May 28, 2022

What is Modest?

We’ve talked a lot about modesty.  The problem is that finding a hard and fast definition of exactly what is modest is a hard thing to do.  Depending on who you are, what you are, and where you were raised makes a big difference in how you interpret what you see and what you think is modest.

Lauren, at Chastity Online, had this initial reaction when she thought about modesty and the Christian life:

I remember hearing this term used for the first time and thinking “Oh no. Now i have to dress like an Amish farm girl with a skirt down to my ankles and long sleeves.”

She goes on to say that she’s not currently dressing like that, but that was the thought.  So, what are some rules that men and women think of when they think modest apparel, and what can we learn from it?

The Hand Rule

Emily from the Unfurling Flower gives this advice:

Another principle I have found helpful to guide me when I’m dressing is to say that it shouldn’t really be an issue for a male friend to place a hand (in an appropriate way) on any parts of flesh that are left bare. This can be useful when deciding on whether a top is appropriate or too low or if a skirt is too short, for example. Now, I’m not suggesting you all must use this principle – as for some girls, it may not prove to be helpful at all – and I am fully aware that it doesn’t deal with other immodesty issues such as clothing being too tight/see-through/etc. I just think it’s something else interesting to consider if you are a bit unsure of whether something covers you up enough, which often works for me :).

The Modesty Survey
In a culture that promotes immodesty and promiscuity, it is our obligation to be counterculture and show the world how to be truly respected and that comes by us respecting ourselves by the way we dress and act. –Lauren

The guys over at The Rebelution did a great job at creating a survey and asking men for what they thought was modest.  Here is the overview of their results:

1.7% of the guys surveyed feel strongly that girls shouldn’t show their calves. Is it now Burkha Day for all well-meaning Christian women? Absolutely not! In reading through the survey, you might have trouble finding a single item of clothing that someone, somewhere, doesn’t have a problem with. So where do we draw the line?

Well, the fact is that 98.3% guys DO NOT feel strongly that girls shouldn’t show their calves. If you look at the survey results you will find that 99.9% of the guys take full responsibility for themselves, and don’t expect women to cover every inch of skin — they’re just asking for help.

What you will see here is that no matter the category, some man labeled it immodest:

  • Denim jackets with faded sections on the chest draw too much attention to the bust- Survey says, 31.9% agree.
  • Showing bra-straps, even unintentionally is a stumbling block- Survey says 57.4% agree.
  • Tank tops are generally immodest- Survey says 57.6% agree.
  • Sleeveless shirts or dresses (bare arms) are immodest- Survey says 21% agree.
  • V-neck shirts or dresses are a stumbling block, even if they are not revealing- Survey says 34.4% agree.
  • Shirts with messages across the front draw too much attention to the bust- Survey says 47% agree.
Modesty vs. Fashion

I don’t know how many times that I’ve heard someone express the frustration with current fashion and their desire to be modest.  No woman (or man for that manner) wants to be out of the times– in some ways that draws even more attention than wearing what the world does!  At the same time, since modesty and fashion are at odds, there seems to be less outlets to get something that is both modern and modest.

The relationship between fashion and modesty appears to be straightforward, even immutable. Fashion is the constant enemy of modesty. The former seeks to attract attention, notice, and comment. The latter, by contrast, is the rejection of such theatrics. Modesty in dress is about turning oneself out with consideration for occasion, taste, and economy.


A piece of clothing, though, is just a piece of clothing. It does not become an expression of modesty or immodesty until it is worn. A long skirt paired with a long-sleeved shirt covers the body, but they must be worn with the intention of modesty. Consider the flowing, tiered skirts of yesteryear’s hippies, which were often worn with a loose, long-sleeved shirt in the same style. A woman in such an outfit would have most of her skin hidden, but this costume of the 1970s was intended to attract notice. Modesty was for fuddy-duddies, and even though the style wasn’t revealing, it challenged the existing culture of dress. Such outfits communicated inclusion in the youth-friendly counterculture, whose fashion message might be summed up as: “No sweater-sets and pearls for me.”

