A Dad’s Take on Modesty

I thought this re-post of a blog might be helpful to those figuring how to apply Sunday's message on modesty.

This comes from a website recommended by Gretchen (who closed Sunday's service). You can see the original post HERE. But it is reprinted below.

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A Dad's Take on Modesty—From a Beach Trip

by Nic Allen

In March, I had the privilege of spending a week in Panama City serving alongside some amazing college students from all over the country at a LifeWay event called Beach Reach. My role was to speak to college students as they prepared to share Christ in practical ways with their peers—spring breakers looking for all manner of MTV-style fun. God moved and the experience was fruitful.

As a pastor, (12 years in kids/student ministry), I was alarmed by what I saw. As a dad of two beautiful daughters and one unknown baby on the way,, the word “alarmed” doesn’t quite cut it. I felt burdened for the young women we encountered. The clothing and the behavior was something for which no amount of life experience could have prepared me. Here are some truths I’ve picked up that I believe will help us raise young women who find their worth in Christ and not in worldly pleasure.

1. You start out as you intend to go. A bikini at age 7 may be cute. At age 17, “cute” isn’t what the manufacturers desire. Consider modesty before you think it matters. Let’s get candid. A great deal of popular swimwear today covers less than most women’s undergarments. If you wouldn’t let your daughter go in public wearing just panties and a bra, why do swimsuits get a bye? I’ve been told countless times by parents of preteens that they have no control over what their daughters wear. Be warned. We lose the privilege of speaking into what our daughters choose from their closets when we forfeit our role of setting boundaries with what they choose from the store. Parents, set shopping guidelines early and stick to them.

2. What we wear says something about who we are. In today's culture, the world wants girls to believe that what you wear is about you and that you bear no responsibility in how someone else responds to it. Scripture says something different. If we cause a brother to stumble, it’s a sin. (1 Cor. 8:9) As leaders and parents, we have to call girls to a standard of maturity and responsibility when it comes to the way that they (knowingly or unknowingly) seek attention from guys by wearing provocative clothing. They need to understand that boys can’t see Christ in them if they (girls) are baring all.

3. Purity is the product of holiness, not the pursuit of it. We don’t achieve holiness by being pure. We maintain our purity by pursuing holiness. Many times in ministry, I’ve been asked, “how far is too far?” I always responded in the same way. “That is the wrong question.” What you’re really asking is, "How close I can get to sin without actually sinning?"  What we all should ask is how close we can get to Jesus. If our aim is getting close to Christ, the question of boundaries becomes less about avoiding sin and more about being like Him. Leaders, spend less time on discussions of purity and modesty and more time on holiness. If we teach them to pursue holiness, then both purity and modesty will be guarded.

2 comments
  1. Great sermon and follow-up post. Thank you for addressing this topic! Don’t know if you may have already seen this, but CJ Mahaney has a great sermon here: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=12908209345
    and a very practical evaluation list (modesty heart check by Mahaney ladies) here: http://girltalk.blogs.com/girltalk/files/modesty_heart_check3.pdf

    The modesty heart check is wonderful because it reminds you to check your heart as well as your dress.

  2. Some of the best advice on modesty I ever received:

    “How you attract determines what you attract.”

    And a reminder: men aren’t the only ones with lust issues. Women struggle just as much.

    Just some thoughts to go along with what I’ve been reading. Thanks for posting these, David.

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