I Was Confronted For Being Immodest

It’s 6/21/12 – I am getting a lot of harsh comments lately on this post – so I know that somewhere this link is being spread to readers who don’t frequent Women Living Well. Before you leave your comment, I ask that you please read my follow up post to this post titled “How I feel about the woman who confronted me.”  I ask that your comments reflect grace.  I have been open to discussion here previously – but feel it best that I begin filtering comments – comments without grace will be deleted.

This was the dress I was wearing that got me this phone call – too bad Keith’s eyes are closed in the pic :(

 It was 2003, my husband had just become a deacon at our church and I had just given birth to my first baby.  I remember thinking that a lot of my clothes were too tight after having my baby but I really wanted to squeeze back into them rather than buy new – so I kept wearing my old clothes.  The only problem – when I bent down at church to get my son out of the carrier – my skirt was WAY too short for bending down!  But did that stop me – nope – you know what stopped me – a phone call.

So the phone rang and on the other end of the line was another deacon’s wife.  She and I had only had 1 or 2 brief conversations before (and sadly none since :( ) but she was someone I respected and who I had heard through the grapevine had high ideals. 

I cannot remember the exact words she said – but I do remember she asked me a lot of questions.  “How do you feel about the dress you wore to church Sunday?” Ummm…fine.   “Do you think it was too short?”  Ummm…no.  “Do you think wearing your shoulders out is okay for other men to see while they are trying to worship?” Hmmm…I guess.  “Don’t you think your high heels with your toes out are a bit much?” …haven’t really thought about my shoes before (and by the way I did not agree with her on this point – I kept my shoes :) ). Then she said she could see my slip…well I had not worn a slip with that dress because my slip was not short enough to go under it -so she was wrong on that one detail.  That was one point for me. lol!!! 

We talked a bit longer – she explained that being a deacon’s wife meant I would be held to a higher standard.  I felt AWFUL and embarrassed and I apologized and we hung up.  I quickly found the dress and threw it into the trash can and cried.

I was humbled and learned a lot that day.  I was forced to grow up and take seriously my clothing choices.  I was no longer the teeny bopper I once was – I was a mother, Bible study leader and a deacon’s wife.  I sensed God nudging me towards holiness and in his graciousness he allowed this woman to speak into my life and wake me up.

So what did I learn from this woman:

1.  Confrontation is NOT easy to receive but she was right AND she had done it in the right way. 

I appreciated that she called me (confrontation is not easy) and talked to me about it rather than going to other deacon wives and gossiping about me or worse going to the pastor.  (If you have a problem with another woman never go to the pastor first about it – go to the person – it’s Biblical – see these instructions in Matthew 18:15-20).  The only thing I would have changed about her confrontation would have been in the coming months.  When I saw her I felt shame…we would pass in the hall and she never asked me how I was or how my baby was – I would have liked for her to befriend me but that friendship never budded and eventually her family would leave our church. 

2. My heart is reflected in the way I dress. 

Though my heart did not have bad intentions that is not how I was perceived.  I was perceived as immature and as not loving my brothers in Christ purely.  Since my clothing was misrepresenting my heart, I needed to change the way I dress.

3. Young moms need to test their clothes differently than the typical woman. 

When I buy clothes I look in the mirror and check – is it too short? too tight?  or too low cut?  I test all of this standing up in the dressing room in front of a mirror.  BUT young moms can end up in strange positions when caring for our children.  We have to bend down to pull our kids out of carriers – which means skirts go up even shorter or necklines can hang down open.  Babies and toddlers pull on shirts – which means there’s potential for a shirt to be pulled down or off the shoulder…in front of the dads who are dropping their kids off in the nursery.  I have worked in the nursery every other Sunday for nearly 5 years – so I do the shirt and skirt check regularly.  If a dress is loose on top, I just put a tank under it – if it’s a little short for bending down I wear leggings.  I encourage you to test your clothes before wearing them! :)

4. Be on guard against the lies and deception that the world feeds us through magazines and media

In Genesis 3:1-7 we see Satan tempted Eve to take the fruit. He did not put the fruit in her hand and he certainly did not put the fruit into her mouth. All Satan did was tell Eve lies and she became a believer of those lies. Then Eve saw the fruit with her eyes, took it with her hands and then ate it. Then she became Adam’s tempter.

So often we as women – first see the fashion trends and in our desire to be attractive begin to buy into the lies that immodesty is attractive. So just as Eve, we see the clothes and desire to have them. Once we have bought into Satan’s lies it won’t be long before the clothes are hanging in our closet and we are tempting men to have impure thoughts by our sinful choices.

So what do we do?

Summer is here – this is when the most skin shows.  I encourage you to really pray and ponder the clothes that are hanging in your closet.  If the Lord is convicting you about something you should not wear – do not wear it – be bold and toss it in the trash can!  God will be glorified!

Walk with the King,

 

Comments

  1. I am so thankful you took it in the right spirit. So many women would have been defensive and tried to quibble over the details (personally I don’t get the shoe thing, lol!) But for someone to take the time to mention it, it must be an offense to that person and possibly others.

    It’s so true that what looks okay in a mirror standing up straight may not look okay in everyday life and movement. My sister one time wore a blouse that buttoned up the front that no one could have called immodest, but as I left the store where she was working I happened to look back, and she was bending over wiping off her counter — and I could see down the front of her chest. I used to have a shirt I loved that was sleeveless but the shoulders extended down my arm a few inches, so I thought I was safe. Then one day I caught sight of my reflection — I had my hand on my hip, and the armhole was loose enough that I could see the whole left side of my chest. I was astounded. I liked the shirt so much that I tried to wear it and keep my arms by my side the whole time, but that became too much of a mental strain to try to think about all the time! So I tossed it.

    Thanks for being an example of a teachable heart!

    • Dessi B. says:

      Dear Courtney,

      Thank you for sharing your story of being confronted regarding immodesty and having the gentle spirit to embrace what has been shared with you. It is such an encouragement. Sometimes I really feel alone in the boat of being a modest young wife and mom.
      For me being mindful of how to dress modestly started when I was 12 years old. I was about to walk out the door for an afternoon walk to grandma’s house when my dad called me gently and said “Do you see anything unsettling about your outfit today?” It was one of my favorite green dresses that mom has stitched for me a year ago, so all I could see was the love of my mom wrapping around me. But dad wanted me to see beyond the sentimental feelings, it was time for me to mature and be mindful of how young boys and men perceive my choices of clothing. With a gentle voice dad explained that last year the dress looked beautiful on me but this year I have grown into a young lady and it was not complimenting my appearance any longer. It was not calling others to respect me. The dress has become a little tight and a little too short. At that time I realized that my character and values were on the line every time I walk out of the door not only by what I say but also by what I wear. That day I thanked my dad and changed into a more appropriate dress. But from that day on his gentle words are always with me as I look into the mirror before I leave the house and in the store before I check out an item. Interestingly years later my husband expressed that when we 1st met his initial thought was “respect”.
      I am so grateful that my dad loved me so much that he took the time to lovingly correct my poor choice and teach me to see with the eyes of others. Thank you Lord for my loving father on earth.

      Blessings,
      Dessi

      • That is beautiful, Dessi! You are so blessed to have such a dad! :)

      • Cynthia Comeaux says:

        Dear Dessi,

        This is one of the most beautiful testimonies of a father’s love I have ever heard. May I please quote you? I have already sent your comment to my husband as an encouragement to him to keep going. May blessings to you, dear.

        In Christ,

        Mrs. Cynthia

        • Dessi B. says:

          Dear Cynthia,
          Thank you for the the kind words.
          If you believe it may be of help to encourage someone, yes you may quote me and may God use my testimony to His glory.
          Thank you again and God bless you and your family.

          In Christ,
          Dessi B.

      • That was wonderful hearing how your father told you so gently about your dress. I wish more fathers were like that and would teach their daughters to watch how they go out in public.

      • You are blessed. Life would be easier for both our daughters and sons if more dads had the wisdom of your dad and his caring heart.

      • Dessi, that is beautiful – I would also like to quote it!!
        Thank you for sharing, Lori

      • That is absolutely one of the most beautiful examples of Godly parenting I have ever heard. You are so very blessed.

    • Coutney! Your timing for this lesson on modesty was perfect! This weekend I am hosting a Mini Retreat for my youth group girls on Modesty and Purity! You should check out the Secret Keeper website by Dannah Gresh! It has a WONDERFUL “Truth or Bare Fashion Test” that has 8 tips for dressing modestly. It is designed for girls the same tips apply for us older ladies! I also appreciated that you mentioned that moms needed to be careful in different ways because of the kids! That is so true! :) THANK YOU for you article and your sweet humble honesty!

    • Mesa Mom says:

      I loved this article. Maybe the lady saying she could see your slip was another way of seeing she could see much more than that but didn’t want to mention it? It was the first thing I thought of when you acknowledged you weren’t wearing one! Good for you for taking the constructive criticism. It has empowered me to speak up should this happen. I only wish those in authority at my own church would speak up and confront. We belong to a Christian homeschooling gym co-op and I KNOW the leaders have rules to follow. During my first visit I was gently and lovingly told my cut-offs were too high (a dollar bill between the hem of my shorts and my knee cap was the rule). It was one of the deciding factors for me joining! All girls must wear loose-fitting tee shirts, too. I believe some girls have not been taught modest dressing by their mother or father. I pray that in the future all constructive criticism is given and taken in a loving and caring way, and it strengthens relationships. Blessings to you for sharing!

    • Chrystal says:

      This is the first time I have read one of your post or visited your site. I think I would like to join your e-mail list if I may. I have a comment on the open-toed shoe issue. I guess I never really gave it alot of thought, but reading this seemed to make something click in my mind that I was told once when I was a very young Christian. And I guess maybe it didn’t really sink in then. It was said in a conversation about dress also. I specifically seem to remember an issue about open-toed shoes being discussed. The reason that was given for not wearing them was because that some men seem to find women’s feet very attractive, and it could possibly cause them to be distracted from where their mind should be. I hope maybe that this might help a little. It is something that I think we should pray and ask for GOD’s guidance and direction on. May GOD Bless You And Keep You All Safe In The Palm Of His Great Hands!!!

    • Thank you for the wonderful article, I agree with Lady that called you,[other than shoes ] I am 77, and begin to see the breakdown of how christians are dressing when comming to Worship…thank you for being such a wonderful example…

    • Barbara Godding says:

      I will try that lady to mind her own business If I want to something short I will do it anyway

  2. This is a great article! At an early age, my mom taught me the low cut shirt/dress test. Such awesome advice!

    I have one suggestion, though. Instead of throwing out inappropriate clothes, take the fabric and make something else out of it. I had two skirts that no longer fit me well, so I used the fabric and made a new purse and shirt. If you don’t know how to sew, they could be used as cleaning rags. Just an idea.

    • Michele says:

      We could also give the outfit to some one else that it may fit better. We come in ALL shapes and sizes, just because it is too short on me doesn’t mean it will not fit you. :)

    • Heather says:

      or wear it in private for your hubby. hehe

    • Stephanie says:

      Actually, no type of clothing “creates” an attack. Men who are predators towards women do so as fault of their own. Please do not blame victims. No one asks or desires to be harassed.

      Perhaps we should spend more time telling men to control themselves rather than tell women how they should dress.

      • Stephanie, I agree with you. However, I also have seen some very inappropriate dress in church over the years. I question the lady’s opinion of showing the shoulders and toes! What?! Do shoulders and toes turn guys on? Guess if they do, then maybe the lady should have suggested burkas (spelling?).

        • David Leeland says:

          As a man, I agree with Stephanie…the woman is not to blame , it is the sinful heart of the person who is gazing upon her. Whether it is a man after Gods own heart like King
          David or a man at work or in your church. A truly godly man who wishes to honor God will look away. A man with a sinful lusting heart could get excited about the shoulders and the toes. It is my opinion that the other deacons wife should have allowed the Holy Spirit to speak to her heart ….the young deacons wife did not sin against her and therefore she needed to simply pray and be an example in her own life.

        • Stephanie/Pat/David-I understand what you’re saying, however, if you put a carrot in front of a rabbit, is he expected to turn around and go the other way in order to avoid it? Men are human. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re looking, but if a woman is dressed in such a way that more of her flesh is showing than not, it would tend to get a man’s attention. While she may not be ‘asking’ for or ‘desiring’ to be harassed, her clothing says otherwise. One popular fashion designer stated that a split in a skirt was nothing more than an arrow, referring to the split in the back of the skirt. Many designers fashion clothes to be provocative, it is up to us to fix them, if need be in order to keep from appearing to advertise something we may not want to sell.

      • I agree fully that maintaining modest attire is important for Christian females…and males as well. And I thought the point to consider how your clothing will function around children was great and something I personally never thought of as a mom.

        Modesty is also one of the areas where it’s easy to fall into a legalistic, trap of discouragement. I think you are AWESOME for reacting as you did. Although I am now polling the men in our congregation to find out if sleeveless tops or peep toe shoes stimulate any erotic images. I thought those were a little far reaching. I might agree that your skirt with the slit might be a tad short. But I grew up in a denomination that paid way to much attention to this detail. It requires someone to behave as judge and jury when considering whether someone’s clothing is modest or not. I recall that my childhood church was a mile from the entrance of a state park. Campers frequently came to our church for morning worship while on their vacation. Sadly, they were asked to sit on the back rows because their jeans were “inappropriate” for worship. After a time, the church directed ushers to greet people outside if they were strangers in jeans. The campers were told they were welcome to worship with us if they returned in appropriate attire. No one every came back.

        My son’s youth pastor has the B’s rule. At any time, they should reveal no breasts, no beater shirts (guys). No bare bellies, no part of the buttock and no bikini.

        But I also want to add comment to Stephanie’s above me. No one ever gets up in the morning and chooses a piece of clothing thinking they might get attacked if they wear it. Women can be senseless, naive, dumb, careless and even stupid about what they wear. I grew up sexually abused by a church member in my church regardless of my long skirt, high neckline and long sleeves. I was assaulted at the age of 18 by my husband’s best friend. Nothing I have ever worn could be called immodest….exception being a young mom with an infant, I did have my neckline pulled on, or buttons come undone. But no woman ever asks to be attacked. No one ever “deserves” it because of what she was wearing.

      • I agree. A woman should never be to blame for a mans lack of self control. This is not the days of the old testament. The old testament talks about men being able to impregnate their maids and wives sisters if they can’t impregnate their wife. Should we listen to that? No.
        I think her skirt looks fine. If anything, I’m willing to bet money that the other woman was older and jealous of the nice figure that the Lord gave the deacons wife.

        • The “nice figure” comment shows that Cj’s attention was on the body rather than the face. Not his fault, just sayin’…

        • Men are visual creatures. Yes, looking is partly our fault, but it is also partly the fault of the way a woman dresses. I can almost guarantee that if a women knew how men thought, they wouldn’t dress in such a way. Men struggle in this area and women should obey God and dress modestly. By dressing immodestly they become stumbling blocks to men who struggle (and if you will be honest, all men struggle). If a man doesn’t struggle when he sees a woman dressed immodestly he is dead or gay (just sayin). Some women know what they are doing, some don’t, but the fact remains that just as a man will answer to God for his lusts, a woman will have to answer to God for her part in the stumbling.

        • I’m glad that you took the other deacon’s words to heart. Many of today’s women would have just dismissed her as legalistic and prudish. But she’s right. Women need to be careful of the way we dress so that we don’t make it difficult for men not to stare.
          The responsibility not to lust is on the men, but we’re not allowed to cause them to stumble either!
          Too bad, though, that the other woman had no more interest in you than to give a rebuke. It would have been good of her to make you feel welcomed and befriended after that. Maybe she’s learned better people skills since then.

        • Elisabeth says:

          I love hearing that modesty is such a concern among women of many church denominations. I grew up around legalistic and liberal extremes so I have determined my understanding of modesty from the Bible and not others. I would have to say that I prefer the long skirt and loose blouse crowd, largely for the sake of my husband, brother, and other male relatives. I know that all of my male relatives have struggled with immodest women and most of them have chosen to attend churches where modesty is tradition in order that they can better worship. I have a little boy and it does bother me that younger women who have not had children and so have nicer pre-baby bodies feel the need to show them off in church. I think a lot of us tend to forget that as Christians we are supposed to dress for the glory of God and not the glory of “me.” I also strongly agree with those who have said that previous generations have dropped the ball when it comes to instructing about modesty and propriety.

      • Sarah Bratcher says:

        I want to apologize to anyone that I may have offended by my remarks concering a person being attacked because of what they wear. I was a victim of a violent crime years ago and I would have been appalled if anyone had said I caused the attack because I was wearing a low cut dress. Please know that I would never blame a victim. The point I was trying to make was concerning only twelve and thirteen year old girls wearing seductive bikinis, and one young girl in a French Maid’s Outfit including garters, posing on Facebook. This is so dangeous. I am not trying to tell parents how to raise their children. I have three of my own and I would be frantic if any of mine did this.
        Parents just need to know that there are child molestors out there that want to hurt children who portray these types of images. I am on a crusade to help keep children safe. This is part of what our ministry does.
        . . Again, I am so sorry if I didn’t explain this as I intended to do. God bless you all!

        • It is a simple question, my body is for who? Is it mine or God’s? Modesty is a way in which a woman can influence men and women. The way a woman dresses says alot about her respect for herself, her husband, and her God. Even if a man tries to look away he can see a glimpse of a woman’s chest or legs, which can effect him. The big 3 the lust of the flesh the lust of the eyes and the pride of life effect us all, even though men and women are different. What some women think is ok can attract a man not to her face but to other areas. Some women do this knowingly to feel pretty or what ever, some unknowingly. The flesh and the Devil are looking to turn us all from God. I would say if you love the men around you dress in a way that commands respect and not attention to your body. I am not a legalist, but i do believe that God wants us to all live by a higher standard because he is worthy.

      • I don’t think Sarah was placing blame, but rather making the point that if a lady’s clothing is modest, she is less likely to attract the attention of a preditor searching for a victim. I felt her ooint was that while it isn’t the victim’s fault, their pain might have been avoided it different choices had been made.

        • Thinking that modest clothing will save you from an attack is a dangerous attitude to have. Predators are very often close to their victim, they are usually relatives and friends. They victimize very small children, very old people, and even other men. It is never, ever the victims choices that made that assault happen, it is the predators. The predator made that choice to commit a despicable act on another living person, on a child of God.

          Tina Blankenship’s post above is spot on.

          Sarah, I am very sorry to hear what happened to you and I think it’s wonderful that you are reaching out to those who have been abused in the past.

        • Shay T. says:

          This statement is completely false. A woman dressed ultra modestly looks more demure, more “innocent”, and are often targeted by predators because they believe these women are more easily dominated. Sexual crimes are about power and control, NOT about lust. Eve was nude in the Garden before her sins cast them out. Should Adam have therefore been entitled to rape her? A woman NEVER entices assault, REGARDLESS of what she wears. I shall pray for the naïveté of those who say otherwise.

        • This attitude is dangerous and very wrong, and it saddens me to see it perpetuated. Sexual assault is never the fault of the victim or what he or she is or isn’t wearing. Even the most modestly dressed woman can still be the victim of a sexual attack, because it isn’t about lust, it’s about power.

      • Michelle White says:

        Women who are harrassed, ogled, stared at, etc. are usually putting the advertisement out by the way the dress. If a woman or girl does not want any type of the harrassment, then don’t put out the advertisement!! Simple as that!! Dress modest, keep the shoulders and cleavage covered at all times and keep the hem lines at least 4-6 inches below the knee at all times and clothing not be 2 sizes too small. If you wear a size 18 then wear it…not a 14!!

        • Tiffany says:

          I completely disagree. I dress modestly, but I am still ogled. Just the other day I had on a plain, dark colored t-shirt and jeans, and a man walked by me plainly staring right at my chest. I was not advertising anything, I was dressed quite plainly, and not in form-fitting clothes.

        • Kateri Blackwing says:

          It is not the woman’s fault that she is raped it happens to women who are dress modetly so get your facts right Biatch

      • YES!!! Please remember we are NEVER to blame the victims, no matter WHAT!

      • Stephanie,
        While dress does not “create” attack, women have to be careful so they will not “plant a seed.” Yes, anything can be a trigger, but we don’t want to set off any inappropriate thinking/behavior from men by the way we dress. Women have to take responsibility as well as men

      • I kind of disagree. While it is not a woman’s/victim’s “fault” they are attacked, nor a woman’s “fault” who is “immodestly” dressed that they are ogled or used as an object of fantasy by a man…I do believe they hold power to aggitate sinful, lustful behavior. Yes, a man’s wandering, lustful eye is his own personal problem – but why flaunt yourself in front of ‘him’ with suggestive clothing? (Though please understand – i do realize there are men out there with serious, downright mental issues that are deterred by little, if anything.) Now, I realize that many women/girls may not consciously dress suggestively. It’s just all “innocently” done in the name of “fashion”. Doesn’t make it right or okay. You can’t go around wearing, for example, low-cut and/or tight-fitting shirts/blouses and skimpy short-shorts, then be appauled and angry when you catch a man ogling you or comes on to you. Men are lustful creatures. Yet they can’t walk around with blindfolds on. If you walk around them dressed like that, and they struggle with lust, chances are, they will look and they may sin in their heart, and perhaps in action. We as women hold some responsibility for that. The Bible tells us not to knowingly/purposely cause another to stumble/sin. Like Courtney says above (paraphrasing)…***You make a statement about who you are with what you wear.***

        • Romans 14:12-13, says, “Each of us shall give an account to God…and we should resolve not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.”

          • Angie G. says:

            If I had to choose between scaring away new Christians or non-Christians with this legalistic crap or possibly “seducing” some pervert who has a foot/shoulder fetish, I’m pretty sure I’d choose the new Christians. It amuses me that this verse is used to support silly rules that arent even Biblical. Yes, the Bible says to be modest but everyone has a different interpretation of that. To say that shoulders are immodest or that skirts have to be a certain length is just ludicrous to me and the people that feel the need to project their views of modesty onto others need to take the legalistic plank out of their own eye. I know that most of these people think they’re doing their part to please God, but obsessing over things that really don’t matter when we don’t know someone else’s heart is just as much of a sin. When we “pride” ourselves on our rules, we forget the main point… love Jesus and love others. Period.

      • Yes, Stephanie, that is true. We cannot CAUSE any sin in other people. An assault is NOT the fault of the victim.
        However, I want to point out some scientific research from Princeton University that I came accross recently while doing research for a book that I am writing on what beauty means for a Christian woman.

        This was a study done to see how the male brain reacts to seeing people wearing different amounts of clothing. The “test subjects” (men) were placed in a brain scanner and shown pictures of many faceless men and women, some clothed, some wearing bikinis and other types of scanty clothing. When the men where shown women in bikinis and other scarce clothing, the “tool use” part of the brain lit up. For some the “relational, empathetic” (Medial pre-frontel cortex) TURNED OFF, showing that these people were being viewed as objects rather than persons.

        While a person can (and should) control their actions, they cannot control biology and how the brain is wired. So, no matter how much we cry “how dare you judge me for what I am wearing,” the only conclusion that I can draw from this study, and in relation to Sarah’s comments about the noted connection between what some women were wearing when they were attacked, is that it is in a woman’s best interest to dress modestly. If not for Godliness, for your own safety and because, whether is makes sense or not, it garners a type of respect and that is oddly lacking if you are dressed immodestly.

  3. Henriette Hentrey says:

    Thank you so much forthis article! I am a Mother of 4 – and soon will be a grandmother! I have a lot of argues with my daughters regarding clothes. Everywhere they see young women – I have to say – barely clothed. I tell them what a problem this is for themselves – no really honst young man wanted to be in contact with a woman dressed in an immodest way. Everybody is looking at their treasures which ought to be only seen by their husband. At least they are reasanoble.

    I remember when I was a young woman some of my schoolmates teased me, because I have been wearing oldfashioned clothes. Nowadays I am glad, that my parents insisted on this kind of clothes.

    It is not easy to raise girls in our world – and your article is a helper! Thanks again.

  4. Hi Courtney,
    It’s a brave thing that woman did, and brave also for you to bring this up. It’s sad when women cannot take Godly correction – we’ve got to learn to look at God as being our corrector, and the person speaking as His chosen vessel for bringing it to our attention.
    I do want to mention the leggings bit in your post. Not sure if what you call leggings are what we in Australia call them, but here they are like footless tights – very thick pantyhose I suppose.
    I see young women wearing them under short skirts and dresses in church, and they are still very immodest. They sculpt the line of the leg and thigh…bend over just a bit and it’s not modest at all.
    Thank you for all you share. {{{hugs}}}
    Jenny

    • That is a good point. You still have to be careful even with leggings. If the skirts is too short., it is too short.

      • Rebecca says:

        Totally Agree

      • Very good points about the problems with leggings & with the short skirts & leggings.

        It is a wonderful encouragement to my mother heart to read the beautiful post and
        the many wonderful replies confirming the value of modesty ! and I love the lovely humble
        attitude of the young mother toward the older deacon’s wife .

        I would like to share this quote : ” Modesty Honors Beauty ” by Sarah Howell. ” First, let’s get this straight: Modesty is not just putting on more clothes. Modesty is honoring God by acknowledging the …”
        If you would like to see the short article by Sarah Howell, I saw it when I googled Beautiful Modesty as I was looking for

        the title & author of an excellent book : The Beauty of Modesty By David Vaughn & his wife .
        I am so blessed when I hear / read comments from numerous women on their concern about
        being modest, and / or the love for God that causes them to have beautiful humility in accepting admonitions about the need to be modest ( out of love for God, and desires to not be a stumbling block to those around them, particularly the boys and men .
        I doubt if many women realize how great a temptation and offense they present even to the younger preteen boys at church, at school, at home , at various public events or where ever . And this may surprise many to know that even special needs boys and men are aroused by immodesty ; the sad part is many of them can’t comprehend the significance of what is going on .
        God always has special reasons for His ways , and the results of following His way is for ever beautiful in the issue of modesty and in all other areas of life !

  5. Wow, that was beautifully written. Thank you for sharing that! I love how you included how she gracefully handled the confrontation. I don’t think Godly reprimand is done often enough anymore because it isn’t seen near enough.
    Thank you, again, for being so transparent!

  6. Thanks Courtney for another great entry!

    Growing up with a strong Christian mother, I was never allowed to wear revealing clothing while growing up. I’m sorry to say that once I went off to college and strayed from the path of righteousness, I definitely did not have a thought towards modesty in my wardrobe!
    In recent years, and now that I’m a wife and mommy-to-be, I fortunately have found my way back to the Lord, and am walking with the King, stronger than ever in my life! Praise Him!
    This also means I’m very much conscious of my wardrobe choices again. While I was never confronted by anyone because of my fashion choices, I probably should have been on more than a few occasions in the past! I know I cringe when I see past photos of myself wearing clothing that is less than modest and covering in nature…

    In a couple short months, I’ll officially be one of those young moms you spoke of, and I think as much as I have a mind for modesty now, I’ll still have to rethink a few items in my wardrobe once my little one starts pulling and tugging on me while I’m carrying them around!

    Walk with the King, Courtney, and God bless!

    • God bless you , Kirsten ! Your share is also very encouraging . God is so faithful , so holy , so merciful , so able to work in each of us as we allow Him . His light is shining through you : )

  7. Jeannet says:

    Thank you for sharring this.
    It opens my eyes in a diffrent way.

    From the Netherlands,

    Jeannet

  8. Hi,
    thank you for this very good post!
    About leggins, here in Czech republic we have two kinds. One is like Jenny from Australia was written, and other one was non-transparent. I agree with her, that it is a little bit immodesty if girls wear them with too much short skirts, but if they have it with longer skirt, I think it´s a good idea for time, when you have to move with children like Courtney wrote. And what I can recommend for problems with t-shirts. If something is wrong with them (big holes in sleeve area or big neckline) I wear singlet (vest) under it, so nothing is visible and it could be very trendy :-D
    Have a nice day and sorry for my grammar :-D
    Monika

  9. Thank you for your message. It is hard to take criticism and even harder without a follow-up befriending. How helpful and graceous the follow-up would have been. (I don’t get the shoe thing either, lol). It does not take much to offset even the well-meaning man and make other women uncomfortable. As a college teacher, I am taken aback by some outfits I see while teaching. Even for the secular society I have one major comment, “Just because it is “in fashion” does not mean it is in fashion for everyone”. If we want to look modest, Godly, comfortable and attractive for our body types, ages and stages DON’T follow fashion trends. Girls are not taught to accept and assses their own body and find what looks best on them personally. Find the best quality pieces that will fit our bodies properly (does not mean expensive), test wear and tear by bending, sitting, moving etc before buying. Modest, quality clothing are just more practical and comfortable. Thanks for the article. We all have to be reminded to assess ourselves every so often.

    • Coming from a man, I completely understand the shoe thing.

      • Me too…though I’m not a man, lol. Open toe shoes can be very seductive…and paired up with bare shoulders being brushed by hair and a skirt that is so short that it would show the undies (aka slip) when bent over, all the more so. I’m so glad the confrontation was taken seriously. This affects many and can also be terribly painful and traumatizing for other women.

      • I don’t get the shoe thing. I normally don’t pay attention to shoes. I have 2 pair I think my wife might have 200. On skirt length I think anything that’s higher than the knees including a split it too short.

  10. Thank you so much for this great reminder! It’s so easy to want to look good for our own pride, but we so often forget how it’s effecting others (the men) and what it says about us. Blessings to you in your ministry.

  11. The pressure is great these days to be fashionable even at church. I go to a very contemporary church and I am even amazed at some of the things that our teens come in wearing. I am 32 and I often feel caught between desiring to wear fashionable things that may be a little young for me but not wanting to dress to old either. I am not very good with fashion so I tend to wear the same things over and over that are very basic. I would love to branch out more..Regarding the call..I feel like there is little tolerance for correction these days. People do not want and are not willing to except any loving correction for anyone. I hear so many people say they want honesty from others but then when you carefully are honest they get so defensive and want to end the friendship or gossip about you..I am really struggling to find freinds that are truely working to live their lives for christ in ALL areas and I am growing very discouraged about this but am on a mission to continue to seek them! Loved the post!

    • How true it is that we need to hear correction. Godly, loving correction, with founding in scripture. I had a friend that dressed immodestly, went through a divorce and another relationship with another man. I felt very uncomfortable around her when she wore certain clothes…unfortunately, I didn’t speak to her about the clothes. I did however, speak to her about her ungodly relationship – she could not take a loving “rebuke”, still wanted to say that she could do whatever she wanted and still love Jesus, because He loves her…and she left our friendship. I, too, am praying for women friends who LOVE JESUS and are followers of Him, leading or desiring to lead godly lives – worship to the Lord. Bless you in finding dear sisters, Brandy!

      Thank you, Courtney, for your godly example and witness. That we NOT be bound up in legalism, but live our lives in Freedom – to have our hearts walking in love and worship and being a living testimony for Christ!

    • Courtney, thank you for sharing this. I agree wholeheartedly but am still sad that she didn’t befriend you. I’m responding here to Brandy and Arron because I too am praying for girlfriends who are inlove with Jesus! My friends are Christian but they always seem to point out that my convictions are my own and not theirs. It’s so frustrating because I just want to scream, “This is the Word of God!” I don’t of course but I now find myself not wanting to speak to them as much or just avoid the word all together. I’m at a point in my life where I want more than anything to please my Father in Heaven. I’m a 34 year old mom of three who once walked away from God (before my children were born) and now that I’m delving into the word and striving to be the woman, wife and mother that He calls me to be, I have people roll their eyes at me, as if I’m a goodie tooshoes. And Arron, what you said jumped out at me because my one friends says that she doesn’t like legalistic christians. Am I legalistic because I want to follow the word of God? It hurts because these are good friends but I just read in Mathew this morning, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” I felt this was God speaking directly to me. Anyhow, I’m praying for the Lord to bring some sister into my life so that we can walk out this journey together. Bless you ladies in finding that as well! Be Blessed!

