MODESTY Series |from a guy's point of view|

7:10 AM

Welcome to my new blog post series readers!

I'm having a little two part post this week and next all about modesty. Some of you are cringing, some of you are curious, some of you wary...believe me, so am I.
But let's set all our fears aside.
Let's come open-minded.
I asked some guys to give me THEIR opinion of modesty to us ladies. Please, let's read their answers open-minded. This is their opinion after all, this is their words. Let's come in hearing modesty from something rare: Guys around our own ages (the guys were about 14-24).
I think this will be a fresh viewpoint, one that will give us all moment to pause (whether we agree or no).  I had such a fun time learning from them and I wish I could put ALL their answers down, but there simply isn't enough room. SO each answer is thoughtfully chose so you can an overall well-rounded response. If there's really few answers it's because there was a mutual or almost-mutual agreement and I really need to make sure there's room in this post!

Take the blog post like this way: It's not every day you get a guy to sit down and give his honest opinion to a bunch of girls.

The main guys who answered my questions (the others answered only some of my questions, and you will find their answers sprinkled throughout the post). 

Josiah: I'm a teenager who likes to tell jokes and play the piano.

Collin Church: I'm an ordinary Christian guy who likes reading and poetry

Charles Thomas: I'm a fifteen year old Christian who draws comics.

Paul Schatz: I'm a Christian and I love worshiping the Lord through music.

Austin Ward: I'm a chef and barista, married to the love of the life, and in my spare time I love video games and reading.

First off, I asked the guys how they think differently then girls - how they tick. Here's some of their answers...

Charles Thomas: We're all different and tempted in different ways, and guys tend to notice how a girl is dressed (and that can be both a good and a bad thing!). We as guys appreciate how you dress, and I appreciate when you make an effort to dress modestly. 
Girls can make it uncomfortable for a guy who's trying to keep this thoughts pure. 

Austin: Guys are visual. That would be the biggest thing that I can say. A guy who is hanging out with you or sees you in the street, and is interested in you, may love you for your personality just as much, but the first thing that comes to his mind or attention is usually physical appearance. 

And Collin wanted to take note that lust shouldn't fall as a burden on the woman's shoulders...

Collin: The Bible makes it explicitly clear that God won't allow us to face greater temptation than we can overcome, and the temptation to lust is no different. As men, we need to stop putting the responsibility for our sinful lust on how women dress.'

But why modesty?

Austin: It [Romans] really outlines why in everything we do, not just in modesty, we are to be looking out for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I would say this really outlines why modesty is so important. 

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love.Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.
Romans 14:13-21

Josiah: "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 Peter 3:4. The way we dress or act displays what's in our hearts. Girls don't have to try to change their appearance or dress a certain way to get more beautiful, because in God's sight, we're all beautiful. I understand that it can be hard for girls to stay modest, and all guys have a different thought about modesty. Plus girls are not the only ones who need to dress modestly - it goes for guys as well. 
Modesty is not [just] using your body or actions to show off. It's what you say and do. 

Charles Thomas: It's not just the girls that need to dress and act modestly. The guys need to be modest too. We're all the same - temples of the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). 

David: While guys certainly should strive to control themselves, I know modestly dressing does make it easier on guys who struggle. Some guys, don't even try, and are going to be "turned on" no matter what someone wears. But those who do try to control themselves, modesty helps immensely.

Jua: [Girls] should be made aware that some guys, not all of us, but some do see women as smart and [do] not put yourself in danger by seeing it before hand. But also the boy who cried wolf, show them [girls] they shouldn't joke about serious matters like sexual harassment as I have known some women do, only for rape to happen to them and then finding it hard to be believed. Don't play on the stigma attached to girls and treat everyone as an equal, irregardless of race, sex, birthplace, upbringing, wealth etc

OK let's get down to the specifics of clothing modesty...

Kara: When a girl shows her back with sleeveless tops, bathing suits, etc, is that a red zone?
Josiah: A little in the back can be fine, but shirts that are real low [can] cause attention. So it all depends on how low the shirt is. 
Note from me, Kara: From my survey, I gathered that most of the guys would agree with Josiah. Austin concluded his answer by saying, "I would say it's a judgement call based on who you're with."

