Whatever Happened to Modesty?

I watched MTVs VMA awards last night. Some of my daughters’ friends are in the band Paramore, and they were nominated for an award. And—to be honest—I wanted to see how Britney Spears would do, since we are publishing her mom’s book next week.

A Women with a Veil - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/hidesy, Image #886115

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/hidesy

It’s been a while since I’ve seen MTV, but I was flabbergasted. I could not believe the sensuality and decadence I witnessed. Gail and I finally had to turn it off. We just couldn’t take it any more.

As I thought about my experience later, it made me sad. I am the father of five daughters. So perhaps I’m just a little overly sensitive. But I was shocked at the complete absence of modesty, the ridicule of virginity, and the latent misogyny displayed by Russell Brand and many of the artists themselves.

One of the few redeeming moments in the evening was when Jordin Sparks, referring to Brand’s contempt for chastity, said,

I just have one thing to say about promise rings: It’s not bad to wear a promise ring, because not everybody, guy or girl, wants to be a slut.”

Touché. It must have struck a nerve, because the next time Brand appeared, he apologized for his comments. Sort of.

Regardless, it got me to thinking, Where are these girls’ fathers? Has anyone ever taught them the concept of modesty? Or have all the men in their lives simply exploited them as sex objects

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a prude. But I do think some basic guidelines are in order. These are not rules about skirt length or the amount of cleavage you can show. I’m just not a very good legalist; they are simply guidelines.

I gave these to my girls when they were growing up. Frankly, they haven’t been perfect in following them. Modern culture exerts a powerful influence. Nevertheless, I wanted them to have something that would transcend current fashion and guide their attire once they were older and, perhaps, a little wiser.

Here they are: “Four Guidelines for Modesty”:

  1. If you have trouble getting into it or out of it, it is probably not modest.
  2. If you have to be careful when you sit down or bend over, it is probably not modest.
  3. If people look at any part of your body before looking at your face, it is probably not modest.
  4. If you can see your most private body parts or an outline of those parts under the fabric, it is probably not modest.

If you think these guidelines are helpful, you might want to pass them along to the young women you know. Evidently, not many are getting the message elsewhere.

Question: What advice would you give young men or women? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.debbieweil.com/ Debbie Weil, author

    So great to see that you're still a trailblazer for CEO bloggers! See page 21 in The Corporate Blogging Book. :)

  • http://www.debbieweil.com Debbie Weil, author of The Corporate Blogging Book

    So great to see that you’re still a trailblazer for CEO bloggers! See page 21 in The Corporate Blogging Book. :)

  • http://www.indiebusinessblog.com/ Donna Maria

    Excellent post. I have a 6-year old daughter and am forwarding this to my husband, her dad. Thanks for not making the rules really hard to remember. This will be a very useful teaching tool in my family.

  • http://www.indiebusinessblog.com Donna Maria

    Excellent post. I have a 6-year old daughter and am forwarding this to my husband, her dad. Thanks for not making the rules really hard to remember. This will be a very useful teaching tool in my family.

  • http://productivetech.wordpress.com/ John

    Amen, Michael. I don't watch MTV – in fact, I hardly watch any TV at all, but just walking down the street sometimes makes me wonder what our culture has become. I feel for these young women who think it's accepted (and expected) for them to show off their bodies and serve as a stumblingblock in many cases for us young men.

    As you mentioned in your post, it always makes me wonder where the fathers are in our culture. I constantly think about this – because someday, through God's grace, I will be a father myself. And fatherhood has great responsibility – much of it from God Himself.

    Thank you for taking the time to write and post this – because it needs to be said.

  • http://flowerdust.net/ anne jackson

    Agreed!!

  • http://flowerdust.net anne jackson

    Agreed!!

  • http://productivetech.wordpress.com John

    Amen, Michael. I don’t watch MTV – in fact, I hardly watch any TV at all, but just walking down the street sometimes makes me wonder what our culture has become. I feel for these young women who think it’s accepted (and expected) for them to show off their bodies and serve as a stumblingblock in many cases for us young men.

    As you mentioned in your post, it always makes me wonder where the fathers are in our culture. I constantly think about this – because someday, through God’s grace, I will be a father myself. And fatherhood has great responsibility – much of it from God Himself.

    Thank you for taking the time to write and post this – because it needs to be said.

  • http://www.lauracreekmore.com/ Laura Creekmore

    Heck, I'm not all that conservative and I think your modesty questions are great. I'm all for self-expression and being your own person. But so many girls and women make choices [in dress, in behavior] that make it difficult to see the person inside, instead of just the exterior. To my mind, the goal should be for your appearance to reflect your character.

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      Perhaps they don’t like what’s on the inside, so they mask it with what they wear. Perhaps the appearance does reflect the Character. I believe some just don’t know any better. That’s where we step in.

      • Brianna Gipp

        Or perhaps they like themselves just fine and choose to wear clothes that they like.

  • http://www.lauracreekmore.com Laura Creekmore

    Heck, I’m not all that conservative and I think your modesty questions are great. I’m all for self-expression and being your own person. But so many girls and women make choices [in dress, in behavior] that make it difficult to see the person inside, instead of just the exterior. To my mind, the goal should be for your appearance to reflect your character.

  • http://www.amystorms.blogspot.com/ Amy Storms

    As the mother of three, I, too, was sickened and saddened by the VMAs. Thanks for your thoughts!

  • http://www.amystorms.blogspot.com Amy Storms

    As the mother of three, I, too, was sickened and saddened by the VMAs. Thanks for your thoughts!

  • Mary

    Thanks for some great words. I honestly think a lot of women have no idea how a man's mind processes seeing a scantily clad woman. I'm probably not expressing that thought very well and I know there are many different kinds of men. But I still don't think a lot of women understand how the male brain is wired.

    • Brianna Gipp

      Really? Because I had it hammered into my head growing up that men’s brains are wired COMPLETELY differently from mine, and it wasn’t until I got to university and started spending more time with guys that I realized they’re not all that different from us. We all have sex drives and we’re all visual. The way it gets ridiculously exaggerated when people talk about guys just seems like a way to make excuses for them behaving inappropriately.

