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88 thoughts on “6 Marks of Biblical Modesty: How God Brings Sexy Back

  1. I hear what you’re saying Luke but I have a question to pose to you before this discussion ends up devolving into subjective admonitions and advice to women as to how they can dress more “modestly”:

    First off, is the fully nude human body by definition immodest? Is your own unclothed body intrinsically immodest?

    If your initial premise about the body is wrong, then your conclusions will be tainted as well.

    • Great question. Modesty is, by definition, a command given to those living in a sinful context. In the beginning, human beings were naked and without shame. Nude Adam and nude Eve were not immodest, because their nakedness was a natural and godly expression of their human beauty and worth. There was no sin to react to. And in a very real sense, their naked form was a display of the image of God in them.

      But since the fall, things have been very different. Nudity still communicates the same kind of openness, beauty, transparency, and vulnerability it did in Eden, but because of the way sinful people exploit that vulnerability (through seduction) and are exploited by it (through lust), clothing is important.

      So, is nudity immodest? Yes and no. No, it is not immodest when it is experienced before others who can appreciate it without exploitation (such as husbands and wives naked before each other, or a child naked before a loving parent, or a number of other contexts). Yes, it is immodest when it is experienced before those who would exploit others by it or be exploited by it.

      Like my article says, modesty is contextual. Modesty doesn’t say, “My naked form is inherently shameful.” Rather, a modest heart says, “My naked form is a thing of divine beauty, and knowing my own sinful heart and the sinful hearts of others, I will not use such beauty as an opportunity for exploitation and indecency.”

    • I hear many of you talk of dressing to please God and yet I hear very few of you use Scriptures to back that up! 1 Timothy 2.9 commands…yes commands (i.e. God ordered) all Christian women/girls to not only dress modestly and unshamedly, but also to wear {proper} clothing. The Greek word for clothing here is katistole where we get our English word STOLE. In the Greek, the word katistole means a long, let done, loose covering. Obviously swimsuits, leg exposing shorts, tight pants and tight short dresses do not meet God’s criteria for PROPER CLOTHING. Ladies, we have to stop comparing our modesty standards with what the world wears. The Word of God should be the standard that ALL Christian women use for determining how to dress and even how long our hair should be. (See 1 Corinthians chapter 11 for God’s hair standard for men and women.)

      Again girls, lets dress, look, talk and behave as God’s Word tells us. Let’s quit comparing our ‘more modest standards’ to the less modest standards of this world; when we use the world as a gauge for what modesty means it convinces our hearts that we are dressing ‘okay’ because after all, we are not dressing like those sinners….at least many of are not. An example of that is when Christian women chooses not to wear a bikini because they believe a bikini is immodest….which is good. However many Christian women will then choose to wear a one piece swimsuit (which is still always form fitting) with a pair of shorts. Now choosing to wear the one piece swimsuit with shorts is much better than wearing a bikini….however, it’s still not biblically modest in God’s eyes. God’s standards are not based on the world’s, or even the churches, concept of what modest is. Oh how far we have fallen from God’s standard for modesty! I can’t even imagine faithful, biblical women like Sarah or Hannah even considering going out in public wearing the type of clothes that many Christian women wear today. For thousands of years godly thinking women wore modest, discreet clothing. A lot of the clothes that Christian women wear these days would have only been seen on harlots or prostitutes in years past.

      And finally, girls/ladies it is NOT legalism when we follow God’s standards for choosing to wear modest clothing to please the Lord. Now the Scriptures do NOT tell us exactly what we can and cannot wear. By that I mean the Bible does not directly command that women cannot wear pants. However, the Scripture do clearly tell us that ANY pants that are worn by girls/women must be modest and discreet. No obviously, nearly skin tight, (i.e. form revealing) pants (of any style) are NOT modest and discreet. Trust me gals, if you’re wearing skin tight, butt or crotch hugging pants, any guy with more testosterone than a French fry is not going to look at what color your eyes are when he sees you coming or going. Ladies, all those ‘goodies’ should be for your husband’s eyes only. Save all those nice looking body parts for your marriage bedroom. Please see http://www.scriptureblogger.com for more info on modesty and gender issues.

      Ladies, the Lord never intended for girls/women to be, act, behave or compete with the boys/men in all areas of life. God intended that the men do those things like: climbing the coconut tree or build the pyramids, wrestling the sheep away from the wolf. Now there are many things that women can do modestly and discreetly while wearing modest, discreet clothing. I am afraid that many Christian women have wandered away from that biblical concept because they desire to do everything that the guys do. I believe that’s why we have so Christian women involved in all kinds of head-banging, body-slamming sports activities today. Let’s be honest: you put a dress on a girl/women and she’s going to be limited into what she can do physically. Over the years women in civilized societies (who always choose to dress somewhat modestly) have slowly drifted towards dressing ways that were once considered barbaric. Today we have a whole generation of women that are going back to the plates in the lips, numerous body piercings, and grass skirt type outfits. And ladies, it always amazes me that many Christian, and even secular women, who do attempt to be modest (i.e. working hard to not expose their undergarment things) when wearing dresses, will show up at a beach pretty wearing things that pretty much reveal everything they’ve got!

    • They had no ebaches, so bikinis andonepieces were no issue. na do you think that a woan, working in the fied could – like the downtown ladies , do around in a Katastiole ?

      Interestng enough therecwere te baths and Chritians also takig tis chance(See Tertulianin, Apolgeticum)

      NAy further comment ?

    • Saint John Chrysostom instructed women of all times about dress when in the fourth century he declared:
      “You carry your snare everywhere and spread your nets in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not, indeed, by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment. … When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent? Tell me, whom does this world condemn? Whom do judges punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You have prepared the abominable cup, you have given the death dealing drink, and you are more criminal than are those who poison the body; you murder not the body but the soul. And it is not to enemies you do this, nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity, nor provoked by injury, but out of foolish vanity and pride.”

    • To the person referencing nudity. The Bible makes clear reference & warning about being nude & moreover stumbling others to lust. Flaunting your body to receive sexual attention is asking for lust attention, not love attention. I CERTAINLY learned that the hard way. It really isn’t a difficult difference to notice. One who cares beyond the shallow & superficial will NEVER push “sexy” instead of truly valuing the person. That only comes with respect & obedient Godly behavior.

    • KJV Bible Matthew 5:28 – But I say unto you , that whosoever look on a women to lust over after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart .KJV Bible Deut. 22:5-The woman shall not wear that which pertain unto a man , neither shall a man put on women’s garment : for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord your God . KJV Bible Proverbs 12:4-6- A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband : but she that make ashamed is as rottenness in his bones . The thoughts of the righteous are right : but the counsels of the wicked are deceit . The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood : but he mouth of the upright shall deliver them . Proverbs 3:15 – She is more precious than rubies : & all the things you can desire are not to be compared unto her . Length of days is in her right hand ; & in her left hand riches & honour . Her ways are ways of pleasantness , & all her paths are peace . She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her : & happy is every one that retain her .

  2. I am glad that you approached the subject of a woman’s modesty. Before I started covering all my body, except my face, hands and feet, in public, I would like to look at the old paintings of women wear veils over their heads and long, loose dresses. Then I thought, “Why only then? There certainly is enough fabric in the world for me to cover more. For thirty years now I have covered myself in long dresses, with a head covering. I have worked, In Philadelphia, been on stage singing in a modest way, and have even had four children in hospitals staying covered mostly. It makes a giant difference. When I put on these clothes of “old”, I think of the virgin Mary and other good women of the past. I just smile at people, speak perfect English and sometimes people ask: “What country are you from?” I say that I am American, and go on with the subject that I want to address, or listen to them. Concerning the matter that you wrote about, a woman going to a party and doing things and then getting raped, I believe that her going to the party not covered well was a sin, drinking alcohol is a sin, “making out” with men who are not her husband is a sin. So although I do believe that a man raping her is a sin on his part, she did a lot of sins also, in the story presented. Help children in need or do another good act, and don’t sin people!

    • interesting comment, Jocelyn. to me the point of being modest is not to draw attention to oneself; therefore, covering yourself completely is going to draw attention to YOU. i would rather go unnoticed….you might be a person who desires attention from others, even if you can cloak yourself from head to toe.

    • Wait, just to be sure there is nothing wrong with drinking, its a sin when the person gets drunk
      Ephesians 5:18

      And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
      Galatians 5:21

      Envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    • The Bible does speak about Ladies wearing pants in Deuteronomy well it’s says that women should not wear that which pertaineth unto to a man that being said men wear pants

    • 1 Timothy 5:4-8- But if any widow have children or nephews , let them learn first to show pity at home , & to requite their parents : for that is good & acceptable before God . Now she that is a widow indeed , & desolate , trust in God , & continue in supplications & prays night & day . But she that live in pleasure is dead while she lives . And these things give in charge , that they may be blameless . But if any provide not for his own , & specially for those of his own house , he has denied the faith , & is worse than an infidel . 1 Timothy 5:11-15-But the younger widows refuse : for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ , they will marry ; Having damnation , because they have cast off their first faith . And withal they learn to be idle , wandering about from house to house ; & not only idle , but tattlers also & busybodies , speaking things which they ought not .I will therefore that the younger women marry , bear children , guide the house , give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully . For some are already turned aside after Satan . I’m only saying that besides clothing meaning modesty , that there is also way of living way titled modesty as well called a woman’s modest life style . James 1:21-22- Wherefore lay apart all filthiness & superfluity of naughtiness , & receive with meekness the engrafted word , which is able to save your souls . But be you doers of the word , & not hears only , deceiving your own selves . What is a good fruit ? Is how someone dress only ? No . Maybe different topic the last 2 , but are example’s that help may give an understand in a full painting maybe , if there is one ?. Matthew 5:15-Beware of false prophets , which come to you in sheep’s clothing , but inwardly they are ravening wolves . 1 Corinthians 11:9-10-Neither was the man created for the woman ; but the woman for the man . For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels .

