Modesty Survey no image

Published on April 23rd, 2007 | by Alex and Brett Harris

Fred Stoeker On The Modesty Survey's Modesty Survey: RevisitedFred Stoeker, best-selling author of the Every Man’s Battle Series, is a powerful voice for sexual purity, especially when it comes to challenging men to take responsibility for their own lust. He doesn’t back down from that challenge in writing his take on’s Modesty Survey.

Fred Stoeker’s Take On The Modesty Survey

Girls are in a tough spot when it comes to modesty. They are called by God to dress modestly, but because they aren’t born with the same “visual nature” in their sexuality as guys are, it is difficult for women to spot where modesty begins and ends. Where are the boundaries? What trips a guy’s trigger, and what doesn’t?

As guys, we complicate it further by carelessly sinking to our own lowest levels sexually. Our visual nature first forces God to call women to modesty, depriving them of their freedom to define their own style of dress. While that is frustrating in its own way, their real frustration comes when we only pay attention to the girls in our youth groups that dress hot, while ignoring the ones who dress modestly and chase after God. We expect the women to protect us from our own visual nature by dressing modestly, while doing little to rise above that nature ourselves, allowing them to be penalized twice over for our nature

Who can blame the girl who throws up her hands and snaps, I’m through worrying about this modesty thing! Their eyes are their problem, not mine! I certainly can’t blame them as long as we are being so lazy about it ourselves. We must take care of our own responsibilities first by disciplining our eyes and our minds to line up with scripture if we expect our women to line up in modesty. We are men. We must lead in all this.

And that is what I love about the Modesty Survey. It allows guys to take some responsibility and leadership. We can honestly help train our sisters in Christ about where those boundaries lie and, hopefully, as we think through the issue ourselves, we can begin to stand up as men by joining the Rebelution against low expectations. Expect more of yourself sexually. Begin by honoring those girls around you who are dressing modestly and who are focusing as much on their inner beauty as their outer apparel.

– Fred Stoeker –

Read: From Alex and Brett / From Fred Stoeker / From Joshua Harris

About the Author

are the co-founders of 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.

  • Joy

    That is really good! Soo true. I know what it’s like to be frustrated when guys are only (or even mostly!) paying attention to and talking to those who don’t dress modestly. Thanks for posting this!

  • Anya

    I agree with Joy! It’s very irritating when, as a girl, I dress modestly… and guys prefer to hang out with the girls who are not being modest! Part of that is my own attitude *sheepish grin*… I need to be content with what God sends, but men should appreciate when girls make an effort to protect their eyes and souls!

  • I agree, men must take the first step if they expcet the girls to follow.

    I was thinking about the example that Mr. Stoeker used about guys paying attention to the girls that “dress hot” and I thought of it this way. Guys need to train themselves to guard their eyes and look for true beauty not the superficial stuff (not that looking good is bad). Pearls do not lay in plain sight, they are hidden and protected by the shell of the oyster that builds them. In the same way Godly girls do not lay in plain sight, they dress themselves modestly and protect themselves in a way that is pleasing to God. These are the pearls (or girls, it rhymes) of great worth.

    Your Brother in Christ,
    Joshua R

  • Charlie Albright

    Fully Agree.

  • Olivia

    Mmm, how true. Dressing modestly is undeniably a “hard thing” – the temptation to “flaunt what you’ve got” is so huge, especially when those hormones kick in and you are dying for guys to notice you… I have to remind myself daily that the path of a God-honoring Christian life is not always the most alluring one, especially with the 21st century material lifestyle (ubiquitous immodesty everywhere from the movies to the aisles of the neigborhood grocery!)

    “Whatever you say or do, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17)

  • Abigail

    BRAVO. I think Mr. Stoeker did an excellent job of portraying the guys’ hearts in participating in this survey, and he offered a refreshing challenge to them that does this girl’s heart good!

    I especially appreciated that reference to our being “penalized twice” when modesty and chastity must come at the price attention from our guy friends. One of the hugest blessings of the Modesty Survey for me was all the encouragement from guys who begged us to keep being faithful and assured us that they ARE thankful, because most of the time, nobody seems to notice or care.