    • I appreciate your thoughts Brandy, Amanda & Arron . It is a challenge even among Christians if you take a stand in the concern about modesty . I also love to fellowship with more individuals who are striving to live an exemplary life of the Biblical Christian.
      Have any of you read the little book : The Public Undressing of America ? or seen the blog by the Harris twins and large survey about modesty issues at http://www.TheRebelution.com ? Other great resources are The Beauty of Modesty by the Vaughns, and It ‘s(not that ) Complicated by Anna Sofia & Elizabeth Botkin. The Botkins also discuss the point about emotional purity and many other important aspects of Christian living , particularly for young women .

  12. thank you for sharing. it came at a perfect time in our Bible study group as we started our Bible study of Proverbs 31 a little early and we are right at v. 22. it’s too bad that you never had the opportunity to really speak to that woman who had confronted you with your clothing choices and to express to that woman how much you learned from that moment. Perhaps you have already done so, but I bet if you looked her up and wrote to her to let her know what she taught you through that phone conversation, she would be encouraged. Who knows? Maybe she has felt embarrassed about having to confront you and needs that encouragement to let her know that God used her through the whole situation. I don’t usually comment here, but I felt led and restless to not comment this time. Have a great day.

  13. Thank you for this post! I know that this situation must have been hard (and embarrassing!) for you, but ultimately God will be glorified through your sharing. I taught high school for 8 years, and I became known as the fashion nazi. I’m a “well-rounded”, curvy girl, so I know the frustrations with putting on a shirt only to see that bending over would reveal more than I want others to see. So I passed that on to my own students. When those young ladies came to my door, they knew to put a sweater on if their “ladies” were saying hello too loudly and that they wouldn’t be able to come in my room if their skirt and shorts were too short. I’m not saying the shorts had to be at the knees or anything, but I expressed to them that even if it is a good length standing up, a decent skirt or shorts could become inappropriate once they sit down…and the boys notice immediately. So anyway (sorry I’m rambling), I want to thank you for your post. I will be sharing it on my student Facebook page in hopes that some young lady will also realize the importance of being a lady. :)

  14. Hi Courtney,
    The big thing I get out of this is that you are a very humble person! First, you took her correction to heart and did not get easily offended & then you were able to share it with the world. :o) You have a very Christlike spirit & how glorifying to our God that is! Thank you for sharing this, I believe this is a message that needs to be shouted from the rooftops! I have a friend whose husband has a major issue with lust and she doesn’t even like to go to Church with him. The way the women dress and his lustful eye ruin her heart to worship. It breaks my heart that sometimes our Churches aren’t a safe place. Your a light in the darkness, keeping shining!!

  15. Katherine says:

    I love your gracious attitude about this and I can only imagine how you felt being a new mother and your husband having a new job and then to have someone call you questioning each thing you wore and asking how you felt about them. I am not so sure I agree with the phone call to be honest. The questioning part of it anyway. It comes across that she was really inspecting you all the way down to the toes and what is inside is what counts. There are alot of young women who will not worship in a church with people who are inspecting them head to toe because they do not have any dresses or long skirts, all they have are some jean shorts and jeans and no money to spend on new clothes, so they skip going to church to avoid the judgement and humiliation and that breaks my heart. I understand what this lady was getting at about modesty being important and it is, yet what is in the heart is what is the most important. You had nothing but innocence in your heart and mind, your husband was fine with your dress, and you were not dressing with any intention in mind other than looking nice for church and saving money on clothes.
    I guess what I am trying to say in a rambling (sorry) way is that the idea of getting the third degree questioning about toes showing in shoes, keeps people away from worshipping sometimes, so it needs to be combined with lots of love and kindness, since church is all about Him and being able to praise Him and how good He is, and God knows the heart in the modest dress or not long enough dress and loves us all the same. Thank you for your website, it is very encouraging and I appreciate all your hard work. Have a great day!

    • I agree with the point you are making about being inspected. My husband’s cousin had been going to church with my inlaws back in the ’80′s. He and his wife didn’t have much money (and still don’t to this day) so they dress as well as they can, but mostly in jeans and button down shirts. I have only seen his wife wear a dress once, at their son’s wedding, and she was beautiful but very uncomfortable. One day, the sermon was about wearing your best at church to show respect to the Lord. And they truly were, but they were made to feel bad because their best was deemed, by men, “not good enough” so they never returned to that church, or any church.

      • Jennifer, I’ve seen SO many people leave the church because of situations like your cousin in-laws. While I feel like modesty is a big deal, it pains me to know that if you’re not in your “Sunday best”, a lot of churches will look down on you. If only more people would remember that Jesus met people where they were, and the changes in modesty and heart attitude happen AFTER Christ becomes a part of their lives.

    • I also have to say I agree with you. I agree with godly, humble, KIND correction. In my opinion this woman was a little too nit picky and condescending. I would not have appreciated a phone call like that AT ALL. And like Katherine said, her husband was ok with the dress. I’ve worn things before that were more low cut/loose than I realized and a nice friend from church would casually mention it too me in my ear that something was showing. I’d have an “oopsie” moment and then decide I wouldn’t wear it again. But no one has ever called me out in a phone call! I think making an official phone call about it is making too much of a big deal to someone who was a sweet, godly person with a servant’s heart. And the fact that she never followed up with friendliness or pursued any kind of relationship to me doesn’t make it sound like she was truly sincere. Sounds to me like she just wanted to call Courtney out on her dress because it offended her and that was it. Just my two cents! I do appreciate godly council and correction and believe it should be taken with a humble spirit. And yes, it takes a LOT of guts to confront someone on a touchy subject like clothing. However, my experience has been that it is all too often not done correctly and too often with the wrong motives and attitude. Courtney, keep on being you and doing what you do!! We appreciate your ministry and your spirit.

      • Tara McCoy says:

        I agree with you Mel. Truly ~ I don’t dress to please or entice anyone, if something is inappropriate, my husband will tell me. I think this woman obviously had more than just “Godly advice” as her motive. But that is JMHO.
        She could have approached it as “Hey, sister, I just wanted to let you know that your skirt lifted up when you bent over to pick up your baby, and I knew you’d be embarrassed, so I just wanted to let you know.” That would’ve been appropriate.
        But to say that bare shoulders and open toed shoes were distracting the men from worship reveals not a problem with the person wearing those clothes as much as it does the woman making the comments. And with the men who are so easily distracted by shoulders and toes.

        • Just a thought about husbands…It is true that your husband should tell you if something is inappropriate but, consider that your husband sees you in a lot less and is comfortable with that. Often his objectivity is skewed. The fashion world is not interested in modesty. It is interested in selling clothes. Fashion should not dictate our clothing choices.

        • I 100% agree with your opinion there! I think men that are easily distracted are not focusing at all on what is going on with Worship. Their OWN fault.

    • Hi Courtney, my dear sister in Christ! And Hello, Mel, dear sister, too!

      Mel, I’m glad you responded this way —- I was scrolling through the comments thinking I was alone in my thoughts! I agree with what you said! :)

      Courtney, as always, I love your sweet and humble spirit. It is a testimony to me! And I purpose to respond liek you next time I’m in a situation of confrontation! But, also, as I read through the New Testament, I am struck with the importance of discipleship and see such a lack of those kind of relationships. Truely, those who I have learned most from are the ones who have not approached me in a spirit of condemnation or judgement, but of genuine friendship and have cultivated a relationship. Confrontation IS hard, (and shouldn’t it be? Shouldn’t we take the call to confront seriously and prayerfully. If it ever got to be ‘easy’, I’d wonder . . .). I would caution all of us to listen to the Holy Spirit, who is gentle, and then, if prodded, to speak in love. Or . . . hold your tongue and pray for the Holy Spirit to do His work in their life. Sometimes, I think we Christians want an immediate ‘fix’ when we see sin in other’s lives. But, God works in our lives in His own time. I have done both, confronted a fellow sister (rarely and with much prayer and then as gently as I could) and, most often, just tried to ‘judge not’ and loved, loved, loved them despite, while praying for that sister. I think we just really need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. In one particular friendship, it was exactly the same issue. This dear sister was a “Martha Stewart” of the church. Sweetly decorating and planning beautiful events. I came to know her because we had kids around the same age. However, I was disturbed by this lady’s choice of wardrobe. Tight, short, low cut . . . EEk! On more than one occasion, I considered saying something to her. But, always felt that I should be still. I was purposeful in using any opportunity I could as an example, though (i.e. ”Oh, just a minute. This shirt is a little low on me, let me grab my sweater before we go out . . .”). And I never discussed it with other women. After several years of having a heart for serving and seeking God, I am joyful to say a real change in wardrobe has evolved! In fact, one day, she brought it up saying, “I’m just so frustrated with my clothes! I used to be so thin and after having kids, my body is so different. I guess that I just can’t shop in the same stores/places anymore!”).
      I KNOW how it feels to be hit with something from complete left field! In my own life, I have also been confronted and I know that sick, sad, shocked feeling . . . especially when I had NO clue I was sinning! I also know times the Holy Spirit has gently tugged on my heart and shown me ways I need to change. He has used some great women in my life as role models in this. I know which way I prefer to be confronted! :)

  16. Melinda says:

    Thanks for sharing your testimony this morning with regard to dressing modestly. I would love for you in the future to have a Bible study on this very subject. I have to wonder about the motives of the other Deacon’s wife who contacted you though, I don’t understand why she’d be concerned enough to contact you and offer her wisdom on the subject of dress and then not want to come along side of you in a Titus 2 type of way. It does take a lot of courage to bring such a mattter to ones attention and you showed proper humility in the way you received her instruction. Rather she spoke directly with you about it than gossip behind your back. Love your P31 Bible study, thanks for all you do!

  17. Modesty is such a subjective topic, and becomes tricky, especially in various denominations. I understand trying to help men not stumble, but honestly, men also need to learn self-control. It’s a two way street, you know?

    • Yes, men do need to have self-control, but why would we, as Christian sisters, want to make it so difficult for them? Sadly, women have been unwilling to “confront” other ladies about this (Although, I don’t think that the lady that confronted Courtney did it in a very loving fashion. The fact that Courtney did not take offense is a testimony to her Christian love.) Ladies, the call for modesty comes directly from the Bible. As we shop, we do need to take the time to sit, bend, kneel, etc. in front of the mirror and make sure we are not showing more than should be seen by anyone at any time. (As a women, I do not appreciate seeing cleavage or too much of a woman’s legs either.) Our first questions should not be “Is is this the latest fashion?” or “Do I look good in this?”; they should be “Does this please you, Lord?” and “Could this cause my Christian brothers to stumble?”
      Also, pray before shopping. Ask God to reveal what He would think to be appropriate.

      • I think modesty is important, for both men and women. In regards to women and being a stumbling block for men, I think there is only so much we can claim responsibility for. Past that point (where ever that point may be), it eventually falls to the man to exert self control. How much should women be covered?

        It seems like many people in the church think of modesty as just the woman’s responsibility. Is it completely her fault if a man lusts over her, or does he also bear responsibility in his sin? Seems like just another double standard in the church. Even in the Garden, Adam shoved off his responsibility and blamed Eve for his sin.

      • Carol, I agree! We we should be more concerned with what God thinks and ask ourselves, if God were to call me home in this outfit, would it be appropriate in Heaven? lol But seriously, I had a pastor’s wife who said your countenance should be the first thing a person notices, and not your clothes or body!

    • We can’t control what men think but we can control what we wear. It may be a two way street, but we need to drive cautiously on our side.

    • Tara McCoy says:

      AMEN! For too long (I come from an extreme religious system) women are taxed with making sure they don’t “cause men to sin in their hearts” when truly, if seeing toes causes a man to sin, that is TRULY something they need to take care of. Men do need to take responsibility for how they act. It’s not always woman’s fault.
      Adam could’ve stopped Eve from eating the fruit because he was right there with her, but he silently stood by letting her be deceived.

      • You are spot on Tara (about Adam)! That is exactly what Theology Of The Body teaches. Adam was silent and looked on while the serpent attacked and enticed Eve. He was her protector and he failed in his job. This is NOT just a woman’s job. As humans, we swing the pendelum too far into prudishness and too far into shamelessness. Our job is to walk the narrow path which resides in the middle of these two choices.

    • Megan G. says:

      It sort of sunk in with me one day when I was wearing a certain leopard print undergarment under a tank top. My young son pulled my tank top and just a bit of leopard was visible. I saw another deacon’s eyes JUST catch on the fabric and then quickly look away. I understood then that he did not intend to see anything and certainly didn’t go looking for it, but it was right there and caught his attention. He did the right thing by quickly looking away, but I have no idea what sin I could have encouraged in his mind in that one fraction of a second. I have not “arrived” in this area yet (as you can see in my other post), but that day certainly changed the way I think about it.

      • That sounds like it was an accident. You did not encourage any sin in the deacon’s mind. If his thoughts went beyond where they should have, that’s his responsibility, not yours. I wouldn’t worry about it.

  18. Heather says:

    Thank you for this, Courtney. Its hard to be always checking, but it IS so important. My hubby is always after me to wear more modest clothes…my wardrobe wasn’t that bad, except when I lost weight after my baby was born, all my shirts and underclothes (including tanks..) hung on my frame, so bending over gave everyone a huge flash! I hate retiring a portion of my wardrobe, but if thats what it takes to be modest, I know I have to do it.

    I was able to sell alot of my tops online to mamas they would actually FIT, and then saved up birthday money and birthday gift cards to get some very modest tanks, and some tighter shirts. I know that seems backwards, but I’m pretty tiny, so my husband has requested I wear snug higher necklined shirts, so everything doesn’t hang out in the baby and toddler bend ;)

    • Megan G. says:

      Where did you find the modest tanks? I’d like some that are a modest scoop, without being crew neck. If that makes any sense or is even possible! I do agree that snugger (but not super tight) can be more modest because they don’t gap when you bend over. Old Navy does sell crew neck tees in lots of colors for a good price! But their scoop tees there are pretty low cut.

      • I buy Half Tees (google it). They are just a half length top that you wear under tops that aren’t modest enough. They have different sleeve lengths and lot of great basic colors.

      • Target has some very nice modest tanks right now. I bought this style last summer and have enjoyed it so much I bought 5 in different colors this year. I have ample issues to keep covered and I like the coverage on them alot. They are on Target.com as well. Hope that helps!

  19. Great article this morning !!

    Thank you for sharing your story! I did laugh because it was humorous, and I too have a story that a pastor handed me money after church and told me to go get new clothes due to a skirt that I wore up on stage. {{How was I supposed to know at 20 and a missionary, you don’t dare wear a knee-length skirt when pregnant and go up on a stage!}}

    I continually have to look through my clothes (because I want to look fashionable and “skinny”), but I always have begun looking through the eyes of my 8 year old daughter. Would I want her to wear that?

    It is a daily growth process {even for us wives who are in the ministry}!

  20. Michele says:

    One Easter, when my twins were about a year old, I wore a long skirt that went to mid calf. I picked up my son and his foot “hooked” onto the skirt and pulled it up past my knees (wayyy past my knees)! I wish I had worn leggings that day. :)
    Just a thought, maybe the woman who called you never approached you after because she worried that she had offended you and was waiting for you to come to her. I think that she handled it well and as you said she did not go behind your back.

  21. Excellent post and you’re to be commended for being willing to listen and learn. I’m only sorry the other woman didn’t be-friend you; both your lives could have been so much richer. Perhaps, there’s a further lesson there…

    • Regarding this article about dressing modestly after your baby is born, in all honesty is this an appropriate way for anyone to dress? Do you honestly want your daughters to be giving this message to anyone?

  22. Thank you so much for your post. It is always hard to have someone point out our areas of weakness, and even harder to then follow through and examine ourselves and our behaviors. I applaud you for taking the advice to heart and finding what it meant to you in your relationship with God.
    I do have to say that although I think this woman did approach you in an appropriate way, I am very dissappointed that her attitude toward you later was to ignore you/not engage you. What a missed opportunity for her to engage as a mentor. Instead it seems as if she chose to hold you in judgement, which is definitely not Biblical love.
    Thank you again for reminding us that something as simple as our clothing can have an impact on our and others relationship with God.

    • Teresa, this is exactly what I was thinking. What a shame that she didn’t react to this situation with the same grace that you did, Courtney. She had an opportunity to walk along side of you and encourage, but instead, she acted as so many do, and shunned you instead.

      There are so many women who wear tiny little straps with bare shoulders, in church. It gets really frustrating as I sit behind someone, who is scantily dressed, and think about the men that have to try and focus.

      • Lots of ‘judging’ the woman who confronted. But do any of you know WHY she did not try to befriend? If not, then dont get bent out of shape. There could be many reasons that are valid. And she was not unkind or backstabbing etc.. So why rip her apart?

  23. Thanks for sharing this. Modesty is so important and in my opinion not taken seriously enough in churches today. Men are visual. It is the way they are made. It is not a self control issue when they look over and are staring at someone’s chest bc her shirt is low cut or hanging open. Or, if they happen to notice 3/4′s of a a gals thigh bc her skirt is way too short. It will tempt them to look again. Most will not, but it is still an unfair temptation. Something that can cause them to stumble. Something that can be avoided.
    Courtney,
    You always look cute and modest in the pictures I have seen. So it can be done:) Thanks for all you do!

  24. I appreciate your email and as a leader of the church I think it is great that you feel the need for modesty. I do believe that church isnt about what you wear and if I can get a young girl into church wearing less than modest clothes, it is OK and even more a blessing. She is hearing the message. If people feel they have to look or dress a certain way to attend church , they may just chose to sleep in and not attend.

  25. I so appreciate your heart on this. We need to confront some teen girls on Sunday. It falls to me because I teach them. I definitely going to tell them that I don’t think their intentionally trying to tempt anyone (although with teenage girls you never know.)

    I’ve been definitely guilty about my children adjusting my clothes so that they become immodest. Luckily the only woman who has ever mentioned anything to me was my mother : )

  26. Great Post! Thanks for your honesty and humility!

  27. Hi Courtney,

    Thanks for your post. I do think modesty is very important. Just wanted to add these thoughts….

    Accountability and calling each other “on the carpet” is extremely important in the Christian walk. If we find ourselves in a position where we need to speak to another sister in Christ about an uncomfortable issue, first pray it through until peace and love prevail. Go into the situation with the mind and heart of Christ. Our hearts need to be filled with love and consideration for the other person with no hint of self-righteousness or any other negative spirit before confronting anyone about anything, even if it means waiting for God to accomplish His work in our own hearts first. I so appreciate the people in my life who have confronted me about things in a spirit of love. Love is a powerful thing. Hope this makes sense. :-)

    Blessings! Kay

  28. Jennifer says:

    I totally understand and agree with the underlying point of modesty in this post, but-and I really don’t want this to come across as rude or disrespectful, do you really think that toes showing or even shoulders showing is immodest??

    • No I disagreed with her on the point of the shoes – I so I went in and added that to the post – thanks for mentioning this :)
      Courtney

      • I think “modesty’ as far as the shoes go is really extreme. Even Jesus wore sandals! I live in a place where there are thousands of Muslims. The “shoe modesty” idea for Christian women makes me think of them. Some of the Muslim women here cover themselves so completely, that literally the ONLY thing that you can see through their clothing is eyes through the slits in their black face covering. I mean, there’s not even a person left to see, just a walking pile of clothes! Should Christian women do that too?

    • we have been dealing a lot with this area and teens in our church. A guide line I have offered them is – ‘if you are old For Jennifer, I also think the shoes part was a little over the top but there are fine lines I think with the whole shoulder thing. Sometimes I think sleeveless dresses look fine but I personally do not like to see women dressed in halter top and camisole like looking shirts. If you have a Christian husband ask his opinion to see how he feels when she sees other women dress like this. That might help

      • MWooding says:

        one of the youth ministers I heard speak had a good rule of thumb for this. He’s a fairly big guy… and he told the girls that if it was something they wouldn’t want to see him wear that they shouldn’t either. ;)

    • Jennifer says:

      I’m wondering about the toes/shoulders thing myself… I live in South Florida so I almost always wear sandals to church & tanks or sleeveless tops in the hotter months(which is about 3/4 of the year) on the weekdays like the majority of the other women. I wonder what she’d think of our churches!!

      • Jennifer, I wondering myself about toes / shoulders. And as for the lady that called her on the immodesty issue and then pretends not to know her.. Was she really coming from the right place? My guess is, that she wasn’t.. I know it is so easy to direct the attention away from your own problem and issues by coming across all spiritually concerned. It is not always as it appears to be. Sorry…I would have to say that there are other reasons/issues for her to confront and it is a little more personal… Otherwise, I feel she could have at least said Hello in the hallways…
        All this talk about misleading the men…I think we all enable them by making excuses for them.. Why doesn’t someone confront them and call them on the carpet instead of making excuses for them. They are the ones that have a problem not the gal that is wearing open toe shoes.. Seriously that is the craziest thing I ever heard. It’s like the one gal said she never dressed like that and she was still sexually abused… Met a gal who shared her story, when she was just an inoccent little girl playing the piano and she was sexually molested by a church member. She was not dressed immodestly.. So was it the music? I attended a church where the women were hand picked to sit in the front row…And those that were allowed to sit there were woman who wore these baggy non form fitting dresses almost to the floor and long sleeves in the hot summer, … To find out later the Pastor had a major lust problem.. And they were trying to protect him because I guess, he could not help himself. Was that going to fix him? Heck No! I am just saying the poor women and young girls carry a lot of guilt and shame because of the sexual abuse and reading this I have to say my heart goes out to them, because some of the comments made,” guys can’t help themselves and it is the women’s responsibility”. Sounds like an excuse for the men to just stay the way they are because they cannot help themselves. Sorry, I do not agree with that. I do not think that you should walk around scantly dressed either. But, I do not think that women need to walk around in closed toes shoes… Really??? You could wear the baggiest clothes and cover from head to toe.. It will not stop a man from ogling a women… Don’t think so… But I have to say, Not all men are oglers. But I think they may have been raised to be gentlemen and maybe they have faced there issues.. I don’t know. But if my open toe shoes bother a man.. Ooo well It is not my problem it is his.. Sorry for not being more gracious about this subject.

      • NMLokaichuk says:

        I live in a very cold climate. I also attend a very conservative church. The majority of women at church think that wearing slacks is a sin. But let me tell you, it’s a big temptation when the weather is -30! So there have been Sundays that I have skipped church, because even in two pairs of wool tights and long johns, the cold is just too overwhelming to walk to church. Is this modesty?

  29. Glad you shared this Courtney! Your response was so gracious.

  30. I love your heart, your honesty and humbleness. You encouraged me today!

  31. Kelly K. says:

    I’ll give you credit! You handled it far better than I would have. Although I’m an overweight woman with large breasts so I always am covered up and dress conservatively. It’s a shame she never fostered a friendship with you! I’d love to have you for a friend! Thanks for sharing this anecdote with us! Have a blessed day!

  32. When I first saw the title of your post, I wondered what I might read-a defensive stance or submission? I can relate to this post well. I’ve not been called on anything by anyone but my husband who lets me know quickly if my dress is too short or my shirt is too low. Our preacher is good to comment on modesty during sermons at times, and it reminds me to check my clothing and what I’m wearing. You are so right about becoming a mother, especially a young mother. I often find it hard to wear skirts or dresses unless they are well past my knees. It’s very embarrassing when your children are wriggling in your lap and your dress is pulled up to your thigh or you can’t keep them from lifting it up. Your body changes after children, and clothing seems to fit shorter and tighter. I would hate to be a woman who caused another man sin unintentionally or intentionally for that matter.

  33. Thank you for a wonderful reminder about our clothing. Your post is so well written and so inspiring. Thank you!

  34. Courtney, thank you for your post. I am a little amazed at the deacon’s wife that called you though- honestly to say those things and then not have any contact again? Yikes! I find that to be the lesson more than showing my shoulders and toes at church. If my shoulders and painted toes are a distraction to the other men in church- well then we have much deeper issues. It disappoints me when we do “the Christian responsibility” of going to another person and correcting them but we don’t make an effort to get to know them after– we have the judgement and correction thing downpat, it’s the love and grace thing we need to work on. I pray that this particiular woman will have a Godly woman come into her life and politely teach her that lesson. You are cute as a bug and the Lord loves your shoulders and your painted toe nails and he loves your desire to please Him and bring Him glory. Have a Blessed day!

  35. What a great post. It think it’s so beautiful that you took it as Godly correction and let it produce fruit in your life rather than bitterness! At first part of me thought that the other deacon’s wife could have handled it better, but then I thought of how terribly awkward she probably felt too and she probably did the best she could–although I’m sorry that you weren’t able to be friend afterwards. My heart goes out to both of you because there’s no way that was a fun conversation on EITHER side.

    While I do find modesty to be very complicated, our church home and family has definitely affected my views, my wardrobe, and the way we’re raising our daughter on this issue over the last 3 years. When we first started going there, I confided to a friend that I felt like I didn’t fit in because the women all dressed differently (mostly skirts, etc.) and I wanted to buy some new clothes. She told me that I should find a church that accepted me for who I am, not that judged me and made me feel like I had to change. I pondered that for a long time. But that’s one of the lies of the world–that we’re somehow perfect just the way we are and everyone should take us just the way we are. The Lord loves us the way we are, but he only “takes” us when we’ve confessed and been washed clean from sin. I wasn’t being judged, I was being convicted by my own Holy Spirit and the Godly examples before me. FEELING judged is not the same as BEING judged. Just some other thoughts…

    • But that’s one of the lies of the world–that we’re somehow perfect just the way we are and everyone should take us just the way we are.

      Thank you! That is a major problem now. No one wants to see their faults, do what feels good as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone……everywhere you look immodesty is shoved in our faces like it’s fine. I personally don’t feel comfortable going to church in anything but a dress or skirt thanks to my mothers teaching.

    • valerie says:

      Jamie, A-MEN! That IS one of the lies of the enemy – that we are all perfect and everyone should just accept everything about us no matter what it is, or else they’re being “judgemental”. NO. As followers of Jesus Christ, we ARE called to a higher standard, and we are exhorted in scripture to hold each other accountable. That does NOT mean that if we can’t afford expensive clothes, we’re not giving Christ our best. What it means is God created men to be visually-oriented beings, and Paul firmly instructs in scripture that we are not to cause another Christian to stumble! ” Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.”" Luke 17:1

      We as women are not responsible for what men think, but we ARE responsible for our own part in guiding the direction of those thoughts! Ladies! If we are feeling defensive or “judged” about our dress, as Jamie said, maybe what we’re feeling is the conviction of the Holy Spirit and not the “judgement” of people.

      Two more thoughts:
      1) This is not an issue of wearing jeans to church versus “dressing up”….it’s an issue of being modest no matter what you wear.
      2) We are also not talking here about having a “dress code” so that unbelievers feel too uncomfortable to come to church. We are talking about CHRISTIAN women taking the initiative to walk a higher road and support their brothers in Christ by HELPING them not to stumble in their walk.

      • Dana T. says:

        Fabulous response!

      • Lynette says:

        Very sensible reply! As Christian women we DO have a responsibility to dress modestly because it does have such a great visual impact on our brothers in Christ.
        My dad used a good analogy on this topic many years ago…”if you dress like a cheeseburger you’re gonna get eaten” . Don’t advertise something on the outside if you claim to be something different on the inside, that makes you guilty of deception.

  36. I commend you, Courtney, for taking what the women had to say in the right spirit, and I am praying that the sister that delivered that message to you reads this post today and realizes that you desired her friendship and, after all these years, offers it to you. Thanks for sharing! This was an awesome post with an awesome outcome! Have a blessed day! :)

  37. Very nice article Courtney! Thank you for sharing this experience. Actually, I really like when you mentioned Matthew 18:15-20 because I am always this “too-scared-to-offend-someone” girl (because I always have this high-pitch tone that is usually misinterpreted as offensive) thus I usually ask my pastor to talk to the person I have concern with instead of confronting the person.
    With regards to clothing, somehow this article had given me additional back-up on sticking to the one-piece swim wear or tank top & boyshorts set instead of a 2-piece bikini that my friends encourages me to wear every summer. They usually say I am not maximizing the body I have (thin but more like a stick for me hahaha) by flaunting it in bikinis. I might be known to be the conservative/odd type in the summer pictures but I am at peace that somehow I am not enticing men to think things they shouldn’t be thinking.

    Have a wonderful and fruitful day!

  38. Awesome post, Courtney. I wish every woman would read this and RECEIVE this!

  39. Thank you for sharing this post! It brought back a memory from my college days. My two accountability partners lovingly confronted me about my clothing choices. I was so mad at them! But after I had time to cool down, I remembered that they loved me and prayed for me, and it must have been hard for them to confront me. I took their words to heart and changed my clothing choices. I am so thankful for those who tell us the truth in love. Blessings.

  40. Courtney, I am so blessed by your transparency and humility. Although our clothing choices are often innocent mistakes, it would be so terrible to cause a brother to stumble. Plus, if our husbands recognize that we are saving our full beauty just for our private times with him, he will feel even more cherished and set apart.

  41. Elisabeth says:

    Thanks for the great post on modesty!! So many in our Christian circles seem to think it’s ok to dress however one wants and condemn those who speak out on modesty!! Of course there is a right & wrong way to do it and unfortunately a lot of times it is done in the wrong way!

  42. Thank you so much for posting this. It is an important topic that I feel we must start addressing in our churches.

    My husband is a Christian man who struggles, like many, with lust. A few years ago we chose to leave the church we loved so much because he became attracted to a woman who continually dressed immodest. It became such a distraction he said he could not focus on God during worship. Sadly, that caused me to become distracted and has caused me to be hurt and insecure about myself as a woman.

    Fortunately for us, the offender and her family have moved onto another church and we have been able to return to our church home. We are blessed to have a Celebrate Recovery Program at our church to help overcome the strongholds and hurts we have in our life and marriage.

    Please ladies be aware of the stumbling blocks that can cause other brothers and sisters in Christ to fall.

    True beauty is not on the outside—–it lies within the heart. God bless you!

    • I am so sorry for your hurt. I am sure that would be VERY difficult to handle. How wonderful that your church has a ministry set up to help people in this way.
      Many women write to me saying that their husbands expect them (and daughters) to dress modestly; and yet, over time, the husband’s desire for the wife begins to wane and his eyes are glued to the “offenders”. I have no answer for these women because the issue perplexes me as well. Although, I think the answer lies in keeping focused on Christ in marriage and remaining very affectionate, supportive, and attentive to our husbands so that their eyes will not be so quick to wander. (?)

    • Stephanie says:

      Ehh…there needs to be some personal responsibility here on behalf of your husband. His decision to be distracted was his alone. If clothing is all it took for him to become fascinated with her there was something there before…

  43. Thank you so much for such honesty. My husband is recovering from pornography addiction, and through his struggles I have learned not to become a temptation to other men around me through what I wear. I wish all women REALLY understood how much of an influence we women truly have on men and their thoughts and actions – just by what we choose to wear. We have so much more of an influence on the world than we realize.

  44. Very gracious of you to write this! Don’t believe the other woman’s motives were pure though! :)
    Glad you kept the shoes!

  45. Thanks for this post Courtney. I struggle with finding the balance. Fear of immodesty pushed me to the other extreme of dressing downright frumpy. I often wore clothes super baggy or just ended up wearing jeans and t-shits. All the time. Even to church. God started working in my heart to dress up a bit more. (A gal pal of mine pointed out that if you were going to visit the queen of England you wouldn’t wear jeans so why do I do it to go visit the King of Kings on Sunday?) Now, I’m not saying you have to dress up to go to church for each congregation is different! It’s just what I’ve been working toward personally.

    • Hi Sarah! I struggle with that too especially having had my second child! I was so upset my old clothes didn’t fit and after an unsuccesful shopping trip i was close to ging up jeans for good! LOL

      I kept on praying as before i had children i dressed well and modest so was desperate to find the balance and my sister gave me some clothes and they all fit me well and are stylish. :D That alone gave me the confidence i needed to break the rut i was in.

      How about clothes swapping with friends or going to a thrift store and focusing on getting a nice jacket or shoes?
      The key is focusing on one thing and doing it well like accessories,jacket,shoes etc… that way you spend where it really matters.

      Building a good wardrobe takes a while but happens over time. Keep praying as God is faithful and will help you,God surely helped me. :) The key is confidence if you’re happy with what your wearing it will show.