    • I suggest you find a small book “Dress, The Heart of the Matter” which is written by two ladies of particular courage.
      If you don’t have the time and resource for that, just research the original language in Timothy for “modest apparel” The instruction from Paul describes a particular style.
      What has the early church done in this area? What were the standards until a few years ago?
      God created Eve to attract Adam. Guess how that works.
      I don’t like to be unpleasant, but this article is a mile wide and an inch deep.
      Sorry

  3. Well done! Perfect timing for your article… we are three weeks away from launching an event called “Modesty Matters” (www.mosdestymatters.us) on Sept. 7 at a waterpark in Mansfield, TX with the purpose of showing how beautiful modesty can be. You’ve hit the nail on the head with your post, and I’m grateful for your boldness and courage. I’m a father of five (7-12 yrs old) and can greatly appreciate what you are doing for our next generation. God bless!

    • Men wore robes back then..that resembled a dress..and no man I know wears the kind of pants I do lol
      And many soldiers and men wore nothing to cover their chest..

    • Absolutely. Like this post points out, modesty is more concerned with the underlying principles of inciting neither lust in men nor envy in women; it’s about keeping your clothing from either detracting or distracting from your good deeds. The actual clothing we wear changes from generation to generation and should be considerably less of a concern.

  4. Luke, I totally agree with your last statement in your article: “What am I trying to accomplish by what I wear?” That puts the focus on our covetous motives rather than a particular style or fashion.

    Any discussion of 1 Timothy 2: 8-10 needs to be closely compared to 1 Peter 3: 3-5, which is very similar in message.

    In regards to Adam and Eve, they felt a sense of shame about their own bodies but the shame did not come from God. At the time of the Fall, the only two human beings on the face of the earth were Adam and Eve and they had seen other naked for possibly a very long time and even been intimate with each other after the Fall. Were they trying to hide their bodies from each other? There were no other people on earth at that time.

    Finally, I think that you need to re-think your premise that 1 Timothy 2: 8-10 is talking about “respectable apparel”. Many Bible translations have read that into the text because they have not exhaustively studied the original Greek. The Greek word “Katastole”, which has been interpreted to mean adornment or apparel is not referring to clothing at all — but rather a quiet, restrained attitude. Furthermore, there was no article of clothing in the ancient Greek or Roman world that was named Katastole or could be identified as Katastole.

    Please tell what you think about this scholarly exegesis of 1 Timothy 2: 8-10:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/19510245/Rightly-Dividing-1-Timothy-29

    • I agree about your statement of 1 Peter 3. Deserves an article all of its own because it is another rich text. And yes, it relates very closely to this text.

      I agree that the shame Adam and Eve felt was something internally motivated. No disagreement there. Still, it was God who clothed them (Genesis 3:21), showing that he didn’t disapprove of their instinct to cover up. As you said, they were married and the only two people in existence, so seeing each other nude was not a problem, but the new presence of sin signaled something in them that there was a danger in being exposed. The shame seems to be something more related to their sin, not just their nudity, per se (Genesis 3:7). Not sure how much is in the Genesis text we can glean.

      My friend Bobby Scott wrote an interesting piece about nudity and the fall. You might like it.

      I never said that katastole was a specific piece of apparel. As far as I have studied, you are right: there is no item of apparel that is called katastole. That wasn’t what I said. I said the term translated apparel is probably translated too narrowly. I said, “it is a term that encompasses not just clothing, but one’s whole demeanor, attitude, and actions.” Since the context is clearly talking about clothing (as Paul mentions several manners of adorning one’s body), the force of the word is about attitude expressed through apparel.

      From what I can tell, the term katastole has a couple nuanced meanings. First it means something put in order or arranged, in the sense of being equipped, clothed, or dressed (the Greek playwright Aristophanes, for instance, used it this way). The term also used of something “let down,” or calm and sedated. The definitions are related because of the way clothing is “let down” over the body.

      Clearly we agree that the heart of this text is about one’s attitude. We also agree that Paul is not prescribing a kind of clothing. (He is denouncing certain styles, but not prescribing anything specific.) But to say this text has nothing to do with clothing at all doesn’t do justice to the text.

    • Actually Deuteronomy is taken out of context today to apply to a standard to fit a standard that many churches have set. I am a woman that wear nothing but skirts and dresses adn I use to use that scripture in Deuteronomy to justify not wearing pants because that is what I was taught. However it is totally taken out of context. This was talking about cross dressing. Homosexuality is not modern and it prevailed in bible times even much more than we know. God is not the author of confusion adn this scripture cannot be used for something that did not apply then. All people of God wore robes and you knew a man from a woman back in the day by the clothing they wore but it wasn’t certain articles of clothing. God was dealing with cross dressing, a woman wearing a mans clothing and vice versa. Both men and woman condoned in homosexuality among the other nations and of course they crossed dressed as they do today, to propose themselves as something they are not, deceiving the other party. I do not wear dresses and skirts based on Deuteronomy but I wear it because i believe it to be appropriate and it is what I consider modest. God is not complicated as many people make him and try to use one scripture to build a doctrine. Most do not know or understand biblical history, its better to make sure we study the scripture to show ourselves approved and with all your getting get understanding so we can RIGHTLY divide the word of truth. He said to dress modestly, just as Sarah and the others woman. study to see how they dressed themselves. Some things were custom and cultural. WHen God saved gentiles, he didn’t save them to be conformed to Jewish standards or cultures but he gave them guidelines to follow so that they know how to be appropriate. it’s all about the heart. Why do we do what we do. Love your neighbor as yourself. don’t be a stumbling block for others and so on. rightly divide scripture. I agree with this article and it is definitely a guide to consider what you wear and why you wear it and how you present yourself. It is not just outward but an inward thing. modesty is of the heart.

  5. Thanks for the good dialogue Luke — I appreciate opinions like yourst because they are well-thought out.

    I read your friend Bobby Scott’s series on how nudity affected Adam and Eve in the Fall with much interest. While I agree with some of his secondary points about the nature of deception and how it marred the image of God in people, I have to respectfully but unequivocally disagree with his basic premise regarding the Fall and nudity — namely, that through Eve being deceived and Adam going along with it, that Eve used her nakedness and sensualistic whiles to forever corrupt the purity of Adam. Wow! I thought that this type of regressive theology passed away with certain vestiges of old line Catholicism. I still recall my, aunt, who was raised up in the Depression area Catholicism (where the Bible was read to them only in Latin), sitting around the dinner table with my Mom and I during the early 1970’s (when I was a young boy,) explaining to us how the forbidden fruit in Eden was Eve giving Adam a taste of “sex” through nudity and sensualism — thereby corrupting him and forever warping his purity. In all due respect to your friend Luke, again I have to say Wow! — I never thought I would ever hear that kind of reasoning again, particularly in this century. I mean no disrespect to Bobby. He obviously has taken some time to think deeply about this issue. It’s just that his ultimate conclusion is illogical and unfounded: The fall of Adam and Eve in the garden was far more universally damaging than simply perverting Adam’s view of Eve and her body. Their insecure desire to want to clothe themselves when God didn’t want them clothed was a symptom of their illogical feelings of separation anxiety when God wasn’t even separating Himself from them or rejecting them. The issue of their nudity and their hastily acquired fig leafs (which quickly burned away in the noonday sun) was a side issue. God knew that they need better clothes to protect their bodies from the elements once they were out of the protective realm of Eden.

    I agree with you that the Greek word Katastole can be very well extended to include clothing — I’m just telling you that that is not the primary thrust of the word — yet many have made it that. In fact, there are hoardes of so-called Christian modesty proponents who have made it their sole focus. Just google “Christian girls and modest clothing”, for example, and you’ll see how far this passage of Scripture has been stretched out of context. You’ll see articles about the length of dresses for women and even head coverings.

    Luke, you said this in your article:

    “Similarly, modern modesty standards are not about arbitrary rules of how much skin is shown or how low-cut something is, but about the messages and values our clothing communicates.”

    I would submit to you, that in most Christian forum discussions about 1 Timothy 2: 8-10 and modesty, there are no raging debates about braided hair, gold, pearls or costly attire. It is entirely about midriffs, cleavage and skin exposure and what it is perceived to communicate.

    Consider this:

    My seventeen year old Paul, whom I have carefully trained in the ways of inner sexual purity — through the Holy Spirit, not the Law — recently went to his church summer camp and had a great time with the girls and guys there. As usual, we received some “purity guidelines” from our church (which is a great church) in advance of his outing. In particular, most of these well meaning guidelines were geared towards how the girls should cover up. Wear t-shirts under their one piece bathing suits and not wear short shorts which exposed their thighs or blouses which exposed their breasts or belly buttons. The admonitions were also slightly given to the young men as they were counseled to not wear pants that hung down too low — but that was it.

    Anyways, after the trip, I’m looking over camp photos with my son and see some pictures that were taken on “water slide day”. The girls in the picture were all “appropriately dressed” with t-shirts under their bathing suits as they slipped down the slide. The guys? — well that was another story: My son, along with several other boys, were wearing swimming trunks and no shirts — essentially, mostly nude. What happened to the modesty standards? If the roles were reversed and it was the girls dressed like this, they would have been reprimanded by youth leaders. Question: were the girls not potentially aroused by the sight of guys without shirts and skimpy bottoms — essentially wear the modern day equivalent of loin cloths. Was the boys’ dress modest?

    Luke, this is why the unsaved world is all confused about our “Christian modesty standards” — because we are just as confused as they are. Just for the record, I don’t feel that there was anything inappropriate with how my boy or the other boys were dressed. And I would feel the same if the girls were dressed exactly the same as the boys.

    Do you agree or disagree? Please explain.

    • As far as Bobby’s article is concerned, you didn’t point out any actual problems with his exegesis, other than calling it “regressive theology.” If you would like to dialogue with him (and me) about any specifics of why you think his interpretation is incorrect, I highly encourage you to go to any one (or all) of those four articles and state some specifics in the comments. I’d love the feedback and I’m sure he would too.

      I’m glad we’re agreed that katastole includes the concept of outward adornment through clothing with the emphasis on inward attitude. It seems you keep running into arguments elsewhere (not in my article) that say that katastole is an actual item or type of clothing. We both agree: that is not what this word is. That’s why I didn’t state anything like that in my article.