Photo via the internet

Kara: What are your thoughts on leggings (without a skirt)?
Charles Thomas: Leggings cling to you and shows a little too much of your backside and every curve. 
Austin: I think they are really inappropriate. I think they could be a temptation for guys because they reveal too much. 
Paul: I think they're ok. 
Note: My results went half and half. I probably should have clarified about what kind of shirt (short or covering your backside), and I think in general legging seemed to raise some unwanted attention because of how clingy they can be with outfits. 

photo via the internet 
Kara: Do you think it's okay for girls to show a little of their shoulders - like with the off the shoulder tops that are currently in style?
Collin: There's nothing particularly sinful about showing your shoulders from what I've read in the Bible...
Paul: As long as it isn't super revealing. 
Austin: ...I would caution that they shouldn't be worn in a way that shows bra straps or if they are too low and would show cleavage.  
Charles Thomas: It draws more attention...though I think it's fine if it isn't too low in the back or front. 

Photo via Pinterest
Kara: What are your thoughts on make up?
Josiah: Makeup is fine if girls are not wearing a lot, because when they are, it appears they want to be seen by others (showing off). Wearing a lot of makeup also makes it seem like the girls are not happy with how they look. 
Austin: I think makeup is a great thing! It's not necessary to be beautiful, but it can be a fun way to dress up. I love how my beautiful wife looks both with and without. 
And what about bathing suits?
Charles Thomas: I like it when the shirt covers the girl's stomach and chest, and the bottom doesn't show off your legs or backside. It's hard because it seems like every bathing suit has something that draws your attention in the wrong way - mainly because bathing suits are so tight. 
However, in my opinion, bikinis are the worst - a girl is completely showing everything, giving the impression of being only in a bra and underwear. 

Paul: One piece with a skirt 

I got a a lot of mutual answers for this one ^

Kara: What about skinny jeans and short shorts?

Paul: Skinny jeans and short shorts are a hard topic. I think they're OK if they aren't booty shorts 

Austin: Everything needs to be viewed through a lens of love and concern for others. I really think that tight skinny jeans could be an issue for the same reason that leggings are - they reveal too much. Short shorts reveal too much of the legs and could draw a guy's eyes towards inappropriate areas.

Photo via Pinterest

Kara: Does a modest attitude ever make up for dressing immodestly?

Paul: I agree, but it would definitely help if the temptation wasn't by a girl dressing immodestly. 

Josiah: No. Even if girls have a modest attitude, wearing immodest clothes still causes attention. 

David: There's probably situations where it would pass, but it would more likely be a case by case and most likely the exception rather then the rule, 'cause immodesty is still immodesty. 

A lot of girls I've talked to have said that guys need to learn to control their thoughts, and that girls should dress in what makes them comfortable.

Collin: YES! This! I agree 1,000%!

Austin: I would say that absolutely guys are responsible 100% for their thoughts and actions, but girls still should be mindful and careful to be encouraging and supportive by how they dress.
Think of it like this. If your friend is a recovering alcoholic, he is completely responsible for whether he drinks or not, but you as his friend should be willing to consider his feelings and not be encouraging him to go places where there would be alcohol. It just is common courtesy, I would say. Not to take the blame of a guy's thoughts at all, but to be understanding and thoughtful of what he may struggle with. The Apostle Paul goes into great length in virtually all of his letters, but especially well in Romans, to say that we as Christians are to live our lives guided by love. He goes through talking about how we are to be careful not to stumble other Christians in our freedoms.
Pastor Matt Fox of Bandon Christian Fellowship put it this way, "Our liberty is limited by our love." I love that because it is the choice to say, "I may be able to act this way or do this thing, it's not a sin between me and God." However we can choose to finish that with, "I know that this freedom that I have might cause this other person to stumble into sin, and that's why I choose to be loving instead of exercising that particular freedom in Christ around them."
I know that was very long-winded, but I really think that this is an area where godly girls can really help out their brothers in Christ.

