The Death of Modesty

I have had ample opportunity over the past few months to observe people, and particularly the way people dress. Today was the culmination of all the observations when I had the opportunity to spend the day at Six Flags Great Adventure.

I saw guys and girls of all ages and sizes dressed in various fashions befitting the weather and the amount of walking they had to do and one thought dominated my mind: there is a serious lack of modesty. Now, it would be easy (too easy) to say that there is a serious lack of modesty among women, especially teenage girls. However, I want to pick in the guys, too.

As I watched people today and at other times, I noticed that the guys in the world have tendency to wear clothes that show off and/or expose more than men should show. From the baggy shorts and pants that don’t even come up beyond the guy’s butt, to the tight and/or cut-off/cut-away tank tops and tees, guys are showing too much. Now, I have nothing against guys, or anyone for that matter, wearing clothes that fit them, but guys, seriously? I think we’ve gone too far. Keep your undergarments from showing, and let some things be a secret. I don’t care what your idols are wearing or what the fashion magazines are saying or what you see in the rap videos. It’s not cool. It’s not hip. It’s not attractive. It’s exposing. And it’s ridiculous. So stop. Please. For the sake of everyone else in the world who doesn’t want to see your boxers or your chest or your muscles (or lack thereof) every time they look at you. Leave that to the bedroom and the swimming pool.

Now, onto the ladies. Today, I found myself appalled at the clothes that I saw (or clothes that I did not see). Girls younger than 13 wearing extremely low-cut tops, bras exposed, shorts coming way too high up their legs, way too tight for their age, cut-away tank tops with only a sports bra or bikini top underneath, fishnet stockings and high heels. Yes, I saw these in a public amusement park. I am all for individuality and wearing what expresses who you are and what interests you, but ladies, please, I’m going to say to you the same thing I said to the guys. Leave a lot of what you are showing for the bedroom and the swimming pool. Sure, there are guys out there that would love to see your underwear without taking the effort of getting into a serious relationship with you, but that does not give you an excuse to expose what should be hidden. Please, for the sake of all the guys who are struggling with matters that disgust you and make you feel degraded and objectified, stop dressing the way you do! If you are sick of guys objectifying you and treating you like sex objects or a piece of meat, then stop dressing like you want it! Just like I told the guys, I don’t care what your idols are wearing or what the fashion magazines are saying or what you see in the music videos of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. Keep your body beautifully accentuated and your clothing modest without exposing what should be kept for your future husband in your wedding bed.

For both groups, I have words of wisdom from God’s Holy Word. Many of the verses I will quote were originally intended for women, but considering the fact that modest is dead among men and women, they will be slightly edited.

“Likewise, I want men and women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly…” 1 Timothy 2:9a
Paul is instructing the members of Timothy’s church to dress “modestly and discreetly”. This means that we should dress in such a way that covers up what does not need to be seen. We should be discreet about what we wear and what is and is not exposed.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Though in this section Paul is speaking primarily of what we do with food, drink and how we conduct ourselves, we can apply the same concept to the way we dress. We can not forget that we were bought with a price, specifically the price of Jesus’ life as He died a bloody and painful death on a rugged wooden cross. We need to glorify God in everything we do, and this includes the clothes the wear. Jesus, His disciples, and the women who followed Jesus were all undoubtedly dressed modestly. While there is no evidence in the Scriptures of this, I can assume that they believed that it is not their looks or the way they dressed that showed who they are, but the way they acted and the way they lived their lives with each other and the people they encountered every day.

“So, this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind” Ephesians 4:17
Paul is telling the Ephesians that since they are now Christians, they are not supposed to walk (or live) the way the Gentiles, the non-believers, live. This includes the way we talk, the shows we watch, the books we read,the jokes we tell, and the way we dress. We should start living in a different way, wearing clothing that is respectable for a Christian and following the example of Jesus Christ and His apostles, as laid out in the Scriptures.

Modesty in every form, is dead, from the way we talk to the way we dress, even what we post on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites. Modesty, ladies and gentlemen, is dead. Let us, the Church, His body on this earth, to show the world that nothing is wrong with being modest and living a life that is glorifying to God.

“For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles (non-believers), having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries.” 1 Peter 4:3

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