Some Thoughts on Modesty


When it comes to issues of modesty, I used to give most girls the benefit of the doubt (emphasis on most, never all). I used to remind myself that girls just don’t see things as guys see them and simply chalk it up to girls just being naive. Girls are just trying to look cute, and when that can only be accomplished by following the current fashion trends, I guess that can kind of be understandable. I even recall having a conversation with my wife just after we were married in which I was able to greatly enlighten her on this issue. She had questions and, as a guy, I had answers. She had no idea of the effect that certain things that most girls think innocent have on the male mind. This seemed to solidify and justify my approach. However, my mind is changing very quickly in that regard.

This year’s summer camp, I guess, is the straw that broke the camel’s back. We went to Mission Camp at Liberty University this past July. I’ve been to a lot of camps in my day, but I never remember being more ashamed of a bunch of teenage girls who profess to be Christian in all that time. Now, before I get in too deep here, I want to commend the girls in our group first. Even though there were a couple of outfits worn that disappointed me a little, overall I was very proud of them. So, I realize that I am on some shaky ground in pointing to girls of other groups, but I felt like it needed to be discussed. But, even though I was mostly proud of our girls, I have been disappointed before, so this is a message for them, as well.

Most girls are no longer naive, and I’m not sure when that transition happened. After this experience at camp, I now fully believe that most girls understand more about the male brain than ever before. The major problem with this is that instead of this knowledge bringing wisdom and caution to females, most of them have learned how to manipulate it. Girls, overall, not only know how to be sexy, but they strive to be just that. Cute is no longer the outcome they seek. They know how to dress sexy, wear their hair sexy, walk sexy, talk sexy and offer themselves as sexy. What is most disturbing to me is this: in an age where beauty has been greatly compromised, teenage girls have decided that they would be glad to be the object of lust and desire. They have not just settled for this, they seek after it. This saddens me deeply.

One of the greatest ways that I am able to support this new theory of mine is not by watching the reaction of teenage guys to these girls. That would be hard to do, seeing is how teenage guys are going to be teenage guys no matter what the girls wear! No, this became clear to me as I watched the many construction workers that were on Liberty’s campus who were working on various upgrades to the campus. These were mostly men in their 30’s – 50’s. It turned my stomach to watch as these girls flaunted themselves across campus to certain “spiritual” events as construction and work ceased as they passed. I watched as grown men ogled 15, 16, and 17 year old girls as if they were grown women, which, to tell you the truth, was hard to distinguish in most cases! I hope that if you are a parent of a daughter that you got that, and I hope with all of my heart that someone will let the parents of those girls know that they were being preyed upon by grown men because of their demeanor and dress.

As I have thought more about this, my heart has also been broken for those men. Here most of them have no relationship with Christ and they have been assigned, at least for this week, to work on a Christian campus. What a wonderful opportunity for them to be exposed to the Gospel and people who have been transformed by it. Instead, they received the message that Christianity is no different than living where they are at…in the world. Instead of being used by Christ to advance His Kingdom through a testimony of transformation and grace, the evil one was able to instead use them to tighten the blindfold over their eyes.

My message to parents through this is the same I wish I could give to those girls’ youth pastor: these girls don’t need another friend who is willing to let them do whatever they want in order that we might stay in their good graces. They need a parent, they need a Pastor and they need leadership and authority. They need someone who loves them enough to tell them the truth, even if it costs ‘friendship’ or acceptance. They need someone to point them to the Truth.

OK, enough of my rant. I have been wanting to post on this topic since we returned from camp, but just haven’t done it yet. A friend sent me a link to a post by Michael Hyatt, who is the President and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers today on the same topic. So, thank you Richard for spurring me on to finally post this. I am including the link so that you can read his entry as well. It is short, but very good. It also includes his “Four Rules of Modesty” that he taught his girls as they grew up. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to adopt those rules for our students. I know they will be taught to my daughter.

Included in his post is a wonderful quote by Jordin Sparks, or American Idol fame, who I am finding out more and more is a faithful Christian girl, despite the fame she has attained. She is the girl at the top left. Also, if you want a great positive influence for your daughter, you should really check out Barlowgirl. They are pictured in the top left. They are a girl rock band whose music contains incredible lyrics for Christian Teenage girls. As they tour, they carry with them a message of modesty, abstinence, and the importance of finding your identity in Christ. And as you can see, they are anything but square and out of touch.

Here is the link to Hyatt’s post:

http://www.michaelhyatt.com/fromwhereisit/2008/09/whatever-happen.html

I also want to include a couple of videos from Barlow Girl. Check them out, if you’d like. It would be a great way to spend time with your daughter and then have some conversation about the lyrics.

This is called “Mirror”. I wish I could have found a better video, but this is the best YouTube had! 🙂

This is probably their most famous song, “Never Alone”. I love their message of the sufficiency of Christ that seems to come out in most of their lyrics!
And finally, one more. This one is called “Porcelain Heart”. A lot of girls need to hear this one.
There’s plenty more that I would love to post, but all you have to do is search for Barlowgirl on YouTube or GodTube. I urge you to do that.
Hope you have a great week!

I Married my bride, Erin, in 2003. We have 3 children: Emma, Elijah, and Lydia. I have served full-time on staff at Westwood Baptist Church, in Roxboro, NC, since summer of 2006 as Pastor of Students & Discipleship. I am currently enrolled at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, pursuing my Doctorate of Education.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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