The ideas expressed here are my own and not intended to be forced on anyone else. Please take it in the spirit it was written. ;-)
I have been reading more articles than I care to admit across the blogosphere lately about one topic. It is a hot one and gets people riled up pretty quickly. Lines get drawn. Mud is slung. Feelings are hurt. Condemnation is rampant. It.is.ugly.
And such a waste of time. Okay, not the subject of the articles-that is near and dear to my heart; but all the other junk that goes along with it. If everyone would take a step back, breathe, and remember that we are all sinners saved by Grace we would have a much easier time talking about such topics.
What is the topic of which I speak, you ask? Are you ready for it? Are you sure? 'Cause I am about to get all up in your business here!
Yup, that's it. Just plain ole modesty.
Now, before we dive into this muddy quagmire let me tell you what I think modesty is. And what I think it is not.
First, I think modesty is about more than just covering up your body. It is treasuring and honoring the body, heart, soul, and mind God gave you and keeping the parts hidden that He intended for your spouse alone. Modesty is about honoring those around you. By keeping certain areas of your body, heart, soul, and mind covered you are keeping them from seeing more than they should. It keeps you from temptation as well as others.
And I do mean that for both genders. There are posts all over the web, and I do mean ALL over, talking about girls covering up and not taking provocative pictures ( I am all over this one btw) but they don't address the boys that are half-naked doing muscle poses or with their pants hanging low enough to 'almost' see places we shouldn't. Where is the outrage for those pictures? Why is it just the girls that are being chastised? I have FIVE daughters and let me tell you--they notice the boys that are half-naked. But they are also disgusted with the boys that have low-hanging pants. Yeah, they may have a great body but you can clearly see what they think of others by the disrespect they are showing with low-hanging pants. But no one says anything about that.
And that's not fair. My girls have to just ignore the pictures of the half-naked boys but they are chastised for posting pics in their swimsuits-not that I would allow them to-but you get my drift. Even if those pics are the same variety as the boys'-friends in a group, playing or whatever. Somehow because it is girls in the pic that means they are being immodest by posting it and yet a picture that is exactly the same just with different genders is okay.
Boys are just as responsible for this modesty thing as girls are.
Now, I am NOT saying that the sexy, duck-face (which I abhor, btw), bathroom shots of the chest with the butt popped up and out are okay. I.am.so.not. Those are highly inappropriate and I better never catch my girls doing them. Duck-face is something we are working on, however. On a side note, whoever told girls that that was attractive can you please speak up and tell them it was a cruel joke to get millions of girls to look stupid? Please? Oh and if I see your daughter in an inappropriate picture and I know you in real life you can bet that I will let you know about it. I expect the same from you. I troll my daughters social media almost daily and try to talk with them about what is appropriate and what isn't but we all miss things. Right?
Okay, moving on.
What modesty isn't. (to me anyway) It isn't about covering up every possible piece of skin so that no one will see it. I don't think it means that girls have to wear skirts all the time unless they feel a conviction to. That is a personal choice between them and God but shouldn't be pushed on others. We do not feel convicted to wear skirts all the time but DO feel a conviction to not let our girls wear spaghetti strap shirts out in public. Someone else might think that is silly-they don't see anything wrong with spaghetti straps. See how that works? They can wear them and we won't. I find those types of shirts immodest because of how much skin they show, others may not. I also won't allow my girls to wear shorts that are shorter than the tip of their thumb. No booty shorts here. They even have to bend over in their shorts to make sure things aren't exposed. Others find the length of our shorts too long. They allow shorter shorts. (I'm not talking cheekers here. You know the ones that show the lower cheeks when they walk? Yeah, those.)
We also don't allow yoga pants or leggings to be worn on their own unless they are going to theater practice or dance. But then they have to cover them up until they get there. Don't even get me started on jeggings. bleh. Yoga pants and leggings leave nothing to the imagination and you might as well be nekked. Yes, my opinion. But imagine the boys seeing your girls in nothing...ya know like the skin tight leggings, yoga pants, or jeggings...not cool, huh? How about the writing on the butt of pants or shorts? Yeah, I want boys and men of every age staring at my daughters' butt to read what is there. Um..NO! Not going to say anymore about that bc it makes my blood boil. Yeah, we don't allow those either.
On to swimsuits. This is a pretty touchy subject for a lot of us. But here goes...I think that Christian women/girls should not wear bikinis at all. I mean seriously, just go out in your bra and underwear already. Sometimes bras and underwear cover MORE than bikinis. This is where hiding the parts of you that God only intended your spouse to see comes in. I don't want boys drooling over parts of my daughter that should be saved for her spouse-no one else should be allowed to see that. It is special. It is private. Again, my opinion. But, I don't really want my husband to see parts of other women that he shouldn't . Not because he is a crazy sex fiend but because he shouldn't be seeing it. He is not that other womans husband, he is mine. See that protecting others thing about modesty? Here is an example. We could get into the whole what swimsuit IS appropriate because they are all skin tight...but let's not. We wear one pieces with shorts over them and that is our choice. I have beautiful girls and boys will look at them if they are in potato sacks!
So let's move on.
There is so much more to talk about with girls here. But, I'm not going to. You see modesty is for everyone not just girls. Girls need to do their part but so do boys. Modesty is an attitude as well as a style of dress. A girl can be dressed modestly and still act inappropriately to draw attention to herself. Boys can do the same. Pictures of boys posing with their muscles in a bathroom is just as wrong as their counterpart. They are drawing attention to them in a sexual way. Yes, they are. Otherwise why would they be doing it? They are trying to attract girls to them and saying Hey, look at my body. See, it's the same. Only we view it differently because boys are allowed to go without shirts. I wish they weren't though. I so appreciate boys that wear rash guards at the pool. Let me tell you that girls oggle boys just as much as boys oggling girls. They comment about the abs, the pecs, the arms, and the low-hanging pants that show the V of muscle right before it dips down to places better left not talked about.
The talk about girls' bodies being sexual is true. God created a woman's body to entice a man-her man, her husband. But a man's body is similarly enticing to a woman. Oh yes, it is. Why else do they pick 'hot' guys to model and be in movies and have them take off their shirts? see? So if we can agree that both genders bodies' are intended to be sexually enticing to the opposite sex then can we agree that the responsibility for modesty is on both genders?
I hope so because like I said I have FIVE daughters and I want them to marry men that respect themselves as well as the others around them.