bikinis

A guy writing a blog with this title.  This will probably be interesting.  In fact, writing this will probably get some push back and annoy several folks.  My intent is not to sound prude or petty or judgmental or condescending with this blog.  My intent is to help and to challenge.

I am a Christian and when you boil it down, I am pretty sure my life is to be about giving glory to God.  This is about pointing people to God with all of my life in every moment.  I also am a pastor so I have the responsibility to lead and direct others in the process of helping individuals give more glory to God with each life I shepherd.  As a Christian and as a pastor, I think the God of the Bible calls us to spur one another on to life and good deeds.  To call error when it is there.  To encourage where there is an opportunity.  To correct when there is wrong doing.  To be honest about our struggles and growth opportunities.  This blog is in the spirit of all of this.  It is also a blog that is meant to be written to the Christian community in the sense that if you are not a Christian, I would not expect you to care or want to care about any of this.  That is not to be an insult, it is just to say that (I know it is crazy) Christians are to be held to Christian standards.

When I was in high school and a young Christian, there were lots of people giving lots of talks on modesty, pornography and premarital sex.  Of the three, it seems like modesty is a topic that has lost a ton of steam.  I am not sure why this is.  It does seem to me like maybe people have checked out in caring and the younger community is not listening, so it is possible leaders quit talking.

I do my best to leverage social media like Facebook and Twitter.  As a result, I have lots of contacts with people through these avenues.  I am amazed how many girls, young and old, have tons of pictures of themselves in bikinis.  This combined with summer time activities have driven conversations amongst some Christian peer.  These bikinis I am seeing are not those your mom would wear, but small, “hey look at my body” bikinis.  Now I think there may be a time and places for these suits (maybe), but in general I am not getting this.  Why are God honoring, Jesus loving people treating modesty as such a negotiable?  I aim to be relevant and in tune with culture and I am hardly  “old school” in the way our church operates.  But I am struggling.  The human body has power in the way it is displayed.  Ladies, you have immense power and responsibility with your curves.  I do not think I am overstating the problem.  You are dressing like someone who does not know the Creator of the universe.  You are drawing men to you with your anatomy, rather than your character.  You are tempting guys.  You are degrading yourself and making your worth so much less than it is.

I have a daughter.  This topic is real to me.  This is something I will have to address and teach.  I am super proud I have a wife, who is hotter than anyone, yet takes modesty very seriously and always has.  I think we need to talk about this.  I want to understand where women who are carrying themselves this way are coming from.  I hope this blog spurs some much needed dialogue.  I am welcoming push back, disagreements and comments.  I really want some Christian ladies to help me out.

In the meantime here are some summary thoughts and suggestions:

  1. Ladies – most guys struggle with their eyes.  This is not a cop out.  It is reality.  If you are a Christian woman and you want to honor God with all of your life and you want to help out your Christian brothers, dress appropriately.  Your choices matter.  They matter more than you will ever know.
  2. The Christian community needs some ladies to step up.  Particularly some young, single women, who (as crass as this is to say) would look good in a tiny bikini, to show restraint and dress modestly.  We need you to carry this banner.  I am pretty sure ladies are not interested in hearing from me and other males and moms who sound like they have an ax to grind because their six pack is gone.
  3. The bait determines the catch.  If you want a dude who is interested in your body, keep showing it to him.  This is just a reality.  A relationship built on breaking down the wall of purity and intimacy from the very beginning is likely to have some big hurdles.
  4. Dad and moms need to own this.  If you are parent, your parenting includes more than putting food on the table, getting your kid to weekend services and making sure they keep their grades up.  Dads need to celebrate the beauty of the daughters when they are in sweats and a t-shirt.  Moms step up and stop letting your daughter parade around on the shore of the beach because you wish you still could.
  5. Admit this is a topic that matters.  ALL of life is to be lived before God.  I know I fail at this every day.  But that is not an excuse to give Jesus all of me.  How I handle money, parent, talk and shop are accountable to God.  So is how I dress.  Women – your modesty is part of your holiness.
  6. Celebrate those getting it right.  When we see women owning modesty, we as Christians need to go crazy.  We celebrate good choices with substances and with friends and with money…let us do it here.
  7. Girls (and boys) need to find their identity in Jesus.  You are not defined by how many guys check you out at the pool.  Beauty can turn a head, but it will never keep a heart by itself.
  8. Act where you need to.  Take down pictures and go buy another swimsuit if you need to.  But go to work.
  9. Be willing to be alone.  I know some of you girls are thinking, but I will look ridiculous when all my friends are in their bikinis and I am in a snow suit.  But sometimes looking ridiculous is the right way to look.

5 thoughts on “bikinis

  1. The truth is, as women we are taught through media, society, {most every interaction} that our worth comes from how attractive people think we are. Sure Jesus loves us regardless of our looks, but what about everyone else?! I know bikini’s and immodesty is the topic, but this rears it’s head in all forms; style, hair, etc. The differentiating factor: Immodesty pulls OTHER’s into our sin of insecurity.

    This world is run on a ‘looks-based’ merit system…
    It has taken me 20(+) years of knowing and loving Jesus to KNOW in my soul that His acceptance is enough… and honestly, I trust that truth today, but I may not tomorrow.

  2. Good points, Keith! Beauty is how attractive your personality is, considering your spirit is your personality (I assume) which lasts forever, whereas physical attractiveness is gone as the body ages. Personality is what should be emphasized, and not physical appearance. Physical attractiveness is a way that people conveniently lure members of the opposite gender, and usually the person of opposing gender haphazardly marries them. I once wrote a blog on this very subject via Facebook.

  3. I agree with the blog and then Julia took much of the words out of my reply. The goal of most women is to look attractive to males AND to other women. By “other women” I mean to get their approval or to beat them in the attractiveness contest. Even when a woman dresses modestly she wants to be attractive. An attractive woman by her hair, clothes, body shape, complexion, jewelry and much else can be a knock out even when she is dressed modestly. Not to downplay modesty but degree of modesty is only one of the factors that makes head turn and eyes stare. I agree that the modesty factor is one of the biggest factors. I think Jesus would say dress in sack cloth to avoid glorifying oneself. Women and men could use this thought in much of their daily living. In the USA we certainly rarely live this way. An exception would be the Amish. Another exception to point out would be to be attractive to our mates. The lily of the valley is is beautiful w/o makeup and sexy clothes. Can’t we all try harder not trying to impress others. I’m talking to myself too. I think I am being Biblical here. If not, point it out to me.
    Back to the word “bikinis” –don’t girls try to push the limit? When bathing suits came down to the knee, didn’t some girls push the limit and have suits that showed half the thigh? Today we would say that “immodest” suit was modest. So modesty in a way a sign of the times. We can only imagine where modesty will be 50 years from now when today’s girls are grandmothers. The limit might be when department stores approach nothing new to market. Our entertainment and businesses want to push the limit to get attention and make money. That must make it really tough on girls, almost all who want to be cool with their male and female friends. Congratulations to all the girls who can resist the temptation — and to the guys who can see past the physical attractions.

  4. Awesome job in getting people to think about this! I agree that it needs to be thought about, discussed and taught!

  5. Love it.
    Very well reasoned thoughts on this tough issue. Modesty matters, period. Purity of heart matters, period.
    I especially liked your point about “the bait determines the catch.”

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