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The Boyer Blog: Modesty: From a Guy's Point of View

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Modesty: From a Guy's Point of View

Our son Matt was recently asked to answer a few questions about modesty from a guys point of view for a blog. You can find the original post here. I encourage you to read more from the Stay at Home Daughter blog, which belongs to Ashley Schnarr, who also has written the book, Keeping House While Keeping Sane, which the Learning Parent offers to you. (check it out today for a special price) 

Modesty: From a Guy's Point of View

Question #1: Do you think modesty is something women should be concerned about, or is it not really very important to consider when choosing clothing?
Answer: Indeed, it is. In fact, scripture specifically commands it: I Timothy 2:8-10, “I desire….that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works”. Considering that these instructions were given in the context of a local church, it would seem that the implication is that women should dress and behave in such a way as to avoid causing distraction when the Body gathers. Distraction could come from either (1) indecent clothing that would catch the attention of men and feed sexual desires (hence the reference to propriety), or (2) from very costly attire that could incite other, less prosperous women to jealousy (thus, moderation). Conversely, scripture has nothing positive to say about women who dress immodestly (see Prov. 7:10 which, while it addresses far more than the attire of the woman it refers to, does include her dress as one of the ways she entices men).
Question # 2: Do you believe modesty is only about clothing, or is it also a heart/attitude issue?
Answer: Modesty in attire and behavior is an outworking of a proper attitude of submission toward God and one’s husband (I Peter 3:1-6). It should not be seen as a way of earning favor with God or obtaining spiritual maturity; rather it should be a result of the Holy Spirit applying God’s Word to the heart of the believer. The more we learn of God, and the more mature we become, the more we will desire to obey his commands.
Question # 3: Do you believe modesty is only at the discretion of the woman wearing the clothing, or is it also the role/responsibility of another to ensure a woman is dressing modestly? If so, who has this main role/responsibility, and why?
Answer: I believe that the husband has the scriptural authority/responsibility to lead his wife in submitting to scripture in every area. Additionally, a woman who dresses immodestly exposes herself to greater danger from men around her who lack self-control, and it is clearly the husband’s job to protect her from harm. Therefore I think he should have enough concern for her spiritual and physical well-being that he would point out if something in her wardrobe is inappropriate. That is not to say that husbands have to choose their wife’s entire wardrobe (as this could result in major fashion problems), only that they should care enough to be involved-and their wives should heed their counsel.
As to other counselors/authority figures (for single ladies), I’m not sure I could give you a chapter and verse to back this up but I would think it would be very wise to address any modesty-related questions to parents/siblings (particularly fathers and brothers, as they would know first-hand what attracts inappropriate attention from guys).
Question # 4: Do you feel it can be modest and feminine for a woman to wear pants provided they are not too tight?
Answer: Yes; in fact, sometimes it is more modest, considering that there are some very inadequate skirts out there. Also, there are some activities for which pants are better suited.
Question # 5: If a woman dresses modestly is it easier for men to keep their mind focused on the Lord when speaking with her?
Answer: Yes. A man’s passions and desires are, largely, visually driven and it is therefore much easier to keep our focus right when in the presence of a well-dressed young lady.
Let me say at this point that I do not blame men’s struggles with lust entirely, or even mostly, on women’s attire or behavior. If a man stumbles (or dives) into sin he bears the blame for his own actions/thoughts. One can not be tempted to do something that he has no desire to do, and we often find objects for our desires whether or not they present themselves. Sin ultimately begins in the depraved heart, something which no one other than God has the power to change. That having been said, however, women certainly have the choice of whether to be a help or a hindrance to us in this battle. You can be a great encouragement, or a stumbling block depending on how you choose to dress and conduct yourself. I, for one, would like to express my appreciation to those of you who are concerned enough about this issue to even be reading about it, and much more so to be considering it as you make everyday decisions concerning your attire and conduct.
Matt Boyer
Matt Boyer, son of Rick and Marilyn from The Learning Parent, is a young man with a noticeable passion for Christ. I met Matt at our local church where he ministers to the body in song, as an usher and Small Groups leader. Some of his interests range from music, reading, politics and working with his hands.
I’ve been blessed by his excellent insights on a variety of topics including the one above.
Find more articles from this series at the Stay at Home Daughter blog

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a mother of teen daughters, modesty is an important topic in our home. Thank you for posting an article from a young man's point of view!

