April 1, 2013

Something Has to Be Done

I've written my thoughts on modesty before, and then the other day I was perusing blogs, and Lindsey's (from Becoming 1Peter3:4) stuck out to me. Lindsey is probably my oldest reader... as in she's been reading and a follower pretty much since the beginning according to my recollection. Over the years (especially those recently) we've exchanged e-mails, phone calls, and thanks to her college being only a couple hours away meeting in-person. She's graciously allowing me to share this post with you as it echos some of my same thoughts on modesty as well.

I was perusing my bookshelf tonight and found a book I read a long time ago that, as I flipped through it again tonight, I believe really shaped a lot of who I am.

It’s called “Sexy Girls” by Haley DiMarco, and it’s all about modesty and all that great stuff.
Disclaimer: I 100% support modesty, and think it is important to teach girls about modesty.

However, I read some of those quotes and was all-too familiar with them. They still flash into my mind sometimes, and here’s the problem I have with them:

Too often, modesty is all about shaming women into covering up.Our bodies become something to be loathed, hidden, and ashamed of. I don’t think that’s how God wants women to feel. I don’t think he expects us to apologize for being women and cover up head to toe. I also don’t think he expected us to run around indecently either. I just don’t think fear is what God wants for us.

Those quotes were seared into my brain, and I have lived for a long time in just…fear over what guys are thinking about. Yeah, I know, a lot of it is probably gross and wrong, but I can’t be responsible for that, and that’s what every modesty book tells me I am–responsible for all men and how they all think and what they will all think when they see me.

It’s too much pressure for girls, and it’s not our job. Yeah, I need to dress with discretion; but it’s not my responsibility to ensure that no men lust over me–I can’t control that. That’s a “their heart” issue when my heart is surrendered to Christ and letting Him guide my wardrobe choices.

I think it’s time we called boys to be men rather than using scare tactics on our girls. They don’t work, and leave girls ashamed of their body and terrified of men (believe me, I’ve felt both). I never want my daughter to grow up thinking that because she is a woman she has the weight of ensuring no men stumble. Sure, as sisters in Christ we should be looking out for guys and dressing appropriately–but that’s where our responsibility ends. We’re not supposed to be nuns, and we’re not supposed to apologize for being women in the way we dress.

Gosh, I ache for our broken world. What are your thoughts?

12 comments :

  1. I agree with this Natalie! Although we are called not to be dressed a certain way and modesty is key....many people feel that even if we dress plainly (women/girls) we are still bringing our men to the "brink of destruction" and I for one do not like this concept of making girls feel like whatever they do...will make a man sin. Too many of our churches have this mindset. We were created beautiful! To not be ashamed of our bodies and what they are meant for (in the context of marriage). I ache for our world too :(

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    1. Amen! Thanks for sharing =)

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    2. Definitely! It's so encouraging to know I'm not the only one who thinks this stuff! :)

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  2. amen natalie!! love this so much-- i always think of the temple in the old testament-the holy of holies... it was BEAUTIFUL on the outside...beauty worth housing the Holy Spirit and the glory of God...now we are the temples of the Holy Spirit. we should not be ashamed of our bodies, but adorn them in a way worthy of the glory of God.

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    1. What an awesome analogy Courtney!

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  3. I totally agree. This whole modesty debate irks me sometimes for the reason that women become responsible for what men feel. Really? That's an awful lot of pressure to put on girls and, if men do lust or whatever, it's our fault? I don't think so.
    It's kinda insulting for men, too, that their thoughts can be controlled or steered in a certain direction because of the way women dress. I think men are more complex than that. It's not just a visual trigger...they make it sound like men are just lustful people with no control over their thoughts if they see a woman flash a naked ankle or something.

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    1. Absolutely! I think there's definitely a part of me just wants to call both genders to responsibility and higher standards on this issue, as opposed to just us girls.

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  4. I couldn't agree more. I know that it is NOT all about how the girl dresses for men to get inappropriate thoughts. I do think that it doesn't help and can lead to that BUT men have control over their thoughts and actions the same as we as women do. They can choose to look away etc. I used to be concerned as a girlfriend thinking here I am trying to dress appropriately and here are these girls walking around with it all hanging out. (ummm hello I don't want you to flaunt your stuff in front of my man) When I came to the point of trust and realization that he respects me enough to conciously make a decision to look away etc. I really loved how you got into the whole scaring girls into it. I've been there and glad that I'm free of it. I can look good and be appropriate. :)

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    1. Love your perspective on it! (I hadn't thought about it from the whole boyfriend/girlfriend angle really) =D

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    2. Thank you so much for your thoughts from the girlfriend angle. I was the exact same way in my previous relationship; you really just showed me just how much freedom I've found in this area without even knowing it! :)

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    3. I almost didn't comment my 2cents in thinking is it really necessary but I'm glad that I did. I've grown so much and am so thankful for the freedom I can live in today.

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  5. "Yeah, I need to dress with discretion; but it’s not my responsibility to ensure that no men lust over me–I can’t control that. That’s a “their heart” issue when my heart is surrendered to Christ and letting Him guide my wardrobe choices."

    AMEN SISTER <3

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