7.12.2010

Modesty: A Maiden & Knight's Perspective

Hey there! I've wanted to talk about modesty (and fashion too) for some time now, and I thought I'd finally get around to doing it now rather than later. I've really enjoyed hearing from all of you, or not hearing from you 'comment-wise' per se, but seeing my visitor number counter skyrocket up over the last past week or two. 

Since I've started writing about the tougher topics, and gotten so many comments and visitors it has really filled my heart with hope, faith and joy!  Honestly I didn't know how the blogging world (my readers, to be more exact) would take to my having written about Courting and Pre-marital Sex of all things recently.....from what I have heard though the entries have been inspiring and eye opening for you all.

I had high hopes for the Lord to begin to speak into your lives and to use this blog, through my writings, to His great glory! I want to see young people (of both genders) strive to please him in their faith, families, friendships, dating/courting relationships and in their every day lives. I want to see Jesus reflected in the hearts and faces of us all....and that my friends is why I feel so compelled to write about the tougher topics that Christians, and non-Christians alike, face and battle with every day...but don't want to talk about.

Okay....so....modesty...right... I do think that being modest is hottest. I also believe that there's a lot of power that a woman holds in her dress and attitude towards modesty...and this includes using her body as a canvas to voice her heart. For me dressing in a more modest manner has always been in my genetic makeup. I don't know why I've always been hyper-aware of what is appropriate and inappropriate....for the most part, that is...of what to wear, but I just always seemingly have.

Modesty, for me, is not just about throwing a large baggy burlap sack over my head, and calling it a day, so that I won't cause any 'primal males' (sorry guys, this phrase is not my own, I've heard it from you guys) to drool over me and my body. Modesty is so much more than my clothing choices alone...it's also about a 'heart thing' for me too! 

For my wardrobe I love to wear earthy colors, rich purples, and shades of brown. I love wearing batik printed fabric dresses and shirts. I love to wear skirts of all shapes colors and lengths, well I do now at least. Rolled up jeans that double as capris are also a favorite staple of mine. Wearing hoodies, jeans, a tee 'n' sneakers are a fave outfit of mine, and also wearing very different interesting eye catching necklaces and cool rings are fashionably 'my thing.' You don't have to dress like a nun to be modest, honestly! 

I am NOT the most fashion conscious young woman out there....yeah, I said it. I typically wear prints, colors and styles that are within the realm of being uberously comfy and not so much 'fashionable' or 'trendy'. I wear what is simply 'modestly me!' lol 

So onto an introduction of the co-writer of this particular blog entry, an then onto a guy's and girl's perspective Q&A of modesty shall we?


I would love to introduce you to my beau, Jared Fisher (pictured above.) You can find Jared's writings at his blog: This Red Thread. (Leave Jared a few comments to spur him on...perhaps he'd write more often if he had some encouragement and a few more followers on his blog. Hehe!) Jared has graciously agreed to work with me (his chock-full of ideas, scatterbrained, heart-filled and purposefully-wanting-young-women-and-men-to-seek-Christ-daily, girlfriend) from time to time when I write about certain topics on my blog that need a guy and girl perspective on things.

I think that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to modesty. There are two sides to the story of modesty...and perhaps modesty isn't just all about the girl, maybe it's about the guy too....just a random thought of mine. I believe that modesty is not just about what clothes we wear on our outer selves, but also it is about what clothes our inner selves....our hearts need to be modest as well! With all of that said, and Jared's introduction being taken care of let's get this convo rolling!

Below are a few questions which I have asked Jared about on the topic of modesty, and a few that he had for me too:

(Sarah:) Q-So I've always believed that modesty is not just about what you wear, but it also about how you carry yourself as a person...about what kind of words come out of your mouth and about how well you guard your heart and your fellow brother's in Christ's hearts too. What are your thoughts and views on this....and on what the definition of modesty really is?

(Jared:) A- I think you nailed it, really. Modesty isn't a clothing line, its a way of life, you have to choose it and work with it.

(Sarah:) Q- Is modesty just a 'girl thing' or do guys have a 'modest code' or something that they follow too?