  46. Blessing on you for sharing this candid post. In Sunday morning worship this past week, I was highly distracted during worship by all the SKIN being exposed all over the sanctuary. I was also distracted by the thought my husband might also be distracted. We are not hearing nearly enough from our pulpits the importance of modesty and purity. I thank you that you and other women are working to get this message out there.

    • Thank you SO much for this very candid message. As a pastor’s wife, there have been times when I, too,have had to confront……that is not my nature and NEVER easy. However, my main concern is for those that are in leadership roles….they need to set the example of modesty. It is so very very important for the young people of this age. Again, thank you so much!

  47. Carissa says:

    Courtney–

    It was brave of that woman to call you, and it was brave of you to share! God works in such great ways!

    One small thing I would mention–it isn’t only YOUNG mothers who need to check their clothes differently. I am an OLDER mother of a 3 year old boy (I am 43). I do not have the right body type for the cute clothes, and I have kinda gotten over the whole short, tight, low cut thing. BUT, I have had issues with something once in awhile because of how my son might pull on it, or how it looks when bending down. Mothers of young children of any age can easily make those kinds of errors!! :)

    Many blessings!

    Carissa in eastern Iowa

  48. Wow! You looked great for just having a baby! This was a great article and I appreciate you sharing this experience. Most of us are guilty of this especially if we are not taught at a young age about modesty. I am speaking from experience myself! It is part of the maturing (spiritually) process. I just wanted to share that I remember someone saying, woman should dress the way they would want other woman to dress around their own husband. That has stuck with me because I thought it was a powerful statement.
    God Bless and May the Lord continue to bless you as you Serve Him!

  49. I’m a mom of a young man and really appreciate your sharing this.

    I will never forget the day my son came to me sobbing after a church service and said, “Mom, I don’t know where to look when we’re in church?”

    And we go to a very conservative church. Sad commentary when a young man can’t attend church without being tempted.

  50. My husband and I were invited to a couple from church’s home for dinner. This was the first invitation to dinner at a home of someone in church in years. That night my girlfriend and my hubby had a heated discussion about modesty that really went no where and solved nothing. I mostly stayed out of it because I have a hard time expressing my views and the discussion was getting loud, so I didn’t say much. I have always dressed modestly, I was raised that way, and I have a hard time defending my position. I am going to be really digging into the Bible about this and want to have a ready answer and scripture for my friend to back up my beliefs. Not just my opinion. If anyone has any scripture to share that would help me get a start, that would be appreciated.

  51. Gretchen says:

    Thank you for this article Courtney. I’m a young woman trying to wear different clothes that are modest looking. It’s not always been easy. Some days I wish I could just wear short dresses outside (I used to) but ever since my walk has become closer with God and I’ve learned how men’s brains tend to be wired I cannot do it anymore in good conscience. God has definitely been at work.
    Can I get advice from other women here about dresses that are strapless or show your shoulders? I’m leaning towards not wearing them but need some advice. What do others think of tank tops? (not spaghetti strap) I would appreciate any advice.
    Thanks again Courtney!

    • If I have a something strapless, spaghetti strapped, or tank, I now always wear a cardigan over it to church. As you said – my conscience just does not allow me to wear them anymore.

    • As a curvy woman, I will only wear layered tank tops over a minimizer sports bra to exercise, and these are not tight tanks. Just 1 tank and I feel so exposed. The thickness of 2 keeps the shirts from being too snug. I usually wear a t-shirt to exercise but the tanks don’t flop open at the top and bottom during yoga. Fortunately, men are not often in our yoga class… I keep an assortment of tanks to wear under sleeveless dresses and always sew my button up shirts up the front so there will be no gaps. You have to be extra careful if you have a large chest, as clothing that looks adorable on my tiny sister-in-law makes me look like I’m working the streets for the night… I also buy board shorts and swim shirts for swimming, with a sports bra underneath, and buy the same for my children. If I would be embarrassed to wear a mini skirt to worship, shouldn’t it also be embarrassing to wear the equivalent of underwear in public to the beach or swim? While we must dress appropriately for the situation (ie dress up when the situation is more formal, wear active clothes for active situations), we always must keep in mind God’s standards. That means when in weddings and at the beach too! Here are some verses to consider about modesty: Some men have eyes full of adultery (II Pt 2:14), but we Christian women must concern ourselves with helping our fellow Christians with their spiritual walk, not tempting good men whose eyes are not full of lust (Gal 5:13-14; 6:2). Luke 17:1-2 is especially poignant, “Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.” A few verses later Jesus said, “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.” The details of modesty can be cleared up by a good man (a dad or brother?) as to what tempts men. I recently heard a terrific sermon where the preacher had been seated next to a call woman during an airplane trip. He questioned her about her way of making a living and she gave him a list of her tricks of her trade of being tempting for men. She said there are ways to draw attention to the most tempting parts of your body: reveal it, conceal it and reveal everything else, reveal just a little of it, cover it tightly, cover it thinly. The preacher was very honest and said cleavage and thighs are tempting to men, as are the outline of our bodies as seen through tight clothing, and being able to see the bra through the clothing (thin white shirts, etc…). I appreciated that sermon and took notes!

      • Tiffany says:

        I only wear nude color bras now, that closely match my skin tone. The closer your bra color is to your skin tone, the less you can see it under other colors, especially white. When I was young I was taught that my bra color should match my shirt color, but I used to think my white bras were like NEON under my clothes. Now that I wear the fleshy colored ones, I can’t see them at all under my shirts!

    • A lightweight short sleeved shirt under strapless can be cute. Otherwise, there are lots of nice things that are not strapless :)

      One thing I see popular are the shirts that grip around the breasts even though there is plenty of cloth it still yells..look at my breasts,lol

  52. God bless you for being humble enough to receive her admonition. One of the signs of a true friend is that they are willing to admonish our sinfulness and wrong-doing. You are blessed in that you love the Lord enough that you were able to hear and receive HIS voice through the woman on the other end of the phone. Thank you for being, yet again, humble enough to share your story and set such a good example for those who will read it; some of whom, may really need its message. Many people laugh because my husband insists that all females in our home wear close-toed shoes and panty hose to Mass. It is not that he finds sandals immodest (it is more the bear leg part) but he does find them too casual and sandals usually leads to bear legs; which he believes to be a huge distraction to most men/boys during worship. My girls and I have learned to hear God’s voice through my wise, concerned, and loving spouse and we trust in his wisdom. You were convicted that day but you’ve gone a step further…you are taking what you learned and sharing it with others. That is awesome. God bless you for it!

  53. its not just the young girls. Thanks for the refresher. ALL of us should review our wardrobe choices now and then. Casual has become mainstream for church attendance and I love that, however, that has sometimes led me to put the wrong thing on for worship service and not realize it until its time to “we stand and lift up our hands….”.
    Great post …sweeeeeeeet!

    • This made me laugh: “…that has sometimes led me to put the wrong thing on for worship service and not realize it until its time to “we stand and lift up our hands….”.

      LOL!

  54. Thanks for posting this, so many women in the church are dressing in a way that does not glorify God. And not only showing to much skin as a problem, there are times when I want to go to the young women and tell them that just because they are covering up does not make it modest. To tight clothing can be just as revealing. Thank you again for being honest and sharing your heart.

  55. janet fuller says:

    You have set a Godly example by your response to the deacon’s wife. I too have been an elder’s wife and we are “looked” at by others as examples. Some people can go overboard with their criticism but you are soooooooooo wise to seek God and HE will reveal, through HIS word, the way we should dress and etc. I do question the shoe response. I am 65 years old and have gone through different types of dress down through generations. It does seems that it is harder to find appropriate dresses and other apparel. Thank you for honoring God.

  56. Thank you for your post. I do try to do the dressing test when I buy things, but sometimes don’t think about sleeveless or v necks being distracting to others. I totally agree with you and thank you for bringing this to my attention. Confronting someone and or being the confrontee can be uncomfortable. You handled it with grace and took a look and did what you could to improve yourself. This could certainly be in other aspects of your life; job, financing, child care for a few. Before getting angry and lashing back which is instinctive, take a step back and listen and learn. God bless and keep the good info coming!

  57. This is the honest truth, i my self do follow ur steps of buying and dressing. I teach my girls the same is incouraging to hear ir from someone else, if we dress prudently to go infront of a judge and honor his wisdom and power. The lord deserves much much more; therefore we need to dress properly and to pleasse God. I enjoy ur posts and are very helpfull to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. thank you

    I heard the other day a woman preach against us woman getting pretty for our husbands with makeup and so on/ she mention she is beautyfull naturally and she dont need to get pretty to keep her husband happy. And mention who ever do this is going to hell. I dont agree. (the lord was using her man god was really using her) how come this comment showd up .

    reply thank you omg , im wondering how god felt . is this really a truth.

  58. You really can’t know how cute and convicting this is for a young girl like me ;) Thank you so much for being real! And for motivating girls to dress for God’s glory! Your blog is a continual stream of water. <3
    -Joanna

  59. I like the article but I wonder about the husband. He is the leader of the family, he should have counseled her before she walked out the door! The confrontation lady should have discussed this with her husband, then he should have talked to the Courtney´s husband who then should have discussed this with her. If the confrontation lady was not married she should have gone to the pastor.

    How many churches have had fighting among themselves because woman went to each other instead of allowing the leadership of the church handle issues.

    This ended well because the Courtney took the confrontation well, if she would have gone to a friend and complained about the busy body lady and not handled it right it would have been a mess!!
    I have seen church splits for less!!

    The Courtney has a heart for God and she grew in the situation. Thank the Lord her her soft heart!

    • Older women are to teach the younger women in these areas. This Biblical teaching does not involve the husbands OR the pastor!

      • Jennifer says:

        I agree with Ginger. The lady was right going to her personally. If the person being confronted would not have handle being personally confronted then she definitely would not handle someone’s husband going to her husband or pastor.

        Courtney took it gracefully. I was once handed a book of modestly from another missionary lady. When I realized what it was about I examined what I was wearing and had no idea why she gave it to me. I was dress modestly. I read the book and found she thought I should dress like the Amish! So sometimes the issue is not with you but with the person’s personal convictions.

      • Right. Matthew 18 (the passage Courtney referenced) also applies.

  60. Christy Hammond says:

    I am so impressed with how well you handled the situation. I would have cried to lol I would have addressed the situation differently . When handling a situation, especially with someone you hardly know, it shouldn’t be a phone call. It should be face to face where you can read facial expressions etc. I dislike clothes that show my “goods” and I am a young mother. Young, midage, or old yes i said OLD put it away. Our children, women, and men are there to worship. Often church becomes an event where people often think its a dressup party and it’s misleading. (i could go on) We need to dress modestly; men as well, children and women. We need to teach our children to sit like ladies as well, or put shorts or leggings under their dresses. I think that this post was great to read and more people need to hear it. How bold and honest of you to share your story . Thank you for sharing, I get so much from your blogs!!

  61. Thank you for this post. I have been on both ends of the modesty issue. I have been confronted and I have been the confronter. I would like to add to the “don’t go to the pastor” point….”don’t go to the pastor’s wife either.” Why does the pastor’s wife get to be the “hall monitor” for the church? If a person notices an indescretion one should assume it is done in innocence and that person should go to the girl or woman and gently let her know. It will be obvious later on if it is intentional or not. ( I have had ladies continue to dress in immodest way after being asked to be more modest over and over again…..But Jesus can deal with them or it can then be taken to the pastor or elders.) It’s also not just the “new mom’s” who need to be careful. It’s all of us. Young, teen, new mom’s, middle aged women, and older women….we can all benefit from gentle reminders every now and then.

  62. Courtney, you strike a chord with this post.
    As a 26yr old man, I wrestle with this “confrontation” issue in my own relationship with my girlfriend. Today marks 1 year that we have been dating and I plan to be engaged within a month. Her heart truly desires to be Godly and she accepts her “duties at home” without complaining. But she grew up in a home (and culture) where modesty was not emphasized. Even though she came from a Christian home, her own brother and father never mentioned how a women’s clothes can affect (or distract) a man’s focus. It’s a real challenge to bring this topic up to someone you love.
    As a man, I feel totally inadequate in discussing this topic with her, specially since I’ve used poor wording in the past and left her feeling unvalued and dirty, instead of edified and beautiful. Ladies: please rethink your wardrobe so that we men won’t have to bring it up. It’s an awkward, difficult conversation to have, or – as is my case – to keep having.

    In case other men are reading these comments and dealing with the same subject, here’s what I’ve found to help in “having the conversation” about modesty:
    (1). Assure her of your love first. Don’t allow the conversation to have ANY traces (even imagined traces) of a tone that makes her think you’re saying “Change how you dress or I’ll stop liking you”.
    (2). Enfasize that she is beautiful. We men can make the mistake of coming across so strongly on this issue, that she may come away feeling as if we viewed them as a woman of the world, leaving her feeling dirty and unvalued. You’re talking to a Christian, converted sweetheart, not a woman of the streets. So go easy. Don’t let your conversation have a tone of: “You dress in a way that REVOLTs me – so cover up.” Instead: “You are beautiful no matter what you wear – and I have a hard time keeping my eyes off you. Would you help me by etc…”
    (3) It takes time! My sweetheart is much more aware of how she dresses now than 10 months ago, even though our first conversation on this topic was over a year ago. At times, we men expect results too quickly. She can’t afford to buy a whole new wardrobe now. Give her time.
    (4). Compliment the things you DO like. When she wears something that strikes you as modest, make sure you appreciate it. Voice your appreciation. If you only bring up this conversation every time you have something to criticize, you’re being a jerk. I know because I’m a jerk too. I’m learning to compliment her.
    (5). Be specific. Don’t talk in too broad of terms. I used to approach the modesty topic using very broad terms and being very general. And then I was surprised when she continued to wear specific outfits I deemed immodesty, though I never told her I found those specific outfits immodest. How dull of me. This was even after she told me: “I need you to tell me which outfits in particular offend you…”. I’ve had better results cutting to the chase and being specific: “You know that blue blouse with the white dots? Etc…”
    (7). Keep the conversation short. Don’t deliver a monologue every time. Short & sweet. Tell her how you feel as a man about that specific clothing (or style), and leave it at that. Don’t end the conversation with a command. (“So, don’t ever wear that again.”) Be honest about how it effects you as a man and if she truly has your best interest in mind (she will), than she’ll come to conclusions on her own. She’ll decide what to wear and what to throw away.
    (8). Don’t expect her to understand how we men think. Not even we men understand. Just explain to the best of your ability and keep loving her in Christ.
    (9). Pray about the subject. SPECIFICALLY. My Dad asked me, “Why are you always trying to change her faults?” That helped me wake up. Instead of speaking up about every fault you see, try praying up every fault. It has had amazing results. When I least expected it, my sweetheart would change an outfit without my ever saying a word. The Lord touched her heart and I said nothing. Saves me the stress of having the conversation altogether.

    Over the course of a year, I’ve learned these tips the hard way. (Yes, that includes being a dolt and making her cry…). So I’d be curious to hear from other women: how would you appreciate your husband to bring up the modesty subject? What tips would you suggest?

    • Roberta says:

      @Daniel: occasionally my husband will say, with a wink or a smile, “That’s for me to look at.” Gets the point across, makes me feel valued, lets me know I am beautiful, and I know to add somemodesty to what I’ve got so far…

      • Funny, hehe. Mine will usually say something like “wow, you look GOOD in that” and that lets me know that he would prefer others not to see me in it.

    • NMLokaichuk says:

      Your father is obviously a wise man.

  63. MissDoyle says:

    It sounds as if her husband looked over at you and it caused her to be jealous.

  64. Megan G. says:

    Wow! A lot of comments right away!

    I am struggling with this right now. I don’t wear short things, but a lot of my tops are sort of borderline low cut. And I have 3 little kids, so I’m always bending over to pick someone up or put the baby in her carseat. I’m also nursing, so none of my bras fit like I’d like them to or are as supportive as I would normally wear when I’m not nursing. I try to be conscious of always putting my hand at my neckline when I bend over, but it’s hard to know for sure that that’s being done 100%.

    I haven’t really figured out yet how to be pretty/sexy/feminine for my husband and modest for everyone else. I also don’t have any budget right this minute for new clothes, and I’m in the process of losing baby weight…so it feels a little hopeless right this minute!

    I am also a deacon’s wife and need to figure it our STAT! :)

  65. Wow! It’s nice to have feed back from other christian ladies n to be held accountable but I think she was dealing with some pride herself. Praises to you recieving it in the right spirit as well. Looking at the picture I personal didn’t find your dress offesive, if fact your shoulders were fine. You were a young mother your dress accordingly to your age. Now, you said when yoou bent over it was short ok, you struggled with some pride..live n learn..maybe at that time God was trying to speak to you n you avoided so he sent this women; but I believe she was alittle harsh. I’d be interesting to know how old this women was and if she herself stuggled with pride n jealousy…Courtney your just too cute girl! And with this women critical spirit she wanted you subdued….My rule for myself is I do a God check, then my husband n if I need to go further my close friends…( but if I go to my friends I obvious don’t like the first two answers n I’m trying to reason at that point.) We can’t control how people see us, we can’t make everyone happy. But we can try our best to bring glory n honor to God n tht alone will filter to our families.

  66. 100% behind you on this topic. Modest IS hottest.

  67. Blessed Mama says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this Courtney!

    Modesty is so important! It is sad that so many Christian women are lacking modesty (and honestly many new Christians- like when I was one when I was 18- didn’t really know my clothes were immodest). However, there is such a lacking of teaching on this subject- that Christian women can go years or decades without ever being convicted of modesty or learning of its importance! It was nice of this lady to talk to you- that I am sure was very hard to do too.

    It is also important for us Christian moms to teach our girls about modesty from a young age. Both of my girls only 4 and 6 have been trained in modesty from the time they were toddlers. They could tell you quite easily which clothing and clothing isn’t modest. They also haven’t been allowed to wear immodest swimsuits. I have been able to find them swim shorts and swim shirts at Walmart or Target for around $10. They know that skirts and dresses and shorts need to come to the knee at a minimum. They also know that we wear shortsleeve shirts. Tank tops are saved as undershirts or bedtime shirts- not shirts to be wearing in public. I am quite thankful bermuda shorts have come back into popularity- cause me and my girls love wearing them. They are long and come close to the knee! My girls also know if they wear a dress or a skirt- they are always to wear shorts underneath- a small little pair. My mom had this rule when she had a daycare, so the girls weren’t showing off their underwear. And now I have this rule for my girls. It is easy to dress fashionable and modest.

    And for ladies shirts- it seems they make them so low cut nowadays- I wear white tank tops under all of my tops! I have 7 white tank tops for each day of the week, just to be on the safe side of my shirts being modest. I don’t feel comfortable having my upperchest showing off- shirts should come up higher. I also found a nice modest swimsuit for myself. Swimshorts that I found at the thrift store for $1, and a swim shirt on Amazon.com that I got for $20 or $30. Then I wear one of my old two piece swimsuits underneath for a bra and underwear, which works great. The shorts are a little shorter than I normally wear, but it is better than a one piece or bikini swimsuit.

    Thank you again for addressing this important topic! May God Bless You!

    • May I ask where you get your tank tops? I wear tank tops under all of my shirts, and lately I am having trouble finding modest tanks. I used to buy them at the Motherhood Maternity store, because theirs used to be modest, high neck line, wide straps and high under the arm, but now they are low cut with skinny straps, so my bra straps are actually wider than the straps on the tank. I am looking for modest, but not frumpy tank tops. And hopefully affordable, too.

      • Jennifer:

        I haven’t purchased anything from The Modest Mom, but I think the shells she sells might be along the lines of what you are looking for. http://www.themodestmom.com/ (click on the “shop” tab.)

      • Hope you don’t mind me poking in here. I too cannot find tank tops that are modest….most are scoop neck. So, what I do is purchase boys extra large A tanks, that come in a package of 4 or 5. I snip the stiches out at the top of each shoulder, cut about 1.5 inches off, then stitch them back up. Viola! Now I have modest tank tops!

  68. I am so thankful to the Lord for your blog. This was very convicting and I love how God seems to use you! I am very into fashion and sometimes don’t think like that. I guess I am, at times, oblivious. I also have a 4 year old and almost 2 year old. I did, however, get ride of any short shorts this summer and my hubby bought me bermuda shorts and capris. My husband always reminds me of this but sometimes I think its because he is a guy and doesn’t understand fashion but it was a blessing to hear it from another woman!

  69. Great article and good topic! A little surprised you showed the outfit = )

    I know you probably didn’t mean it that way, but teeny boppers and young people should be modest as well! = )
    It just sort of sounded like you ‘had’ to be modest because you were a grown woman or deacons wife.

    • Megan G. says:

      Of course we should all strive to be modest, but I do think women in the ministry should be held to a higher level of accountability, since people are looking to them to be an example.

      • NMLokaichuk says:

        Um. Be careful about that. For some reason people think that church leaders’ families are supposed to be ideal. Hate to burst your bubble, but they’re people too. It’s nice if they can set an example, we do tend to try to put people on pedestals- and that’s a sin. And incidentally, after growing up as the daughter of a missionary pastor, my first panic attacks were specifically church related.
        Actually, I think it is very sad that modern Christianity puts so much stock in a pretty picture. It makes it very hard for people when they have problems- and we all have problems. I’m not saying we should let everything hang loose and put our dirty laundry out to air, but a realistic attitude to life and the trials we all face would help a lot.

  70. Amanda Fuller says:

    Praise the Lord for your boldness to speak on this topic in a world where modesty seems non-existent even in churches. Thank you!

  71. Veronica says:

    Courtney, I loved your article. Thank you.
    I’m not sure if this is an appropriate place to ask a question, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
    I’m 36 years old. I think I do pretty well at dressing modestly.
    My question is about whether or not to dye my hair. I have blackish brown hair and it’s really starting to look salt and pepperish. There’s a lot of money poured into anti-aging and covering gray methods. I want to teach my daughters to dress modestly, but also want them to have a good attitude toward aging. If I dye my hair to cover gray am I teaching them to despise growing older? If I don’t dye it, am I teaching them not to care about their appearance?

    • Veronica – since the Bible does not forbid the dying of hair – I would say that this is an area of freedom and liberty for women (Romans 14). If your conscience forbids you to do it guilt free – don’t do it – if your conscience allows you to do it guilt free – then go forward with peace.

      If you are doing it to be beautiful and are not working on your inner beauty…you will be leading your daughters astray. But if you fear the Lord and walk humbly with him daily – I think your chiildren will know where your true beauty lies.

      • Veronica says:

        Thank you, Courtney. I know the Bible does say “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.” Prov 16:31.
        My husband doesn’t care about it. He thinks I’m beautiful no matter what. I’m thankful for that. It honestly doesn’t bother me that much. I’d rather spend that money on something else.
        My mother definitely thinks I should dye it and has even offered to pay for me to get it dyed. I don’t want to be disrespectful. How would you answer her?
        I truly do want to honor God and I am working on inner beauty. Thank you again.

    • Kristal says:

      I’m not Courtney so you can take my opinion as just a strangers 2 cents, but I wouldn’t think there is anything wrong with dying your hair. There is a difference with caring about our appearance (i.e. cutting/ dying our hair, applying make-up, dressing nicely) and despising getting older (plastic surgery, botox, dressing WAY to young for our ages, etc.). Hopefully that helps, but it should also be a personal conviction. There are many older woman who look simply beautiful with gray hair. But I could understand one wanting to cover it up for awhile too. To me neither is a wrong choice.

      • Veronica says:

        Kristal, thank you. I do appreciate your 2 cents. You made a good point.

        • I dont think it is a big deal either way but wanted to point out that it IS a trap and commitment to dye your hair. It is easier to grow old gracefully than to keep up with the dying needed. Then if you miss it you suddenly look much older. I’d rather just go gradually,lol. Some gals dye too dark too and then they just look even older and silly. Then there are the bad chemicals…

          Youll have to decide for yourself whether it is worth it, but do remember that it is OK to go grey and to get old…you can still have a lovely appearance especially if you smill and are kind :)

  72. Thanks for this post, you seem to have really taken that confrontation with a sweet and Godly spirit! Modesty is so important, and does seem to be falling by the wayside in our churches at times. I do feel, though, that while the confronter may have had good intentions, I disagree that she handled it appropriately. A phone call from the “church police” and then ignoring you afterward seems like the easy and judgmental way out to me, and its amazing that you had such a good attitude about it! :) A kinder and more Christlike way to do it would have been to sit down with you, maybe over coffee or something, to discuss your new role as a deacon’s wife, tactfully explaining any expectations you weren’t aware of, and offering her friendship as a mentor. Just my opinion. :)

  73. Courtney, I so appreciate your openness in sharing your heart. I’m so sorry you had to deal with such a hurtful situation and yet you handled it with grace.

    I have to say that I don’t believe the deacon’s wife should have approached you about the dress you were wearing.

    Honestly, who are any of us (myself included) to decide what’s modest clothing for someone else? And where do we draw the line on all the clothing rules (no pants – only dresses, no tank tops, dresses have to be a certain length,etc.)? We’re judging others and telling them they should dress & live according to our standards (legalism). We’re not called to be the “Holy Spirit” for others – that’s God’s job, not ours. How we dress is between us and God.

    For several years I lived under some very legalistic rules (dress, etc.) and it drove me crazy. Whenever I attended church all I thought about was wondering if my outfit was appropriate and judging others for the way they were dressed; that’s what legalism does – it gets us focusing on the outward.

    I’m so thankful I’m free from all the “rules” and legalism and am able to simply focus on Christ and what He thinks of my heart.

    Please know I’m simply sharing my personal journey and what God has taught me – I do not judge anyone else here for the choices you make – those are between you and God.

    Sharing from my heart to yours…God Bless. <3

    • I know what you mean about being judgmental and legalistic, but I also see that that the Bible says for the older women to teach the younger. If Courtney were, say, drinking heavily or being mean to others, it would also be appropriate for someone, in a kind way, to talk with her about it. The issue of modesty is highly overlooked by many people, and the point of it is primarily not to be prideful and not to unnecessarily entice or tempt other men. If she goes to church or anywhere else and is exposing her body in a sexy way to whomever is around, teen boys, other men, or anyone else, then that can be an obstacle for them. Obviously so many things could be obstacles and those males have a responsibility in themselves to check their own hearts. But still, I think it’s completely appropriate to not UNNECESSARILY place obstacles in their way.

      Personally, I’m very easygoing about many things that other Christians get uptight about, but I think the modesty issue needs to be confronted much more than it is. I think most bathing suits are completely immodest, for example. We’ve come to accept them as normal because we’re used to them, but seriously, if you wouldn’t walk around in your underwear, or naked, in front of the general public, why is it acceptable to walk around in exactly the same way in a bikini? It’s considered weird for men to wear Speedos, so they wear shorts-style trunks. Likewise, I think it would be much more appropriate to wear the tank & shorts type of bathing suit for women. I know people disagree, and that’s fine. It’s my opinion and I’m getting off topic.

  74. Hey Courtney! I hope this is not an inappropriate question, but your post says you had just given birth to your first son. Is that a typo? I thought you had a son and daughter.
    ~Tasha

  75. Excellent post, and I admire your gracious and humble heart! I can imagine the hurt and tears shed as you threw away your outfit. Ouch.

    Some commenters have pointed out their surprise by how some church goers (of all ages) dress, and I think it’s good to remember that we can only hold other Believers to these standards. I’ve been surprised by the way some people dress when they come to church (or go to the grocery store, or pick up kids from school), but then remember that they may not know the Lord and aren’t convicted by the Spirit like we might be. Even at church this happens! The hope is that (at church anyway) they’d catch on and eventually heed to God’s prodding about modesty, but in all areas, we live by different standards than non-Believers do, and can’t hold them to the same. Otherwise, perhaps they won’t even feel welcome at church, and that would be awful.

    I’ve watched a friend at church blossom as a Christian in the last two years, and have watched her wardrobe choices change too. So refreshing! Where she once wore midriff tops to church, she now covers up more and seems more confident in doing so.

    And P.S. — I love that you posted the picture. And I think you’re adorable and not at all inappropriate!

  76. This post comes at the perfect time for me. I am pregnant and starting to outgrow my clothes. I bought some dresses when I first became pregnant, hoping I could use them for the entire summer, forgetting that “the girls” would get bigger at the same time my belly is getting bigger. So while I have gotten a lot of compliments on my dresses, especially at church, they are no longer appropriate for me to wear (and are becoming uncomfortable before they are becoming immodest, because I always wear tank tops under them). So this week I need to buy some more dresses. This post reminds me to do the “tests” before I walk out of the fitting room. I love the idea of maxi dresses for modesty, but I personally have to be careful with long skirts, because I have a tendency to step on my own hem and trip myself. (yes, I am a bit clumsy)

  77. Thank you for sharing this. I didn’t always dress modestly when I was a teen, and if I’m honest about it, I wanted boys to notice me. I enjoyed the attention, even if I didn’t plan to do anything about it. I really believe that the only reason to dress immodestly is either to have men look at you lustfully, or to have women look at you enviously. Either one is wrong. Yes, some people will look at you with lust or envy no matter what you wear, but at least you didn’t have a hand in making that happen.

    I also believe that we need to teach our daughters this from a young age–long before they start to develop. If your 8-year-old is taught why she isn’t allowed to wear a bikini or halter top or whatever, it won’t be an issue when she is 14. I have my 9-year-old daughter continually evaluate her wardrobe to see what has become too short or tight in the past year. She also wears cardigans over spaghetti straps, and tanks under low-cut shirts, and she always looks super cute and stylish. Hopefully when she’s older this way of dressing will be such a habit that she will feel uncomfortable in anything immodest.

    • Tiffany,
      Your two listed reasons why people dress immodestly are right on. I’ve always wondered why immodest clothing was such a temptation…you’ve hit the nail on the head.
      Stephanie

  78. Thank you for speaking out so directly on this subject. I have been dismayed at the number of pro-modesty blogs I’ve read that simply say, “Modesty is all about the heart.” That’s true, but so many women have taken that line as permission to wear immodest clothing with the belief that if their heart tells them they deserve to look great then it must be okay. It was time for someone to stand up and say, “This is what modesty looks like. This is how daughters of the King apply modesty to our everyday lives.” Thank you!

    I’d also like to add that I think many women struggle with the philosophy that “younger is better” and “to dress one’s age is old-fashioned.” It is possible to dress one’s age without looking like Grandma. I have had to dig deep within my own heart and ask myself, “Why? Why do I want to look 10 years younger than I really am?” I suppose the bottom line is vanity and pride. I am 38, so I try to dress “38,” modest, AND super-stylish. It is possible.

  79. I grew up Jewish, and immodesty was never an inssue within the synagogue. It is understood to dress modestly not only when attending the worship service, but also throughout every day living. I began attending church as an adult, and remember being shocked by seeing women in sleeveless dresses. If I thought that was immodest, then I wasn’t prepared for what we see at church now. There isn’t so much concern with modesty when attending a traditional service (although I personally think the dresses that many women wear are too short,), but it seems that the comtemporary service screams “casual” and “anything goes”. The teen girls wear short shorts and little t-shirts or tank tops, and the guys wear shorts, t-shirts, and flip flops. I specifically remember one Sunday morning, exiting the sanctuary from the traditional service, and seeing people waiting to come in for the contemporary service. A teen girl was standing in front of the door windows, wearing an extremely short skirt that was also see-through. She also had on one of those skimpy cami tops. My husband noticed her, and immediately said to me, “I am SO glad we don’t have a daughter!”. What I want to know is….where are her parents, and what are they (not) teaching her? I am concerned that if anyone said anything to her about her choice of clothing (I should say, lack of it), her parents might come to her defense. Yes, it is tough nowadays to find modest clothing in the stores, but I do find them for myself. If we had a daughter, would she follow my lead, or would we be fighting over the world’s point of view? My son, who is 9.5, frequently makes comments about how much easier it is for a girl than a boy to be immodest. HE is already noticing!!! We should note that some cultures do not view modesty the same way I/we do. The Latin culture, for example, lets it all hang out. Just check one of their TV stations some time and you will see scantily clad, heavily made up ladies reporting the weather and news. We spent a weekend with a very friendly Latin family, but I was uncomfortable with the way the women were underdressed. We saw breasts and thighs the entire time, and I am not talking about the chicken we ate!