  • Mary

    Thanks for some great words. I honestly think a lot of women have no idea how a man’s mind processes seeing a scantily clad woman. I’m probably not expressing that thought very well and I know there are many different kinds of men. But I still don’t think a lot of women understand how the male brain is wired.

  • Mary

    Just one more comment — that's why I applaud you for saying that the fathers need to say something. Moms need to get in there too but like I said … I was always more liberal than my husband with respect to our daughter's clothes and I truly didn't "get it" until I became much older.

  • Mary

    Just one more comment — that’s why I applaud you for saying that the fathers need to say something. Moms need to get in there too but like I said … I was always more liberal than my husband with respect to our daughter’s clothes and I truly didn’t “get it” until I became much older.

  • http://www.transparentchristianmagazine.com/ Jason Elkins

    My wife and I have talked about this issue. Our daughter is 10 years old, and I’m trying to set an example of how a strong, respectable, and caring man acts.

    I have learned to change the tv channel when an explicit ad comes on, and I’ll tell her “daddy doesn’t need to see that”.

    I like your modesty list!

    Good Post Michael!

    Jason Elkins
    Editor,
    TransparentChristianMagazine.Com

    • Lori Cray

      What an awesome statement for a dad to make. I need to start changing the channel like that.

    • Rosemarie Yap Abundo

      Powerful message to your children

      “Daddy doesn’t need to see that”

      good job !

  • http://www.transparentchristianmagazine.com Jason Elkins

    My wife and I have talked about this issue. Our daughter is 10 years old, and I’m trying to set an example of how a strong, respectable, and caring man acts.

    I have learned to change the tv channel when an explicit ad comes on, and I’ll tell her “daddy doesn’t need to see that”.

    I like your modesty list!

    Good Post Michael!

    Jason Elkins
    Editor,
    TransparentChristianMagazine.Com

  • http://profile.typekey.com/tommylane/ tommy

    Very good article, Mike. Those are good guidelines that you shared with your daughters about dressing modestly.

    What I have trouble grasping is how some of these artists act vulgarly and say vulgar things in their music and then thank God for their accomplishments as if that sort of behavior is sanctioned by God.

  • http://www.cosproductions.com/ Sheila

    Great blog! I have a 7 year old daughter and these guidelines are perfect!
    Being modest and humble are NOT signs of weakness. Somewhere along the way our youth are taught that those traits are weak.
    Children are a product of their environment as a rule.

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      I do believe that statement. So what are some ways we can create the right environments for those who have come from bad ones?

  • http://www.cosproductions.com Sheila

    Great blog! I have a 7 year old daughter and these guidelines are perfect!
    Being modest and humble are NOT signs of weakness. Somewhere along the way our youth are taught that those traits are weak.
    Children are a product of their environment as a rule.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/tommylane/ tommy

    Very good article, Mike. Those are good guidelines that you shared with your daughters about dressing modestly.

    What I have trouble grasping is how some of these artists act vulgarly and say vulgar things in their music and then thank God for their accomplishments as if that sort of behavior is sanctioned by God.

  • http://www.maurilioamorim.com/ Maurilio amorim

    Oh so true. I have two boys and we teach them modest guidelines as well, i.e. no underwear showing, ever. Parents of girls: help our boys treat your daughters with the respect they deserve by giving them some modesty rules.

    • forgedimagination

      Or… you could just teach your sons to treat women with respect instead of blaming “parents of girls” and their daughters for your sons’ failures to do so.

      • rutlmit

        I believe that statement was meant to enforce the fact that parents of both genders are responsible here I am a father of two and was not offended by Maurilio’s statement. It is not just about teaching boys to respect our daughters it is about teaching our daughters to respect themselves as well as earn the respect of others by not feeding into the “norm” of being scantily clad.

        • forgedimagination

          I don’t think it’s a good idea to connect “respect for yourself” and “clothes you wear.” Changing my clothing choices based on how men see me isn’t self-respecting. That’s the exact opposite of self-respect, in my book.

          • Blakeney

            I disagree. To some extent, clothes do make the man or woman. They make a statement about the person wearing them. A person’s clothes can say that they don’t respect themselves. Dirty/disheveled clothes suggests a lack of self care. And immodest clothes can suggest a lack of self value (either in the sense that someone is giving the world a “free show”, or just in a transparent need to be perceived as sexy). Either way, lack of self respect can suggest that others should not respect one either.

          • Ranchgirl

            I’m kind of confused by your comment…I hope you don’t mind me asking. But what is the point in dressing immodestly if not to get the attention of guy. I don’t see how we as woman think that its okay for us to dress immodestly but then tell men that they have to view us as we see fit. Basically saying that men have to be perfect gentlemen but we can act however we want. Sounds a bit selfish to me.

          • Brianna Gipp

            See, that question just doesn’t make sense. It assumes that because you think someone is dressed immodestly, that means she intended to dress immodestly. But modesty is subjective – what’s modest to one person isn’t always modest to another. She probably didn’t think “I want to dress immodestly today!” Maybe she didn’t think anything of it; she needed to get dressed, so she got dressed. Maybe she just thinks that top is cute. Maybe she chose spaghetti straps instead of short sleeves because it’s hot outside. You might say “she needs to think about how it looks to guys” but the point is, no, she really doesn’t. Because we should not have to dress ourselves to please guys. Even if we did, it would be an exercise in futility, because all guys are different. And yes, they do absolutely have to treat us as human beings instead of sex objects, no matter what we’re wearing. That’s not unfair, that’s basic human decency.

          • Julia

            I think you are confusing acting immodestly with showing skin. If I am wearing a short skirt, high heels, and a tight top while walking down the street by myself I am not acting immodestly even if you think I am dressed immodestly. If I and wearing neck to floor loose, opaque clothing that shows nothing but a suggestion that I even have a body, and I’m grinding my crotch into someone in the middle of a public space I may be dressed modestly by your definition, but I am not acting immodestly.

