Category Archives: Modesty

Modesty – A Guy’s Perspective – by Maxx (age 18)

Loretta, here…I actually was not expecting any more modesty posts. Originally I asked Maxx if he would be willing to write the male prospective on the modesty issue. He said yes right away, but was struggling with it for awhile, although he said he had words in his mind but just could not get the thoughts written down. I decided to let it go as I do not ever want to pressure anyone to write or comment for this blog. We left on vacation to cross Canada last week and we were on a 14 hour train ride from Saskatoon to Winnipeg. Eventually our family scattered throughout the train to have some time on their own. Maxx found a nice sunny spot up top in the observation deck. When I ran into Maxx, I saw him with journal and bible open. He was writing this post. I am grateful for his willingness to share his heart honestly. I hope it blesses someone like it did me. Maxx has asked for feedback on his thoughts so I encourage anyone who wants to comment to either use the reply option or if you would like to submit your thoughts in a separate post just email it to me and I will post it.

Modesty – by Maxx (age 18) 

Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised”. Proverbs 31:30

I’ve put off writing this for so long because I didn’t know what to write but I thought I should just start writing anyway. Modesty is a big issue these days and much more than people realize. The world’s morals are slowly diminishing; therefore modesty is more of a problem in this generation.

I can’t say there is a specific set of rules for being modest, just like there isn’t a specific set of rules for being a Christian. It is all about your relationship with Jesus and what He teaches you. A big lie that a lot of people believe, even some Christians, is that modesty is just for women. Modesty is for men and women alike. Even though this is true, in my opinion, an immodestly dressed woman has the potential to do more harm to a man’s eyes because of the male’s lustful nature. This does NOT mean men can get off easier with being immodest!

Modesty is not just the way we dress but it is also the way we act, our posture, our social attitude and our identities. Overall, it comes down to pride. A proud heart will only display a lack of humility and modesty. On the other hand, a humble heart will not only display modesty, but will produce a character in you that people respect.

To start, I would like to say a few things about women and address the topic of immodest dressing. Being a male I know the negative effects an immodesty dressed woman can have. The saddest part is that the world tells us that women have to dress this way to be accepted.  I work at a swimming pool, which has to be one of the worst places for a Christian guy trying to keep his eyes pure. At the end of a day I am usually drained from constantly trying to guard my eyes from immodestly dressed women.  I’m not sure why God has kept me working there. I’ve tried to get a job somewhere else…trust me. Whenever I see a modestly dressed woman at the pool I think to myself, “I respect her.” Not because she looks good or anything like that but because she obviously has respect for herself. Especially when it is a Christian woman who not only has respect for herself,f but for the Christian men around her who are trying so hard to keep pure.

Now for the guys’ side of modesty….I am definitely hoping to get some feedback from the female side on this as I am not 100% sure on everything I am writing. I do know that guys can dress immodestly. For example, wearing tight tank tops all of the time, or skinny jeans, and I don’t even need to say anything about speedos. They are just gross. But more than that, immodesty can be seen more in the way guys behave. The unnecessary removal of shirts or the “subtle” flexing of muscles when the opposite sex is present. Basically, if we expect women to dress modestly for us, then we need to dress and act modestly ourselves in order to set an example.

With the influences of today’s culture, including social media, entertainment and the internet, it’s hard for a guy to keep his eyes pure. We can either be men of God or men of the world. We can be women of God or women of the world. In the bible, it tells us to not be of this world but in it. So therefore, we are called to be men and women of God in the world and not of the world.

So please, I don’t want anyone taking this the wrong way in that I am trying to be a know- it-all. I really don’t know much. I only what I have come to understand while I have grown up and what God has shown me along the way. I hope this might help someone or give them a better understanding. Please comment if you have any thoughts as I would like to hear them.

 

Fashionably Modest – by Jenessa (age 18)

Just a little intro to my Jenessa. Actually, she is my friend, Rose’s Jenessa, however, Jenessa and Carlee (my daughter) have been friends since they were about four and five years old. Jenessa is like another daughter to me (I seem to be accumulating a few, I am blessed to say but Jenessa was the first). Jenessa remains very dear to my heart and has some amazingly wise words to say about modesty. Here they are…..

