I deeply appreciate the willingness of these Christian single guys to talk about this issue so candidly and clearly with us. If modesty is not an issue you’ve thought about much – you may be in for a bit of a surprise. I would recommend that teenage and young women read “For Young Women Only” by Shaunti Feldhahn and that women in their mid 20s and older read “For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldhahn for a fascinating in depth look at the inner lives of men. She addresses the issue of how visual men are in detail (including the brain science behind it) and what that means for them in real life and for us as Christian women who desire to please God.
These two men articulate the problem very clearly. They are not “weird” or abnormal men. What they are voicing is the perspective of almost all men regardless of age, race, faith, or culture. This applies even to godly guys and pastors! Almost all guys struggle with visual temptation to some degree – and for some of them – the struggle is practically debilitating to their walk with Christ. Our culture bombards men with sensual images constantly – it is a battlefield for our brothers in Christ every day in the media and in class, at work and, sadly, even at church.
I don’t think most girls realize what goes on in the minds of men (of all ages) when they are showing off a lot of skin and curves. If we knew – we would definitely want to do something about it! This is a critically important issue for our brothers in Christ. They need our prayers. They need our understanding. They need our support and consideration.
It’s funny, the members of my church (soldiers) must be in uniform during Holiness Meetings (The Salvation Army church service) and it is not the most flattering uniform (and shouldn’t be). The uniform “enforces” modesty on women; and I will agree, their appearance is not a distraction in church. The attendees or non-soldiers can dress as they please.
When I see a woman from my church outside of church in her street clothing, sometimes it is “night and day”
I mean, a lot of today’s fashions on women….are well…a bit arousing; and to be fair I am not saying the woman is trying to be a “tease” or is actively trying to put a guy in this situation…but
Women, you have no idea what your God given body and image does to men.
A woman who dresses modestly is not a prude or boring. It means she has CLASS. It means she respects herself, and knows what her body can do to a guy.
I think there are many women who really don’t know the effect their modesty or lack of modesty have had on men, and they are probably the ones who behave somewhat naively, but with good intent. They don’t want to mislead men, but they don’t know where to draw the line between “modest” and “immodest” in ways that honor men. Or, they believe they are already as “modest” as they need to be, while still feeling beautiful or comfortable according to society’s standards.
These good-willed women often have different definitions and standards of beauty than men. They would be surprised with how simply and non-legalistically we view beauty, and how easy it is for them to be modest, comfortable, and amazingly beautiful to us all at the same time.
There are also many women who know very well the effect their clothing and behavior have on men (that is why they do it), and they have made decisions to dress and act in specific ways to elicit reactions from men whose person and arousal responses do not belong to them.
They may believe they are just flattering themselves, “building-up their confidence,” or “using what God gave them,” but
really they are stealing emotions from men they don’t care about, and have no intentions to satisfy the responses they stir-up. It is false advertising – a deceit – a lie!
A young Christian woman made the following quote about modesty: (paraphrased)
“Women should dress like a flower to be looked at, valued, and appreciated, not like a sandwich to be bitten.”
Are you ladies dressing in ways that make us want to value and appreciate the beauty God has given you, or in ways that make us want to “take a bite?”
I believe God wants women to save this powerful “come take a bite” attraction for their husbands alone, and many men would appreciate the reduced stress, temptations, and distractions that such a choice would have on them in public, at work, or at church.
I don’t think women need to work so hard to follow society’s definition of beauty to look or feel attractive. God has a much different idea of beauty and modesty than society has told women, and godly men want to see more women choose to reflect that type of beauty.
Godly beauty is described in I Peter 3:3-6. It is a “gentle and peaceful/stilled/quiet/calm spirit… that does not give way to hysterical fear.” That is what is of great worth in God’s sight – and that is what is beautiful to godly men, too.
God calls us to dress modestly – for good reason.
Let’s take the time and effort to carefully consider and pray over each article of clothing we own and determine whether it might be a stumbling block to our brothers for whom Christ died. Let’s examine our motives for wearing each outfit.
- Am I seeking to attract attention to myself?
- Am I seeking to honor and glorify God?
- Am I being a godly steward with my body?
- Could this outfit be a stumbling block to some of my brothers in Christ?
I pray we might desire to dress to show respect to our Lord, and to show respect for our own bodies, our sexuality, and the men around us. This attitude of desiring to draw attention to God instead of to our bodies is very honoring to Him!
http://lessonsofmercy.wordpress.com/2013/03/10/id-never-be-a/ (a post from my dear friend, Kayla, about the effects seeing a woman in a bikini can have on guys – and what we as believing women can do about it)