Modesty: A Sincere Message to Women from Men

Lust. It’s something every man struggles with. Whether we admit it or not, we struggle with impure thoughts and oftentimes true lust. However, this is not something unique to men, women struggle with it too.

Today on this Halloween where kids and sometimes adults dress up, we want to address what some dress like on a regular basis from day to day. We don’t do this pointing any fingers. We do this to start a healthy discussion and have an honest dialogue.

These men in this video are brave enough to speak out about it. We think what starts as an impure thought in the mind, can lead down a slippery slope towards acting out sexually through watching pornography and/or having an affair.

Men, do you realize you’re accountable for what you think and do after seeing an attractive woman? What do you think about women dressing modestly?

Women, what do you think about this video? Have you ever wrestled with what or what not to wear?

Please feel free to discuss this openly in the comments section after you watch this video:

POSTED ON October 31, 2016
  • Pastor’s wife

    Sure. The responsibility of protecting men from temptation falls upon women. If a man has lustful thoughts and just can’t control himself, it’s always woman’s fault, isn’t it? Perhaps all women should wear burkas and chastity belts to make men’s lives more holy.

    • We would encourage you to read the entire post again and watch the video (again). Nothing of what you said was stated.

      • Robert W Ahrens

        It doesn’t have to be baldly stated. The message that men have no impulse control, so modesty becomes women’s gift to men is, on it face, misogynistic. You are saying that because men have no control, that it is up to women to not cause lust. That is the very theme of this video!

        The calling of natural attraction between the sexes sin is the real problem here. That’s what these guys are “struggling” with. That’s so wrong. Its your religious insistence that sexual attraction is sinful that causes so much pain and misery.

        Men should be taught impulse control, and that there is nothing wrong with attraction.

        It is the ACTION you take without that control that is sinful.

        • Unfortunately, your opinion on action being what is sinful is not based in Scripture. The bible is our authority. Jesus’ teaching on this is very clear:

          Teaching about Adultery
          27 “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her IN HIS HEART. – Matthew 5:27-28

          • Preacher!s wife

            First of all a correction: a mistakenly entered a comment as Pastor’s wife. My husband is a preacher, but not a church pastor.

            Now, on to business: I would strongly advise you to avoid Walmart, Lowe’s, public resteraunts, and county fairs. You would be astounded at the scantily clad women in those places that would cause your heart to sin. Restrain your ministry to safer places.

          • Robert W Ahrens

            Well, you’ve very successfully ignored the rest of my criticism, which is the point Ms. Smith, above, mentioned. IMPULSE control is your solution, if you insist on twisting men’s minds with the belief that what’s natural is instead sin. You need to teach MEN to control their impulses, and that their thoughts are not the fault of women. Men know what’s under those clothes, and can easily mentally remove the clothing for their full imaginary viewing! So, really, having women dress modestly is no solution at all.

            In Muslin countries, where Islam teaches the same things you are, women dressed in full head to foot tent like clothing get raped all the time. Then get blamed for the rape, because somehow, it was their very presence that caused the men to lose control!

            Do we really want, as a society, to go there? Because that’s where your teachings are leading.

            It isn’t the woman’s fault men see her as a sexual object. It is a result of how the man is taught to see her.

          • Robert W Ahrens

            I’m going to try this again, and maybe this time, you’ll approve my comment.

            I noticed you neglected to address my other point, which was that The entire message of that video (whomever made it) was imbedded with misogyny. To imply that men have no impulse control so that women must be the ones to not tempt them IS a misogynistic attitude. It makes women responsible for what MEN think and do.

            Perhaps men should be taught better impulse control, so finally, men can be held responsible for their own misdeeds. This isn’t to say that society doesn’t have social rules for venue appropriate dress. Of course it does, but today those rules aren’t as strict or as modest as in the past.

            Men still have to learn to control their impulses, and society has a responsibility to teach them. Making women responsible for their failures doesn’t help at all.

  • Christiane Smith

    No. I don’t accept the premise that the way any person dresses causes the sin of another person. I think the problem begins with viewing human persons as ‘objects’ and not understanding that they possess a dignity that comes from being made in the image of God and that they possess a soul from God, and therefore, they ARE deserving of respect AS human persons.

    Nothing else needed. Nothing can add to this or detract from it. The clothing a woman wears is NOT the cause of a man’s inability to see her as a human person and not a sex object. The responsibility for seeing people as sex objects falls to those who programmed our young to devalue ‘the others’, whether they were women, men, Muslims, Catholics, African American, Caucasian, Latino, people from another culture or place . . . . once the young are taught that human dignity depends on surface values only, then it is easy to steer them into seeing those who are different from them as ‘objects’ instead of people.

    I recommend that those men brought up to see themselves as ‘male headship’ believers take another look at Our Lord and His teaching specifically. They need to return to Him and to do it in humility. Only then, is there any hope that they will be able to see women in the proper perspective again. ‘Clothes’ don’t matter where human dignity is recognized.