      • sarahoverthemoon

        Hell yeah!

      • sarahoverthemoon

        If your boys can’t respect us women, that’s YOUR failure as parents and THEIR failure as decent human beings. Not my failure or my parents’ failure.

        • Trent

          Are you suggesting that we should expect a 15 year old boy to not look
          lustfully at a 16 year old girl whose tits are hanging out and buttcrack
          is showing? Some girls look like they’re wearing dental floss as
          bikinis.. He’s saying a bit of modesty from women and girls will go a long way to establishing healthy bonds between men & women. Don’t you agree? I also don’t think he’s completely singling out girls, as he stated that he also teaches his sons modest guidelines.

          • Alexandra

            YES! That is EXACTLY what she is saying!!! It doesn’t matter what the girl is wearing-if that 15 year old is staring or “affected” by the sight of her- that is ENTIRELY on him! He needs to learn SELF-CONTROL. He needs to learn RESPECT. Short shorts are just short shorts. Nothing more, nothing less. If you draw a sexual or proactive conclusion from those shorts, the matter rests entirely with you. I am not, as a woman, responsible for the emotion or reaction I elicit from a male when I dress in shorts and tank tops.

        • Blakeney

          No, the issue is 50-50. Regardless of someone’s gender, dress, or behavior, we should all *treat* other people respectfully. That’s the responsibility we take for our own actions.

          But it is harder to think of someone respectfully – to actually feel *respect* – for individuals that show a lack of respect for themselves. Having respect for oneself – either by one’s dress or actions – is the responsibility of that individual.

          And it’s up to parents to instill both lessons (self respect and respect for others) in their children – regardless of gender.

        • Ranchgirl

          It is true that some men won’t respect women regardless of how they dress or act, but I can guarantee that women who dress immodestly won’t get the respect they desire. Its just common sense, if you wear short shorts that say juicy written on the butt, then you have no right to get mad at a man for reading it and looking at you’re butt in the process. Women need to respect men just as much as men need to respect women.

    • DPinion

      Amen!! As the mother of two girls I am constantly telling them “remember who you are” and act accordingly. Anyone can give respect but it takes actions to earn respect. Act like ladies and you will be treated like ladies. It’s a two way street.

    • Lori Cray

      So true. I have 5 girls but I also have a son. I worry about his heart because so many people don’t worry about what a boy is seeing.

  • http://www.maurilioamorim.com Maurilio amorim

    Oh so true. I have two boys and we teach them modest guidelines as well, i.e. no underwear showing, ever. Parents of girls: help our boys treat your daughters with the respect they deserve by giving them some modesty rules.

  • http://emphasisonmoms.blogspot.com/ Dionna

    Great article and post and I couldn't agree with you more wholeheartedly. Things have gotten out of hand because people have let them. No one stood up to say, "This isn't right" and it got carried away to what it is today. All the lines are blurred and it's sad because people are beginning to forget what is right and wrong. It's all up to interpretation.
    If some of us can continue to hold fast and speak up, maybe slowly we can make a difference.

    • Mommyof3

      Plenty of people have said, “This isn’t right!” Leaders from the
      Catholic, LDS (Mormon), Baptist, Jewish, and yes, even Muslim faiths
      have tried to stress the importance of modesty, humility, and respect,
      only to be laughed at, mocked, scorned, and made to be seen as
      “religious crackpots” by those who participate in immodesty and
      vulgarity. I don’t want to sound preachy, but in several religious books
      (Bible, Book of Mormon, Koran, etc) if talks of the “last days” and how
      actual goodness will be perceived as evil and true evil will be
      perceived as good. Modesty is just one of those casualties.

  • http://emphasisonmoms.blogspot.com Dionna

    Great article and post and I couldn’t agree with you more wholeheartedly. Things have gotten out of hand because people have let them. No one stood up to say, “This isn’t right” and it got carried away to what it is today. All the lines are blurred and it’s sad because people are beginning to forget what is right and wrong. It’s all up to interpretation.
    If some of us can continue to hold fast and speak up, maybe slowly we can make a difference.

  • http://www.starliteministries.org/ Amy Beth Bullard

    Coming from the perspective of having worked with well over 10,000 girls in the last five years (ranging from 3rd grade through seniors in college), I think you hit the nail on the head when you asked where the fathers are in their lives. I believe we as both a society and family of believers are on the brink of seeing just how much the absence of fathers has caused a multitude of girls to fall (or be thrown into) so many different pits, with this one included.

    One of the saddest things (at least to me) about the modesty issue is that it only opens up so many truly terrible doors. If you really stop and think about it, so many other "problem behaviors" can either be traced back to the modesty issue or, at the very least, a preview of what is to come.

    On a more practical note, you might be surprised to learn that we deal with just as many modesty issues in our elementary school programs (grades 3 – 5) as we do with our high school girls (grades 9 – 12). Unbelievable, right?

    • trevor_lavy

      The parents don’t know any better, or think the immodest dress is acceptable. That’s why you see it in the very early grades. Perpetual snowball.

    • Dee

      It is sad and unbelievable… However, I spend a lot of time looking for clothes that are appropriate for my daughters to wear. They are HARD to find!! I finally found Bermuda shorts at JCPenneys… every other store I went into sold very short shorts, etc. The culture drives sales.

      • DPinion

        My daughters go to a summer camp every year that does not allow two piece bathing suits. It is near impossible to find a cute one piece in the teenage sizes!!! We end up shopping in the ladies department but then it takes forever to find one that a teenager thinks is cute!! However, I was pleased to see so many options at Justice this season!!

  • http://www.starliteministries.org Amy Beth Bullard

    Coming from the perspective of having worked with well over 10,000 girls in the last five years (ranging from 3rd grade through seniors in college), I think you hit the nail on the head when you asked where the fathers are in their lives. I believe we as both a society and family of believers are on the brink of seeing just how much the absence of fathers has caused a multitude of girls to fall (or be thrown into) so many different pits, with this one included.