    • I wonder if it occurred to you to introduce yourself and then keep looking out for her and becoming a friendly person whom she would trust for a fun and modest shopping trip!
      Maybe she needed a mom figure!
      Maybe she needs someome to tell her she doesn’t have to throw away her cami as it works great under tshirts as a second layer on days not cold enough for sweater and not ever alone.

      • No, it did not occur to me to speak to the girl for a few reasons….I don’t have a daughter, I cannot relate to the desire to dress immodestly, and I have perceived that perhaps Jews and Gentiles/Christians simply dress differently. I didn’t think it was my place to impose my opinion and culture upon someone who seems “normal” to the majority. Those Christians who choose modesty do so because they read about it in the New Testament…which has its foundation in the Tanakh (Old Testament). The idea of modesty is not a new one! Jews were observing it for years before Jesus and the formation of the church.

        • Also….I would never have known about the idea using a cami for layering, because I personally would not ever consider buying one in the first place! Most people I see wearing them either have one on alone, or layer it with yet another piece of immodest clothing, so there really isn’t any “covering up” going on.

    • Megan G. says:

      Yes, my 6 1/2 year old already notices when a girl/woman isn’t dressed modestly, and tells me about it.

  80. I have gone through this teaching myself. The perspective I learned it from was to not cause my bretheren to fall. While it is a man’s responsibility to not sucumb to temptation, it is our responsibility to not tempt anyone. Some men have the weakness of lust. Shoulders, chests, backs of knees, and feet are quite attractive to some men. This is how I explain it to my 15yo anyways.

  81. Great article, I grew up in a home where my father taught me about modesty. I can’t say I appreciated it much then, but have definitely been thankful for it the older I get. Modesty never has been a popular subject- but it’s very important. A humble heart will hear such words and not be offended by them.

  82. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s ironic too b/c I’ve been looking through my closet and thinking that I need to probably go buy a few new summer clothes and rid of other. God has been working on my heart lately. And the fact that I have 3 girls makes it even more clear that I need to practice what I preach. I’ve really starting to tal a lot more about modesty to our 5 (almost 6) and 4 year old daughter, and what that means.
    Thank you for being bold! And thank you for being encouraging!

  83. Courtney, I’m glad you shared this post. So many times, as women, we are deceived about what beauty is on the outside. Then, whether we know it or not, we teach our daughters the same thing. Being fashionable and trendy should not mean that we have to sacrifice our modesty. I really, strongly agree that our outward appearance should reflect our heart’s attitude and our love for Jesus.

    I shared this one on Facebook!
    God bless!

  84. My gracious friend! – loved the post and wow you must have really sexy toes!!

  85. Courtney, thank you so, so much for this post. I have recently been convicted about clothes and being more modest. My daughter and I have a lot of conversations about how Jesus wants us to dress. I actually even wrote a post about it myself!

    I am sure it was difficult for both you and the other deacon’s wife to have that conversation, but I think you both handled it very well. Thanks for the practical advice about checking your clothes. Just this morning, I put a tank top under a shirt that I used to think was fine and now I think is too low :)

  86. Thank you so much for your honesty and biblical advise on this VERY important topic. As a deacon’s wife myself, I am going to share this on FB as well. One thing a godly woman taught me as a new Christian, when you bend over, bend at the KNEES, not the waist. Try it! I actually had a man in our church THANK me for the way I bent over. He said it was very difficult to be behind a woman when she bends over at the waist – hard not to look at her butt. But, when you bend at the knees, your butt is down near the ground, not in a gentleman’s view. :) Hope that is helpful. Thanks again for the great article and may you (and ALL of us ladies) continue to yield to the Holy Spirit’s convictions when confronted by a sister-in-Christ. Hugs of JOY!

  87. One Sunday a few weeks ago, a young lady was ushering in “Daisy Duke” shorts. I’m glad my son did not notice, but when I got home I posted about it on my FB wall. I did not call her out but just mentioned that the shorts should not be worn at church and especially while ushering. Her mom must of read it because she has been dressing modestly ever since. Sometimes it just takes one observer to make us think about our actions. Thanks again, Courtney!

  88. Mary Beth Bradshaw says:

    Great article. Especially love point number 2. The Lord has been speaking to me about what my heart reflects. Love your heart. Apprecitate your wisdom and practical way for modest check. Xoxo

  89. If anyone needs a little push to dress more modestly, I’d recommend reading the book “Every Man’s Battle.” I read it in my 20′s and was honestly shocked to know how much men can be affected by our clothing (or lack thereof). When I was a teen, I used to dress a bit on the immodest side at times. And it was usually because I wanted whatever boy I liked at the time to notice me. But, had I known what was actually going through any males mind when they saw me, I assure you, I would have not been dressing that way! I don’t know if you can say young girls are innocent in the way they dress, but even if they do have an ulterior motive, I don’t think they realize what thoughts their clothing choices can conjure up in males heads. I think a girl wants a boy to like her and think she’s attractive. What actually happens is the boys mind goes where it shouldn’t and if he’s attracted to the girl, it’s probably not for the right reasons.

    • Vplunkett says:

      This book is amazing! It opened my eyes to what men really deal with and have to face. There is also a book like this geared for young woman, which is also just as good and a must read. Both books are equally needful to be read by parents as well as their kids! Being a full grown woman, it sure opened my eyes, and I am thankful my sons had the book at early stages in their sexual development to be one tool to help guide them into the pure living and right thinking.

    • Megan G. says:

      The book, “For Women Only,” addresses the issue, as well. I recommend it to everyone!

  90. A woman that I know shared this on Facebook. I came over to see if there was something that I could learn and something that I can pass on to my son. I am in my late 50s, single again, and I have a son 16. I have been trying to teach him to look for really beautiful young women, who are beautiful and not just attractive. It has been a challenge. I am encouraged by some of the moms sharing with their girls. I noticed that one other man posted, but he stopped short of saying how he felt. I had a similar situation with my wife 25 years ago. She would occasionally dress in a revealing way as we were getting ready for church, like the guy above, I probably said it all of the wrong ways. What I felt was worthless. I felt that my wife valued the attention of the other men at church more than she valued my attention. I enjoyed her beauty. I treated it as a special gift, but when she dressed that way, it didn’t feel as special any more. I didn’t feel as special any more.

    The interesting thing is that from teaching my son to look for inner beauty of heart, I have suggested that women who are overly concerned with what others think of the way that she looks is probably not a good candidate for a long term relationship (and it goes the same for young men, if they are only concerned with how a young woman looks, or if they are overly concerned with looks or symbols, then they are not ready for a LTR). The reason that I say this is because I see some difficult times ahead, and I am preparing my son to stand alone for what is right, and what is godly. A woman who is always checking with others to see if she is OK, won’t be much help. If a woman wants her husband to boldly follow God, it is part of the package.

    At the other end of the spectrum, I am thinking about remarriage. I would love to find a partner to minister the love of God with. And although the churches are full of older single women, I am looking for a beautiful one. One whose heart is tender, wise, compassionate, and has trusted God through all sorts of situations. That is not easy for me to find. It may be that I am not fully aware of God’s will here, or I may be in the wrong church. I wonder if the women that I have come in contact with so far didn’t start cultivating real beauty before their attractiveness faded.

  91. Cathy Karpinen says:

    Courtney, thank you for sharing so transparently from this experience. And thank you for having a teachable and humble spirit. You are stirring women on to love, good works and modesty for the Lord’s glory.

  92. Vplunkett says:

    Honestly, I am amazed that your husband even made it to position as a deacon if that was the norm for your dressing before hand. But good for you for listening to this woman, and to her for speaking what needed to be said, as difficult as it must have been for her. Our church preaches regularly on a persons dress, esp the woman’s. It is appropriately labeled “The Ministry of Modesty”. Not only do men have an obligation to their thought life and hearts, but we as woman must be knowledgeable of a man’s God given make-up and bent, respect it, understand it, and be an example to other woman-whatever age-in the ways of modest dress-a foreign concept in this day and age to most. Beauty is not a sin, and we are not expected to wear Amish dresses, nor wear veils over our faces, but we are encouraged (and rightly so) to be covered (not tightly either) where its no ones business to see, dresses and skirts are appropriate, and they are to be calf length so that when you sit or bend over, nothing can be seen or even imagined.
    I grew up in a non christian home, where anything was ok as long as what I did didn’t interfere with my mother and her life and her enegies at all. It was also during a time when less was more. God (not people) began convicting me years ago of a need for change in my dressing. Three of my five children are now young men, and I cringe when I see some young girls-and even some older women-strut their half naked stuff by them. It grieves me that they are so ignorant of what they are portraying and doing.
    Good for you on your honesty in sharing this. :)

    • Jennifer Oberg says:

      You wrote – “Honestly, I am amazed that your husband even made it to position as a deacon if that was the norm for your dressing before hand.”

      That seems awfully mean.

      • I don’t think the comment is mean, just confirming what Courtney has already shared in her post, that she received a wake up call, and was convicted.

      • I agree with Jennifer, and don’t see how mentioning it (even if it is how you feel) adds to the conversation here… :(

  93. Over the years my attitude and thoughts about clothing have changed a lot. Not having someone to teach me about modesty I never thought much about clothes being too tight or low cut tops, etc, until God convicted me about it several years ago. One thing I realized is that the Bible teaches that we are to “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” Prov. 4:23. I believe that how we dress reflects our heart. We may not realize it but the way we cloth our bodies is either influenced by what we have learned about modesty from seeking God and His Word on the matter, or what we have learned about dressing to look good to others which we learn from society/friends. It really is a heart matter whether we are aware of it or not. The influence of society comes from movies, magazines, the internet, TV, or something as simple as what we see on an attractive woman in town or at church. Ladies, please don’t judge what you wear by what someone else wears or what is fashionable at the moment. We represent Christ, not the fashion designers. When I look in the mirror I try to remember to ask myself if what I have put on my body is there because I want others to notice me or comment on how attractive I look. If that is our focus then we ware not clothing ourselves in the beauty of a meek and quiet spirit – we are asking for attention. I pray we will all honor God with our bodies and how we clothe them.

  94. I struggle here with just what is immodest. Definately short skirts, tight pants, low cut tops/dresses. But sleeveless tops? I have a hard time with that mostly because it’s what I’m comfortable wearing when the weather is hot. Nothing beyond my shoulders are uncovered/revealed. Is that really a stumbling block for men?

  95. I think also we need to teach healthy godly thinking to our sons. They need to learn not to let their minds wander down the wrong paths, also. They need to learn to think clean thoughts, to change their thinking when the need arises, to be able to identify wrong sinful thinking. Something parents need to pray with their sons about daily.

  96. I wonder what makes bare shoulders displeasing to the Lord, but bare ankles acceptable? Knees? Forearms? The Bible does talk about keeping our thighs covered. Christian women from a hundred years ago would disagree that showing your ankles is acceptable to the Lord, and most of our modesty standards would be held in disdain. Did you know that prisoners quite commonly request pictures of women with their faces half covered in veils rather than pornography? Men can lust after anything, and while we bear some responsibility for not being a stumbling block, it is not entirely our responsibility to keep them from sinning. They need to take their thoughts captive. I have been in trouble for making eye contact and smiling too openly with men in the church. In some countries where I’ve traveled, eye contact with a man is an immodest invitation. The best book I’ve read on the topic of modesty is called, “A Return to Modesty” by Wendy Shalit. I highly recommend it!

    • I agree-where to draw the line? We have shared responsibility, but when is it one person’s opinion vs another instead of good biblical standards?

    • Knees…it isnt so much the knees but when the clothing is at or above the knee then when you sit or the wind blows you show thighs and enen underwear if youvare facing folks when sitting. I’ve had the front of undies pointing straight at me at eye level in church or at parades. And sometimes it is pointing at pastors or at people at fellowship dinners because gals sitting at tables thought nobody across the room could see them. What you see is not what everyone else sees.

  97. To the couple of ladies who were discussing how, after dressing modestly, their husbands seemed to be attracted to other women. The one whose husband was attracted, my heart breaks to hear that you are hurting over that but I do want to tell you how lucky you are that your husband was open about it and asked to leave the church so that he was not tempted further. I know that is painful but he took precautions so that it would go no further than attraction and that you were aware so that he could be accountable to you. That took a lot of strength for him to do that in a world where so many men would not have said a word and the results would have been so much more severe.

    To the other lady who said many women come to her with the problem of their husbands being tempted by other women once they begin dressing modestly themselves, may I make a suggestion? Perhaps encourage these women to wear sexy underclothing or lingerie under the modest skirts and blouses. The man will know what kind of “candy” is hidden by the wrapper and will enjoy being the only one who knows that his wife is wearing sexy underclothing. It may not take care of the problem completely but it can help tremendously. Also, so many (myself included) tend to equate modest with frumpy and we need to have care that, while our clothing is modest, we do not look dull or frumpy. Men are visual creatures and you still want to look nice for your husband.

    As for the deacon’s wife coming to Courteny, I think that she was right in going to you but not right in the way she handled the conversation and also wrong to add her personal opinion (i.e. the shoes). As a deacons wife you are held to a higher standard than the average pewsitter. You are also an example to other women about how they should look and act. Often when a man becomes a deacon his wife is thrown into a role she may not have realized that she would have. While the husband holds the office of a deacon, it is his family who are the basis of him being chosen for office. The bible talks about the wife being above reproach and a man being the leader of his house and his family following that lead. It is a difficult place to find yourself if you are not prepared. She was right to go to you. She should have done it with love and compassion and grace and she should have offered fiends hip along with her correction though.

  98. Courtney, your maturity, humility, and transparency are both refreshing and inspiring. I wish I could say I would respond like you. Sadly, I do believe I would have been offended. I don’t do so well with confrontation and this woman, not being a close friend of mine, would likely have been received by me as out of line (Ugh! How’s that for transparency? Lol.) Learning to be humble and silent and reflective is an area that I’ve slowly grown in (I don’t come from a family that is very humble and reflective; they tend to model a “stand your ground” position, even if they’re wrong.) I am thankful for the growth I *have* made in this area of my life and trust that God will continue to grow me. THANK YOU for sharing this. I love love love what a humble and sweet soul you are. Without your willingness to be so transparent, those who needed to hear this message (uh hem) would have sorely missed out.

    • p.s. That’s one of the things I’m most excited about with CC; that my children are going to learn to speak up for their values and convictions, and to defend them when appropriate (something I’m having to learn to do myself.)

  99. There is so much good stuff here and I’m loving the comments! I’m going to have to save them for a late night feeding with the baby, lol!

    I’ve read several posts like this lately and it’s really made me think about how I dress for several occasions: being on the worship team at church (sitting at a keyboard for the service), serving in the nursery, when I exercise outside my home (in the neighborhood) , but especially when I nurse my infant. I’ve been quick to jump on the bandwagon of my “rights” to nurse wherever, whenever and I’ve been a big proponent of using a nursing cover. While it’s completely natural and that’s how God made my breasts to function, I can’t ignore the fact that our society has completely corrupted that and it really does make people uncomfortable. Is it being loving to say, “well, they just need to grow up” or is it my responsibility to do my best to be modest in this instance and account for man’s falleness?

    This has also made me think about how I clothe my 2YO daughter and making sure shorts and skirts are the appropriate length for her, especially since she’s active and playing. It’s sad when you have to search and search for stuff that is long enough, or resort to making garments for them because everything is “booty” length!

    One last thing…another way to solve the issue of clothes that no longer fit is to take them in, if you have the skills (or a friend!) to do that or add fabric to add length, when the garment is suited for that. I just bought fabric with birthday money to make myself a few skirts and I made sure that I bought enough to make skirts that would be lengthy!

    • Megan G. says:

      Well, it isn’t just our society that made breasts sexual objects. They are certainly mentioned as such in the Bible several times. It is our “right” to breastfeed anywhere, but I just think it’s considerate to cover up as much as the temperature and temperament of the baby allows.

      I always cover up when nursing, but my husband will be leading a high school Bible study this summer. It just occurred to us last night that neither of us would be comfortable nursing around teenage boys, even covered up, so I’ll need to talk with the hostess of the home that we’re meeting to see if I could sit in another room when I need to nurse. I think it just depends on the situation.

  100. Is there someone out there that can tackle the topic of sexual desire from a woman’s perspective… Afterall, I find men can be just as distracting in their dress… and they are fully covered! It’s not just men who suffer from impure thoughts, women do too! When the men smell good and are put together just right, it grabs my attention even at church with my husband by my side… I understand having respect for my brothers in my dress and appearance, but what word of advice is there for my brothers to have respect for their sisters in Christ and to not look too desireable?

    • Try dressing your husband in clothing that is appealing to you. That way you will find HIM attractive.

  101. Hi Courtney,
    I totally agree! I went to a Christian school, so I was brought up to be mindful of what I was wearing. For six years, my husband and I were on the praise team at our church. When you are a more public figure (praise team, pastor’s wife, leader in any ministry position, etc) you ARE held to a higher standard. It is not a responsibility to take lightly. Living in a desert climate where summer temps reach (and stay) at over 100 degrees for 3-4 months, it’s very easy to become more lax in my standards. If fact, while reading this, I was convicted about the dress I wore the past Sunday. It’s an adorable summer, sun dress that my mom made me a couple years ago. However, it’s V-neck is a little too low. So next time, I will remember to wear a cute tank under it. :)

    One other point, these standards should not be reserved only for Sunday morning. They should become a lifestyle. Just because you don’t know everyone who attended services at your church doesn’t mean that you will not be recognized while running errands around town. So we ALWAYS need to be aware of how we are presenting ourselves, our family and our faith. Thanks for the reminder ♥

  102. Sally Sicard says:

    God surely smiled at your attitude when this confrontation took place. The example we set for others is an unspoken testimony. I have been guilty of dressing inappropriately for church. “Why are you wearing your nightie to church?” (It was a hot, sweltering day in a church with no a/c) I wore a white gauze dress with 2 slips underneath. But I apologized to the PASTOR, and never wore the dress again in public.

    We should not be afraid to stand up for what is right and holy.

  103. I’m so greatful to see this article this morning. Continuing our modest traditions has been the topic of many recent conversations I have had to have with my daughter anytime we’ve been around my sister. It’s very uncomfortable being around her as her sister even, and I have been hearing from friends and family members who feel the same way. I think they are telling me in hopes that I will say something to her. I have dropped hints here and there, and so has our mother. My boyfriend has stopped coming to things when he knows she is going to be there because he is so uncomfortable. Her chest is seriously popping out, and if she moves in the wrong way, the outcome could be very humiliating for anyone who might see, or for her. Her jeans are “painted” on, her skirts and shorts are way too short. She is 36 years old. How on earth do I confront her about this as her little sister? I’ve mentioned things here and there, but she doesn’t change. I don’t want to hurt her feelings, or have her stop talking to me, she’s my sister and I love her. But we have got to figure this out so that it’s not so uncomfortable for everyone around her. Please give me some great advice so that I can help my sister in a loving way, without upsetting her and having her think that I’m just another overly judgemental Christian….. HELP!!!

  104. What an amazing article! I also try to protect my brother’s in Christ’s eyes by not wearing clothes that are too short or tight. I am also a young mom, so I can understand how it can be difficult for so many of us to put aside our “teenybopper” wardrobs and dress modestly. Thanks for this article! lholmes79.wordpress.com

  105. I would have been so embarrassed! But my family always stressed modesty, so I never wore anything shorter than my knees until after university. Since having kids, I rarely wear skirts (because, you say, you never know when you’ll be bending over or sitting cross-legged somewhere with them) but I’m very conscious about squatting instead of bending over and sitting legs together and stuff like that. I do like tank tops (so I wouldn’t think shoulders would be an issue) and I don’t know why shoes would cause problems!!! Thanks for sharing. :)

  106. I enjoyed this post, and the comments that followed. It seems that we tend to judge what is or isn’t acceptable by comparing ourselves to the current culture, rather than using the Bible as our standard. Biblical modesty removes the guesswork from this discussion. I was raised as a preacher’s kid, and have been a teacher in our Christian day school for fourteen years. As a 36-year-old mother of four, my wardrobe choices have never hinged upon whether or not I was leadership figure, a new mom, a wife, or a teenager. If we raise our children with Biblical modesty from a heart of purity, they are more likely to adapt it as a lifestyle, rather than a cross to bear.
    As a side note, there are a lot of places (even “Christian” events) that my husband and I would not take our children because of the effect of sensual wardrobes on our 11 and 12-year-old boys. We are training our children to train their eyes and be responsible for what they allow to enter their minds, but the flaunting of the skin that is so prevalent in the world and many churches is really inexcusable. If I weren’t a school teacher, I’d be happy to skip summer and move right on to autumn weather. :-)
    Courtney, you are to be commended on your response. A sign of maturity is to be able to accept a rebuke without always knowing the motive or intention, and I feel that you allowed it to make you a better person, rather than to breed cynicism and bitterness within you. Thanks for sharing.

    • Melissa says:

      Stephanie, I have to agree with what you said about if we raise our children with Biblical modesty, then their wardrobe choices later will be an automatic lifestyle and they won’t have to struggle with the “is this appropriate”…or at least not as much. My 20 year old daughter dresses very conservatively despite the choices many of her friends made for clothing!

      As for the peep-toe shoes…I’m still trying to figure that one out. I think I may understand somewhat. There are some men who have foot/toe fetishes. I know my own husband loves to see my feet/toes. It is kind of a turn-on for him. So, I’m thinking that (as weird as that may be) if it is for him, then it very well may be for other men, too! So, now I’m rethinking my shoe choices to wear out in public. I have worn a really nice pair of black flip-flops a few times to church because they were easier to slip on with my current back problems and now broken arm. But, now considering that those kind of shoes may be a distraction, I will have to choose another pair of less revealing shoes and just wear the flip-flops at home.

      Modesty is a tough topic to tackle. I know I am also disturbed by how many teen girls, but also grown women, show up to church service (or even to the grocery store) in spaghetti strap tops and mini skirts. I have never been able to find the right words to even be able to let them know what they are wearing is offensive.

      I also want to clarify….I don’t think this is necessarily directed to those who are visiting for the first time, or just beginning their walk with Christ. We have to show them the love of Christ first, and then lovingly show them how to live in Christ, how to follow Him! That’s not being legalistic, that’s following God’s Word! Once someone finds Christ and chooses to live their life for Him, they should automatically want to please Him. So that should give us, as Christian women, the opening to direct them to the Scripture teaching about modesty. I pray God gives me strength and courage to actually do that!!

      Thank you for this article!! More girls and women need to hear, and learn, what modesty means!

      • Megan G. says:

        I honestly think the closed toe shoe thing was probably a hold-over from that just being too casual in a different generation. I truly don’t think there is anything modest about open-toed shoes. It seems that in the Bible, women would have been wearing sandals, right?

        • Melissa says:

          You’re right about sandals back then. But, wouldn’t they also have been wearing very long garments so their feet were rarely visible?

          • Megan G. says:

            Yes, that’s a good point.

            (Also, thanks for reading my most as I meant it! Obviously, I meant to say, “I truly don’t think there is anything IMmodest about open toed shoes.”)

  107. ErinAnn says:

    Get some great dresspants to wear to church!

  108. Fantastic Post!!!

  109. Hi there!
    While I completely agree that the skirt was waaaayyy too short, I would not have confronted you about your shoulders and especially not your toes.
    I don’t show my shoulders ( wearing tank tops, etc) because my husband doesn’t want me to, but I find nothing wrong with it and I have seen many women wear tank dresses in a very classy way to church., so I don’t know- is it the spaghetti straps vs. a wider band at the top?

  110. I am sorry this had to be an experience for you but I am SO grateful that you are one of the women who took this encounter to heart and it changed your life. Although I don’t feel your outfit was in any way extreme, I do often see the most outrageous contraptions worn by women of stature in our church and it is SO disturbing. I am thankful at times to not have a daughter but I fear my sons need to be aware that dressing in that manner is not acceptable when they start to become interested in teh opposite sex and picking a mate…
    I too, have been a teeny bopper, lol, except I had too many freedoms, growing up in a latin culture with too loose standards and very little clothing, and although this was the way everyone lived, I’ve grown to understand that God’s will is cross-cultural and never-changing!
    May God continue to bless you so that you may impact women’s lives not only with your exmaple but with posts such as these, which I am so grateful for and thank you from the bottom of my heart!
    Carlen

  111. Love this article! I like the part about it being a reflection of the heart. I was told by youth leaders that it was our responsibility to not cause men to stumble. I really hate that because I don’t think it is our responsibility. They are responsible for their own decisions and thoughts. I felt the way it was presented the whole responsibility was placed on us, as young women. That being said, I do think it is important to have respect for ourselves and for those around us. And clothing choices can reflect that respect. If we have respect for others and love of Christ in our hearts then we are more likely to respect and love the people around us. That will then be shown in all our actions, including the way that we dress.

    • @Dana, I agree with you – other people (men and women) are responsible for their own decisions, thoughts and actions. I hate it when leaders misguidedly albeit sincerely put the responsibility of men’s thoughts & lusting onto us women and how we dress. My goodness, a man can lust after a woman who is dressed classy. We are each responsible before God for our own thoughts, actions and decisions.

  112. This is an area that has only become a struggle for me in recent years. I never dressed immodestly growing up, or in college (that I was aware of), because I always felt uncomfortable with my very flat figure. With 2 kids came some curves (and a delighted husband!), and now that I feel a little more comfortable with my body it’s difficult to not gravitate toward clothing that’s more revealing (lower cut, clingier, etc.). I know that in the world’s eyes I still dress very modestly, but I’m not worried about the world’s standards and I want to please my God.

    Your story made me think on how I would most helpfully “correct” a woman in church who might be ignorant about this. Coming to her directly and talking straight seems like the best policy, and I would never approach someone who was not a church member/active Christian. If she just started attending our church or only recently came to the Lord, then unless she’s wearing a teddy and thigh-high boots to Sunday service, nothing needs to be said. If that’s not the case, I would talk to her in private (ideally, in person), and I would also offer to go shopping with her or even help her financially to purchase more appropriate clothing. This would also be a good opportunity to fellowship with her and start to build a mentoring/accountability relationship.

    Those of us in leadership positions are called to a higher standard, whether we like it or not. And is it really so important that we wear “that” blouse or “that” skirt, but in doing so possibly cause others to stumble? We’re supposed to be reflections of Christ, and He didn’t have the stubborn pride that we sometimes display when we worry so much about our individualism and “freedom in Christ” (that we abuse).

    Sorry to be so long-winded. That’s my 12 cents. ;)

  113. Hi Courtney, I replied above under Brandi and Arron but I have a question for you. I agree with you about being modest. I consider myself very modest but I’ve encountered women who instead of appreciating this about me, roll their eyes and consider me a “goody twoshoes” and don’t even want to take the chance to get to know me. Where do we draw the line for what’s considered legalism because I feel that while I’m a very loving person who extends mercy and grace, I’m looked down upon as trying to be “perfect”. I go out my way to tell people that I’m not perfect but that I want to follow God’s word. THis is a real struggle for me because I want to shine for Him. I want to share His word but I find oppostion and am often told that my convictions are my own and can not be forced upon others. Any words of advice? I appreciate you! Love and Blessings!

    • Melissa says:

      I’m not Courtney, but wanted to comment. I understand your struggle! I have encountered the same issues. Please try not to let what others think of you affect how you feel about yourself or your walk with our Lord! We will never be perfect, but we are to always strive for perfection! You should not have to try to explain to others that you are following God’s Word…that will show in how you live your life! Be gracious and just let God handle the rest. :)

    • Hi Amanda, I’m not Courtney either, but wanted to comment with a little encouragement. :)

      Where we (myself included especially because I’ve struggled with legalism) cross the line into legalism is when we take our own personal convictions (the way we dress, which Bible translation is the only right one to read, issues such as dancing, etc.) and begin making them “rules” that others have to live by. We judge others according to the “rules.” And we conclude if they aren’t living according to the rules we’ve constructed then we believe they aren’t as spiritually mature. Jesus is the only one who has the right and is qualified to judge us – no one else can know our heart just by looking at our outward appearance.

      My encouragement to you – live by your own personal convictions as God leads you & if others ask you about them you can share how you live and make choices for yourself.

      God Bless and may His grace shine through you to all those you meet. :)

      • Hi Tamara! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! While I’m not one to judge, I’m very black or white so when the word of God says something and someone tells me that they don’t interpret it that way, it really rises up something in me. I want to scream, “I didn’t make these rules, He did!” Lol I am guilty though of thinking that everyone is in their own walk and dealing with their own struggles so I don’t judge because looking back at my own walk, I didn’t dress modestly at all at 21 when I accepted the Lord as my savior and I feel ashamed of how I must have caused men to lust and how their wives must have felt =( But I assure you that it was naivety on my part. And I believe spiritual immaturity because when I look at myself now, I consider myself more mature in my walk. I really appreciated what you said about living by my own convictions and sharing with others IF they ask. I think my problem may be that in my passion for the Lord, I share too much. Thank you so much again! Blessings!

  114. Kathy Eberly says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. I agree that it’s good that you were called. I think what saddens me most is that as young you were that there was no one there to mentor you as a new deacon’s wife. It’s easy to confront and tell people what’s right. The Bible says that the older women are to teach the younger women and yet so many times people shoot from the hip and forget what it’s like to be young. You did respond so well to this situation. God bless you for that.

  115. Why is modesty such a struggle for women? Why do some of you WANT your private parts to show in public, and are offended at the thought of not being able to? I don’t get it.

  116. Thank you for a reminder. I need to be reminded constantly! I totally cover what needs to be covered, but with a body most would kill for I can still dress to turn heads-literally, not figuratively. It’s hard to fight the temptation to dress sexy! Especially when I feel like I’m competing with all the women around me. :( I literally cannot concentrate in church if I see women looking sexy b/c I’m worried about my husband’s eyes. I can feel hateful and bitter towards the other women. It’s hard for me to explain. My husband has never been unfaithful, but I know how men’s minds work and even if I never see his eyes go that direction I have a hard time focusing on what is “true” (Phil. 4:8) {I don’t KNOW that he is enjoying a ‘good view’, in fact I what I KNOW is that he probably ISN’T! but it’s hard for me to let that be his battle. It plays so deeply into my insecurities!} (here’s hoping this next statement doesn’t come off wrong!) I can get as much “attention” as I want. But I only want my husbands full attention, and it KILLS me when I see other women ‘competing’ for it! I’m not making this someone else’s problem, I own it, it’s mine. I have trust issues that I’m working on. It’s not Daisy Dukes’ problem that I feel insecure or feel that I need to compete-and-beat (which I’m ashamed to admit I sometimes DO) Maybe I’m just incredibly selfish, but if I could go to church and feel safe…maybe I could concentrate on Someone other than myself, instead of having to have jealous, mental turmoil throughout the service and then come home to dig into the Word and prayer to drag myself back to thinking of Christ and worshiping Him. I guess the only reason I’m submitting this is to show those of you with the “this makes me sad” and “it’s not my problem” comments the real pain and struggle immodesty can cause with even someone most would think of as the “most immune” to it. Those indifferent comments break my heart.

    • I bet your husband is in agreement with you. One of the reason that men can feel exhausted is because they do battle with their naturally visual tendency, a lot. Especially when they love their wives. And it is discouraging to men that *the* sanctuary isn’t *a* sanctuary, at least not from distraction. Any man worth his salt know that this is his battle. But it would be nice for our sisters in Christ to not make it harder than it already is.

    • After reading this comment and many others, I’m wondering, Courtney, if you might sometime write a post about how wives should biblically deal with insecurities when a spouse’s eye wanders toward other women (not referring to extramarital affairs here; only a wandering eye). I know there are many posts you’ve made regarding the things we should be doing as wives to strengthen our relationship in ALL areas with our husbands. But what about that battle some men have with being so visually oriented? (and dear me, our culture is a breeding ground for encouraging it). How does the Christian wife who is subjected to his wandering eye deal biblically with this?