      I agree there are plenty of discussions in Christian communities about the specifics of modesty, as far as clothing or a lack of clothing is concerned. I do not think such discussions are out of place if they are talked about in the light of this text, and other relevant texts, that speak of modesty as an matter of the heart. There is nothing wrong with talking specifics of clothing (after all, the apostle Paul did) when trying to bring some kind of modern application to how heart-modesty is lived out in our interactions and wardrobe choices.

      I agree with you that this should apply to men as well as women. As far as this text is concerned, modesty was something Paul was addressing to Christians women, but there are plenty of principles to be applied here for men as well.

      I do think modesty is going to be a contextual matter. From one culture to another, from one era to another, and from one gender to another, modesty is going to take different shapes based on the cultural cues certain kinds of clothing provoke. For the people in Ephesus, braided hair invoked a certain kind of cultural response. For us, not so much.

      I don’t think Christians need to hide from this fact as if it is an embarrassment. Christianity can pride itself in being trans-cultural. The gospel can go into all the nations of the world and impact those nations from within because Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. If specific kinds of clothing choices differ from culture to culture or from generation to generation, this isn’t a problem. We simply preach on the heart of modesty, watch God change hearts, and try to offer the best discerning guidelines we can to help people make modest clothing choices based on the times in which we live.

  6. What a great article! Looking at the WYD2013 I couldn’t help thinking how necessary this message is in theCatholic world. Almost every single JMJ hymn video, the mobflash videos had girls singing and dancing in tights or hot pants.

    Having said this, I’m rather surprised that you would say that we’re not responsible/ “guilty” for others’ sins. Participating in someone else’s sin, certainly is a sin. Intentionally inducing people in sin, is a sin. Not admonishing someone’s sin can also become our personal sin.

    In the CCC the virtue of modesty is linked to the virtue of charity precisely because charity has us think of the spiritual and general welfare of others. While a girl should not be blamed for gettin raped, we do need to be aware that dressing provocatively is a sin against charity and against purity and the lust we produce in others, especially if done intentionally or out of negligence (“heck, I’m only going to the corner store, hope no one notices I’m half naked”) does in fact, make us part-takers of the orher’ sin.

    Either way, thank you for this inspiring post, it got me motivated to write (once again) on the subject for our Romanian chastity site!

    Julia

    • Hi Julia. For clarification, I mean that if someone lusts after you, you are not thereby guilty of lusting. If you did something to intentionally provoke that lust, then you are guilty of seduction, not lust. In this sense, you are most certainly participating in the man’s sin, but you are not guilt of his sin. You are accountable for your own.

      You are correct: Modesty is most certainly linked to charity (love) because we don’t want to cause others to stumble. We should never want to cause someone to stumble, but we also don’t want to make the mistake of downplaying another’s sin because someone else tempted them. A man is responsible to guard his eyes no matter how women around him dress.

      In other words, both the seducer and the seduced are guilty, but guilty for different reasons.

      Thanks for the comment!

  7. Luke, the Nudity and the Fall article by Bobby Scott makes a lot of presumptions:

    The first is trying to make a direct causal linkage between the words “arum” for the serpent in the garden and arom for Adam and Eve where none is stated or implied. Bobby’s then proceeds to extrapolate from that linkage that the entire net effect of Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God was the perversion of Adam’s original excitement at seeing his new wife Eve through the eating of the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I’m sorry Luke but that is pure eisegesis: reading into the text rather than out of it. The tragedy of the fall was not that they viewed themselves as merely being naked — that was a symptom like the feelings of fear that they now felt was a symptom. The primary effect of the fall is that they didn’t personally trust God any longer and saw Him as an enemy who wasn’t looking out for their best interests. However, Bobby wants to make it the sole focus of how it perverted Adam and Eve’s views of each other’s bodies and their sexual attraction to each other. It really sounds like he developed a novel story line in order justify his presumption about the “perversion” of nudity. He is begging the question: Basing an assumption that is in as much need of proof or demonstration as the conclusion itself.

    One more thing about the “Katastole” issue: I never said that you personally were making out the word to mean that it is some type of clothing. You just need to be aware (and I’m sure that you are) that nearly every evangelical Christian web site with a “modesty agenda” contorts that word directly into clothing rather than an attitude (which you correctly state). I largely agree with your interpretation of the word as an attitude. You know what? — here’s attitude: If a woman (or man) dresses purposely and consciously to sexually or emotionally titillate the opposite sex, then there is a wrong heart issue. They are attempting to covet sexual attraction which does not rightfully belong to them. Coveting is the key for both the seducer and the seduced.

    Luke, you didn’t answer the questions in my last post to you about Christian girls and swimming suits. My questions to you were:

    1) Are Christian girls attracted to and aroused by skimpily dressed Christian guys? Were the Christian boys that I mentioned in my story (including my son) dressed immodestly?

    2) If Christian girls are attracted and aroused by skimpily dressed Christian guys, then why do current American Evangelical Christian “modesty standards” allow for the boys to wear almost nothing and the girls have to wear t-shirts and other types of clothing under their swimsuits?

    3) How would you feel if the Christian girls at camp wore no bathing top or covering over their torsos — just swimsuit bottoms (like the guys)? Would that be immodest?

    Please contrast and compare — I’m very interested in how you intellectually process these questions, especially in the light of the Nudity and the Fall series that you reference.

    • Like I said about Bobby’s post, you should really comment there so he can see the comments and reply back to you.

      In my article I said “the term ‘apparel’ is probably translated too narrowly: it is a term that encompasses not just clothing, but one’s whole demeanor, attitude, and actions.” Originally you said to me, “I think that you need to re-think your premise that 1 Timothy 2: 8-10 is talking about ‘respectable apparel.’” But now you’re saying I don’t need to rethink it? I’m confused.

      As for your questions.

      1. As I don’t know what kind of trunks the boys were wearing, and as I am not a woman, nor have I surveyed what women think about this, I really don’t know the answer to your question. Immodesty as a principle transcends how any one person does or does not lust after you. If a boy was dressed in swim trunks with the intention to seduce a girl, it would be immodest because his attitude would be in the wrong place, regardless of if he actually succeeds in titillating anyone. If you believe swim trunks send a cultural message of looseness or a provocative demeanor, or if you believe it is perceived by girls that way, or if you believe that girls (if they were honest with themselves) find men in trunks to be lust provoking, then I would say yes: they are immodest.

      2. I really don’t know the answer to this question either, but I have some speculations. There most certainly is a double standard present in at least particular Christians’ minds about modesty. There is the presupposition that women don’t become visually aroused by men. But I do believe that many Christians think modesty applies to guys. If a guy’s attitude is seductive, he would be labeled as immodest. If a guy poses for an Abercrombie & Fitch ad, he would probably be labeled as immodest. If a guy dressed opulently, in manner that was obvious he was only trying to show extraordinary wealth, he would be labeled as immodest. Still, you are right to want to raise the standard for men as well as women.

      3. I do think think modesty standards should be different for men and women, in terms of the specific clothing that is worn. If a girl doesn’t wear a bra under her shirt so as to show off more of her form, it could be immodest. But if a guy doesn’t wear a bra, this is simply because his anatomy doesn’t require one. A boy might be able to wear something that shows the top of his pectorals, but a girl might not. Gender differences don’t mean the presence of a double standard. A double standard exists when there isn’t the same premium on modesty for one gender as there is for another.

    • Proverbs 3:7-Be not wise in your own eyes : fear the Lord , & depart from evil . Proverbs 7:10-And behold , there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot , & subtil of heart . Isaiah 3:17-Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion , & the Lord will discover their secret parts . Proverbs 3:21-22-My son , let not them depart from your eyes : keep sound wisdom & discretion : So shall they be life unto your soul , & grace to thy neck . Proverbs 1:22-32 . Hosea 11:9-11 . Hosea 11:9-11 . Hosea 2:1-23 . Hosea 4:13-14 . Ecclesiastes 1:9-15 . Daniel 7:23-28. Matthew 24:3-12 . Deuteronomy 11:17-21 . Deut . 28:15-41 . Ever heard of ” The beginning of the farthest of end of the end days ” , ” blinding the naive ppl. ” , ” Don’t rest in these days of times , for your tomorrows are promised to ” no – one .
      .

  8. Its a great artical! But i still believe as a women that though a women isn’t souly blame for sexual missconduct in the way they dress she still has responsibility. Women these days don’t innocently dress inappropriate they aim to in many cases. They want to turn heads and get a guy into bed with them. They can be as animistic to wards the man as the man is to the girl. Now this is only some cases but though girls are in most cases the victims so in some cases are the men. Men need to take responsibility for their eyes and actions, ABSOLUTELY! When a girl under any circumstance gets abused sexually she needs 110% compassion and love and support and there is no justification for the mans actions. But girls still need to get it out of their heads that they can just dress scanty . The few clubs i have been to its been the women not the men were going out of their way to be inappropriate and it discussed me greatly.

    • No disagreement here. That’s essentially what I was getting at. A girl who attempts to provoke a man’s lust is not thereby guilty of lust, but is guilty of seduction. If someone embraces the very thing the apostle Paul is commending here, then she will do all she can to dress in a modest fashion out of love for God, love for her fellow men, and a hatred of sin.

    • As a single female, I would like to confirm to you: yes, seeing an attractive man without his shirt can lead a woman to have impure thoughts. I live very close to a university, so I often see students jogging. When I’m driving past, I make it a point to look straight ahead, so that I won’t be tempted to look at them lustfully. So, as far as the swimming trunks, it doesn’t matter about their style. The issue is more about being able to see the man’s bare chest and back. I know the claim that women are not as visually stimulated as men. This does not, however mean that we are visually stimulated on a very low level. I once had to intentionally look down in church, because the young worship leader was wearing a fitted polo shirt, and he was quite muscular. Just like men associate certain female characteristics as feminine and more sexually attractive, women see male chests and arms as strong, masculine and sexually attractive.

      Another example, the other day, I heard someone talking about a man. She said she wasn’t really into him – until she saw his back. Actually, she exclaimed it.

      ****I’ve gone back and read your comment more thoroughly. So, I am glad to see that we are more in agreement than I thought! However, as far as a man not needing to wear a bra: this may be true. But it would still be helpful for him to wear a t-shirt, in order to cover himself up.

