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Beauty & Fashion

What Does Modesty REALLY Mean?

Hey Project Inspired readers!

Welcome to the first of many discussions about topics that you care about. (If you have an idea for what you’d like us to talk about next time, or someone you’d like to hear from, leave a note in the comments!)

This time around, we’re going to be talking about “modesty.” It’s a word that has a different meaning for each of us. Some people think of it as a necessary component to a Christian life and others feel that it smacks of unnecessary judgment. But, as with many things, the idea of “modesty” isn’t totally cut-and-dried.

What we want to do in this blog is present different sides of the concept from people who’ve thought a lot about it, and encourage you to think critically and discuss civilly the issues about which you care the most.

Let’s get started! Remember, keep an open mind and be respectful of each other in the comments.

I believe in you!

–Zach

ZACH’S VIEW: BEING MODEST IS AN ATTITUDE

Zach Hunter headshot

“If guys practiced self-control, ‘modesty’ wouldn’t be such a huge deal.” (Read more)

– Zach Hunter, Anti-Slavery Activist and Author of Chivalry and Be the Change 

 

 

 

 

KIM’S VIEW: REAL BEAUTY IS ROOTED IN TRUTH

KimHall

“So much of the world believes a girl’s life to be worth less than her brother’s. How impossibly high the cultural standards are for these women. Even so, our own Western culture regularly waters the same poisonous seed: boys will be boys, and it is the girl’s responsibility to keep herself out of the mud. It’s a lie.” (Read more)

–Kim Hall, Director of Women’s Ministry, All Saints PCA

JARRID’S VIEW: BEING MODEST IS THE HOTTEST

Jarrid Wilson headshot

“Anyone can buy skimpy clothes and show some skin. The real world changers are the ones who realize they don’t need to dress the way culture tells them to.” (Read more)

–Jarrid Wilson, Pastor and Author of 30 Words: A Devotional for the Rest of Us 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TARA’S VIEW: THERE’S MORE TO MODESTY THAN MEETS THE EYE

tara“While modesty certainly can be a good thing, I believe that the freedom to express oneself through fashion belongs to each person and it takes a level of maturity to discern how it is best for you to dress.” (Read more)

–Tara Teng, Human Rights Activist and Miss World Canada 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think? Which words resonated most with you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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COMMENTS 65

  1. Justilean

    Posted by Justilean on May 29, 2014 at 20:05

    Reading Zach’s POV: “Yes! yes! this one!!”
    Kim’s: “Ohh that’s good too”
    Jarrid’s: “idk if this means culture is saying ‘cover up’ or ‘show off’ but I think being a world changer relies on more than what a person chooses to wear”
    Tara’s: “I actually really like this one too”

    So I agree with most of these.

  2. Project Inspired

    Posted by loveoutloud on May 22, 2014 at 20:10

    I agree most with zach. sure girls shouldnt be showing off their chest or butt, but if a guy is aroused by a girls figure, it isnt faitr to blame it on the girl, who has no controll over how big her chest is.

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by loveoutloud on May 22, 2014 at 20:09

    I agree most with mike. sure girls shouldnt be showing off their chest or butt, but if a guy is aroused by a girls figure, it isnt faitr to blame it on the girl, who has no controll over how big her chest is.

  4. Lover of books76

    Posted by Lover of books76 on March 11, 2014 at 17:31

    I love this I am reading for young women only and guy’s have a hard time not lusting when a girl is not dressed modest.

  5. chello1009

    Posted by chello1009 on February 26, 2014 at 14:16

    If I can sum up the definition of modesty it would be “taking the attention away from your body and to your face”. As Christians, we are to let Christ be seen through us and that includes the way we dress. During this day and age ladies are having a lot of pressure on them about how they should look: body type, hair, facial care….. the list goes on. That’s the kind of role models a lot of girls these days are looking to because that’s all that’s provided for them. But there are other role models out there worth looking to. There are young women who know the meaning of modesty and those are the ones we should look to. In the end, if you have more skin showing than you have clothes on, I think you need to take a second look at your wardrobe.

  6. Project Inspired

    Posted by chrissyallen1212 on February 25, 2014 at 14:59

    Modestly is more than just clothing, it is an submission unto God. It is rooted in humility and meekness, which are fruits of the spirit. When we submit unto God, we die to our own desires, wills, etc., Christ then takes root in our life producing the fruits meekness and humility, which then produces modesty. As I submit unto God, I am modest not only in my clothing but every area of my life because I now have the fruit of humility.

    So many times we try to point modesty to only clothing, but it is so much deeper than that. Thank God for revealing that unto me, and I pray this blesses someone!

  7. Berc037459

    Posted by Berc037459 on February 24, 2014 at 20:46

    I totally agree! So many girls arnt modest and need people to show them real modesty.

  8. sarahddel

    Posted by sarahddel on February 23, 2014 at 14:40

    For me, though purity comes from within, I feel that it is important to remember who and what I have been called to represent and introduce. I like to make sure that my outward appearance is pleasing to the extent that I radiate joy and my “pure heart.” For me, I personally am very fond of Amish clothing and similar-looking garb, because it is still very beautiful, but tends to bring the attention to the face and someone’s smile and true beauty, rather than the figure. I feel that there is definitely a balance though, and it think a little makeup can enhance our natural beauty. Part of my modest dress routine often includes voluntary head covering. The Amish women cover their hair at all times, even as babies, and when they are married, the only time they uncover it is for their husband. I find this gesture so sweet and beautiful! I don’t cover my hair all the time, but when I do, I personally use it as a way of honoring God’s design a little extra. I feel the most pretty when I cover my hair, because I think about my future husband, and how I want it to be a symbol of my loyalty and love to him and God. Modesty is individualized.

