Sunday, October 27, 2013

Why be Modest?

I have been reading a lot about modesty lately. I think a lot of people misunderstand why Christians are proponents of modesty, so I decided to write a blog post about it.

Before we start on the why Christians believe in modesty, lets debunk some myths.
  • Modesty has nothing to do with rape culture. You do not dress modestly because your body is somehow shameful or needs covering up. From a Christian standpoint God created the body, and it is glorious, not shame-inducing. No matter what you wear it is not an invitation for someone to harm you.
  • Modesty should have nothing to do with victim blaming. No one should advocate modesty because "it might make another male/female stumble" or "if you dress like a slut you will be treated like a slut." This creates shame over ones body (I must hide my body to protect others and/or my body causes other people to sin, and is therefore evil) and has nothing to do with Godly modesty. Other people are in control over their own actions/reactions, you are only in control of yourself.
  • "The particular [above] approaches to modesty are effective because they are rooted in shame, and shame is a powerful motivator. That's the first red flag. Additionally concerning about this approach is that it perpetuates the objectification of women in a pietistic form. It treats women's bodies not as glorious reflections of the image of God, but as sources of temptation that must be hidden. It is the other side of the same objectifying coin: one side exploits the female body, while the other side seems to be ashamed of it. Both sides reduce the female body to a sexual object." (Quote from here) Emphasis mine.
  • This is not my attempt to define modesty. Modesty is both a religious and cultural choice, and a very personal one at that. This is merely my attempt to say why I dress modestly, and why many Christians hold modesty up as something desirable.
So why do Christians advocate modesty?  Well, the only real reason they should is for the glory of God. As a believer in God, who sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins--I have given my whole self over to God. I am his instrument, I am his clay, in every way. Because of this, how I dress should glorify God, and show that I am in line with the standards and commandments the Lord has given. This is what modesty is to me: a conscious choice to worship God though my clothing. A choice to give up what I want in my life and choose what God wants.

It has nothing do with others. It should have nothing to do with myself, but everything to do with God and following his path.

What do you think?

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