Modesty, Part 2

Journey to Homemaker

Modesty is crucial to maintain the moral backbone of any decent society. When we dress in a way that unnecessarily stimulates the sexual drives of others, we contribute to the increasing frequency of adultery, fornication, obsession with pornograpy, rape, and child molestation. And that's just for starters. God intended for our bodies to be enjoyed by our spouses, not strangers. Some people may disagree with this opinion, and for those who have angry reactions to it I would say wait and read further, because that reaction, although strangely emotional, is not uncommon, especially among Christians. I plan to address such reactions later.

It is important to safeguard modesty for many reasons. For one thing, the way we dress affects other people's opinions and treatment of us. When I started to wear only modest clothing, I was treated with much more kindness and respect. Even now as an overweight woman, I recieve more respect than many thin woman who are immodestly dressed. When I am modestly dressed and pregnant, people will literally trip over themselves holding open doors for me, asking if I need help bagging my groceries, letting me cut in front of them in grocery store lines, etc. Of course not everyone is so kind, but I see it much more often now than I did on past occassions when I didn't dress modestly.

Our dress will influence the way our children dress. They will take cues on what is appropriate from observing us. You may think nothing of your daughter going around in shorts at age five, but when she's sixteen and flirting with boys, you might not like seeing her leave the house with a boy, dressed in a halter top and short-shorts. Especially when you catch the boy "eyeing" her. And if you women don't feel uncomfortable, believe me, your husbands surely must, since they know how the mind and emotions of a teenage boy work. Also, even at a young age, with all the perverts out there trolling the parks, libraries, and school yards, do you really want your daughter to be dressing like a worldly teenager, exposing most of her body? I myself would prefer not to have my daughter stand out like that in the eyes of a molester.

How we dress also affects how other people feel around us. In the workplace, many women dress completely inappropriate. Their clothing isn't even professional by worldly standards! How do you think men feel around a woman who wears tight, revealing, or low-cut clothing? Granted, many men probably enjoy it, because their standards are so low. At the very least, it's distracting to them while they are doing their jobs. At worst, it can cause discomfort and even great temptation to decent men who are trying to be faithful to Our Lord, and to their wives.

Now that's not to say that a man's immodest dress doesn't affect women too--it does, just not as often and not nearly as dramatically. Men are just as responsible for the way they dress as women. However, immodesty is a much greater problem with women's clothing. You don't see too many men dressed immodestly at church, but you often see women, especially young women, in sheer blouses, low-cut shirts, short or clingy dresses, or skirts with slits up to the thigh. With men the worst you usually see in church might be tight pants.

One thing many women don't understand is the way men "work". God designed men to be the "hunter", the protector. Because men take on such great responsibility caring for and protecting a family (if he is fulfilling his God-given, traditional role). In order to give a man the incentive to take on such great responsibility, there had to be a big "payoff"--something to make him loyal and faithful to his wife and family. For women, there is a need to nurture, and to be protected and loved. For men, their drive is sexual. Marital intimacy is the main source of love for a man. A woman feels like being more intimate when she is loved, a man feels more loved when his wife is intimate with him. In order to give men this driving force, God created man to have strong sexual desires and responses.

Men are very visually oriented. They react very quickly and strongly to visual stimulation, especially of a sexual nature. So when a man sees a woman's naked body, or even the form or outline of a female body, it usually produces a very strong and immediate sexual response in him. That doesn't make him a pervert--it makes him a MAN. How he responds to those urges determines the kind of man he is. If the woman he sees isn't his wife, then it is his responsibility to do everything in his power to shut down his sexual urges. He must look away, try to think of something else, or escape the situation if necessary. And good men do this every day...usually many times every day, because due to the world around him, he has to. Sexuality is thrust in front of him on a daily basis. Even if he avoids television and the internet, he sees nearly naked women on billboards, newsstands, at convenience stores, even at work.

For many men, it is a daily struggle. And if that man has made the mistake of engaging in premarital sex or using pornography at an earlier time in his life, it will be a hundred times harder for him. Since men are visually oriented, such images are usually seared into their memories. Satan delights in throwing those memories and images in his mind's eye at every possible opportunity, because it is such an easy weakness to take advantage of. And for women, their downfall is usually pride and vanity...which works out perfectly for Satan, because a woman desires to attract the attention of men, so for vanity's sake they dress provocatively. This plays right into his hands, because her curves are just what Satan needs to tempt good men to do evil. And so the cycle continues, and worsens...

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