  9. abbyelise151

    Posted by abbyelise151 on February 23, 2014 at 11:42

    Modesty is somewhat of an opinionated term. Any guy can find any part of the body attractive. Thats why in other religions, women are required to wear long baggy dresses and even have to cover their heads. Personally, when its hot out I dont want to wear long baggy jeans and a long sleeved sweater, same for if I were to go swimming. Modesty should be about respecting yourself and only dressing for yourself- not guys. I LOVE wearing skirts and dresses with heels. Ofcourse, heels do tend to make you taller and look skinnier, which can be attractive to some guys. Even if you were covering your skin. Dress for yourself, not others.

  10. 2345lola

    Posted by 2345lola on February 14, 2014 at 22:00

    The thing is, its how we present our self. Will we make guys stumble when they look at us? I think it’s a bit self centered to dress how we want to look like. Don’t show too much skin and don’t lead people astray. In this world, if you dress “wrong” people will judge you for what you look like. By claiming you are a Christain, you need to dress appropriate because you are standing for God. Just because God made us doesn’t mean we can dress immodest and make others fall. Because an outfit is comfortable doesn’t mean it’s modest. At home you can dress how ever you like but in public, please make your self presentable. I don’t want trouble but think about others and how you present yourself.

    • curlygirl31

      Posted by curlygirl31 on February 15, 2014 at 10:10

      The problem is what is too much skin? I don’t think modesty should be decided by how guys think. It is all about your heart, not your clothes.

  11. slytherin

    Posted by slytherin on February 14, 2014 at 18:54

    Being modest means respecting yourself. Modesty can’t be determined by clothing.

  12. Project Inspired

    Posted by carlyrae on February 12, 2014 at 17:35

    I agree with so much of the above. I personally think modesty is a product or many factors. Just because you dress modest doesn’t mean you can’t dress cute. Who said I can’t walk out of my house with a shirt that’s not see through and look ugly? They’d done it for years before, so why is it such a huge issue now? I believe it is important you express who you are through fashion, but keep it classy and modest. It’s okay to show skin (I’m not saying wear a turtle neack), but not to the point of it looking like a bathing suit on both ends. why do girls need to show their stomachs, backs and chests anyways? It shows that they are looking for love in the wrong places, they are using their bodies, instead of their hearts, to make guy love them. Also a huge factor for me is that yes, guys should learn how to control themselves, but they can’t always help it, it’s how they were made. Girls should learn how to control themselves just as much, and respect guys by dressing modestly. I always make sure my outfits aren’t too revealing for myself and would not be a temptation for guys around me. Being modest is just another way for you to glorify God, it doesn’t mean you can’t look cute in doing so.

  13. Project Inspired

    Posted by SparkleandShine on February 12, 2014 at 16:29

    I think modesty is an attitude, and cannot be defined by clothing.

  14. beautiful_ending

    Posted by beautiful_ending on February 11, 2014 at 18:25

    I think that being modest is about being comfortable in your own skin, respecting your body, but having all the confidence in the world. I think that if you have to ask someone if your outfit seems modest enough, maybe you should add a piece of clothing or change your clothes. Your outfit shouldn’t be too tight or show too much skin in an uncomfortable way, but anything you wear you should be able to go out in a crowd of teenage boys and not be uncomfortable with any stares headed your way. Maybe that means to wear a camisole under your shirts, or a longer pair of shorts, or maybe instead of a skin tight dress/skirt, find a fitted but flowy skirt. But mostly, just be comfortable. Personally, I enjoy a pair of shorter shorts, but unless I’m not at practice, I try to make them long enough to end at my fingertips or right above. That might not always happen, but I won’t wear anything that makes me uncomfortable. I also always wear a pair of spandex under a skirt or dress, because I’m not so selfconsious when I’m at church or at a party. However, my skirt does need to be at least midthigh for me to even think about putting it on. I also enjoy a cute v-neck shirt or a tank top, but I always have some sort of undershirt on underneath to help with the modesty of my outfit.

  15. ibelieveinpink

    Posted by ibelieveinpink on February 11, 2014 at 08:34

    Being modest to me means respecting your body.Acepting it and loving it the way it is.You don’t need to wear long dresses and head covers to be modest.You have the right to dress fashionable any way you want.As long as your parts aren’t hanging out.Your clothes should be beautiful enough to show your lovely but yet covered enough to show your a modest women.

  16. Patience

    Posted by Patience on February 11, 2014 at 06:51

    True modesty isn’t worrying about like what you wear, what your hair looks like, or what kind of makeup to put on. Modesty is, as 1 Peter 3:3-5 says, a meek and quiet spirit.
    Modesty isn’t just what you wear, its your attitude. God looks at your heart, who you truly are, and that’s the part of you that you should worry about, instead of your appearance(1 Samuel 16:7)

  17. iamikilili

    Posted by iamikilili on February 9, 2014 at 11:32

    I think modesty is kind of like how we have to lock the doors to our houses. Of course it’s never okay to rob someone’s house! But some people still do it, and it’s foolish to make it easier for them to do so.

