If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It!

Did that title get your attention? 

Well, behold the motto of the modern woman!  Today it’s all about flaunting what you’ve got in material, money and — most important — physical appearance.  Modesty is a word of the 19th century, associated with such phrases as “fancy that” and “have a cup of tea?” (which I wouldn’t actually mind having now…).  It seems that if you don’t show off “whatcha got”, everyone thinks you have something to hide.  Which, in essence, we do.

Every woman’s body is creation of God, and as such, it is beautiful to Him.  Certainly we need to keep up on ourselves and be healthy and hygenic.  Yet no matter what the world has to say, we are still God’s creation and are beautiful in His eyes.  But there is another facet too: someday each of us will most likely marry, and there will be one man who is allowed to appreciate our beauty — the beauty God created in us.  This beauty belongs to that man long before we meet him.  So is it right to share it with other men before the Prince comes riding in? 

Now I am not talking whole-hog immorality here.  I’m talking about immodesty.  Did you ever stop to think that by dressing in a way that bares skin, fits the figure to a T,  or leaves your legs as the feature presentation you are cheating your husband?  To many girls and women this comes as an utter shock.  How could fashion equal adultery?  The truth is — very easily.  Fashion today is designed to encourage lust, and here is what our Lord has to say about that:

“You have heard that it was said, “Do not commit adultery.”  But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matt. 5:27-28

Uh-oh.  Lust = Adultery.  Encourage lust… and you encourage adultery.  The weight of our responsibility is heavy.  Modesty really is an important issue.  But the problem comes up when we realize that there is no set standard for modesty — no Ten Commandments of Feminine Attire.  So what to do? 

I write a quarterly column for TEACH magazine on modesty, and for the article I am currently writing I interviewed 13 men aged 15 to 40 on their opinion of modesty. Following the research I did for the article, I gave a PowerPoint presentation  for a group of girls based on my findings.  Now I am going to share a little of it with you.  The entire purpose for dressing modestly is to first, obey and glorify God, and second, help our brothers to keep from stumbling.  Thus, I thought it best to speak to the very ones we are dressing to honor and respect — the men. 

Following are a few eyeopening comments made by some of the young men I interviewed.  The full list of interviews made for an hour long presentation, so if there is any more interest in this topic I can be contacted for the full interview results at phyliciadelta@hotmail.com

“I believe modesty goes far beyond clothing choices. It is part of defining your character. A modest woman is one who is secure in who she is in Christ, and doesn’t need to dress in ways that attract attention. Honestly, it isn’t so much what you are wearing, but the attitude with it.”  (age 19)

“[Modesty is important for women] because I would say that the more modest the woman the more attractive they actually are to men. Contrary to what most people think short clingy clothes do not make men attracted to them. It arises feelings that aren’t just primarily attraction… but lust. And if I was a woman, I would want people attracted to me for not only my looks but primarily my personality.” (age 15)

“I would want my wife to dress in such a way that she presented herself to be well kept and attractive. I wouldn’t want her to put on clothes that were too provocative and encouraged a barrage of male advancements, but I wouldn’t want her to wear a snowsuit either.” (age 24)

“You are what you eat” is not nearly as accurate as “you are what you wear.”  A person who just throws on clothes willy-nilly is likely to exhibit those same sloppy characteristic in other areas of their life.  Likewise, a girl that dresses with the intent to have boys look at her is probably (not absolutely) just that shallow.  My experience has led me to believe that females with a healthy level of self esteem do not need to draw unnecessary attention to their bodies.  If they dress to show off skin, it may be because their skin is the only part of them worth showing off.” (age 26)

“[An immodest woman] is probably not someone I am interested in.  She is probably high maintenance; most likely insecure and a handful.” (age 27)

What a perspective!  To see what these Christian — and non-Christian! — men had to say about the importance of modesty is astounding.  However, what it all came back to for them was respect.  Men think in terms of respect — that is the highest compliment they can think to pay.  Women think in terms of love.  However, all the men I interviewed immediately commented that a modest woman is worthy of their respect, while an immodest one is not. 

For a Christian woman, we may have it, but we are not to flaunt it. We’re to keep it — and hide it — for one man.  In the meantime, we are beautiful in God’s eyes, and that should be enough.