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guest post: thoughts on modesty.


hellooo blog ladies!
my name is jay, AKA arielle’s hubby.
i thought i’d share my take on modesty to hopefully give some insight into a guy’s thoughts on the subject. so here it goes. :) modesty is not old fashioned…

take a glance at a magazine cover, turn on the tv, walk through a mall, or walk into a church even, and you will see women dressed and adorned in a way that practically asks for the lustful attention of men. it breaks my heart to know that so many women, especially those bought and redeemed by the blood of Christ, find so much self-worth in the attention men give them based solely on outward appearance.

“for you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
1 cor. 6:20

the truth is, this is a daily battle for us men. it doesn’t stop. everywhere we turn we are bombarded by women dressing this way and we have to fight off the temptation to look or entertain thoughts of a lustful and sinful nature. by dressing modestly, you not only help your brothers in the faith, but you demonstrate where you find your identity and self-worth, in Christ. and that is the most attractive and beautiful thing you could put on display!

“charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
proverbs 31:30

i’ve added a great video sharing other men’s hearts on modesty…check it out:

  

i found your blog on the faithblogs site. i really love this post. my husband and i have discussed this a lot…we are youth leaders for our church youth group, and dress has become a huge distraction, no matter how many times modesty has been addressed. so glad you both had the boldness (yet gentleness) to discuss this today!

This is great to hear a guy’s point of view! I just did a couple of posts on modesty on my blog. I respect your perspective and am so glad it’s being discussed and upheld.

Gosh Jay, this is great. As a Christian female, my heart breaks for the gals that find their security in what the worlds views them as. Security in Christ is the only satisfaction that lasts.
Thanks for your view!

This is awesome! I’m so glad my dad said these same things to me as a young girl. He always told me that I didn’t want a guy who just liked me for my looks or how I dressed. I am so thankful for that.

I was actually just working on a post very similar to this! Haha. This is twice now!

WOW completely agree and love every word. So thankful your husband was able to write this post. very powerful, and admireable. Thank you.

This is so wonderful! To hear a man say, “Modesty is not old fashioned” is truly inspiring and empowering! Thank you for this very insightful post, Jay!

I love this post! I’m so thankful for a home church where women dress modestly and don’t throw off half their clothes because “it’s hot outside!” “As a ring of gold in a swines snout, So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion” Proverbs 11:22

Good to “meet” you Jay. I’ve read Arielle’s posts for sometime now, and it is good to see your thoughts shared here, too. Good comments, and good video. wb

BTW, I’ve been posting guest articles on marraige on my blog this year. Any chance you or Arielle would want to write one, individually or as a collaborative effort? You can check them out on Family Fountain.

Note: I haven’t had one the last 2 weeks b/c of illness/surgery in the family.

wb

this is so great, i feel like it’s extremely important and i feel like the integrity of women is dwindling down to nothing!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you Jay. The thing is, women can preach modesty all they want, but where it really matters is if MEN say that they want and appreciate modesty from women, especially because most women dress a certain way to find their identity or their affirmation in men. So if it’s only women preaching modesty and not men, then a lot of women won’t care or listen. I’m glad you took the time to say these things!

Thanks for this post Jay! Great to hear it from a guy.

i love this. thank you for this post. it’s so refreshing to hear this from a man.

as our pastor says…”modest is hottest”. :)

I’m going to talk from my experience as a girl who wanted so desperately to be validated by men when I was in highschool, and college.

I wore things with the intention of getting attention. Whether it was on campus, frat parties, clubs, or bars. I can assure you the attention was a shallow, empty attention where I was not valued as a person. I was so desperate to feel loved, and to be validated by men that I didn’t care how that attention came. The end result was a false sense of intimacy. It left me hollow, and on a continual downward spiral, and searching for something that was always fleeting. I am so thankful God got a hold of me, and changed me. I am humbled that he gave me a husband who really values me, and who loves me despite my past mistakes.

Work on the things that matter. Grow as a person, love others, fear God, and never stop learning. These things will be what is attractive when you are old.

What a great guest post!! Ever since I started blogging I noticed how modesty is actually a big thing and I’m starting to do more of it and love it :)

This is such a great post. I completely agree “modesty is not old fashion” When I was in youth group they put on a purity seminar and shared this poem with us which has also stuck with me:

Lord please give me a girl whose dress is discerning.
First pleasing You, her thoughts are concerning.
Does she want to fit in with the world and its fashions.
Or please You, please me by her kindness, compassion?
I’d like one kind-hearted loving and meek.
Who is sensitive to this guy whose eyes make him weak.
Her appearance might give me a clue to her heart,
if she shoes she is modest; well that’s a start.