    • I agree with you, CA. I just didn’t want to speak for female kind. :)

      The purpose of my comments to Ed are to refute the mistaken notion that just because modesty practically means different things to men and women, it does not mean that these practical differences are evidence of a double standard. Certainly there is a double standard when it comes to modesty in many social circles, but the fact that men and women naturally wear different clothing because their bodies are different is not a manifestation of that double standard. As you pointed out, men need to be aware that what they wear can be titillating to a woman.

  9. Luke, I was very clear in my statements about the word Katastole: it can be tangentially applied to clothing and outward adornement if you want to push the definition really, really hard. However, the primary thrust of the word is not about any type of clothing but inward attitudes of the heart. But is that where most of Christendom is at on this issue? — no, definitely not. If you wear the wrong type of clothing or, in their opinion, show too much cleavage, they won’t care what your inward attitudes are — you will automatically be pre-judged as being loose and provocative. You know, several years ago, I once heard of a radical pro-abortion, lesbian activist at a National Organization for Women rally who was wearing earrings made out of aborted baby parts as a protest statement. Of course, that is incredibly sick but wearing those earrings was definitely a reflection of her inward heart and attitudes! But a girl simply choosing to wear a halter top at the beach is being inappropriate? — please give me a break.

    Luke, you said: “Gender differences don’t mean the presence of a double standard. A double standard exists when there isn’t the same premium on modesty for one gender as there is for another.”

    But your in your previous example, you said: “If a girl doesn’t wear a bra under her shirt so as to show off more of her form, it could be immodest. But if a guy doesn’t wear a bra, this is simply because his anatomy doesn’t require one. A boy might be able to wear something that shows the top of his pectorals, but a girl might not.”

    So, a woman who doesn’t wear a bra might be trying to show off and that is not okay but if she doesn’t wear one for the right reason, then she is okay? Really? Does that fly with evangelical Christian world at large?

    What about men who suffer with the condition gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue in men) — should they wear bras simply because they have enlarged female-like breasts? Or should they too decide whether they should wear a bra on the basis of being inappropriate versus not being inappropriate?

    No Luke, the double standard on this issue is alive and well: Even men who don’t have enlarged breasts, have “something to show”. A man’s pectorals are something that women notice (and sometimes intensely) and if you doubt it, why don’t you conduct interviews with several women on the subject and find out the real answer? It’s just that you don’t acknowledge it because you consider female breasts to be primarily sexual but male breasts not sexual.

    The only reason that you would have more stringent standards for a woman versus a man is because you are culturally perceiving the female body pornographically.

    • I thought I understood you about the term katastole but perhaps I’m not. Before you said the term “can be very well extended to include clothing,” but now you’re saying is can be applied to clothing “if you want to push the definition really, really hard.” As I said before, context guides word meaning. Paul is using the term for clothing the same way Aristophanes (a Greek playwright) did. Is Paul the one “pushing the definition” really hard, or am I?

      To answer your bra question: No. That does not represent mainstream evangelical thought nor my own. What I was talking about were the gender differences, not the heart/motive questions. My point in that statement was to say that men and women might have different modesty standards, and that will be due, in part, to the differences in their anatomy.

      Your last statement is interesting: “The only reason that you would have more stringent standards for a woman versus a man is because you are culturally perceiving the female body pornographically.” I might amend your word choice some. I actually think the male body can be pornographic, too. I would also rather say women should not have “more stringent” standards, just standards that reflect the message sent by certain types of female attire, which may in fact be different than the messages sent by male attire.

      What you seem to be getting at is that cultural conditioning doesn’t determine anything about modesty, and if this is your point, I would wholeheartedly disagree with you. If it is true that the culture of Paul’s day determined why he would prohibit certain hair styles, then the same can be true of any culture at any time. If, for instances, we are raised in a culture where showing off cleavage is a sexual cue, then I would advise women to consider that in their personal modesty standards.

      As I said in the thesis of my article: “First and foremost, a biblical definition of modesty must focus on the heart. Modesty is primarily about our motivations. In addition, modest dress is also about discernment, having an awareness of others and our environment.” If we throw out cultural discernment, we are missing something from modesty, and I believe Paul’s statements in 2 Timothy 2 reflect this.

      I suggest, iIf you’re concerned about double standards, then by all means, promote modesty among men. Find out what cultural cues are reflected in the kinds of clothing men wear, whether certain kinds of clothing communicate decadence or sexual prowess, and then create some guidelines you think are most appropriate for men. I think that would be a very constructive way of going about this.

  10. Luke, in 1 Timothy 2: 8-10, the Apostle Paul was not “laying down the law” about what women or men should or shouldn’t wear. After all, Paul was doing everything in his power to counteract the legalistic Judaizing message of those trying to take Gentile believers in Christ back under the law (the 10 Commandments, circumcision, dietary rules, sacrifices for blood atonement, commands about clothing, etc.).

    He wasn’t directly or indirectly banning certain types of clothing or jewelry because that was not the message that Christ commanded him to preach. He was not telling the female believers in the Corinthian church that they couldn’t wear their hair in a particular way just because pagan women in their culture were wearing it that way. He wasn’t telling men that they couldn’t wear a very fancy and expensive tunic. He was preaching radical grace which is the truth that Gentile believers do not live and have never lived under the shadow of the Law but in the newness of the Spirit (the Law was for the Jews only and only for a set period of time in their history).

    Paul was advocating that we live in accordance with our Christ-given new birth identity. When you are made aware that you are to be totally consumed with your new identity in Christ, then you won’t allow yourself to distracted with externals like trying to show off to the world your possessions or trying to curry favor with people solely by how you dress or what you wear on your body. Our attention is to be focused on the loveliness of our Lord Jesus — not externals.

    Read 1 Timothy 1: 8-10 in the Message version:

    “Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it”.

    The Apostle was arguing for a heart check. He was arguing for a focus check. He was not ordering the Corinthians to conform to certain fashion standards in accordance with the prevailing cultural standards of his day. To do so, would have weakened and cheapened the clear message of grace, truth and freedom in Christ that he was teaching.

    Paul was not setting up clothing and dress policies like many churches and companies do.

    • I think I’m going to have to disagree with on many accounts here. Yes, of course Paul was preaching a message of radical grace, but it was not a lawless message. Rather the opposite: Paul saw himself and other Christians under “the law of Christ,” which was a message of radical love to one another (1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2). It was also a radical message about the gospel of God’s glory being extended into a lost and broken world (2 Corinthians 3-4).

      Seen in this light, a message about modesty is totally fitting. When a lost and dying world sees women (and men) not enslaved to a desire for opulence or sexual prowess but rather carrying themselves in decency and purity, this adorns the gospel of grace. When Christian women (and men) hate sin and love one another, they can show that by how they dress, dressing in a manner that does not seduce.

      If Paul wasn’t trying to speak about specific fashion styles, he certainly has led the whole Christian world astray hasn’t he? Why mention specifics if he didn’t mean them? When Timothy read this letter aloud to his church, do you honestly think the women said, “Well, that whole bit about hair styles…he didn’t really mean that”? Might as well just pitch out the whole letter it that’s the way they read Paul’s correspondence. It sounds like now you disagree with most of the points of my article. You’ve really got me confused.

      Of course Paul wasn’t setting up a dress code the same way many do today. That isn’t the contention of my article at all, and you have already agree with me on this in your above comments.

      A you said in your paper (where you also quoted the Message): “I found it affirming to note that Eugene Peterson made certain to tie together the instructions to men and women, considering them both to be commands towards humility. It is notable that he completely omitted any reference to how women are supposed to dress.” This is exactly what Mr. Peterson did, and to the effect that people treat this as an accurate “translation,” I would urge them not to.

  11. Luke, of course, the Apostle Paul was not preaching lawlessness. However, it was Paul himself that said that both sin and the Law was nailed to the cross. As believers, we died to both sin and the Law including the so-called moral laws. (not the just the ones prohibiting the consumption of bacon). We know love others and God out of the overflow in which God loved us first through the Resurrection of Christ.

    Paul’s admonitions to the churches were always centered around focus: Since you are a new creation in Christ, don’t excessively focus on and become distracted with externals whether it is clothing, food, sports or playing golf. I maintain that he was not preaching anything even slightly smacking of prohibition but rather about our focus and identity in Christ. Any attempt to turn it into “Thou shalls” or “Thou shall nots” entirely cheapens and minimizes the message of the New Covenant and causes the Cross of Christ to become of no effect.

    You know, at one time in my life, I hung around some, what I would call “Holiness Pentecostals”. They were very strict and legalistic in their teachings about everything in the Bible (nice people nonetheless). Anyways, the first time I came to their church, I was wearing a tie. Unbeknowst to me was the fact that they interpreted 1 Peter 3: 3-5 as meaning that women and even men are not to wear jewelry or clothing adornements (such as ties). In fact, they came up to me after the service and actually asked if I was saved because they told me that saved men and women don’t wear ties and jewelry! Thoughts?

    Once you go down the prohibition road, there is no end to it — because everybody has their opinion. The best thing that we can do is allow the Holy Spirit to permeate our hearts and follow his admonitions from within — not from without. We must not become slaves to fashion or other the world’s opinion of us. That also includes the opinions of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Luke, I must still say, however, that your modesty standards for men vs. women are still highly confusing. It seems to revolve around your subjective feelings rather than any objective standards of “modesty”. It something looks or feels immodest to you, therefore it is (to you). The real test of your open-mindedness on this subject is if you allow your brothers and sisters to wear what their own consciences dictate without you passing judgment or pronouncements with your own ideas. That includes your interpretations of 1 Timothy 2: 8-10.

    • I believe you are confusing being dead to the law (as in the law of Moses) with being dead to the law of Christ (which, as Paul himself said, we are still very much in submission to). Of course that law is now written on our hearts and is empowered by the Spirit, but that doesn’t make such a law any less specific. There are moral commands all over Paul’s letters (1 Timothy included).

      I agree that identity in Christ is at the heart of Paul’s command here, but that doesn’t make his command any less specific. In other words, “Women, your identity is now in Christ, so don’t wear things that demonstrate your identity is still bound up with the world.” With that at the heart of his command, it makes perfect sense for him to get granular with them. You really aren’t proving your point here, Ed. If Paul wasn’t trying to give them the impression that he didn’t want them wearing braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, he certainly was a poor communicator, because that’s exactly what he wrote.