Honor Your Temple: 

A Girls Opinion and Adventures in Modesty
by Jenessa Joy

I used to think that there were set rules for how to be modest, and how not to be. I realize now that there are lines, that separate “modesty” from “immodest”, and how some things are one and some are another. But also, I have come to notice that sometimes what is “modest” largely depends on your body type.

Now, certain clothing is inexcusably immodest, no matter the body type (whether its low necklines, clothing that is more than a little too tight, shorts that are WAY to short, etc.). But setting that aside,  sometimes, there is clothing that works for one body type and can be seen as immodest on another. Hear me out on this one. I’m an 18-year-old girl, and I am very busty. (This is not IN ANY WAY my way of bragging, and to be completely honest; for a lot of my life I felt very awkward about my bust.) With my body type wearing what some girls wear is NOT an option.  Necklines get a whole lot harder to deal with (let’s not even get into my rant about shirt sizes!), and camisoles, cover ups, and safety pinning shirts and dresses have become an art form. Getting a good bathing suit is like finding a needle in a haystack. Ick.

Okay, now, this is starting to sound like a rant article. It’s not meant to be. I’m just listing off the problems I have encountered the most on my ongoing journey to “modest” and “stylish”. Everybodies body type comes with its challenges. There’s a 99.9% guarantee that you can come up with just as many problems with making or finding things that are modest. It could be because it’s hard for your body type. It could be because the clothes they sell in stores nowadays consist of crop tops, and short-shorts. Or it could be both. My guess is the latter!

Now, being “modest” is a challenge…but it IS possible.  It’s also very worthwhile, and I know there are a lot of guys out there who are thanking you for it! Now, I could give you some goes-and-no’s to follow, things I think you shouldn’t wear, and what you should, but instead I’m going to say this: your body is your body. I cannot tell you how to dress it, or what things you can and can’t wear. I don’t know what looks good on you, and what works modesty wise for you. I’m not going to tell you that you can only wear turtle-necks, and long skirts (but if you want to that’s fine by me as well!), I’m not going to tell you that you can’t be pretty, and I’m certainly not going to tell you that being fashionably modest is impossible. Because it isn’t.

Want to know a secret? I really like clothes. I feel like most girls, and a lot of guys love clothes as well. (To be honest, most guys I know care more about clothes than I do!). My reason for loving clothes is simply because I enjoy being creative. I enjoy showing my personality, and just being different…that’s why I like clothes. I’m the type of girl who “remakes”t-shirts, wear mismatched earrings, and try to find things that are altogether unusual, and unique. Though, my go-to is a good pair of jeans, with a top, and some fun accessories. (I’m definitely an accessories girl!)

But I do have some tips for you to consider. I’ve promised you that I wouldn’t give you any “absolute no’s and yes’s” list. Like I said, I don’t know your body. But I think that, even though, I’m no expert, I have some advice and tips for you girls to consider. And these are them:

  1. LESS is MORE.
    Don’t show everything. You don’t have too. You don’t need too. The world may tell you the opposite. But they’re lying. Don’t listen to them. You are beautiful, and you don’t have to show anything to prove that. Your face, your smile,  that should show it all.
  2. “Your clothes should be tight enough to show you’re a woman but loose enough to show you’re a lady.”
    This quote is by Marilyn Monroe, and I wouldn’t ever consider her the greatest role-model, but I think this quote is great, and something to be followed.
  3. Don’t settle for something less. Don’t compromise your standards.
    I’m ALL FOR stepping out of your comfort zone…but don’t compromise your standards and beliefs! Take a stand! Don’t change or be uncomfortable because you can’t find anything else. It’s not worth it.
  4. Layers can be your best friend.
    Or your worst on a sunny day. But don’t rule those layers out. Camisoles, higher necked tank-tops, etc. There are the cute little bandeau things (if they work for you). Some necklines can be saved with a ton of different possibilities, to go under your shirts! (Literally!)
  5. Things can be altered. Don’t shut out that possibility.
    I know it’s a hassle, but it can be great, and works wonders!
  6. There are a ton of different ways to pin things, add alterations, and DIY clothing to make them more modest and in your comfort zone
    Whether it’s sewing on an extra piece yourself, pinning something on, taping (yes, I did say TAPING!), there a gazillion ideas out there to help you! Some clothing can’t be saved or remade…but some can!
  7. When in doubt…ask Dad!
    …or your friend, or your Mom, or your mentor, or sister, etc. Just someone who you know has your best interest in mind when it comes to modesty. I always go to my Mom, and possibly one of my friends, I also ask my Dad too sometimes. Especially if I’m unsure how a guy is going to perceive what I’m wearing.
  8. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Be comfortable in your body.
    I’m not telling you to show off your body, but if you find something you think is modest, and you feel PRETTY in, go for it girl! I just want you to know you are BEAUTIFUL, and that is a big part of what modesty is. It is COMPLIMENTING your body, not showing it off.
    “ Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
    —1 Corinthians 6:19-20—
    I’ve hoped this has somehow helped you.
    Honour your temple ladies!
    Blessings, Smiles,
    Prayers, and Music!!
    Jenessa Joy

