So I have been reading a lot of comments that men (who claim to be Christians) have made on The Modesty Survey by Rebelution. (If you check out the survey results, click on each statement and look below to see the graph of how different guys responded, and below that will be a list of text comments about that topic. VERY interesting – a real and candid look at what a huge issue immodesty and modesty are for the guys around us – our brothers in Christ, especially.)
I notice a huge pattern. Over and over the guys talked about how important it is for them to be able to respect a woman they are interested in if they are single, or to be able to respect their wives or future wives.
Modesty is a huge part of that.
Interesting that modesty not only showcases our respect for God, ourselves and men – but it enables men to respect us more easily.
I almost never thought about modesty until a few years ago when I began to study how men think. I assumed guys thought like I did. And I paid almost zero attention to my own clothes or anyone else’s. I was pretty modest – mostly because I was terrified not to be. But I didn’t have a clue about what a girl’s clothing said to a guy or what an issue a girl’s appearance was to the guys and men around her. I probably wouldn’t have had so many guy friends if I understood all of that! I was blissfully naive in so many ways.
I think if I had known in high school what I know now – I may have worn a choir robe to school. But I digress…
- The younger single men talked often about how important it was to them that their future wives be modest. Many of them said that modesty was one of the top qualities they were looking for in a girl. Not a legalistic modesty – but modesty that springs from a deep relationship with Christ and a heart that cherishes her body, sexuality and purity – as well as a heart that is considerate of her brothers in Christ.
- They also talked about how difficult it is for them to respect a woman who is dressed immodestly.
They said that it is a struggle not to be physically and visually attracted to an immodestly dressed woman, but that they didn’t want to be around women like that because they were trying to keep their thoughts pure – and that sometimes it was difficult to even have a conversation with women who were revealing too much. They said they definitely didn’t want a committed relationship with a woman who showed too much of her body to men publicly. Over and over, they said what a turn-off immodesty was. Kind of ironic, isn’t it? Even though a woman showing lots of skin was physically a turn on to these guys, to the point that some of them were extremely distracted and uncomfortable around women in these situations – it was a turn off to the woman being “future wife material.”
They also talked about being around girls who deliberately made an effort to dress modestly and what a breath of fresh air it was. They talked about how they could let their guard down a bit with modestly dressed women and focus on conversation, the girls’ hearts, their spirituality and their personalities without constantly having to try to guard their eyes and hearts from temptation.
MANY of these guys (high school age up to 50+) silently thank modestly dressed women in their minds when they see them. They said how, even though they never say anything, they are so thankful for Christian sisters who show respect for God, for their bodies, for men and for their husbands.
When a Christian guy sees a beautifully but modestly dressed woman, I was amazed – they talked about how it gives them hope that there are godly women in the world, how it put a smile on their face, how it reminded them of everything good about femininity. There were so many comments about what a blessing godly, modest women are and how much they respect a woman who is wiling to be considerate of their brothers and of her body and of God’s Word, especially in our culture.
- Sometimes, some of the guys said they even use the image in their mind of a godly, modestly dressed woman to focus on when they are being tempted by thoughts of an immodestly dressed woman. They think about how the godly woman whom they respect is SO MUCH MORE what they want than the women who are dressed like they belong to the world.
I know that men – especially our men – want respect from us. They even need our genuine respect for them to feel loved by us.
But I am not sure I realized this completely before – some of the men may be able to clarify this thought for me. I am still developing this concept and need some help, please! –
It seems to me that it is also important for a man to be able to respect his woman/girlfriend/future wife in order for him to be willing to commit to marrying her.
I wonder –
If a man must feel respected to feel loved, must he also feel respect towards his wife/woman in order to feel love for her?
Respect colors everything in a man’s world, it seems to me. It all passes through the filter of respect – even as they look at us and our character.
- our attitudes
- our words
- our priorities
- our ability to understand them and empathize with them and want to see the world through their eyes
- our ability to be on the same team and be loyal to them (unless they are abusing us or there are serious addictions going on – if this is happening, please get godly help ASAP!)
- our kindness
- our gentleness
- our patience
- our faith and trust in God’s sovereignty
- our not giving way to fear
- our SMILES
- our joy in Christ
- our faith in them
- our trust in them
Our respect for our men makes us desirable – definitely.
But maybe their ability to respect us is also a very key ingredient here that I have not completely explored yet. Let’s talk about it together!
Here is one man’s comment that is a clarification of the difference between what is attractive to a man in a woman vs. what is desirable to a man:
Attraction is purely biological, and pretty much all physical. Sadly women don’t have too much control over that. They are born pretty or not. But a pretty woman who dresses modestly, and in a feminine manner, she is not only attractive to a Christian man, but she is desirable to him.