Is the Clothing the Real Problem?

It’s often not the skin that is the problem as much as the ability to see what shouldn’t be seen.  I believe that all temptation can be partially traced to the same root that tempted Eve– the forbidden.  If something is forbidden, then we want it– and when it comes to the lust of the flesh, it’s the suggestion that I may see something that I shouldn’t be seeing that’s the stumbling block.

As for the wearer, the real problem is in the heart attitude rather than what the person is wearing.  Any individual item of clothing can be worn in such a way that it is immodest or modest.  What is reflected, however, is what the wearer wants to be seen.

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25 thoughts on “What is Modest?

  1. “If something is forbidden, then we want it– and when it comes to the lust of the flesh, it’s the suggestion that I may see something that I shouldn’t be seeing that’s the stumbling block.”

    I would put forth that almost nothing is forbidden any longer. Where does this leave us? That so little is tantalizing anymore leaves our senses numbed.

    Modesty, it turns out, is exciting…There is still mystery and beauty left to discover and only by the chosen one.

    A Muslim speaker I heard once described Western modern culture as more male-dominated that most modern Islamic cultures because the sensuality in female bodies on display is all for men’s benefit (or downfall.)


  2. I think that you make an interesting point, Anna. I was reading an article by Naomi Wolf called The Porn Myth that actually speaks to this very issue. Feminism once thought that if porn were to become legal and mainstream that it would turn men into rapists, but it’s done the opposite– it’s made them only accept what they see in porn. Same thing, we have made nothing sacred anymore, and so we’ve lost the “sexual electricity” at the simple sight of our beloved.

    You’re right on when you say modesty is exciting– it’s because you can’t have or can’t see things. It’s not going to stop the guy from imagining, but it does mean that what you have is not something that’s for all to see. It’s something special. The end of Ms. Wolf’s article is exactly what you’re saying:

    I will never forget a visit I made to Ilana, an old friend who had become an Orthodox Jew in Jerusalem. When I saw her again, she had abandoned her jeans and T-shirts for long skirts and a head scarf. I could not get over it. Ilana has waist-length, wild and curly golden-blonde hair. “Can’t I even see your hair?” I asked, trying to find my old friend in there. “No,” she demurred quietly. “Only my husband,” she said with a calm sexual confidence, “ever gets to see my hair.”

    When she showed me her little house in a settlement on a hill, and I saw the bedroom, draped in Middle Eastern embroideries, that she shares only with her husband—the kids are not allowed—the sexual intensity in the air was archaic, overwhelming. It was private. It was a feeling of erotic intensity deeper than any I have ever picked up between secular couples in the liberated West. And I thought: Our husbands see naked women all day—in Times Square if not on the Net. Her husband never even sees another woman’s hair.

    She must feel, I thought, so hot.

  3. I tend to agree with your analysis, Rebecca. Fashion’s M.O. is to entice people into believing a lie: that your self-worth is bound to the revealing clothing you put on your body. To be proud of your body by exposing it to everyone (what so many think as “body-positive”) still is pride, which drags us away from God.

    Modesty is Humility in action. Through what we wear, how we speak, and prefer others above ourselves, we are being the Salt and Light.


  4. I think it is strange that you use Chastity Online as a reference for this post. How in the world did you end up there?

    Mrs. Meg Logan

  5. I’m constantly doing technorati searches with different parameters to see what different people are blogging about different topics. Since this particular post referenced modesty I read it and quoted from it.

    Why? Is there a problem with this source?

  6. Not a problem really. But the site does not seem to advocate marriage, only monogamy. and it doesn’t think that modesty and chastity are important because God said so, only because they prevent heartache and worry and pain…secularist thinking, with a moral ideal… I just think you could have found someone else who says the same thing and also was Christian… but it is not a major concern.

    (you may want to just delete these two comments since Im not trying to give these guys bad press or anything.)


  7. I think modesty also involves blending in with those around you, as in, “not drawing undue attention to yourself.” I respect the values families exhibit when the mom and all the daughters are wearing long skirts and athletic shoes, but it does draw attention to them because it’s so odd in our culture. All should be in context.

