though.

TaraB said...

Well said, Daphne. This is what I want my daughters to understand. Thanks for helping me gather all those thoughts.

Amy@My Front Porch said...

One THOUSAND amens! Especially to what Beau said.

BaronessBlack said...

I agree with most of your post. I think women (and men!) should wear whatever they want, but they should be able to accept responsibility for themselves, and the behaviour their appearance may provoke. Whether that's getting wolf-whistles from wearing a skimpy bikini, bitchy comments from passers-by, or people looking frightened because you're wearing a burka!

Aspiemom said...

My son is presently attending a Bible Study for the male teens called "Every Man's Battle" and this is something that is discussed. I'm very glad they are addressing it because he does not see a very good example in my husband. My husband starts drooling and staring and it makes me ashamed and angry that he does this. I want my son to avert his eyes and protect himself from lusting after women/girls.

I wholeheartedly agree with you!

jennifer said...

You took on a touchy subject and did it well. Great post Mama Belle.

Oh, and I agree with you 100% by the way.

Nessa said...

I hate that people think that having a low cut top or a super tight short skirt is sexy. A girlfriend of mine tries to get me to wear deep cut tops all the time - saying I should for my husband I think being modest is something I do for my husband... and it keeps his mind free to see that my smile and my love is sexy.

atara said...

Modesty is one of those important messages. Sometimes I see teens who don't know any better and need guidance. For myself, I've gotten lots of modest, but fashionable, inspiration from www.missussmartypants.com and Proverbs 31 has a neat looking book here:"Good Girls Don't have to Dress Bad"
http://shopp31.com/goodgirlsdonthavetodressbadastyleguideforeverywomen.aspx