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Published on February 5th, 2007 | by Alex and Brett Harris

The Responsibility of Modesty (Part One)

TheRebelution.com's Modesty SurveyThe following article was submitted as a text response to TheRebelution.com’s Modesty Survey. We share it with you because the author provides an excellent summation of men’s responsibility in this area.

~ A Christian Guy – Age 20 ~

Let’s be honest. We’re men, and we’re responsible for ourselves. We’re responsible for our thoughts, for our lusts, for our character. We won’t be able to blame the girls when we’re called to give account for it in the judgment day. We won’t be able to say like Adam, “The woman you made…”

In fact, the Bible warns us that if our eyes are causing us to offend, it would be better to pluck it out than to allow it to lead us astray. Now you girls don’t want that to happen… Please?

We are responsible for bringing these senses into subordination to the will of God. We’re trying. And we get tested every day. That’s our job wherever we are, whether in the world or in church. But quite honestly, we’d rather do our battles with the world than with our sisters in Christ.

Additional Modesty Resources

  • The Responsibility of Modesty (Part 2): Excerpted from the survey results, a 22-year-old Christian man shares an insightful analogy explaining the responsibility of women to protect their brothers in Christ.
  • The Purpose of Clothing: John Piper explains both the negative and positive messages God communicated by clothing Adam and Eve after they fell into sin.
  • Free To Be Modest: Nancy Leigh DeMoss explains how living under the Ownership and Lordship of Jesus Christ, frees us to be modest.

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About the Author

are the co-founders of TheRebelution.com and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.



  • http://www.makinghome.blogspot.com Jess

    …And of course, the companion issue to that is that we, as Christian women, are not to do anything to offend our brothers. So in the same way that they are to cut out their eyes if they are offended, we are to avoid even things that are not technically sinful, if they cause our brothers to stumble. (Like not eating pork in front of someone that eats only kosher meat…)

    THERE’s food for thought!

  • Michael

    Great point. It’s our own responsibility to guard our eyes, but it’s sure a great help if girls are willing to think about us.

  • AJM

    God has really convicted me through this whole survey. Thank you for this article. Praying for you guys!

  • Kari

    Loved the whole thing about this survey. Are there any blinkies available to the results?
    I have made a self-thought descision about choosing to be modest.

  • http://advancinghiskingdom.wordpress.com Marshall Sherman

    Wow. That’s really good. Very powerful.

    Thanks.

  • http://xanga.com/druseth Druseth

    Great thought; but even without the concern for us males, a young lady has an incredible priviledge to respect herself by dressing modestly. The truth is, we respect you so much more when you don’t hide your Christlikeness with worldly dress (or undress). Do yourself a favor; most importantly, do the Kingdom a service and dress to glorify our Groom

    Thanks!

  • Becky

    Mr. Mahaney made an interesting comment during his sermon. He said something to the effect of he finds modest women attractive. If that’s true, it would seem that Christian men aren’t communicating the positive benefits of modesty as well as they might, because Christian young ladies certainly don’t seem to understand/believe Mr. Mahaney’s statement. It’s interesting to combine his statement to that of the Christian guy’s: “But quite honestly, we’d rather do our battles with the world than with our sisters in Christ.” What a gap in understanding girls have if the feedback we are receiving is accurate!

  • http://www.therebelution.com Brett Harris

    Becky: My brain is a little fuzzy right now. :P Would you mind clarifying what you meant by your comment? What is it that Christian young ladies believe? How do the statements by Mr. Mahaney and this young man conflict with those beliefs? And in what ways do you think Christian men fail to communicate?

    Whew. I hope that didn’t come across as a cross-examination! :) I’m pretty sure I get what you’re saying, but I think it would be helpful to everyone for you to explain more thoroughly. Thanks so much!

  • Prudence

    That’s a blessing from a young man who really knows what Modesty is all about! Thankyou for posting it – I absolutly cannot wait to see the results! God bless you all!
    Lamentations 3:23-24

  • http://www.xanga.com/TheEarlofOrthanc Brian J.

    This guy hit the nail on the head. This survey and all the activity around it has really helped me put into words the thoughts I had on this topic. Thanks for putting this on.

    Still dying to know what other participation for the guys you kept mentioning in the subscription emails…. :-)

  • http://www.therebelution.com Alex Jordan Harris

    It’s coming, Brian! :)

  • http://www.revitalizeouryouth.blogspot.com Moriah Strickland

    Wow. That was an awesome statement. Thanks for sharing, Alex and Brett! I truly appreciate it. :)
    Here’s a thought… once the results of the Modesty Survey are posted; we girls are being held accoutable to change how we dress. (if what we wear makes our brothers in Christ stumble.)

  • http://reflectionsfromkt.blogspot.com Katie

    This is great! Thanks for posting it.
    I want to dress in a way that will not only honor my brothers in Christ, but cause people to look past me and see my Lord. If I am not glorifying Him, then it is all for nothing.
    I can’t wait to see the final modesty survey results! Thank you for helping us girls do our very best to glorify our King and honor those we care about.

  • http://www.pleonast.com/britt Brittany Atnip

    I hope you don’t mind, I copied this message to my blog.

    Thank you so much for truly stepping up as a Christian brother and sharing your concern with us. I think what’s hard for alot of Christian women, especially for me personally, is a lack of communication on my brothers’ part… not knowing if I’ve caused them to stumble, not knowing if I’ve made a difference with my current efforts. And though I know just doing my best to please God should be enough, it truly means alot for my Christians brothers to communicate thier concern or encouragement. Of course I ultimately wish we lived in a Christian society that was so radically different, there would be no comparison between the habits of us and the world. We live in such a grey world, where limits are boundaries are being stretched farther and farther as more and more do whatever they can to be accepted by an unreasonable culture, and sometime even justify it by Scripture (wrongly), while they know better in their hearts. I know this because I’m one who struggles with it daily. Now that I’ve gotten carried away…

    I look forward to reading more as this wonderful Modesty Survey blossoms. Thank you, Alex and Brett, for making this possible.

  • Judith

    Wow! Great post! I’m a student at a community college and the message that comes across there, so often, is that if you want to be noticed and well liked by guys, dress revealing. So it has been so great to be able to come here and be reminded that there are many guys that do value and appreciate modesty!
    I’m looking forward to being able to reading the modesty survey results!!! Thanks guys, for the encouragement!

  • http://www.thekollersblog.blogspot.com/ Erin Koller

    We all (both men and women) will stand before the Lord to give an account for our actions and thoughts. Thank-you for posting these fellas. :) It’s always nice to hear from young men who get it.

  • http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=charissima Grace Ellen

    You know, the timing on all this is, well, divine. I’ve been struggling a lot lately trying to figure out what my responsibilities in the area of modesty are. Thanks Jess, your comments are helping me.

  • Becky

    Oops. Sorry for being confusing! I almost didn’t post the comment because I was concerned it wasn’t too clear… but here’s a shot at explaining things better!

    This is probably going to reveal some of my own personal opinions, but as a girl, and talking with other girls we seem to believe that guys find us more attractive if we dress immodestly. We may understand the “spiritual” importance of dressing modestly for our fellow believers (ie not causing to stumble with his eyes), but even I find it hard to believe most Christian men would concur with Mr. Mahaney’s comment about finding modest women attractive. It’s not for lack of “modesty talks”, but for lack of appreciation, maybe? I don’t believe it’s the place for young men to correct young women on their clothing (except within a famial unit), but when the majority of Christian guys (or at least the ones I’m around ;) ) seem seek out and favor those girls that dress immodestly, it gives modestly-dressing girls room to question their sacrifice and commitment to dressing modestly.