    For example, my daughter and I spent a couple of summers trying to find modest swimwear and it was an uphill battle. Where do you draw the line between practicality and modesty? We finally decided that the most modest thing for us to wear was a one piece bathing suit with swim shorts — rather than something so modest it looks like it came from the 1800’s– because at a public pool that is proper in context and doesn’t draw undue attention, and therefore we look modestly dressed. By contrast, someone wearing a swimsuit at the grocery store (like we’ve seen some women do in our small town) looks embarrassingly un-dressed. It’s out of context, and draws undue attention.

    By the same token, we found that when we spend time hanging out in the river it feels more modest and appropriate to wear t-shirts and cutoffs, rather than a swimsuit, because, once again, a swimsuit feels out of context, and therefore immodest. And we found that clothes that are appropriate and modest in the context of gardening or picnicking are not the same ones that are appropriate and modest for a church service or a wedding. (although sometimes I’m embarrassed by how undressed the bridal parties often seem to be….My boys think it looks like someone gave all the bridesmaids’ dresses a hard yank, leaving too much dress at the bottom and not enough at the top…)

    We found that if we looked carefully, we could find fashionable clothes that are still modest. Or alternatively, we could make them modest by layering or wearing undershirts (check out this site:

    This is a lot more fun and interesting than wearing oddball clothes simply for their “modesty,” and no one is staring at us.

  8. I love the Rebelution guys, what a heroic cause they’ve taken on…it’s got to make a difference to young girls to see what young men are thinking/feeling about how they dress. That’s one thing I think our generation has going for it, compared to the last generation, we TALK about everything. In the past, it would suffice for parents to tell their kids: “We just don’t dress that way. Period.” Or “Don’t even think about holding hands till you’re engaged.” Etc. There were no reasons behind these ideals. I have a great relationship with both my parents but their generation (and granted they are in their 70’s) just didn’t talk about certain things. Some of the things I’m reading in Christian fiction nowadays (Karen Kingsbury for instance…she really does write “Life-changing Fiction” as her brand says) would have benefited me IMMENSELY as a teen attending public school. She has a way of making modesty and purity so attractively godly to young people.

    This was a great modesty article, MIn, I really enjoyed it. And you are so right, modesty to me, means so much more to the burkha wearer, and so much less to the average American Christian. Is it enough to be appropriate to the place? IE, at pools, wear swimsuits? Even if I cover up my suit with a t-shirt and shorts, that’s still considered completely immodest by most dresses-only women. I hate perpetuating a double standard, so am I about to start avoiding public bathing as many do who have this issue on their hearts?

    I just pray all of us who want to wear modesty as a badge will refrain from making others feel inappropriate and lacking for not following in our footsteps. There’s definitely a time and place to advocate modesty, but if I suddenly started wearing a head-covering to church it would turn many people off to any other testimony I may have had before. We do need to live in this world and be separate, but even Jesus made Himself available to every strata of mankind, and had not a self-righteous bone, or the appearance of one in His body.

    Lest anyone think I’m picking on head-coverings, I’m not. That’s definitely a conviction between a couple and God. I’m just pondering on how far we need to/should go to preserve the ideal of modesty/purity. With fashions constantly warring with modesty, it would be nice if we actually could come to a definition of the term that would satisfy everyone.

    But it’s not going to happen till Heaven!

  9. Ha! I think that I might actually have something to say! *laughs*

    I hear so often that modesty involves also fitting in with other people- but I’m not so sure that that is the case. I’ve read many times in the bible where we are told to be modest, and it is always regarding areas of nakedness. If this nakedness is against what God wants for us, then why would a person want to follow the example of the world to “fit in” in order to avoid standing out? Aren’t we supposed to be in the world, but not of it? Aren’t we supposed to be different? It seems to me that in some ways, being a Christian is very IMMODEST, if “fitting in” is one of the criteria for modesty these days. That’s not to say that we need to purposefully wear the most ugly and volumous clothing available, but that looking like everyone else shouldn’t be a measure of modesty. 🙂

    Oh, and “M”, I just loved that quote about the orthodox jewish woman. I have found that by baring less, it really does make the little things so much more meaningful.

