This Girl Solved the Modesty Issue for Me

8:00 AM

Well, after all my ramblings, it's come to my attention that Karen over at Appetite of Living actually solved the modesty issue. I'll let her have the last word on this week on modesty.

So are spaghetti strap tops really modest? How about jeans? How about shorty-shorts? 
How about you stop asking questions about what you can or can't wear, take a look at your culture, and say, "How do I want to present myself?" If you want to present yourself as a hooker, go ahead -- just don't expect to be treated like someone running for president. If you want to present yourself as frump-girl, that's your choice -- just don't expect to land many jobs as a department store model. If you'd rather be known for your brains and not your body, wearing a spaghetti strap top in the office probably won't help you with that. 
Dressing for everyone else's standards is an impossible road. It's also impossible to walk down the street without being automatically labeled based on the clothes you wear. 
So it's up to you! It's up to where the Lord has you right now! It's up to how you choose you want to present yourself! Perhaps some things I personally wear may be called immodest by certain groups of people, but I don't anticipate ever being mistaken for a hooker, and that is good enough for me.

Read the rest here: Hookers, Heroines, Boys, Girls, and Where the Neckline Should Be. There's even adorable photos of khaki skirts and tucked-in shirts. :)

And I'll finally cave and show you a photo of my typical style way back when. Come to think of it, my longest blog followers probably remember similar photos.

Despite the long skirt, I still managed to save my sister from drowning. Must've been my way-cool sneakers.

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9 impressions

  1. I agree and disagree at the same time, haha. Personally, I don't like how it seems that this is almost making fun of girls who do wear those skirts - I wear blue jean skirts a lot. Granted, I try to make them as stylish as possible, they fit well and they're nice brands, but some girls have felt a calling from the Lord to wear those...and frankly, some girls have to wear those not so flattering skirts because not everyone has money to buy nicer ones.

    The purpose of modesty, at least for myself and how I pictured it, is to be pleasing to the Lord and help our brothers not stumble, and to portray Christ in the way we present ourselves. I'm agreeing partly with the fact that we should follow our own convictions, but some things, yes, they're immodest. Short shorts, low-cut tops, spaghetti straps, mini skirts, mini dresses...they all show body parts that us ladies know cause issues with men. Those aren't modest. You can rely on your heart to a point. To me, that's like saying to a man who killed someone (this is way overkill I know but go along.) that it's okay because he didn't feel like it was wrong. A lot of people who sin will say that they're simply following the convictions of their hearts.

    I don't think it's all about that one verse in the New Testament, I think it's about women being a Proverbs woman (all of Proverbs, not just 31) and respecting not only herself, but the men around her. :)

    1. I am so sorry if you felt judged by me poking fun at my old style. I want to make it clear that I'm making fun of myself, not any other woman who feels called to wear jean skirts, khaki skirts, or any other kind of clothing. Many women who wear skirts only dress waaaay more stylish than I do! And I'm not against long skirts! I still wear the exact same jean skirt in the photo, albeit with (I hope) a classier twist. ;) Please don't feel like I would look down on your for your particular style of dress -- I bet we have similar skirts in our closets, anyway!

      I appreciate you sticking up for what you believe in and articulating it so well. I see how your train of logic works: you believe that certain articles of clothing show certain areas that are certainly immodest, and thus it is objectively wrong to wear them, as objective (though not as serious) as the wrongness of committing murder. It doesn't matter if a girl feels comfortable in spaghetti straps; she's still sinning. Yes? That's what you're saying?

      Your logic is flawless, and I understand where you're coming from because I used to believe the exact same thing. :) There's nothing wrong with that logic, and since you're already dressing with such excellent principles, I don't feel the need to change your mind. I'd just like to gently point out that "spaghetti straps or mini skirts or whatnot is wrong" is not an objective, black and white principle spelled out in Scripture. Unfortunately it's not that simple! Scripture only tells us, "cover your nakedness." Are shoulders revealing nakedness? Are thighs? Are knees? Are ankles? In the absence of precise Scriptural prohibitions, who determines what's considered naked? The men who struggle when a girl wears a mini skirt? The men who don't even notice when a woman's in a bikini? Or the woman who's wearing the clothes in the first place?

      That's the question I'm trying to answer!