    My challenge to the girls is that we should all be seeking God for a heart that desires His approval so much more than any person’s that we’d give anything up to please Him. Keep your eyes fixed on the Prize, and the “sacrifice” won’t seem like a sacrifice anymore. One of my favorite poems puts it this way:

    “What has stripped the seeming beauty
    From the idols of the earth?
    Not the sense of right or duty,
    But the sight of peerless worth.

    Not the crushing of the idols,
    With its bitter void and smart,
    But the beaming of His beauty,
    The unveiling of His heart.”

  • Amanda Howell

    Great post! I really appreciated the post as well as the comments made so far:) I agree with you Joy as well as Abigail. The modesty topic is an issue that lays close to my heart. One of the greatest blessings and encouragments that I gleaned from the modesty survey, was from all the guys who told us to keep being faithful on this path.

    Alex and Brett, Thanks again for all you do! Keep up the good work! I’m praying for you.
    A sister in Christ

  • Ella G.

    Great post. I can find myself struggling with the fact that Mr. Stoeker discussed (about guys going after the girls who dress immodestly.) But thankfully I have a wonderful mother who reminds me that a guy like that isn’t the best one for me (meaning he might look at immodest, flaunting women even after he’s married) But more importantly, she reminds me that I have a wonderful Savior who notices me all the time!!

  • This is a great bit written by Mr. Stoeker. I think he does a good job summing up the whole guy/girl responsibility thing.

    Right now, at the Christian College I attend, a group of us guys are reading Mr. Stoeker’s book, “Every Man’s Battle” together, coupling it with personal accountability. I have found this book to be an incredible help to me as a guy, showing where the problem of sexual lust really lies, and how we can fight against it.

    In many ways, it does lie with the guys. Let me quote a small portion of “Every Man’s Battle”, where he talks a little about this:

    “…B.J. “Bernie” Baker was told he was dying of bone cancer. Given only two years to live, he told the doctors to fight the disease with everything possible. ‘Give me the treatments,’ he said. ‘I’ll keep living my life.’…nine years after the diagnosis, he was struggling with shortage of breath and loss of strength but said, ‘I’m going to keep fighting. Might as well.’ Those words were not said in resignation. They were the words of a real man…The cancer had hit him hard, but he had no plans for surrender. ‘Might as well keep fighting.’ What was B.J.’s alternative? To quit and die. What about you, in your battle with impure eyes and mind? What’s your alternative to fighting? To stay ensnared and die spiritually.*

    He’s right; we have two choices: to keep fighting, or to die. There is where a guy’s responsibility lies. We do have the choice.

    And when we do fall, we don’t have to keep on sliding down. To fall once is bad, but keep fighting, even as you feel like you’re being drug down, keep fighting it. Make your flesh fight for every little bit of ground it manages to take.

    Thanks for posting this comment, Alex and Brett; it’s a real encouragement!

    * Every Man’s Battle by Fred Stoeker, p. 83

  • Naomi Elizabeth

    Thank you! That is so encouraging. I know that I really appreciate it when a guy talks to me courteously and notices me as a person and sister in Christ. And it makes me respect those guys that are men enough to stand up for and encourage what is right. But even when that isn’t the case we still have a wonderful Savior that never forgets us, and always remembers us. And that can be enough for us.

    A thankful sister in Christ

  • A short but powerful article…it is an encouragement to know that Christian young men are being challenged to act and think like this. It is always a comfort for Christian young women to feel that they are receiving attention not merely for their physical beauty but also for who they really are. Thank you for another encouragement in pursuing Christian purity both for guys and girls.

    Glory be to God :)

  • Mel

    That was really good.. I have been talking about this issue (Guys mostly paying attention to immodestly dressed girls) heaps recently with my mum and sisters as I have been quite hurt by some of my guy friends doing exactly that. I would like to really challenge you guys to do your best to honour the girls in your life that choose to dress modestly. It honestly isn’t something that is easy to do, both emotionally and practically! I know that I would be SO blessed if my guy friends would come and treat me like I am worth their time even though I might not look ‘hot’!

    I do agree with Abigail though, that us girls need to be content with who and what we are and be seeking to please God rather than gain attention from guys. :)

  • Daisy

    Interesting. Apparently in the Orthodox Jewish community, where women are encouraged to cover even their hair, the men purposely look away or down when addressing immodestly dressed women and end the conversation as soon as possible. They also avod being in the room alone with any woman. That seems extreme to me but I could see guys truly interested in perserving their hearts taking the same tack with immodestly dressed women. If enough quality guys behaved this way I think a lot of women would change the way they dress because they’d feel uncomfortable being avoided.