  10. Boy the last three comments cover the spectrum. I guess the commonality is that Cindy thinks that Modesty blends in so as not to attract attention, Mary asks what should be done about attracting attention, and Jenna thinks that there’s an absolute standard here about what should be covered.

    Starting with Jenna’s point, there has to be an absolute standard, otherwise if you found yourself in a nudist colony you’d have to be naked in order not to attract attention! And I have to agree with Jenna that, to a certain degree, our lives are supposed to be about attracting good attention– the difference between us and the world.

    However, to Cindy’s point, would dressing differently actually get you unwanted attention? Since men are probably going to fantasize regardless what you wear, does the fact that you do not fit in attract attention that it shouldn’t. Said differently, can you wear attire that both does not stick out and yet is modest?

    That’s exactly what Mary’s asking. Does she have to refrain from swimming because you can’t help but draw attention to yourself or dress immodestly?

    This last Sunday my wife and I went to a party for our son’s Sunday school class (4 small kids in the class) that had a pool, and we both went in with t-shirts and shorts. Would I have felt comfortable in less? Not really.

    In college, a pastor used to joke about “beach evangelism” and the subtext was “men don’t go to the beach to evangelize, they go to look at women.”

    So, this is a tough question. You don’t want to deprive children of a chance to play in a pool, but if you knew what was going on in some men’s minds you’d never go to one again. I mean, if someone were looking at your daughter (even dressed in a modest swimsuit) would you go to that pool or beach again? And yet do you know?

  11. I don’t know how many times that I’ve heard someone express the frustration with current fashion and their desire to be modest. No woman (or man for that manner) wants to be out of the times– in some ways that draws even more attention than wearing what the world does! At the same time, since modesty and fashion are at odds, there seems to be less outlets to get something that is both modern and modest.

    Why dress modern? Why dress old fashioned? Why buy clothes when you can sew them? Why sew them when you can buy them? Hemp or cotton? Imported or domestic? China or India? Natural dyes or artificial? Pink or blue? Shout, Clorox, All, or Sam’s Choice? Car or horse-drawn carriage?

    Cindy Huebert Said:

    I think modesty also involves blending in with those around you, as in, “not drawing undue attention to yourself.”

    Perhaps… perhaps not. After all, we are called to be aliens in a foreign land as well as we are called to be a Greek to the Greek and a Jew to the Jew… but we are neither Jew nor Greek. Oh well… semantics I suppose.

    MInTheGap Said:

    You’re right on when you say modesty is exciting– it’s because you can’t have or can’t see things.

    Just a finer point here; I don’t think the idea here is to build up anticipation and curiosity in people about things they can’t see. Actually that seems to appeal to a fleshly, selfish desire to know the unknown and see the unseen. It seems to appeal to the mischievous sin-nature in mankind that wants what it cannot have. In fact, it seems to me wholly hollow if the whole point to modesty is to entice our senses via a starvation-fulfillment cycle.

    The purpose of modesty is far more intensely spiritual than practical. Practical results are bound to come, but look at all the time we spend discussing the practical end when the Truth of God’s Word calls us to a more spiritual relationship with Him? Modesty is a quality of character, not a quality of clothing. Let’s not focus on outward modesty but lets instead focus on inward modesty. What does that look like? Well… it doesn’t ‘LOOK’ at all.

    Is modesty exciting? ABSOLUTELY! Show me a woman with a humble heart and modest outlook and I will surely be attracted! And I’ll admit, I’ve been fooled by a woman’s outward appearance more than once. I’ve mistaken a prideful, selfish, self-indulgent woman for a humble one because she wore conservative fashion. (Did you get that one? Conservative Fashion… think about it for a minute) However, upon getting to know a woman a bit better, as the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart, one may find oneself quite disappointed.