That skirt is too short, those pants are to tight.
I want someone who would wait till our wedding night.
Her shirt is too low, it shows off her bust.
Please help turn my eyes, I don’t want to lust.
All these bra straps I see, is that now the style?
To You, Lord these girls must be in denial.
That shirt is too short or maybe that pant waist to low,
whatever it is, too much does it show.
A virgin I’d like; that too much to ask?
In many a girl, in this do they lack.

Well, since you have forgiven and now made me free,
if she has messed up, to her forgiving I’ll be.
I’ll wait for her and I pray she’ll wait for me.
And one day, one flesh in You we will be.

thank you Jay for such a beautiful and helpful post. i went ahead and shared it with others. blessings :)

thanks for posting the video…lots of food for thought

This is wonderful! The things in this blog are not something you expect to find today in the popular web world! I always appreciate finding men and women who value clothing themselves in a way to glorify God. When I was in high school I wrote for the local student paper and was allowed to do an editorial on modesty. I interviewed men and boys from all over and got very insightful responses. Girls just need to know the level of respect and appreciation they’ll get from the right kind of guys, and even if they don’t ever here the affirmation from a guy, its really not about that any way (thought its encouraging), its about protecting themselves and preserving their dignity for the greater purpose. Hope that makes sense… Thanks for the timely reminder as we get into those warmer months :-)

Wonderful guest post, Jay. Always a good reminder – especially from a man’s perspective. My younger sisters struggle in this area, and I know it breaks my mom’s heart. Looking for validation in any earthly thing (people included) can only lead to heartbreak.

Great post!

I don’t think we can talk about this enough! There are plenty of ways to look “fashionable” and still be modest! Thanks for a man’s viewpoint! :)

What a wonderful post from the man’s perspective! :) I really enjoyed it!

I can relate to your reply to Arielle. My experiences are similar and I am Arielle’s mom :) – which is why I really wanted her to learn that her validation comes from the Lord and not a man. Thank you for sharing- I know many girls/women struggle with this issue. God bless :)

This moved me so much. I am a naturally modest person and have never even really considered that it was because I wanted to bring glory to the Lord or lift up our brothers in Christ. I’m honestly just a self-concious person who feels more and more uncomfortable with less and less clothing. I don’t wear shorts. I don’t wear tank tops. I don’t wear short dresses or short tops. This makes me view my modesty in a whole new light.

It makes me so sad to see such young girls (or women in general) who show off way too much skin. Even my 14 and 16 year old nieces never dress appropriately (at least in my eyes). I feel that now after reading and watching this that I have such a greater understanding of what guys go through each day. It also makes me hyper aware of what it may do to my husband, even, when a girl or women improperly dressed walks by.

I think this message is so important. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope you don’t mind if I write a post on my blog and link up your post to it sometime soon.
~Andrea

Shannon

I haven’t been reading your blog long, but I have to say that video kind of scares me. I feel like the author of the note being read would be happy if all women were wearing burkas or head scarfs. What about when swimming, do you not wear a swimsuit, which is basically underwear? Also the issue I have with this kind of thinking is that women have lustful thoughts too, a lot. So when men wear tight pants or have their shirts off, we have just as much issue with it as men do, I promise you that.
I found another blog that explains my thoughts exactly http://happyfeminist.typepad.com/happyfeminist/2006/04/a_recipe_for_mi.html

I know that hearing a male’s perspective was one of the things that helped me change the way I viewed myself and the way I dressed as young lady. So, it’s nice to have a man’s perspective on this subject! We also emphasize modest dress a lot to the young women (and grown women) at church. I feel that having a male’s perspective could change some of the ways that they view themselves and the way they dress. Thanks, this has sparked some ideas and reminders!

I liked what you said about modesty not being old fashioned and the video was insightful as well!

arielle

hi shannon,
i personally don’t think that the author of the note was trying to get that message across. yes, people wear bathing suits but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bikini or something really immodest. i don’t think women struggle quite as much with lustful thoughts as guys do. men wearing tight pants is a whole lot different than women wearing low-cut shirts showing cleavage. anyway, those are just my thoughts :)

Thanks for sharing Jay… this is something to think of every morning when getting dressed. I think we should quit fighting the line with how much we can get away with and instead focus on representing our Savior with our clothes and attitude. My heart also breaks for my husband and son for having to fight our culture in this area. Was the video done by C.J. Mahaney? It sounded like him.

WOW! this is absolutely wonderful. awesome to see guys that get this. awesome to see guys that are sensitive to this. awesome to see guys that admit to this. awesome to see Godly men. this culture is so filthy. thank you so much for being real about this subject, Jay!!!