  18. Project Inspired

    Posted by nataliesophia on February 8, 2014 at 11:36

    Respecting yourselves and respecting your bodies should not mean that you have to dress a certain way. Now, I have been being preached to about modesty my whole life. Dressing modestly seems to be the Christian thing to do. Like, some people think that it makes them a better Christian if the dress that way. And while I do agree that there should be guidelines for the way we dress, like we obviously shouldn’t go to school in our underwear or something that skimpy, we really shouldn’t think that the way we dress will make us a better Christian or something like that. God made our bodies beautiful, and of course he wants us to look amazing. But, does God really care THAT much about what we wear? I’m not claiming to know what God thinks, but what I do know is what I think. And I don’t think that the way we dress should be such a big deal. Now, the culture I live in, we live in, tells me a different story. It tells me that looks are everything. And there are times when I believe that lie. What teen girl doesn’t go through that? There have been times when my entire day has gone to crap because I knew I looked bad. I wish I could change our cultures way of thinking but I can’t. But I do want to change my way of thinking. I want to learn to love myself and love the way I look and always think I’m beautiful. Yes, there should be some guidelines, but the way we dress should stop being such a focus. As Christians, I feel that we should be telling each other that we are beautiful no matter how we dress, super modestly or not. Just my opinion.

  19. brennaeskyler2

    Posted by brennaeskyler2 on February 8, 2014 at 10:03

    I agree with Tara’s view. I believe it is the person who has to decide their modesty views, but I would still tell someone if their outfit is getting skimpy or showing too much skin!
    I also agree with Jarrid’s view. I don’t have to follow the world’s standard of modesty! I can be me, but I still can be modest and cute!

  20. spyder

    Posted by spyder on February 7, 2014 at 22:42

    I love Zach’s post! I shouldn’t really judge by one post, but he seems like a great man of God who is very grounded. I’d love to read more stuff from him!

    P.S. I love the name Zach. I think I will name my boy Zach. Except with a k. Like Zack. I like that :D

  21. KWalker

    Posted by KWalker on February 7, 2014 at 14:36

    I agree with modesty and all of the people in the article make great points, but what do we do when we’re dressed modestly, and guys still don’t control their thoughts and actions? At my university a girl can’t even leave her dorm room without pepper spray or a taser, and there were 5 sexual assaults reported in just 2 1/2 months. I hear guys say all the time that they just “can’t help it” or “can’t control it” as an excuse.

  22. EowynInk

    Posted by EowynInk on February 7, 2014 at 05:53

    Hey everyone!
    I’ve been reading through the comments, and there’s one argument that just keeps popping up: if what I wear causes a person to lust, then that’s their problem. This is so soooo true. But only part way. It’s also your problem. Remember when Paul was talking to the Corinthians about eating food sacrificed to idols? He basically said, “Look, guys, WE know that it’s just food, and there aren’t really any gods besides God. But some people feel bad when they eat food sacrificed to idols.” Then he said in 1 Cor. 8:9 (and this is a direct quote from the NASB) “But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” People keep coming back to “Its the condition of my heart that matters, not what I wear.” And that’s true, but if you are dressing in a way that you know will cause some guys with “problems” to stumble, is your heart really right? Because we are supposed to give up any freedoms that would cause a fellow believer to stumble. That shows that we are being humble, like Christ, and considering the needs of others above our own need to dress is a way that makes us feel beautiful and sexy. I contend that if you know how you dress will cause someone to trip, and you do it anyway, your heart’s not in the right place. You’re thinking of what you want, and putting that above the needs of the body of Christ. I think Scripture backs me up on this one, y’all. That being said, I’m up for debate! If you disagree, comment! Please use Scripture to back up your point of view, cuz that’s the only thing that will convince me, when it comes to right and wrong (:

  23. Project Inspired

    Posted by So-Sarah on February 6, 2014 at 19:29

    I do think that men are responsible for the thoughts they entertain, absolutely they are. However, I also think that does not make it okay for women to dress scantily just to prove that they can. If I dangled a 100-dollar bill in front of your face wouldn’t you at least think about what you could do with that money? In my mind it is the same concept. Why would you do something that you know is going to present a stumbling block to your brother? Luke 17 1-4 says, “And he said to his disciples, “Temptations to sin are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were cast into the sea than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin. Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” Each person is responsible for his or her own actions, attitudes and thoughts. I feel that there are times when women have a rebellious heart on this issue because they want to wear what they want to wear, so they want to blame it all on the man. This attitude is harmful to everyone and obviously is causing a divide in the church. I know that I do not have all the answers for this issue, and that what I consider modest is not necessarily modest to someone else. For that reason I believe the central problem is the hearts of everyone involved. Everyone needs to allow the Lord to speak to their heart and reveal to them His standards of modesty. Just my two cents!

    • Aria23146

      Posted by Aria23146 on February 12, 2014 at 16:37

      I completely agree with you! Of course it is a guy’s responsibility to keep his thoughts pure regardless of what a girl is wearing, but that does not give us the right to wear whatever skimpy things we want! That would be completely selfish, completely unfair for guys, and definitely not Christian!