  • LML

    Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for posting this!!
    It is such an encouragement to me!!! I want to dress in a God-honoring way, whether or not the young men around me appreciate it, but I gotta admit it’s a lot easier when i don’t have guy-friends around me talking about how pretty whatevergirl-wearing-a-skimpy-skirt is… Part of it is pride, I know…

  • amen! I am glad that you guys notice when girls dress modestly. “but your inner beauty which is of a gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth to God.” GOD BLESS YA,

  • Alyssa L.

    yeah, this is great. Recently I really struggled with dressing modestly, all the guys went after the girls they thought were hot. And Satan was screaming at me, “You can look like that! You could attract their attention! Why not show off your goods–just a little.” Thank God, I withstood the temptation, and I realized, do I really want a guy who is chases girls like that? The godly guys aren’t going to be the ones in hot pursuit. Just a thought . . . and thanks for the encouragement.

  • Alyssa L.

    just want to say sorry if I was too harsh in that last comment…I think the others who commented are exactly right when they say that being jealous of immodest girls is a pride issue….that certainly played a role in my case. And I think we should remember that we have a responsibility to help guys out in this area…even if they seem not to appreciate it.

  • sabrina

    great. i love articles that show how the wise and powerful male can “train” women how to act. how about women wear what they want and men not objectify them and see them as sexual objects? hmm….i guess the only way for a man not to become a drooling mass of hormones is for a woman to be covered up. funny how that is a woman’s problem…that they need to “line up in modesty”. here’s a thought…how about a guy that can actually hold a whole conversation without objectifying and victimizing a woman??

  • kiley h.

    thank you so much for the great post! i agree that we need to help our brother’s in christ out by choosing to dress modestly, but i also appreciate that Mr. Stoeker realizes the responsability guy’s have in this issue and how he encourages them to realize just how hard it is for us girls to stay strong!! but we can do all things through christ-thank you jesus!! and thank you to all those who participated in the modesty survey!

  • Emily

    “While that is frustrating in its own way, their real frustration comes when we only pay attention to the girls in our youth groups that dress hot, while ignoring the ones who dress modestly and chase after God. We expect the women to protect us from our own visual nature by dressing modestly, while doing little to rise above that nature ourselves, allowing them to be penalized twice over for our nature

    Who can blame the girl who throws up her hands and snaps, I’m through worrying about this modesty thing! Their eyes are their problem, not mine!”

    Guys: this is SO true. If you appreciate modesty, show it!

  • Debs

    amen – this is great thx for posting it!

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  • Baxter

    what an absolutely disgraceful exercise in misogyny. i find it very sad that anybody holds this misguided view, let alone expresses it openly on the internet for it to be celebrated. the objectification of people, especially women, is purely the fault of the objectifier. pure and simple, this is victim blaming. a person should not have to change her mode of dress or way of life simply because you are unable to control your eyes and thoughts. step up to the plate and take responsibility.

  • Ashley

    I like how Mr. Stoeker points out that it’s frustrating when guys give more attention to unmodest girls, this has been an issue for me for awhile. There’s always the little devil in my head saying, “you could get attention if you were like her.”

  • isaac

    i Agree Completely with both side of the bar. I am a male teenager and know the ‘struggles’ of sexuality. But where do we start. How do we discipline our minds and eyes?

  • Mila

    I have to say, I have a lot of problems with these opinions. This assumption that guys have a special “visual nature” isn’t true – not neurologically, biologically, or realistically. Women are capable of visual attraction too! As such, both genders are responsible, and completely responsible, for their own thoughts. As a woman, I am never guilty of a man’s lust, unless I intentionally caused it. I need to guard my own intentions and ask why I’m wearing something, but I never need to worry that some guy might find my skirt too short – if my heart was in the right place, I’m innocent. That being said, if I intend to cause lust, I’m guilty whether or not it actually happens. So no, I don’t need to be “trained” because a man is not disciplined enough to keep his mind in the right place. And yes, some men need to reconsider whether they’re intentionally causing lust with their appearance.

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