    What’s exciting about modesty is not the thrill of the taboo, but the knowledge of the Truth. To know that you are in a true relationship with the Almighty, reconciled by the Spirit and that you can share that with your wife, I submit to you, must be a higher virtue than seeing the unseen.

    A naked woman on the streets could be more modest and humble than an Amish mother.

    You want a litmus test for modesty? For every hour you spend worrying about what you will wear, how many hours do you spend sharing the Gospel of Christ with your neighbor?

    Matthew 6:28

  12. Arthur, I think that I’ve been quite to the point that modesty is a heart attitude above all things and that clothing is simply the external reflection of that clothing.

    For instance, in the post What is Modest (above):

    As for the wearer, the real problem is in the heart attitude rather than what the person is wearing. Any individual item of clothing can be worn in such a way that it is immodest or modest. What is reflected, however, is what the wearer wants to be seen.

    In What Does the Bible Say About Modesty?:

    So, what can we gain from the Bible’s references to modesty? To boil it down, it’s all about the heart. The heart attitude, the heart’s reflection, and the heart’s desire. We’ve also learned that your clothing is broadcasting a message. It may be broadcasting the message that everyone else’s is– but that doesn’t make it right.

    In But Women Don’t Wear Hats Anymore:

    If we keep these things in mind, and cultivate a pure heart, we will be radiating the beauty from within– and any attention that we get will go to the One that made us.

    From Hey Check Me Out!:

    We’re not to dress to draw attention to our form, to our looks, or toward the outward appearance. We can’t control what others will think of what we wear, but we can control what we show them. And we should attempt to be modest and show our inner person, not our outer.

    Do you see a pattern? My point though most if not all of my posts is that modesty comes from the heart and is something internal that is reflected externally. But what if a woman (or man) wants to be modest in their apparel. Should we tell them to refrain from even discussing it since it’s all about the heart, or should we try to help them navigate what would keep their brothers from stumbling.

    Is modesty to build anticipation? It is part of it when it comes to talking about clothing. It may not be part of it when it comes to talking about the heart attitude.

  13. MInTheGap Writes:

    Arthur, I think that I’ve been quite to the point that modesty is a heart attitude above all things and that clothing is simply the external reflection of that clothing.

    I know that you have brother, and I don’t mean to rebuke you on this point at all. I only mean to comment on the particular wording of what I quote an expound upon it. I don’t, in particular, fear that you are mistaken in your understaning of the Truth of the Scriptures, but I want to try and make the Truth clearer, bringing to Light aspects that you may not have specifically addressed. I hope I have not offended you in this.

    MInTheGaps Writes:
    But what if a woman (or man) wants to be modest in their apparel. Should we tell them to refrain from even discussing it since it’s all about the heart, or should we try to help them navigate what would keep their brothers from stumbling.

    OK, but this is my whole point brother! If we see someone focusing on the particulars of what is ‘modest clothing’ and what is not, and we do not try to re-direct them to the spiritual aspect of Christ, then we do them a great dis-service. I know that you would not want to direct someone toward legalism, so I only seek to encourage you to direct people toward a genuine relationship with Christ. Furthermore I seek to encourage any who might be living under the rule of the law to free themselves in Christ. In no way do I mean to undermine your opinion or stance. I only seek to the Truth of the Gospel and the Truth of the Gospel of Christ is this: “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24

    It is simply not about WHAT YOU WEAR but it is about WHO YOU BELIEVE. If you have to ask the question, “What should I wear to please God?” then you have already missed the point. So to humor a person’s point of view that there is a ‘holy dresscode’, trying to define for them the ‘particulars’ or the ‘applicables’ is to mislead them. Let us not do this, Brother, but let us point to the Truth of the Gospel of Christ instead!

    Find Jesus Christ in your heart, LOVE HIM! Do not seek to earn your way into Heaven as the Pharisees, but instead trust in Him who is sent from God Almighty to be sin in your place and pay your penalty. Worship Christ in spirit, not in outward appearance!


    If this is what you believe then we have no point upon which to argue. I earnestly apologize for anthing I said that may have caused you to think we are at odds, or otherwise caused you to stumble.