April 26, 2011 at 1:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. The Bible definitely bears out about God's people being modest. I've been searching what is appropriate for me to wear by praying and asking God. So far I haven't gotten any answers yet. I would like to know if your answer to women wearing pants is more of your opinion or if it was something God convicted your heart of.

April 26, 2011 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger Kari Boyer said...

in searching for what to wear- what not to wear, I am glad to hear you are taking it so seriously. In my opinion, it is not necessarily right or wrong to wear pants,or whatever else you may be questioning- some skirts may be more immodest by being too short or tight, than a well-fitting pair of pants. So, more importantly than a list of clothing, I think it is more helpful to look at your heart. Ask yourself "Why do I want to wear this"- "Am I trying to draw too much attention to certain areas of my body"? "Am I looking to gain male attention by wearing certain clothing?" "Will my clothing distract from my testimony?"
the Bible says that Man looks on the outward appearance- but God looks at the heart. I don't mean to say here that God does not care what we wear on the outside, because I believe he does! But, the point is that what is in your heart- your motives- is what is truly important to God because that will reflect what you do on the outside, including what we wear.
I strongly recommend another series that looks deeper at modesty that you can find here the Lord that you are making modesty a priority in your life!

April 26, 2011 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Kari Boyer said...

oops- I gave you a bad link to the series on modesty- here is the correct one!!

April 26, 2011 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger Dusti said...

Thank you so much for including the scripture as your reference point. It is wonderful to hear young men speaking on this issue in a way that is glorifying to God, for that is what we are trying to achieve. My family constantly prays for yours that in the name of Jesus, satan would be bound and your words for Christ can be continued unhindered.

April 26, 2011 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Jodi said...

I've done some Bible studies on this topic, and I guess what gives me pause about the dresses/pants issue is the greek word for apparel in 1 Tim. 2:9-it's katastole (from Vine's Greek New Testament) which means a long, flowing robe-like garment that is let down. This is specifically referring to a woman's apparel. It seems hard to fit most pants into that definition. To be honest, I find it easier and maybe safer to wear pants at times, but I'm always wondering if what I'm wearing is Biblical and pleasing to the Lord. I want to obey scripture to the best of my ability.

April 26, 2011 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger Guiding Light said...

I absolutely LOVE this! I love reading all things about modesty. I have a teen boy and a 3 year old boy - and a am very interested in others thoughts about this subject as I know my dh and my ds14 have shared things about the NECESSITY for modesty. I just recently did my own blog post on modesty. Blessings!

April 28, 2011 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger David Ethell said...

Regarding the "pants" issue, my wife and daughters used to wear pants regularly, but even though they were modest from the aspect of covering their bodies, over time both they and I began to see that the pants weren't very feminine. Rather than take a negative approach, such as, "women should not wear pants because of such and such a verse" we began to look at the many scriptures promoting godly feminine qualities. Scriptures such as 1 Peter 3, Titus 2, 1 Timothy 5 and others convinced us that when our ladies wear dresses and skirts they are rejoicing in being distinctly feminine the way God designed them.

Often we have found in our area that many sisters in the Lord wear pants because wearing a dress or skirt (but especially a dress) makes them stand out more. Some sisters, not wanting to feel "odd" or "holier-than-thou" around family members who are not in the Lord have chosen to wear pants to "blend in" more. We realized, at least in our own family life, that God didn't want us to blend in, but to make a simple statement about the blessing of femininity and the roles God designed.

Wearing dresses has proven to be a simple and effective way for our girls to rejoice in the role God designed for them and proclaim the value of modesty at the same time.

Hope that helps in the discussion.


April 30, 2011 at 6:23 AM  
Blogger Brad said...

From a husband and father's point of view, Thank you Matt. God convicts the heart of individuals. One man's conviction is another man's legalism. I love what you said: "The more we learn of God, and the more mature we become, the more we will desire to obey his commands."

May 3, 2011 at 6:50 AM  
Anonymous stevesatriani said...

Thanks it is a nice post

May 16, 2011 at 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Rick Boyer said...

Let's not forget that modesty is as modesty does. It's not hard for a woman to be less modest in a dress than in pants. A modest heart will show in modest behavior, facial expressions and conversations. I don't have a conviction on women wearing pants, but I'm open to being corrected if I'm wrong. Still I believe that the greater issue by far is a girl's attitude. Actually, I must say I don't envy a girl's predicament--she has to be friendly without seeming flirty and try to dress attractively while still dressing modestly. One more reason respect women. I know I'm not man enough to be a woman!

June 8, 2011 at 10:48 PM  

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