How Far Do You Take Modesty?

How far do you take modesty? I personally don't see anything wrong with wearing shorts showing my knees if I'm at home or with some guy friends but I probably wouldn't around girls. These days it's not hard to be a stumbling block to someone and I wouldn't want to cause a girl to stumble. What bothers me is when a girl doesn't know how to cover things that only the husband should see.
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When did knees become a stumbling block??? *pictures someone sticking a knee out while I'm running past*

Anyway I don't wear pants but that's because I can't find ones that fit right (ones I don't feel skimpy.) But I'm fine with girls wearing pant and even leggings when they are woren tastefully. (Like under shorter dresses or long t shirts.) I think as long as you don't dress for the wrong reasons you're fine. It's when you start dressing just to make people look and to think about you in that way that there's a problem.

Secondly the stumbling block thing. Yes some girls need to cover up more I get that. But have you ever noticed that even some girls who are dressed modestly are not modest. They are provocative even in skirts down to their knees and with shirts up to their necks. Also women and girls are raped daily in countries where they are forced to be modest. I think the stumbling block thing a good thing to keep in mind but I think it's better to remember why we even wear clothing and to keep our action pure and blameless. As Christians we wear clothing as a picture of salvation, Jesus' Blood covering our sins. Nonchristians will not have this mind set and we must realize we can't force our beliefs on to them. We must show them a better life and make it desirable. *shrug* Rules for no reason or purpose are not desirable.
What is forever..? Well I'll see you once that has past.<3
Allie, what do you mean by "some girls needing to cover up more than others"? We should not be holding a double standard. A standard of modesty should be set and abided by, with no allowances for other people who may not need to "cover up as much."
That's the thing Old Judge we don't need a standard, we need men and women of convictions and godly values. If we were all at the same spiritual "levels/ages" we could make a standard, if we all had the sane bodies we could make a standard. But we don't. "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. " James 4:17 I think we should all have our own convictions, God holds us each accountable for only our own actions. Yes our actions affect other but that is part of the action as a whole.
I don't recall saying some girls need to cover more than others, but I did say that some girls can still look modest in something another girl with a different body type and shape can not look modest in. My point was if you're heart isn't pure and your mind isn't pure than your actions won't be either.
What is forever..? Well I'll see you once that has past.<3
Allie_Ninja_Bunny wrote:Yes some girls need to cover up more I get that.


This is the statement that made me ask the question. Thank you for clarifying your opinions on this.
Be warned: I feel very strongly about this topic, so this is going to be long,

First off, Bren. I don't know what girls you're hanging around with, or your mental image of girls, but trust me, I don't know anyone who finds KNEES attractive. I don't care. Like. At all. Also, I feel like your definition will be different from mine, so I must ask: What the heck should "only a husband see"? O.o Do girls just walk around in their birthday suits in your area or something?

I did a rant on a similar topic on the SS entitled "Is It Wrong For Women To Wear Pants?" It still sums up my feelings on the topic. Prepare for things you won't agree with. xD

"I'll give my two cents: There is nothing wrong with women wearing pants. At least to me. If you want to wear skirts, good for you! I applaud you for that. But do not expect every woman to wear a skirt because of YOUR convictions. I wear jeans. Skinny jeans, in fact. I know, I know. What a shock. I must be causing men to lust after me! Trust me when I say that not all skinny jeans are indeed "skinny". They're just named that because they don't flare out at the bottom, unlike a lot of women's pants. I don't like that style, so I choose to wear jeans that could be considered "skinny". Compared to many other skinny jeans out there, I don't find mine immodest. They cover me and aren't super tight. That is my opinion, and I don't plan to change it.

Honestly, at this point I'm like "Wear what you want, as long as it makes you feel good about yourself." I've noticed my opinion on this is quite different than what other people believe. d= I'm in college three days a week, so I see a lot of people walking around in every sort of outfit. And as long as it's not super scandalous, I don't see a problem with it. If that's what makes you feel good, what can make you walk around with confidence and say to yourself "I like how I look today", go for it. There's so many girls who aren't comfortable with how they look. So if they think they look great in not-so-loose jeans and a v neck shirt, who are you to deny them?