    One of the saddest things (at least to me) about the modesty issue is that it only opens up so many truly terrible doors. If you really stop and think about it, so many other “problem behaviors” can either be traced back to the modesty issue or, at the very least, a preview of what is to come.

    On a more practical note, you might be surprised to learn that we deal with just as many modesty issues in our elementary school programs (grades 3 – 5) as we do with our high school girls (grades 9 – 12). Unbelievable, right?

  • http://www.thattalldude.com/ Shawn K

    I love this post! Too many people are not paying enough attention, if any at all, to their kids. I thought girls were showing too much 6 years ago when I was a senior in high school, and I still think so today as a youth leader in our community youth group.

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      Amen. I believe that too. How can we shift the culture? 

  • http://www.thattalldude.com Shawn K

    I love this post! Too many people are not paying enough attention, if any at all, to their kids. I thought girls were showing too much 6 years ago when I was a senior in high school, and I still think so today as a youth leader in our community youth group.

  • http://tanyaross.wordpress.com/ Tanya

    excellent post! glad to know that other parents out there are as concerned about modesty (or the lack thereof) in our society… kudos to you for bringing this up on your blog, and MAJOR kudos to Jordin Sparks for taking a stand on national TV!

  • http://tanyaross.wordpress.com Tanya

    excellent post! glad to know that other parents out there are as concerned about modesty (or the lack thereof) in our society… kudos to you for bringing this up on your blog, and MAJOR kudos to Jordin Sparks for taking a stand on national TV!

  • http://michaeldundas.com/ Michael Dundas

    Great post.
    My wife and I have an 8 year old daughter. We don't have any issues yet, but I'm dreading 3-4 years from now.

    A friend of mine has a daughter that works at a restaurant chain called Moxie's (http://www.moxies.ca) and he's not impressed. All the servers there are young, attractive girls. She was told that her skirt (which apparently came down to mid-thigh) was too long and she should 'adjust' her dress for work.

    Unfortunately, that brings in business, and tips I guess — at least they seem to be doing well — expanding locations in my city anyway.

    -mike.

    • Hnelson

      And to think that the roots of the family of the chain’s owner were deeply entrenched in a solid Christian denomination in Canada. Something got lost along the way. How sad.

    • Monika

      Michael,
      Love your daughter and continually share with her what pleases you. More often than not, little girls want to please Daddy by nature. Find age appropriate ways to warn her how not to be a stumbling block to boys/men (for her own safety as well). Fathers who encourage inner beauty and steer away from worldly vanity will have a much easier time protecting their girls. The only reason you should dread 3-4 years from now is if you are allowing your daughter to do as she pleases without guidance and correction. If Mommy is modeling modest apparel and you are encouraging it in both of them, the two of you should be able to accomplish much.

  • http://michaeldundas.com Michael Dundas

    Great post.
    My wife and I have an 8 year old daughter. We don’t have any issues yet, but I’m dreading 3-4 years from now.

    A friend of mine has a daughter that works at a restaurant chain called Moxie’s (http://www.moxies.ca) and he’s not impressed. All the servers there are young, attractive girls. She was told that her skirt (which apparently came down to mid-thigh) was too long and she should ‘adjust’ her dress for work.

    Unfortunately, that brings in business, and tips I guess — at least they seem to be doing well — expanding locations in my city anyway.

    -mike.

  • http://www.randyelrod.typepad.com/ Randy Elrod

    I am also a father of girls, but there probably should be some guidelines for boys as well. If a guy has to grab his crotch every few seconds while singing to keep his pants from falling off, it makes me sad about the insecurity this represents both about the individual and the demographic he represents.

    In fact, the insecurity issue behind clothing or lack thereof is worth, pardon the pun, a much closer look.

    Russell Brand was appallingly bad. Bad in the execution of the art of communication. Bad in his assessment of America. Bad in his badness. A comic that can only get mediocre laughs at best from an MTV audience using vulgarity, racism and shock value probably shouldn't deserve another gig.

    Sad.

  • http://www.randyelrod.typepad.com Randy Elrod

    I am also a father of girls, but there probably should be some guidelines for boys as well. If a guy has to grab his crotch every few seconds while singing to keep his pants from falling off, it makes me sad about the insecurity this represents both about the individual and the demographic he represents.

    In fact, the insecurity issue behind clothing or lack thereof is worth, pardon the pun, a much closer look.

    Russell Brand was appallingly bad. Bad in the execution of the art of communication. Bad in his assessment of America. Bad in his badness. A comic that can only get mediocre laughs at best from an MTV audience using vulgarity, racism and shock value probably shouldn’t deserve another gig.

    Sad.

  • http://www.colleencoble.com/ Colleen Coble

    Oh great list, Mike! And the father comment is right on. Girls who dress immodestly often are desperate for male attention, even if it's the wrong kind of attention. An attentive father gives a girl an innate sense of self worth. I'm passing this list along to my son. Alexa Grace should be making her appearance in about three weeks!

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      Congratulations!

  • http://www.colleencoble.com Colleen Coble

    Oh great list, Mike! And the father comment is right on. Girls who dress immodestly often are desperate for male attention, even if it’s the wrong kind of attention. An attentive father gives a girl an innate sense of self worth. I’m passing this list along to my son. Alexa Grace should be making her appearance in about three weeks!

  • http://www.marydemuth.com/ Mary E. DeMuth

    Saturday, I asked my teenage daughter and her friend what they thought of moms trying to dress like them.

    "Um, it's weird," my daughter said.

    "It's embarassing," her friend added.

    Part of the problem, unfortunately, resides with moms who try too hard to look cool, and in so doing, promote their own sexiness. Modesty must flow down from the older generation, too, as a reinforcement.

  • http://www.marydemuth.com Mary E. DeMuth

    Saturday, I asked my teenage daughter and her friend what they thought of moms trying to dress like them.

    “Um, it’s weird,” my daughter said.

    “It’s embarassing,” her friend added.