    Oh, I think I’m being confusing, but basically I would contend that most girls have an extremely different view of modesty than most guys. Girls not only have a grossly inaccurate understanding of how their bodies affect guys (or… I’m finding my view is in major revisement! ;) ), but they also underestimate the appreciation with which Christian guys value modest girls. And, yes, I understand that is why the modesty survey is taking place, so please don’t take this comment as criticism! :)

    I hope I’ve answered your questions, Brett, and if I haven’t, feel free to delete all the comments and e-mail me if you wish. =)

  • http://none Lauren Kittrell

    You are all doing a great job. I so appreciate the way you desire to glorify God with your lives.
    I have three brothers and I have a slight understanging of what a struggle you guys go through every day. From what I have observed, you seem to be doing a great job. : )

  • Irene L.

    “In fact, the Bible warns us that if our eyes are causing us to offend, it would be better to pluck it out than to allow it to lead us astray. Now you girls don’t want that to happen… Please?”

    Ouch…if this comment doesn’t make girls want to dress modestly, I’m not sure what will!

  • http://www.therebelution.com Brett Harris

    Becky: That was a great explanation! Thank you for clarifying. Alex and I really feel that the Modesty Survey will go a long way towards changing misconceptions on the part of girls, but also to raise the level of appreciation communicated from guys to girls. That’s why we’re releasing the results on St. Valentines Day, as a big “Thank You” gift to our sisters in Christ who dress modestly. :)

  • http://jesusfreakatrina.blogspot.com Katrina Rowe

    Oh yes! Becky hit the nail on the head. If you observe guys, it seems like none of them care about modesty. I observe guys at church and it always ends up that the girls wearing the least clothes get talked to the most. I saw this as guys not caring about modesty, but in talking to a few, it turns out that some do. Maybe this is not a universal problem, but it sure is around here (Massachusetts). It would be nice if the guys I interact with could show their appreciation for modesty more.

  • Jane

    I have a few problems with this.

    1. The way modesty is talked about seems to imply that men are more sexual than women, which is simply not true. Women also struggle in this area. Women are also visual — shouldn’t men be modest too? Women and girls also masturbate (YES, they do), have impure thoughts, and urges. Denying women’s sexuality is a common theme in Christian churches. You haven’t directly denied this, but the implication is there. This discussion of modesty is consistent with “men are sexual, women are sexual objects” mode of thought. Examples of things men do that could case women to stumble: taking off their shirts to play basketball, wrestling with other men in shirts that lift up, the way they stand, wearing heavy cologne, wearing clothing that is too revealing in the gym (like a loose tank top). Have you ever seen a man pull his shirt quickly down over his exposed abdomen? Not often, but uhm, it’s very visual to me.

    2. I think a careful balance needs to be taken when talking about women needing to be modest. It could only worsen our rape culture. Some people could go too far with this and start to think, even subtly, even subconsciously that women are responsible for men’s actions — the implication being they are at fault for rape. The “asking for it” philosophy. I think you should address this more directly, more aggressively, because I’m sure that’s not your intention. Why not start a series of posts about men’s responsibility to not promote the rape culture in our society? That would be powerful. Since men do the raping, why not tell them to stop promoting a culture that encourages its men to rape. And to not rape us! It’s not often discussed in the Christian community.

  • http://www.therebelution.com Brett Harris

    Jane: The Modesty Survey does not directly deny women’s sexuality, but neither does it do so indirectly. If I was both hungry and thirsty I would need to choose to either eat first or drink first. Neither decision would deny the existence of the other urge, but would only reflect what I believed to be my greatest need. As it is, requests for a Female Modesty Survey far outweighed requests for a Male Modesty Survey. Our decision, therefore, was based, not on the denial of women’s sexuality, but on the principle of doing one thing at a time, very well.

  • Graham

    Jane,

    I agree with you. Men need to be held responsible for their actions. There should be no arguments about skirt hems and necklines. Men should be able to control themselves. God gave us a brain! Men should have a little bit more self control and not go crazy when they see an ankle or collor bone.

    Graham

    Moderator Note: It appears (from information only we are privy to) that this user is a woman, not a man, and that this comment is intentionally deceptive in that regard. If additional clarification is provided we will remove this disclaimer.

  • http://www.xanga.com/McFarnell McFarnell

    I think maybe the reason some guys appreciate girls who dress modestly is because they can be around them, talk to them, etc, with much more ease and without having to constantly battle lust with their eyes (at least to a much lesser degree).

    That said, the guys who appear to favor girls who dress immodestly maybe aren’t concerned with guarding their eyes from lust. Or maybe they don’t struggle with this problem as much as others.

    Just a thought. Dressing to please God should be the most important priority.

  • Stephanie Amber

    Great post..thanks for putting it up. I’m definitely looking forward to the 14th!!! :-)

  • http://jesusfreakatrina.blogspot.com Katrina Rowe

    “Just a thought. Dressing to please God should be the most important priority.”

    Thank you, McFarnell, for reminding us girls of that. :D

  • Nathan

    Wow. That really put it in perspective. I’ve noticed many times people tend to levitate to the two extremes: It’s all the girl’s fault, they should dress so the guys don’t fall, or it’s all the guy’s fault what he does and doesn’t do. This really brings in a balance. Thanks!

  • Jane

    Brett: Thanks for your response. It’s just that women’s sexuality is rarely discussed openly in an affirming way in the Christian community and that’s such a shame. I for one think it’s sorely needed.

    Of course I was being facetious about a male modesty survey. I really just wanted to point out the common imbalance in Christian communities regarding sexuality.

    I WAS serious about addressing the rape culture though. How bout it, Brett?

    How bout a survey and a big campaign where women can let men know the things they do or say or accept or just don’t object to that promotes a rape culture?

  • http://www.therebelution.com Alex Jordan Harris

    Jane: I’m not Brett, but I’m his twin brother, which hopefully is just as good. We agree that the very real problem of female lust is often ignored in the Christian community. Actually, our older brother, Josh, wrote a book on the topic of lust and purity (titled Sex is Not the Problem, Lust Is) that was written to both guys and girls, not just to guys. I’m not aware of any other books like that.

    As to encouraging a rape culture, you need not worry about the Modesty Survey in that regard. As to discouraging a rape culture, Brett and I would likely support a balanced discussion and campaign on the issue, particularly if it was Christian-led. However, I do not see us leading the discussion ourselves.

    While we’re discussing it, a book that presents very balanced look at feminine modesty (more than just clothing) and the realities and solutions of modern “rape culture” is Wendy Shalit’s book A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue.

  • http://reflectionsfromkt.blogspot.com Katie

    Becky: I completely agree that most men seem to be much more attracted to the women who dress immodestly, but I wanted to share something from my experience as an encouragement. Not all young men are like that; in fact, I was having a conversation with some young men from our church about what they find attractive in a women, and they said that they are actually more attracted to the women who dress modestly. They said that they find it much more attractive for a women to wear modest clothes than immodest clothes! I don’t know too many men would are like that, but I think that young men with a commitment to purity will actually respect and therefore be more attracted to the women who have made a similar commitment to modesty.

  • http://www.therebelution.com Alex Jordan Harris

    Becky and Katie: Be encouraged. The Modesty Survey is made up of over 1,500 Christian guys who are more attracted to women who dress modestly. :)

  • John R

    I see a question emerging: If there are two gals in a room — one dressed modestly, and another dressed immodestly, which will a man’s eyes be drawn to?

    I’d like to answer that question, based on my own experience, but which I think is true for the vast majority of Christian guys who are truly committed to physical and spiritual purity. For background, I got married at the age of 26, was a virgin when I married, and have been married to that same woman for 15 years.