      Your experience with the Holiness church was unfortunate. Clearly, they were twisting a first century application of a timeless principle into a 20th century context. Never goes well when we do that.

      I’m not sure what modesty standards of mine you are referring to (regarding men vs. women). I’ve really not gotten specific nor definitive in my statements about that. I’ve never said anything about what I personally think is immodest on a man or a woman in my comments to you, nor my article (trying to be careful to preface my statements with appeals to conscience). I’ve never asked anyone to cater to my ideas of how modesty should be applied, nor have I tried to apply it in anyone’s specific questions or statements here. I believe you’re putting words into my mouth.

      I can see this line of comments is going nowhere fast, but let me summarize…

      1. We clearly agree that modesty is a matter of the heart, that it applies to men and women, and that first and foremost people should be tenderized in their conscience over the matter. We also seem to agree that trying to bring Paul’s specific applications of first century modesty into a modern context does an injustice to the Bible.

      2. We seem to disagree that God gives believers specific commands today. I’m really not sure where you get the idea that God has nailed all his moral laws to the cross, leaving us with no commands at all.

      3. We also seem to disagree about the role of culture when it comes to modesty standards (what you call “subjective”). I’ve tried to make my case (in my article) that the reasoning behind Paul’s specifics (about what not to wear) were due to the culture of his day. In this sense, Paul was not being subjective but applying an objective principle through his discernment of what those items of clothing communicated to the people in Ephesus. Applying this to today, I believe Christians should discern the cultural cues certain kinds of clothing invoke and make wise choices, born out of heart-motivated modesty.

      4. I have never defended or articulated a specific modesty standard (“don’t wear this, don’t wear that”), but you seem to keep confusing me with people from your past who have done so. I cannot apologize for these people. Nor can I defend them.

      I’ve appreciated this discussion, Ed, but I fear you and I are talking over each other’s heads.

  12. Luke, thanks for the conversation stream. You’re right — both of us are looking at this modesty issue through radically different lenses and paradigms.

    On the subject of Christians (not unbelievers) being dead to the law and sin, I would highly urge you to read at least one or more books by Pastor Dr. Andrew Farley. His first book is The Naked Gospel. His second is Heaven Is Now and his third book is God Without Religion. All three are phenomenal. If you haven’t read them, I dare you to read them as it could revolutionize your ministry.

    With the general thrust of Covenant Eyes, I am concerned that you are trying to fight a battle with no ending. There is no ending to the amount of skin and “immodesty” you see in the world or even perceive in the Church. You can try to block out all of it (or what you think it is). However, in the final analysis, it will still be there – filter or no filter.

    If you have a top of the line, steel-reinforced ladder, but lean it up against the the wrong house (the wrong goal), then the net outcome is that you will be leaned against the wrong house — no matter how good your ladder is.

    • Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll look into it.

      I think you are right about the “thrust” of our business: it is battle that has no end, at least not in this age. That is nature of sin, however. It will continue until the end of the age. That doesn’t mean we don’t strive to live in holiness, and I believe the thousands of testimonies we receive from our customers are an indication that the Lord is using our services as tools to sanctify His people. This makes the battle more than worth it.

      Not sure what “wrong house” we’re leaning our ladder against.

  13. Luke, thank you for you work and about caring about how these issues affect the lives of believers. And they do indeed, though not always for the reasons that we have traditionally thought.

    I would submit to you one more resource for your perusal. Disclaimer: I am in no way connected with this website — I accidentally stumbled on it. But it has been absolutely transformative in my life and the life of my teenage son as I help train him in the path to purity. In order to “get it”, you’ll have to read every bit of the content on the site including external links:

    http://www.mychainsaregone.org

    Blessings,
    Ed

  14. What a great and beautiful message. I especially thank you for your words “My naked form is a thing of divine beauty.. I will not use such beauty as an opportunity for exploitation and indecency.” I struggle with self image issues, partly due to my ex husbands pornography addiction. Reading those words made me feel differently about my nude body and not focus on its imperfections for a bit. I wrote it on a note card and am placing it on my mirror for continual reassurance that my form is a thing of divine beauty.

  15. I really appreciate this wonderful article about biblical modesty. There is one area, medical modesty that many Christians and non-Christians do not really think about.

    It bothers me about how many Christians preach that you should dress modestly, but that your modesty does not matter in medical settings. It is odd that many Christians preach that young women should dress modestly to help men to stay pure, but they see nothing with male gynecologists. This is a huge cultural blind spot. I think that in general, people tend to accept almost anything that the medical industry does because our culture sees doctors as the definitive “experts” on the human body. Often Christians fall into this trap; they submit to a doctor’s methods without questioning, but often doctor’s methods go against God’s nature.

    I do not believe in situational ethics. If nudity is always wrong with the opposite sex except for your spouse after puberty, I believe it is wrong in all settings including medical. Doctors and nurses are humans like all of us and not exempt from God’s moral standards. Many Christians have fallen to the cultural blind spot that opposite sex intimate medical care is okay. I encourage you to check out some articles about this issue at http://www.truthmagazine.com/modesty-and-your-physician.

    Look at how one man’s marriage was hurt by his wife going to a male gynecologist at http://www.patientmodesty.org/modestycomments.aspx?ID=2.
    The abortion issue reminds me so much of opposite sex intimate medical care. Abortion was not performed in the bible, but infanticide was. There are plenty of bible verses that indicate that life begins at conception and that an unborn baby is human. We know murder is wrong based on God’s word so that is how we know abortion is wrong. Think about it this way: it is wrong for a man to shoot a pregnant woman in the stomach and kill her unborn baby, but it is okay for a doctor to kill an unborn baby through abortion in the name of medicine according to the pro-choice movement. Both the man and the doctor are equally guilty of murder. It is wrong for a person who is not in the medical profession to examine and touch private parts of a sexually mature person of the opposite sex she/he is not married to, but it is okay for a doctor or nurse to do that in name of medicine. It is ridiculous because God has the same standards for everyone including medical professionals.
    It is very easy for your wishes for modesty or same gender intimate medical care to be violated and this is the very reason I started Medical Patient Modesty.

    Misty

  16. Loved your article Luke :) Just wish there were specifics for things like bathing suits! I am a fitness professional and rely heavily on people trusting me that “working with me works.” Before and after pictures are key. I posted one such picture and received an email from a brother in the Lord appalled that I would post bikini pics. I had cropped off her head and they weren’t frontal shots (from the side and behind) but it did grieve me that I may have caused him to stumble. And honestly I am always hoping people will think I look nice in the clothes I wear. Not lust after me but I love compliments for sure. I just wish the Bible was as specific about dress as it was about the tabernacle. Give me a rigid set of definitions! Am I missing the point? maybe lol! It is possible to wear a bikini and be modest if the purpose is not to cause lust? maybe that is the better question. Are there some clothes that are just on the no-no list? that would be so helpful! Thank you, doing research and seeking a sincere answer. My heart just wants to please God.

    • You’re asking some great questions, Annabella, and I wish these things were more cut and dry as well. God was wise to write the Bible in such a way that it can fit into any culture, language, and ethnic group. Modesty, like it or not, will mean different things to different people.

      Braided hair, for instance, is the example Paul gave, but the application is not about women braiding there hair now, but about what braided hair meant in the Greco-Roman culture of Paul’s day. Using wisdom, we need to look at similar situations today.

      I see similar situations on a website that my wife manages for breastfeeding moms. Often pictures are needed to show positions and techniques. Should a man find this site, he likely would get an eye full of flesh, which I imagine could cause some to stumble. We reconciled this issue knowing that the site clearly advertises itself as a breastfeeding website, trusting that men who are attempting to guard their eyes will probably steer clear, and men who are looking to lust will do what they want to do anyway.

      Perhaps there are ways you can set up some “gateways” on your website that allow men and women to self-select the before-and-after photos they want to see. Men who want to see photos of only men can do that, and women can see photos of only women: they choose what images they want to see. That would at least put up a barrier for those who are trying to be pure.

      Perhaps instead of bikinis you could show the sections of the body you most want to feature, like the mid-section, rather than showing breasts and all. That may not be feasible, but perhaps it will help the situation some.

  17. This ia an enlightening piece, Luke. I am a Muslim lady and I cover up but this is the first time I am stumbling upon anything Christian that talks about modesty. I had always thought only Islam emphasizes it. I am a Nigerian and I have a lot of christian friends and family but they all leave there are no rules binding them. the only Nigerian christain ministry that dresses modest are called fanatics cos of their strict rules concerning dressing. I think more Christains need to be Enlightened abiut this so the world can be a better place and they can stop seeing muslims ladies that cover up as freaks. i also want to ask about male modesty. shouldn’y we have something as such?

    • Hello Maryam,

      Many Christian communities throughout the world have their own modesty standards, and I believe many Christians in general place a premium on modesty. There are, of course, exceptions. I will say, however, that modesty standards in Christian churches tend to be based other cultural factors: so what is modest for a Christian in Nigeria might look different from what is modest for a Christian in America or the UK. As my article states, there are sexual cues that get culturally attached to clothing styles in different cultures.

      I also alluded to the idea of male modesty in the article, and you are right, it is an increasing concern. I will say, historically speaking, it is fairly new discussion in the world. Of course, there have always been men who act sexually inappropriate, but conversations about that tended not to be lumped into the “modesty” category. Today, however, there is a need to address this because we see men sexualized in media right alongside women.

  18. The Scripture 1 Timothy 2:9 is not about lust or temptation at all. Paul was not uneducated, if he wanted to speak on lust, he would have. But he didn’t. He spoke on modesty. This Scripture is often used in reference to men lusting after women or women seducing men, that’s not what it’s about. It’s about Believers putting their attire and their adornments above God.
    That being said, those who put great emphasis on “veiling” themselves are just as guilty of being immodest as those who put great emphasis on wearing booty shorts and belly tees.

