Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Regarding Christian Modesty

     One needs only to take a trip to the local mall to come home wondering about the disappearance of modesty.  While I do not make the mistake of thinking that Christians should expect non-Believers to conform to their own beliefs and values, I have lived long enough to know that there was once a time when it was normal for everyone to go out in public looking decent.  That is sadly no longer the case today.  Just as public manners are a thing of the past for too many,  public decency is often flagrantly ignored in our society now.  America, along with much of the rest of the world, has degenerated morally.  There is no debating that.  If you don't want to be exposed to an assault on your eyes and sensibilities you must now stay home, and throw out the TV!  If you've ever seen the "Wal-Martians" website, I rest my case! 

      This week I had to turn off a news program because I was so disturbed to see the female newscaster with the front of her dress gaping open to well below her breasts, leaving nothing to the imagination. 

      And not long ago I noticed one of our neighborhood teenaged girls walking home from the school bus in nothing but a skimpy swimming suit.  I looked again when she got closer and discovered that it was not a swim suit, but a tight tank top and shorts that were smaller than most folk's underwear.  And she was the daughter of Christian parents. It is now normal to see women, young and old, dressing indecently in church, without a word from the pastor. What is wrong with this picture???
       I know I am not called to be Miss Manners to a lost and uncaring public.  But I do feel called, as a Sister in Christ, to exhort true Christian women to certain standards that should be common to us all. Perhaps the reason so many Believers have accepted a debased idea of feminine beauty is because there are so few voices out there today calling them to a higher ideal of femininity.  Our men have been beaten into Politically Correct silence on such issues, fearing being called "intolerant" or "sexually oppressive", so it is left to women to be a voice of reason to other women.


      Call me silly, but I do believe there are still ears to hear out there, and a Holy Spirit who convicts hearts and minds of what they have heard.  Often we just need someone to care enough to tell us what we know in our hearts is true.  Pastors, it is past time to let your congregation know that anyone coming into the church needs to be decently clothed.  Mothers and fathers, it is time to grow a spine and insist that your daughters cover their bodies, or they are not going out that door.

    For such women who are open to the idea of Christian modesty, let me offer a few common sense suggestions:
1.  Do not allow any eyes, other than your husband's, to see any part of the Three B's: your Breasts, your Belly Button and your Butt.  That may sound crude, but it should be easy to remember!  If you do not do that, do not feign surprise or disgust when you are accosted by unwelcomed advances or crude suggestions from men who quite understandably judge a book by its cover.  
2.  Dress and act like a lady if you wish to be treated like one.  That means having manners, dressing modestly, and having a sweet spirit, at the minimum.  Otherwise, do not complain if you are not treated as well as you think you are entitled.

3.  Take a daily bath, brush your teeth frequently, wear deodorant, learn how to wear make up, keep your nails in good repair, fix your hair and dress attractively without vulgarity or slavery to expensive status symbols and "name brands".  Keep your clothing clean and in good condition.  Learn how to repair a seam and sew on a button.  These are not too difficult for anyone with an average I.Q. to do.  If you don't have time for these things you probably don't have time to watch TV, or Twitter, or text .
4.  Decide what kind of person you want to be and then only associate with that kind of people.  Birds of a feather flock together.  The kind of people you associate with are what you will become.  No friends at all are better than bad company. God will be your "friend" if everyone else forsakes you for being decent.
     On the OTHER HAND, let me offer a few suggestions to Christian women who fall on the other extreme of Christian modesty:
1.  If you have modestly covered your sexual parts, that is enough.  You do not impress God, or anyone else, by going to extremes.  If a man is enticed to lust by seeing your arms or lower legs, or other non-sexual body parts, he is enticed by his OWN lust (James 1:14).  You are not responsible for that, and you cannot prevent his lust by wearing a sack.  If he thinks lustful thoughts because he can see your pretty hair, that is HIS problem.  Some men lust after a pretty woman's face; that does not mean you should wear a burqa. You CAN look modest without that!

2.  Looking like a sour sack of potatoes, or going about with a smug and sanctimonious attitude will indeed turn off men sexually, but it does not give glory to our Lord, who has called us to be attractive (as He is) in every way. "Christian" ugliness is obscene! 

3.  Don't imagine that your dour pious appearance will impress a lost world nearly as much as a kind heart and an attractively modest feminine presentation.  We can be modest and pretty at the same time, ladies.

      In short, we must not go to extremes.   Yes, it is better to err on the side of modesty, but let's not take that to such an extreme that we draw attention to our appearance--which is the exact opposite of the purpose of dressing "plainly."  And even though we cannot expect non-Believers to present themselves decently, we can and should provide a decent alternative to the world. 

      Does anyone else think it is time to re-establish a virtuous version of femininity?  What would you suggest?


  1. I so agree with you, often think at Mass what happened to dressing modestly.xx

    1. Of all places, church is where we should dress respectfully, for sure.

  2. Have to say I'm rather shocked by the wedding dress, saddened too. A nicely dressed girl is so much prettier than someone who is barely clothed (oh my goodness, I hope I don't sound like a prude, just think dignity is important and seems a bit lost on many now days) xx

    1. Such tackiness is shocking indeed--especially in a wedding dress! And what a commentary on society it is that we should worry about sounding "prudish" when we state how important decency is.


  3. Hear! Hear! Thank you for having the courage to speak what a lot of us think but don't have words to say.

  4. This is one of the best posts I have ever read!