Modesty. You've all heard the word. You know it can apply to how you dress and how you behave. For this post, we will talk about modesty in the dress sense.
Here comes a statement of absolute, scary truth. It is true, freaky and a fair bit hard for girls to believe, but it's a statement that will change you, your thinking and possibly your wardrobe:
You know God made men and women to be attracted to each others' bodies. Now, us girls may not think much of this, but WAIT! Guys - that includes our brothers in Christ - are really visual. They are 'turned on' by what they see! So in order to protect them and their minds, we gals need to cover anything that will get them going. This includes: midriff (tummy) (check for when raising arms in a top), cleavage, bra and breasts (check for when bend over at waist), undies (check for when sit or bend at waist), small of back (lower back, closer to bottom) (check for when bend at waist or sit), or too much thigh (I love Rebbecca St. James' standard - stand straight with your hands at your side. If your fingers are lower than your skirt, dress or pants, it's too short). We also need to be sure we're not highlighting the above (check for tightness 'outlining,' words over, etc). But don't take my word for it! Look to the Bible. Yes, it has stuff to say too. Let's take a look:
Romans 14:21(NIV, emphasis added) says "It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else that will cause your brother to fall." 1 Corinthians 8:9(NIV, emphasis added) - "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak." A slap-in-the-face verse, said by Christ Himself, is Mathew 18:6-7(NASB) - "But whoever causes one of these [guys] who believes in me to stumble, it would be better for [her] to have a heavy millstone hung around [her] neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea... For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe that [girl] through whom the stumbling block comes!"
Yikes! You just realised that we (and modest clothes) are a critical part to protecting our brothers in Christ! And that God says you should, too! With that in mind, does anything have to change? Do you need to toss that really low-cut top or pants? Those undies that are always showing above your jeans? The shirt that hitches to show your tummy when you raise your arms? Or that spills forward, revealing too much, when you bend over? Or get a cute bolero for the spaghetti-strap top that shows your bra straps? Maybe time to give away that skirt that is a bit too short. Keep a rash shirt over those togs that reveal a bit too much back... or front? Perhaps the dress that highlights your chest too much needs to go. Get what I mean? I think so. By the way, a lot of things can be made decent by layering - using a singlet under a shirt that rides up, or wearing leggings with a too-short skirt or dress.
For those 13 (probably better 14) and up, a GREAT book on this topic is "Sexy Girls" by Hailey DiMarco. But beware! she is very frank and direct! The book expands on the 'scary statement' above to quite a degree. Not for the weak in mind.
Also, I know it's hard to know exactly what can cause a guy to stumble... and if it's just one, or hundreds of guys who reckon that item does not help their minds. I know I had dozens of specific questions. And then I have come across an AMAZING modesty resource! It's for girls... by guys! And not just one or two... but literally hundreds of guys stating their opinion. It's also really encouraging for girls trying hard to be modest, and possibly feeling rather alone. AND it's free! "JUST WHAT IS THIS AMAZING THING THAT I'M DYING TO CHECK OUT?" I can hear you saying. So without further ado, may I present The Modesty Survey! (That's a link, check it out!) I will now cease to rave about this (permit me one more rave) supa-calla-fraja-listic-expi-alla-do-shus resource and let you explore it for yourself.