I'm being a bit brash here, so excuse me. d= But I as a girl do not plan my wardrobe around what makes YOU comfortable. I'm sorry if you're lusting after me. But I cannot control you. I am not asking for it. I wore this outfit to make myself feel good, not to attract you. If men are looking at me as some sort of object, that is not my problem. Because frankly, even if I dressed in a berka, they will either still lust or there will be a girl in a crop top and short shorts walking by. It's going to happen. You cannot avoid it. Sorry, but welcome to the 21st century.

This might be a bit difficult for some people (mainly guys xD) to get, but most girls don't dress for guys' attention. I like how I look in skirts and dresses that are inches above my knees. I don't wear them because I want guys fawning over me. I wear it because I want to. Sure, there's limits to what I wear. But those limits exist because I know what I am comfortable with.

Look, everyone's different. Everyone has different standards. I wear things that many people on this board would consider immodest. But I can't dress to your standards. What I like to wear may be super conservative for someone else, or be really immodest. So I will dress how I believe is okay for me. Because how women dress isn't up to anyone but the woman herself."

And when it comes to the whole "girls with different body shapes should dress differently" argument, I'll say this. I'm a curvy girl. I just am, have been ever since I was 12. I went to a private school that really enforced modesty; it had a dress code and everything.

When I came back to the school for sixth grade in my school uniform, which my entire family and myself saw nothing wrong with, I was told that I couldn't wear the school uniform shorts. Or my navy collared shirt. Why? Because my shorts showed off my hips. And apparently, that was distracting. For the rest of the day, I had to swap out my perfectly fine navy collared shirt with an enormous one that hung past my fingertips and covered all of my curves. I was the only girl in my grade who didn't have to tuck in her shirt, because when I tucked in my shirt, my hips were shown.

Because of that instance, I've always been very, very shy about how I look. Over the past three years, I've finally begun to embrace how I look and wear whatever I want. Yeah, because I have curves, the same clothes will look different on a less developed girl. That's how life works. We're all different. Why should one girl have to cover up more than the other?
An owl and a squirrel are sitting in a tree, watching a farmer go by. The owl turns to the squirrel and says nothing, because owls can't talk. The owl then eats the squirrel because it is a bird of prey.
Wow, big topic here. I'm pretty sure I've heard nearly all the arguments about modesty (unfortunately I've regretted some of my own involvement in a debate or two myself). Most of the arguments just go in circles and circles. That's why I've been so excited that we're addressing this topic at our girl's Bible study group, because we're skipping all the arguments about lust, etc. and getting straight to the principles (not rules) that the Bible gives us.

I do want to say, [EDIT: Audrey, I meant Audrey! I'm sorry to get your names mixed up! I do want to say . . .] Audrey, I'm very sorry about your experience at school. I know how all the modesty codes and stuff hurt girls. Although my parents have never forced me to follow a bunch of rules for modesty, I've struggled a bit myself by the strong influence of conservative homeschool groups. Much of Christianity (not all) is not completely black and white rules, although sometimes I wish it were that simple. :/

I don't pretend to know all there is to know about this topic, but here are some of the principles I've been studying in Scripture.
Note because I'm preparing to teach a girls group this is directed at women, nevertheless a lot of it can be applied to men as well.
Also note that if you just skim through my points you’re going to miss what I mean, i.e. “do not copy the world” can mean a lot of different things in relation to modesty. I don’t want you to misunderstand what I mean!