  117. Victoria says:

    I appreciate this article Courtney. I like you was approached, though I was 17 at the time and on the praise and worship team, childrens team and was a deacons daughter so all my choices not just clothing were in question. Our rule for being on stage was that no matter what you wore you had to wear a jacket to cover your hips, dresses or skirts had to be below the knee, all shirts had to reach your hand if you were to grab your neck and everything had to be able to be pulled away from the skin….nothing to horrible, except when your 17 that almost rules everything out of your closet. My father was a deacon and even he disagreed that it was too strict especially in the summer months. He mainly disagreed because he did my clothing checks to make sure I was appropriate and acceptable. He always told me when I was ever approached when he thought I was modest enough that “Men are going to lust after your whether you like it or not, but they do not need any of your help.” Eventually I had to step down from all my duties because of my “immodesty”. I tried to take it all graciously as you did, but when you get beat with it when by your father who is a loving god fearing man says it’s ok…it’s a little bitter to taste. My father ended up making the best decision by all of us leaving the church and going to a church that better suited us in the end. He understands modesty is key as he is a pastor now, but he also knows that he has to trust young women to make that decision for themselves, not something that is forced upon them. I had to learn that lesson. Granted I still where the shorter dress occasionally, but I always look at it as if I could wear it to church, even if I have to wear tights. I’m proud I have a godly father, who even though he agrees he’d rather have me modestly dressed but he also taught me how not to go to the extreme with it. He and my mother taught me how I can be attractive without looking trashy and how most of the time if you look classy the people whom you don’t want to attract won’t be around…becasue even in church they are there.

  118. Thank you for sharing your experience, Courtney. God will bless you for your reaction of humility. I am sorry this other deacon’s wife did not come along side of you after the confrontation and be your friend and mentor. Purposing to believe the best, maybe she was dealing with her own struggles which kept her from responding to you in humility and Christian love after the confrontation. Only the Lord knows. Thank you for sharing what you learned through your experience. I feel the same way about dressing modestly, and am trying to teach these principles to my own two daughters. It is very difficult to stand up strong in an immodest world.

  119. What the? Some lady calls you and tells you that in HER opinion you were dressed like a whore (and that is really what she was saying with her passive-aggressive socratic questioning) and that somehow it’s your fault if Christian men can’t keep their own eyes on the Bible? Did you grab their heads and force them to stare at you in your perfectly normal dress? Last time I checked the Bible didn’t specify hem lengths. Simply put, you were being bullied by another adult who should know better, using the Bible as a weapon instead of a guide.

    I doubt you will approve this comment, but I thought someone should say it.

    • SarahJean says:

      Actually, Exodus 28:42 claims your thigh (though this referred to men) is your nakedness, so the garments should cover it. Just food for thought.

    • The verses in Isaiah are pretty self-explanatory. She was no more tender & delicate…because she/so she made her leg bare, uncovered her thigh…her nakedness was shown. The same of the verse in Exodus. Where does your thigh go to…from your loins to your knee…so that would be a MINIMUM of what NEEDS to be covered. I will interject here that modesty isn’t just a woman thing. God demands modesty from men and women. He made the coats for Adam and Eve in the garden-not just for Eve. Men need to be covered in all the same places!

      Verses following:

      Isaiah 47:1-3
      1Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called TENDER AND DELICATE.

      2 Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, MAKE BARE THE LEG, UNCOVER THE THIGH, pass over the rivers.

      3 THY NAKEDNESS SHALL BE UNCOVERED, yea, thy SHAME SHALL BE SEEN:

      Exodus 28:42
      And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:

      Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
      Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

      • Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa????? You went from Isaiah, prophetic warning, God’s judgement, Israel the nation/people, Idolatry, spiritual “harlotry” to the Garden of Eden and it all somehow wraps up into the minimum length of a woman’s skirt? That, my friend, is a theological strettttttttttttttch.

        • The order makes no difference. Would you like it better if I did it in the order the Bible was written? My point was what needs to be covered. A coat covers a whole LOT more than what Adam and Eve thought was necessary. Exodus is explaining what breeches covered which was another command of God. Isaiah talks about the brazen-ness of nakedness not being covered including the leg/thigh area.
          God doesn’t say in one place exactly what the specifications for nakedness/modest are so you have to compare Scriptures. Not a theological stretch at all!

    • Michelle says:

      Thank God SOMEONE said it!
      This comment string is a prime example of why people leave and/or never join the church.

    • I do tend to agree, although I think Courtney had a wonderful spirit in overlooking the possibly nasty edge of the caller and seeing that there was a real issue – that in manoevering around with her baby, a normally ok outfit can become suddenly not ok! I can so relate to this – I have twins, and when they were little suddenly half my wardrobe became questionable! Lol!
      I do thorougly agree though, that the men are responsible for themselves. If they can’t handle themselves in a church meeting, then how on earth do they get through the week confronted with non-Christian women who have no dress standards?!

  120. I want to thank you for tackling a huge and unpopular subject that is generally ignored because it’s just too controversial. You shared this honestly, and I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but I am impressed with the humble way you presented it. I’m so glad one of my friends shared it on FB. Blessings to you!

  121. As a mom with young children, I do sympathize. One time, I wore a sundress which
    had an elastic top to it. My toddler chose to have one of those meltdown moments and dragged my
    top down with her. How utterly embarrassing, so I have not wore it since. I don’t think your lady caller had the best intentions though, just being a busy-body I think. I’ve seen lots of those in my day of church going. If she truly had your best interests at heart, she would have displayed a loving heart even after her ‘correction call’. lol Fruits of the spirit, kwim. ;-)

  122. Courtney et al, I appreciate this article from a man’s perspective, but I want to caution ladies of thinking that their dress alone creates temptation for men. Women can be covered from head to toe and still be a ‘stumbling block’ for men by their lascivious behavior. Also, we don’t want to make any woman feel that the burden of modesty falls only on her shoulders and that she alone is responsible for a man’s spiritual welfare. As Courtney said, modesty must be a reflection of your spiritual walk..not so much as an attempt to prevent men from sinning, but more as an attitude of humility and respect for God’s holiness and Christ’s righteousness living in you. IF you are dressing in a modest fashion as a reflection of your life in Christ, then you are blameless for the sins and thoughts of others. Men alone are held accountable for their lusts and sinful thoughts. For more information on what MEN must do about this issue of modesty and the “lust of the eyes”, please read my blog at http://swinewithpearls.blogspot.com/2012/03/how-to-be-man-make-covenant-with-your.html
    Feel free to leave a comment or share it with any men you know who struggle with this issue.

  123. So glad you were so candid about this experience, Courtney! My husband has pointed out that LOOSE clothing can be worse than fitted clothing (esp. for the mom who’s constantly bending over!)…those V-necks can plunge WAY too far.

    Wives in the ministry need to be careful, but so does every wife! We all have a responsibility to model modest clothing for our daughters. It’s a fight, because the world’s standards will always fall short of God’s. But it’s a fight I’m willing to take on, to make sure my daughters learn what modesty looks like and how to keep private things PRIVATE. One trip to the local pool, with grown women in bikinis letting it all “hang out,” (quite literally) and they realized that bikinis aren’t the most modest swimwear.

    That said, when I see women in ministry dressed to attract every man around, I do take them less seriously. I don’t think they’re oblivious to the worldly standards they’re emulating, and quite often, it’s a reflection of their hearts. I understand harried young moms throwing something on that doesn’t fit as well as they thought (I’ve done that myself!), but buying new clothes that are too tight/plunging/too short doesn’t look good for any Christian woman!

  124. How refreshing to read this article, and a huge encouragement to read all the positive comments to follow! I’ve been teaching modesty for more than 17 years. It started when my husband took a Youth Pastorate and the women and some of the teens asked why I don’t wear pants and why my dresses were always so long. I had done it since I was 8 years old, but never really knew the Bible verses/Biblical reasoning behind it. I decided to study it out with the encouragement of our Pastor. I learned SO much! I’ve heard some awesome messages on the subject and thank God for the Preachers who still stand up and preach it! I did encounter a lot of Husbands/Men who would say, “I don’t care what she wears, it’s her business!” To that I would always think (only said once), “You’re the head of your home, you better care what she is wearing. Be a man! You’re going to be held accountable to God for how YOUR wife dresses!” Us women, have made it a subject that others men or women dare not judge us or call us out on it. Praise the LORD for your teachable spirit and for taking it the right way. I agree that she should of befriended you more or at least been nice to you after that. That was wrong of her, but Praise God for your attitude. If we had more people like that, can you imagine what would happen in our homes and Churches? =)

    • Michelle says:

      Really? God is going to hold a husband accountable for his wife’s wardrobe choices?

      • The Husband will give account to God for the wife because he is the God-ordained Leader/Head of the Home.
        Genesis 3:16: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, AND HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE.
        Hebrew 13:17 Obey them that have the RULE OVER YOU, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, AS THEY THAT MUST GIVE ACCOUNT, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

  125. Pam Kilgore says:

    I Think it is wonderful that you were able to not just crumble from such a phone call, I would have, In my twenties.
    It is a difficult world, but I must agree, especially for young women who are lovely and health (most of you know who you are)
    My youngest daughter actually has taught me a great deal about being Christ-like in modesty.
    She is beautiful, mid twenties, 5 ft. 7 and slim; she has a great figure although it took her till she was 16 to actually have a figure because she was a hard working gymnast as a kid. But a couple of years ago she pointed out to me that she wouldn’t wear some of the new styles of tops because they were too clingy and too low cut. Having always been heavier, I said, ‘But these would look great on you”
    In her young wisdom, she said “Yes Mom, Too good. I don’t want men to look at me that way!” She explained that being attractive is a pain in the neck, and that it is spiritually bad for them, it places them in a spot where they may sin, ‘In the long run I may cause them to sin, I would hate that.’
    I am blessed by her and her strenght and by yours.
    God Bless YOU!

  126. Thank you so much for being vulnerable enough to share this. It is an issue that I feel somewhat strongly about, and that a lot of women inside the church do not spend much time thinking and praying about. Thanks again!!

  127. Courtney,
    I just recently started my own blog. If you have time, please take a look and give me some pointers. http://a-table-4-two.blogspot.com/

    Thanks again,
    Stephanie

  128. Melodie Fleming says:

    What a gracious response you had toward the confrontation! And how brave for you to share it. I’m going to share on my Facebook. As a pastor’s wife, I’ve had to confront a few women in leadership about modesty before, and probably should have confronted a few others when I didn’t have the courage. It is difficult to know when to speak and when to give another person the space to grow and learn on their own. I certainly don’t want to be come the clothes police or to make other women in the church feel like I am constantly evaluating and judging them. Yet, so many women are unaware of the effect they have on men. For those of us in the position of needing to confront, there are a few things of note here. First, we should seldom confront someone unless we have earned the right to speak into their lives. I’ve never confronted a person about modesty that I haven’t first spent time getting to know. When things are spoken within the context of a loving friendship, they are much better recieved. Also, when you know someone, you usually find a way to say things that are within their language. In one of these conversations, I actually asked the person involved to come and help me go through my own wardrobe. She needed help with modesty, but I needed help with style. She came over twice and helped me update my winter and spring wardrobes. I learned things that I still used when making wardrobe choices. We’ve both moved away from the city in which we met, but we still stay in touch to this day. So, confrontation is possible to do in love. Humility about one’s own weaknesses helps alot.

  129. Hi!

    I’d just like to share a slightly different perspective here – not that I disagree with your point (I think the woman did a fabulous job of confronting personally and privately and that you took the criticism well) – but that, as a married woman, there’s a standard other than your opinion and your mirror that you need to check yourself against – your husband! When I was a new mom, a long-time friend (who had never been married or had a baby) “confronted” me about a dress I was wearing to church (it was a wrap dress chosen especially because I could easily and modestly nurse my son in it). She felt that it was too low-cut and I should put a camisole under it. I was upset by the conversation and mentioned it to my husband. He then told me that, for him, a camisole was MUCH more distracting than just seeing a little cleavage because it made his thoughts (and eyes) linger, trying to see how much he could see (it made it a mystery in need of solving rather than just showing what there was to be shown and moving on). I informed my friend of my husband’s opinion and she told me he was wrong. I figured since a) he was my husband that I was supposed to submit to regardless of her opinion, and b) he was a MAN and would have better insight into what does and doesn’t distract men, that I should do what he said. Despite theoretically being a mature woman of faith, this friend told me I was wrong to do what he said and this disagreement (five years ago now) has caused a huge rift in our relationship.

    So, while I absolutely encourage modesty, I think that our opinion as women is sometimes not really serving the purpose we intend (e.g., I would have been attracting MORE attention to my swollen cleavage by adding a cami, rather than less). So while it’s good to check yourself in the mirror, it’s better to ask your husband (assuming he’s a believer) if what you’re wearing would be distracting to other men.

    • Thank you! I’ve been reading through this mountain of comments wondering if I was a bit strange as no-one else seems to have mentioned this… that your own husband (presuming of course that he is a Godly man) is the best judge of the suitability of your clothing!

  130. Courtney, I appreciate the time you took in writing this. This is so true! This topic was already on my heart this week as I talked to my Mother in Law (who is the pastor’s wife at our church) about how to dress. Me and a bunch of my family help lead the worship in our church and there has been a lot of interest lately in some of the younger youth wanting to be involved which is awesome! But sometimes, the way they dress, isn’t always appropriate for church, let alone standing in front of your church body leading songs of worship. This was actually a topic I was going to discuss with our worship group at our next worship practice and I feel like this gave me some really good tools and helpful ways of bringing it up without offending anyone. Thanks for this!

  131. I was confronted by the pastor’s wife for being immodest when I was a young mother. I did not change my way of dressing. The pastor’s wife told me that my V-neck and scoop neck tops were a distraction, and the cut of my tops offended her. She said I wasn’t being fair to the men in our congregation.

    I have a problem where having anything near my neck or throat causes me to gag and panic uncontrollably. I have always been careful to wear a camisole under my lower cut tops (especially while nursing and with young kids), but I was told that the camisole occasionally peeking out was as bad a bra. It was suggested that I “just get over” my throat and neck issue, in order to be able to wear high necklines.

    In the end my husband and I left the church. Its not worth choosing between gagging and panic to meet the standards of dress of one offended woman.

    • I’m so sorry you encountered such a situation. :(

      This pastor’s wife seemed to be consumed by thoughts of what others are or aren’t wearing – she has a problem, not you. I feel sorry for her – she was/is missing out on so much by focusing on keeping “rules” of dress over simply being at church to worship God. I hope you all didn’t let the situation keep you from finding a new church to be a part of. *cyber hugs*

  132. Minerva Johnson says:

    God talks to me and he says” Minerva, there are too many busy bodies out there!” I mean who cares! wasn’t like you was on Bourbon street dancing around or anything. That old biddy just needs to get a life and quit trying to boss everyone around.
    Now you go get yer dress out of the trash! It is no good throwing away perfectly good clothes!
    That old grouchy busy body needs to go help the homeless or worry about helping folks with aids or cancer, not what someone has on..jee whiz(excuse me for almost cussin”)

  133. Thank you, Courtney for sharing! That was very brave of you to share it with us. I understand most of the questions raised in the phone call but the shoe one baffled me. I’ve never heard of anyone having modesty issues from toes before.

  134. Rebekah says:

    Wow! What a message. I am so glad for the modesty teaching and training. I realize that many were taught in a legalistic way, but that does not make modesty wrong. If we can only see the “bondage” of being modest, we might want to ask God to examine our hearts that we might do His will. I have struggled over the years to teach modesty without it being legalistic. I am so glad for this article and all the posts that have been added. I have to, very soon, teach the adolescents in our church about this very thing. They come from a more somewhat legalistic avenue and they are rebelling against it. Thank you for all that has been said. I see some new ways to approach the subject. Modesty is so much more than just dress. I was taught to dress modestly, but I never seemed to grasp the real meaning of modesty which starts in the heart and is revealed in the body – like in dress, in body language, in the eyes and finally in the actions. I really think many girls would accept the modest dress, if they understood more about modesty in general and the consequences of being modest or not being modest.. It would be so much easier if God said in the Bible that we had to wear this or that. He deals with it by saying that we should be modest. He also deals with the inner beauty of a woman. I do believe that we can trust God to show us to be more modest, but too often we try to be “modest” just like someone else, instead of allowing God to reveal to us what He wants us to be, not only in what we should wear. It does all comes back to the heart. What we are in our hearts shows on the outside, but sometimes we get confused or don’t know how to show what is in the heart. A new Christian and an older one, who may not have had the opportunity to be taught modesty, need time and prayer and love. We are all traveling the road to heaven and we all have areas where we need to be guided or shown something different. There is the fashion of this world and it is based on men’s and women’s desires. God’s fashion is a little more difficult to grasp, but if I dress to please God, the world’s fashion does not hold as much attraction. May God encourage you in your quest for modesty in your life before God.

  135. Thanks for sharing! It is so important that as women we are there for each other and confront in love if necessary. Following up is very important, that is how we show how much we really care about the woman and truly wanting to help.

  136. DJ SPLASH says:

    Thanks for sharing this article. Way to recognize that you’re loving your Christian brothers when you dress modest – that shows maturity!

  137. Great encouragement! I just gave very similar tips in the Woman to Woman Magazine.

    I love that you took her advice to heart and with a good attitude. I am afraid I would be offended and upset. Though I wouldn’t have said anything back to her, I still would have been very hurt.

  138. I can see where the skirt may have been a little short, but I see nothing wrong with the shoulder or arms showing. Your chest area was covered high enough for the bare arms not to be a problem. I don’t understand the shoe issue unless they looked like stripper shoes. :) we do need to be cautious in what we wear as Christian men and women, but we also need to be careful and not be judgemental because of our flesh, insecurities, and jealousy. being conservative and modest doesn’t mean we have to dress like a nun, or Muslim. We just don’t need to dress like street walkers advertising sex. what attracts you to one person may not be attractive to someone else, so what you wear needs to be from your own conviction between you and God.

  139. Wm. D. Sweezy says:

    First of all,I got you 2 mixed up with another couple I have not seen in years. Same names and children. Ironic. OK. I go to the BIBLE for all my answers. The BIBLE describes nudity as is from the lower thighs-up. That would be,sitting down,a woman’s knees should be covered. That includes her sholders. It would be very difficult for me to worship my HOLY and RIGHTEOUS JESUS with women dressed like you were. I heard a Preacher from the Pulpit say to a congragation that he didn’t know if he was in Church or Kentucky Fried Chicken. Because all he had seen so far was legs & breasts. Lol I’m not judging you. No way. Listen,I’ve done enough after SALVATION to be sent to hell. Please,I’m a red-blooded american man [human].Don’t make me or other men lust. Opinions are nothing up to the BIBLE. Study only the KING JAMES with old old old comentaries. Also, the BIBLE says that a woman is not to wear any thing pertaining to a man. I heard that a woman who wears pants is a crossdresser. Even the world knows the difference. Take rest-rooms,on the door of mens the picture has pants on. On the womens door the picture has a dress. Jeremiah shouted’Return to the old pathes where in is the GOOD ways’ And the people said’we will not’ Does that make you think of today’s times? We are all messed up today and so far away from GOD’S WORD. Men should dress like men and women should dress like women. We all are to be covered. I don’t know but,it seems yall are in a very liberal Church.

    • Enjoyed your post! Amen, Brother! that’s the good stuff!

    • Wow, I guess that makes me a crossdresser because I wear pants – hmmmmm.

      Women don’t make men lust nor do men make women lust. When we see someone attractive we make the choice ourselves where we allow our minds to go – do we dwell on it or let the initial thought go and move on? The choice and responsibility is ours alone, not someone else’s.

      God Bless. :)

    • Megan G. says:

      When that scripture was written, were men wearing pants?

      I’m not trying to be argumentative. We agree that women should dress modestly. And if a woman, with her husband’s leadership, decides that wearing pants isn’t right for her, then of course I think that’s wonderful. But to say that any woman who wears pants is a crossdresser is just inflammatory for the sake of being inflammatory, in my opinion.

    • 1. Knees are not thighs.
      2. So, you are saying that you would never lust after a woman who is covered from her knees to her shoulders? That’s good to know.
      3. The cross-dressing remark is ridiculous. Pants made for a woman do not pertain to a man any more than a shirt that buttons down the front. For what it’s worth, my husband has four skirts that he wears. One kilt and three Fijian skirts that look like they belong to his great-aunt. In our household, I should not wear skirts if I don’t want to look like a man!

    • No one is making you lust. Maybe men should stop blaming women for their actions…guess that all started with the bible, though, hmm?

    • Wilma. Danielle. S. says:

      who knew that KNEES were so erotic that the bible BANNED them from view! I did NOT! Where exactly does the knee start because I need to make sure the lower part of the knee is okay because all of my wardrobe hovers between mid-knee (at the bend) and lower-knee and I need to know which are the sinful ones. How come you didn’t list those anti-knee verses? I need to look them up in only the OLD OLD bibles, the new bibles have been distorted and say KNEES are not nude and are okay to see…. so CONFUSING. The father of all evil, SATAN must have had his hand in all bibles except the KJV because he wants us to fall in love with evil KNEES.

    • Samantha says:

      I prefer dresses over pants. But, I have trouble with the “pants are men’s clothing, dresses are for women.” Didn’t all people at one time wear robes?

      • I have to pipe in here because I’m a woman who loves to wear pants and do so because I find them modest but still very classy. Matter of fact, the 1st time I wore a skirt to sing in front of the congregation, my pastor’s wife came up to me and exclaimed that I should wear skirts more often because I have beautiful legs! Now that threw me for a loop!

    • Everyone wore robes in Bible days, but breeches (Webster 1828 dictionary for the KJB definition: “A garment worn by men, covering the hips and thighs. It is now a close garment; but the word formerly was used for a loose garment, now called trowsers…” were ONLY worn by men and used for work. They were never worn separate from the robe but in addition to. They were for when a man would have to ‘gird up his loins’ (tuck his robe in his ‘girdle/belt’ so that he could still work and still be modest. Breeches were NEVER at any time used in the Bible in regards to a woman. Also, the outer robes that they wore were so distinct that you could tell from a distance if you were coming upon a man or a woman. Pants on women didn’t happen until feminism in the 19th century. Right there is a good reason to avoid them altogether. If it’s cross-dressing for a man to wear a skirt (anyone with common sense will say it is), then it’s cross-dressing for a woman to wear pants. Deuteronomy 22:5 “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” In light of that verse, breeches were a MAN’S garment in the Bible and up until the 19th century and feminism. God doesn’t change…we do.

      • Wow, Roxanne, I didn’t know that the bible said this! Thank you for sharing this but I have to tell you that even in a knee length skirt, I will create more distraction than being in a nice pair of slacks. May I be so bold in asking, do you not wear any pants, not even jeans?

        • This whole pants thing really struck a chord with me so I delved into it and this is what I found. From what I read, the context of Deut 22:5 is referring to men and women who crossdressed (women specifically in armour) to worship idols and THIS was the abomination. When I wear pants, I do so in modesty and certainly not as a form of worship to any idol. I can see where women shouldn’t look masculine and vice versa. You should be able to tell if someone is a woman or a man but I think many women who are in fact very feminine look classy and modest in pants.

          In Romans, Paul writes, “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code” (Romans 7:6). Therefore a believer does not live by legalism but by grace.

          So the issue is that a woman should wear modest clothing. Whether or not that includes pants should be between her and the Lord and I don’t believe that we should allow ourselves to be dictated to by legalism or others. Only the Holy Spirit can convict our hearts and while we are called to teach and instruct, it should always be offered in gentleness and love. We can not judge others because their walk doesn’t line up with ours.

          • Public restrooms tell us what men’s dress and women’s dress are. Men’s restrooms have a figure in a pair of pants; while women’s restrooms have a figure with a dress on. :)

          • Deu. 22:5 doesn’t have anything to do with wearing armor and idol worship. Where did you read that?

        • Hi Amanda! I had to study it out in my 20′s because I was in a place of leadership in my Church. No, I haven’t worn pants since I was 8 years old with the exception of one time for an experiment. I’m from Northern Wisconsin where temps regularly get down to 40 below zero in the winter time and I told my Mom I wasn’t going to wear pants anymore. She said that was fine but if I got sick, I was wearing them! She made me keep a pair, but she never made me wear them. She has always worn pants as have many women in our Churches.
          The only instance of God clothing people is in Genesis 3. They had fig leaves, God made them coats. (definition of coats used there is: a tunic; an inner garment worn next to the skin. Generally, with sleeves, coming down to the knees rarely to the ankle.) That is how God dresses them. A LOT more than what they thought needed to be covered (fig leaves).
          In I Timothy 2: 9, adorn (to embellish with honor, beautify) in modest apparel (translated Katastole: a long flowing garment). Are pants a long, flowing garment that embellishes us with honor and beautifys us? A friend put it this way once, “Have you ever noticed whenever a girl gets to dress up in long pretty dresses (prom, wedding, ect.) that she acts like a pretty, pretty princess-a lady. This is how we should feel with our clothes. I never felt that way wearing pants. ” The long, flowing garment is meant to completely conceal…not reveal or accentuate. Even pants that are not too tight, show off the rump and shape of the legs. It’s what woman’s pants were meant to do. Our apparel should cover it up like it isn’t there, not just paint it another color. Skirts should be loose, not tight in the same regard. If its SO tight that it shows the size of your rump and clings to your hips, then it is immodest, as well.
          Isaiah 4:1 “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and WEAR OUR OWN APPAREL: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.” In context, this is talking about when God judges Israel. Read the Isaiah 3, to get the whole picture.
          I studied this out with an open heart toward God. I didn’t want to impose rules or say, “Thus saith the LORD”…where He did say it. At the end of the study, I realized that although I didn’t wear pants, sleeveless things, or things to tight, I still wasn’t always dressing modestly.
          I am not judgemental of people who do not dress Biblically. I know that it isn’t taught much in any circles. So people have been led to believe that the Bible doesn’t say anything about it, and it is left to our discretion. But God has always demanded separation from His people and if people take the time to honestly seek it out with an open, willing heart to God, I believe He will show them, or lead them to someone who can show them. I hope this is helpful, if for no other reason than to provoke some thought! God DOES care what we wear since we are portraying Him and His Kingdom! =)

          • Thank you Roxanne for taking the time to respond =) You have certainly provoked thought in me! I never really thought about wearing pants in that light. I honestly found pants to be more modest than skirts, especially when I was working in the business world. Now I’m a stay at hom mom of three and don’t have to worry about work attire but I’m strongly reconsidering wearing pants and I’ll tell you why. What you said about how girls feel like princesses in flowing dresses is so true. Even though I wear what I would consider very feminine and elegant pants, they don’t make me feel girly and princesslike. On the contrary, I feel strong and confident (and maybe that’s a bit masculine as apposed to meek and humble). I have to admit though that I don’t see one size fits all solution here. If we’re going to talk about not wearing “anything” that pertains to men, then there are others items of clothing that we must consider as well. Tshirts were originally made for men. So if we can’t wear tanks, tshirts, and pants, what’s left for a mom like me who lives in nearly 100 degree weather and takes her kids to the park often? I always wear cargo shorts but then again now I’m considering those! Cargo of anything were originally designed for men! So I feel as though I have to dress like Mrs. Ingalls from LIttle House on the Prairie (which I’ve always said that I wished I could’ve lived in those days =)) But do you see where I’m coming from? I love long flowing dresses but they’re not practical for everyday running around so do you have any suggestions? I really appreciate your time =) God Bless You!

      • Ummm… I may be missing something here, but pants are and (as far as I have been able to tell) always have been everyday wear for Chinese and Indian women – usually under some form of tunic. And someone else has also brought up the obvious Scottish kilts and Fijian skirts on the men’s side of the fence.
        I think we have to be careful here not to legislate along cultural lines and stick merely to the Scripture. Thighs are out – don’t read anything about knees – breasts are pretty obvious – we shouldn’t present ourselves to appear like men – men shouldn’t present themselves to appear like a woman. The new testament specifically mentions “modest apparel” ie. not to flaut or draw attention to oneself and this applies as much to expensive and extravagent clothing as to how much flesh it reveals!

    • Wanda Garner says:

      May I say……….When I received the greatest “GIFT” many years ago (SALVATION), my SINS were “COVERED” by THE BLOOD!!! This “COVERING” wasn’t SKIMPY. I was “COVERED” C O M P L E T E L Y. Nothing was hanging out that needed to be tucked in or pulled left, right, up and down to be completely covered. When my LORD and SAVIOR CLEANED ME UP……… HE COVERED ME UP!! Folk see the outside of us and if we are not properly COVERED then it leaves room for jester. Courtney, whether she realizes it or not, (and I hope she does) has opened up a door that desperately needed opening. When Jesus comes into our hearts HE does a TRANSFORMATION. OLD THINGS PASS AWAY AND BEHOLD ALL THINGS BECOME NEW!! Thank you sweet Courtney for your courage and spirituality. May God give you a SPECIAL BLESSING!

  140. My pastor just preached on that. He read Genesis where Adam and Eve used leaves to probably cover up just the embarrassing places. God made clothes out of animal skins (the first death) and the Bible uses the word there that is clothing from shoulders to knees. So he suggested that we take that as a minimum. I am interested in this and I plan on looking up the Strong’s definitions of Genesis words, myself.

    Anyway, it’s like in Genesis God said something like, “You think you should be covered up? Because of your sin and subsequent embarrassment? I’ll show you what covered up is.”

    • You’re on the right path! Keep studying…God wants to show you! I have some book recommends/study helps if you are interested. I mainly used my Bible, then my Websters 1828 Dictionary (online version is available as well) and Strongs Concordance. In Bible College, they said that was all you needed to interpret the Scriptures, well, of course those and the Holy Spirit! Praying you find the answers you seek! =)

    • Jennifer Oberg says:

      “The embarrassing places”… Again, that sort of thought is so sad. Our bodies are not embarrassing.

  141. Dear Sister,

    I didn’t read all of the comments. But I read your blog and was sorry that your sister didn’t confront you more lovingingly, and didn’t become more of a titus 2 woman to you! she missed out on a great opportunity for friendship. I’m sorry for the hurt she may have done to you by her lack of follow up and fellowship, but glad that God chose to use her in your life nonetheless. You will be a great mentor and example to young women after you, and you will do it the right way. God bless you, Young and beautiful Mom. ~A.

  142. Many women don’t realize what might be too immodest. There are some things I’ve never thought about before that could be immodest. For example, I didn’t realize that men could see through a white skirt. I wish that the lady had done things differently. I wish that she had been a friend to you after she confronted you.

    I think it is very important to dress modestly to help men to stay pure in thoughts. There is another concern I think that needs to be addressed here that is more serious.

    Have you ever thought about how male gynecologists are inappropriate? They are men and you cannot take “man” out of them. It bothers me that we are taught by Christians to dress modestly, but they seem to think that going to a male gynecologist is okay. I believe that God intends for the husband to be the only man to see and touch certain parts of his wife’s body and for the wife to be the only woman in the world to see and touch certain parts of her husband’s body after puberty.

    I contacted Leslie Ludy who wrote “When God Writes Your Love Story” and many other books with her husband, Eric Ludy about my concerns about male gynecologists in 2004,. Here’s what she said:

    I understand your concern in this area – at least from a personal perspective, I would not feel comfortable having a male OB/GYN or having Eric be examined by a female doctor in that way. Whether it is Biblically wrong or not is something that I haven’t studied, but I do agree that the basic concept seems to be a violation of what God intended.

    I think that in general, people tend to accept almost anything that the medical industry does because our culture sees doctors as the definitive “experts” on the human body. Often Christians fall into this trap; they submit to a doctor’s methods without questioning, but often doctor’s methods go against God’s nature. I think it is a blind spot in our culture today. I don’t know of any particular group of Christians that believe as you do in this area, although I have occasionally heard other Christians voice similar concerns. Since you feel passionately about this, I’d encourage you to begin praying about it – pray that God would open Christian’s eyes to this blind spot. Your faithful prayers and example may well become a catalyst for change in this area. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    Leslie

    • I have to say that I don’t agree with this. There are many women (especially in other countries) who are lucky to have access to any medical care, let alone having the luxury of choosing a female doctor. Many women in this country may also have limited choices based on where they live or their insurance coverage. And what about our mothers and grandmothers? There were far fewer female doctors at that time, and yet women continued to have babies and need proper medical care. I don’t believe they were sinning in any way, nor do I believe it was (or is) inappropriate. It’s one thing to be wise, but this goes way too far, in my opinion.