    • EowynInk

      Posted by EowynInk on February 7, 2014 at 07:53

      Great thoughts! (:

  24. Gods Sparkle Girl

    Posted by Gods Sparkle Girl on February 5, 2014 at 15:45

    Honestly, I know for a fact guys get a lot of heat about this. They’re always told to not look, but sadly, it’s in their nature since God made it that way so a man could love his wife and enjoy her beauty. Now, I’m not saying it’s okay for guys to look at girls like that, but the thing is, we’re partially to blame. My friend and I recently had a discussion about this, and she quickly cut me off and said, “I believe everyone should be able to wear whatever they want without being judged.” It’s ironic though, because right before this, she was complaining about a song that heavily sexualized women. The thing is, we always blame guys and say that they should have better self-control, but wouldn’t it help if we actually made it easier for them by not showing off all of our junk?? Besides, no one should have a preview of what we’re giving to our husbands.

  25. faith134

    Posted by faith134 on February 5, 2014 at 11:05

    This is so interesting to read everyone’s comments! I definitely want you guys to do this again! Maybe about the media and how it impacts us.

  26. beautiful352

    Posted by beautiful352 on February 5, 2014 at 10:50

    I agree that guys should show and practice self control, but that doesn’t mean girls should tempt them by wearing revealing clothes.

  27. TrustingThroughTrials

    Posted by TrustingThroughTrials on February 5, 2014 at 09:27

    I like this

  28. Trinity

    Posted by Trinity on February 5, 2014 at 08:49

    I agree with the concept that it’s respectful to our Christian brother’s to dress modestly, but I appreciate that the idea has also been presented that it’s up to guys to take responsibility for their own actions. Obviously if you go around immodestly dressed guys are going to be attracted, but no matter what a girl’s wearing that NEVER gives a guy the right to behave disrespectfully towards her. Also, girls shouldn’t have to go to extremes when it comes to the fact that guys might be attracted to normal body parts that both guys and girls have, such as arms and shoulders.

  29. EmmaQuimby

    Posted by EmmaQuimby on February 5, 2014 at 06:19

    I definitely agree with the fact that dressing immodestly is more of a hindrance than help to guys in their Christian walk, but like others have offered, I don’t know that that’s the only reason women should dress modestly.
    Laying aside the making it easier or harder for guys factor, I think that a lot of how a woman should dress has to do with her intentions. Are you looking for guy’s attention when you pick out what your gonna wear? Or are you looking for fashionable clothing that fits your needs? Also I would say that modesty is a stumbling block for teen girls. I know at least in my own church if I see that the pastor’s daughter is wearing a immodest (to my standards) shirt, that makes me think twice about weather or not I could.
    I don’t know if any of what I said made any sense, I was just rambling, and I could say a lot more, but I have to start school now. :P

  30. Zhunter

    Posted by Zhunter on February 4, 2014 at 21:26

    I love the conversation and civility. This is encouraging! Get your opinions out there, but be willing to alter your opinion if God is tugging on your heart strings. You could be wrong, but so could I! :) Keep on seeking!

  31. Project Inspired

    Posted by KaylaHansa on February 4, 2014 at 21:14

    Dressing modestly is important for me for the following reasons:

    1. My parents want me to dress modestly. Honoring and obeying parents is a commandment from God.
    2. I try not to draw attention to myself. I want to have a modest heart, meaning not trying to stand out. When a girl wears a short skirt, low v-neck, or really tight clothes, she gets noticed by both women and men. Even if your clothes covers a lot of your skin it can be immodest if it causes everybody to notice your outfit. I believe as Christians, our godly personalites should stand out, not our clothes. I’m not saying I don’t try to wear cute things, because I do. But I try not to go to flashy. I believe God wants me to be humble.
    3. It is helpful for my brothers in Christ. I do believe that the problem is within their heart though and something they must take responsibilty for.

  32. Project Inspired

    Posted by kenzzz on February 4, 2014 at 20:26

    Zach’s view is my view.
    I mean, why is so much emphasis placed on the way women dress? Our outward appearances do not determine or even necessarily reflect who we are or how God sees us.
    Modesty will not help men from sinning. I’m sorry. It’s a heart problem. If I dress modestly, it doesn’t matter because a guy is just going to “stumble” at the next girl he sees that isn’t dressed modestly. That guy needs to address his heart. If you have a sickness, you want to cure it. Not just treat symptoms. You want to get to the root of the cause. I’m not saying a guy finding a girl attractive is a sickness or a sin because it’s not. I’m just trying to use an illustration.
    I have a question. How is dressing modestly respecting ourselves as women? How is wearing a bit more extra clothing a wonderful thing that makes me feel good about myself? Clothes do not make me feel better or worse about myself. And uh, isn’t that kinda the way God is? He doesn’t find us any more worthy or unworthy, loved or unloved, sinless or sinful by what we wear. It’s what’s in our hearts that matters. And if someone has a problem with the way I dress, well then that’s THEIR problem. Because as far as God and I are concerned, it’s not a problem. We need to follow Jesus. Not rules. I live and strive to please Him, not anyone else. I should not have to change myself or anything I do to please anyone else.
    Just another point – Adam and Eve made clothes after they sinned, because they were ashamed. Before sin, we didn’t wear clothes. So if you wanna be technical, wearing clothes is an act of shame before it is an act of self respect.
    God really doesn’t care what you wear or don’t wear. He MADE you. Why would He be ashamed of his most prized possession? Why would you?