      I don't want to advocate relying on one's heart so much as relying on one's developed sense of wisdom -- that Proverbs woman thing you pointed out! You're so right about that. I bet if women focused on growing in wisdom and holiness, she'd figure out how to dress in ways pleasing to God. :)

      I'd love to hear your thoughts if you still want to talk about it! I apologize again that this post made you feel marginalized because of how you dress. :/

    2. Thanks for the reply back! :) I was hoping my comment didn't seem rude or anything, because it's a topic I really like talking about and have done a lot of studying on (biblical and otherwise) so it's neat to get other opinions, no matter if I agree or disagree. :)

      I think the thing that determines what is "naked" or immodest, is what we think could cause our brothers to stumble. Another thing I think of is, would I feel comfortable wearing that in the presence of Christ? The Lord is in our hearts and walks with us every day of our lives - is our apparel pleasing to Him, and helping our brothers in Christ, and does it make us appear to be the "salt and the light?" Or do we look like part of the world?

      Granted, I wear jeans. I wear normal tshirts, I even wear skinny jeans on occasion. :) I'm not a strictly skirt girl, and I think that's something personal as long as you remain modest in your pant choice and etc. Guys in this time probably aren't aroused by seeing a woman walking on the street or in a store who shows her ankles. Most men probably don't ogle at her knees. But when we begin revealing upper thighs, hips, breasts...things that are considered sexual in this day and time, we begin, in my own opinion, going down a route that is causing our brothers to stumble and focus on our sexual attributes. :)

    3. It looks like we agree more than disagree! And your comment wasn't rude at all!

      I guess my problem with using other guys as a measuring stick for what's modest is that guys can be just as diverse in their opinions on what will or can make them stumble! For instance, I just now asked my boyfriend if he even noticed when girls wore bikinis. He said no. If I asked a more conservative guy, he'd say yes.

      If it's not okay to wear a mini skirt around guys who would stumble because of it, is it okay to wear a mini skirt around guys who couldn't care less? That is, since every group of guys is different, do the standards of modesty change? I'm genuinely curious about your opinion!

      As it is, I happen to personally agree with keeping the area from mid-thigh to above cleavage level covered (I don't mind showing a little extra thigh for swimming or dance, but I prefer to wear things mid-thigh). I think it's a reasonable assertion that for the most part, those areas count as private parts. But again, I'm not covering myself up primarily for men; I'm just doing it because of common decency on my part! I don't really want to see girls' private parts either, not because it causes me to stumble but just because it's inappropriate in public.

      I just don't find it practical to dress with men in mind all the time. For certain men, anything could cause a man to stumble. I heard of a guy who found women way more attractive in skirts than in pants and preferred girls in pants. Whaaaat. I'm fine dressing for particular groups of people -- e.g. not pulling out my shorts among super conservative church members -- but I'm not fine dressing for men in general. It's my job to keep myself covered and glorify God in my dress; if I'm doing that, it's their job to guard their eyes. And I think that unless a guy is raised to particularly view certain articles of clothing as immodest, most guys really don't notice how short a girl's skirt is unless it's showing her panties or styled to look skanky instead of classy. I live with a ton of college guys, many of whom are Christian. Modesty has never been an issue discussed at my campus, because the girls here present themselves as classy women who respect their bodies.

    4. I'm one of the girls who continues dressing modestly even if the company is only women. Even if we completely forget about men, we still have the part about Christ. As Christian's, we should be pleasing to Him and bring honor to Him. Like I said earlier, would we want to walk up to Him in person while wearing the clothing that is considered immodest? And when we dress more like the world does, are we portraying Christ? Are we pointing to Christ with the way we dress and portray ourselves? :) In my opinion, it becomes a respect thing with Christ. It isn't our body, it's His.

      I've discussed these things with my Pastor (I go to a baptist church, btw, but we aren't super conservative on dress. Women can wear pretty much what they want as long as they aren't skanky.) and he has said various times that he has known a lot of brothers in Christ to struggle with immodesty. I believe it's one of our jobs as Christian ladies to help them, not cause them harm.

      My best friend has pretty much the same view point as you, and I do understand where you're coming from completely! It's really interesting to get the other opinions and even think about your own times!

    5. I totally get your desire to love Christ through our dress! I don't think wearing the clothing styles of the world makes one worldly or that wearing clothing styles different than mainstream culture shows Christ even more. We both agree that certain styles have certain ungodly connotations. No skanky for us! Because you're right, our bodies are Christ's.

      I really appreciated this back-and-forth, Kalin! I hope to see more of you here on this blogspace! :)

    6. Agreed! :) This has made me realize I really need to get an updated post or series on my blog about modesty, haha!

  2. Thank you for the shout out Bailey! You've made my month! :) And I totally know about the skirts and tennis shoes! It was the homeschool uniform nationwide! :) You guys would have been great friends with my family back in the day. :)

    1. Well, you totally deserve it. :) You honestly did clarify the last piece of the puzzle for me! Haha -- I hope we'd all still get along today, too! I'm still on for that nonexistant coffee date. ;) :D


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