(Jared:) A-  It is more cast as a girl thing, mainly due to the fact that women in Western society have more 'forbidden fruit' than men do. That does not mean that guys have nothing to do. No matter how cool it is, guys shouldn't walk around with baggy pants and droopy drawers. If you are to the girls liking, (and you never know when you are, trust me) then you will be pretty much violated by their eyes, and surveys show most girls prefer a mans bottom half to the top (that doesn't seem to apply in Taylor Lautners case, though ;-) ). If women can't, then we can't either, so please pull up your pants. It's my opinion that droopy drawers are a police tactic to make gangsters easier to catch.


(Sarah:) Q- I wore a bathing suit to a car wash last Summer, and I had a tank top underneath my tankini, but after washing all of those cars I got grease all over me....so I went and took the undershirt out from underneath my swimsuit....which obviously was a HUGE mistake! I never had a second thought when I looked in the mirror in the bathroom to see if it was okay on me or not. I had thought my top was fine, and then I ended up with a guys eyes stuck on my chest and not on my eyes later because of what I was wearing...his eyes and mind were affected that was for sure! For guys is it about how tight the clothing is on a young woman, is it about how low cut/high cut what a girl is wearing is that affects you all, or is it about both that is too revealing and causes young men to falter and to leer at young women?

(Jared:) A- BOTH. For a guy, anything revealing is treated with the same regard. So long as the shape can be seen, its fair game. In truth, girls really ought to rethink what they wear for swimming, because its really no more garment than lingerie in most cases. You wouldn't show any guy THAT, now would you. You can still have fun, just try to remember that guys are very keen with their eyes.


(Sarah:) Q- I've heard that layering a tank top over an undershirt (which has ample coverage) is totally appropriate, but what is a guy's vantage point on when a young woman wears just two flimsy low cut tank tops one over the other....and let's say her bra straps were showing by accident out from underneath her low-cut flimsy tanks? How does this make young men react....what do they think of when they see young women dressed like that? What about long necklaces being draped around girl's necks that are worn over a low scoop necked shirt.....does this have any effect whatsoever *I've always wondered this*?

(Jared:) A-I see nothing wrong with the approach as long as care is taken to not show anything. If the cut is low, typically guys will get more than an eyeful (think about the fact that the fashion industry for women was built in the olden days by men, not women.) So take some care and don't let the boys drool like that over you. Let's just say that the saying 'men are wolves' has more than an inkling of truth to it, (though wolves are actually matriarchal  ;) ) The necklace, well, you know what a peacock is, and how they operate? Flashy jewelry is easily turned into a way to display 'plumage' in that the flashy bold colors contrast with the area around it and draw the eyes of potential suitors. Now, depending on what you are wearing, this can be just 'meh' or it can be a grave modesty disaster. Like I said earlier, what can be seen will be.


(Sarah:) Q- Do you think that the way a young woman wears her makeup, can also at times, be immodest? 

(Jared:) A- Makeup. . . I'm not all that enthralled by it myself, but yes, it can certainly cause more problems than it solves. It comes more down to the behavior itself, the makeup can sort of serve as an extra charge in a guys mind. Overdoing the 'sexy' look can be a deadly weapon when coupled with 'sexy' behavior. This isn't true in all guys minds, but it is best to be cautious. You know you've found a good guy when he thinks you look nice enough without makeup, just to make the note.

(Sarah:) Q- Do you think flirtation plays any role in immodesty whatsoever?

(Jared:) A- Flirtation, YES. It is easily one of the biggest aspects of immodesty when a person flirts and teases, it only serves to build up a guys hopes, usually for little satisfaction. Girls, if you wan't attention, don't do this if you know what's good for you. Guys don't just give you attention, when you become really flirty and they're interested, its because they're pretty much undressing you with their eyes. Sorry to crush any dreams, but its true.

(Jared:) Q- Now, guys can certainly do the same. A lot of guys will flex a little more and bulk up around women just for the attention, would you consider this immodest, Sarah?