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by iFLOE on February 14, 2014 at 15:14

      (1 Peter 3:3-7 ESV) Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
      (1 Timothy 2:9-10) likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.
      Yeah guys are responsible for their thoughts, but don’t provoke them. Do your part: dress modestly and respectfully, then you can say “what they want to think is their problem.” I’m not saying cover your whole body and don’t ever show a piece of skin, that would be ridiculous! even I wouldn’t do that, however, what I am trying to say is that you can make a difference and it does matter.
      Modesty also draws respect. My parents ALWAYS tell me how I dress tells people how I want to be seen. I always dress classy and constantly get compliments, it makes me feel good about myself;people recognize that I’m not like others, I stand out and that’s OK. Yeah I understand that people like to feel good about themselves, but you can still look nice without wearing extra short skirts or shorts and plunging necklines. Yes, the heart matters, but the outside only reveals whats in the heart. Know your value, not every guy should get to see you the way your future husband will.
      Also, about Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve had to hide themselves because they were ashamed, they brought sin into the world, and they could now see good and evil. Before they ate the fruit they didn’t notice that the were naked, they did not know that “bad” even existed; it wasn’t a problem, they were innocent. once they ate the fruit they hid themselves, their eyes were open and god himself clothed them. They couldn’t see themselves, therefore no problem. Now they can and they’re naked, problem. God clothed them, not a problem, they cant see themselves anymore. If god didn’t think it was important he wouldn’t have clothed them, but he did clothe them because it is important. And if you ask me, walking around with excessive skin showing isn’t too comfortable, or cute.
      And yeah everyone does it, its accepted; but be different. Stand out, show people you’re different. Here’s an example, if I walk up to a poor guy dressed the same way as he is and living the same lifestyle as him and then try to convince him that I’m rich, think he’ll believe me? Not! Why would he believe me? I look exactly like him, he’ll just think I’ve lost my mind. In order for me to convince him, I’ll have to dress like I’m rich, give him proof that I’m different from him, and show him that I am indeed rich. Likewise, show the world you are different. Personality screams the loudest, unfortunately, not everyone has the ears to hear. Most people only have eyes to see, so don’t let any one be deceived by your style, dress exactly how you want to be perceived. Many people judge books by their cover and although you may have a different story, it may not be written on the front cover.
      ALL based on the word of God, stay beautiful ;)

    • EowynInk

      Posted by EowynInk on February 6, 2014 at 06:17

      Hi! I think you might be a little confused about the whole Adam and Eve thing. Yes, they did try to cover themselves, but also, GOD made clothes for them. He was covering them not because their bodies were bad, but because sin had entered the world. In the same way, we cover ourselves because God’s perfect creation has been marred by sin. We should seek to bring glory to Christ in everything we do, including what wear. 1 Corinthians 10:31, NASB “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” You may think that what you wear isn’t that important, but God wants us to glorify him in everything. Even eating! And definitely in the skin we show or don’t show :) Paul said that it wasn’t wrong to have some freedom in what we do (there’s no commandment that says THOU SHALT NOT WEAR A MINISKIRT) but he also said, “But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” If what we do in our freedom in Christ can cause someone to stumble, we should give up that freedom for the sake of our fellow Christians! That is actually what Jesus did. He gave up His freedom for us and died on the cross. I agree that its what the condition of your heart is that’s important, but that doesn’t mean that our outward actions aren’t important. Remember the adulterous woman? We still need to take the right actions AND think the right thoughts. Hope that helps! May the Lord bless you!

    • tmgaouette

      Posted by tmgaouette on February 5, 2014 at 08:22

      @Kenzie Noel- Great questions! But don’t be fooled by the notion that God doesn’t care how we dress. Why did he redress Adam and Eve if He didn’t care? Why didn’t He just say, “Hey Adam and Eve, don’t cover up! What are you ashamed of? I created you, so be proud and show off what I gave you.” Why not? Because Adam and Eve discovered their nakedness, and their thoughts were no longer innocent. Mankind was no longer innocent. And since He was kicking them out of the garden of Eden and into the world, it was no longer appropriate for them to be naked. Of course, the story of Adam and Eve, their nakedness, fear and God’s punishment offer many additional meanings and metaphors, but one truth remains clear, God redressed them in skins, so clothing them was important. The Bible refers to the importance of appearance many times. You may be interested in the following article titled “Does God Care About What We Wear?” http://www.projectinspired.com/does-god-care-about-what-we-wear/ Best and blessings, TMG