    My eyes will be drawn, at least for an instant, to an immodestly-dressed gal. No ifs, ands or butts (pardon the pun). It’s the way God designed me, and the way God designed all men. If He didn’t design men that way, it’s doubtful many people would get married. Most of the benefits of marriage simply aren’t on the radar of most young couples. Sex most certainly is. A man’s need for sexual satisfaction serves God’s purpose for drawing him into a marriage relationship, through which both husband and wife can experience a plethora of blessings and trials, and be drawn closer to God and Christ-likeness.

    So a man’s eyes are attracted to the female form because that’s the way God designed us. Satan, by leading our culture to embrace immodesty, subverts God’s design for his own evil purposes. As others have testified, it is a constant battle for me. When I see an immodestly-dressed woman, I have to physically turn my head and ask God for strength to overcome the temptations before me. It is difficult, at that point, to maintain charitable feelings towards the immodestly-dressed woman.

    With all that as background, here’s my answer to the opening question:

    As a rule, every man’s eyes will be drawn initially to the immodestly-dressed woman. What happens next is the important thing. A Christian man committed to purity will avert his eyes, and probably turn to the modestly-dressed woman with a sigh of relief.

    Here’s my bottom line for the gals: Almost every man will be aroused by an immodest woman. Almost no Godly man will respect an immodest woman.

  • http://www.xanga.com/McFarnell McFarnell

    Well said, John R.

  • PhoebeJoy

    One thing is that it is hard for young men to tell a modest young woman that they appreciate her modesty! I have a cousin who has always been careful to be modest, however, and young men who know both her and her father have told her father they have noticed her carefullness and appreciate it. This is an appropriate way to give a modest girl a big encouragement!

    I think we all have trouble treating people equally regardless of how they look. Even a modestly dressed beautiful woman will receive more attention than a plain one. I myself am less likely to approach and befriend a strange looking person. May I learn to see with the eyes of God — man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.

  • LML

    Just wanted to share a story real quick about what godly young men find attractive. I was with a guy friend at a University function, and the school’s cheerleaders were doing a very suggestive dance routine, wearing clothes which actually embarrased me.
    Even though I knew their dress and behavior was very immodest and inappropriate, (and I care very much about modesty) some annoying voice inside me kept saying, ‘oh, if you dress like you do now, no one will ever pay you any attention, and you will NEVER marry.’

    Then, I happened to look over at my friend, and he was looking the other way, deliberately NOT watching the cheerleaders’ routine. On other occasions, I’ve seen him frown slightly after a skimpily dressed girl walks by.

    The girls who dress and act in order to flaunt their ‘beauty’ are just making a fool of themselves for guys who don’t really care about the girl’s hearts or souls.

    This friend of mine that I mentioned is a great christian gentleman, and he’s one of our teen-age brothers in Christ who appreciate modesty and inner beauty.
    I observe a bunch of guy/girl interactions at my school, and I hear a lot of comments from guys about other girls, along the lines of “Whoo, look at that skirt and those legs!”
    It disgusts me, for one that the guys would say that (and I have heard much worse, but am trying to keep this comment g-rated…) and it bothers me that the girls would subject themselves to it. Those girls may think the guys admire them, but from what I see, the guys admire their bodies, which is completly different. My brothers (I have many) and my brother-in-Christ that I wrote about admire my heart… (and my brothers all happen to think I’m pretty too, and my older bro. keeps me in check with what I wear. If I ever wonder, ‘is this modest’ he’ll tell me. Once, I bought a shirt, I thought it cute and innocent, he didn;t think so. he told me (and I’ll never )forget it “it looks pretty, but it’s kinda like a barbie shirt. And guys don’t play with barbie dolls, but they may play with the real thing. And I don’t really want any guys messing around with my sister.” I returned the shirt ;P )
    Sorry this is a jumbled mess of a comment. I just want to encourage you girls out there, the young men WILL notice if you dress modestly, and if they are the right type of men, they’ll appreciate you for it. And don’t sell yourself short by trying to catch someone who just likes long legs…
    Please note, I’m not trying to say that the whole lust problem is only caused by the way a girl dresses, but since I’m not a guy, I don’t feel like I can address that side of the issue, I can just encourage all the girls out there to honor God and our brothers by dressing modestly.

  • Valerie

    Becky and Katie – Don’t worry ladies! You WILL find the right young man. I did. You don’t really want one of the young men who spends all his time drooling all over the immodest (and often worldly – have you noticed how the two so often go hand in hand?) girls. Wait for a young man who appreciates your modesty. They are few and far between these days, but our God is able to bring them along. Just keep waiting and don’t give up or give in!! There are other modest girls rootin’ for you!!

  • DanaeGrace

    I have only found this site recently, and am impressed. This modesty survey is a great idea -a modest way of getting the information out.

    Becky’s post here also got me thinking. I realise it has already been answered pretty well, and you probably already know this, but I’d like to share still.

    The kind of man that I wish to someday marry, if that is the Lord’s will, is a godly one, whose eyes are focused on Him desiring to live a holy life as He is holy. That doesn’t mean he will be perfect, we all fall at times. As Paul says in Rom. 7:22-23, (For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.) so do our brothers in Christ. God made woman for the man and in its place, it is beautiful, as is a magnificent horse obedient to his master, whether with him under control or free in the paddock. But I do not want to cause anyone to be drawn by the flesh. (1. It is sin for me to do so 2. God commands women to dress and act modestly 1Tim.2:9 3.It’s not fair on the brethren, we need to be kind 4. It’s not the kind of guy I want) Rather as Christ obeyed His Father even unto death, may all Christian young men endeavor to live as living sacrifices guided by their Heavenly Father (Rom. 12;1-2), learning to love and care for their future wives as Christ did the Church (Eph.5). And may we women learn that true beauty is found in following God and His way, keeping our hearts and bodies, waiting to be led by our Father to one, as the Bride (Church) is to Christ, to whom we can submit, reverence (respect), encourage and help (assist).

  • Mrs. Bartlett

    I wanted to drop a quick line to add a little interesting story for y’all.

    Before I met my wonderful husband, I had the bad taste to get interested in a man who was not what he ought to be. It’s a long story, and most of the details are not relevant, but I will share that he was far from being “plagued” by the lust he was indulging in his life. (It didn’t take me very long to become uninterested when I figured out what he was.)

    We were having a discussion at one point, and I know not why, but somehow the topic of “hottie” celebrity girls like Britney Spears came up. I expressed rather serious annoyance at the fact that it seemed like modest young women got no respect from the media and most young men, but a girl they could never have–and who would never stoop to speak to them–was so often the focus of all the men’s attentions.

    The man’s response: “Well, here’s the thing. Guys like to fantasize about being physical with Britney Spears–but when it’s time to get married, we look for someone like you.”

    It was a half-baked sort of affirmation, but it indicated that deep down, despite his obsession with whatever “hottie” he was wasting his brainpower on, he knew what he really needed. Fortunately, my husband is a lot smarter. (And better looking. And a real Christian man.)

    And that said, I’d also like to throw something out to “Jane”: Um, dear heart, where do you get this notion that there IS a “rape culture” in this country? This isn’t the Middle East; I think you’re confusing fundamentalist Christians (“love your neighbor as yourself”) with radical Muslims (“rape victims are adulteresses who should die by stoning”). In fact, up until some bunch of fools decided that the death penalty was in violation of the Eighth Amendment, rape WAS punishable by death in the U.S. (Yes, capital punishment still happens in this country, but never for anything less than murder.) I daresay that it wasn’t the CHRISTIANS who minimized rape.