    The Scripture 1 Timothy 2:9 is only Paul’s opinion. In the KJV he says that he “will’s” for women to dress modestly. Meaning, he wishes for them to dress in that manner. It’s not a commandment from God…that’s still not to say that women shouldn’t dress modestly. More importantly, it’s saying that women who give more care to their clothing and their adornments should dress modestly so as to not distract or disrupt their own spirit. NOT the spirit of others.

    If modesty was an issue for ALL women EVERYWHERE, Paul would have mentioned it in his letters to EACH individual church. Instead he mentioned it specifically to the Ephesians, why? Because it was a problem amongst the women specifically in Ephesus. Why didn’t he mention modesty to the men of Ephesus? Because the men of Ephesus struggled with anger and doubt, as he also mentioned in 1 Timothy 2:8
    “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” (‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭8‬ KJV)

    Modestly is still a problem for some today, however, the notion of how Christian women, or Christian men for that matter, should dress is not defined by this Scripture alone. As stated in the article, modesty is defined by our behavior, not merely our attire.
    If a Christian woman went to the mall and wore skin tight jeans with “Juicy” printed on the behind, she wouldn’t be guilty of “treating sin lightly” that’s like saying a man who takes his shirt off at the gym is hell-bound for his lack of shamefacedness.
    Wearing something that shows off your body, male or female, is not being insensitive to sin. Because you will always have someone lusting after you, whether you’re covered from head to toe or walking around stark naked. If being sensitive to sin was the point of modesty, beautiful individuals would have been commanded to stay indoors. Their mere faces would have been an insensitivity to sin.

    • Thanks for weighing in on this. I have a few thoughts…

      1. I agree that Paul isn’t directly talking about lust or temptation in this text. He is talking about modesty. However, given the specific fashion options he mentions, associated with opulence and sexual prowess, it seems to be clearly one of the reasons why he is mentioning modesty.

      2. Obviously, Paul is giving his opinion, but the question for the careful interpreter is whether he is knowingly stating something that is merely his opinion or something he believes God thinks as well. Look at the connecting phrases. When he says he desires men in every place to pray (v.8), is that merely his opinion, or something God also wants? The context is clear: he is saying this because of the above comments about “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings” being made for all kinds of people (v.1) which is not merely something he personally urges but because “it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior” (v.3). Flowing from this premise, he tells all men to pray (v.8), and then in the same breath, tells women to be modest. In fact, he uses the same verb (βούλομαι, i.e. I want, I will) for both actions: men praying and women dressing modestly. It seems clear from the context that modesty isn’t merely his opinion any more than prayer is.

      3. It is a superficial logic to say that if Paul thought modesty was an issue everywhere he would have mentioned it everywhere. Paul only mentions the Lord Supper in one letter. Does that mean that he doesn’t think other churches should do it? Paul only mentions the qualifications for elders in two letters. Does that mean none of the other churches should follow similar qualifications? For that matter, all of Paul’s letter show unique qualities and content. This is the beauty behind God’s design for Scripture: even though each letter and book is addressed to individuals and specific groups, taken as a canon of inspired literature, they are meant to be used by the church universally (interpreted rightly and contextually, of course).

      4. I agree with you that modesty is not defined by this Scripture alone, and I say as much in my article.

      5. It’s a good question once we start comparing issues of male and female modesty. I’m not sure what to do about the man at the gym example, but that’s only because I’m not sure what cultural cues are associated with that (say, compared to a woman with “juicy” written on her back side). If a shirtless male invokes a cultural image of sexual prowess and seduction, then I would say the man should probably be more discrete about where he takes his shirt off.

      (And for the record, I don’t think anyone in particular is “hell-bound” because of modesty issues. If modesty is a matter of the heart and someone is being deliberately and sinfully immodesty, then yes, that person is offending God, but not in a manner that can’t be forgiven.)

  19. Let’s look at some verses that show a little of God’s heart and mind in the matter (since Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever (Heb. 13:8; and perhaps Malachi 3:6), I think these are safe):

    He asked the priests to cover their thighs Exodus 28:42

    God related shame to the thighs and buttocks being exposed Isaiah 47:1-3 (I think there are other references to exposed buttocks and thighs as relates to shame.) I don’t think that shame was “in your culture” but more God’s definition and distinction between shame and honor.

    Ex 20:26; Ex 32:25 (pharua – naked) other verses too

    I Corinthians 12:23 speaks of the Body but there is an interesting reference to modesty as refers to clothing: cover unpresentable (parts); some say private parts; bestow clothing (peritithemen Greek 4060)

    Modesty is an issue of the heart AND body. I have observed that we have abandoned physiological principles put in place by God. It is very weak of us to make constant references to the state of our heart when we wear clothing that is form fitting (or just clothing bare necessities). I firmly acknowledge those who know they are not trying to be seductive but believe there is ignorance and a lack of a reality check when we go forward with bare minimum and skin tight clothing; this is not a whole recognition of reality. Saying “my heart is in the right place” is only half the puzzle though a big one if not the biggest one.

    We are not responsible for someone else’s sin thoughts but we are responsible to please God, which takes a contrite (repentant) heart or even a boldly curious one. Moments of quiet. Reading the whole Bible and not chucking out the Old Testament where so much of God’s heart is exposed. After having been at a legalistic college and fed up with that kind of approach, I asked God to always let me see his heart when I read the Bible. That means his motives and his long term plan as well as his short term plan. List checking is dangerous. His heart is clear in the Bible many times over. We remember Jesus’s statement: Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem. Matthew 23:37. How he Longed. He has desires. Reasons. Hopes for us. Clothing is actually in there if we can discern and leave behind the legalistic but see the heart of God. After 25 years I was able to weed out the lists and verses that were misapplied and see that the amount of clothing is a part of modesty undoubtedly. It is NOT just about what we wear and where we wear it though that is a part of it. So we cannot say that it would be inappropriate to wear thus and such to church but it is okay to wear it by a body of water. There are some bottom line standards that need addressed.

    My latest “revelation” is that 1mm of clothing does not constitute covering. Logically, it does not.

    Regarding lust, I heard it best like this: a man can lust after a woman even if she is wearing a burlap sack. That is true. But what do we do? Since there is not a chapter on the definition of clothing it is our duty to then search for the heart of God in the matter without being legalistic, reductionistic or lacking care. He is amazingly silent on the issue as far as lists go but his thoughts can be seen if we look with the goal of hearing Him just as we learn of someone else we love from little tidbits here and there.

    If we even take the thought in I Corinthians 12:23, we can give great respect to our body. That is the emphasis: our body is deserving of great honor.

    p.s. I am a great proponent of breastfeeding. It is my belief that a breast giving nourishment is still a breast and the sexuality of a breast and the function of a breast ARE NOT mutually exclusive. Our “private parts” deserve the honor of covering (except in the company of the husband, and women and to clarify, that is women who would not be tempted to lust. This necessarily excludes posting photos.) There are local groups and specialists, or neighbors or family who can address the issues and relying on the internet as a means if it violates the standard of “covering” is a compromise though well intended. Again, that is “our hearts are in the right place” which is undoubtedly true, vs, we bestow honor to our bodies by covering them. The internet doesn’t have to be the means. When I didn’t know what I was doing, I cried (literally) out to God and through a series of events I ended up talking to a lady who had been a nurse who drove to my house at 10 at night and stayed until 1 in the morning to teach me what I needed to know. I still remember that as a bold move of God in my life since that kindness was unusual, but an answer from God. Learning can be accomplished without turning to posted actual photos. Present the challenge to God and see the amazing ideas that will come about.

    Still searching for God’s heart.

    My compliments to you for addressing this topic.

  20. I am a new youth and young adult minister and would love to link this on our Facebook/Blog page. Is there an easy way to do that? Is it posted to the Covenant Eyes Facebook page? I do not see a “Share” option.

    Thanks for helping me understand.

  21. Luke, I enjoyed your article “Six Marks of Biblical Modesty.” I am a pastor, and I would like to quote your article in a free handout that I would give to people in my church (free of course). Could I have your permission to print this? Thank you. Ryan Gilin, Pastor of Mission Baptist Temple, Stow, Ohio

  22. This is a very good topic that should be addressed. I also have concerns about the idea of male ob/gyns doing what I would consider an “x-rated” exam, I think one other person brought this up I am surprised that not very many people have considered this to be an issue. I have always felt like it was wrong, and in fact done some research having been negatively affected emotionally when my wife was pregnant and had chosen a male doctor for the initial exam. I did not expect to feel the way I did, however the knowledge of another man having both seen and touched my wife in such an intimate fashion disturbed me to the point of depression. I spoke to my wife about my feelings and she switched doctors, however it still bothered me knowing that she didn’t see what was so wrong about it, because after all, her mother had taken her to male doctors from being a teenaged girl.
    But anyway, after hitting a few forums looking for some like-minded advice on how to deal with it, I ran across either people that were either to one extreme or another, mostly being chided and belittled for expecting modest standards from the medical community. I also found that there were actually tracts written by doctors in the 1800’s speaking against the practice of what they termed “man-midwifery”, fearing it would lead to a more promiscuous society. I believe they were correct in their thinking, comparing old paintings depicting women fully clad in long dresses to our modern swimsuit magazines (and far worse).
    But how can we preach about modesty, and at the same time condone young women visiting the male ob/gyn? Shouldn’t we raise the standard?

  23. Hi, I really enjoyed your article. This is a huge issue for women and I’m glad to see it addressed in a way where the focus is more about our intention rather than the measure of skin exposed. In the past I have been guilty of joining the masses in seductive dressing mostly because it is one of the few ways a female can be recognised in this society, frankly it’s one of the few options of power women can access. If a woman doesn’t dress that way she is often overlooked for jobs, marriage and socially, just look at the fuss made about Sarah Palin’s appeal not based on her political abilities but on her sexual attractiveness to males. People say I dressed conservatively compared to others though but even that caused an issue since I was told by men that it’s nice to see a woman who dresses in a way that ‘ leaves something to the imagination ‘! This is a tricky area for women to navigate so I appreciate the focus given on the wearer’s motivations (hidden or aware), very helpful.