    • wakeamy1995

      Posted by wakeamy1995 on February 5, 2014 at 02:50

      I’m a bit confused by your logic. You can’t honestly say that a loose-fitting maxi skirt has the same affect on a guy’s mind and heart that short-shorts do. Saying that “it doesn’t matter if I dress modestly, because he’s just going to stumble at the next girl he sees” is the same logic as saying “there’s no use in me washing the dishes because they’re just going to get dirty again”. It’s the exact same logic argument, and it doesn’t work. If you make an effort, that’s one less girl that is going to make him stumble.
      Also, God giving clothes to Adam and Eve was NOT when the act of shame occurred. It was to cover up their shame. The shame came when Adam and Eve ate the tree of knowledge of good and evil and became aware of their nakedness. The clothes were to give them the self respect back.
      Finally, it’s not always about you. ;) It’s not always about if you have more respect for yourself and your body when you’re more covered up. Like I said originally, it’s also helpful to keep in mind what others think, and NOT just men. If we are to be a light to the world, we have to be different. Looking and acting like the world are not going to assist in any way to spread the Good News, because to the world, if we don’t look or act any different, they won’t see why there’s any need for them to repent or become a Christian if there’s no difference to how we look and act and how they look and act.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by kenzzz on February 5, 2014 at 07:45

        I never said that a loose-fitting maxi skirt has the same effect on a guy’s mind that short shorts do, because they don’t. All I’m saying is it’s not up to us what that effect is. It’s up to the guy. Our actions do not determine what’s on a guy’s mind. His heart does. All things flow from the heart. If he’s sinning in ANYTHING, that’s his fault. Just as if I sin, that’s MY fault. And mine alone. Even if because of something innocent you did another person sins, whose fault is it? The person who sinned.
        Before sin entered, God said everything was good. Everything was perfect. So if they weren’t wearing any clothes before, then that was fine by God. They wore clothes because they were ashamed. How do giving them clothes give them self respect back, if they didn’t have clothes beforehand? Self respect doesn’t come from anything but yourself. That’s why it’s called SELF respect. Clothes aren’t you. Your heart, your mind, your body, your soul, is you.
        That being said, clothes don’t make us different. We can still be set apart from this world and be different, regardless of what we’re wearing. God doesn’t say look different. He says BE different. We’re all humans. The way Christians look isn’t any better than the way an atheist or a Buddhist looks. God wants us to be different by following Him, not anyone or anything else. Like I said, clothes do not reflect who we are. I can still be fully devoted to God, teach people about Him, feed the homeless, pray for people, or do any other thing Jesus would do in short shorts. It is what is in the heart. We shouldn’t say oh, they’re different because they’re wearing long skirts and high-cut shirts. We should say oh they’re different, because they’re actually showing love, unlike most of the world. You can look the “look” and not walk the walk. That’s why it’s important not to put an emphasis on how clothes define people, because they do not. I know people who dress like what most would consider Gothic or evil and yet they’re totally sold out to God. I can dress what is considered immodest and still be completely sold out to God, because I’ve said it a hundred times – clothes do not define who I am or how God sees me.
        God doesn’t respect me anymore when I wear “modest” clothes. So why would I? I respect myself, for well, myself.
        Oh I almost forgot. You said if we don’t look or act any different, then people won’t see a need to repent and become a Christian. That is saying that if you don’t look a certain way or act a certain way, you’re not a Christian. Again, you’re a Christian based on what’s in your heart. People can look the look and not walk the walk. Or they can do everything we should be doing, but not believe in God. You are a Christian when you realize you need God in your life and you ask for forgiveness. You are a Christian because of His grace. You’re not a Christian by what you do, you’re one by Who you know. If God judged Christianity based on our actions, then we’d all be horrible. That’s what Jesus’ death on the cross was for. He knew we wouldn’t be perfect, but He accepts us anyway. That’s why we need to tell people about how wonderful Jesus is and what wonderful things He can do instead of telling people what to do or what to wear. God wants us to love others, pray for others, help others, enjoy the life He’s given us, help the lost, live in freedom, and love HIM. That’s what it means to be a Christian. And I can do that just as well in short shorts and a tank top.

  33. Project Inspired

    Posted by ivyandroses on February 4, 2014 at 19:59

    As a Catholic, I believe that preventing temptation to men is only a portion of the reasons for modesty. Another part of it is to respect ourselves. We hold ourselves with a certain level of Christian dignity, a dignity which modesty plays a huge part in. It has been made clear that aesthetics do matter in Christianity, because we are reflecting the beauty of heaven – looking at the grand Cathedrals, hear the graceful music, see the art which has come forth from our religion. All these things are dignified, elegant, and beautiful. Why, then, should we not apply that same level of beauty to how we choose to adorn ourselves? It doesn’t mean that you need to go out in skirts and pearls each day – only that you ought to make an effort to cover what should be covered and not give off a bad appearance by wearing overtly immodest clothing.

    I do think that lust is definitely a factor, but I completely disagree that it is the only reason we do what we do.

    • Trinity

      Posted by Trinity on February 5, 2014 at 08:52

      I understand what you’re saying, but I don’t think that it’s necessarily true that just because a person dresses a certain way she doesn’t respect herself. Maybe those clothes make her just feel beautiful and confident or they’re comfortable and she enjoys wearing them.

  34. Project Inspired

    Posted by Bethany825 on February 4, 2014 at 19:58

    My personal belief is; women/girls want to feel pretty, and as one matures and finds that special someone to marry wants to feel sexy.
    One can accomplish both by having respect for ones self, when you do this a young woman glows and will be beautiful, thus people will notice.
    I also believe the closer one gets to Christ, her/his dress will reflect this. One who has a close relationship with Christ will not wear a mini skirt so short that when she sits, you can see up her dress. Or a guy that his pants are so baggy you can see his boxers. I just can’t believe one won’t dress as though they have no respect for what the Bible teaches if they have that relationship with Christ. Just my thoughts and my beliefs.

