The Modesty Talk for Men
I have held my tongue long enough. Of course, I hold my tongue like a toddler holds a 25 lb. barbell. As women shed their winter fur (coats) along with most of whatever else they used to wear, the modesty debate rises to the surface, trying to take the place of the discarded clothing. I read almost every modesty article, pro and anti, that shows up in my various news feeds. I believe quite strongly in the merits of modest dressing as I wrote here. However, while women have been scrutinized, harped on, measured, and discouraged, I see a serious problem that modesty culture has obviously not done enough to address.
Modesty is often held up as The Way to help men overcome their lust problem. The consequences of this idea are lethal: Guys feel helpless or justified in succumbing to the lustful glance whenever they see a girl who is “immodest” by their standard. Girls get discouraged and then angry when they feel like they are unfairly carrying the burden of men’s purity. Because they react to this bad reason for modesty, they often can’t see the more valid and godly reasons for modesty and throw clothing restraint to the wind.
I want to be clear upfront: modesty will not solve the problem of lust! I am ashamed that we Christian men have let this problem get so far. We need be more ruthless in attacking lust and take responsibility for our own thoughts and actions. It is ridiculous to blame the Christian girl in your circle for your lustful thoughts. If you lusted after her, she is not the problem. If she was completely covered up you could still find a way to lust, if not over her then over some other girl, and in our sexually charged culture, you wouldn’t have to look very far, in fact, perhaps no farther than your next thought. Continue reading…
A sister in Christ • November 4, 2014
And just to clarify, sir, what your wife is doing aggravates me greatly. Not only because of how it affects you as her husband, but also because it greatly affects your children and may easily skew their ideas of marriage and family and ultimately God. That is the worst part. I am sick of seeing so many messed up families.
Still Learning • February 5, 2015
Anonoymous, I’m glad you read the book 5 Love Languages. When I was still only dating my wife I overheard someone with an awesome marriage talking with a coworker about how he finds it redicuouls that people study english and math and history for over a decade of their life in school but when it comes to how to have a successful relationship with a spouse we will spend the rest of our lives with most people resign themselves to a few counseling sessions the months leading up to marriage if they are even willing to do that. I’ve taken it to heart and been blessed enough to have a mentor in my life that has had a long and successful marriage guide me in my perpetual growth in this area. If you have are still willing to study there are a few other books that have helped me a great deal. Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggeriches and His Needs Her Needs by Willard E. Harley have been incredibily insightful and definitely opened my eyes to a whole new way of communicating in ‘her’ language and vice versa. (I had to read and take action first and she because interested in where I learned to connect better so that she decided to read it herself.) A solid rule to live by in every aspect of life but seems to apply specifically here in this circumstance: Be the example. As men we may not be nearly as attractive as a women but we can’t be hypocrites. And don’t expect a 1 to 1 ratio in returns. Just as a basic leadership principle the bad example we show tends to get duplicated twice as much. The good example we live out only tends to be duplicated half as much. In other words put in twice as much effort as you wish your wife would put in. If you want to understand women better so that you can reach your wife better and engage in more emotional and heartfelt communication a fantastic book to read is Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge. A book that really lays out the role of the man better than any other I have read thus far is Maximized Manhood by Edwin Louis Cole. John and Lisa Bevere have also written some amazingly insightful and challenging books that have forced me to confront areas of my live I was dropping the ball and didn’t even realize it. They have a marriage devotional called the The Story of Marriage that engages both spouses. John wrote one that may help renew your spirit called The Bait of Satan.
These are a few that I’ve found incredibly helpful and recommend as often as I can and I even have copies in my car of several of these so that I can loan them out when needed. The only other advice that I have is to find someone that has a great marriage and become a protege. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Cor.10:13) Also, Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”