    (honestly, I don’t understand what the difference is between logging in and when your site automatically recognizes my IP. If it recognizes my IP then can people click on my avatar and see my site? Otherwise,

  14. Ohh and for those with a serious inquiry into what may or may not cause your brother to stumble:

    ASK HIM!

    That’s right! Talk to each other for the sake of Christ and the Church! Get to know each other! Share each other’s burdens! Confess one to another! Stop being so scared to interact with other Christians! Simply trust that God makes all things to work together for those who are in Christ (you) and do as He has already commanded you, FELLOWSHIP WITH ONE ANOTHER!

    Dear Lord, let your Church stop beating around the bush of your Word and let us follow your Truth in earnest! Amen!

  15. Reading what Arthur Eiss had to say reminds me of something C.S. Lewis said in his book “Mere Christianity”:

    “The Christian rule of chastity must not be confused with the social rule of “modesty” (in one sense of that word); i.e., propriety, or decency. The social rule of propriety lays down how much of the human body should be displayed and what subjects can be referred to, and in what words, according to the customs of a certain social circle. Thus, while the rule of chastity is the same for all Christians at all times, the rule of propriety changes. A girl in the Pacific islands wearing hardly any clothes and a Victorian lady completely covered in clothes might both be equally “modest,” proper or decent, according to the standards of their own societies: and both, for all we could tell by their dress, might be equally chaste (or unchaste).”

    I wonder of this is part of what the apostle Peter meant when he said,

    “Do not let you adornment be merely outward– arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel– rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)

  16. u kno growing up in church myself, u hear many different things about dressing modestly. i’ve heard that u should dress “modest” that’s it. jus “modest”. or dress “in the middle”. and thinking to myslef “well what does “modest” mean?? or what does in the middle mean??” everyone’s modest is different. everyone’s middle is different. so how should we dress???

    i bleve that everyone, MEN AND WOMEN should dress modest. but we have to realize that men and women’s bodies are DIFFERENT. men and women, are both sexual beings, but it is men that are more stimulated by sight. which is y i bleve that a women should dress MORE modestly/covering then men. i bleve that a women should dress in a way that she is safe, where she can do anything, in a way the her body is ALWAYS properly covered AND that her body should b perdomantly covered. 1.if a women is goin to wear skirts/dresses, they SHOULD fall below her knee to cover at least the calf. y??? because her legs should b mostly covered, AND since most people agree that the thighs should ALWAYS be covered, a skirt comming no shorter then the calf, will insure that her thighs are ALWAYS covered, when she sits (becasue skirts rise), moves, go up stairs, bend down, cross her legs, etc. ANYTHING that she is doing, her legs/thighs should b properly covered. (if she chooses to wear pants, wear a dress over them, or a long shirt). 2. sleeves should b no shorter then a inch above the elbow. y??? because your arms should b mostly covered, AND when u raise your arms, move them any kind of way, etc, the sides of chest, underarms, back, etc, will always b coverd. 3. shirts should come no shorter then a inch below the collar bone. y?? becuse a women’s chest should b covered, AND when a women in jumping, shouting, bending, sitting, standing, etc, her chest will properly b covered. 4. and of course clothing should b: long, flowing (not tight) not see-through, modern, fitting to one’s size, not flashy, etc. i bleve these things should b teached to our women, religous or not.

