Modesty, MTV and Who's Really Dressing Your Daughter?
“I wish more men had seen my wife in a bikini before we got married,” said no Christian man ever.
My last blog post “All God’s Daughters Wear Bikinis?” has stirred up quite a reaction. It seems that modesty is an issue that needs to be addressed more often.
I believe part of the reason for this longing is that there’s been a lack of teaching and instruction. I can honestly say that, as a man, it’s awkward to address the issue of modesty to a woman, but I believe it’s necessary. I truly believe that most young women who wear immodest clothing or bathing suits do so out of ignorance rather than a desire to incite sexual attention.
Some women have protested, “I’m not responsible for a man’s thoughts. I can’t let fear of causing a man to sin control my decisions about how to dress.” Ultimately, the Holy Spirit will lead you toward righteousness much better than a guy with a blog.
But, I’ll argue that spiritually mature Christians will consider their weaker brother and sister and sacrifice their rights for the sake of others (Romans 14:13). That’s what Jesus did after all, right?
Maybe I’m just uniquely weak, but when you stand in front of me in a bikini, I feel the need to look away from you. I feel awkward. I don’t want to have a conversation with you, because I want to leave your proximity. I don’t trust my eyes to not wander where they don’t belong, so I’m going to flee temptation.
Wait, whose body is it anyway?
Every Christian’s body belongs to God. Our body is God’s dwelling place.
Secondly, our body belongs to our spouse. If you’re not yet married, your body belongs to your future spouse. Therefore, I should protect my body as a steward of something that doesn’t primarily belong to me! If I consistently harm my body by overindulging in unhealthy food, I’m sinning against God and my wife.
Wives: The discussion about modesty isn’t primarily driven by concern of whether you might cause someone to sin, although that’s a factor … help a brother out here! The main issue is that your body does not primarily belong to you. Your body belongs to God first, then to your husband, and then to you. “The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:4).
Your husband might give you his full blessing to wear a bikini. I’m going to question his judgment, but if you both feel good about it, and you feel no personal conviction against it, then seize the day. Hopefully, you’re not placing a stumbling block in someone’s path … we’ll hold our breath and hope for the best!
Hey dads, guess who’s responsible for your daughter’s modesty?!