    I will be talking with my daughters about intention as I think it helps with their development as a person apart from male approval. Thankfully now that I’m 40 I don’t have to think about this myself anymore :). Although I’m in healthy shape I’m too old to be of any temptation since I’m no longer the 20 yr old eye magnet regularly seen on TV, mags and in public. It seems silly to dress modestly unless there’s a reason for it, so thankfully women do get a break eventually to relax a bit.

  24. I have a different view of modesty. I think that if you want to show off your body, go for it. If you’re showing off your body in a way so that you want lust after you but are not planning to have sex with them, that’s another thing.

  25. For the most part I like what you’re trying to do with this article. However I do wonder why it seems that you have applied your modesty principles to women? Modesty is truly something we are all called to.

    • I mention that in the article. The reason why I apply this to women is because the Bible passage I’m using applies it to women. But of course, modesty applies to both genders.

  26. After i was saved, GOD let me know when i was wearing something not modest. Maybe if someone has issues with the subject they should pray for GOD to direct them. I enjoyed the article.

  27. I just wanted to thank you so much for this article. I wear only dresses and skirts and have for years, but I was recently asked to do a bible study/discussion with a friend on why I dress this way, and I was finding it rather hard, I found I needed to re-re examine my own beliefs/views on this topic and your article was just what I needed. On a side note, I was wondering, what is your view on the Head-covering issue? (1 Corinthians 11). Thanks! =)

  28. Wow, this is the best article I have ever read on modesty! I was especially shocked when I noticed it was written by a man. To know a man has this mindset about modesty is a blessing. This article is annointed y god. Thank you so much for sharing!

  29. May the Lord richly bless you for such a wonderful insight on such a controversial topic. I’m 21 years old and as much as I practice this principle I feel out of fashion or left out sometimes, but today my faith was reaffirmed. I am scheduled for a short presentation about simplicity and modesty in healthy living at my church this weekend and I am definitely going to be using this article, with your permission ofcourse. God bless you.

    • I suggest – just afterthe first hot days here inVienna :

      I sugget, just after havingthe firt hot das n Vienn : Be wrare of your responisibility. Post an solemn, ernest warning : Stay away from ll the slightest poosibiliteis for sinning. To suport your position, make a study about – let us say celavages to be seen dowentown, scientifically correct , evaluating the verage lenght. And the add the average of skin visibel by the low necjklines, some in V – form , some in U – form , some in sqaure form – – ans dthebare shoulders .Do noot follow the worldly ideas of sightseeing, stay at Golden Valley. ND-
      .

      Nad for all year over : If you ahve to travel insome mission od business, carefully selct te hotel : Quiete every second ““ Hotel has a “Wellness – Aarea and – all includetin the price – offers towel, gowns and slippers. And in the sauna, stem nbat, whirpool you are naked ! (Remember Jessica Biel !). (Although her story – to be sen by some details is a fake) – – Taht allogether is a temptation, run, run, run, run away “”

  30. How we dress reflects something about ourselves and also our attitude toward the person we are meeting. As one person put it “by our dress we acknowledge who He is to the world.” Matthew 10:32 tells us “Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.”

    God has a lot to say about how we dress. 1 Timothy 2:9-10, 1 Peter 4:3; Galatians 5:19; 1 Timothy 2:9-10; Matthew 22:11-12; 1 Corinthians 14:23-24 are just a few verses that deal with how we dress. St. Paul was particularly concerned about women dressing immodestly.

    We need to remember the teaching of St. John Chrysostom on modesty. Remember as you read this that the teaching the Saint is giving was 1600+ years ago (the 5th century). Nevertheless notice just how applicable it is today in the 21st Century.

    You carry your snare everywhere and spread your nets in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not, indeed, by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment and much more effectively than you could by your voice.

    When you have made another sin in his heart, how can you be innocent?

    Tell me, whom does this world condemn? Whom do judges in court punish? Those who drink poison or those who prepare it and administer the fatal potion? You have prepared the abominable cup, you have given the death-dealing drink, and you are more criminal than are those who poison the body; you murder not the body but the soul. And it is not to enemies you do this, nor are you urged on by any imaginary necessity, nor provoked by injury, but out of foolish vanity and pride.

  31. When I read the scriptures the message I receive is not do wear this or do wear that, but do not become immodest in dress and forget in your heart the good God expects. In other words do not get so wrapt up in appropriate appearance that you forget the basic tenants of Gods love. When I see Christians fall into the same trap that many Muslims fall into I feel sad. You judge, make rules and quote scriptures to espouse why you are a better Christian than some girl (and it’s usually the girls the finger is pointed at not the shorts & shirt wearing guys) because she has chosen to wear a pair of jeans you deem too tight or shirt too revealing. When I choose my clothes I chose them for the task I am doing with honour to God. I wear shorts and singlets when gardening for ease of movement to tend Gods plants, I wear flowing but short dresses to parties to celebrate with ease by dance and movement the gift of music God has given to the artists and which I celebrate, I choose clothes that are loose and comfortable to church so I am not distracted from my prayer by being hot and uncomfortable and I choose a normal one piece swimsuit and lots of sunscreen so I can enjoy the arms of God around me and directly on my skin as I feel his embrace in the ocean he created. For those who judge me on what I wear and expect me to conform to your standards, it is you who are immodest, basking in the vanity and self righteousness that you think you are a better Christian than I, but through my freedom to choose my clothes I wear clothing appropriate to that expression and conversation with God, that he has sent me at that point in time. Do not shame me because you have chosen to judge others rather than allow God to embrace you. Perhaps if you set aside your immodest views of righteous Christianity you can fully embrace the moments God gives you dressed in the most appropriate way.

  32. So this leads me to something I’ve been pondering for the last year – because I’ve only just realized causation, and I’m nearing 40. I was sexually assaulted a few times throughout my school years on the bus. In middle school I became deeply depressed, and began to not only wear dark colors, but boy clothes. I STILL find male clothing more comfortable and suitable to my tastes than female clothing – for many reasons: comfort, fit, modesty, but also largely usefulness. Women’s clothing is made to fit tightly and I have sensory issues with that. It’s useless – much of it is damaging and deforming to your body. And as a woman married to a recovering porn addict, I’m very aware of how men think and want nothing to with it. Baggy carpenter jeans, and a baggy flannel shirt to my wrists suit me just fine. I despise makeup and usually wear a ponytail. Now, I believe these preferences developed from my experiences at a pivotal point in life, in response to those experiences. iS this denying of our culture’s appropriate female dress inappropriate (or even “immodest”) spiritually? Does it indicate I am denying the bodily creation I have been given by the Creator? The manner in which I dress is certainly not indicated for “respectable apparel” for a female in our culture….therefore is it, too, incorrect? It is certainly not the dress of someone seeking attention, but rather actively trying to prevent it. Does that make it incorrect? Interested in your thoughts, Luke, regardless of the tardiness since the authorship of this article.

    • Interesting question, Nicole. Having not thought much about this, I can only offer you the thoughts that immediately hit me.

      1. Fashion today, especially in our culture, is endlessly diverse, so having a mere preference for the feel of clothing made for men isn’t necessarily a problem. Clothing styles for men and women merge and diverge in modern culture quite a bit. Of course, it is important to be culturally contextual as a Christian. For instance, when Paul was talking about hair length and head coverings to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 11:2-16), he was addressing the problem of cross-dressing: men and women wearing their hair and head coverings in such a fashion that it communicated role and gender reversals. If you feel this is the direction you go with your clothing—trying to intentionally look like a man in our culture—then prayerfully consider making the necessary changes.

      2. That said, getting to the bottom of the pain you feel, regardless of how it impacts your dress, is perhaps the most important matter at hand. If, in your mind, dressing “lady-like” is intimately connected to seduction or lust, then I would hope you spend the time unraveling that, because it doesn’t just impact your own body image. It impacts how you see others and how you see the female form created by God. It is right and good to have an appreciation for the body God has given you and the female form in general—it is an expression of the glory and image of God. So if ways that others have sinned against you is tainting that, then it would be good to unpack that with a skilled counselor.

      3. If, after you start doing this, you find yourself feeling different about clothing, experiment with those thoughts and try new things.

  33. Great article, the only thing I would change would be this: women should dress not out of love for their fellow man but out of love for God and obedience to his word.