(Sarah:) A- Yes, I definitely would consider flexing and strutting around immodest. Again it's all about the attitude, for guys and girls, which says whether they are modest or not, but I think it's more so about the strutting about and dying for that ego boost, which is fluffed by the ladies, that the guys struggle with more than the clothes like us young women do. 

Guys flirt, in my opinion, just as viciously as the girls. Guys are more 'visually primal' so I think that when a girl flirts with a guy....dresses inappropriately to get attention...it is more noticeable to everyone around them, but guys do it too. You guys will flex your muscles in front of us, say certain things to us to try to get us interested in you when you are only 'testing the waters' with us, send us text messages late at night, and pick us up and throw us over your shoulder...which is immodest behavior! Guys and girls are BOTH guilty of flirtation.

(Sarah:) Q- How can young women tame their immodest actions and dress so that it will help young men stay on the path of purity of mind and heart?

(Jared:) A- Dress is a pretty practical part of it, and not the most important aspect. How a girl acts is key. If you act like you care about how you look, and that you don't want to give guys a little more to look at then their primal minds need, then how you dress will become second nature. Now, with how you dress. . . if you assume that it just might cause a problem, then don't wear it. Guys will often take any chance they can to steal a glance, at anything, so it's best to be wary. Now don't go wearing medieval armor or anything, but just be wary that whatever you can see, they will too.

(Jared:) Q- To reverse this, how can a guy work at that to keep the girls from wanting to see a little too much?

(Sarah:) A- For me I think, and most girls too, low loose or really tight jeans/pants draw attention to certain areas on guys, boxers showing and hanging out is about as distracting to a young woman as a bra strap hanging out to a young man, and guys wearing no shirts, at times, are BIG distractions to us females! 


(Sarah:) Q- What makes a young man see a young woman as a modest young woman of God exactly? Is it her dress, speech, makeup, knowledge and love for the Word of the Lord? What specifics do you see within young women that makes them the most modest and attractive in young men's eyes, as well as your own?

(Jared:) A- It really just comes down to character. Looks work fine, but if a person shows that they really do think the way they do and act it out in their lives, it shows. Modesty is about acting modest. Now don't think you have to crank the level of stodginess up to eleven and become a prissy character that allows no people close that aren't modest enough or genuine enough, that's just as bad as acting trashy. The key is genuine respect, for yourself, for the Lord, and for the guys.



(Sarah:) Q- Modesty is also about beauty too; inner beauty for the most part I think. How do you think guys and girls can both work on their inner 'beauty' and 'handsomeness' to glorify God and protect their brother and sister's hearts?

(Jared:) A- Inner beauty comes from confidence, which can be tricky when younger. Confidence in self most often has to come from someone else, but trust me, it doesn't have to. You simply have to believe in yourself and think 'I am just fine the way I am' and it will start from there. You can start dressing less gaudily and start being wise in thinking how people see you. Do you want people to see you, or just your 'assets?' Without modesty, you are only going to get one, and you know which one it is.

(Sarah:) Q- So you are saying essentially that our self worth and self image should be found within the confidence that is gained by seeing ourselves as an image of Christ then? ~Genesis 1:27~

(Jared:) A- It sounds hard to do, but yes. All it takes is that little step, the willingness to admit it and believe it, and it will grow from there. And girls, men love women that have confidence, and I'm sure it goes both ways. I didn't say 'boys' because boys, younger than men emotionally and often physically, are not wise in the ways of relationships, often cockily going about dating as though all girls are in the palm of their hands. Never been cool to be sleazy, so far as I've seen.

At the end of the day I think both young men and women know how to act, speak and dress appropriately...to some extent...and if you don't then I hope our blog post has opened up your eyes a bit to the 'delicate power of modesty'. We (girls) may not always think about what really makes a young man struggle, because it might just seem cute, fashionable and "in" to us, but we should strive to guard our brothers' eyes and hearts at ALL COST. 

I know I sure didn't know what a guys thoughts were on modesty, having grown up in a house full of only girls. I don't have any brothers to ask all of the questions that I wish I could have. Luckily, the Lord has always blessed me with wanting so desperately to be a pure young woman, even when at times I wasn't sure of how to do so exactly. I've managed....and it's been a blessing in my life to be living as a young woman who is empowered by modesty.