  35. Speak4Elohim

    Posted by Speak4Elohim on February 4, 2014 at 18:57

    I liked Jarrid’s take on it.
    Anyway, I do not think it’s all about the guys, I think the problem is both sides. Guys aren’t practicing enough self control, girls are dressing way too seductively. You simply cannot blame it on one side, because BOTH the guy AND the girl are very much at fault.

    • Zhunter

      Posted by Zhunter on February 4, 2014 at 21:21

      Hey Katie!
      Thanks for sharing your opinion! I definitely agree that the responsibility for this swings both ways. It’s good to hear your side of it. :) I think it’s definitely important that women respect themselves and others in all things (including the way they dress). That being said, it’s important that we respect the boundaries others have created for themselves, even if they seem more generous or liberal than the ones we have created for ourselves. :)

      I would love to hear from you about what kind of topics you’d enjoy for future roundtable discussions like this + if there are any particular writers you’d like to hear from.

      Thanks again!

      –Zach

  36. taylorgrace

    Posted by taylorgrace on February 4, 2014 at 18:35

    Zach: I love this! Its nice to hear this coming from a guy. This is exactly what I believe about modesty! :)

    Jarrid: I’m a bit confused on this one. I can wear tight clothes and still have respect for myself. I wear bikinis and short shorts and skinny jeans and “tight” tank tops, but I’m keeping myself pure until marriage, like Allison said. I’m not defined by how I dress. I mean honestly, its clothes and this is my body. I think modesty is more of a heart issue, and I think that thats what God cares about most.
    p.s., I don’t really agree with the formfitting clothes thing… show off dem curves! lol ;)

  37. wakeamy1995

    Posted by wakeamy1995 on February 4, 2014 at 18:09

    My opinion is twofold. While yes, I believe that guys need to take responsibility and practice self control, I don’t think that girls should make it so hard for guys to do that. I think that the first misstep is made when girls say that “It doesn’t matter what I wear, guys should keep their eyes to themselves and practice self control,” and then go out and wear bikinis and miniskirts and tight shirts and expect guys not to look at them with lust. Responsibility needs to be taken on both sides. Girls need to think about what they put on before they go out. Can YOU see your butt outlined in that skirt? Well, guys will be able to as well. Can YOU see your cleavage when you bend down? (or even when you don’t) Then guys will too. There’s nothing “sexy” about revealing everything to everyone. It’s sexier when you cover up and remain “mysterious”, so to speak, so as to save yourself for the eyes of the man who will appreciate you the most…your future husband.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by iFLOE on February 14, 2014 at 15:24

      AMEN to that, that was well said.

    • Trinity

      Posted by Trinity on February 5, 2014 at 08:54

      When girls say that, I don’t think that they expect guys to not be looking at them lustfully, they just expect guys to have enough self control to still respect the girl and not be rude towards her, no matter what she wearing

  38. vanilla

    Posted by vanilla on February 4, 2014 at 13:54

    I really enjoy reading multiple perspectives on issues like this. Maybe next time you could discuss godly relationships and dating/courting? I think that would be interesting, and I’m sure there’s a range of opinions on that as well.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by AlyssaJanae on February 4, 2014 at 19:46

      I second vanilla: a discussion on dating/relationships would be awesome!

    • Zhunter

      Posted by Zhunter on February 4, 2014 at 18:41

      Hey-
      I’m really glad you enjoyed them!

      Great idea! We’ll definitely talk about that at some time in the next couple of roundtables.

      Thanks for commenting!
      –Zach

  39. AllisonGrace

    Posted by AllisonGrace on February 4, 2014 at 13:24

    Zach: Your views mirror mine EXACTLY, and it is so refreshing to hear a guy take some responsibility. Thank you!!!!

    Kim: I liked your analogy, and agreed with your statements :)

    Jarrid: Ugh. Wearing a tight top doesn’t mean I don’t have respect for myself. I am keeping myself pure until marriage, 100 percent. However… I wear skinny jeans, crop tops, and bikinis…. so yea. Why are you encouraging hiding curves? How awful. Lastly, what shows I’m different is my personality. I don’t need my outside appearance to show that I’m different. In John 13 it says that they will know us by our love. Not our turtlenecks, thank you very much! Haha.

    Tara: “Modesty is about respect, not fear.” PREAAACH <3

    Zach, you are my new favorite :)

    • Zhunter

      Posted by Zhunter on February 4, 2014 at 18:39

      Hey Allison! I had hoped that someone would identify with that aspect of my post! :) I felt it was something that wasn’t being discussed enough.

      P.S. While I definitely agree that any person’s worth is on the inside (who they really are) I wouldn’t be too hard on Jarrid. Check out his blog! He definitely feels the same way. http://jarridwilson.com/

      Thanks so much for commenting! Do you have any ideas about topics for future roundtables? Thanks again!