    Part of the problem, unfortunately, resides with moms who try too hard to look cool, and in so doing, promote their own sexiness. Modesty must flow down from the older generation, too, as a reinforcement.

  • http://www.cjdarlington.blogspot.com/ C.J. Darlington

    I am quite impressed that your daughters are friends with some of the Paramore members. They're a terrific band, and I really enjoy their music.

  • http://berlysue.blogspot.com/ Kim

    A-men!! There are a lot of grown women I've seen around town that need to be introduced to these guidelines! Nobody wants to see all that!!

    Great post!

    Kim

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      The thing is, I think that people do want to see it. These girls know that they get attention when they dress this way. How can we instill the value of self worth to the individual?

      • http://DouglasStewart.org/ Douglas Stewart

        People want to see it. The wrong people….

  • http://berlysue.blogspot.com Kim

    A-men!! There are a lot of grown women I’ve seen around town that need to be introduced to these guidelines! Nobody wants to see all that!!

    Great post!

    Kim

  • http://www.cjdarlington.blogspot.com C.J. Darlington

    I am quite impressed that your daughters are friends with some of the Paramore members. They’re a terrific band, and I really enjoy their music.

  • Randy

    Mike, my daughter watches MTV all the time. She's a corporal in the Marine Corps and is constantly being hit on by other male Marines. She is very conservative and takes care of herself. One of my sons is also in the Marine Corps and he is very respectful to all. All three of my children constantly comment on the way young people today dress down.

  • Randy

    Mike, my daughter watches MTV all the time. She’s a corporal in the Marine Corps and is constantly being hit on by other male Marines. She is very conservative and takes care of herself. One of my sons is also in the Marine Corps and he is very respectful to all. All three of my children constantly comment on the way young people today dress down.

  • http://booksandboys.blogspot.com/ Max Elliot Anderson

    My wife and I continue to remark, in countless situations that we observe, how glad we are that our children are grown. I can't imagine the pressures that parents face today. And the problems and pressures are accelerating. With tweens and teens having their own cell phones, and sites like My Space, in my opinion, parents have already lost control. Some don't even know it yet.

    Max Elliot Anderson

  • http://booksandboys.blogspot.com/ Max Elliot Anderson

    My wife and I continue to remark, in countless situations that we observe, how glad we are that our children are grown. I can’t imagine the pressures that parents face today. And the problems and pressures are accelerating. With tweens and teens having their own cell phones, and sites like My Space, in my opinion, parents have already lost control. Some don’t even know it yet.

    Max Elliot Anderson

  • Tom

    My 23 year old daughter wears a promise ring and I am proud of her!

  • Tom

    My 23 year old daughter wears a promise ring and I am proud of her!

  • http://www.slideology.com/ Nancy Duarte

    THANK YOU Mike. Seems like nothing is sacred anymore. Seeing a guy value modesty is inspiring!

    Keep it up!

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      There are more men and young men who value modesty than we think!

    • Brianna Gipp

      I’ve seen quite enough of that in my life. I’m much more impressed by men who respect women no matter what we’re wearing.

  • http://www.slideology.com Nancy Duarte

    THANK YOU Mike. Seems like nothing is sacred anymore. Seeing a guy value modesty is inspiring!

    Keep it up!

  • http://profile.typekey.com/paxton71/ Hal

    I totally agree with you and I love the list you put together. I'm going to pass that on to my brother who is the youth leader in my church.

    As a single man in his thirties I would say that I don't think this sort of problem is limited to MTV and the secular music industry. Some time ago I wrote a post on my blog in reaction to some Christian music videos that I came across late one night.

    I titled it, Just What is That Bride Wearing!, because I was shocked. To my male mind I knew that modesty had been thrown out the door and a mixed message was being sent. It certainly wasn't as bad as what passes for dress and dance in the secular world. But I wonder as the years continue to roll by if the line between "righteousness" and "unrighteousness" in the culture and the Church will continue to be blurred.

    One of my favorite quotes that I heard as a teen is, "What one generation excuses in moderation, the next generation excuses in excess."

    So I worry that Church is adopting much of the world's ways in sexuality.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/paxton71/ Hal

    I totally agree with you and I love the list you put together. I’m going to pass that on to my brother who is the youth leader in my church.

    As a single man in his thirties I would say that I don’t think this sort of problem is limited to MTV and the secular music industry. Some time ago I wrote a post on my blog in reaction to some Christian music videos that I came across late one night.

    I titled it, Just What is That Bride Wearing!, because I was shocked. To my male mind I knew that modesty had been thrown out the door and a mixed message was being sent. It certainly wasn’t as bad as what passes for dress and dance in the secular world. But I wonder as the years continue to roll by if the line between “righteousness” and “unrighteousness” in the culture and the Church will continue to be blurred.

    One of my favorite quotes that I heard as a teen is, “What one generation excuses in moderation, the next generation excuses in excess.”

    So I worry that Church is adopting much of the world’s ways in sexuality.

  • Sandy

    thank you, Mike and thank you, Randy for your comments about the guys. it is appalling that the young men are now wearing their pants so not only do I see underwear but the waistline of their pants is literally below their backsides! they look like they are undressing as they walk. My Mother always us 4 girls to wear our clothing tight enough that you could tell we are a woman but loose enough so you could tell we are a lady.

  • Sandy

    thank you, Mike and thank you, Randy for your comments about the guys. it is appalling that the young men are now wearing their pants so not only do I see underwear but the waistline of their pants is literally below their backsides! they look like they are undressing as they walk. My Mother always us 4 girls to wear our clothing tight enough that you could tell we are a woman but loose enough so you could tell we are a lady.

  • http://www.cynthiacullen.com/ Cynthia Cullen

    I agree. It starts with us moms and dads dressing modestly. Even at 4, my daughter is always talking to me about my clothes – she's watching culture, but she is really watching her mom right now. I know that will change as she gets older, but I have to have the conversations now, I know. As 1 of 3 sisters, my parents modeled this for us. My mom always dressed so classy and trendy, but always so modestly. That is what I want for my daughter.