Here's a gauge, if you struggle with knowing what is right or wrong:

We've always got that little voice whispering in our ears telling us "...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. ~Phil. 4:8" Oh yeah, and that little voice....it's called the Holy Spirit...and I'm so glad He's been there to whisper into my ears and heart my whole life about what is right and pure and admirable to the Lord, modesty-wise and in all things otherwise! :)

.....and just to show you that you can be a young woman who is MODEST here are some photos of myself wearing what I feel is pleasing to the Lord, fashionable, and is also appropriate for my fellow Christian brothers to see me wearing daily.



'The Neo-Victorian' look. I am wearing a grey-blue shirt from Rue21 that has lace on the one shoulder, an Old Navy denim skirt (that I bought at a Goodwill store for $3) and some 'grey dancer heels' (that were on sale, from Sears.)


'Green, with a side of grace....no envy.' I am wearing a long blue denim skirt (not pictured that I got at Goodwill for $3), a long green v-neck tee (from Maurices), a knitted cream over-shoulder sweater (from Maurices), and a long brown 'n' cream beaded necklace (gift from a friend.)

'Lumber-Jill!' I am wearing a pair of artist ae jeans that are rolled up into 3/4 length style capris, leather caramel colored boots from Germany (left by my cousin), and a flowy plaid tank top (from Maurices) with a taut cream undershirt underneath (also from Maurices.) The great thing about this undershirt is that when/if you lean over 'nothing spills out' because it is taut! If ya know what I mean! ;)


The pink mum ring on my right hand, middle finger, was a 21st b-day gift momma n daddy got me from Etsy.....'Sweet & Simple Jewelry Design.'


I hope Jared and I have debunked a few modesty mysteries for you, and that we perhaps have made you think about your clothing choices, so that by dressing modestly, both you young men and women will guard one another's eyes and hearts...and please the Lord all the while through your dress, speech and actions. If you have ANY questions, or anything to add to this discussion please feel free to leave a comment for me/Jared/Jared and I, or if you'd prefer to remain more anonymous about your questions and thoughts please feel free to send me an e-mail at: EvenstarHeart@gmail.com.

Proud to have broken trade secrets,
-Jared

Modestly yours & HIS,
-Daughter of the King

12 comments:

  1. thats really cool how you got to ask your boyfriend those questions. i know it answered some of my questions! great job! :)

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  2. this was really neat, seeing as modesty has always been a favorite topic of mine ;) The boyfriend's perspective was also GREATLY appreciated!! thanks so much for this (and thank you for the encouragement on my blog earlier!)

    blessings always~
    Nikki

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  3. This is AWESOME! Thanks for posting it, the two of you! I have to say, for me, a girl who dresses modestly is by far more attractive--but I know not all guys are like that.

    However, if you don't dress immodestly, most guys won't care! They probably won't give it a second thought. So... just don't put it on a platter for them, if you know what I'm saying.

    Guys are guilty, too. I've realized how important it is to wear a belt with my jeans, because they naturally sag a bit and show my boxers. I was totally ignorant that that could be a problem for someone, until a girl talked to me and opened my eyes about the subject. That was slightly awkward, but I'm glad it happened!

    It's true what they say, modesty IS the best policy. IMO, it's always best to listen to the One inside your head, and live your life to please the One who lives above your head.

    Thanks for writing this. :)

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  4. Very cool post. I've read some different articles that left a bad taste in my mouth and now almost any time I see the title: "Modesty" I immediately assume that it's going to be some lady telling me that it says in the Bible that I have to dress like Laura Ingalls or I'll end up marrying a wife beater. XD
    I really like how you not only addressed the issues of ACTIONS (Which can be just as much to blame as what you wear)and the fact that you can dress modestly without looking dumpy or like you're from 1873. And I also like how you touched a little bit on how women view men, because I think a lot of times people view immodesty as solely a woman's problem.
    Anyways, nice article. I may link to this with one of my social networking sites because it's definitely one of the better discussions on modesty that I've ever read.

