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Beauty & Fashion

Modesty Roundtable: Being Modest Is an Attitude

Zach Hunter headshot

I feel a little bit awkward writing about something that’s, traditionally, just for girls. But after talking with my wife and some other ladies, I realize that this is a huge deal in the church. Here’s what I’m thinking: If modesty is just about dividing and categorizing the human body and telling you what is too much or too little fabric, then we can forget about it. Don’t freak out; just keep reading. We know that, biblically, appearance isn’t supposed to be the focus of our lives:

“…The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NLT)

This seems to be a trend in scripture. The overly religious people who Jesus berated and called out in front of their friends were super obsessed with how they appeared. Jesus called them “white-washed tombs,” which basically meant, “You look like you have things together on the outside, but you are crazy messed-up on the inside.”

So, that’s my first concern: that you, my fellow Christians, don’t get deceived into believing that your appearance or what you wear can in any way dictate your true value. That’s not what God focuses on and not what the man of your dreams should focus on either (although he’ll like how you look, promise).

Speaking of guys, here’s my second point: I believe that if guys practiced self-control, “modesty” wouldn’t be such a huge deal. If we taught Christian men to view women with respect and as more than sex objects, regardless of what they are wearing, this whole conversation would be a little less black-and-white. I want to make it clear that, while we appreciate your attempts at not being overt with your sexuality, you can’t “cause us to stumble.” Our sin is not your fault.

And, last but not least, if modesty is a thing that allows women and girls to criticize and judge each other (which I know for a fact happens in our churches), it needs to change or die. I know that sounds harsh, but the person you are inside, while it should inform how you present yourself, is infinitely more important that what you wear. Plus, every person has a different definition of what they think looks “nice,” “cool” or “modest.” There is no cut-and-dried definition and no universal standard.

Ultimately, it’s who you really are that matters. I believe in you and your ability to have your own relationship with God. Being “modest” (whether you are a man or a woman) is an attitude. If you are close to The Source of All Good Things (God again) and focus on things that matter, your decisions and appearance should reflect that.

Zach Hunter

 

Speech-Bubbles MORE ON MODESTY: Go back to the Modesty Roundtable now!

 

Image: Zach Hunter

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23 Comments

  1. Leftie

    Posted by Leftie on December 29, 2016 at 23:04

    “You can’t ’cause us to stumble’ Our sin is not your fault.”

    Where have y’all been hiding away viewpoints like this? In love.

  2. QueenFemminist97

    Posted by QueenFemminist97 on July 21, 2015 at 12:19

    I am absolutely in love with this article. Seriously, where has it been my whole life?

    This article screams CHRISTIAN to me. It doesn’t scream judgemental, rude, or sexist. It speaks about something deeper than “modesty” ever does. It speaks about our true value. Which isn’t deemed by a metric stick measuring our skirt.

    I love love love this. If there was a favorite button for articles I’d be clicking that button right now.

  3. Project Inspired

    Posted by nolasleuth on May 29, 2014 at 08:17

    Being Modest Is an Attitude?,, Hmmm ? BUT,,, What is an “attitude”?
    What forms YOUR attitude? Where did you get your ATTITUDE “material”?

    When I check out in the Grocery store there are dozens of magazines bombarding primarily one gender with what they believe your attitude should be and how your attitude should look, and that unless you follow the patterns of these people then maybe you have a bad attitude or wrong self image and then without their tips well you will always be a loser.
    That process bombards millions everyday in the grocery store!
    They NAG you because they “know” your weakness, self Idolatry!
    Are you a victim of Advertising mind control?
    Has someone cast a SPELL on you?

    Are you a Christian? Yes? Good! Let’s talk!
    Well if so, then who or whom do you now submit your members to?
    Members? First, member #1 is your mind, member #2 is your body.

    An attitude is the result of the condition of the “heart” or the “mind”. If you have the mind of Christ, then your mind does not rely upon the worlds heathen, pagan, sensual “fashion” culture as the source of your dress code!
    * DO YOU *
    Take Jesus with you to BUY your clothes!
    Take Jesus in your “closet” to pick out your clothes to wear anywhere!
    Take Jesus to the hair salon?
    Take Jesus to the make up counter?
    Take Jesus inside your “mind”, hear his voice and obey his commandments?

    Jesus, the King of all Kings, the Great Shepherd, says to us, “my sheep”, hear my voice and follow me, and another they will not follow.
    What voice is in your mind, have you submitted your mind to the Master?
    Are you his sheep?
    Is the Philistines & Egyptian “world” your daily “APP” that guides your mind?

    Where is your JESUS APP?
    Is there a JESUS APP you contact every day?

