Thursday, January 24, 2013

Modesty

A few definitions of modesty before I start:
  • The quality or state of being unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one's abilities.
  • The quality of being relatively moderate, limited, or small in amount, rate, or level.
  • Free from conceit or vanity
  • Propriety in dress, speech, or conduct
Synonyms - humility, moderation, decency, demureness
 
Modesty is a buzz word in the church today, and has been for years.  Quite often, it's used as a synonym for holiness
 
How many times does the word modesty appear in the Bible?  I'll let you answer that for yourself. 
 
Hebrews 12:14 says "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."
 
In this scripture above, peace and holiness are mentioned together.  What IS holiness?  Is it a heart issue?  Or is it a clothing issue?  Or is it both? 
 
The saying "Modest is hottest" has been all over the Internet, and bouncing around our circles for a few years now.  Chandra over at Momomod addressed it in her blog post here, and I agree with a lot of her view points.  I think she did a wonderful job at dispelling the myth of "Modest is hottest," so I'm not even going to go there. 
 
I have some of my own thoughts regarding modesty though, that I'm going to endeavor to share here. 
 
I have heard it said so many times that we need to dress holy to protect the men.  Protect the men!  They can't control their thoughts!  If they see you dressed immodestly, you're causing them to sin!
 
Wait, what? 
 
I'm responsible for someone else's thoughts?  I'm causing them to sin by my skirt/shirt/shoe choice?  Huh? 
 
Actually, no, I don't think I'm responsible for your sin
 
That is nowhere in the Bible sir or ma'am. 
 
 That is you trying to justify sin.  That is you blaming the woman, like Adam did in Genesis.  Adam was responsible for his sin, just as Eve was responsible for her own sin.
 
When we tell girls that they need to dress modestly to protect men's minds and their eyes, we are telling them that they are responsible for men's thoughts. 
 
Do you want your little girl going through life thinking that she is responsible for someone else's actions? 
 
Not only is she going to feel condemnation for her own sin, because we all sin, she's going to feel it for someone else's sin. 
 
It's that attitude that comes out when a woman gets sexually assaulted and people say, "She was asking for it because of the way she was dressed!" 
 
No.  No, she wasn't asking for it.  She was wearing clothing, and someone else made a decision to violate her. 
 
This mentality of women being responsible for men's actions and men's thoughts is reprehensible.
 
If you want your wives, sisters, and daughters to dress modestly, teach them holiness.
 
And while you're at it, teach it to your husbands, brothers, and sons too.  Because only they are responsible for their actions and thoughts. 
 

2 comments:

jen lord said...

Amen.

HA, our evangelist elaborated tonight on often ignored areas of modesty such as in our vehicle choice, home size, amount of money spent on clothing, etc.

Sara H said...

Amen!! I agree 100% percent. Modesty is all about holiness.