 

Kersten’s Grad

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Carlee and Kersten

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Kersten and Maxx

Our family has been busy with grad’s lately. None of them are actually happening in our family, however, four of my kid’s close friends are graduating which makes this is a important time of year. I would like to do a little mini-feature on a young woman who is very special to our family….

Kersten was born in Vancouver, at B.C Children’s Hospital. She moved to Tumbler Ridge when she was three and has lived ever since then. She has one older sister, 20 named Ellyanne. She is her best friend and  “loves her to death!”

Kersten was homeschooled up until half way through grade 9 when she began going to public school at Tumbler Ridge Secondary School (TRSS).

She has grown up in a Christian home, so she always knew about God and Jesus and how He died to save us. She made the decision to give her life to God when she was about 5. At that young age Kersten feels that though she obviously did not have a full understanding of what that meant, she has grown in the Lord over the years and is continuing on that journey to learn more about Him. When she was 13, she decided she wanted to be baptized.

She met my son, Maxx, at a combined youth get together that was hosted by two churches in her town and included his church in Hudson’s Hope, in the winter of 2011.  Kersten only really started to get to know Maxx though when they took their National Lifeguard Safety course together in Edmonton 2 years ago. She met my daughter, Carlee, at the youth get together as well and they started to get to know each other better at Maxx’s grad last year.

Kersten is going  to College of New Caledonia in Prince George, British Columbia, for her first year of her post secondary experience. She will be taking a one year Intensive Fine Arts program  and she is extremely excited! She is a very talented artist!

She does not  know what she is going to do after that however she is trusting that God will lead her to her next step in His time.

Even though Kersten lives a couple of hours away, she easily connected into Maxx, Carlee and Jonah’s peer circle. She is one of those genuinely sweet girls, with a kind heart, who is effortless to like and a pleasure to have around!

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blowing bubbles

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Maxx, Kersten and Joel

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Kersten and Danielle

Fashion comment : I want to take a moment to comment on Kersten’s gown. Although the most popular style for grad dresses and wedding gowns is strapless, I cannot say I have been a big fan of strapless. However, when I saw Kersten’s dress I thought it was lovely. My issue with strapless dresses is that they can be cut quite low and many girls look uncomfortable in them…like the dress is going to fall off:). Kersten’s dress was appropriately cut, very elegant, and with her hair down like it was, the colour of the dress combined with her hair is what was so striking. This is a wonderful example of how you can be fashionably modest!

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Lovely

 

 

 

Thoughts on “Fashionably Modesty” Posts – by Loretta

I am so grateful for the brave young people who submitted their modesty posts! There are probably a couple more to come and I have told my young writers to take their time to think through what they want to say. I appreciate everyone’s honesty….so awesome! I want to take a few minutes and comment on some of the posts. Each one of them is unique and each one of them made me reflect on my own ideas about modesty and fashion.

In Grace’s post, she talks about a piece of trivia that I found very interesting. In the first five seconds, 70% of a someone’s impression of you is made up of your clothing choices. Interesting. Some could argue that we should not care what others think of us. The fact is, that most of us do. Also, as Christians don’t  we want to be an example of what is truly pleasing to God? Grace wrote (and I love this!): 2 Corinthians 6:17 says, “Come out from among the unbelievers and separate yourselves from them says the Lord.” Do you think that people are going to think that we’re genuinely different from the rest of the world if we dress and act just like them? Our goal in everything we do, and that includes everything we wear, should be to show that we are separated from the world and we are a chosen people and a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). 