    Should we denounce rape? Well, should we denounce murder and theft, too? Sure, if you think people are dumb enough to need it spelled out for them time and again.

  • Nathan Arthur

    Katie: What it boils down to (at least for me): My natural lusts are drawn to the immodest girl, but I wouldn\’t marry her. It\’s hard for me to respect her. I am drawn to the character of a modest women, even if I am not drawn to her by how pretty she is.

    Sorry, just trying to boil all these huge posts down…

  • CHRISTY

    What is your definition of modesty? I wear skirts past my knees and always shirts with sleeves and of course long enough to cover all my skin. I even wear a loose skirt with shorts under, just in case, to the gym. I believe this is true modesty.

  • Pingback: Gospel Planet » CJ Mahaney: The Soul of Modesty

  • Natalie

    I am so gld you did the modesty survey. i have always struggled with what was modest and what’s not. I mean, iknow i can be modest in shapless ankle length dresses, but i also want to feel pretty, and that DEFINITELY wasn’t cutting it. I am so glad you guys were able to open with us. now that I know how to help fight, I can help so much better.
    ~natalie

  • Rachelle Warfel

    I found this survey through my online school (someone had posted it), and I thought it was very interesting. I have a question about what is modest though. I am an MK in Burkina Faso, Africa and I am concerned about being modest (as are my parents). Since I’ve grown up in Africa, I’ve worn shorts most of my life (and flip flops). The shorts are usually about knee-length…is that alright? They’re never tight against the body because to me that is very uncomfortable… I like shorts being loose so that I have room to move around. Are shorts immodest when you’re 13 years old (and older)? Also, getting girl’s clothing that isn’t immodest seems to be a problem (in the U.S. In Africa we just have our clothes tailor made and can design them ourselves). We can never find something that is modest and is my size. Because of this, I wear boy’s shorts (and pants) instead. Is that alright, or is that immodest? Thanks!

  • http://www.mythago.com/blog mythago

    A side note, but I wanted to comment on Jess’s comparison at the beginning of the thread–because it is ignorant and mistaken. The laws of kashrut are incumbent on Jews, not on Gentiles. It is not “unfair” or “tempting” for a Jew to see a non-Jewish friend eating bacon. Jess’s comment suggests that seeing somebody do a permitted thing that is forbidden to us is somehow tempting, and that’s false. Also, a little insulting.

  • Erin

    Reading this, I’m reminded of a scene in a famous French novel, Madame Bovary. In it, Dr. Bovary, who is in search of a wife, meets Emma for the first time. He rhapsodizes (internally – Victorian-era gentlemen didn’t say these things aloud) about the delicacy of her fingers, her shapely fingernails, the curve of her cheek – you get the idea. He gets quite lustful about the topic. Mind you, the object of his affections is clothed from neck to wrist to toe in stifling garments designed to hide her quite thoroughly from male gaze. And yet, he lusts.

    It seems to me that women should be dressing out of respect for themselves and for God. Wearing a tent doesn’t accomplish that. Wearing only loose-fitting clothing doesn’t, either. The fact is, healthy men are going to experience lust when they look at a good-looking woman who takes care of herself reasonably well, especially if the woman in question falls into the demographic they’re supposed to be interested in, REGARDLESS of what the woman is wearing. Telling women that you need help to control your lust is putting the blame for your hormones on entirely the wrong shoulders. There’s a reason why we’re supposed to confess our sins regularly – it’s because we are certain to sin. Well, guys, guess what? If lust is a problem for you, you’d better get down on your knees, because it’s not my job to keep temptation from your eyes.

    Actively setting out to seduce a person who is trying to lead a chaste life – that’s wrong. Dressing in a way that suits your body, your sense of style and modesty, and is appropriate for the situations in which you find yourself, and which happens to incite lust in some oversexed teenage males – that’s life.

  • Alexander Kaehler

    Erin-

    The last paragraph of your post seems rather subjective (Your “sense” of modesty?) It’s tricky to elaborate more,as it’s almost midnight and my brain is shutting down.

    Also, I would point out that the situation dosn’t matter (swimming exercizing etc.), unless there are no guys around. After all, be don’t go blind whenever we go to the beach.

    One last thing, christian modesty dose not entitle denying the shape of your body (Think giant pillowcase with arm holes and a neck hole) but aiding men in protecting their minds and promoting (

  • Alexander Kaehler

    Whoops! My post got cut off there… Ah well. Heres what it was prabably going to be like:

    …Promoting ( Sorry, best word I could think of) feminity.

    Considering I’m not a very eloquent orater, I’ll let the quote that’s benn floating around sum it up:

    “We [men] are responsible for bringing these senses [of lust] into subordination to the will of God. We’re trying. And we get tested every day. That’s our job wherever we are, whether in the world or in church. But quite honestly, we’d rather do our battles with the world than with our sisters in Christ.”

    Amen! (If you met me in (real) life, I would never say that out loud, which is precisly the reason I’m doing it now.) And have a nice day/night.

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  • Stephanie A.

    Wow. I just read what people have wrote since Feb. 5th 2007, the topic “Responsibility of Modesty”. It is very intersting to read everyone’s views on this subject. I would like to say thank you for all of your comments, they have really made me think about this. I am really trying to become the young women God wants me to be. But as you know, in our world that is quite a task, but I like the idea of doing hard things. God is totally worth doing hard things for. He is our Savior and Creator, and I hate to dissapoint Him. I am only human, it is inevitable. So I think that for the rest of this year I really need to be deep in His word and in prayer, that is the best way to be in His full armor.

    Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

    Ephesians 6:10-13 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

    And this chapter goes on to describe what the full armor of God is. Everyday we should eguip ourselfs in the Word, to protect our hearts and minds. If we do that, we are better equipped to face the difficulties of the world. Like lust. Which I noticed was a heavy topic in your comments. It is a heavy topic. And many places in the bible God has answers for all your questions, you just need to pray to Him for guidence, and let Him show you His answer. And He will, no doubt in that. It may not come in a bang, but I have noticed that Jesus likes to work in subtle ways. I think that is a lovely thought. He cares about us so much, that He doesn’t freak us out with His answers. I mean, if you really think about it, do you really want to know the answers to all your prayers the minute you pray them?? God has perfect timing. You might not really want the answers to everything, its too much for us to handle. Jesus protects us from that.
    I dont know if any of this is making sense, but to be encouraged, read His word. I cant stress that enough.

    I just read all that I have wrote(habit), and I noticed that I said “you” alot. I dont mean to be condemning, I need to aply all that to myself! It’s easy it give your opinion, but to practice what you preach is another thing. I will work on that myself. No one’s perfect!! And if you could pray for me, I am going to try to be the modest lady Jesus wants me too be. The survey really has put the way I dress in a whole new perspective.

    He is our SAVIOR!! He has saved us!! From all sins!
    So even with lusts of the flesh, we are forgiven.

    God Bless you all! And thank you Alex and Brett! The Rebelution is changing my life! Its exciting!!! I’m on it all the time!! So thank you, and you will be in my prayers. And I hope I can go to one of the Rebelution Conference’s next year!