    • Miss_Tree_Lane

      I agree that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity. Absolutely. But to claim immodesty cannot cause someone to lust is just not biblical. When a man lusts because of a woman’s immodesty, it’s not because he’s been ‘programmed’ to view her as a sex object or has no respect for her. The reason why he lusts, as with all sin, is because we are a fallen people, it’s in our nature to sin. Not only will we sin, by our actions, we can cause others to sin.

      The bible is very clear about the role we play in causing others to sin. By our actions we most definitely can cause others to sin. For example, in the book of Romans, Paul speaks about causing others to sin:
      Romans 14:13 “…, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”
      Romans 14:15 ” If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat (or in this case, what you wear), you are no longer acting in love.”
      Jesus talked about causing others to sin when he said in Luke 17:1-3:
      “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. So watch yourselves.”

      As believers we are all mandated to put others before ourselves. Practically speaking, if something we are doing is causing someone else to stumble, we are to stop doing it. Period. In this case, if what our immodesty causes men to lust, as fellow believers and brothers in Christ, we cannot just stubbornly lift our chins and defiantly declare, “Well, that’s YOUR problem! Not mine.” Sorry. It doesn’t work that way.

      Ultimately, we are all responsible for our actions. Believers are called to love one another. Out of love for our brothers who struggle with lust, we need to always be cognizant of our actions and so therefore, love for others should always govern our exercise of liberty in Christ.

      • Agreed. I think that’s the point behind this point and the point of the video (which we did not create).

      • Christiane Smith

        “. When a man lusts because of a woman’s immodesty, it’s not because he’s
        been ‘programmed’ to view her as a sex object or has no respect for
        her. The reason why he lusts, as with all sin, is because we are a
        fallen people, it’s in our nature to sin. Not only will we sin, by our
        actions, we can cause others to sin.”

        I disagree with this. I have a much higher opinion of women as ‘persons’ with a dignity that is not destroyed by being ‘female’ …… and I don’t believe women can cause men to sin …… that argument goes back to Eden.

        I think people have choices whether to do what is right in accordance with their God-given consciences or not. I don’t see anyone MAKING a grown man sin. I think the man must own his own behavior, yes.

        I hope you find a way to see women as persons made in the image of God and deserving of all respect. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

        • Approved

        • Miss_Tree_Lane

          At what point did I claim women AREN’T made in the image of God or deserving of all respect? ALL women and men deserve respect and dignity as we are ALL made in His image.

          You’re right, nobody can MAKE someone sin. However, as Jesus himself said, by our actions we can most certainly be the stumbling block causing them to fall. As in the issue of lust. While each man (and woman) is responsible for their own sin, when women dress immodestly, we become the stumbling block Jesus is referring to in the book of Luke. Being a stumbling block can take many different forms. It is fairly well known principle that when you’re out to dinner with a recovering alcoholic, you shouldn’t order alcohol with your meal. The reason is fairly obvious. The same applies to lust. If our brothers in Christ are saying they struggle with it, and knowing they DON’T want to lust, why on earth would you purposefully dress provocatively? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying women need to wear burkas or anything like that. What I AM saying is it would do Christian Women good to keeping in mind the struggles of others when we get dressed in the morning. Again, Jesus did in fact admonish believers to not cause others to stumble. He would not have done so if we were incapable of causing others to sin.

  • Deplorable Me✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ

    I don’t buy it. Have y’all ever noticed how, in Matthew 5:27-28, how Jesus places ALL of the blame for lust upon the man, and says NOTHING about whatever role, if any, the woman played? That oughta tell ya something right there — it’s about men’s hearts, not women’s clothes.

    PS — never mind, I just re-read the above — please delete this comment entirely. Thanx!

  • David Brown

    Wow! I can’t believe the one-sided comments coming from sisters in the Lord here. I have no argument about the accountability of men to control their impulses and resist temptation, but isn’t it also the responsibility of women to not be used by the enemy in alluring and tempting men through immodesty. Immodesty is as wrong as lust! Paul wrote an instruction on this very thing to Christian women. Why do you suppose he did that? Could it be that he thought Christian women should be their brother’s keeper? Should there be no limits on a woman’s dress? Can she go naked in public? Some women’s clothing is not far from nakedness. In this intensely sexualized culture, I think both Christian men and women have a part to play in achieving purity. To say women have no part to play in this battle is just plain wrong! Finally, there was no harsh condemnation toward women in the video…just a simple and polite request for a “gift”…a gift that would be greatly appreciated by men who really desire to treat you as a sister and not an object.

    • Agreed. Thanks for commenting.

    • Amen, brother. I shouldn’t be shocked but I am a bit. The Bible does instruct women to dress modestly in 1 Timothy 2:9. Our culture is saturated with sex as it is and brothers shouldn’t have to battle it when they go to church or fellowship with their sisters-in-Christ. Women have a personal responsibility to not dress or carry themselves in a manner to cause their brothers to stumble and vice versa. People just don’t like to be accountable. That is the issue.

  • Thanks for sharing.

  • Awesome discussion. Like we said above: Please feel free to discuss this openly in the comments section after you watch this video. Our hope is for a fruitful, helpful, honest dialogue. Thank you all for sharing.