Just wanted to back Arielle up on some of this stuff. Shannon, everything you are saying is legitimate. However, guys brains are wired so much differently that girls’ brains are. Guys are visual. Granted yes, sometimes girls do lust visually, it is FAR more prevalent in the brain of a man. They are constantly bombarded with images and their minds become battlefields, constantly trying to fight off Satan and prevent him from getting the victory. As far as swimsuits go, obviously swimming in a parka isnt ideal. Its important to choose bathingsuits that do not bring so much attention to assets. If you have a larger chest, dont purchase a revealing top… you get the point. It’s all about intentions and looking out for our brothers…. looking out for the men who are seriously trying to live a Godly life. We are called to be holy and pure. We are not supposed to be stumbling blocks. Anyway! Just my two sense :) I have dealt with this issue first hand. Guys are visual. To an extent that I will not get into on here. Lets just focus on being intentional on how we dress :)

Thank you for this post, Jay! I really appreciate hearing from godly men on the topic of modesty. I’ve heard that men struggle with lust, but I didn’t realize to what extent they do until now. Thanks for being so honest!!

That’s so true. Thank you for your post!


Grace

Traci Pennington ( AKA Jay's Aunt Traci)

Wow! You never fail to amaze me! You are truly a wonderful young man of God. I loved what you said about modesty. You are and will be a great influence on your baby boy Leland. To witness a young couple with such faith in God and honestly walking the path that He intended is a beautiful thing to witness. The little family you and Arielle have created is a true reflection of His love. Love to all 3 of you:)

this is amazing! what a great idea. thank you :)

what’s sad is that teen aged girls can’t buy an appropriate pair of shorts at abercrombie-hollister-the gap even because they’re all the way up their butts and showing way too much thigh-it makes EVEN me uncomfortable.

It’s a shame. God help us if we have a daughter. Parents are allowing their kids to take on way too much adult responsibility these days (letting them close the bedroom door with a boyfriend, letting boys stay the night, buying hotel rooms for your daughter and her boyfriend to take a spring break trip together AND they’re in HIGH SCHOOL!) It’s the norm. But it’s not teaching them to respect or love their bodies.

Very sad.
Great post though!

Couldn’t agree more! I strongly believe in being modest! Thanks for sharing!!

“101 men are going to devour her in their minds today.” I love that! Really puts the importance of modesty into a totally new perspective. I know one of the biggest thing God has laid on my heart is how deceitful and wicked my heart really is and despite the well-intentioned meaning behind many items of clothing I used to wear I wanted to feel “sexy/attractive/pretty/beautiful” all of those words had the same meaning to me. As long as a man was drawing his eyes my way I thought I was doing it right. But the Lord really broke me of that worldly view. He showed me my husband isn’t going to want a woman who is dressed wearing something that makes every guy in the room either pray or lust after her. He showed me that I was insecure and looking for the validation of the world when He had already made me beautiful in loving HIM and living in His grace. He showed me that although men are to seek first the kingdom and fight temptation just as we are to do, that it is my responsibility to protect this temple of His and clothe it accordingly. I’m not perfect and I know that I have a long way to go but it is a daily battle to make sure that I am dressing as the Lord would have me verses what the sinful nature I was born into welcomes with ease.

I love this post. I never hear men speak of this but I know that I am sometimes stumbled by what I see women wearing. I’m stumbled thinking “GOD, SHE IS WEARING THAT!!!? AND SHE BELIEVES IN YOU?? HOW COME SHE ISN’T FEELING CONVICTED LIKE I WOULD IF I TRIED THAT??” It just attracts wrong attention from all angles really. And then you have women gossiping about you calling you names when you might have a heart for the LORD but your clothing don’t reflect it.

k. I’m done. Hope I made sense.

Thanks for posting Jay!!

♥cheche

Dude, God is USING this!! Hallelujah! Praise God! If we could only spread this further and further!! So cool! Women in this generation just need to be reminded; to hear something different than what EVERY other guy in the world is telling them.