  • http://www.cynthiacullen.com Cynthia Cullen

    I agree. It starts with us moms and dads dressing modestly. Even at 4, my daughter is always talking to me about my clothes – she’s watching culture, but she is really watching her mom right now. I know that will change as she gets older, but I have to have the conversations now, I know. As 1 of 3 sisters, my parents modeled this for us. My mom always dressed so classy and trendy, but always so modestly. That is what I want for my daughter.

  • http://karlaakins.com/ Karla Akins

    Thank-you for this post. As a mother of four sons, I really appreciate it. Immodest dress sends the wrong message to young men. It is extremely difficult raising godly children in this culture. There are so many distractions. I can't imagine what my sons must go through living in this culture. It's really unfair. Temptation is lurking just a click away — whether internet or TV.

    When I was looking for a gown last winter for my vow renewal with my husband of 25 years, it was impossible to find something modest. Everything is strapless now. I had to have a dress made because nothing (in my price range) could be found that met my standard of modesty.

    More than ever we need voices like yours. Thanks for speaking out!

  • http://karlaakins.com Karla Akins

    Thank-you for this post. As a mother of four sons, I really appreciate it. Immodest dress sends the wrong message to young men. It is extremely difficult raising godly children in this culture. There are so many distractions. I can’t imagine what my sons must go through living in this culture. It’s really unfair. Temptation is lurking just a click away — whether internet or TV.

    When I was looking for a gown last winter for my vow renewal with my husband of 25 years, it was impossible to find something modest. Everything is strapless now. I had to have a dress made because nothing (in my price range) could be found that met my standard of modesty.

    More than ever we need voices like yours. Thanks for speaking out!

  • Matt

    Good comments Mike, but it also seems a little bit like a one-sided view. I'm sure that today's young guys are also trailblazing new fashions (not just clothing, but also social habits, body art, etc.) which may be worthy of equal attention. It's not just the young girls of today who develop idols on MTV.

    I also suspect that your audience here is not representative of those who are failing to retain their modesty, or who are bringing up children who fail to retain their modesty (but hopefully every effort helps at least a little bit, and maybe your message will be passed along to those who need to hear it).

  • Matt

    Good comments Mike, but it also seems a little bit like a one-sided view. I’m sure that today’s young guys are also trailblazing new fashions (not just clothing, but also social habits, body art, etc.) which may be worthy of equal attention. It’s not just the young girls of today who develop idols on MTV.

    I also suspect that your audience here is not representative of those who are failing to retain their modesty, or who are bringing up children who fail to retain their modesty (but hopefully every effort helps at least a little bit, and maybe your message will be passed along to those who need to hear it).

  • http://www.billcarrington.com/ Bill Carrington

    Mike,

    I wholeheartedly agree with your concerns as the father of three girls myself. I like your modesty guidelines. I did not have those types of rules for my girls, however their mother and I always acted in modest ways ourselves. I believe this issue is a result of deeper issues in our society. We live in a time when divorce rates are higher than they have ever been in our history. We allow divorce to occur under our laws and customs much too easily. This causes great rifts in the fibre of family values and our children have absorbed those values through the experience. Perhaps a re-evaluation of family values in our society is in order. Think about this folks, as you go to the polls. Good leadership and example starts at the top. You, Mike, show this each and every day in your posts, articles and twitters. I applaud you in your values and in the example that you set, not only for your family and company, but also for this internet community you have so unselfishly built.

    Bill

    • Ralph Boone

      I made sure my Daughter dressed modestly when She went to School or the Movies.. ! Found out years later her BFF down the Street kept her low tops and short shorts for her ..SAD!

  • http://www.billcarrington.com Bill Carrington

    Mike,

    I wholeheartedly agree with your concerns as the father of three girls myself. I like your modesty guidelines. I did not have those types of rules for my girls, however their mother and I always acted in modest ways ourselves. I believe this issue is a result of deeper issues in our society. We live in a time when divorce rates are higher than they have ever been in our history. We allow divorce to occur under our laws and customs much too easily. This causes great rifts in the fibre of family values and our children have absorbed those values through the experience. Perhaps a re-evaluation of family values in our society is in order. Think about this folks, as you go to the polls. Good leadership and example starts at the top. You, Mike, show this each and every day in your posts, articles and twitters. I applaud you in your values and in the example that you set, not only for your family and company, but also for this internet community you have so unselfishly built.

    Bill

  • http://cherylbarker.blogspot.com/ Cheryl Barker

    Thanks for bringing up the topic of modesty. Thanks also for sharing Jordin Sparks' comments. So refreshing to hear about a young woman in the limelight today who is not afraid to speak up for what's right.

  • http://cherylbarker.blogspot.com/ Cheryl Barker

    Thanks for bringing up the topic of modesty. Thanks also for sharing Jordin Sparks’ comments. So refreshing to hear about a young woman in the limelight today who is not afraid to speak up for what’s right.

  • http://www.relentlessgrace.com/ Rich Dixon

    I couldn't agree more, but this stuff is pervasive for one reason–it sells. Scanning the previous comments, I notice that many folks are appalled by the show, but they watched it anyway. That's the ratings game, and they don't care whether we approve as long as we watch. Only when we turn of this garbage will they get the message.

    Britney and the other troubled children of Hollywood prosper financially because we buy their products and attend their performances. And, frankly, their families get in on the act as well, making money from the disfunctional behavior of their children.

    I don't wish to pre-judge a book I haven't read, but one does wonder how being Britney's mother qualifies her to have a book published. But that name will sell books anyway.

    I don't know her mom's story, and I hope her book adds something of value. Celebrity sells, and when we contribute to and support that mentality we get what we deserve.

  • http://www.relentlessgrace.com Rich Dixon

    I couldn’t agree more, but this stuff is pervasive for one reason–it sells. Scanning the previous comments, I notice that many folks are appalled by the show, but they watched it anyway. That’s the ratings game, and they don’t care whether we approve as long as we watch. Only when we turn of this garbage will they get the message.