That made me think. Do I need to be wearing my clothes so tight? Would I want my daughter to be wearing my new bathing suit that I bought for Mexico (it is a one piece but it has a deeper “v” in the front that I usually wear.)  I was kind of desperate because it was about the 5th one I ordered from the Sear’s catalogue and time was running out. It looked great on me. It made my stomach look flat…bonus! I tried it on for my daughter, Carlee, and she just sweetly looked at me and said a bit sheepishly as to not to hurt my feelings….”it’s nice.” I know what she was thinking but I dismissed it. I settled. When I got to Mexico with my husband and went to wear it to the pool he looked at me and said, “uh, hon….that bathing suit is kind of low don’t you think?” My hubby didn’t approve but I spent a small fortune on it  and I was wearing it! Well, after one trip to the pool I felt uncomfortable. Who was I looking great for? Myself? Other women (us women do dress for other women’s approval, I believe) or other women’s husbands????? Yuck! When that revelation hit me like a ton of bricks, I did not wear ithe bathing suit again. I wore my old bathing suit which was still fine and tasteful….just a bit boring. My husband approved and I more comfortable and I ultimately knew I was more pleasing in God’s eyes.

I love the set of rules Grace, Katie and Carlee have for themselves. They are all basically similar but I will just quote Carlee’s as her comparison to food items in her post makes me chuckle:

1. Nothing strapless
2. With my hands at my side, I should be able to touch the hem of my shorts.(except I’d go even a bit farther on the shorts than arms-length because some people have short arms. Like me.)
3. Nothing that shows cleavage.(only I dislike the word cleavage because it reminds me of a cabbage)
4. Nothing that shows midsection.
5. The shortest skirt I’d wear about an inch above the knee.

It is good to have personal rules for yourself. I am a dancer (for the Lord) which means I dance in church services and sometimes for other gatherings like ladies retreats. I have had to make clear rules for myself in the modest area because the LAST I want to do is to attract attention to my body and off the Lord which is why I dance…to glorify Him. Some standards include, wearing my clothes loose enough, longer tops, layering a tank top so when I raise my arms my belly doesn’t show. One of the rules I always do is the “bend over” test. If I bend over can you see down my shirt?  (I realize that this is harder for women that are larger in that area but not impossible.) My challenge is to take these rules of modesty I use for dancing and spill them over into my every day life. I think it is definitely our responsibility to dress so we don’t trip up our fellow men friends.

I became most aware of how I was dressing when I began to dance. I became even more aware of how women dressed in general when my boys were growing into young men. The desire of their hearts is to strive for purity in their hearts and minds and to live for Christ and to receive all He has for them. I saw the struggle when they would be around females that have a hint of cleavage showing or just generally dressed provocatively. We talk about how it is their responsiblity to “bounce” their eyes and they do try but they are human and they are guys. I think if we really knew how we affect men, we would dress differently. I have a good relationship with my boys so they are honest with me. I am grateful for that. Why add to our men’s struggles…..?

These modesty posts have been great for me because it has made me think. I do not have to wear my clothes so tight. I still look nice and tasteful without that. I will be taking a hard look at my closet. One common theme seemed to prevail in the posts so far…..There are no set of fixed rules. We need to ask God to show us what is acceptable to wear in His eyes for ourselves as individuals. He has blessed all us with our unique sense of style and personality and it is fun to reflect that in clothing choices. As Amanda said…..if you are comfortable in what you wear and respect yourself, modesty and fashion can fit together.

I realize that this post is focussed on modest dressing for females…..this issue for men will be a whole other post. Stay tuned!

Fashionably Modest – By Amanda (age 15)

 

So I’ll get right to the point my fashion sense isn’t great but I like to
think my fashion sense isn’t the worst. Basically my clothing choice consists
of is it clean? how much effort does it take to put on? and is it warm?
(because I am constantly cold.)
I believe people can dress fashionably and modest, because modest isn’t
always what you wear but also how you carry yourself. Also there are many
fashionable clothes that are modest in the world. I think modest fashion is
determined on the matter of people’s opinions not always Gods, I don’t
believe God will look down on someone because they wear mismatched socks or
belly button shirts.
I think people should wear what they are comfortable with and what does not
make others uncomfortable (like bikini’s). I believe everyone has
their own opinion and are entitled to wear what they chose.
So back on topic and to conclude my short speech, modesty is not always
fashionable, and fashion isn’t always modest. But if you are
comfortable in what you wear, respect yourself, and wear the clothes you do for
you not someone else, the two are possible.