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  • The heart is what's most important to God, and modesty is mainly an issue of the heart. If your heart is right before God, then dressing in a modest way will be an overflow of desiring to obey and please Him.
    1 Samuel 16:7 "But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”"
    Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."
  • As Christ's followers it's important that we bring our desires under God's authority and have a heart that desires to seek and please Him.
    1 Corinthians 6:20 "for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
  • God will provide for us! He adorns the lilies of the field and He is faithful to provide for His daughters. If we have convictions about the way we dress, He will help us as we search for modest clothing.
    Matthew 6:28-29 "And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
  • One of the first things people notice about us is the way we dress and present ourselves. We need to remember that we are representing the King of Kings!
    (1 Corinthians 6:20)
  • We should carefully evaluate what motivates the way we dress and make sure that our motives are pleasing to the Lord.
    Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!"
  • Remember that you are representing Jesus Christ. Our goal should be to honor Christ and represent Him well and not please ourselves.
  • Do not copy the world. The way we dress is an outward sign of the condition of our heart, thus, as we seek to follow God this will influence every area of our lives, including the way we dress. Our motive should not be to draw attention to ourselves, which, in fact, is exactly what our culture is encouraging us to do. “Do not copy the world,” therefore, means don’t copy their motives. Your motive should be to obey and glorify Jesus Christ.
    Romans 12:1-2 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
  • Draw attention to one’s countenance. By drawing attention to one’s countenance, or face, we are letting them see the attitude and light of Christ in our hearts.
    Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
  • Do not defraud. We need to be careful to encourage and build one another up, instead of being a stumbling block. This has nothing to do with lust. Even those who wouldn’t struggle with lust towards you can still be distracted (in a different way) by the way you dress. This goes back to the heart issue of the last two points: Seek to draw attention to your countenance that they may see Christ in your heart and be encouraged; don’t distract by drawing attention to your outer being.
    Romans 15:2 “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”
    1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
  • Covering is a very important Biblical principle. That doesn’t mean cover all things at all cost. But by covering appropriately our testimony as a Christian becomes more powerful.
    Isaiah 61:10 “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
  • Dress femininely. That doesn’t mean always wear skirt or never wear tennis shoes. And dressing modestly can still be fashionable. When women delight in their femininity (which is done in various ways) it speaks volumes to me that they truly delight in the way God made them. It encourages me. It builds me up. And it speaks to non-believers as well. (See this post where I elaborated more on this point.)
    Psalm 139:14 “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
    Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
  • Don’t judge others by outward appearance. It’s so important that we be careful not to jump to conclusions, but give grace to those who don’t share the same convictions as us. There are times to address the issue, which the Bible addresses (I won’t get into that now), but often I’ve found that when others don’t dress modestly at all it’s because they’re struggling with heart issues. I should be a friend to them, be compassionate and sensitive, and pray for them.
    James 2:1-5 “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?”


IN CONCLUSION, that was kind of a lot, but it's a really good list. It’s not a list of rules, but it’s Scriptural principles to help guide us to better loving, obeying, and glorifying our King. I hope these help you, and of course, they are up for discussion. If you feel like I left something out or didn’t explain something right, I’d love your input. (I don't have time to proof-read my list tonight . . . maybe tomorrow.)
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"Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments." Psalm 119:164
So if dressing femininly doesn't mean wearing a skirt 24/7 what does it mean? Because IMO it's not made very clear in your list.
Audrey is best pony.
Mr. Whit's End wrote:So if dressing femininly doesn't mean wearing a skirt 24/7 what does it mean? Because IMO it's not made very clear in your list.

Yeah, that's a good question/point. Talking in the Biblical perspective, I think dressing femininely is a good mixture of 1) putting a bit of effort into how you dress and maintain yourself, and 2) dressing in a way that is a bit more, uh, womanly (?). When a girl puts effort into her appearance it tells me that she values the body God has given her and is willing to spend the time/effort to present herself in a nice way. Dressing in a womanly/feminine way (like I said above) tells me that she delights in how God created her as a woman, but in definition I suppose dressing femininely depends a lot on the culture (past and present), which could mean a lot of different things. I admit that I hesitate to answer your question because I don't want to offend people. Wearing dresses and skirts is definitely feminine, and I respect those who choose to wear only those. But I've also noticed that girls who wear pants can still add a feminine touch to their appearance. Here's a list I've made up for the girls' Bible study group:
  • Style your hair: Taking the time to style your hair even a little can do a lot. Not only will the lack of bed-hair help to not distract people from your countenance, but styling it gives a nice, feminine touch to your outfit. You can do something as simple as braiding it, adding curls to the end of a ponytail or adding a flower/ribbon to make it a little nicer.
  • Jewelry: As long as it's not too big or flashy, jewelry can add a nice touch to an outfit. Even when a girl is required to wear a basic t-shirt for helping at an activity, matching earrings can definitely add a feminine touch to one's appearance.
  • Clothes colors: When choosing clothing the color can do a lot. Bright colors like green, turquoise, and orange, or softer colors like peach, lavender, and mint. Sometimes the trick is finding a color that looks good on you. Whatever the case, color choice can help in dressing femininely.
  • Well-fitting clothes: In my opinion, even t-shirts can be feminine. Sometimes it just depends on the t-shirt. You don't have to wear one that looks like a potato sack, nor one that is super tight. Find one that fits your form nicely. I know this is difficult especially for curvy girls, but I know those who make an effort to find nice clothes have seen the Lord’s provision.
  • Accessories: Infinity scarves, hats, shoes, or a simple headband can help an outfit out a lot. How about a pair of boots or ballet flats? A beret or sun hat? Maybe a cute color of gloves in the winter, or a cute headband in the summer?