    Britney and the other troubled children of Hollywood prosper financially because we buy their products and attend their performances. And, frankly, their families get in on the act as well, making money from the disfunctional behavior of their children.

    I don’t wish to pre-judge a book I haven’t read, but one does wonder how being Britney’s mother qualifies her to have a book published. But that name will sell books anyway.

    I don’t know her mom’s story, and I hope her book adds something of value. Celebrity sells, and when we contribute to and support that mentality we get what we deserve.

  • http://www.johnbday.com/ JBDay

    Hey Michael,

    Apparently MTV has been very successful in their corporate marketing strategy as stated below:

    "The strongest appeal you can make is emotionally. If you can get their emotions going, make them forget their logic, you've got them. AT MTV, WE DON'T SHOOT FOR THE 14-YEAR OLDS, WE OWN THEM". (MTV is Rock Around the Clock, Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 3, 1982)

    If a parent allows their child to watch MTV, they should be arrested for child neglect.

  • http://www.johnbday.com JBDay

    Hey Michael,

    Apparently MTV has been very successful in their corporate marketing strategy as stated below:

    “The strongest appeal you can make is emotionally. If you can get their emotions going, make them forget their logic, you’ve got them. AT MTV, WE DON’T SHOOT FOR THE 14-YEAR OLDS, WE OWN THEM”. (MTV is Rock Around the Clock, Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 3, 1982)

    If a parent allows their child to watch MTV, they should be arrested for child neglect.

  • http://www.karenballbooks.com/ Karen Ball

    My dad and I took a run to Lowe's over my lunch break today, and a young girl helped us with our purchase: outdoor carpet for runners on the deck around the pool. I notices she was a nice looking girl, probably 17 or so. But the kid's pants were so tight she was almost poured into them. She was a good weight for her height, but the tight hipster jeans create a bulge that was far from flattering. And when she bent over to roll the carpet, my and I both averted our eyes.

    Walked away asking God to bring people into her life that will help her make better, self-honoring choices in clothing.

    Sigh…

    • Riley

      and I pray that God will show you the great amount of judgment you harbor in your heart. shame on you.

    • MartiVeto

      As a girl who grew up 1) being sent out into the yard to stand with feet shoulder width apart so mom could check to see if she could “sun” me and then sent inside to put on a slip, and 2) being asked to put my hands to my sides to see if my skirt reached my fingertips, I can’t relate to it suddenly being acceptable to role model after plumbers.

    • Brianna Gipp

      Gross.

      Your comment, I mean.

  • http://www.karenballbooks.com Karen Ball

    My dad and I took a run to Lowe’s over my lunch break today, and a young girl helped us with our purchase: outdoor carpet for runners on the deck around the pool. I notices she was a nice looking girl, probably 17 or so. But the kid’s pants were so tight she was almost poured into them. She was a good weight for her height, but the tight hipster jeans create a bulge that was far from flattering. And when she bent over to roll the carpet, my and I both averted our eyes.

    Walked away asking God to bring people into her life that will help her make better, self-honoring choices in clothing.

    Sigh…

  • http://www.patalexander.com/ Pat A

    I am so with you on this. I find in the offices that I visit these days that this is a particular problem with many of the young new female staff members. However, in certain parts of the country, older women dress in very embarrassing attire in the office place as well. I have shared this with some individuals that I hope take the hint.

  • http://www.patalexander.com Pat A

    I am so with you on this. I find in the offices that I visit these days that this is a particular problem with many of the young new female staff members. However, in certain parts of the country, older women dress in very embarrassing attire in the office place as well. I have shared this with some individuals that I hope take the hint.

  • Denise

    I am so glad you wrote this. I have a daughter, who just turned 13. Her modesty is so wonderful. She doesn't have any desire to wear short-shorts, bikinis or anything that shows too much skin. And it bothers her when others do. We are doing our best to raise her in a Godly home and we pray that she has a passion for God. We can't take the credit, for how she is turning out, because it is all GOD. But, I could not be more proud of her and as we have prayed for her to have Godly friends, God has given her several. He is so amazing. And my daughter brings me so much joy!!!! (Thank you, GOD)

  • Denise

    I am so glad you wrote this. I have a daughter, who just turned 13. Her modesty is so wonderful. She doesn’t have any desire to wear short-shorts, bikinis or anything that shows too much skin. And it bothers her when others do. We are doing our best to raise her in a Godly home and we pray that she has a passion for God. We can’t take the credit, for how she is turning out, because it is all GOD. But, I could not be more proud of her and as we have prayed for her to have Godly friends, God has given her several. He is so amazing. And my daughter brings me so much joy!!!! (Thank you, GOD)

  • http://riascollectables.blogspot.com/ Ria

    Mike;
    Thank you for the courage to post this. I am in 100% agreement with everyone here.
    As a parent of 4 grown children and the grandparent of 6, I have to say, modesty is not limited to just girls. It seems that young men today also have this problem.
    I did not allow my daughters to dress the way girls do today, nor did I allow my son's to dress the way young boys do today.
    As we all know, teenager's try a compeling argument, however, the statement that worked with my grown children still works today with my two grandson's that I raise, which is, "if your friends were jumping off of abridge, would you do that also?" Although it maybe a harsh question, it works.
    Thank you for the courage to write this.

  • http://riascollectables.blogspot.com Ria

    Mike;
    Thank you for the courage to post this. I am in 100% agreement with everyone here.
    As a parent of 4 grown children and the grandparent of 6, I have to say, modesty is not limited to just girls. It seems that young men today also have this problem.
    I did not allow my daughters to dress the way girls do today, nor did I allow my son’s to dress the way young boys do today.
    As we all know, teenager’s try a compeling argument, however, the statement that worked with my grown children still works today with my two grandson’s that I raise, which is, “if your friends were jumping off of abridge, would you do that also?” Although it maybe a harsh question, it works.
    Thank you for the courage to write this.