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  5. That was a wonderful post! I already knew most of the things coming from a young woman's perspective but it was very enlightening to read a young man's perspective as well!

    Great job!

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  6. This is a great post on modesty! Thanks to you and your boyfriend for sharing it with us. I think modesty is a very important issue, but one that tends to get twisted and taken to extremes far to often. Its good to see a balanced and level headed approach on the issue. :) Not to mention I think hearing answers from a guy is very very helpful!

    Modesty to me is not so much about strict do's and don't...it's mainly a matter of looking in the mirror before I go out to door in the morning and asking God, "is this ok?" If I'd be ashamed wearing it in front of Him then I probably shouldn't be wearing it at all!

    Thanks again and I hope you don't mind if I link to this on my blog sometime? :)

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  7. Ashley: I'm so glad the post answered some of your questions! ...and I'm glad that I got to ask Jared all of those questions too! ;)

    Nikki: Glad you like the boyfriend's perspective. No problem. I really enjoy reading your blog!

    Chris: Yes, 'Pants on the ground' is an issue for us gals...lol! :P I agree young women who dress modestly are more beautiful inside and out!

    Guitargirl: I love the 'Laura Ingalls Wilder' comment...my boyfriend and I died laughing when we read it! :P Thanks sooo much for the encouragement and positive feedback!

    Caroline: Thanks...bunches, Caroline! :)

    Marie: I agree...if God would say what I'm wearing is okay then it's good for the world! I would LOVE for you to link to our blog entry! Please feel free to do so! :D

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  8. Hmm, just realized that my mom is the only one who says "modesty is the best policy" and that it's normally "honesty is the best policy" LOL

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  9. Chris: Ooh I *heart* that saying! I might have to use that one from now on...kudos to Chris' momma! lol

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  10. I think everyone see modesty differently...one persons modest is not another persons. I've learned that you truly just have to know what God expects of you and just do that. If you are uncomfortable then don't do it, if you are then so be it. So people go to far, if a guy can't get over seeing a girl's ankles then he's the one that needs to take a check. And I don't understand how a guy showing his boxers causes a girl to struggle....I find it silly and stupid honestly. I am searching for the proper balance since I have a daughter to raise now - I don't want to be over the top like I was raised but at the same time I don't want to allow too much. It's hard to find the proper balance....everyone has their own idea and opinion on it all. But I do like the back and forth "guy/girl" approach to the blog!

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  11. SOOOO true!! I 100% agree with your guys answer about the swim suit. As a youth leader i constantly have girls asking me why they cant wear two peices and im like, "HELLO!!!! YOU ARE BASICALLY STRUTTING AROUND IN YOUR PANTIES AND BRA!!"! Im glad someone agrees with me!! :)

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  12. There is so much to be said for just not looking. I admit that I came to that conclusion in my early 30s, but still, at the beginning when I began implementing that, I literally closed my eyes while walking past men on the street. Now my eyes are trained so that they rarely notice men at all, even if I am not purposefully not looking at them.

    Nowadays, I wear clothing that differs from Islamic clothing only in one respect, namely that I myself am a Christian rather than a Muslim. This has been the case for about a year now. So that when I recently decided to go back to the gym, I realized I was going to have to make workout gear - at 1.85 m/6'1", I won't get the coverage I want without doing it myself, and they won't permit me to work out in ordinary clothing.

    But I will have my 'revenge': God willing, my gym gear will be a beautiful, full pair of trousers topped by a long tunic with shaped hem, a self belt to keep all that fabric in place, and a leotard underneath (probably from a beautiful print that only God and I will ever see, except perhaps on the undercap peeking out from beneath my overscarf). My bathing suit, God willing, will be very pretty and... 6 pieces: sleeveless leotard with legs down to the ankles, trousers, mid-thigh length skirt, top, cap and overscarf. Or maybe even 7 - because I may decide to make a separate bra to go underneath. Both from designer patterns, imagine!

    At any rate, that is my idea of beautiful, modest swimwear.

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