    Your Sister in Christ,
    Stephanie

  • Jor

    MAN! THIS IS SOO THIRSTY QUENCHING TO TALK ABOUT GODLY THINGS, STRUGGLES ALL OF US HAVE. I mean let’s face it, God never said being a christian would be easy now would he? Guys, reading the modesty survey was great for me. One, I always try to make an effort of being modest. I am disgusted and sad at what girls are doing these days with their bodies…it’s like they’re sellilng they’re bodies to all who may look up on them. I have a father who thinks it’s a great importance for his daughters to dress modestly so as not to temp boys, and two to protect our purity. (Here’s a Thanks to you Dad for training me up to be a sheep of my dear sweet savior Jesus Christ) I think reading this really is encouraging, for I thought guys always clueless. Infact I didn’t even think they really cared about us girls. But, reading this helped me relize that guys do care about their sisters in Christ which to me…(please forgive me for saying this) is a surprise… I’m not being rude…snobby..or..anything..of the sort..Just I didn’t know that guys really respected modesty soo much! It’s amazing how God works isn’t it? I think it perfectly wonderful that guys respect modesty…and now I know. (man..I usually where an undershirt (and in summer..it killss..but I do want you brothers, to know I do it for you! and so that all may see me reflecting the Lord!) and man..it kills during the summer….but to know you guys care about modesty so much..MAN! THIS IS AWESOME!) I want you guys to know I’m praying for you! For, your..your purity, and that God guards your hearts! I do hope that this can be sooome encouragment to you all! Girls? I’m praying for you as well! Especially those who struggle with modesty. HANG IN THERE AND REMEMBER THAT IN EVERYTHING YOU DO DO IT ALL SO THAT GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED!
    Well, all I still have Math to do..man..that sucks. Not, to mention chores. MAN! hahaha. And I’m baby sitting my siblings right now…(hey..the kids were nappin! not like i was being irrisponsible) (only joking..but they were napping) maybe i should tell ya…I’m thirteen and the oldest sister of six kids. And, ate still has math and chores..OH COME ON I DID ALL THE REST OF MY CHORSE..EXCEPT SWEEP! (oh..by the way ate means older sis..) (hahah I’m fillipeano..) (yes i know spelled that wrong..hey I’M THIRTEEN! GIVE ME A BREAK! MOST OF YOU ARE PROB LIKE..WHAT 15 AND SO ON? hahah) K later all.

  • Jennifer

    Thank you for posting this survey. I have had a lot of trouble with trying to figure out what is modest and what is not. Some things are obviously immodest (like mini-skirts), but I was very shocked by some of the results.

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  • http://? Mamie Elizabeth

    This is incredible. It’s good to know how my actions, words, and dress are interpreted by guys. Loads of things on that list I would never even have thought of as being a prospective stumbling bock. It certainly sheds light on the responsibility of women to make sure that everything we do is pleasing in the sight of our Lord and therefore appropriate to “promote.”

    ~Mamie Elizabeth~

  • Sophie

    this is great!! This survey has really helped me alot!! :)

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  • Heather

    What I want to know is ….if there are so many guys out there who would rather have a modest christian woman….then why can’t i ever find one?

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  • Annie Bisek

    First of all, thank you Alex and Brett for starting this blog. What a blessing! I have a question for the guys. Wouls it be better for girls to only wear skirts? Or would pants be okay as long as they’re not tight? If only is said plain out in the Bible….” Girls, only wear skirts/pants”!!!!!

  • Annie Bisek

    I meant woulD :) .

  • Sarah Pena

    I agree with Heather! Why is it so hard to find guys who appreciate when a girl is trying to be modest?

    Sarah :)

  • Bobby

    Christian guy age 29,
    In your post you write, “Let’s be honest. We’re men, and we’re responsible for ourselves… We won’t be able to blame the girls”.

    The closing sentence in the same post is: “But quite honestly, we’d rather do our battles with the world than with our sisters in Christ.”

    If, as you say, boys are responsible for themselves then why would you battle with Christian women?

  • Lydia

    But surely there isnt only just an issue with men struggling with lust through the issue of immodesty. ive met so many girls who genuinely struggle with bad thoughts through men dressing immodestly, and yet feel they can’t say anything because its portrayed as a “male sin”

  • Rebecca M

    Girls, sometimes we can be so unfeeling towards our brothers when it comes to this. They do try, and we must try too. Mutual respect and responsibility is mandetory in order for us to cultivate pure thought lives and be good examples.
    Guys, thank you for speaking up!

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  • Sara Beth

    I want to thank all of the guys that did the survey. I honestly did not think that some of things I wear or do were immodest. I cried when I read some of the messages that guys my age left for us girls. I honestly never expected guys to feel the way that they do. I was speechless while reading it and again I want to thank you guys for all your input.

    -Sara Beth

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  • Marli

    It is incredible, to me, to hear a guy say so openly, that it is an issue of a man’s heart.
    I grew up with no brothers, but with a mother who condoned modesty, more than most. I was always happy to comply, because, as a young girl, I knew that there was a good reason for modesty, even though I didn’t fully understand it. As I entered the teen years, I was less concerned about my manner of dress, although, now I see that that is the time to be more careful. Now, thanks to the survey, I’m consistantly reminded, mentally, that, although it is an issue in my heart, I should show modesty in the way I dress. Thankyou for this survey, if it helped no one else, (which I can see that it did) it changed my mindset, and caused me to rething the way I dress.

  • Tessa

    I just wanted to encourage you boys to look at the girls in your life with a pure heart and look at them as sisters and think about all the good things like growing to god with each other preparing for the kingdom ! and ladies help the boys by this as u would your brothers. God has a special someone for you and you dont want to tell them that you have been checking out other girls now would you im not trying to condem but just to help you i will be praying for you :)

  • Caitlin C.

    Hello! I just found this thread and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it. What a blessing the modesty survey has been in my life! I pray that I can repay the honesty of these young men who have been so open about this issue, with how I dress and conduct myself in social circles.

    Apparently this thread has dwindled down, but I have a few questions of my own, and if anyone would mind answering them I’d greatly appreciate it.

    The main question I have, has to do with the responsibility of church leaders to hold those in the congregation accountable in the way they choose to conduct themselves. Why does it seem that the issue of modesty is so very hard to address in our churches and so-called Christian organizations?

    In my last years of high school, I was surprised to witness the apparent blurring of lines in our homeschool circles. Those who have chosen to step aside and stand for morals that our nation’s education system ignores and almost mocks, seem to have suddenly let all they stand for slip into oblivion.
    In my opinion, our leaders are failing in holding us accountable. A girl of any age, sometimes can’t be trusted to know herself well enough to be able to conclude in her own terms what is acceptable in the sight of the Lord. We need examples to follow and standards to be set. If our fathers and mothers allow us to walk out the door in clothing that reflects everything secular society embraces, the young lady will assume they condone her choices, and that there is nothing wrong with the way she dresses. If our earthly fathers condone secular dress, will we not assume that our Heavenly Father condones such as well?

    The women of the church are piercing themselves and showing up on Sunday mornings in cocktail dresses; why does no one speak out? If we have accepted Christ, we have joined His body of believers as well. We have a responsibility to be accountable to one another. We are to put on the ‘new man’, and not walk according to the ways of this world.

    It should not be taken that I mean to walk up to someone and tell them to their face that they are dressed immodestly. However, I would say that at times this could be appropriate with certain individuals. The Bible tells us that the older women are to instruct the younger. I believe that there are people God has placed in the Christian life, who do have the authority to confront us on issues such as these. Why would the Bible tell older women to instruct the younger women if we do not need instruction? If we really don’t know what to do without guidelines to follow?
    And I ask, why is not more of this happening in today’s Christian culture?

    A few years ago, the spring formal was held for our homeschool group, though, one of the most grounded young men of the group did not attend due to the immodesty of the young women. A Christian function, which’s purpose was to provide a healthy environment for young men and women of the faith to assemble and have decent, clean fun, had turned into something that a young man of deep moral conviction could not even attend without feeling offended!
    A friend of mine was troubled by this, so she tried to gather the girls of the group together in order to sign a petition to take before the board of directors, that would suggest dress codes for our events. She didn’t gain any ground however, because the majority of the girls were divided on the subject, saying that it was the father’s job to decide what was acceptable for his daughters to wear.
    So, if the fathers are condoning dress that offends Christian men, where does that leave us?