  143. I wanted to add that a missionary couple shared their concerns about Christian women going to a male gynecologist at http://www.mikaandfabiola.com/romans-12-2-blog/should-christian-women-visit-male-gynecologists/.

  144. MSutton says:

    Thank you for sharing this – very timely reminder with summer here and some of the current fashions!

  145. I agree with most of your post, especially with the cautions about modesty with young children. I’ve given up wearing knee-length skirts and have to be more careful with tops now that I have a toddler and am doing more moving and bending.

    That said, sometimes women do really mean well when talking to others about modesty, but there is a thin line between being helpful and being critical or judgmental. I don’t think it’s wrong to make it clear what modesty standards are expected for deacons’ and pastors’ wife, choir & ministry members, etc, but I think it’s best when they can be addressed in a group instead of singling out individual women.

    I also think there is a danger in adding extra standards and trying to enforce them on others. To me, the worrying over “toe cleavage” and bare shoulders often comes about through legalism and s used to make women feel bad for not meeting a cultural idea, rather than out of a real concern for their witness or guarding men from temptation. It also needs to be made clear that men (and women) are responsible for their own sin. Blaming the blame on women’s clothing and appearance furthers a culture where women and girls are too often blamed for being raped or taken advantage of sexually.

  146. Mark Sutton says:

    On no! YOUR TOES WERE SHOWING! You picked out the pieces of her advice you liked (to feel guilty about) and discarded the rest of her points because they were too old fashioned for you. Since you are looking for fashion advice, ask her what she thinks of what you wear to the beach! I’ll bet she doesn’t approve of a single piece of beach-wear you own. When your body is old and looks like hers you might wish you spent less time worry about what people think and just do your own thing.

  147. Wow. When I first started to read this, I thought it was going to be about the way this woman confronted you. I am really surprised to find that was about your agreement with her. I have to agree with a previous commenter who called this bullying. Where is the GRACE from this woman? If she is truly sharing with you that deacons wives are to be held to a higher standard, than why isn’t she holding herself to that standard? From what I know of you via this blog, your dress was not worn out of a desire to attract other men, but rather an innocent mistake. Doesn’t the Bible say in Matthew 23:28 – “In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”. This woman may appear righteous in her own dress, but it seems she lacks the ability to speak the truth IN LOVE.

  148. Samantha says:

    Very good article, and I have read a LOT on modesty over the years! I want to commend you for your attitude towards the person who brought this to your attention. What an example of love you show towards her, even though she may have “fumbled” the manner in which she did bring it.

    I attended a sex trafficking conference. The speaker talked on pornography- the link to prostitution and trafficking, and how Disney and other media has bit by bit, even made childhood heroes more sexually enticing in the last 30 years. Our little girls watch these movies, play with the scantily-clad dolls and grow up wanting to be just like them. (If you don’t believe me, check out for yourself how Cinderella and Snow White have changed their costumes.) And how the fashion industry has “pornified” women’s clothing- designed in a way to make grown women look like little girls. During the discussion, the talk turned to how hard it was to find modest clothing for teens, in the stores. It really hit me then, if you don’t sew, it is hard to find decent clothes, especially during the summer months! But, it isn’t impossible. We have found some very nice places online.

    I have 4 daughters and we are able to ask each other, “What do you think?” at times. There really is something wholesome and pleasing, when a gal doesn’t expose herself for all to see.

    All that being said, the lines of modesty are drawn at different places in the body of Christ. Grace goes a lo-n-n-g ways!

  149. Theresa Hill says:

    I completely agree with not wearing a skirt or dress that is too short…anywhere! I also think we all need to make sure our tops are not showing cleavage. But I’m sorry, I don’t get the bare shoulders and open toed shoes. If that is going to cause a problem, then there is a religious spirit at your church. If seeing toes and shoulders cause a man to lust, then there is more of a problem with him than with you. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church that wouldn’t even allow women to wear pants until the 80′s. I am all for modesty no matter where you are.

  150. Modesty…Oh the controversies over it…shorts, skirts, pants, bra straps, tank tops, swim wear…ugh!!!! It is a heart issue…a heart after the Lord will produce modesty.

    There are women out there dressing very modestly, but their hearts are far far far from the Lord!

    I think we women do have a responsibility,to the Lord, in how we dress. He and only He will guide us and direct us. I’m sure this lady ment well and she was right to call you and ask you questions to get you thinking (Titus 2:3-4 directs her to do so)….I also hope she directed you to go and pray about what the LORD wants.

    Something my husband and I ponder on this issue:
    What if the Lord were to call anyone of us to South America? Would the decons wife talk to the ladies in any given tribe about their dress? The Gospel has to apply to all of creation…not just here in America. So if we are making this modesty an issue of pleasing the Lord, we are wrong because the Lord is looking at our hearts – hearts that need to be modest – circumsized – clean! I suppose every culture is different and here in America dressing modest is important as we have so much ungodlyness…but in other cultures where there is not tv, vidoe games, moves etc.., they dress they way they do out of necessity because of weather and such…thoughts anyone?????

  151. One more thing…We would ALL be getting phone calls if we lived 100+ years ago! Ankles, bare arms, bare necks, etc.., were considered very immodest back in the day…so again we have to go to the Lord on this issue or we will be following man’s laws.

  152. Courtney, what about in 1 Timothy when it says that we shouldn’t adorn ourselves with gold or pearls or braided hair? I personally wear pearl earrings everyday (which I find very simple, elegant and more modest than some of the larger earrings I’ve seen). I mean if we’re going to be passionate about the word of God then we need to be passionate about all of it and not just pick and choose what we want to believe and follow, right? Please don’t take that offensively. I’m sincerely asking because I want to learn and do what’s right. So I’m wondering here (and I don’t wear any other kind of jewelry because I’ve never been one to like it) if I should stop wearing my earrings? What are your thoughts on this verse? Thank you!

    • Amanda –

      I Peter 3:3,4 says “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” NIV

      So when we read this verse in its context we see that this verse does not forbid jewelry it simply states that my beauty should not come from my jewelry and outer adornment. My beauty should come from my inner self…which is of great worth in God’s sight. Which is why it was easy to toss my dress…my goal is for my clothing to reflect my heart – which was point 2 of this post :)
      Hope that helps!
      Courtney

  153. Very thoughtful and thought provoking post, Courtney! Thanks for sharing what must have caused you some consternation and pain at the time. It is obvious you’ve learned from it and have taken your role as Christ’s daughter to heart.

  154. I just have a few comments to add here. I would like to address the first one to women who consider giving “rebuke” to another sister in Christ. First, before you say anything, ask yourself what are your truest, deepest motives in giving the rebuke. I have seen rebuke given for the wrong reasons, and the receiver usually knows the giver’s intentions are not given in pure love. For instance, some women are jealous because another is more attractive. There may be 20 women in the church who dress immodestly to some degree, but she only chooses to give rebuke to the one she is jealous of. I just think we need to be really careful that we are acting in the other woman’s best interest and not just for our own selfish motives. Also, I realize that we need to be careful about not inciting lust in men, and it is an important responsibility. However, I think a line needs to be drawn somewhere, because there are men who are attracted to EVERYTHING. If we stopped wearing anything that some men find attractive, we would have to stay home. Some men have foot fetishes, some men have toenail polish fetishes. But some men even have modest clothing fetishes. I mean, they are actually attracted to women in modest clothing. All I’m saying is, while we have an important responsibility, we need to do our best and not guilt ourselves about everything. Men DO have a responsibility too, and if we’ve done our part it is between them and God at that point.

  155. 1 cor 10:23-24 23 All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his [a]neighbor. Ladies can dress however they want and should not be blamed for the weakness in others, and men should be able to turn away from temptation however being bombarded daily and a glimpse here and there is truel challenging for me personaly (and i do turn …most of the time). I apprecaite many of the comments some focused on a womans purity and modesty, some even cmmented on mens weaknesses. the volumee of comments none the less means it is something that has been said that many people have somehting to say and it or has not been a welcomeing environment to truely let the thoughts be known. I think someone willing to confront or help another with a possible blind spot is great , the fact that nothing has been said since is disheartening. If we are motivated to be pleasing to our King, and to put the needs of others ahead of our own rights i think the answer maybe easy to understand but the will is an apt opponent though th espirit maybe willing. Surrender to His will , and to not be a stubbling block for others has to be our motivation. For men that would be to to turn away form lustful thoughts, transform by renewing your mind, having His mind in you to bear burdons, and like Joseph flea temptations. I personally thnak the sisters for their comments and hope they are willing to help us out more by letting otehrs know of the purity and modesty principals. thanks again for sharing

  156. Ann Fenn says:

    I had a simple rule for the girls in our student ministry — their clothes had to pass the 4B’s rule. No boobs, no belly, no butt & no back.. nowadays this rule applies to some of the guys too….

  157. You looked wonderful! Don’t be ashamed of yourself. God sees the heart and teaches us to look into the heart of human beings too. Maybe I could possibly be someone God can use to speak to you and wake you up from thinking holiness is in how we dress or what others think about us based on our looks? Men and women have weaknesses in different areas and no matter what you wear if a man wants to think of you in a horrible way or let himself be stumbled — he will. Because women can be fantastically gorgeous in anything with a smile and God’s light shining from their hearts — we just can’t help it ;)

  158. effie cassa says:

    I agree on person to person contact to receive instruction with questions. but i do not nor does the bible teach about judgementation.. and over acting to a sitution that is usually for god who does not need help to instruct us.. the elders of the church we go to.. if they come to us, it should be with mutal trust and love. and instruction and direction not curt unloving behavior. i am proud that you took it to heart. it is never easy. but if it was ment in the right spirit she would have used one,and she would have seen to it she stopped you in the halls you passed in and conforted you and uplifted you in christ.. wrong with some of the people here.. God back and see he said to love your god and then your neibor up against these two laws no other stands higher.. her intentions were to put you in your place… not to help you grow.. god took you in a good spirit and used you.. hers was just her on personal jealousy and spite..

  159. Hmmm…I know San Diego is considered the worse dressed city in the nation…but this article made me sad. I think it would have been much more loving for the elder deacon wife to call and ask if she could stop by…then give the new mama a hug, a gift certificate for a new dress and THEN talk about responsibility. Recently visited a large church in our area and all the people around me were whispering about a young women in tight sweats with Juicy written on her bottom…talking about how inappropriately she was dressed and that she shouldn’t be in church. So grateful for my church where she would be embraced and welcomed. Another point of view…

  160. This is going too far. I found this page because one of my Facebook friends posted it, and I think it’s ridiculous. The outfit in that picture is completely appropriate. If any man of God were to see you and lust after you, that’s his problem. There are men who can be perverted even if a woman is completely covered. Don’t feel so bad about what you wear. Part of me assumes that the woman who confronted you about it is an old lady who’s bitter about something in her own life, and just wants to take it out on you. I especially feel that way since you said that you haven’t heard from the lady since she called you on the phone about your “immodest” dress.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s right to be going out of your way to wear super revealing clothing. I just think this stress on modesty has gone too far.

  161. I have conflicting feelings about this post. I believe that what matters in most things is the intention. Did you intentionally wore those cloths? Did you really seeking attention from the males? I don’t think so. What was that woman’s intention calling you? Did she really wanted to help you? Then why was she so crude and hurtful, instead of supporting and polite? Why did she not approach you as a friend again???
    Yes you learned a lesson but not in the right way.

    Modesty is something that begins from within and this woman didn’t show any. You had a pure heart and she didn’t.

    Men will always find women attractive, and in the Muslim world some wear a full body cloak that only allows the eyes to be seen. Eyes can be very attractive too though, as well as voice or stature.
    Beautiful women will attract attention no matter what they wear, and they can’t control that. If their hearts belong to Jesus and they are pure it doesn’t matter what they wear, as everything comes from within.

    I agree with modest clothes, I prefer them and I think young and older women are all looking better with modest clothes than very reveling ones. We must learn to work on our inner beauty that comes from our close relationship with Jesus, and stop obsessing so much about clothes or make up. Sometimes clothes an make up just cover up insecurities instead of revealing flesh and making it desirable. I prefer helping a woman with insecurities than making her feel bad about her exposed body. Our bodies are those that the Lord gave us and we should take care of them properly, instead of neglecting them or expose them as if they are of no worth. There is a balance and we can all find it.

    Take care

    Lily

  162. Here is a tip: men are turned on by women’s backsides just as much if not more than cleavage. No one ever seems to address this, and nearly every Christian woman still runs around in the style of the day-super tight jeans which show the front and back off well and look like they are painted on. Why not wear looser long shirts or even mini dresses with a pair of heels over them? I do this and still look chic and fashionable, but my rear and front section are not being a temptation for men. I think it is a great idea. If it means you have to buy plus sized shirts to get the length and wear them tied up on the side or with a belt then so be it

  163. Wow, I could hit this from so many directions! As a preacher’s daughter, a mother of a 17yr old boy, a Mom of a 12 yr old daughter, a Wife and as a Christian who has served in the church for MANY years!! I know I have beliefs, preferences and convictions, as do we all! The hard part sometimes is defining the difference between the three and not bringing offence or damage to any one on the mean time. I try to err on the side of caution because I would so much rather stand before God one day and hear Him say, Audrey, you didn’t need to be that careful with how you dressed or taught your kids, or believed…than to hear Him say, You didn’t do enough! You were too lax, you were sloppy, lazy and/or immodest and because of you, these were led astray!

  164. I appreciate a woman speaking up on this – and one humble enough to accept, heed, and tell about a rebuke.

    There are so many issues mentioned in comments here … one being that it’s a heart issue. That’s true, but not the whole story. Our society at large has become so immodest that many ladies of the church follow those fashions part-way and feel they’re doing OK. They may be in something that was designed years ago to seduce, but is not as edgy as stuff at the mall today. The ’20′s “flappers” didn’t shorten their skirts because they couldn’t buy enough cloth! Those skirts were designed to entice.

    As for it being men’s fault if they look … if we continue looking, that is our fault. But in order not to continue looking do we have to not have a conversation with a particular woman? We can’t zoom our vision in on just her face. If she’s showing cleavage, we can’t get that out of our view when we speak to her.

    God designed the female body to be the most beautiful, attractive, irresistible thing the male eye ever sees. Its grace and its curves are magnificent – and men are designed to appreciate them. Since the fall, God has covered men and women. Women at large are designed to be attractive, but a man should see his own wife’s irresistible curves as she begins to lay aside some clothing. He shouldn’t have to be resisting the attraction of partially exposed breasts, bare thighs and tightly wrapped hips all day. But certainly not at church.

    Women also have to remember there are men who have higher levels of struggle in this area than, perhaps, their husbands have. There are men whose wives are ill and unable to share sex with them, men who are struggling with the after-effects of a porn addiction, or for whatever reason are very temptable.

    But perhaps … consider that women’s bodies are to men, what supportive emotion is to women. If a man were giving the women of the church personal positive comments – “My, you look nice today sister!”, “You’re so sweet through what you’re going through!”, “Those barrettes are perfect in your hair!”, “You have so much insight to share!” – everyone would consider this inappropriate. He’s flirting. If he can’t be legitimately courting the woman in question, this stuff needs to stop! Women would either accept the flirtation or avoid the guy. Married women would find any reason not to talk to him.

    And a woman who dresses immodestly is the same way to us.

    • Gal 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
      1Jo 2:16 For all that [is] in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.
      2Cr 10:5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
      1 Sam 16:7 … For [the LORD does] not [see] as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
      Luk 16:15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
      Jhn 7:24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
      2Cr 10:7 Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he [is] Christ’s, even so we [are] Christ’s.
      Pro 15:11 Hell and Destruction [are] before the LORD; So how much more the hearts of the sons of men.

      Eph 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.

      Psa 119:133 Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me.

      Mat 5:28 “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

      Mat 5:29 “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast [it] from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into Hell.

      1Cr 5:11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner–not even to eat with such a person.
      Rev 21:8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
      Rev 22:15 But outside [are] dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.
      1Cr 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,
      Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, Gal 5:21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told [you] in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

      May every man repent and cease to make excuses for the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes. Lust is sexual immorality and that desire is the flesh not the Spirit.
      Rom 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what [is] that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

  165. Pastor John says:

    Courtney,

    I don’t know you and this is the first time I’ve ever read your blog, but I want to say a big “Thank You” for sharing this experience and the lessons you took from it.

    As a Pastor, I often wish our beautiful ladies just realized how difficult they make it for men who come to church to focus on God and spiritual issues to do so because they are immodest. Few women realize the power women hold to draw a man’s attention and thoughts to their bodies! It makes it extremely difficult to truly worship God and focus on Him when an immodest woman is before a man’s eyes.

    Thank You for your teachable spirit and for setting a great example for our Christian girls! It thrills me that I saw your Blog post “shared” on a beautiful young Christian mother’s Facebook page! God is using you!

    BLESSINGS!

    • Sadly all to many women are aware of their power over men and they like it so do not care.

    • I find it funny to blame women for the shortcomings of a man… seems carnal nature isn’t completely taken out and there needs to be more alter visits!

  166. I found this topic very Interesting. I’m so glad that you put this up so other Women and girls can follow what you have found immodest and turn it to modesty. Thanks so Much and May God bless You and Your family

  167. Hmm… lots of interesting discussion here. I wish I had time to read it all. Then again, maybe not. ;) I’m not really interesting in arguing.

    I am glad you accepted the correction and speak of it with grace. It concerns me, however, that the woman seemed more concerned with outward appearance than the heart. You mentioned that our appearance reflects our heart and to man that is true. God looks past our appearance and into our hearts. It would be nice if we could do that as sisters and offer correction in a true spirit of love.

    I really wish she would have spoken to you in person, (face to face) given you a hug and offered friendship beyond the conversation. It breaks my heart that you were left alone to cry about it. It must have been very awkward to face her afterwards.

    Would we correct our children that way? I certainly hope not. Neither should we correct our sisters in such a way.

    In addition, it is man who holds deacons’ wives to a higher standard, not God. God expects elders and deacons to live by that standard *before* they are placed in their positions. It is something we should all strive for, and only through Christ in us. I am sorry she made you feel singled out because of your position in the church. I have experienced life in a fish bowl as a pastor’s wife. It was hardest on our children, who were expected to set an example to the rest. Our children are wonderful, but they’re not perfect and people were quick to point it out. I have to wonder if people who do such things really are acting according to God’s Word.

    I say all these things, not to change what already happened to you (because you seem to have handled it better than most would), but in hopes that someone in this long list of commenters will be careful when they choose to correct someone else.

    God bless you.

  168. Great post. Thanks for sharing. I wish more women would think like this.

  169. This issue deals with the heart and that is why is is so controvesrial like MONEY! LOL

    As long as your heart is in the right place and is teachable this post shouldn’t be an offense.

    My take on it is to dress well but be comfortable.When i dress i don’t want to think about my clothes so i make sure i dress correctly so i can enjoy fellowship and the house of God especially with children pulling and tugging. God has given us all a sense of style and creativity and there are many ways to show that but honour Him at the same time.

    This isn’t a post on unifomity meaning we shall all dress the same NO this is about the heart and being creative to please our Lord.There are many blogs that we can draw inspiration from God willmake a way if we are willing to make acommitment to being modest.

  170. I just read over a hundred posts of Christian women (and a few men!) discussing what each other is doing and wearing. When I left the strict fundamentalist church we attended for 30 years, with its dress code for staff members (including teachers, music, any ministry) – my personal choices of clothing actually became MORE modest. God is NOT concerned with what clothing we wear on Sunday to a particular building. He is concerned with our relationship with Him, with our hearts being tender to His leading every day, every place, 24/7. When THAT is in place, his Holy Spirit does a much better job of leading and convicting then we could ever do for ourselves or each other. Now I consider every morning if what I’m wearing is appropriate and modest. Having said that, I am also a big proponent of the older women teaching the younger – and most of us don’t have the courage to lovingly do so. If your own conscience (thru the Holy Spirit in YOU) and your husband/father is ok with your public appearance – then you are following the scriptural admonition to modesty. You DO NOT need the approval of pastor, deacon or other women. We need to develop our individual ability to hear and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading us directly – not through some intermediary.

    Here’s something I can’t say strongly enough – the church building is NOT God’s house – EACH ONE OF US is where he dwells. You don’t “meet with God” at church if He’s already inside of you. There is absolutely NO scriptural (NT) direction that applies to a few hours a week in a certain building. Anything you realize that God would like you to do or be applies all the time, because you are in His presence and take Him with you all the time. Do you really believe the early church changed their clothes in order to meet together? I don’t think so. Paul actually instructed us not to prefer those in “fine clothing” – yet isn’t that what we do when we “dress up” in fancy dresses and suits?

    Having said all that, this issue would be much more of the minor one that is in scripture, if we were actually focused on reaching the world around us instead of looking at and judging one another. When you’re working with a single mom juggling 2 jobs and 4 kids, or maybe with a recovering alcoholic trying to stay sober and employed, or a pregnant teenager, or mother of 4 battling cancer – maybe THEN you will realize how silly it is to have so much concern about someone else’s shoulders or toes or skirt or leggings. Making our priorities the same as Jesus showed in his earthly ministry – which was predominantly about meeting peoples’ needs – will show how insignificant the tightness or shortness of someone’s clothing really is. If you truly want the world to feel welcome in your congregation, you will stop being concerned with who’s wearing what. I speak from personal experience on this: if someone feels like they don’t measure up, they will not feel welcome no matter how many handshakes and smiles – and they will not come back.

    • Michelle says:

      This is a beautiful post. Thank you.

    • Thanks! This is all very true, although I do think that there is a certain distinction between meeting as a church to remember the Lord and our everyday life. Although yes, the Lord is with us and in us every day and our everyday appearance and demeanour should reflect that, we do come to meet with Him in a special way when we come together as a church to meet with Him and remember Him (Matt 18:20) in the bread & wine. I do try to dress up a bit on Sundays just because I think it reflects the attitude of my heart – I make a particular effor to be there to honour the Lord and remember Him and if nothing else those watching me in my neighbourhood can see that this is something that matters to me and upon which I place importance and treat with respect. There is a fine line though and as you have so rightly pointed out, overdressing (and especially elaborate and expensive dressing) can alienate and exclude others who we wish to reach out to.

  171. Crystal says:

    Thank you for this post, Courtney! We have four kids, two girls and two boys. We are really trying to teach the girls about modesty. It’s sinking in to our four year old boy though as well. The other day at GNC while we were shopping, he spotted a picture of a lady in a sports bra. From across the store he yelled really loud, “MOM! This girl is unappropriate!” Of course I laughed, but I told him he was right. I am thankful that God is allowing that seed to be planted early!

  172. It takes a good Christian to take criticism as well as you did. Regardless of the woman’s intentions, God could use her to teach you about modesty (maybe not how we would like to learn it). I am astounded at good Christian young ladies who “have to” dress fashionably but are reproaching the name of Christ by how they dress. Yes, they might want to look fashionable, but how is that affecting men around them? Also, how is it affecting younger girls who are looking up to these young ladies as an example? Most of all, *what does God think”?*

  173. Thank you for this article. Something else to consider, besides the “bend over test” is what my husband noticed and mentioned when we were still courting (20 some yrs ago). The sweater I was wearing one day WAS high enough in the neckline to not show anything should I bend over, BUT because he is taller than I am, when he stood behind me (we were having a picture taken), he realized he could see more than he was comfortable seeing at that stage of our (non-married, non-physically intimate) relationship when he looked over my shoulder and across my chest. I waited to wear the sweater again until after we were married. So now I do the “over the shoulder” test on our daughters too. We sure wouldn’t want someone in church or in line somewhere in public seeing more than they should just because they are taller than our daughters and happen to be standing behind them. Unless he had mentioned it when we were courting, I would never have even considered it because I had already been careful about what I wore.

  174. Deu 22:5 “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so [are] an abomination to the LORD your God. “shall not wear anything that pertains to a man” actually refers to-
    1) article, vessel, implement, utensil
    a) article, object (general)
    b) utensil, implement, apparatus, vessel
    1) implement (of hunting or war)
    2) implement (of music)
    3) implement, tool (of labour)
    4) equipment, yoke (of oxen)
    5) utensils, furniture
    c) vessel, receptacle (general)
    d) vessels (boats) of paper-reed
    OBVIOUSLY this does NOT just refer to your outfit, it actually seems to refer VERY LITTLE to the clothing of a man. This rather encompasses the LIFESTYLE of manhood.
    Now don’t get me wrong, the LAW is PERFECT and Jesus Christ didn’t come to ABOLISH but to FULFILL -Mat 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. So dont TOSS the LAW, let it tutor you. Gal 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor [to bring us] to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
    And now, sisters, if we are in Christ we are walking according to the Spirit and not the flesh. However if we are falling down in some area, let another one restore us…even if it hurts.
    And in regards to the LAW, 1Ti 1:9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for [the] lawless and insubordinate, for [the] ungodly and for sinners, for [the] unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 1Ti 1:10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 1Ti 1:11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust. So YES, there are times we will not know the right answer unless we go to the LAW, there are times that others will be in sin and we must refer to the LAW to direct them, and there are times we need doctrinal correction ourselves and we are to refer to the LAW for it.
    Going back to the issue; we must not be manly women, nobody should wonder if Christian women are men or lesbians. God looks at the heart but people look on the outside (even though they are in sin to judge that way). 1Sa 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For [the LORD does] not [see] as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” Mat 5:28 “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Jam 2:4 have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
    AS A HELPMATE to a hard-working husband many gals will end up doing things that “pertain to a man”. I live rurally, train horses, and do all kinds of jobs that traditionally are “manly”; and I wear women’s pants while I am doing them. I would constantly be exposing my bare flesh if I attempted to wear a dress doing what I do. It is more modest that I wear pants. I also want to say of myself, I am a very large and tall woman (not fat, just really big) my feet, hands, nose, shoulders, bones, and frame are as large as many men, so I purpose to wear my hair a little longer so that I am not mistaken to be a man. I am doing what I know to do- to please the Lord in feminity and modesty.
    As Christian women we have Scripture as our standard, not the opinion of other woman. God’s Word and your obedience to it is the ONLY ISSUE. Each one of us has different experiences and responsibilities which will require we make various choices, may we make all modesty decisions unto the Lord and without hypocrisy.

    • Anonymous says:

      “So dont TOSS the LAW, let it tutor you. Gal 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor [to bring us] to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

      Sorry, Julie, you’re abusing the Scripture there because you IGNORED the *very next* Scripture:

      “But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”

      Frankly, it’s shocking that you would promote a perspective that was contradicted IN THE CONTEXT and in the very next Scripture. That is NOT “rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”

      “We are NO LONGER under a tutor” is a Scripture you have clearly rejected. I suggest that before you endeavor to teach, that you get better grounded in the proper understanding of the the Law and of grace. You clearly need it.

      We’re to walk by faith, not by the Law. God gave the Jews the Law for 1500 years. Part of the reason for that was to completely convince them that they COULD NOT DO IT. That is how it “led us to Christ.” Our righteousnesses an no less filthy rags than the Jews the Lord reproved.

      This is great error and it infects virtually every church because the truth is spiritual and we are carnal.

      Do we tell people to ignore “thou shalt not steal”?

      It requires wisdom to answer that question and answering it well requires understanding how the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death and there are few men who understand that precisely because it is spiritual truth.

      The consequences of not understanding it (by failing to abide in the word [Jn8:31-32]) are yoking people with the law, something you tried to do “in the name of Jesus.”

      “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin” (Gal 3:22) and it’s only faith, to those who believe, that is the way out from under the bondage of the law. Look at Gal. 5 and read it over and over until you can see it as one thought and understand that Paul’s warning to not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage didn’t refer to sin but to the law.

      If anyone struggles with what I’m saying, I heartily recommend a very prayerful and patience meditation on the Book of Galatians and realize that this is the only letter Paul wrote where he did not thank God for the recipients, but immediately launched into a rebuke cursing anyone, including himself and angels who corrupt the gospel of grace. Beware, and believe the Good News.

      Jesus has no intention that you add Him to the law. Paul told the Galatians that if they do ONE THING to be justified by God, then they would be CUT OFF from Christ. (Gal 5:2-5) That’s STRONG language and you shouldn’t fail to grasp how important COMPLETE FAITH IN CHRIST is as the ONLY way of God’s acceptance and approval.

  175. Madeline says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I recently encountered the same situation at my own church.

    I was hired as the Interim Music Director for my small country church a few months ago. I was very excited to get this experience because I am in college studying music. I was surprised that they hired me despite the fact that I am only 20.

    A few weeks ago, I wore one of my favorite summer dresses to church. I did not even consider the fact that for the later service, I would be sitting on an elevated platform. The personel committee called me later that week to inform me that all the congregation could see was “legs!” Even though nothing else inappropriate was showing, it still made some of the older members feel uncomfortable.

    Like you, I just didn’t even stop to consider that what I was wearing could be considered inappropriate! As a conductor, I must always strive to keep my upper arms covered, and I just did not even consider my legs. What disappointed me, however, was that multiple committees and multiple people discussed my legs without even mentioning the problem to me. That turned my honest mistake into a bigger deal than it should have been, and for that I am very sad.

    Thank you again for writing this article. Like you, when I got my phone call, I cried after. I just did not realize that it what such a big deal. But I am glad that we have both learned from our chastising phone calls :)

  176. David Hudson says:

    I am amazed and thankful for your attitude. You show remarkable wisdom for such a young age. Bev and I are very proud of you.

    David & Bev Hudson
    Winnipeg

  177. This article is deeply disturbing and insulting to both men and women.

  178. Allison says:

    I haven’t really seen any kind of criticism on this article from others – albeit I skimmed the comments. So here it goes.

    While I agree that you bending over and accidentally displaying your underwear/slip might be a bit much, I have to disagree with the overall message of your article.

    I understand that people have different levels of comfort — some women dress modestly, others, particularly if they are younger, prefer less modest clothing. However, that woman had no right to tell you what to wear and what not to wear. Honestly, the gall of that woman is really appalling. She had no right to tell you that your clothes were some kind of unholy stain on the blanket of religion. And more importantly, she had no right to tell you that it is somehow your responsibility to prevent men from having impure thoughts.

    Which brings me to the bigger issue I have with your article. Frankly, you are perpetuating a really dangerous implication and I don’t think you even realize it. On the surface, what you’re saying might sound reasonable to someone. That hey, we aren’t young girls anymore. We are Christian mothers and we need to set a good example and wear age-appropriate clothing. Sound nice enough, right? But what you’re really saying and what you’re condoning is that men are susceptible to temptation and it’s our responsibility as women to make sure that these sexually ravenous men don’t fall prey to the impure thoughts we put in their heads.

    “…we are tempting men to have impure thoughts by our sinful choices.”

    What you’re saying is both insulting to men and women. One, you’re saying that women are evil temptresses. Second, you’re saying that men mindless, lusting bodies who can’t be held accountable for any sexual act committed. After all, it was the woman who was “tempting” and consequently encouraging his “sinful choices” right?

    That is completely ridiculous. And it’s also exactly what rapists and molesters say when they defend their actions. “She was so sexy. Her clothes were so hot. She was asking for it.” Or, “I couldn’t help it. She was so hot.”

    I know you don’t condone rape/molestation — obviously. That’s not what I’m suggesting. But that’s what your words imply and it’s implications like this that make people justify sexual assault and the people that commit them. It’s not a woman’s responsibility to make sure men aren’t tempted. That’s a man’s responsibility and it has nothing to do with what she’s wearing or what she’s doing. If he wants to be faithful to his wife, then he should. A woman wearing a tight red dress with half-exposed breasts is not at fault.

    Simply put, you are condoning the notion that because of figures like Adam and Eve, women are at fault for the fall from paradise whilst men were helplessly strung along by their own libidos. And that’s just messed up, especially considering the highly patriarchal society we live in that already promotes the idea that men are awesome who can’t help their own actions whereas women are to blame.

    Moreover, it is a woman’s choice on how she dresses. Just because a woman chooses to dress more scantily does not mean she’s out to tempt men or make women around her feel jealous. If I want to wear a crop top that exposes my flat stomach because it makes me feel confident and beautiful, then I will. If I want to wear a comfy and over-sized sweater that completely eradicates any suggestion of curves then I will, but not because I’m trying to appeal some higher power or keep those sexually depraved boys away. And I strongly encourage women to do the same. It’s your body and it’s your decision. If you want to dress modestly then dress modestly. If you want to dress a little sexy then do it, but do it because you want to, not because some women chastises you or you feel you should be “held to a higher standard.”