 

Fashionably Modest by Katie (age 19)

Hi! Loretta, here…. This is Katie’s view on modesty. Great job, Katie…thanks for not giving up on this piece…I know was not an easy one to write! ~~love, Mamma B.

Modesty and Fashion

Warning: Possibly strong opinions 😉

To start with I had the most stupidly, hardest time writing this post. For me I can be very Bias on topics like these. I really believe in trying to have an open mind either way. Getting on topic, Fashion and me aren’t really good friends, I don’t think I really have a style. I have clothes I like to wear, and ones that I save for when I run out of clean laundry. Yet another reason I had so much trouble writing this post. So finally I decided to go to the basics and move on from there. Modesty: behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency. (Bearing in mind this post is on appearance and modesty) Socially our cultures views have changed on modesty greatly in a very short period of time, 100 years ago it was immodest to show anything above the ankle, nowadays its immodest if your short shorts are too short. (Not that I wear short shorts… I really haven’t got the legs for them) in our culture (modesty is different depending on your culture for sure) it’s often hard to find a nice balance.

To begin with I think it’s important for guys to dress modestly as well. It’s not as hard for them to find decent clothes so they should really know better. If I were a guy, or better yet if I am a girl observing a guy (which I am but not in the way I made it sound) here are three things I look out for…

1) Baggy pants that show off underwear are not only immodest (and kind of stupid looking, sorry) but also very hard (I imagine) to do things in.

2) Speedos are inappropriate, unless you’re an Olympic swimmer and are required to wear them to create less resistance, or whatever

3) If it’s hot out and you take your shirt off, are you doing it because it’s hot out? Or because there is a cute girl walking by? (intent and clothing, or lack of, is huge)

Basically guy’s modesty isn’t as hard to achieve for you, and people unfortunately are judged by appearances.

Girls, one rule comes to mind, If you have to make up an excuse for what you’re wearing you probably shouldn’t be wearing it. In The video Mama B posted it makes several very good points, but my favorite quote is this “My Goal is to disapprove the age old notion that when it comes to swimsuits, less is more and that you can dress modestly without sacrificing fashion,” (Jessica Rey “Truths about Bikinis”) I think this qualifies for all clothing types, you can dress modestly and still look classy.

 

I too like Carlee and Grace have rules for myself when It comes to what I wear, but this depends on who you are and your beliefs and I respect that. (Also like Carlee (thanks to Grace for the great set of rules) I’m doing the easier version by copying and pasting but with a few personal tweaks)

1. Nothing strapless (lots of summer dresses and even prom dresses can pull this off but it does require a certain body type and style, style of the dress that is.)

2. With my hands at my side, I should be able to touch the hem of my shorts. (I’d also say it’s ok for a couple centimeters either way)

3. Nothing that shows cleavage. (If you are like me and have a bigger chest then you’ll know unless you wear turtle necks all the time this is very hard to achieve, for me I try to (being a little indelicate here) limit the amount seen the best I can by wearing tank tops underneath, or a specific bra.)

4. Nothing that shows midsection.

5. The shortest skirt I’d wear about an inch above the knee.

On the topic of bathing suits I believe in wearing something you truly feel comfortable in (for me its boy swimming shorts and a tank, but that is mostly because of my body type) Also if a giant wave comes up or you jump into the pool what are the chances of you being able to keep your suit on? And once again what is the intention behind what you’re wearing? Modesty and fashion definitely go hand in hand, who was it who said the clothes make the woman? I think it’s the woman who makes the clothes. God made us in his likeness and in the bible it says our bodies are his temple, What we feel about ourselves is reflected by what we wear.

I’m sorry it took me so long to get these thoughts out, and I’m equally sorry if I was more than a little blunt.

 

Katie

Is Modesty “Hot”?

My daughter, Carlee came across this Youtube video and I think it has a great message! It is done by a young man named Joshua Gicker and he talks about a guys view on modesty. He is frank and candid about his thoughts….please watch it all the way to the end. Feel free to comment! I would love to hear some other guys views on modesty.