  • I used to dress immodestly. Even as a Christian woman. As a result, men, including men of God—pastors, Christian music artists, and other respected brothers were regularly privately messaging me. They co-signed any and everything I posted on my social media. If anyone tried to challenge me in any way, I was fiercely defended and the person was accused of being a “hater” or a “legalist.” I became involved with a few of these men and because lust was the leading factor that initialized these relationships, it was also the running thread throughout the relationships which meant both of us would engage in behaviors that were blatantly wrong and sinful. I came to a point where I felt so much conviction and fear of God for my part in leading the man into a downfall of sin that it completely changed me. I was more afraid of my part in THEIR sin than my own. The last man I was involved with is a very well respected man in ministry and the Christian hip-hop industry and I knew I was playing with fire and I knew there would be consequences.

    I cut it off and began praying for God to help me see the world through His eyes. I truly wanted His will for my life because I had made a huge mess of my life for years doing things my way and engaging with men in ungodly ways. My entire perspective on relationships, modesty, and biblical courtship have changed. REALLY changed!
    I say all this to say, women who dress and carry themselves in immodest ways have heart issues. They have self-esteem issues. These behaviors lead to a far greater picture than what the surface reveals. Men are easily able to see the vulnerability in women who seek attention and validation from others on social media. I can easily spot it now, as well. Some are more covert than others–more coy, but the desperation for attention stands out very well to me.
    I had to examine the ROOT of why I did the things I did. Why did I take that selfie with that facial expression? Why did I want to post that particular selfie online? What was I hoping to achieve by doing so?

    At one point, I realized all those men who were lusting after me were other women’s husbands and future husbands. Yikes. Not only that, I was attracting men who had lust issues and clearly did not practice self-control and discipline. Definitely not what I was wanting to take on in my life or my future marriage. I was attracting the exact opposite of what I wanted.

    Our culture is permeated with sex as it is and men shouldn’t have to battle lust when at church or fellowshipping with their sisters-in-the-Lord. They just shouldn’t. Women have a responsibility to abide by 1 Timothy 2:9 and dress modestly as it explicitly orders us to and men have the responsibility to practice self-control and discipline as we all do.

    One of my greatest passions is to teach and encourage women to learn to value and respect themselves. Guess what happened after I started dressing AND carrying myself modestly and setting clear boundaries with men on social media and real life? They stopped inboxing me! On the rare occasion a brother would, he would always star the message off with, “Hey sis, I know how you feel about men hitting you up privately, but I have a question…” See how respecting yourself results in being treated with respect and not an object of lust?
    I thought this article and video was presented with great humility, sensitivity, and I appreciated the accountability of the men to take responsibility for their own actions by acknowledging their duties as men of God to not give in to lust.

    Women need to hear directly from the very group of people they are targeting for attention—men. They need to hear how their actions and behaviors affect their brothers. Thank you for this article and video Ex Pastors. God bless you brothers.

  • Jonathan

    I have the biggest lump in my throat after watching that video. Do men today really have such a lack of respect for women that they can’t look them in the eye or stop thinking about them sexually? Worse yet, they feel the need to control what they wear, as men have been known to control women for centuries? You’re on such a slippery slope if you subscribe to the line of thinking in that video. The reasons listed for encouraging women to dress more demurely mirror the reasons why women in the Muslim community cover their heads and bodies — for modesty, chastity and preserving good moral standards. But look where that has led? Why are women’s bodies continually used as a battleground when it comes to religion? Women, dress how you want — that’s between you and God and your own personal standards or taste. Men, respect women. You’ll never control them all, so what does it matter if a few of them in your church or own community dress the way you want them to? The issues exists within you. If you value a woman’s mind and emotions and opinions you’ll be amazed how much less distracting her body becomes. By the way, I’m a dude.

  • Marie

    I teach younger women as a Titus 2:3,4,5 teacher. I strongly recommend they dress modestly. Women who are immodest are using it to control men. They enjoy titillating men and then telling them not to take action from their lust.
    All women need to feel desired. Most of that desire is for security…one of the major needs of women. Men need respect from those women for giving them that security. It is really ignorant for a woman to strut her stuff and feel secure. God made men to have a stronger need for sexual intimacy. It is so the population would not die out. Men should NOT use it as an excuse to be immoral, indecent, or have affairs. They cannot excuse what God created in them to misuse it.
    On the other hand women are causing sin if they misuse their allure for the public eye. It is for the husband only. Just this week a woman came to church with much cleavage showing. Her eyes darted to those who looked at that cleavage. She was taking mental notes of who she could use it with and who would disapprove. Part of her wants to test the people to see if she is acceptable as she is. Her soul is acceptable. Her body parts are to be private. That is why God clothed Adam and Eve after the downfall in Eden. Both are to be modest in dress.
    When women tell men they can dress the way they wish and he must not think lustful thoughts or act on them it is a sin on her part. When men insist women look sexy in public and lust after them they are misusing the security a woman needs by telling her that if she is sexy for him he will give her that security. Both of them are misusing their bodies and minds.
    I encourage women to be modest. I encourage men not to shout out to women they want to see skin first. I am a widow and men want to test drive women before marriage now days. What that does is simply to destroy the woman’s need for security and his need for respect. It is a lose/lose situation.

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