    When we consider Christian organizations, and groups of women who have studied books on modesty, and read the modesty survey, even, but still seem to ignore all the warnings and put self before anything else, is it not the part of our leaders to take action? I just believe that there is too little importance put on the matter in our private circles. There IS a definite line to be drawn when it comes to modesty, as the survey points out. But in our churches, why does no one stand before the congregation and set these things before us? Why is church discipline effective in everything but this issue? And why does no one seem bothered that we appear so very much like the world? Are our ego’s really that important?

    Whew, I’m probably asking for it! I’m afraid that as a woman posting this, I’m overstepping my boundaries. I firmly believe in trusting in men’s leadership, and that when a woman gets up and starts pointing fingers, it is very unbecoming of her. I just feel like we are a big puzzle that is falling apart because all of the pieces don’t want to work together.
    Can we blame just one party? No, we’re all at fault. Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters all have a role to play. To simply boil it down, the role is to seek God’s will above our own; then, who He made us to be can’t help but shine through in our lives.
    If I could learn to love Him more I know I’d certainly be a better daughter, sister and ultimately, woman.

    Please let me know if I’ve been off-base with anything I’ve said. Honestly, I’m confused myself and am just looking for answers. This wonderful Modesty survey is evident that the Christian community IS responding to this issue, and I know that many girls have been touched by this. Thank you again and again!

  • Abby

    this is really great. . . until i read Do Hard Things, i didn’t even know that this website exists…now i’m reading it and im thinking Thank God! i finally have a male view on modesty…so, this is really amazing…keep it up!

  • Charla

    i just finished ur book. i go to a christian school in kirksville MO. my class of8 (9th and 10th) just finished reading it for health.

  • Brianna

    OK, guys. What a huge blessing for all Christan girls. I get’s hard because the Bible never says how long this should be, or this should come to there, so this survey is a great way to get an idea of what “to avoid”. And, come on, we as females don’t know what makes a guy stumble. You can ask other girls till the cows come home, “if this is modest” but you never know for sure if it is. (don’t get me wrong I think it is wonderful to get godly counsel from your mother or church family, but it’s just that we can’t tell.)

    And on behalf of Christan girls everywhere,

    Thanks for making the race a little easier!

  • Jon Truax

    “Jane,

    I agree with you. Men need to be held responsible for their actions. There should be no arguments about skirt hems and necklines. Men should be able to control themselves. God gave us a brain! Men should have a little bit more self control and not go crazy when they see an ankle or collor bone.

    Graham

    Moderator Note: It appears (from information only we are privy to) that this user is a woman, not a man, and that this comment is intentionally deceptive in that regard. If additional clarification is provided we will remove this disclaimer”

    I’m a guy and I agree with her/him.

  • Kristy Milburn

    I like the Modesty Survey. It has been very helpful, but I do not agree that swimsuits are modest. I do not care if the majority of the guys says that it is, it’s not. That includes a one piece swimsuits because the Bible says that you should cover your thighs. For those who believes that a two piece swimsuit is modest, then what is the difference between a two piece swimsuit and a bra and underwear. I do not wear pants b/c I do not feel comfortable b/c they were orginally made for men. It bothers me that girls are willing to dress modestly for guys when they are suppose to be modest to honor themselves and God. I honestly do not care what guys think about what is modest and what isn’t b/c I’m not doing it for them. I am mainly doing it to honor myself. I am not a piece of meat or a toy to play with. It is hard for me to belive that guys perfer to marry a modest girl b/c everywhere I go I see and hear guy making a sexual comment or joke. I have exprience it myself and I ALWAYS dress modestly. When a guy makes a sexual comment or joke, I am not afraid to tell him to stop and I distance myself from him if he does not say that he is sorry or does not back off. I do not like it that guys would rather have sex with immodest girls, like Britney Spear, but would rather marry a modest girl or vigin. I do not want a guy like that to court me.

  • Godsgirl

    Caitlin C.,

    I totally agree that more should be done to prevent immodesty in churches. Romans 12:2 tells us that we are not to conform to the pattern of this world, but so often I see Christian girls who are dressing just as immodestly as the non-Christian girls. I think there are two reasons that most church leaders are not pressing the issue:

    1) Modesty is a sensitive topic and they are afraid of offending anyone or turning people away.

    When you think about it, this really doesn’t make sense. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. We cannot, and are not supposed to, blend in with the darkness around us; we are supposed be different. We were put here to glorify God, to be a light and to bring people to Jesus. When we unashamedly take a stand for what is right, some people may feel threatened (which means that the Holy Spirit is convicting them of sin), but many will be drawn to the light. They won’t be drawn to us if we blend in with the darkness. If all of the churches in America imitated Christ more closely, I’ll bet nationwide church attendance would skyrocket!

    2) Many of our Christian elders don’t expect us to be different than our more secular peers.

    Most of our elders, Christians included, have low expectations for teens. They seem to be satisfied that we are in church instead of out on the streets. Many don’t realize the impact we can have on our generation – and the whole WORLD – if we just clean up our act and choose to follow Christ in every area of our lives.

    I know it’s hard. The world is constantly bombarding us with its own opinions of how we should dress and act. It would be so much easier to dress modestly if we had more Christian adults and church leaders holding us accountable. My parents and younger sisters (I am the oldest) help to hold me accountable in this area, so I consider myself very blessed in that regard. Another thing that really helps me is this awesome verse I found. I typed it up and hung it next to my dresser on my wall:

    “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
    -Galations 1:10

    Don’t conform to the world. Stand firm and be a light. Always remember that you are not alone. This incredible survey proves that!

  • http://www.myjournalforhisglory.blogspot.com God’s Girl

    I really liked all your posts on modesty and chivalry. I then clicked on a link under your sidebar saying Great blogs. This blog was called Biblical WOmanhood Online. When it linked me to the site I was confused and disappointed as the girl they chose to be the main thing on their site was dressed every IMMODESTLY. She had a low cute sleeveless shirt on. I do not feel this is alright to protray this image and then try to teach others how to be a biblical woman!!

  • Mike

    I really think that it is a man’s responsibility here. I also strongly agree with John R who posted on February 6th, 2007. I know that when I see a very immodestly dressed girl, I am disgusted, however, I do think that being modest does not mean wearing only long sleeved shirts, and it really depends on the girl’s view. I can definitely tell you that I am in no way attracted to an immodestly dressed girl, but again keep in mind that when I say immodest, I do not mean that she is wearing a t-shirt and shorts only centimeters above her knees.
    I really appreciate modestly dressed girls, especially those who dress to please God, which is really the main idea in all this.

  • Mesiah

    I am not a certified psychologist but I have been trying to understand how the human mind (not brain) works. Basing it on history, pure philosophy, and the cases of some people who live in this time with modern media and concepts, I would daresay that men are not actually attracted (that is, the lustful kind of attraction) to a woman’s body by nature. The skin that covers the breast is the same skin that covers the entire body. Tribesmen back in ancient times didn’t rape women in their tribe because they were almost–if not–nude (which was the fashion). People just developed the concept of associating all of a woman’s body to an object of sexual desire as time went–and it was constantly changing.

    Men today only view women in an unpleasant way because of mere innocent curiosity (which gets them excited), coupled with an artistic part of the mind and the ideas that are being injected into their minds by society.