    You certainly don’t need to do ALL of these things ALL the time, but making simple choices to dress up a bit more or make your outfit a little nicer in these ways can add a nice feminine touch to an otherwise ordinary outfit.

One time I saw a girl who is much of a tomboy, but she took the time to brush her hair and wore a nice fitting turquoise t-shirt. It was simple, but those little choices really made her look nice, and especially the shirt gave a feminine touch. :)
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"Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments." Psalm 119:164
AudPod wrote:O.o Do girls just walk around in their birthday suits in your area or something?

I think I just died laughing!!!! XD

AudPod wrote:Why should one girl have to cover up more than the other?

Let me start by saying what your teachers did to you was wrong. WRONG! Hips are hips everyone has them! Okay when I said I get it some girls need to cover up more, I meant more like the girls walking around in their bikini's and shorts so short I can see butt... Guys wearing speedos... Need I say more. Short, pants, tank tops etc. Are all fine as long as you have the right attitude and they fit you. But like I said before with the wrong attitude and heart even Hijabs and Burqas will be immodest.

Sunshine wrote: Jewelry: As long as it's not too big or flashy

Sunshine you have some very good points. But what are your thoughts on guys being modest? And do you see something wrong with "flashy" jewelry?
What is forever..? Well I'll see you once that has past.<3
Allie wrote:
Sunshine wrote: Jewelry: As long as it's not too big or flashy

Sunshine you have some very good points. But what are your thoughts on guys being modest? And do you see something wrong with "flashy" jewelry?
I don't think all big or shiny/flashy jewelry is bad. I just mean that if someone is wearing, say, a pair of earrings that's really big and/or flashy and catches your attention right away I'm not sure that's the best thing. Jewelry should compliment your overall appearance and shouldn't distract from your countenance.

I'll get back to you about your other question, Allie. I need some time to think that one over. :)
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"Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments." Psalm 119:164
Actually some people have a more defined body. I can't where certain tight clothing in public because I work out so much. And seriously, some women have more 'shape' than others do. Arguably, how a women dress is not up to her. For example, as a Christian, we need to watch out testimony. I know non-Christians that are slightly more modest than some Christians I know. Our exterior is the only way the world judges us. Therefore, in interest of being an example, in a way, we let the world set our standard. In a way. We of course have our own standards which should be higher than most of the worlds standards (unless your talking about Muslims etc.).
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Why exclude the Muslims style of dress? Why not wear burkas?

Also the exterior is the only way the world judges us? Why conform to that stereotype? Why not show other things like helping the poor and needy and let that be how the world judges us? Right now with what you're saying the world judges us as legalist who measure a woman's dress to make sure it's long enough.
Other than burkas are becoming illegal in some places for their limited eye range, I'm not calling for people to become legalism in dressing. I am just advising that we should take into account our testimony in dressing.
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Oh please burkas aren't being made illegal for their limited eye range.

Where does the Bible talk about how one should dress for our testimony?
As I said before, modesty is mainly an issue of the heart, and dressing in a modest way should be an overflow of our love for Jesus Christ. The Bible doesn't give us direct rules for dressing modestly but we are given principles to live by. I think Blitz has a good point in that it is an important part of our testimonies as Christians. But the doctor (should I call you "the doctor"? ;)) also has a good point in that it isn't the whole reason for dressing modestly nor should it be our focus when dressing modestly. We should do it out of our love for Jesus and desire to please Him through following principles in Scripture:

Sunshine wrote:
  • The heart is what's most important to God, and modesty is mainly an issue of the heart. If your heart is right before God, then dressing in a modest way will be an overflow of desiring to obey and please Him.
    1 Samuel 16:7 "But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”"
    Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."
  • As Christ's followers it's important that we bring our desires under God's authority and have a heart that desires to seek and please Him.
    1 Corinthians 6:20 "for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
  • One of the first things people notice about us is the way we dress and present ourselves. We need to remember that we are representing the King of Kings!
    (1 Corinthians 6:20)
  • We should carefully evaluate what motivates the way we dress and make sure that our motives are pleasing to the Lord.
    Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!"
  • Remember that you are representing Jesus Christ. Our goal should be to honor Christ and represent Him well and not please ourselves.
  • Do not copy the world. The way we dress is an outward sign of the condition of our heart, thus, as we seek to follow God this will influence every area of our lives, including the way we dress. Our motive should not be to draw attention to ourselves, which, in fact, is exactly what our culture is encouraging us to do. “Do not copy the world,” therefore, means don’t copy their motives. Your motive should be to obey and glorify Jesus Christ.
    Romans 12:1-2 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
  • Draw attention to one’s countenance. By drawing attention to one’s countenance, or face, we are letting them see the attitude and light of Christ in our hearts.
    Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”