    I don’t expect you to change your mind but I do hope that you read this and really consider another perspective.

    On a final note, that dress is adorable and you look fantastic in it. Wish you hadn’t thrown it away.

    • I agree one hundred percent. It is men’s own fault if they can’t keep their thoughts in check – especially since the dress you were wearing WAS MODEST. It isn’t low cut, tight, or short!

    • I Corinthians 6:15, 19-20 “Know ye not that YOUR BODIES ARE THE MEMBERS OF CHRIST? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST which is in you, which ye have of God, and YE ARE NOT YOUR OWN? FOR YE ARE BOUGHT WITH A PRICE: therefore GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR BODY, and in your spirit, WHICH IS GOD’S.”
      I Thessalonians 4: 1-7 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how YE OUGHT TO WALK AND TO PLEASE GOD, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to POSSESS HIS VESSEL in SANCTIFICATION & HONOUR; NOT IN THE LUST OF CONCUPISCENCE (definition: desire, craving, longing, desire for what is forbidden), even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and DEFRAUD (definition: stir up passions that cannot be righteously fulfilled. As in NOT your husband) his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

    • Lindsey says:

      YES. Yes to everything you wrote. Thank you Allison.

    • Kristin says:

      THANK YOU!!

    • Thank you Allison, for your well articulated and sincere response. I agree with you whole heartedly and love how you addressed the core of the issue.

  179. Christy says:

    I don’t even remember how I stumbled across this, perhaps it was posted by a fb friend, but it made me very sad.

    I grew up in a very conservative christian family and evangelical church and I was most definitely scarred by issues of modesty as a teenager. I developed early and have a very curvy body and I was made to feel terrible about it by my own mother, as well as the older woman at church. I could wear clothing more modest than my friends and still be called out on it because I had a nice body (given to me by GOD).

    I was very shy and constantly worryied that other women were judging me cruelly when I just wanted to be comfortable (i.e. NOT wear 3 layers in sweltering summer heat). I desperately wanted to be stick straight and wear normal clothes. I also did not have a lot of money, so it was hard to find things to fit a very petite, under 5′ frame that was also curvy and not also look like a bag lady.

    I agree with the posters that say this woman was bullying and was out of line. What you are wearing is perfectly fine. If you have to chase kids at church, sure maybe wear the longer skirt or pants, but other than that you look perfectly modest and appropriate.

    All the nit-picking, bullying, jealously, and “I want my way, so I’ll say this is what GOD is telling me” is what drove me from the church for many years.

    I’m in a much better place now, spiritually, and I dress to be comfortable. If a man or woman has a problem with it, I am confident that it is a matter in THEIR heart they need to confront, not the way I am dressed.

    • Christy says:

      Oh, and I also agree that this is an aspect of christianity that is deeply disturbing and degrading to both men and women, Naomi.

      I have no problem with my fiance noticing that another woman is attractive, no matter modestly/immodestly she is dressed. It would be silly to expect it of anyone, man or woman, to be immune to noticing that the opposite sex is attractive.

      If a person is incapable of putting those thoughts aside, and focusing on spiritual matters in church, then there is something going on in their own heart that they need to address. If it is a temptation to leave a relationship… then perhaps that relationship needs a lot of work! Wow, how could you think otherwise and blame some other poor woman for baring her shoulders or having a nice smile? That man needs to take responsibility for his thoughts and actions and evaluate the root of them further than just “she should be more modest” or “I need to remove myself from this church so I won’t be tempted.” There will always be another “immodest” woman to fixate on.

  180. Thank you!!! I appreciate this so much! I agree with all points in the article. Modesty is more important than we realize. I’m a bride waiting for His return. I’m certain it would break His heart for me to be flirting with the world in immodest apparel. Thanks again. :)

  181. While I can appreciate the readiness of your response* those years ago, what sticks with me more is the fact that this older, supposedly wiser w/ideals, woman did not speak with you post rebuke/correction. Seriously? Much ado about shoulders and yet no relationship. No friendship. Sigh. But she was right so I guess that’s what matters most to Jesus. (Uh, no.) Been there. Seen it. Heard it. And as a 47-year old believer in Messiah, I totally understand why unbelievers/young Christians don’t stick around “communities” for more.

    *in obedience to what I’m presuming was indeed conviction of the Holy Spirit, as opposed to the strong personality of the deacon wife

  182. I don’t know if you know this, but God spoke through you in this post. I have been praying and thinking about my wardrobe lately in terms of modesty. I haven’t really had the motivation to fix it though. Boy, was this post timely. Thank you :)

    Jenna
    callherhappy.com

  183. John Sheppard says:

    I don’t know you, but saw the post on a friends website…From your response …It appears your Husband married a Good Woman. God Bless you..

  184. The dress in the picture you’re wearing is not tight OR short – definitely NOT immodest. I don’t think we should go around showing cleavage and wearing skirts to our panties, but you definitely are not doing that here. There’s a balance – just like we shouldn’t wear revealing clothes, we also don’t have to wear skirts to our ankles and shirts buttoned to our necks, either. And showing shoulders and toes is definitely ok! What was this woman thinking? If your church forbids shoulders and sandals…I’d start looking for a new one. As women we should be able to wear pretty, fashionable clothes and feel we look attractive, not matronly – this just has to be done with class.

  185. So very well said! My husband got an eye full at church not too long ago from the youth pastor’s wife. He was trying to check our kids in and she was leaning over the table with a dress that had a big design cut into it (or should I say OUT of it). He was so embarrassed but also upset that she didn’t know better. I do the clothes check. I don’t want to be hanging out for my own personal comfort but I also don’t want to be a stumbling block to someone else. Thank you for broaching this subject. And I too don’t get the shoe thing and I’m sorry that things became awkward between you and this woman. I am so glad she called you. I’ve had friends share the horrible things they’ve overheard other women talking about in the church bathroom or somewhere w/i the church where women thought no one could hear. Even if we are not a deacons wife or a leader, we still need to be conscious of what we wear.

  186. Great article, Courtney! I thought it was sad that the woman who confronted you seemed to avoid you after the confrontation. But, perhaps she thought you were upset with her, and as a result felt awkward? Sometimes it’s really hard to be so direct with people, and it can be even worse if they feel it didn’t go well.

    I thought it was especially good what you had to say to new mothers about the unique positions you get in when changing diapers, getting children out of carriers, picking up straying toddlers etc….all these things involve a lot of bending. New moms are tired and busy and don’t always consider that their clothes are tighter than normal or that they’re spilling cleavage that may not have existed before baby. ;-)

    Nursing is another issue. I used to be able to nurse discreetly in public and nobody knew what I was doing. But it was because I didn’t wear tight clothes, and I usually wore some sort of cardigan or sweater over my blouse. If you’re wearing a tight, fitted t-shirt or blouse and you try to nurse beside a man who isn’t your husband, it is very, very awkward for everyone.

    I wrote a similar article here called Modesty Promotes Friendship: http://yoursacredcalling.com/blog/2012/02/modesty-promotes-friendship/

    Keep up the good work!

  187. So sad to see someone more concerned about the outward appearance than the heart of the person. I can only pray that one day you will be able to see that the legalism exhibited by this nosy woman was uncalled for and that you find a church that is more interested in spiritual things than man-made staaaaaaandards. I would leave immediately.

  188. Tara High says:

    Thank you so much for this!! I work with the youth at our church, and I am often the one who has to do the confronting. I HATE it!! I love how you have worded things and put them into slightly less confrontational statements. I will so try to use this in my future dealing with our young people. Thank you so much!

  189. Oh, David, that sounds so…gnostic. ;-) We are physical beings as well as spiritual beings you know. And what’s on the inside eventually shows up on the outside. At the very least, Christians should be concerned whether or not their outward appearance is consistent with who they SAY they are in Christ. In other words, everything we do matters because we are a testimony to the world of who Christ is.

    Remember, God looks at the heart, but all man can see is what we show him. In fact, I believe that God was warning us, as believers, that our outward appearance DOES matter! He said that men do look at the outer appearance—right or wrong, they do. It’s a human weakness.

    So, although we as Christians shouldn’t sinfully judge others based on their appearance, we ourselves have a responsibility to remember that others do have this weakness – and we should desire to communicate good things about Christ by the way we present ourselves. And, by the way, not all “judging” is sinful, but that’s another post.

    “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him…” (Titus 1:16)

  190. Rachel Q says:

    Hi Courtney, I actually found this post through a link on facebook. When I saw it was about modesty I clicked on it. I just like seeing different perspectives on it…what really impressed me was not just that you chose modesty for your clothing, but that you chose it with your attitude! Too many people forget that there is more to modesty than how we dress! As I looked back over the article and pictures I was shocked to recognize your husband. He was a year ahead of me and high school =) I was so happy to see that someone from our high school is serving God! It breaks my heart the number of people who aren’t…and who are living in obvious sin! It’s one reason my husband and I chose homeschooling over Christian school. We just wanted to be able to have more influence on them. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement and sharing your stories. Keep up the good work. What a blessing you are!

  191. 1 Samuel 16:7

    Just saying.

    This type of thinking is not only limiting to you personally but to the church as a whole. These provincial and patriarchal attitudes are at least part of what keeps my peers from being involved in church or in many case religion all together. The poster listed as “Allison” is dead on in her assessment so there is no need for me to prattle on, I would just be parroting her arguments.

    I am glad for you that this blog is getting so much attention; it must be going viral or I never would have come across it. Just know that for each poster that provides you encouragement there are probably three that are at least unease about your opinion. I don’t begrudge you the attention, but it is sad that the people stumbling upon this entry who are unfamiliar or disconnect from god will leave having a very skewed image of what behaviors churches should condone. Ironically for all this blogs focus on image it fails to account for the image of Christian churches it present to undecided, inactive or unaffiliated. When you garner this much attention you need to remember that the image you project to the like minded is not what matters, its the image you project to those that need to be reached that will have the lasting impact. This sort of subservient attitude and patriarchal apologism only makes the church look foolish, out of touch and petty. I hope that the pep rally in the comments section is worth the potential damage that can be done when people are turned off or worse use this as evidence to the churches antiquate power structure and view towards women.

  192. This is near to my heart. Not with clothing but just matters of the heart. I am so glad someone was tough enough to hold you accountable and not just talk behind your back “Did you see what she was wearing today!” lol Thanks for this post!

  193. Funny, but I know the feeling! But I also chatted to my husband and I asked him what distracted him with other women, and that’s my measure. I do not want to be responsible for another man falling into temptation.

  194. Loretta Gill says:

    When I was a new Christian, I wore a shirt that I was suddenly uncomfortable in. I reasoned with myself that I was being silly- everyone wears stuff like this and it’s just fine. I’ve since learned to identify the still small voice of the Holy Spirit of God within me and I know now that it was Him trying to guide me. I’m thankful for the sweet Christian friends, pastors, and teachers that were in my life back in those days that helped me to learn how to discern His guidance. And now, when I see ladies wearing questionable attire, my first question is whether they have the Holy Spirit of God within them and my second question is whether they’ve learned to recognize and heed His voice. The answer to those questions will let me know how I might be of the same help to them as others were to me.

    • Why do we think it’s okay to judge another’s spiritual condition solely based upon their outward appearance (i.e. how they’re dressed and whether we feel they’re dressed appropriately)? I can’t tell you how many times I would have been so wrong about someone because I judged their outward appearance as immodest! We are not God – we cannot see the whole of someone’s heart – only God can see and only He has the right to judge.

      Viewpoint from a Recovered Legalist,
      God Bless.

  195. Wow. Well written. Thank you for sharing. Two years ago, I would have totally disagreed with you. (My mom always told me I dressed too modestly and should show more shoulder/cleavage.) But, after receiving the Holy Spirit, I now – finally – understand. Thank you for presenting this without being “preachy.” It really helps new believers to just explain it plainly. Otherwise it seems really judgmental (like some of the commenters above.) btw, LOVE the series. I really am appreciative of the explanations and advice!

  196. Janine from California says:

    Thanks for bringing this up. I think new believers, new moms, okay, all of us, need to be gently reminded by each other that what we wear does matter – and that we need to test our clothes. No one ever confronted me and I made a lot of bad decisions! I think it needs to be brought up in general during a teen girls event, women’s events, etc. It took me awhile to “get it.” As a teen I didn’t think it was a big deal. Looking back at pictures I am astonished my parents let me out of the house. What were they thinking? : )

    I also wore pants to work, thinking they were more modest. Wrong! Pants really show off the bottom – something that is rarely discussed.

    I’ve dressed modestly for years now, and it is hard to dress modest and cute at times. I was teaching preschoolers a couple of weeks ago at church and realized (too late) that when I bent down it revealed too much. I had failed to do the bend test, forgetting I was going to be in a new situation.

    When I first saw your picture, I thought the dress was darling. Then I saw the no shoulders and realized that would be a problem, but when you mentioned you had a new baby, I was impressed that you could even get into the outfit…but like you said, bending over would be a major problem : ) Thanks for sharing your teachable heart. It’s an important topic.

  197. It is always such freedom when we submit to correction…so glad you received this correction with a humble and broken heart before God.

  198. SPIRITUAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
    You just arrived home from church. You came into your bedroom to put your Bible on the dresser. As you opened the door into your bedroom you hear a noise in your closet. You open the closet door to investigate. All of a sudden a hand grips your arm and a gruff voice says “GOTCHA!” You go from pale to pink to purple to pale. Your automatic nervous system kicks in immediately, releasing adrenalin into your blood stream. Your heart races, your blood pressure rises, and you let out a blood curdling scream …

    Was all that show something you were intending to do as you came in that door? Why didn’t you control your emotions? Is it not sinful for you to react so out of control? Should godly Christian women not have their emotions in control at all times?

    I ask you that because many an honest (and maybe a tad naïve) woman has asked: “If a Christian man sees a partially exposed woman and has a problem with that, is that not a sign that he is perverted?”

    Yes, he is perverted. We all are. There used to be a time at the beginning of time when an all-wise Creator made man and woman perfect. And naked. The Bible says: “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25)

    That whole picture changed. After the woman partook of the fruit and gave to her husband, they went looking for something to cover their nakedness, because they were ashamed. Here the all-wise Creator stepped in and did something about that nakedness. He covered them both. He covered their nakedness. From this we can gather that if God clothed both of them, it is necessary that both man and woman be covered. Not because all of a sudden something had changed in their bodies, but because of the sin they now had to deal with. Sin opened their eyes to nakedness like never before.

    Clothing helps control the sinful nature. Satan tries to pervert all things God made. It is not that beauty is perversion. It just has to be covered so there is no perversion.

    But even though we are perverted, that is not the first thing that kicks in when a man sees parts of a woman that should be covered. It is the automatic nervous system that kicks in and reacts. It cannot be helped, just the same as you could not help the reaction when that hand grabbed your arm. Just because you, as a woman, do not experience that reaction, does not mean it does not happen. Men are aroused by sight. Extremely so! Sure, a Christian man can, and needs to, look away, resist the devil and think on other things. But that does not reverse what already happened!

    As my daughter, I want you to know this and the rest of what I want to share with you. It will keep you pure. It will protect you. It will make you wise.

    We live in a society that revels in nakedness. It is the thing we are bombarded with on billboards, magazines, the daily paper and the women out on the street. Sadly, many naïve Christian women have copied some of the trends of this nakedness and gone up for public display. So not only do we as men have to be resisting the devil on the street, we have to do it in church. Again, as a woman you may not understand it, but it is true. I have talked with many an honest pastor and leader to know that it is not only the weak who struggle with this. It is a natural thing given to men by an all-wise Creator. Intended for a beautiful relationship between a man and his wife!

    Men were created to be the initiators. Women were created to be the responders. Any woman in a marriage relationship can be thankful for the stimulation the female body evokes in a man. No woman is perfect in body, but let me hasten to tell you that all women have plenty enough to stimulate any man. Exactly how God intended it to be! But that is also why all females have to be so careful in the way they dress, walk, bend over or act.

    The more “right” your figure is, the more careful you have to be. And you are a poor judge as to what is “right”. Those breasts or those hips you think are “too big” or “gross”, and positively hate, are the very things that will turn on a man. And again, you are a poor judge to determine how big is too big. That is because there is virtually no female set of hips, ample as they may be, that will not cause a man’s heart to pitter-patter, especially when draped over with a soft clingy fabric. And how beautiful, if that is the man’s wife. But what if she isn’t? She becomes a snare and a fiery dart in the hand of Satan. And if you are small …? You are still female. A small woman may be able to hide her figure a little bit easier, but that doesn’t mean she is not stimulating to the man’s eye.

    And I repeat: The feminine shape is beautiful! Both in the eyes of the Creator who made you that way and in the eyes of all men. That is why you have to cover it so not all men see it.

    In order for you to have no doubt as to what I am speaking about let me explain a few things very specifically where you have to be careful. I am writing this so you can have something to read and reread; something to supplement what we have already taught you. I am not trying to be legalistic or pushy in what I say. I am trying to protect your purity. Also it is because I do not want you to be an accessory in the Devil’s arsenal. I do not want you to be a Bathsheba.

    Bathsheba had no intention to make anyone sin. All she was doing was bathing in a place where she was visible. And David was not wicked either. The Bible says he was a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22) But in the presence of a naked woman, he was weak. She started a process that ended up in sin, murder and much heartache. It would not have happened if she would have looked for a secluded place to take her bath.

    You say: “I only bathe in a secluded place”. I commend you for that and I will always strive to provide you with just such a place. But the sin of Bathsheba was exposure of skin that should not have been public. When we make other people sin, we are accountable for that. The Bible says: “Neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure” (I Timothy 5:22). I believe the Bible stresses modesty in women so they will not make men sin. Women have very little problem with being aroused by what they see. That is why the Bible doesn’t expound on how the men need to be modest.

    The following points are some ways in which you can expose too much of yourself:

    Short dresses

    What is short? That is a question many women ask. Let me just tell you that legs on a woman are very seductive. The more exposed they are, the more seductive. Why? Because it draws the eyes and the imagination up the legs. In order to not tempt the average man you will have to have your dresses as long as possible. Remember that even if a dress comes well below the knees when you are standing, it will come up further when you sit down. And do not think only of the front part you see. Many a woman sits and spreads her skirts around the front and forgets that the back is exposed to full view.

    And if you have ever thought of making your dress shorter and cover the legs with nylons, you are way off course. Thin nylons do not help! They actually make it worse because it brings out the shape and covers them with a flaw eraser. In wearing socks use such as will not accent the shape or draw attention. And cover your legs with your dress!

    Short sleeves

    Again, what is short? If you know men have a problem with exposed skin, how much do you want to expose? A meek woman will cover instead of trying to see how much she can expose. A general rule is that at least from the elbow up it should be covered. When a woman lifts up her arm she shouldn’t have to worry that she is exposing anything.

    Tight clothes

    Women think that because they have their skin covered, they are no longer naked. That is far from true. If the clothing you wear reveals the shape of your breasts and the contour of your hips, in a man’s eye it really is not much different than the bare skin. Sure, his automatic nervous system will probably not react quite as fast, but it still will.

    As I said before, most women have some kind of flaw. If it is covered with tight clothing that reveals the shape, guess what happened? The flaw is gone, but the shape is still there.

    Low neck lines

    Low neck lines expose skin and draw the eye to the neck and the breasts. The more you reveal, the more “loose” you look. You are saying: “Look at this”. If you expose those parts a man’s eye will constantly be drawn to them. I have heard some women gripe about how men look at their chests instead of their eyes when they talk. Whose fault is it? If you feel men’s eyes constantly roving down ward, be assured it is for a reason.

    When you are speaking with someone and stand even two feet away, you can be looking them straight in the eye and still see their feet. Try it. Now, if a man who was created to notice feminine beauty is speaking with someone who has a low neck line or some other exposed shape, his eye will constantly be drawn to it. It takes a lot more diligence to keep it focused on the face than that “something” that continues to tantalize the rest of the eye.

    Thin and clingy fabrics

    Thin and clingy fabrics fall in the same category as tight clothes because they reveal. Partial nudity can have a stronger allure than total nudity simply because of what it does to the imagination. Partial nudity calls for a closer look to finish the picture. Fashio designers know all about this. That is why they use semi transparent and clingy fabrics to achieve the effect.

    As a child of God you will want to avoid all fabrics that draw attention to your body instead of to Christ. In selecting fabrics you will need to keep in mind that other people will see you in all positions and from all angles. A fabric that is not thick enough will allow the shape to be seen if there is a strong backlight. Example: When you stand in a doorway.

    You will also need to keep in mind that the wind blows. A thin and clingy will mold to your body and reveal every last curve in a wind. And if only one side is plastered by the wind, the eye ends up finishing the picture.

    Also avoid soft and “touchable” fabrics. You know what effect a teddy bear has on you. The soft, snuggly huggable little critter makes you want to do just that: snuggle and hug. Is that the message you want to send to men? Too many women do just that and are repulsed when loose men touch them. It really is no wonder. That is the message they send.

    Any fabric that shows the shape or shade of undergarments is too thin or clingy. And if it just about shows when you are standing, what will it do when you bend over or squat to talk to a child? Which brings me to my next point.

    Posture and body language

    You can cover yourself ever so carefully but ruin the whole effect with posture. In the presence of others, never bend over at your waist. Rather, bend your knees. Experiment in front of a mirror or get someone to help you. The difference is astounding. And it just so happens that hips are one of men’s weaknesses…

    Many women also forget to sit correctly. Make sure that every time you sit your dress is not tight over your hips or legs. Also, do not sit on the floor or such with your legs wide open. Even if you make sure you are covered, the position is sensual to some men.

    How do you walk? A Christian lady will never want to walk with her chest pushed out or with hips swinging. It draws attention to the two most striking features on a woman’s anatomy.

    Another thing to remember is that modesty also has something to do with the way you carry yourself, the way you smile and what you do with your eyes. Make sure you have a “meek [humble, modest, mild] and quiet [tempered, docile, serene, calm] spirit” (I Peter 3:4).

    Hair arrangements

    Ever notice how hair is one thing many women take a lot of time with? It is because men also like hair. Not all men are affected by hair in the same way. And some men are hardly affected at all. But, hair is a glory to the woman (Cor 11:15). Some hairstyles are known to be considered “sexy” and others take far more time than is appropriate to a meek and quiet, humble spirit. Some hairstyles lead to pride. We should be moderate and simple in all things.

    Accessories

    Be very sure that your choice of footwear, watches, purses, et. Are not to draw attention to you. These things make statements about who you are. If you think you have to have matching and color coordinated accessories, or have to have a different pair for each occasion, rest assured it is not something that was prompted by the Holy Spirit, or a meek and quiet one in you.

    High heeled shoes do two things for a woman: push out her breasts and make her hips stick out. Is it any wonder women use then? What had we said about these parts anyway? A Christian woman will avoid high heels at all cost.

    The spirit of 1 Peter 3:4 will eliminate all such things as makeup, dies, and nail polish. Also the amount and kind of perfumes. Now, do not misunderstand me. I am not banning perfumes. They are very necessary for a lot of us to cut down body odors. But an excess of perfume especially certain types of perfume, many times stimulates sensuality. Why would a modest and tempered woman use an excess of perfume? Is it not to be noticed, or to make a statement?

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    There is a direct relation between immodest dress and sexual immorality. What women often do not realize is that rape victims many times do have something to do with the rape. On the other hand, there are plenty of men out there who will imagine what they cannot even see. That is their problem. Just make sure you are not triggering it.

    Not all men are created equal. Something that might trigger one man might not arouse another. You do not know what that might be. Therefore, keep that feminine beauty covered. In I Peter 3:1-6 we find that the Christian woman should not stress the outward beauty, rather the inner beauty. If you exhibit the outer beauty, few men will even try, or be able to, look for the inner beauty. And the type of men you will attract who will be interested in you will be the lower type. Real godly men specifically look for women that will give good attributes to their children.

    Are you afraid of men by now? You should not have to be if you follow the spirit of these guidelines, remain open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, communicate with us and other mature people about this, keep a meek and quiet spirit, and associate with the proper men. If you do this you will gain the respect of all men and also be a delight to Christian men who will be very thankful for a safe haven for their eyes. And God will be glorified.

    • Hi Karen,

      While we all have the right to follow how we believe God wants us to live, I really have to take issue with something you said toward the end of your post.

      Your QUOTE: “What women often do not realize is that rape victims many times do have something to do with the rape. ”

      Women (or men or children) are NEVER responsible for rape or any kind of abuse. For anyone to say this is just irresponsible and further wounding those who’ve been raped and/or abused. When someone rapes or abuses another, it is about power and control – pure and simple. And to suggest that it is somehow the fault of the victim’s (the way they dress, etc.) is just wrong.

      I respect the right and responsibility we all have to follow after God’s heart, and yet reading all of your “rules” made me feel sad for you. I’ve lived a life of a legalist and I’m thankful I’m not under all those legalistic rules anymore. I hope your life is all you desire it to be.

      God Bless.

  199. As a Christian in a majority Muslim country the question of what it means to dress modestly is one that comes up a lot both in that country and when I return to the states. In the end I have come up with that if I am wearing less clothing / showing more flesh in any given situation than most women who would be considered to be ‘modest,godly women’, I am pretty certainly inappropriately dressed. The aim is to fall on the side of overly modest, to protect my witness to Gods holiness/ my character, and to not be a stumbling block for any men, whether Christian or not. In america at the pool it is usually ok to wear a one piece swimsuit, however wearing the same amount of fabric to go out shopping would be probably considered immodest. so much of it depends on context and culture. I also think ( having discussed this with husband) that guys can be more sensitive or less sensitive( read more likely to struggle) depending on context and culture, and time spent in certain cultures. Someone used to a very conservatively dressed church might find it a problem to go to a church where people dress in beach clothes etc.

    To be blunt I have big boobs and the lean over in front the mirror test has been essential, (as a high school teacher especially!!!) i mean i have to wear singlet/ tank tops back to front to make sure the assets are covered when i bend over. and as a mom with three small kids I have days when I am shopping when I realize my ‘at home’ top should be only that, even if it looks cute in the mirror. I think all of us should try our best to be modest, be thankful if someone in a godly way suggests ways to help us protect our witness,/not be a stumbling block to guys. Great article :-) and I’ve found reading comments very interesting too :-)

  200. Sorry that should say less sensitive – less likely to struggle, more sensitive – more likely to struggle

  201. Rebecca says:

    I thoroughly believe in modesty. How you dress for you age and in a proper manner. I, do however, disagree with the shoes part. Showing your toes is not like showing off cleavage or bottom….. I feel that, yes, conservative dress is appropriate, but it can also be taken too far. It’s good to show that you are a lady, but not a promiscuous lady.

  202. Is this for real? You are kidding me right? this is some mock website… it … it has to be.

    God bless you all, in Christ’s Name we pray

  203. Oh , and I forgot to say, my older sister who lived in Manassas (VA) was always a loving Christian and a modest woman. But then she died a horrible and painful death… cancer took her.

    God is great, in Jesus’ Name we pray

  204. Very good story. I agree that the shoes is taking it too far. There’s nothing wrong with open-toed shoes.

    I teach high school and every day I am amazed by some of the things the students try to wear.

  205. God’s Word…discerning the “thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
    The heart from Him…willing to “lay down our lives for another.”
    For the sake of unity…having a “tender heart and humble mind.”
    Because to Him be the glory…”both now and to eternity.”

    And in light of eternity…what really matters?

    I probably would’ve had a knee-jerk-defensive-grip-onto-my-freedom-and-rights-response.
    And THAT is why I SO loved this post.

    “My soul, find yourself in Jesus, and be free.”
    ~Andree Seu

  206. You let that woman impose her 1920′s Mennonite will on you and she didn’t even know you. Try standing up for yourself and thinking for yourself. That dress covers you up. In all likelihood that comment came from a place of jealousy and not genuine concern.

  207. Brittany says:

    What a judgmental woman to think she’s in a position to ‘shame’ you. As far as my understanding of the Bible goes, that’s not her place. “Anyone who has no sin in their life should step forward and throw the first stone…” Self righteousness is so off putting!

  208. Wonderful story! The only thing that really bothered me was the fact that the ‘deacon’s wife’ that called you has not had a conversation with you since!?! I have an “Accountability Partner” – not spouse or family – and we keep a close eye on one another. When we see that one of us is headed for the ditch, we have a code, “Let’s meet at Huddle House for a cup of coffee.”
    Sounds like you took the criticism the right way, even though it might have been delivered in the wrong way. God Bless You and keep you and your husband, is my prayer!
    CARE+SHARE=BE

  209. I agree with Tina B. And I do NOT agree with the other deacon’s wife! Your outfit is adorable! If you are attractive, you owe it to your husband to dress attractive for him with a dash of sexiness! Men love that. It’s one of the biggest complaints I hear from male co-workers. “My wife dressed sexy and cute when we dated, but once we got married, or had children or (fill in the blank) she dresses frumpy. Even worse if you cut your hair all off! What’s with that? That is a worse offense in my eyes than offending some old biddy in a church! It’s a “bait and switch” tactic too many women do to their husbands!

    My DH doesn’t care if other men check me out! He actually is complimented by that fact. And, I do it for him! And only go home with him too!! So go for it! Too bad you threw that dress out! Hopefully you will change your mind and find one just like it online! It’s summer now! We can all finally dress cute and flirty and show off those nice legs girls!

    • OMG, I just read the other “KAREN”‘s post. She and I could not disagree more LOL! Guess even with the same name we have 180 degrees opposite opinions! Hope she likes the convent she is living in (virtually that is).

  210. I must reply. I did this on the FB site as well….the deacons wife is NOT on the chopping block here. She did right. Perhaps she could have gone about it another way, I dont know…but its the responsibility of our fellow brethren to look out for each other and show one another if we err. Its scripture mandated. As is the dress code….its not dated….it should always be current. A christian woman should ALWAYS want to dress in such a way that her fellow male brethren are not enticed to sin in their hearts. When Adam and Eve sinned, God made them be naked no more, but to wear clothing. many scriptures reference nakedness is sinful. Modesty is commanded in 1 Tim 2:9. While clothing styles come and go, CLOTHING is never outdated. We MUST be covered, and be respectful and respectable. Worship services should be taken very seriously. We should dress, and WANT to dress, our best for God. and be covered,. Men are “tuned” to be turned on by sight. They cant help it. So ladies, it IS up to you. all this is posted in LOVE.

  211. I want to mention, it is true that it is not a woman’s “fault” if she is attacked, it is sin on the man’s part. However… our clothing DOES say a lot about us, and affect others. I grew up in the 70′s and 80′s – short shorts, torn tees, and a real “look at me” attitude. When I went to Arizona to visit my parents, the men in town made lots of suggestive remarks when I went in stores. They would try to pick me up (even when I had a wedding ring and child in tow) and were very lewd. I came to know the Lord and he changed my heart. I began wearing slacks/blouses or dresses – and attitudes changed. No more comments, doors were held open, and I was spoken to with a “yes’mam” I was clearly no longer as “inviting” as I had been…. We know a police officer by the uniform, and the UPS man as well…. can anyone tell you might be a christian by your clothing?

    • Other people can tell & know I’m a Christian because of how I treat others and how I teach my young son to treat others; we desire to be “Jesus with skin on” to those who need His compassion and love. Showing love is God’s greatest command. We live according to how God desires us to live – and no doubt the same is true for each one here. :)

      Blessings. :)

    • Great perspective. Pro 7:10 And there a woman met him, [With] the attire of a harlot, and a crafty heart.

  212. Thank you so much for this post Courtney! Your blog is such an encouragement to me! :)

  213. Liz Robinson says:

    Great post and great comments! I do not want to dress in revealing clothing but that does not mean I cannot dress nice and look good as well. You can still get all dressed up without going overboard with showing a bunch of skin. I just do not want other men looking at me in a way only my husband should.

  214. Courtney: A friend of mine post a link in FB, I enjoyed the post and the way you described the process from how you felt about being confronted, to your actions regarding that dress, to the things you took away from it. Your points were well made, especially the part about Satan. Thank you for inspiring at least one post in my mind.