    We could help reduce a man’s artificial stimulation, though. For one, we could lose the habit of reacting to, either negatively or positively, to people’s attire unnecessarily. This would lessen their attention to what clothes reveal and what clothes don’t. A sense of fashion is natural, after all. We could limit our criticisms to whether an outfit is appropriate for an event.

    We could also avoid the non-academic discussions on male and female sexual attraction. Instead of it, we could focus on conversations regarding the appreciation of the physical features of another person. This is in no way immoral.

    We might lessen chats about romantic relationships as if it were the only thing that is important in this world. People could talk about a lot of things.

    I know that we were already thought norms and given ideas, but pondering over these would be a wise thing to do. Emotions do deceive, but only because the mind does not understand well. It is a sort of misinformed reaction.

    I hope that what I contributed here would not just be another addition to the thread.

    I am a free-lance Christian college student from the Philippines, by the way.

  • Dee

    I can’t believe some people have to physically turn their heads so as to not get aroused by an “immodest woman”. Women should not have to worry about whether they will be seen as sexual objects. Saying that women should dress modestly to “protect men’s minds” justifies the oppression/subordination of women and treats all men as if they were incapable of looking beneath a woman’s appearance.

  • Zoe

    I know I am really late to cotton on to this thread, but I have literally just heard about it via the book Do Hard Things.

    I just wanted to say how thankful I am the God has blessed so many women world over through everyone who took part in the survey – it has really made a difference to so many people!

    I am an MK in Cambodia, and for as long as I can remember I have been told to not wear sleeveless tops, or pants above the knee, but I actually never got why until I read this survey. I would find ways to bend the rules, and get the attention that I felt was only natural… I mean, this was how girls were supposed to be looked at, right? I know that I am insecure, a price to pay when you move as often as I do, I also knew about the love of God, and how He is the only one that I need to love me. But… I was insecure, and it was easy to make friends with girls when I fit right in in the way I dressed, and get the attention of guys.

    Recently, and I mean very very recently, I have been trying to be more modest, because I am finally letting go of that desire to be looked at and fit in, because I know in my heart that I belong to God. But it’s hard when you don’t have support, or anyone to turn to advice for!

    Living in a very small Christian community left me pretty much completely unaware of what Christian men felt about this subject – the only real knowledge I had was through the fact that I knew that we lived in a real “rape culture” as a few people have mentioned earlier, where even in the supreme court, a man would win the case hands down over his rape victim simply with the argument that she was asking for it in the way that she dressed. But this had always seemed too surreal and extreme to ever affect the men I knew. But now I get it!

    So thank you!

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  • http://facebook princess milanes

    well, i have read these already on your books.. that you guys conducted a survey (which is a survey for modesty). and since that time, i am so eager to know about what is real modesty that could please our God and even our fellow christian.
    when i enter college, only few christian gals wearing skirts,… and I’m one of them, but during that time my friends keep on teasing me that i look like old woman in their sites every time i wear skirts.and they keep on asking of “what is my religion” that I’m to loyal of it. And it makes me feel all alone because it seems that everybody don’t like my style.. but then it doesn’t stop me because i know deep inside me, I’m not trying to please somebody or anybody but, God alone.

    what is wrong in wearing a skirts? i think nothing, unless it is too small for your legs to be covered.

  • Larkin

    I find this entire post total and utter crap. For under the disguise of gender equality, this “modesty survey” is allowing men to continue to have hold over women’s bodies. Women shouldn’t have to dress or act a certain way to be able to interact with men, men should instead be able to get control of themselves and see a women for what she really is. A person with a mind, not a sex object.

  • Elaine Sneider

    When I read this about two weeks ago, I had been struggling to be modest in a group of girls who weren’t very modest. They were pressuring me to dress like them, but when I read this, it was like a fire started burning in me, and I decided to stay modest, not just for my brothers in Christ, but also for God and myself. If you dress modestly, than you respect yourself enough to do that favor for yourself.

  • Jessica Drake

    What if I’m not interested in finding a guy? Even if I was involved with a man he would have absolutely no say in my wardrobe because we are two independent individuals and our wardrobes would not be an issue that would affect both of us, therefore, I would not give my opinions on what he chose to wear and I would expect the same from him.

    I will dress according to how I feel at the moment, and, frankly, will not be concerned about if what I am wearing may cause a weak-minded guy to stare and begin having lustful thoughts. Even though I never dress provocatively (People have said I dress like a teacher or librarian), I don’t feel I need to always have in the back of my mind, “Oh, my! If I wear this dress my fellow brother in Christ may have lustful thoughts! Let me change before I go out.” That would just be ridiculous.

    Some people have a particular style they are comfortable in and if it just so happens to show a little skin every so often, guys should just ignore it. I have lots of conservative outfits because I am an accountant and must dress modestly but I also have sexy (not skanky, and there is a huge difference) outfits such as cocktail dresses, sweater dresses, skinny jeans, etc. Of course, I wouldn’t wear these outfits to the office but going out with friends I may would like to dress up simply because it is fun and I feel good in what I am wearing. I also need a change from the button-up shirts and trousers. Also, how one dresses depends on the situation as well as the intention you have for wearing certain types of clothing. Like the cliche goes, there is a time and place for everything.

    However, there are style choices I do dislike such as girls wearing tight-fitted low-cut shirts which show entirely too much cleavage and skirts they would have difficulty bending over in and not showing any underwear. This type of attire sends a message of low self-esteem and not valuing yourself enough. However, outfits such as these do not justify comments such as “She was asking for it” made by some moron if by some horrible coincidence she gets sexually attacked while wearing this outfit nor does it make it acceptable some loser approaches her and starts making lewd and vulgar comments. Someone’s clothing should never be the reason for any type of disrespect. That would superficial and ignorant.

    Some people may need help with their fashion sense because they may look better in different types of clothing because those type may flatter their figure better than the ones they had been wearing. Or some women should wear different colors because they accentuate their eyes or bring out the different tones of their hair color. And any advice or suggestions should really come from family and close friends. Not by men who do not even wear the clothes and they definitely should not use the reason that it turns them on or they begin to have lustful thoughts. If men are unable to control their minds simply based on clothing they see on women (and I’m only talking about average women in the general public, not practically nude celebrities on the cover of maxim or playboy. These images would definitely have an effect on any man Christian or not by simply viewing them) then maybe the problem isn’t the clothes.

    Thank you all for allowing me to write my book and giving me a chance to contribute to your discussion. May God bless you all!