To give more insight to what Blitz said about different body shapes -- There is a good way to accent one's body that still draws attention to your countenance, and there's also a bad way that draws attention the the wrong places. Often one type of clothing looks good on my sister but doesn't look good on me (and vise versa) because we have different body types. There's nothing in the Bible that says we should cover every curve of our body, but it is something that people should be aware of when trying on clothing. We should point people to Jesus Christ, and we do that by drawing attention to our countenance, or face, because that is where they can see the attitude and light of Christ.

Drawing attention to other areas is just simply distracting, and like I said before, it has nothing to do with lust. Even people who wouldn't have an issue with lust towards a person can still be distracted (in a different way) by certain styles of clothing. Our desire should be to build one another up and point others to Jesus. Dressing modestly can still be attractive in a good way, but we need to remember that clothing isn't a one size fits all (or looks right on all, as the case may be). Because my sister and I have different body shapes we often don't wear each other's clothing because the styles don't look good on each other and would draw attention to the wrong places. But even though we wear different types of clothing, we both have found totally nice, stylish outfits.

Sunshine wrote:
  • Do not defraud. We need to be careful to encourage and build one another up, instead of being a stumbling block. This has nothing to do with lust. Even those who wouldn’t struggle with lust towards you can still be distracted (in a different way) by the way you dress. This goes back to the heart issue of the last two points: Seek to draw attention to your countenance that they may see Christ in your heart and be encouraged; don’t distract by drawing attention to your outer being.
    Romans 15:2 “Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”
    1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
  • Dress femininely (or masculinely). That doesn't mean always wear skirt or never wear tennis shoes. And dressing modestly can still be fashionable. When women delight in their femininity (which is done in various ways) it speaks volumes to me that they truly delight in the way God made them. It encourages me. It builds me up. And it speaks to non-believers as well. (See this post where I elaborated more on this point.)
    Psalm 139:14 “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
    Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
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"Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments." Psalm 119:164
Allie_Ninja_Bunny wrote: Okay when I said I get it some girls need to cover up more, I meant more like the girls walking around in their bikini's and shorts so short I can see butt... Guys wearing speedos... Need I say more.

I've never gotten this. What do you mean by immodest? If by immodest you mean morally questionable it's hard to see why. Wearing a speedo isn't wrong, it's just mildly gross. ;) It's no secret 99.9 percent of men have unattractive thighs. Those that do have good thighs and look good in speedos (I envy them :P) what's wrong with wearing them? Legs just aren't one of the parts of a guy you girls tend to care about.
Well...you're walking around in quite literally nothing but a few inches of clothing covering your upper thighs and...uh...well you know what I mean...so I can kind of understand why people would think that was a tiny bit immodest.
One can certainly see your point of view. ;) Still, how do you define immodest?

The name implies it partially means showing off. Well, wearing a speedo isn't showing off. It's just the way swimsuits go. We've all heard the swim-suit spiel before. Once upon a Jane Austen time, women wore dress-like swimming outfits and went into the water up to their.. calves. And oh it was so thrilling. Men wore overall type swimsuits. But, people got bored with that and starting actually swimming and swimsuits got smaller and more practical and so it goes. In other words, we have speedos at least in part because they're practical. That's why olympic swimmers wear them after all. Swimming trunks (even the name sounds cumbersome. Here I go into ocean wearing carrying my trunk) are more cumbersome. They flap around, they sometimes get too loose, and when you come out they're all cold and nasty and sticky. So speedos are just worn because they make sense, not because men have awesome thighs.

We don't.

Modesty is also probably trying not to make other people lust. First off, I don't flatter myself I'm in much danger of that. :P I'm attractive but I'm not spellbinding. Second off, again, even if you do have attractive thighs, they're not going to make women's minds go places. Women just don't care about that part of a guy, it doesn't really interest them.

Again, I am never wearing a speedo as long I live. But I don't suppose men who do are sinning.
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