    When you approach a mirror, what do you see? That is where it starts? Is that your Idol?
    Is your body a “billboard” for the opposite gender? May it never be so!
    If you are declared an “ambassador” for Jesus, then you must “deny self” and as an Ambassador you represent the “Kingdom of God”, & become a Verbal and Visual representative as a Disciple for the Master!
    Let this mind that was in Jesus be in you!
    Jesus proclaims to us to “renew” our “mind” , It must be renewed because the world has polluted our minds and very easily we walk in personal idolatry, easily lusting after our own self image and worshiping that person in the mirror which only reflects back to my “mind” a distortion of what God really cares about.

    Out of the ABUNDANCE of what is stored in my “heart/mind” is what we “idolize” and that idolatry shows up in how we dress, and now the world looks on at me and sees the “evidence” of where my heart, my mind, my spirit, my submission, and my modesty speaks.

    Does our heart need “rehab”? Will we reconcile our hearts to the Master?

    Nothing is “new” under the sun, and exactly like Adam & Eve, we are listening and looking to the “worlds voice” which is “satan the serpent, and not the Masters voice, and yes we have been “bewitched & beguiled” by the “serpent” of this world “MEN and WOMEN” and have been as Eve declared, “tricked by the serpent”, and like Adam & Eve we walk around trying to justify our personal “opinions and definitions” about anything we wish to believe and thus our hardened hearts cannot “hear” the Masters voice calling to us to “die to self”, “mortify your members”, “cleanse your minds”, “come out from the world’s power” !

    Get the JESUS APP and click on it and stay connected and Online with Him, please Listen to the Master, He will renew your mind, & lead you to truth!

    And YES the APP is FREE!

    4 Great “free” APPS are Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John, connect to these to be wise!

    Constant Blessing to You!

  4. cinderkitteh

    Posted by cinderkitteh on March 24, 2014 at 07:18

    I love this article. What the author was trying to say, in my opinion, is that modesty is an attitude and a way of life, not a set of rules. If you follow the Son of the Most High, you should want to be like him. So as for wearing super revealing things such as those see-through shirts with only a bra under them, we should want to avoid them because wearing that doesn’t say “I’m healthy and happy and I love my body that God has given me, oh, and and I also love God!” it says “Look at me and hit on me, look at my body sexually!” And there are also different body types to consider, for example I can wear more tight pants because I have no butt! Girls should be able to wear whatever they want to wear, but Christian girls should pick their clothes with the attitude of modesty in mind because they want to please God.

  5. Em91181223

    Posted by Em91181223 on February 22, 2014 at 21:12

    I love this article!

  6. All4Godsluv

    Posted by All4Godsluv on February 17, 2014 at 16:06

    Thank you.

  7. slytherin

    Posted by slytherin on February 14, 2014 at 18:39

    I was SO tired of reading articles on this website and hearing in so many other places that women are responsible for whether men ‘stumble’ or not. It’s not our fault if something we wear causes a guy to think certain thoughts. It literally just depends on a girl’s body type. (I know, because I dress modestly and still have problems)
    It was such a relief to read this. It literally brought tears to my eyes to see that a guy like you is out there. And you seem like such a great guy.
    “Don’t get deceived into believing that your appearance or what you wear can in any way dictate your true value.”
    “Speaking of guys, here’s my second point: I believe that if guys practiced self-control, “modesty” wouldn’t be such a huge deal.”
    “And, last but not least, if modesty is a thing that allows women and girls to criticize and judge each other (which I know for a fact happens in our churches), it needs to change or die.”
    Ohhh gosh, I just want EVERYONE in my church to see this. It’s like…the exact opposite of what so many people think.
    aaahhhh. I made an account on here just to comment on this.

  8. Project Inspired

    Posted by SparkleandShine on February 12, 2014 at 16:44

    Great article! I think it is a disservice to men when we say that the way women dress causes them to sin.

    It victimizes them, because subconsciously we are considering men helpless when the Bible clearly states we are completely responsible for our own actions.

    That being said, I know there IS a Bible verse on not purposely causing other believers to stumble. This is why I believe that the modesty God requires is an attitude–not necessarily rules on the way we should dress.

    Also, I like what he said about modesty needing to change or die if it causes women and girls to judge and criticize. I’m so guilty of this! I grew up being taught the whole thing about modesty and not causing men to stumble (my parents weren’t strict but it was just universally accepted in our house) anyway, this cause me to judge and shake my head at some girls who didn’t have the same standard. I didn’t realize I was judging at the time, or even doing anything wrong. But now I see how wrong I was, and agree that if this whole “modesty thing” –which is really just a set of rules–causes us to judge others, it cannot be right and should not be acceptable.

  9. cuppatea83

    Posted by cuppatea83 on February 11, 2014 at 01:26

    Thanks for the article. A lot of the time, women wear immodest clothing because that is what is “in fashion.” Why do we do this? I am privy to this exact same myth. I think that many who want to be modest should not look at others’ clothing decisions, but focus on dressing femininely or just expressing themselves with grace. I agree that it is difficult to make a universal criteria for modesty, but it is definitely a good idea to have personal guidelines that help with the aim of dressing with purpose.