This will be in my mind when I get dressed in the morning. No doubt! :)

Hey Shannon, have you ever seen a picture of what women used to wear as swimsuits back in the 20′s? How about the 1800′s even. Swimsuits have gotten sicker and skimpier as years have gone on. Trust me, about 5 years ago, I’d be right next to you, complaining about the same things. I lived in Florida, surfed and spent more than half my time in a bikini. Worst part: I thought I was saved! I had such a bitterness toward the women in my church that spoke up about modesty. Finally, Pastor Rudy spoke to our young group at Mardi Gras outreach about Matthew 5:28. It says if a man is lusting after you, he’s committing adultery WITH you in his heart. Not TO you! That’s HUGE! It also says if we cause another to stumble we’d be better off to have a millstone tied around our neck and cast into the ocean. Point is: when you get dressed for any occasion, whether that be church or the beach, you better be glorifying the Lord! Would you want to walk before the Lord wearing a bikini? How about some of the low cuts girls wear on campus? I mean think about that- Jesus is right there with you! It’s no different.

It all boils down to your heart. I would’ve been the last person to admit that I was intentionally dressing to attract. I had to take the time to allow God to search my heart. Turned out- I certainly was. I was buying jeans as small of a size that I could fit in just to feel cute, wearing shirts that pointed out my figure without it showing skin, and more. I was bending the rules to my own comfort, and it was absolutely disgusting!

Where’s your heart, Shannon? Are you more concerned with making sure you’re not at “Burka” status than being concerned about hurting other men’s walk with the Lord? Is it more important to you to look cute or even feel comfortable than it is to be holy and blameless before the Lord? Joshua 24 says to chose this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house (body) we will serve the Lord!

I love your honesty to ask these questions. Please, for your sake, check your heart.

Thanks for sharing… I’m a huge believer in modesty and it is a blessing to see posts like this out there in the blog world. Very encouraging! ^_^

Thank you for sharing from a male’s perspective about modesty. I never realized until I got married just how much men struggle with these issues. I am thankful for a husband that helps me in deciding what I should wear as to not make my fellow brother in Christ stumble. If anything this helps me pray for my brothers more. Again thank you for sharing your heart on this issue.

Rebekah

Jay, this is great.

Modesty is very important to me and my faith (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). I try to be modest because I know I am a child of God and created in His image. Only clean things can be in His presence and I want to return to Him someday spotless through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Modesty shows humility and an understanding that we cannot align ourselves with worldly trends and please God. It shows our reverence and respect for God and increases self-confidence because when you do the Lord’s will, He blesses you. It’s a virtue that is all too often ignored, forgotten, and attacked. Thank you and y’all have a great day! :)

Such a well said post! It is so sad that so many younger girls are allowed to dress like that, and their parents don’t even care. By the time they are grown, they think it is normal, and don’t see what the problem is.

wow, this is really good to hear :) and it’s good to know that there are guys out there like that. the funny thing is though i think a lot of girls dress immodestly not just to impress guys but to impress their girl friends, which is quite interesting!! in any case, we are called to be adorned with good works, so our character and our deeds should speak even louder than our (modest) clothes :) blessings, denise xx

arielle

love that poem :) thank you so much for sharing!

arielle

thank you jennifer! :)

arielle

thank you so much for the comment andrea :)
i think the message is so important as well…continue to be an example for other woman out there :) many blessings!

arielle

thank you for the kind comment emily! :)
many blessings!

arielle

thank you so much jessica and yep, it was c.j. mahaney :)
p.s. i will be e-mailing you back soon!

arielle

hi warren,
thank you very much…and we would love to, i will e-mail you soon!

arielle

thanks brittany!! yes i so agree! i think the media doesn’t help much either. i mean, so many (sadly even Christian girls) look up to rihanna and lady gaga, etc. and they practically wear nothing :( so sad. thanks for taking a stand! :)

arielle

thank you so, so much traci…
many blessings & much love to you :)

arielle

thank you olivia! :)

E

I understand as a female we have and can be seductive and at a certain place and time it is appropriate. I understand men are visual beings who get distracted easily because of sight. What I don’t like is the lack of accountability for men…IT is your mind and your lustful thoughts own it……….Especially if you are married and having sex on a regular basis…..Recognize the problem is yours, whether the sex isn’t fulfilling or you have a lust problem! And if it is a lust problem it doesn’t really matter if a woman has on a long skirt your imagination will get the best of you because you simply have a lust problem……….This world is not going to change so now what are men suppose to do with those lustful thoughts……. We are saved by the renewing of our minds…….. “ And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” The focus should be on the real problem THE MIND……How are they suppose to combat and overcome those lustful thoughts internally? .…….It is upsetting that once again the focus is on what should a woman do to make it more comfortable or easier for a man versus How can the man combat HIS internal issues……… If we are all suppose to be over comers than it is time for men to overcome what they have been socialized to believe, think, and act cause we are living in naked times and IT IS NOT GONNA CHANGE………and I completely dislike that poem I read through one of the responses……..I am not condoning woman dressing anyway they want either and a woman should be taught how to dress but the focus is all wrong……..although we are suppose to be helpers to one another you first have to help yourself……..I haven’t been able to watch the video and I will later on tonight but if the video addresses my concerns than disregard this message if not I still stand on my perspective. MEN RENEW your MINDS it isn’t easy but I can do all things through Christ Jesus….It is your responsibility as a Born again believer…… Take accountability and fight through the struggle..

