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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Act where you need to. Take down pictures and go buy another swimsuit if you need to. But go to work.
- 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.