  10. Aria23146

    Posted by Aria23146 on February 9, 2014 at 19:23

    I just have a question for clarification: Are you saying that girls can wear WHATEVER they want and it’s up to guys to just deal with it? For example, a popular fashion trend for girls right now is to wear just a bra under a completely see-through or lace shirt. Are you saying it would be perfectly fine for a girl to wear that (or anything else super revealing), even though it is blatantly immodest? I don’t want to start an argument here with anyone I just want to make sure I’m understanding what you wrote. 🙂

    • Leftie

      Posted by Leftie on December 29, 2016 at 23:12

      We can’t use modesty as a tool to judge others. We say we don’t judge people for their attractiveness or money or other things but turn around and judge them as attention seeking if they choose to dress in what we consider immodest clothing. I may or may not consider bras underneath transparent tops immodest but nobody should judge others for such superficial things. When those people burn something down or something we can judge them. Sorry if that was a mess it’s late.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Sheilla Kiwi on February 21, 2014 at 19:24

      I don’t want to speak for the author of this article but this is what I think:
      Technically you could wear whatever and it would not be your fault if someone lusted after you or had any trouble with that. The lustful/sinful desire comes from their heart and so needs to be addressed. This has nothing to do with modesty but is a heart issue.
      On the other hand modesty is still important…not because of men or anything like that…but becomes important as a reflection of our heart to remain private and having no desire to show ourselves to the world. Our bodies aren’t for everyone to see so we should not just share it with anyone and everyone. By sharing it with everyone we lose the special feeling we may someday have with a husband. ‘Everyone’s seen it already, right? What’s the big deal about being with your husband?’ (And I’m sure there are more reasons other than saving yourself for you husband.)
      So my first question to someone dressing in a very exposed way would not be why they aren’t dressing “modestly” (nor to accuse them of ‘stumbling men’) but why they feel the need to dress that way…because why would any of us feel the need to share everything with everyone? Maybe because the world tells us that that is the only way to find value, which isn’t true at all.
      Then we come back to the question of our relationship with God and where we really find our meaning and value.
      Ultimately, we shouldn’t be attacking “modesty” or “Immodesty” but rather questioning the heart, which I think we often fail to do.

    • ShanellElise

      Posted by ShanellElise on February 10, 2014 at 07:03

      It’s true that God does look at the heart. But doesn’t it make since that what’s in your heart reflects who you are? Especially in how we dress. The Intentions of the heart should show not only in attitude, but also in dress. Just like if we respect our bodies because our bodies belong to God, dressing like a prostitue doesn’t show modesty or respect for myself. It’s more so about getting attention. I think we need to stop saying what people WANT to hear and tell the truth plain and simple. No sugar coating or anything, tell it as it is. I think He missed the point entirely. Modest is about attitude and about Dress.

  11. ShanellElise

    Posted by ShanellElise on February 9, 2014 at 14:44

    Just wanted to say that modesty is a matter of dress and attitude because certain areas of our bodies are not meant for other eyes to see. I don’t want others to see what my husband has that was for my eyes only, and i want to have a husband who feels the same way. It’s not biblical to show your body off and look like you want to have sex, and woman are to dress appropriatly. So hi have to disagree respectfully with Him because i think there were some things he overlooked. <3

  12. Zhunter

    Posted by Zhunter on February 9, 2014 at 14:34

    Hey commenters- I really appreciate the encouragement and feedback! Feel free to leave a comment about what you’d like for us to write about in the coming months.

    You all rock!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by on February 10, 2014 at 17:52

      Could you write about courting next?

  13. Project Inspired

    Posted by Ceo2000 on February 9, 2014 at 11:07

    This is such a refreshing view. Thank you!

  14. chicken_chick

    Posted by chicken_chick on February 8, 2014 at 15:12

    It’s a nice new view to hear about modesty from a guy! A christian guy, I mean. 😛
    I like being modest, because I’m saving my body for my husband and all and I don’t like guys gawking at me. 😐 But I have immodest friends, and while I don’t like my boyfriend to be around them (lol) I don’t drill them about it, because what they wear isn’t mine to decide. Although, it’s pretty annoying to be with them when grown men whistle. Thanks for your perspective!! 🙂

  15. Clairabear

    Posted by Clairabear on February 8, 2014 at 09:08

    Seriously, when you said that guy’s sin is not our fault, I almost cried!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!

  16. Silvey

    Posted by Silvey on February 6, 2014 at 06:52

    This was so helpful to me 🙂 I am always scared of having what I wear causing someone to stumble, but then I try to feel beautiful and confident in what I wear and don’t because its either “to frumpy” or “to immodest” when in reality, the “immodest” ones aren’t that bad! Thank you for not putting all of the pressure on girls. 🙂