Backing up modesty with scripture...

David: 1 Peter 3:3-4 "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."
Now before I get tarred and feathered, I'm not complaining about jewelry and braids, nor do I think Paul is. This is more along the lines of don't get carried away with overdoing the makeup/hairdo/jewelry, and don't let your looks define you.
As a side note though, less makeup and ornaments can actually do a gal a favor, attracting more attention to her character, which is far more appealing to guys like me.
Romans 14:13, "Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother."

Thank you so much to all who participated! I will conclude this (very) mini series with my own thoughts about modesty using my survey conclusions posted here as well as some of the ladies thoughts I talked to.
I can't wait to share my own thoughts on this topic, and I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the answers. Really, I wanted to share each and every answer, but I tried to keep them short: mainly if the answers were about the same for a particular question to keep for easier reading. Just keep that in mind when you see only one or two answers in a question.
Also, I kept tried to keep it in a more interactive formula than simply a bunch of answers to a bunch of questions. I hope you as ladies and girls enjoyed checking out modesty from a guy's point of view.

Let's chat!

What did you think of all this? Has seeing the guys answers changed your idea of modesty one way or another?

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16 of your thoughts

  1. I loved this! Very thought provoking, great post.

    I'm not big on modesty, it's never been one of my convictions, but I don't wear bikinis or v-necks, and I try to stay away from really short shorts and skirts, I also don't wear skinny jeans that often simply because they aren't very comfortable in my opinion.
    When I think about it, my crew necks do tend to dip a little low sometimes, but most of the time there's no cleavage showing, just my collar bone, but maybe I should be more careful.

    I really like how Collin and Austin said guys are also responsible, I hate it when modesty movements just throw it all on girls to protect boys, when really boys should also learn to try to guard their thoughts and advert their eyes as well. It takes two to tango, kind of deal. After all, a lot of girls aren't modest in the slightest bit, and one cannot expect to force them to be up to one's standards, so adverting eyes and guarding thoughts during the summer and at public pools are important, we're trying to teach my little brother that.

    One thing I kind of struggle with in the modesty movement is the whole "guys are more visual" part, and although that is probably without a doubt true, girls also sometimes struggle with shirtless guys and too-tight muscle shirts, so it can come off as a double standard when you're at a Christian pool party in athletic shorts and sometimes even an over sized t-shirt over your one-piece and half of the guys are shirtless. :/

    I don't know, I get both sides of the discussion, and I'm kind of in between.

    But anyways, great post, y'all!

    1. Hey Gray!
      I so agree with what you're saying, and I think that you simply being aware of not giving guys (as well as others in general) the wrong idea but how you dress and act is being modest. Your attitude itself Gray is both modest and beautiful, so I think you yourself are big on it - just maybe not in the way the Church tends to label modesty. And maybe modesty comes natural to you to the point that you never really have to think about it. Like for me, I struggle in keeping my clothes and personality one that glorifies God. It's something I have to be very conscience of.

      As for girls also being attracted to guys visually and being swayed in a bad way - I agree. And I forgot to mention it but some of the guys participating took part of a friend of mine's survey for guys, BUT a girls POV of modesty for men. So they're aware that guys also need to watch stuff like going shirtless and tight tanks.
      I think it's awesome they were willing to see what girl's have to say too.

      Thank you for your comments! <3

  2. I think modesty is important. Though I do think that sometimes people take it the wrong way and get the wrong idea of it.
    I don’t wear bikinis simply because I don’t feel comfortable in them - actually I hate bathing suits just because I don’t feel comfortable in them. I wear sleeveless tops and at times my sports bra straps may show - and I don’t think that that’s wrong as long as you aren’t showing anything.
    It was interesting to read the guys’ thoughts.. so thanks for posting this!
    I think girls should dress for themselves - not to impress guys but in what makes them comfortable (as long as they aren’t dressed inappropriately). As far as leggings go I don’t wear them out in public - though I do wear exercise pants with a long top if I’m doing something athletic.
    Our bodies are a temple and we should bring honor and glory to God through all we do.