Jannis

Hey, guys! I just read some of the posted and I am completely saddened! I will like to thank Arielle’s husband for his blog; it showed the mind of men, the perspection of one of my male friends, and the disrespect that I gain from other men. However, amongst some postings, I see a condemning spirit. Let’s not concentrate on modesty but on love! Ones like Shannon may have wanted love and acceptance, and we are criticizing her with regulations of clothing. Who know where her heart stands? I don’t know and I don’t care. That is for Jesus Christ to decide, and we as her brothers/sisters should not think so much on that–but to love her regardless.
I am a woman who is very conscience of my modesty without parading it against the world. I do at times slip, and I accept convictions. However, I do not concentrate so deeply on modesty. Moreover, I am a artist of nude depictions of humanity and resort back to the basic of which God created mankind. Modesty is placed here on earth for the failure of mankind. However, God does not condemn someone because her shirt is too low-cut.

As Arielle’s husband mentioned, modesty is not old-fashion, but it is not something to drive people away from God. As leader of the first churches, Paul admonished the church in the early days to help the congregation. Nowadays, I see people using his words as a seed of Satan–planting seeds of discord and judgment in the Body of Christ. People come with their own interpretations of modesty, whether it will be a floor-length dress or a little bit of skin. But the basis of Christ is freedom in His name.

The main purpose of Christianity is love. Criticizing one’s apparel and condemning where their heart lays is not showing the love of Christ. I see many hearts being turn away from God because of that. As Christians, we must learn of Jesus’ example while He was here on earth and live accordingly. Show love and pray for people. Don’t send them forward away from the Lord. Allow the Holy Spirit to show what part of the skin is appropriate from the public and what is not. As far as their heart is concern, they are righteous before God. Some men have a hard time keeping their mind in line, even if a woman is dressed from head to toes. It doesn’t matter what she wears; it matters is with his heart.

Walking around stripped is inappropriate, so is a condemning spirit. Jesus will judge both alike.

Jannis

At times, I understand that a naturist resort may not be appropriate for some. However, if everyone had restraint over their minds, I don’t think God will be angry with that resort, but rather pleased. Imagining if Adam and Eve had not sinned, everyone on the face of this earth will be naked! Jesus did not say for a woman to be covered, for He has created the body. Paul did for the admonition of the church (for the mind of mankind is of lust). As E has mentioned, God prefers for His Body to restrain from lustful thinking and renew our minds completely! I know that God wish for humanity to change from this lustful thinking! That’s why Christ died! He did not die for us to become restricted into bondage. As a man, I too suffer from visual, lustful thinking, so I know how difficult it is to control the mind. But he has helped me through my artwork mentioned above. God is here to help the men in the world with lustful thinking. But the women is not to be placed into bondage because of any lack of control that they have.

So, my belief on modesty is that it was set forth in order to shield mankind from lust—a human regulation, as God has furthered sown clothes for Adam and Eve. But I believe, His main heart’s desire is to rid us from lustful thinking through the washing of His Word….

Lupe

Love it!!! Very lovely words and all so true.

:))

Catherine

I find it very unfortunate that some girls/women dress a certain way, but are you implying with this that it’s women’s fault if men are “tempted” or have lustful or sinful thoughts? I don’t think it was your intention but it’s immediately how it came across to me.

Loved reading this post. I feel this was exactly what I needed to read on this very particular day. I hope this finds the hearts of women everywhere.

http://ericplustanya.blogspot.com

I absolutely loved this! I have been taught to dress modestly by my parents and from my beliefs. Many look at modesty as a bad and undesirable thing. I’ve known girls who believe that they can’t get a guy to like them if they dress “like their grandma.” Oh please! I find that I am more respected and treated like a human being when I don’t show off all my cleavage or bare a ton of skin. And I know several guys who are uncomfortable around girls who dress skanky.

Wonderful post. I’m glad I found your blog because I adore it!

Great! Would love to have an article by either or both of you (co-written). It would add a lot to the series. I like your blog. wb

Marisa

I don’t know if any of you watched the “Modesty Part I” Youtube video, but it repeatedly says women need to dress modestly and show “self control”. What about men? Why does the responsibility for their lust fall on the object of it? That hardly seems fair.

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