I know. Modesty. Isn’t that the topic that is seemingly always talked about in Christian circles, especially among girls? It brings to mind talks of purity, cheesiness, and a legalism about how short a skirt is or how wide a tank top strap is (longer than your fingers at your side, 2 inches wide).
I will be the first to admit, modesty is not my favorite topic to talk about with girls. But after having to teach about it this past week and getting help from some guys within Veritas, this topic has easily become something that I think we all, as girls, don’t talk about nearly enough. I had no idea that it is as important an issue as it is, especially to guys.
So this post will start a small series on modesty. First, I want to give you some guys’ perspectives (guys you know and love in the Veritas community–anonymous, of course), and then I want to give some Biblical reasons about why modesty is important as well as some further resources.
Before you start rolling your eyes, read what these guys wrote to girls about what they want them to know about modesty.
Anonymous Guy #1:
I would break up my concerns into 3 categories:
1. Concerns for girls’ purity. If you’re dating a guy and think, even if he says otherwise, that your outfits do not influence his heart’s desires, you’re mistaken. If he lusts after you, and allows that to manifest itself in physical ways, then you risk not just his purity, but yours also.
If you’re single you may be drawing the attention of men in ways that do not encourage respect, but lust. Why would anyone welcome others sinning against them? Do you really want guys fantasizing about you?
Finally, you may be giving into a sinful desire on your own part: why do you choose to dress in ways that welcome lust? Do you desire the attention idolatrously? Finally, the bible commands us to both be above reproach and to avoid decisions that cause our brothers to stumble.
As a leader in Veritas, are you above reproach? Do you set a Godly example for young women in this community? What might people in the outside society assume? Are you holding yourself to the world’s standard for fashion, style and modesty, or God’s?
While it is a man’s personal responsibility not to lust, women must not bring the temptation. Would you drink a beer with an alcoholic? Would you invite someone who struggles with anorexia to a dieting conference?
Almost every man you meet is struggling with a serious addiction to pornography, lust, and wicked sexual desires. It’s an unfortunate part of our culture, and Christian women have a responsibility to bear with this struggle, to go the extra mile in modesty. What a great testament this is both to Christian men and the world!
2. Concerns for guys’ purity. Young men in Veritas are struggling profoundly against the temptation to lust. Many young women are too. They face this temptation constantly: on TV, magazine covers, internet ads, and even as they walk around campus. Most men feel exhausted by the constant temptation. It breaks our hearts, and our souls. I’ve seen men in tears, self-loathing, and depression because of this. We desperately need safe places where we can escape the world’s temptation. Veritas should be one of those places, but it cannot be unless the women leading women in this community take the lead in modesty. We men are responsible for our lust, but women are responsible for bearing with this lust (see above).
At the end of the day our greatest hope should be to glorify Christ in every way. He can transform the lustful hearts of men and the immodest hearts of women. He died so that we might be able to turn away from lust, and so that women could turn away from immodesty. So fundamentally, that’s the biggest question: what will we give to glorify God, and create a magnificent space for purity? Think of the power this would have over non-Christian men and women! To enter a place that does not play into the world’s idolatrous lust.
3. Things that might make guys lust. Girls might be curious what can cause guys to lust:
Leggings as pants (when you don’t cover your crotch, even with a long shirt)
Short short skirts and dresses
He later added on:
Do you want guys fantasizing about you? I don’t think girls realize it or get it, but when they dress in something as simple as leggings as pants, they are welcoming dozens of guys to fantasize about them. I mean this quite literally; I’ve talked to too many guys who confessed this, and experienced it myself. Very very serious.