    1. I 100% agree - we are temples of the Lord and we should dress modesty because we respect ourselves and those around us. Thank you for your thoughts Sarah!!!

  3. Philip here--I left some comments on the Facebook post, and I thought I'd leave a slightly pared-down version of them here since not everyone here probably follows the Facebook group..

    First, I want to say that I found Austin's response to the question, "But why modesty?" very satisfying to read. Particularly his choice of what Bible quotation to include.

    When we view modesty in light of that passage, it explains the importance of the matter without making it an occasion for legalism, judging people for what they are or aren't wearing, or putting the blame on one sex for the opposite sex's lust. It just says, "Hey, you have Christian freedom to wear that! It's not unclean! But there are some Christians among you who don't see it that way, and [verse 14] to them it is unclean. Let's exercise our Christian freedom in a way that is consistent with our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ who have differing weaknesses or scruples."

    Second, I wanted to offer a possible explanation for the divided opinions on issues such as leggings-as-pants: I think that at least partially, it's a generation gap.

    Maybe it's because I grew up in a rather isolated small town, but I'd say that before the early-to-mid 2000's, this clothing style was almost never seen. Ladies would wear leggings in the same way they'd wear tights: OK to see them on the legs, but you still wouldn't want anyone to catch a glimpse up your dress since that part was considered underwear, not pants. Nowadays, of course, most women under the age of ~22-23 seem to have no inhibitions about wearing them as outerwear.

    I think this generation gap exists because people tend to really start to understand modesty (and to feel like they need it) around the age of 5-6, and so that's about when they learn what kinds of clothing are OK to wear in front of other people. If a style became socially acceptable by the time they were that age, the new societal standard is the only "normal" they've ever known. This means people who were born around 1998 (give or take a year or two) went through that stage around the time leggings-as-pants became a "thing," so to many of them that's always been normal. A guy like me--just 10 years older--was already 15 by that point, so I'd already had awhile to learn what "normal" was, and as a result I'd gotten a somewhat different version of where the line is between underwear and outerwear. (I also am beginning to think it's possible that, at least nowadays, men and women of the same age are getting different versions of where that line is, but perhaps that's a different conversation entirely.)

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts!
      The part of the leggings is very interesting. I was born in 1998 but leggings were not seen as normal in my family or at my church or really with anyone in my small town. If you saw someone wearing them it was considered sleazy in general where I live.
      So when I got social media accounts when I was about 11, I was really surprised to see them as a norm just for regular use.
      So I think the generation gap is really something to take in consideration, as well as culture and where you live.
      Thanks so much for your comment - I appreciate it!

  4. I love this! Seeing what guys think really helps, because sometimes it just really does help to actually get someone's voice behind what I've read or stuff like that. I'm not necessarily big on modesty, but I don't wear shorts and swimsuits . . . so kind of??

    (also, idea- I'd love to see a post about behavior, because I think that's more of a problem for me than dressing is. So like, how should we behave, and like hugs and that kind of stuff).

    Great post, Kara!

    1. I love your post idea and will try to do one - thanks for it! It should be coming soon. <3

  5. I really enjoyed reading this and getting insight into some of what godly guys think about modesty. Thanks for putting this together, Kara, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the series! xx

    1. Aww thanks Emily! I'm looking forwards to getting together more posts and I can't wait for you to see them1

  6. Thanks for organizing this Kara, and to all the contributors! It was good to read honest thoughts on this topic. I think we can argue over standards and skirt lengths for years, but in the end everyone's conviction is going to be somewhat different and we're all growing. The most important thing is that our heart's in the right place - if we're connected to Him, He can prompt us on what to wear. But it is helpful to know what others think, and how we can be sensitive to our brothers and sisters. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series! xx

    1. Yes, yes! Everyone is different, everyone is convicted of different things but in the end it goes to the heart and to Whom we are listening to.
      Thanks so much for your thoughts!

  7. "As men, we need to stop putting the responsibility for our sinful lust on how women dress" SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE MEN IN THE BACK COLLIN


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