  34. I am a women … I care about modesty… I always have I have never been comfortable with showing my skin.. I was raised modestly I would say. I’m married and when I got married I truly believed I was modest and I believe my husband thought I was too , why else would he marry me being a Christian man and all. But where once my husband and I had a great relationship, and we tried to serveGod and still enjoyed life. Now everything feels so wrong to me !!! My convictions are I don’t wear jewelry other than my wedding band , I do not show my skin , I don’t flirt I don’t even have male friends because it’s inappropriate , if someone does hit me I feel guilty. Here’s the thing . I know part of my problem is rebellion. But once I could read my bible and hear God and he would convict me and I would make changes where I felt he was leading me too. But now my husband says women should only wear skirts and dresses. Don’t get me wrong I love my skirts and dresses but I also love my jeans when I’m working or even if I just feel like wearing them. I have studied a lot and here’s my dilema. It’s very easy to say women wore apparel in close comparison to a dress… But so did men … I mean if Jesus is our example,,, why aren’t men wearing long shirt like robes… I went to an on app one time and I saw an Indian women there she sat down and she was extremely covered and modest for sure,,, but she looked so very much out of place.. Then her husband comes to sit beside her and he’s wearing basketball shorts and mikes and a tee shirt…. And it just felt so very wrong… And that is the way it is in my home. The women are forced to wear dresses even the smallest of my daughters,, and in all honestly they are way more immodest in there play than if they wore jeans,, yes I try to remedy that by putting leggings or tights under there dresses but even at that if their dress comes up in play it still feels wrong and immodest if their dress is up at all! If my family went to town myself and my daughters are a spectacle ,, when if my sons and husband went to town no one would ever know them any different from every other person in the store.. I believe God asks for modesty.. But I don’t believe he calls only women to modesty!! And my husbands defense is he would be in appropriate in a long shirt like dress in today’s standards. But truth be told he would be embarrassed if God called him to wear a robe I believe he would not !!! But it’s okay to force women to a higher more godlike calling… I have pleaded with my husband cried prayed and everything I can think to do but I hate my life…I live by my husbands opinion of modesty and not what I am convicted by God of… And if God is a sexist God who loves the man and forces hardship on the women then I want no part in a God like that. No matter what I do I am sinful in my husbands eyes… I am either sinful for disobeying him or I’m sinful for not having a good attitude about obeying… And I’m dividing my family and teaching my daughters to disobey if I plea my case before him. If a man hit on me yes my husband would ask me what I was wearing… That I would provoke and lead that man to be sinful,,, but the funny part he doesn’t think women respond the same if they see a half naked man they won’t have lusts and desires… And if they do their just sinful… I hate being a women , I hate that I’m sinful because I have a vagina between my legs… I hate that men think women have no choices… Our lives should always be governed by a man because we could never reach salvation without a man ordering us around…. My husband never tells me I’m beautiful or sexy unless I’m wearing pants he might say your dress looks much nicer just to try to get me to wear one but if I’m wearing a dress he never tells me I’m beautiful he never even notices me…but he notices other women him and his friends joke and cut up about the women at the bank and how attractive she is… And she’s wearing pants!! How is she attractive and something to speak of but I am sinful I. A pair of jeans.. Now I know my husband is faithful to me but he is wrong. I know he is wrong! But if I’m in town like today and we actually saw a family of women in dresses and men in the usual he let his eyes draw to them and had a wishful look on his face and of course I was wearing pants so I feel ashamed and sinful yes I want to be that for my husband but why would my husband ask it of just the women. Why can he be who he is dress and do things for himself but I cannot I am inferior to his headship and my only place is in obedience to my husband.. I know God.. God gives every last one of us free will,, how am I not entitled to that freedom as well. My friends all think I’m weird and weak because I obey my husband. And if I let on that I’m not happy then I’m setting a bad example of what christian women should be… I am rebellious I suppose I don’t like being given ultimatums I don’t think it’s right, my daughters hate being different from every other teen their around… We just feel out of place because we look out of place… Our sex life is dwindling away because I don’t ever feel happy or beautiful or even have a time of the day where I could just be sexy for my husband! How am I supposed to switch from feeling like I’m going to hell to even wear a pair of jeans and then all of sa sudden feel excited and sexy for my husband for 7 minutes of sex and then he’s snoring and out. I am a bad wife .. I don’t know how to be okay with all this and I don’t think it’s right to pretend I’m okay with it isn’t that the same as lying….God loves me, he has to right? Does he love me less because I a women? Does he call me to a higher calling than he does my husband ? It’s so bad that my 10 year old son tells my daughter he doesn’t have to listen to her because he’s a man and women obey men !!!! I don’t believe in divorce and yes I love my husband so much… But he doesn’t see what I see,, and myself and my daughters just wish he would stay at work all the time so we don’t constantly feel enslaved to his opinion of God…. And what’s worse I am resentful of my sons,, walking in his footsteps.. Who will do the same to their wives and daughters…. My girls can’t wait to leave home, and I can tell you I fear they will go wild, not because their bad but because they have never been able to decide anything for themselves. I know it’s coming and I try to do damage control and try not to let it show my dis approval of what my husband thinks modesty is I am not trying to turn them against my husband I want my daughters to go to heaven but how can I go to heaven myself felling this way. Have I told him yes and we have argued and fought every time and if he gives in to it it’s just cause I wore him down and then I look different from my daughters too and I can’t do that to them so I stay this way…. How many of you men have put yourselves in our shoes?? Or are all of you men the same… We’re just servants to men and slaves to their beliefs and opinions but they can be sinful themselves….. And we’re still sinful the more to not obey sinful men …. I feel as if i may never be close to God again, I feel as if I may never want to if he is this way truly, being called to modesty doesn’t bother me it’s the extreme and only for women.

    • Oh, I am so sorry. Your post brings me to tears.

      No, you are not less-than because you are a woman. You are not less-than because you have a vagina. This is not God’s design or intention. These are lies from the pit of hell.

      The things you’ve been told in this area do not reflect God’s creation design: male AND female created in his image (Gen. 1:27). The things you’ve been told don’t at all reflect the biblical language of womanhood: “ezer kenego” which is translated “helpmeet”–but those words are used over and over again of God throughout the Old Testament. Is God less than man? I don’t think so!!! The things you’ve been taught certainly don’t reflect the way that Jesus treated women: talking with them (the woman at the well), defending them (the woman taken in adultery), teaching them at his feet just like Paul “sat at the feet of Gamaliel” (Mary, sister of Martha), women who led churches (Lydia). The things you’ve been taught don’t reflect the kind of love that Paul told husbands about: “love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Eph 5:25)

      I think you are seeing the real problem in this system: you’re required to be slaves to other sinners. It just doesn’t work.

      “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28

      You would probably appreciate the Facebook group, Biblical Christian Egalitarians. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2204593138/

      Know this: you are precious, valuable, created as a woman in the image of God.

      Any teaching, any theology, that tells you otherwise is a lie.

      Blessings, Kay

    • Yeah indeed. Ditto what Kay Bruner pointed out. Your hubby sounds the sort of guy who stoops to “slut-shaming” and victim-blaming. Not to mention, Jesus really came down a LOT on Pharisaic wolves dressed as sheep, much like the guy you’re married to. It’s much like one of them to cut up about other women yet be all stringent to his own wife. I don’t care to promote divorce, breaking covenants or dividing families, but I honestly believe y’all are yoked unequally. Spiritual abuse is most certainly not of God’s Spirit. I recommend bringing this matter to trusted friends/spiritual leaders to aid in admonishing your hubby, and on through the sequence to find out to whom he will listen and get his reality check. Unless he pays heed to their admonition, he should be regarded “like a pagan or a tax-crook” (Matt 18:17).

      I have yet to figure out how (I’ll ask God’s Spirit) to reconcile the two following Biblical commands or whether you can pull them both off: a) sexual giving in marriage, no hold-backs without mutual consent (1 Cor 7:5), and b) share nothing, not even a meal, with such a person as he, if he falsely claims to be a brother in the fold (1 Cor 5:11). If you have to choose which one applies more to this situation, I’m leaning more toward 1 Cor 5:11, at least for a while. If your hubby hates correction and gets mad, I think it’s a response to his wounded arrogance, at this point. Above all, don’t neglect to be prayerful. God longs to be close to you, regardless whether you feel it possible. Don’t let anyone, even your own hubby, steal that joy from you. (That’s why I noted above you’re unequally yoked, because he’s doing Satan’s bidding down to the letter in trying to steal your joy.) My condolences, hopes and prayers for his reality check and reconciliation to be possible!

  35. OK. its true that now a days we are facing Numbers of fetal social deceases like we are not able to define the standards about the modesty. look a conduct which was considered as the immodest is now considered as modest. in my understanding first we need to remove the words like male, female, men and women from the definition and standards of modesty and from its relevance as well, for me modesty is the pattern to confine the conduct of person in appreciable and acceptable manners. no matter what is the situation is, the conduct of person should be within the domain of appreciable and acceptable.

  36. Best post on modesty I’ve ever read!…
    The seriousness of “covering up” Holy Spirit revealed to me this week, not only for women but men too (but how much more on women) while studying John 21 – is in verse 7.(The Voice) “The disciple loved by Jesus (John) turned to Peter and said: It is the Lord. Immediately, when Simon Peter heard these words, he threw on his shirt which he would take off while he was working) and dove into the sea”. Why did Peter do this? Because of the Presence. If Peter respected Yeshua to this extent (man to man), who are we? I would rather be “naked” in the Spirit (my heart as open to the Presence as I possibly can), but fully clothed physically BECAUSE OF DEEP RESPECT & REVENCE FOR GOD. There’s just only 1 reason Peter put on his shirt…when he heard these words from John “It’s is the Lord!”. It’s not about us, it’s about the Presence of God & obedience. Yeshua Himself said if you love Me, you will obey My commands. The only way to see if one loves God is obedience (what Yeshua calls “Fruit”, for when you’re led by the Spirit, you have certain fruits that are different to when led by the flesh. Peter put on his shirt BEFORE he swam to the shore. We can’t come before the Presence of God anyhow WE LIKE (flesh-led, me-spirit). There are times when a Heavenly Being (an angel) appeared to people in the Bible that the only thing they could do is to fall and cover their faces, how much more our bodies…? Even David when he danced before the Lord, the Bible says he was wearing an Ephod or priestly clothing. We cannot cross the line and make God a man like us.

  37. I have a question…You wrote ” Ironically, it is not just those who are scantily dressed that are enslaved, but even those who pride themselves on their modesty. “Modest is hottest,” they say, unaware that in their own hearts, they are still enslaved to a preoccupation with their physical image, still defining their worth by their outward adornment.”so does that mean that all the fashion modest fashion bloggers are wrong for choosing to use social media or online inspire others to dress more covered !? Cause if someone repent , used to dress revealing clothes and then they change to want wear modestly is wrong for her to share her testimony on a modest fashion blog? Cause for me even I pray about it their webblogs helps me motivation to be modest setting an example for us that need a change in the body covering. I don’t understand how they are wrong just because they focus to promote a modest fashion style .

  38. It makes no sense to me to have a belief that women cover up but men can wear only swim trunks. I believe in modesty. Modesty with BOTH men and women. How do you see it as ok for men to be half naked? It’s a double standard.

    • The elephant in the room is the objectification of women’s bodies and their reduction to sexual objects. It’s what is driving the double standards regarding male and female states of undress.

      The post above by the poor lady whose husband is taking advantage of his position as head of the household is a great example of how it works. She is shamed for being female and made to feel ugly and guilty for having curves, and she is the only one having to bend over backward to avoid sin in their relationship. No wonder her girls are hot to leave.

      It is why perfectly natural, normal acts like breastfeeding are made to be shameful. I even saw an article where a rabbi said that girls 5 and older and women shouldn’t ride bicycles because it is sexually provocative.

      Adam ‘s greatest sin in the fall was his lack of accountability, responsibility for his own actions. And it replicates itself again and again. Blame the woman, it’s always her fault, not your own perversion. Especially the rabbi with pedophilic tendencies. A child should not have to worry about being perceived as a sexual object in the normal course of life, it is your own sick perversion.

      A child, a girl, a woman is far more than a sexual object. Fundamental disrespect at its clearest…

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