    but this is not what is done. i’ll give u a example. in church, who is the most modestly dressed??? think about it. the anwser is the MEN. r u suprised??? well u shouldnt b. think about it. men were suits where the pants come all the way down to the ankle, and the sleeves come all the way down to the risks. then they wear shirts that come all the way up to the neck. and they wear this in EVERY WEATHER. winter when it’s 25 or summer when it’s 95, etc. but women dnt even want to wear a skirt that comes below her knees. and y is this????? i strongly bleve that it is because, this american society has influenced us, the church. people dont preach no more to women that they SHOULD wear long covering clothing, with long sleeves, etc. and because these things r not pushed, and preached with LOVE, they continue to become exstint, which mean that modesty, becomes LESS and LESS important. i heard one man say, when he was looking for a wife, he didnt want a women who wore skirts down to her ankles like the old women did. and THIS MAN IS A PASTOR!!!!!!! im sorry, but that is SAD. y wouldn’t u want a women who choosed to cover her body???(because he’s a man, and wanted to see her body that y!!!!!) and comments like these, being said in our churches, i bleve, continue to help erase modesty. when we SHOULD preach to ALL women, that their bodies are SPECIAL, AND NO, EVERY MAN SHOULD NOT SEE IT!!!!!!!!! HE DOENS’T DESERVE TO, HE IS NOT WORTHY!!!!!!!!!! ONLY YOUR HUSBAND IS!!!!!!! WE NEED TO GET BACK TO THAT MESSAGE!!!!!!!! muslim women hold such a high esteem for themselves and their bodies, that they cover EVERYTHING (some even the eyes) and i sayin to look like that??? no, (even though that is how they dressed in the bible, and it wouldn’t b bad :)but my point is to have the basics of your body covered. before i close (i kno i talked a lot lol 😉 think of your clothing as wrapping paper, and this wrapping paper is covering up a special gift, (which is your body) that only ONE special MAN, has the HONOR of opening ;D

    ~~GOD BLESS~~

  17. #Feb2011NCA

    That “hand” rule is really interesting, I like the idea of it. I’ve seen the modesty survey before and it was really helpful for me to understand realistically what affected guys, what provoked those thoughts. One surprise was that denim jackets faded at the bust was a stumbling block! I had no idea. But, I still feel that real modesty comes from within, and should be cultivated from within with as much effort as it is displayed on the outside.

  18. Very good article, MIn. I especially liked your first comment (after Anna’s), and the account of the Jewish woman. Wow, that makes modesty seem so amazing and so worthwhile! I know it is, but it’s nice to be reminded and encouraged. Thanks again for sharing.

  19. I have to say, I agree with Cindy’s comment! It seems like context is very important in life, whether reading our bibles OR dressing. As she pointed out, wearing a bathing suit to the grocery store is quite immodest and a bit shocking, but at the swimming pool? Fine. I have to say, when I see women and their daughters at the grocery store wearing long skirts and sneakers, it weirds me out. It looks so much different (and, okay, ugly and unkempt) from what most people wear that they stand out and it ceases to be modest. That’s just my two cents!


  20. Well it seems as though I can’t edit my former comment. Oh well.

    This is such a big subject and is about the heart, but I don’t think we should mock other’s choices when they choose clothing they think is modest. If someone wants to wear things that are more “conservative” than you might, don’t make fun of them.


  21. I agree with Jenna’s comment. We shouldn’t fit in with the world, yet we shouldn’t choose ugly, horribly baggy clothing, either. And yes, AnneGirl, we shouldn’t make fun of people who dress more conservatively than we do. In the past I have thought badly (at least felt uncomfortable around) of people who dresses in clothes I considered somewhat frumpy. Well, they do so out of godly conviction, or perhaps out of necessity–some people need to wear padded sneakers all the time (or flat shoes that aren’t so attractive) because their feet get blisters or they have arch problems or things like that. Some people consider high heels to be immodest, or feet showing to be immodest. So, we have to be careful how we view people. Someday we might even be (quite literally) in their shoes! 🙂 Perhaps we should try to fit in so long as it isn’t immodest, but sometimes we may end up crossing into dangerous territory there. Just my thoughts.


  22. #Feb2011NCA
    That’s the trouble with modesty, there’s no hard, fast rule for everyone in all situations. I guess what it comes down to is, “Do we truly want to be modest and place enough importance on it to carefully examine everything that we wear?”
    I’ve never heard the “Hand Rule” before. That sounds like a neat idea to keep in mind! 🙂

  23. Have the men here considered using self-control and choosing not to stare at young women’s bodies? Believe it or not, it IS optional. You could even stop looking around the web for pictures of young women and then spending time staring at their bodies and rating them on modesty, but also attractiveness, which seems to creep in regularly. It seems like a hobby that would lead one into temptation.

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