      –Zach

      • AllisonGrace

        Posted by AllisonGrace on February 4, 2014 at 18:45

        Thanks for the reply! I do respect Jarrid’s thoughts, and always appreciate an opposing view. I looked at his blog and appreciated some thoughts of his. I would LOVE to see what y’all think about media today, and how it affects self esteem. Just a thought :)

    • wakeamy1995

      Posted by wakeamy1995 on February 4, 2014 at 18:12

      Also, there’s something to be said for the fact that when most people look at you wearing a bikini, their minds will not automatically go to daughter of the Most High and someone who’s staying pure for marriage. They’re going to go to “Oh look, another teenager who’s no different than anyone else,” It’s important to make a Godly impression on everyone you meet, whether they be male or female. (And no, I’m not suggesting you wear denim skirts and head coverings. I’m saying cover your stomach and your thighs, and you’ll already look different than most girls out there)

      • Trinity

        Posted by Trinity on February 5, 2014 at 08:58

        I’m sorry, but it almost sounds like in this comment you’re saying that girls should dress a certain way because people will judge her relationship with God on how she dresses. That’s probably not how you meant it, but it’s how it came across, and I disagree with that. If a person judges you based on something like your appearance then that’s their fault, not yours.

    • wakeamy1995

      Posted by wakeamy1995 on February 4, 2014 at 18:10

      My issue, as I said in my original comment, is that girls should not expect to go out in bikinis and crop tops and expect guys not to look at them with lust. Yes, we should expect guys to have self control and keep their eyes to themselves, but is it necessary for us to make it SO difficult for them to do that?

      • AllisonGrace

        Posted by AllisonGrace on February 5, 2014 at 06:53

        I appreciate your passion on this topic! I’m passionate too :)
        Like I stated before, my personality is what people will know I’m a christian by. When people see a girl in a one piece at the beach they don’t immediately think “well there goes a daughter of the Most High!”. I don’t think people judge that based on appearance. Like I said before, John 13: they will know who we serve by our love!!! Our kindness, compassion, humility, and selflessness will show them who we love.

        I certainly do have modesty standards. I’ve prayed and followed my convictions. I believe how I act, talk, and proclaim the gospel show people true modesty. Clothes are something that passes away.

        I understand what you mean. Guys can be very “lusty” lol. But can I share something with you? I work at Chickfila, in that butt ugly uniform. It’s completely loose fitting and you can’t see my shape AT ALL. I get checked out all the time. (I do not enjoy it, trust me, ugh). Men need to control themselves, and their problems with lust.

        I will conduct myself with grace and humility, two things that I believe make up the definition of true modesty :)

  40. YellowBanana

    Posted by YellowBanana on February 4, 2014 at 09:25

    I like Tara’s article, but my favorite one was Jarrids!! :)

  41. lotr1997

    Posted by lotr1997 on February 4, 2014 at 09:23

    I will give my thoughts on each person’s thoughts.

    Zach: I agree, mostly. Guys definitely should practice self control. But what bothers me is this: A lot of women complain that all of the fault is thrown on them in this issue, but what you are saying is basically throwing all the men under the bus. Guys don’t go out of their way to think sexual thoughts, so a guy might have very good control over his thoughts, but seeing an immodestly dressed girl might trigger thoughts that he wouldn’t normally have. It works BOTH ways. Guys have a responsibility, and so do girls.

    Kim: Again, this is one I mostly agree with. But again: It works both ways. Girls, ESPECIALLY Christian girls, should make a concentrated effort to dress modestly. Yes, guys should control their thoughts, I totally get that. But girls should be willing to dress in a way that tells the world, and guys, that she is a daughter of the King and has grace, dignity, and honor.

    Jarrid: Beautifully put! Culture tells girls: “It’s so hot outside, I don’t think God cares if you wear those skimpy shorts and that low cut tank top. All the girls are wearing bikinis and mini skirts these days. You want to be fashionable don’t you?” And that is the lie. Culture tells us that to be beautiful and to fit in, we must dress to fit a standard that does not line up with what a woman of God should be doing. God says: “You are my Daughter, and you should dress in a way that reflects that part of your life. Your body is for the eyes of your husband, and you can be beautiful without showing it off.

    Tara: I am a bit confused. I feel like you just said that modesty doesn’t really matter. Yes, some things are more modest on some people than others. Yes, there are things that some people are more comfortable with wearing than others. But that doesn’t mean that we should just disregard any kind of general guideline for modesty. You can express yourself through fashion WITHOUT being immodest. Good example? Mini skirts/mini dresses are all the rage these days, and some of them are so short that I can’t bear to look at the way the girls wearing them are sitting because it makes me uncomfortable. But you can still wear them modestly. Wear a mini dress with a pair of modest skinny jeans and some boots, and you have a fashionable look that is still modest.

    I love this idea already!

    • Zhunter

      Posted by Zhunter on February 4, 2014 at 18:27

      I really appreciate hearing your perspective! It seemed thought out and was well-said! I definitely wrote from one side of the issue, since I am a guy, after all. :) I hold to the concept of guys being able to build self-control like a muscle (from personal experience). I’m definitely not perfect, but practice definitely helps. I’m not doomed to lust after someone, even if they’re TRYING to get me to look at them in a sexual way (not that I can read minds). But hey, that’s just my side of it! Everyone is different, with different strengths, weaknesses, and opinions. Your opinions seem very respectful and focused on how to treat others with respect. Props to you for that! :)