  • Andrea Faith

    First off, I’d like to say that my first reaction to this survey was to shake my head and say, “Well here they go again.” After reading Josh Harris’ book, Not Even A Hint, back in college, I was frustrated by the broad stereotypes and generalizations about men and women. So it doesn’t really suprise me that his children are taking on the pursuit of purity as well.
    Purity, is subjective. Every culture, every human, has been raised with ideals they feel are “right”. But “right” is also subjective in some areas.
    Now let me be clear that I’m not advocating for provocative clothing. I’m almost 30 and can’t believe some of the things that girls choose to wear. I don’t think bikinis are appropriate for certain age-brackets, and I definitely think underwear hanging out (on purpose) is distracting to everyone (not just men). So I can appreciate some of the ideas going around on this site.
    But lets be even more clear, that most young women already have a HUGE burden on their shoulders regarding their sexuality. This burden is also becoming more prevelent among young males as well. Advertising and consumerism in general feeds mixed messages to our youth all the time. Messages of what is “right” and what is “attractive”. For women, the sexual mixed messages are usually reffered to as the ‘virgin’ and the ‘whore’ complex. Vigin, of course, referring to the Virgin Mary. The idea that she was chosen because she was a virgin and pure of heart. Therefore it is our responsibility as “good Christian women” to remain pure and virginal until marriage. Then there is Mary the Whore. Who, for some reason isn’t respected as much as the Virgin, but who Jesus loved without judgment or condemnation. Most young women are confronted with the common sayings, “She’s such a whore.” (Sometimes just on the basis of clothing alone) and then there is, when the girl wants to be modest or pure, “Don’t be such a prude.” Or, my favorite quote from a guy I dated in highschool. “You’re such a virgin-slut” LOL Not really sure how that makes any sense. I guess because I wasn’t ashamed of my sexuality, but also felt convicted to remain a virgin and not move too fast in a relationship. I must have been confusing to that young boy.
    So it’s good to talk about these things openly. But I caution the young men of this forum to think logically before making such strong accusations. Saying that showing cleavage (if it’s not on purspose) is immodest makes women like me feel like (insert cuss word). I do my best to make sure my well endowed chest is appropriately covered. Aside from wearing a turtleneck or t-shirts everyday I would have a hard time living up to your standards of modesty. And not showing cleavage in a swimsuit! C’mon guys. You try hiding your junk while wearing a speedo! LOL There’s modest and there’s unreasonable expectations. I don’t expect you to go around with long sleeves all the time just because I really like arm muscles. In fact, I prefer smiles over anything else and I wouldn’t dare as you to STOP smiling! And, I’m sorry that God created gravity and that large busts bounce when we walk or run (even with duct-tape and three sports bras on top!) LOL But there are just some things you’re going to have to learn to look past. Reality is not immodest. It just is what it is. Challenging. And I think that’s why God made it this way. In order to create conversations between all different walks of the Christian faith. ;-)

  • Grace

    This is somthing that I have been wondering about, and am hoping that you guys can clear up for me:
    When you go to a public pool, or even walk around your neighborhood on hot summer days, you ussually see at least one man without his shirt on. And for some reason this seems culturaly accepted. I even know some Christian guys that swim without a shirt on. Now, I’m not saying that because men do it, women should do it too, but why should it be any more appropriate for men to go around without shirts on?

  • Laura

    I think it is interesting that there is so much debate on a topic like this. I thought it would be more of a case of everybody agreeing on, “girls be modest and guys don’t look” scenario. I have been blessed with a father who is pretty critical and when I leave the house I can feel pretty safe that I am wearing the right thing. I like to be noticed though, and am tempted to wear something that my parents might not quite agree with me wearing. Then I may get annoyed when they say so. My brothers have never told me that what I am wearing is immodest, maybe because my parents got to it immediately. They have occasionally however started saying, you look nice, you hair looks good and things like that. It makes me smile and not worry about any of the other guys anymore. When I started reading here though, it immediately popped into my head “what about guy modesty”. It seems that it has been covered but I want to enforce it if I may…. God bless you all

  • Mitch

    Just a few weeks ago my oldest son who will be 20 next month met a young lady at a church camp he was attracted to her. they exchanged emails and became facebook friends.
    When he browsed her photos on the facebook he saw that she had pictures of her in a bikini at a beach. He struggled with that. She was immodest in her apparel. He told me that she was not the type of girl she claimed to be. We as parents should raise our sons to be protectors instead of predators.

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  • Hope Simmons

    My Pastor said something great when he was preaching out of I Timothy 3 (The chapter about modesty)
    He said, “You love us best, girls, when you dress modestly.”

  • Monica

    A couple of years ago, the Lord showed me that He wanted me to change in the area of dress. After much prayer and seeking His will I discovered want He wanted me to do. So with His help I went through my wardrobe and got rid of clothing that I knew was immodest and a daughter of the King should not be wearing. After I had completed this task I went before the Lord and claimed modest clothing. He did provide and it still providing. :)

  • Monica

    Oops! I wasn’t done quite yet. :P
    It wasn’t always easy and many times I was tempted to wear clothing that was inappropriate. I knew it was the Lord’s will for my life, but it was hard. The thing is I had no idea that men appreciated modesty. I was completely ignored, but then I saw young ladies provocatively dressed surrounded my the young men. I wasn’t at all jealous, I was confused. I saw a video of a young man expressing his thanks to all the women who choose to dress modesty. He expressed how helpful it was. After watch the video I went my bedroom and cried; never before have I ever heard anything like that. So I told the Lord that if He is pleased with the way I was dressing, could He send a Godly man to thank me? A couple of months later the Lord answered my cry and He sent a man that I greatly respected to thank me. I was so thrilled; It made my month! God can answer even our strangest requests.
    I just want to make sure that all you young men know how helpful it can be to have that kind of encouragement. Make sure your sisters in Christ know how much you appreciate it when they dress modestly. It meant so much to me and I know it will to them.

  • Michelle

    Thanks to all the guys out there that helped with the survey. It helped me a lot.

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  • http://www.votestrike.webs.com Jessie

    Well, I was dressing modest, to draw guys attention, away from me, and ’cause it’s how I feel more comfortable. It’s how I like to dress.
    Looks like I did myself a dissservice. lol

  • Ariel

    THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!!!!! such an encouragement to me!!!!! It is so encouraging to know that guys really do notice that us Christian girls do try to be modest!!! again, Thank you so much!!

  • Tory

    I just wanted to say, that I think a lot of women and girls (especially teens like myself) are being lead astray by the Modesty Survey. When I first read the answers to the modesty survey, I was shocked that wearing jeans and an even a relatively modest one piece could lead my fellow brothers in christ astray. I began to feel guilty for the clothing choices I was making. Not convicted, but guilty. The majority of the guys who answered the survey did take responsibility for their sin, but it seems as though the survey is acting like a means through which girls should reevaluate their wardrobe because the majority vote said that “insert clothing item here” was immodest. Anything can be immodest depending on how a person views it. Anything a girl/women wears could lead a man astray, because no matter what we wear, guys will always be physically attracted to the opposite gender. The survey blurred the lines between physical attraction and lust, and that is very dangerous. I have a feeling that a lot of guys are now feeling guilty for being physically attracted to a girl, and the girl’s are now feeling guilty for wearing clothes that they previously thought were modest. I absolutely agree that modesty is important, however, I also believe that modesty has more to do with the heart of the person, and the reasoning behind the outfit. Although a page of the survey website did address the fact that modesty is a matter of the heart, most of the questions were about outward appearance. While it’s never a bad thing to re-acess one’s reasons for wearing a certain item, I do believe that it is wrong to present a man’s opinion of modesty as the standard to which women should adhere. Modesty had nearly nothing to do with the opposite gender, and almost everything to do with where one stands before The Lord. If your are striving to honor God in all you do, and if your identity is in Jesus Christ, then your wardrobe will reflect that. You don’t need men who have texted in answers on a modesty survey to tell you what is immodest and what isn’t. I think that since one modesty survey has been done, to be fair, another should be done as well. This time, it should focus on a women’s/girl’s opinion of a man’s modesty. I have the first answer/question in the swimsuit category that can appear on the new survey:

    Statement: A bare chest and low rise swim trunks are immodest.

    Answer: Yes! Especially guys who have six pack abs-this can be a real stumbling block, because then I focus on the guys “hotness” instead of his personality. A loose fitting non-clingy swim shirt can definitely help with this problem. Also, the low-rise swim trunks are one of the biggest stumbling blocks there are. They leave little to the imagination.

    • http://www.therebelution.com/ Brett Harris

      Thanks for sharing, Tory. We certainly recognize the limitations and flaws of the Modesty Survey and have definitely considered hosting an alternative survey for men. Thanks for the feedback.

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