Recently, it came to my attention that some young ladies I’ve known all their lives, had posted photos to social media wearing bikinis. Nowadays, that seems mundane and “normal” if you look around you for all of five minutes. Yet, these ladies were raised in a home where I know they read the Bible and were taught to love and obey the Lord. These ladies most certainly spent time around other ladies who would not shy away from telling them to be careful about their dress and of modesty. So, when I found the photos I was shocked to see such a display. I was both saddened and disappointed. Moreover, I have another friend, who I know is seeking to be modest, put a photo on a blog article that was less than modest. I don’t think she intentionally looked for an immodest photo, but nevertheless there it was. And while, it may seem like I’m trying to single them out, it’s really made me think about the trends I see in society. And now raising a daughter, I am deeply concerned about the influences upon her. Further, I am concerned about the influences upon young men too.
So, with that, I am writing an open letter to ladies who desire to be right with God. I know I will anger some people. That is not my intent. But, it’s not my intent to shy away from speaking up about godliness vs. wickedness either. Further, I could just as easily write one for guys, so please don’t think that I think guys never dress immodestly. And perhaps soon, I’ll write a similar letter to guys. For now, though, I wish to address it to the ladies in my life who I would like to see make positive correction in their lives…
To the ladies in my life:
I do not think for a second that you wish to be raunchy or sleazy, but your immodest dress does not indicate this to the world. Consider 1 Timothy 2:9-10 and 1 Peter 3:1-4 carefully. Your influence is hindered every time you wear inappropriate clothing and not just bikinis. If your chest is showing at all, guys WILL notice. If your midriff is showing, guys WILL notice. If you wear shorts/dresses above the knee, guys WILL notice. If your sleeves leave any kind of gap that could give a view to your chest, guys WILL notice. If you wear tight clothes, guys WILL notice. If you bend forward and can see any part of your chest, so can a guy. I’m not suggesting you wear a burqa, but modesty and a godly spirit requires thinking about your influence upon another (consider carefully Matthew 22:38-39).
Telling a guy he’s a pervert or to “just not look” is both unfair and a cop out attitude. Speaking from a guy’s perspective, here’s just a handful of the inappropriate things I see either daily, or almost daily: social media photos that show cleavage, midriff, thigh or clothes that are tight enough to emphasize those areas, “related articles” on tons of sites that show the same, magazines in grocery stores with the same, women walking around with the same, movies/TV shows with the same (though I seek to minimize this). I cannot practice “just don’t look” unless I avoid TV, the internet, AND leaving my own home. It’s a sad reality, but it is reality. And I’ve talked to enough guys, who are also seeking to be godly, to know it’s not just me experiencing this. Do you want to be part of the problem that perpetuates the stereotype that women are sexual objects? Or do you wish to promote the Biblical argument that women are equal to men in value to God and thus should be considered equal in value to each other too?
“I can’t find a guy unless I wear these clothes.” I’ve never fully understood this argument. Do you not realize the types of guys you WILL attract with those clothes? Hint: they aren’t the ones seeking to help you be closer to God and reach Heaven. Nor, are they the ones respecting you as a person. Now let me let you in on a little secret: I’ve had ladies in the past, before I was married, that I thought were fairly attractive. But, later I saw them in provocative clothing and their attractiveness, to me, diminished to either zero or close to it. If you want the “right kind of guy”, then dress in a way to attract that kind of guy. I assure you that the right kind of guys WILL take notice and have some interest in you.
“You don’t understand how hard it is to find godly clothes nowadays.” To some extent, I’m sure you are right, since I don’t shop for women’s clothing. But, I do see women who dress in godly ways every single week (which helps remind me and restore my faith that there are women who DO take this seriously), so I know it is possible, even if it is hard. Is it fair or right? No, it’s not. We live in a world that promotes terrible images of what women are and should be, and thus a large portion of clothes cater to such sinfulness. But, there’s still enough women seeking modest clothing, that I’m sure your diligence to find such clothing can and will pay off.
“I don’t want to be held down by men. It’s my body and it’s my choice. I’m empowering myself…” I sure hope you are not trying to make this argument. But, in case you are, would you be so bold as to argue that directly to God? If not, why would you make it to your fellow human beings?
“I didn’t think anyone would notice.” Many ladies have body image issues because of the hyper-sexualization of women for a long time. It’s sad, disappointing, and unfair. BUT, guys are similarly conditioned to view women that way. Young boys are taught that this is the way it is. Before they’ve reached puberty, they’ve seen countless numbers of magazines, movies, TV shows, possible social media posts, and just women walking around like this. When they do reach puberty, they are GOING to notice such things readily. Unless you are in your own house and sure no cameras are around, sexy clothing should be reserved for your husband’s eyes only, after you’re married. Otherwise, it will be noticed. Moreover, it’s helping perpetuate the idea that that’s how guys should view you. And without Christian training, that’s how a guy is going to learn to view you. Is that how you want him to view you?
Please understand that I’m not seeking to hold myself up as being without any sin in my life. Nor, do I wish to tear you down and make you feel worthless. Instead, I’m saying that God places a great deal of value on YOU personally. I am hoping this letter, though blunt, will give you pause to consider if YOU see the value that He already sees in you. If you do, then please do not diminish that value by dressing inappropriately. I love you and see value in you as a person who can hold HIM up in your life. I want you to succeed as a Christian. I want you to have joy at the day of judgment, you chose a truly prosperous life in HIS service.
Your friend in Christ