  215. I have conflicting feelings about this. When I was 14 or 15, an older woman in my church pulled me aside and told me that my skirt was inappropriate; it reminds me a bit of yours, but it had shorts under it (when “skorts” were popular).

    The same woman once scolded my brother for wearing cargo shorts and a polo instead of long khakis.

    I remember very clearly how I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and angry. The incident did not influence how I dressed, but instead how I felt judged every time I went to church.

    • I am so sorry to hear that Kelly. Some people stick there noses where it does not belong and run people out of church instead of showing Christ’s love through their actions. When Jesus met the woman at the well who was a Samaritan and living a wicked life, He did not judge her. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin she was condemned already. Instead of condemning her, He showed compassion and He gave her everlasting life and told her to go and sin no more. I believe the woman who spoke to Courtney showed little or no compassion. Because Courtney wants to please her Savior in all she does including modesty, I believe she would have learned to dress modestly from someone who came to her in love as a friend to help her just as much as a cold hearted phone call. What a shame it is that some people miss the mark completely when they think they are doing “God’s” work. I am sorry that you were condemned instead of loved in the house of God. That truly is a shame!

  216. Janis Barton says:

    I do not know you nor you me. I read this from one of my friends comments, but you are to be commended for your attitude toward this constructive criticism. You show the attributes of a true christian.

    When I was a teenager, I was lovingly pulled aside and critized by a highly respected family friend and church member about my actions and attitude toward another young lady in our church. I was so embarrassed and ashamed. He even suggested that I needed to apologize to this lady, and because he helped me recognize that I was wrong, I did apologize and God instantly delivered me of all the animositiy that I had toward this person. God does give us power to overcome if we do what we know is right, and the right thing is what the Word says.

  217. Hi Courtney,

    I loved the article and it comes in a timely fashion. I have shared it to my facebook page, and it has sparked some criticism toward the one who did the confronting in your article. Could you possibly add a part 2 to this particular blog post on the confrontation aspect in this story? I think many would benefit from it!
    Thanks so much for your passion to urge other women on in following after Christ and His Word!

  218. Wow, Courtney – this is sure a hot-button topic! (A good one, btw!) Lots of opinions! I must say – I have a 4yo daughter, and I am constantly discouraged by the clothes out there for her age. I’ve currently been struggling with the kind of swimsuit to get her. Most of what’s out there are little tiny (literally – for toddlers & preschoolers!) bikini’s. I just don’t want to put her in those. I have friends who think the suits are just adorable and “innocent” because they’re too young to “know better”, and “besides, one pieces are a pain to get on and off them..” But I say why not start teaching her now that those kinds of clothes aren’t appropriate? Why would I put her in something now that i don’t really approve of, just because she’s 4? And just because it’s easy? (And believe me, I’m all about easy…but I think our society has gone way too much out to the far side where ‘easy’ and convenince is concerned. But that’s a WHOLE nother story for another day! HA!)

    Anyway – It would be interesting to delve into this further, such as diving deeper into the reasons WHY modesty is important, scripturally…I keep thinking of scriptures that talk about not causing one another to stumble/sin, etc.

    Thanks! ;-)

  219. T Muthuraj John says:

    I Am from India,so there is a cultural difference in my thinking and many of here. I looked at the picture posted in the start of the article,,I love the dress worn by the deacon, covers toe to neck. Is it any issue for women to follow similar dress code , not just for Church but for general. Of course I wont suggest for pant and coat,,,a skirt decent and long enough to to cover below the knees,if not up to ankles,tops with out any low cut,,decent enough not to expose the front part of women with loose body and and at least with half sleeves tops. I know many women will up in the arms against me for this comments,,but will you ladies accept if a man dresses like women dresses,,,an half pant well above the knees,,,a tees with out sleeves.I think you won’t accept,,a persons beauty is enhanced by his dress. If society admires the man with full dress,,why women go on exposing half of their skin and feel that is their freedom. The dresses worn by the western ppl few decades before were well modest in nature,,Our Indian traditional dresses are good enough to cover toe to neck,yet gives attractive look to the one who wears,dresses make the the woman adorable next to God.

    Women need not to dress to attract men but to cover their body,,, Attraction between the opposite sex is God made one,it will happen even if one dresses from toe to neck also. Immodest dress will only cause distraction,,not attraction. from’ tmuthuraj1963@gmail.com‘/face book ‘muthuraj johny’

  220. It’s a blessing that you took this in the right spirit and shows that you did have a desire to honor God. I believe that this story has more than one lesson. The first is a reminder of the need to have an attitude about our modest that honors God and respects our brothers-in-Christ as well as our husbands. The second is to be sure to seek God when someone does approach us about something such as this and make sure that we listen to the Lord and allow Him to work in us rather than let resentment or anger against the other person build up. I think that the third part of this is in how we Christian women approach others. It is not our job to be the Holy Spirit in someone else’s life. BUT, if God lays on our heart that we are to confront a sister-in-Christ, it needs to be done with a loving attitude. Having a loving attitude includes kindly sharing godly concerns in a situation that is likely going to be awkward. But, also means following up as a friend with love, seeing how that woman is doing, and developing a relationship (even if limited because of time constraints) that allows that person to know that you care and more than anything, that God’ cares.

  221. As a long time Christian and mom of 2; the oldest a teen and the other preteen. I will agree with you as a parent that after we become parents we do need to ‘Think’ about how we are dressing. Skirts, dress, short shorts, & low cut shirts are a hindrance to taking care of our kids. As a christian I’ll say this lady didn’t have any ‘christian love’ for you when she called about the way you were dressed. It’s one thing to call you a side and say, “I’m not trying to hurt you dear but, I don’t think you are aware or meaning to flash the church your panties, and I wanted to let you know you might consider retiring that dress.” What she was doing was being judgmental and putting her values onto you. That is not following the teachings of Jesus. I agree there is nothing wrong with being modest, but one person’s ideal of modest and another will be two different things for example; in some churches knee length dresses would still be too short, in others calf length still isn’t low enough to be modest you need ankle length, in others they still require women to cover their heads (And yes, I’m speaking of Christian Churches not other religions that still today require the women to cover their heads in church). I think you took what she had to say in good strive and it seems it did help call you to be more aware of how you were presenting yourself but, really if she was out to be a fellow deacon’s wife with you she’d have reached out more than just that one time to shoot you down about your clothes.

  222. Thank you for posting this! This is a very important issue that so many Christian women don’t understand. As a Christian we don’t just represent our families, or church, we represent God and the first thing people is is what we are wearing. That doesn’t mean we have to dress Amish or whatever but it does mean that we have to step it up. If we dress like we are in the world, why would anyone in the world want to come to church or even come to the Lord? We need to be the example to the outside world they aren’t going to find it themselves!

  223. Anonymous says:

    I have a different problem than most of the women here. I grew up to be very conservative in my dress, but my husband doesn’t really care what I wear. I ask him constantly about my clothes, but he just thinks most talk about women’s modesty is kind of lame. He’s a Christian, but unless a woman’s choice of clothing looks absolutely whorish, he doesn’t really care. It’s hard being the only one in the marriage who seems to have an opinion about it. Makes me feel like I’m crazy sometimes.

    • I understand what he’s saying- esp if “modest” means long skirts. I wear dresses at times, but I also wear pants, capris, and appropriate length shorts. I pair them with tops that don’t show all of womenlyness off (HA HA). Modest doesn’t have to mean boring. My pastor used to say all the time that modest doesn’t mean not fashionable. It means being appropriately covered!

    • Patricia says:

      First world problems.

  224. I totally understand about the other deacon’s wife and it’s too bad she didn’t befriend you. I agree that you weren’t dressed like a hussy & by the standards of many in the world, that IS/WAS modest!

    After I had my second child, I was working part time & my boss (a woman-not a Christian) talked to me about my top. Apparently in the process of childbirth/nursing, the top didn’t cover as much as it did pre-2nd baby. Unfortunately for me, I had realized this after getting to work & couldn’t return home to change. I told her that I had actually noticed it myself & wouldn’t be wearing it again. Sometimes accidents happen.

    Now all the being said and I’m sure many will disagree. Modest doesn’t mean unfashionable, dresses from 1980 down to your ankles & covering your wrists & neck. Nor does it mean that it HAS to be a dress/long skirt! Modest means that everything is appropriately covered with a good fit (not too tight). At least that’s what it means to me. A woman can look just as frumpy in a long dress or skirt as she can in sweats. I think it’s important to dress nicely to impress your husband .

  225. I think there is a lot that could be said here, but I like your response. I struggle a lot wondering if my clothes are OK and I would be considered by many to be very modest….but I have young boys and I want them to think about what they see….and not look at what they shouldn’t.

    I have been in Sunday School co teaching with other women who bend down and have no idea (I hope that they don’t) that one can see right down their shirts …..and I have college students living nearby who sunbathe in full view of our home.

    It is a big deal what we wear….and it is important to confront. With love. Perhaps the woman who talked w/ you was a little over the top, but I sure think it’s important that we try to refine each other. I would hope she would be open to your talking w/ her about whatever sin you felt was in her life as well. That’s the way it’s supposed to work. Not confronting all the time – praying mostly—but confronting when necessary.

  226. Courtney,
    This is a prime example of how we can let God correct us by what we could perceive as criticism from others.
    Thanks you so much for the way you used the Scriptures to say what needed to be said about this situation.
    Blessings for what you do.
    We all need that Grace daily.
    Maybe the lady will take the lessons learned and do better next time.

  227. First, thank you for your article and the great response to it, to get a wide picture of opinions and advice.

    Women should be dressed appropriate, there is no way around.

    Both genders struggle, but men can’t take it as an excuse not to work on that issue that they look and are attracted by other women but their wives!

    Men stand up and be a role model for other men, that you work on your wrong behavior and that you figure on your wife

  228. Denise Howard Grissom says:

    You are a very exceptional woman with strong faith. The advice you were given did not appear to be given in true Christian love.
    If this were to be done to someone young in Christ….
    We all too often feel it is our obligation to tell others what is wrong with them. Far too often words are said that may be the right ones, but not given in love. This type of words and actions are the reason that so many think churches are full of hypocrites.
    John 8. Jesus bent down and silently writing in the sand when others wanted to stone the woman for her sins. When the crowd dispense he said, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” He didn’t preach to her. His love and gentleness is our example.
    Our loving words of wisdom need one on one and be in person and with willingness to take them under our wing or as an equal. Get them in touch with others whom they can relate……

  229. Kristin says:

    Agreed.

  230. Rogue LeBeau says:

    That is exactly the problem I have with most of the persons who have commented on here, too. So much clambering toward, ‘COVER YOURSELF WOMAN!’ and not enough, ‘Eyes up front, gents.’

    I think that the OP was gracious in her response (especially considering she was being addressed by someone who was, for all intents and purposes her ‘superior,’ hierarchically speaking), but I think that she went a bit overboard. It’s one thing to wear something with the INTENT of drawing attention or inciting lust, another thing to be accused of it (however unintentionally), and expected to change.

    God gave us our bodies, we should delight in them, not make them objects of shame to be hidden.

  231. Hi Courtney,
    I’ve read both of your blog posts and I so appreciate your heart and attitude of grace. It’s not always easy to extend grace to another and I thank you for your example to us. :)

    I just wanted to respectfully respond in general to some of the replies: I’ve experienced both having others put upon me their spiritual “rules” for conduct (dress, etc.) and also me being the one attempting to put rules upon others (legalism).

    Having been a legalist and now watching others live as a legalist I’ve noticed that the man-made rules (it could be anything – which Bible we read, music we listen to, the way we dress) we construct and erect for ourselves and others don’t really make us more godly, righteous and spiritual – only God can do that within our hearts. We cannot obtain and maintain a more godly character through outward means – we become more Christ-like by our heart attitude through the Holy Spirit working in us.

    I didn’t set out to be a legalist – I wanted to be more godly and have a closer relationship with God. I’ve learned that when I ( and we, Christians in general) uphold all kinds of “rules” that that becomes my (our) focus and my heart fills with judgment – both against myself and others.

    The opposite is also true. When I fill my mind and heart with the fruits of the Spirit I no longer look at others with a judgmental heart – I’m free to see others as God sees all of us.(not that I’ve obtained that yet, but that’s my earnest prayer and desire). :)

    I know one day when I stand before God He’s going to ask me about my heart – did I show compassion? was I merciful to others? did I demonstrate His love? When that day comes I’d love to hear a “yes” from God.

    Courtney, thank you again for the teachable spirit and gracious attitude that shines through you as an example to all of us.
    God Bless.

  232. Several thoughts:
    1. Modesty is defined by culture. I grew up in the third world, in a village where none of the women wore shirts. Everywhere you looked, there were breasts. And butts. And bellies. No bikinis, though. (The ‘B’s rule mentioned by a commentor above). When breasts are accepted as a matter of fact, they start to look like just another appendage.

    2. We can’t assume that everyone comes from the same background (culture) that we do. The standards for modesty among those in the Christian community are much different than the standards for modesty of the ‘un-churched’. I attend a church that has a lot of what many would call ‘un-churched’ people in attendance. Many of the women who come wear slinky little outfits more appropriate for a club than a Sunday morning worship service. I have a feeling many of the commentors on this forum would look at these women and judge them for their attire. How dare they wear that to church? They are causing my son/brother/husband/father to stumble!

    What the judgers don’t understand is that for these women, who have never attended church before (and therefore don’t know all the hidden ‘rules’ made up by church attenders – don’t show your shoulders? sheesh), the clothes they wear are the best they have. They consider their flashy little outfits their ‘nice’ clothes, and put them on ON PURPOSE so that they can look ‘nice’ when they come to church!

    3. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. Now tell me true – which one of these do you think would please our Lord more? The woman who dons the best clothes she has, with a heart that is humble and seeking God, or the woman who ticks off all the ‘don’t's on her checklist before she comes to church in order to please man? It seems to me that Jesus addressed this issue frequently.

    Courtney, it makes me sad that the religious older woman felt it was her duty to instruct you (a stranger who she didn’t know) on what to wear, hurting you and making you feel cheap and embarassed in the process.

  233. I just now read this post on modesty. I believe how we dress matters. I believe judging and criticizing the clothing of others can hurt. You have a humble and teachable spirit to handle things the way you did. I believe the Holy Spirit will guide and lead women in the area of dress. Personally, I usually have other women ask me what I think about clothing and I never say anything unless asked. I’ve read a book with my dd called “Fashioned by Faith”, which is written by a Christian model and gives great ideas on dressing fashionably yet modestly.

    We’ve all made mistakes in how we handle situations. We may come on too strong or at the wrong time. If we say something right, but say it the wrong time, we’re…wrong. I want grace in my life and try my best to extend grace. God is so merciful and forgiving so I try to be the same way.

    You are right that those of us with young children really have to think about how our clothing will look when we bend down to pick up our toddler or diaper bag; also how things will look when our child tugs on our shirt or if we squat down to look our child in the eye. Purchasing clothing that looks nice, trendy, fashionable and attractive while allowing us to move comfortably can be a challenge, but it can be done.

  234. Powerful words here. I read one statement in a devotional many years ago. It has stuck with me and it completely changed my view on how I dress: “If your husband can see your cleavage, so can mine.”

  235. Thank you for sharing this! It is such an important topic that does not often get addressed due to unpopularity. I found your tips are very helpful. Have a blessed day!

  236. Thank you for posting this. Although I wish your relationship with this woman had taken a better turn. She could have had a great opportunity to mentor you along the way! I’m sorry for that! But, I will say that I think you handled it quite well. Being confronted about something that takes us by complete surprise, is not easy! I just dealt with that yesterday! Praise God we have His grace to offer others!! You’re a blessing Courtney!! Keep Walking With the King!! :)

  237. Cynthia says:

    I think the dress is cute, but I appreciate the point – sometimes these things are a bit situational and maybe a sweater would’ve been good in church (as a deacon’s wife – judgement call there) – but I live in Florida and closed toed shoes just don’t happen, that’s extreme. It’s hard sometimes but I think there is a safe place between immodest and frumpy – I cringe to see it swing too far. Common sense should usually suffice -but I guess it’s just not common enough.

    I’m having a problem with a friendship right now and I just don’t think confronting it will go over well. I have two close, wonderful friends who want to do nothing but go to the beach. I didn’t enjoy the beach much when I was in fabulous shape a few years ago – enjoy it even less now (w/20 lbs I’d rather not take with me) and I’ve chalked up my bad attitude and reluctance to go with them to that. But, spending 4th of July with these friends and their families, I’ve realized it’s more than that. Without the long, nitpicky explanation, it’s the immodesty that irks me more and more. I don’t want us all covering everything head to toe – but we’re all about 40 with teenaged kids – be reasonable! I don’t want to be around this exhibition – don’t want my husband or son around it – I don’t even want my 13 year old daughter around it! One has gotten better, she’s from a different country and, within the last year, I know it’s dawned on her that she now has teenagers – but suddenly she’s caved on what she lets her daughter (my daughter’s BFF wear). The other only has boys and she’s divorced, I guess I can try to be understanding -but it’s really become a problem for me!

    I’ve struggled with this for quite a while but it’s just dawned on me that I’m not necessarily the one with the problem. I’m a little overweight and a little insecure – but the situation would still not be good, and this would still be a problem for me regardless. We’re all Christians but I think we’re all 3 in very different places with this so I just don’t think there’s anything I can say (at least not that wouldn’t be chalked up to my own insecurities). Maybe if I lose 20 pounds, I’ll say something.

  238. Anonymous says:

    As a guy, I want to remind the girls of some simple facts.

    You know guys are led by their eyes. Guys actually get sexual satisfaction through their eyes. If you’re not a man’s wife, even though you love to be admired, you’re defrauding the guy you’re encouraging to look at you, unless he’s single and you KNOW that, and you want him to pursue you.

    Before I go on, I want to make a point about that. If you’re trying to attract a man with your sexuality, you’re immature, foolish and you’re attracting the carnal with the carnal. If you get him, it won’t be long before you’ll want him to be more spiritual. Consider the contradiction, and give serious thought and prayer to what kind of man you want to attract and endeavor to BE compatible in heart to the type of man you want.

    You would be wise to be “frumpy” and trust God to lead the right man to you. God honors faith like that.

    Men’s eyes love whores, especially pretty ones, but honorable men don’t want to marry whores. That should be considered every time you see an immodest girl getting attention and you wish you had some of it.

    It’s a shame men don’t discuss these things with their daughters gradually so that by the time they’re twelve, Dad is only confirming and reinforcing the modesty and character his behavior and communication has bred into his daughter.

  239. Hi Courtney,
    Lots of comments generated by this discussion. Here’s my two cents worth, lost like a needle in a haystack of comments :) Please do feel free to edit my ruminating out loud about this important subject. I am impressed by the considerable maturity it took for you to receive the comments of the lady who spoke to you about modesty, with grace. It is hard to be confonted. The attitude of rebellion and disrespect for authority and just other human beings in general that is so common in the world today is unfortunately just as common among those professing faith in Christ. I can think of times when I’ve had others confront me in ways that were hard to hear but the truth and although it burned and scalded all the way down (the spiritual equivalent of Buckley’s cough syrup, sometimes with accompanying screaming chortle, lol) I could not deny that it scalded because it was the truth and the truth was cutting across pride and rebellious flesh. Ouch. There were other times that someone’s confrontation was nothing more than punishment for something the person didn’t like about me and they were going about “confronting” it in a way that was ungodly and sinful.

    Sometimes the thing being attacked is sinful and needs confrontation but the person is not doing it for my highest good, but rather because they have failed to deal with a corresponding issue in their own lives with honesty and humilty. Even in cases like that, though, it is possible if one is more committed to truth than to self protective pride, to glean correction and insight from even what our worst enemies have to say about us. So I understand how hard that must of been to receive and yet what godly fruit it has borne in your life. Good for you. If Jesus, who was without sin, bore undeserved criticsims and even revilings and abuse from others with grace, love, mercy and forgivness, surely we can manage to try to see if there is any truth in what someone says to us if they think they’ve spotted an area where our character is less than it ought to be or we are walking thoughtlessly or blindly? Isn’t that our goal, to become Christlike? Aren’t we supposed to help each other in that direction if heaven is our aim and eternity our focus, and isn’t that what our commitment is to the body of Christ ,when we join a church fellowship? I realize that some folks operate out of a spirit of control and abuse the privelege, and that can and should be also confronted and corrected. Scripture says very plainly that if we see our brother sinning we are to go to him privately and speak to him about his sin. God even says in the OT that failure to warn someone away from the danger of sin can leave their blood on our hands. This is an ETERNAL deal, not merely a matter of personal preference.

    Christiantiy invites and commands us to get real about ourselves, the sin we all deal with and our need for the help of others on the journey to heaven. When we become christians, we aren’t supposed to be in it for just us anymore. We are supposed to be real about the battle with sin, the flesh, the devil and the world. We are supposed to have been changed into people who understand that each human being bears the image of God and must answer to Him and to that end, we never want to do anything that would cause someone else to stumble in thier attempts to walk right before God. The apostle Paul said he was willing to forgo some of his own personal freedoms to do things that in and of themselves were not sin, if that was what it took to make his brother in Christ strong and not cause him to stumble. The polar opposite of a me first society and culture.

    To claim that the need of women to be aware that their actions and choices affect others equals advocating burqas is false reasoning I think. That makes about as much sense as claiming that stating that women should be freed from something as extremely oppressive as burqa wearing means advocating we all become nudists! I agree that sexy dressing doesn’t directly cause rape alone and it does not exonerate the rapist. It causes lust or sexual arousal which is precisely what its intended to do. Some women just naively buy whatever is in fashion without realizing its affect and some women know darn well what turns guys on and wear it purposely because they want male attention. Most gals think that the attention is that of being thought desirable and beautiful. They aren’t hoping the result will be to signal a lack of self respect and invite men to disrespect them. This is female ignorance of the male. Its also a product of the devaluation of a woman’s God designed role and the power we have by the influence of our virtue and godliness, to have an incredible affect on all around. No baloney, the glory of a virtuous example of beautiful womanhood has far more power to it than the base pull of the sexual siren. If only women knew what we’ve been robbed of. My heart just aches for all the fatherless young and older women whose lack of father love, protection and strength has left them vulnerable to predators who know exactly how to manipulate that facet of their lives and hearts; it kills me to see women and girls willing to sell themselves body and soul to get even a facsimile of that missing love. Men who use a woman’s lack of self respect as justification for their own sin beware! God holds you accountable to protect, to nurture and to direct away from destruction, not to fleece sheep and ravage lambs. Uphold the right.

    To attack another person signfies a pofound lack of respect for other human beings, for oneself and for God. The trouble with dressing in ways that showcase one’s sexual self is that one is ALSO displaying a lack of respect for self others and God. When you treat your body as a commodity with which to acquire love or attention you are in effect, prostituting yourself. Its the opposite to treating yourself with honor as a virtuous woman of worth, grace and character; a woman who a man needs to treat with respect and whose trust and presence he needs to earn by way of his honorableness. Despite all the feminist rubbish out there about so called sexual freedom, modesty enhances value and beauty, not degrades it. Purity protects women from having their hearts broken over and over by giving themselves to men in hopes of gaining a commitment rather than waiting until the commitment has been made and followed through with. Why do you think pirates hide treasure? Because its shameful? (okay, that they stole it is shameful but you get the point) It just kills me to watch my two rebellious daughters who would insist that they agree with all the propaganda about women’s rights and sexual freedom, etc, get disrespected over and over by the men they give themselves to, dress provocatively for, etc. They would never admit it at this point but I can see it in the diminshed sense of value and self respect and the lost, despairing look in their eyes when they think no one sees, that they KNOW they’ve settled for far less. How I wish I knew this stuff years ago and had walked in it. HOw it grieves me to have been a shameful witness for the wrong things. Don’t back down Courtney. Tough to be counter culture but right.

  240. Of course women should dress more modestly in church than they do. The sad thing is this is even a question. Of course just a few decades ago there were standards, not just in church but everywhere. Even casinos in Las Vegas had a dress code. I refuse to talk to any women who dresses immodestly in church. If I had the power, they would be stopped at the door. Of course this goes for men too. If I see a man wearing shorts or a teeshirt in church, I know this is someone who is either very disrespectful of the church, or is so ignorant he doesn’t even know what he is doing is wrong.

  241. Greetings Courtney,This morning during my spirit time I felt it necessary to write in my journal about modesty. I came across your article in hopes to find more of woman that share my same ideals. I loved your article and convitions. In my heart I believe that this is something that is not just a christian thing, but about respect for ones self. I believe differently than probably a lot of people do about Religion, but I have a strong relationship, with what I call “Spirit” I was raised in a Catholic family, but the message of mosesty was hypocritical in my home. While my mother tried to teach me to dress appropriately, my father made lude comments about women, and treated my mother with disrespect. I was raised believing that I was made for the soul purpose to please a man.
    I have finally been enlightened and am happy to say, I dress amazingly and with great modesty! I dress to please myself, not a man. I dress myself as though I am dressing the “daughter” of a great king and queen, with what I can afford of course.
    I bid you much respect!
    Grace~

  242. I love this. Thank you for sharing. It has been such a problem in my church lately, as a former wife of an elder, I found it very hard to decide how or what to say when many of the other women were immodestly dressed. I never did say anything. I don’t know what I should do. I have prayed about it but perhaps it’s not my responisibility to judge or talk to them …. do you have suggestions? These are deacons’ wives and deacons (we have women in our church in leadership).

  243. It is interesting what other Christians may think is modesty. However, the scriptures should be our guidelines when dealing with this topic. Questions to ask yourself: (1). Is it warn by the opposite sex Duet 22:5 I Cor. 10. (2) Will it cause others to stumble . Is she chaste? These are the words of a man:” I believe the most important issue in female modesty is the issue of a chaste heart. If the woman desires to please her Saviour and honor her brother in Christ, there is seldom an issue with the clothing she wears. Mandating modest clothing without focusing on creating a chaste heart does little good. If the woman wears ‘modest’ clothing but is sensual in the way she walks or conducts herself, it will invariably cause a man to lust.**** I don’t need to see skin to cause me to lust. We men have pretty good imaginations***.” Wearing tightS with a short skirt is revealing, form fitting, and enticing. Why tempt the men? I don’t even think women realize how hard it is for a man not to lust after a beautiful women.
    I also know that it is a spiritual growing process in a young christian’s life. When one gets saved, they may throw away the bikini and start wearing a whole piece swim suit. However, skin is still showing and is tempting. I went from whole swim suit to coulottes and a shirt with swim suit under it. No man needs to see my form. I do not need to reveal any part. Tights still reveal form and shape. Porn does a lot of touch up, tights, etc. Cloths should be loose, cover the knee, and no cleavage.
    And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:Ex. 28:2 This was clothing for the priest. Notice it says “to cover their nakedness” according to scripture. the loins-The part of the body between the ribs and the hips,
    to the thigh – body between the hip and the knee. This is what the Scripture calls NAKEDNESS. INTERESTING HUH!

  244. Jennifer says:
  245. Samantha says:

    Thanks for your post. I don’t know what perfect person has been trashing your posts, but I love them!

  246. Cherokee says:

    This is a big problem in many churches. I for the most part just wear jumpers with a shirt under them. I have brought this topic up many times in meetings etc. to what seems no avail, I sometimes feel like I speak and it falls onto deaf ears. But just this past week a lady in my church came in wearing a jumper with a shirt under it, and told me she has now started wearing jumpers like me, and then proceeded to tell me how much more comfortable they are. After her & my talk, I turned around to walk away and lo and behold, here come another regular at the church I attend, wearing a jumper with a shirt under it. By our example!!

  247. Cherokee says:

    Loved this story! You could have been upset with the lady caller, but instead, you humbled yourself and listened to her words, God bless you sister. It is a big change at first, but after the humbling finally comes, we pay no mind to it, as it is n the norm for us all now.

  248. Modesty has been an issue I have been working at for quite a while… it has taken me a while to really understand that immodesty isn’t attractive. It doesn’t look pretty, it looks cheap. As my husband says, it is advertising. And if you are a married woman, you certainly don’t have any need to advertise. After reading an article that pricked my spirit about six months ago, I went to my husband and asked him his thoughts on how I dress, and thankfully, he shared his honest opinion. That some things were too low cut, some things were too short, some things were too tight. I am thankful for a husband who IS honest with me. And please note that he did not come to me, which he had every right to do. I went to HIM. Even then, he did not demand I give up any clothing item. He told me I could wear what I wanted. But out of respect for him, the tank tops that bothered him have now become workout tanks for in-house only. We had an honest conversation about what he approved of and I try my best to abide by that. If I am in question, I have him look at it. I am learning that you can find clothing that is attractive without showing too much. It takes a bit more work and thought, but can be done. And I feel better about myself, knowing I am respecting myself, my husband and God in how I dress.

  249. Thank you for addressing this issue and for your change of heart. My family and I left a Southern Baptist church in which we were very active members and part of leadership for 11 years, in part due to this problem of immodesty. As a deacon, I (and my wife) approached the Pastor, assistant Pastor and youth Pastor about this problem. Their answers: (Pastor) “I’d rather err on the side of liberty, rather than legalism.” “The verses in Timothy are not addressing what you are talking about.”
    (Asst. and Youth Pastors) “We can’t preach about this because we have to be careful not to offend people.”
    We made it clear that we were talking mainly about those in positions of leadership. Sunday school teachers bare their breast, worship leaders “worshipping” God while revealing their wares and parading miniskirts!
    All we wanted was for someone to have the courage to preach the whole counsel of God. There are those in ministry positions posting pictures on social media scantily clad, kissing vodka bottles, parting in clubs and pretending to have sex with statues and when this things were brought to the Pastors attention, he snickered and sort of dismissed the whole thing. I was labeled a legalist. Oh man…the frustration. Some teenage boys expressed to me and others that the manner some of the females, young and older ,dressed in church was a stumbling block to them.
    I brought this up in a deacons meeting that was addressing one of those teenage boys who had a sexual impropriety and how we could help him recover. I said we can begin by addressing the problem of immodesty in our church. The Pastor was livid. “We’re talking about a brother who had a sexual downfall and you’re bringing up immodesty. You’re always bringing that up!” (I don’t understand that logic)
    “It’s connected. He has expressed a problem with immodesty in our church that causes him to stumble.” I replied. “Give me the pulpit for one Sunday. I’ll preach on the subject if no one else is willing.” His response: “You’ll never step on that pulpit again!”
    I can’t wrap my head around this.

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  251. I know you have a lot of input on this, but why not another 2 cents and maybe a slightly dissenting voice. First, you are a very gracious lady.

    If I were a member of that church tasked with talking to you about your dress by the pastor (which is how it should have been), it would have been with kindness and understanding. I bet that woman knows what it was like to struggle to get back into clothes post preg. or how when you gain weight, clothes maybe tighter than your mind’s eye sees them. If you get on the PHONE and talk to someone about something as sensitive as their character and modesty and leave them feeling so poorly that they are embarrassed and upset enough to toss their clothing – that says more about the poor decision making and character of the caller than you.

    In the future, if you are handed the task of mentoring a younger woman, I bet you will remember that call. You will know it is best to ask that woman over and talk about children and getting back into clothes and to develop rapport and a friendship and then to gently suggest clothes that can help her transition as she losses her weight (or to accommodate a more ample figure). The goal should be inclusion. You know you have gone off track as a mentor when your mentored heads the other direction when you are near. If you screw it up as the mentor, it is your obligation to make amends and make it right. Your mentor did none of this. When you fail to be kind, you lose.

    Hope all is well with your growing family.

  252. Courtney,

    It’s not necessary to post the immodest picture of yourself in order to make your point. It’s like saying “I used to wear bikinis… see… look at this picture of me in my bikini! …. but then I found Jesus. And now I’m modest.” Well, so long as you keep immodest pictures of yourself up on the internet, sorry, you’re still not modest.

    - Jonathan

    • Jonathan,

      Don’t be such a PRUDE! And don’t be so judgmental and allow your own judgmental attitude to take and twist her sincere and convincing message about modesty so that you end up seeing right past her message. In doing so, you get nothing out of her message and you simply end up hanging onto your self deceptive self righteous attitude…..Great message Courtney! I learned a lot from your message on modesty and listening to others without taking offense. Thank you!

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