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    Thirty years ago, this ugly duckling went largely unnoticed for my inner gifts. Once I learned to comform my outward image to the ones I saw in the world, the guys suddenly took note. I spent ten years on the wrong path because of it, and ten more years in the church–still in the wrong clothes–before anyone cared to share with me that there was a reason to dress differently.

    This problem is alive and well in the church, and no doubt within the ranks of readers of this blog. It is a problem for my three daughters and my two sons, whether we're in the checkout line at the store, passing billboards on the freeway, or (sometimes) going to various churches.

    The beginning of the solution is for each of us to make sure that we value each other and ourselves for the person within, not the image without–to not look at the outward appearance, but at the heart.

    Another crucial component of the solution is for those of us who are Christ's to remember that we are ambassadors of His kingdom, and dress the part.

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    Thirty years ago, this ugly duckling went largely unnoticed for my inner gifts. Once I learned to comform my outward image to the ones I saw in the world, the guys suddenly took note. I spent ten years on the wrong path because of it, and ten more years in the church–still in the wrong clothes–before anyone cared to share with me that there was a reason to dress differently.

    This problem is alive and well in the church, and no doubt within the ranks of readers of this blog. It is a problem for my three daughters and my two sons, whether we’re in the checkout line at the store, passing billboards on the freeway, or (sometimes) going to various churches.

    The beginning of the solution is for each of us to make sure that we value each other and ourselves for the person within, not the image without–to not look at the outward appearance, but at the heart.

    Another crucial component of the solution is for those of us who are Christ’s to remember that we are ambassadors of His kingdom, and dress the part.

  • http://themondaynut.wordpress.com/ Brent

    Great post. Best advice I ever heard for fathers with daughters. "Show them how much you love them…or someone else will." And, as the father of a grown son, I always remind him not to be the latter. He'll be better off with a woman whose father showed his love (tough love included).

  • http://themondaynut.wordpress.com Brent

    Great post. Best advice I ever heard for fathers with daughters. “Show them how much you love them…or someone else will.” And, as the father of a grown son, I always remind him not to be the latter. He’ll be better off with a woman whose father showed his love (tough love included).

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @All,

    I didn't intentionally omit boys from the modesty guidelines. I think most everything applies to them as well. It's just that, as the father of five daughters and no sons, I know way more about the former than the latter.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @All,

    I didn’t intentionally omit boys from the modesty guidelines. I think most everything applies to them as well. It’s just that, as the father of five daughters and no sons, I know way more about the former than the latter.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • Derek Bell

    Mike – I'm printing this and pasting it in my journal – I have a 20 month old little girl who will need her father to give her guidance on these issues. It is my responsibility!!! FYI…my little girl is wonderfully dressed due to Mandy's consignment sale – my wife, Jennifer Gurely Bell keep tabs on her entrepreneurial ventures. Thank you for great publishing thoughts. Thank you even more for great life thoughts.

  • Derek Bell

    Mike – I’m printing this and pasting it in my journal – I have a 20 month old little girl who will need her father to give her guidance on these issues. It is my responsibility!!! FYI…my little girl is wonderfully dressed due to Mandy’s consignment sale – my wife, Jennifer Gurely Bell keep tabs on her entrepreneurial ventures. Thank you for great publishing thoughts. Thank you even more for great life thoughts.

  • http://www.bloomworksoaps.com/ Kelly Bloom – BloomW

    Yes! Yes! Yes! As the mother of FIVE daughters myself I applaud this! I know what a constant battle it can be to be vigilant in reinforcing the concept of modesty with daughter while they are being propagandized by writen, audio, and visual media, as well as peers, and even adults that *should* be role models.

    We need to hear more people, female as well as male, raise the bar on modesty with the daughters of America. Daughters of America need to relearn that 'less is more intriguing'.

  • http://www.bloomworksoaps.com Kelly Bloom – BloomWorks Soap Company, LC

    Yes! Yes! Yes! As the mother of FIVE daughters myself I applaud this! I know what a constant battle it can be to be vigilant in reinforcing the concept of modesty with daughter while they are being propagandized by writen, audio, and visual media, as well as peers, and even adults that *should* be role models.

    We need to hear more people, female as well as male, raise the bar on modesty with the daughters of America. Daughters of America need to relearn that ‘less is more intriguing’.

  • http://www.kylechowning.com/ Kyle Chowning

    A great list of guidelines or any young dad to save for his daughter(s). Thanks for the wisdom Mike. I've archived this one for future reference.

  • http://www.kylechowning.com Kyle Chowning

    A great list of guidelines or any young dad to save for his daughter(s). Thanks for the wisdom Mike. I’ve archived this one for future reference.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/CoztheGrov/ Brendan Cosgrove

    Fantastic post Michael! Like Kyle said, this one is archived for a few years for my 2 daughters.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/CoztheGrov/ Brendan Cosgrove

    Fantastic post Michael! Like Kyle said, this one is archived for a few years for my 2 daughters.

  • Wanda Brewer

    I believe the intent with dress, choice of language and actions has everything to do with shock factor. "How do I set myself apart from the thousands that are just waiting to pounce on me for their 15 minutes of fame?" Look at the Marilyn Monroes of our time–they revealed a lot of skin compared to other women and that got a lot of male attention. Same thing is going on today–just that the bar is raised on risque. As long as we tune in without offering an alternative then we will continue to be offended and the skirts will get shorter–fathers present or not.

  • Wanda Brewer

    I believe the intent with dress, choice of language and actions has everything to do with shock factor. “How do I set myself apart from the thousands that are just waiting to pounce on me for their 15 minutes of fame?” Look at the Marilyn Monroes of our time–they revealed a lot of skin compared to other women and that got a lot of male attention. Same thing is going on today–just that the bar is raised on risque. As long as we tune in without offering an alternative then we will continue to be offended and the skirts will get shorter–fathers present or not.

  • http://www.cedarspringsskinny.com/ Link McGinnis

    I'll just add "Thanks for the spot on post!"

  • http://www.cedarspringsskinny.com Link McGinnis

    I’ll just add “Thanks for the spot on post!”

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    "How do I set myself apart from the thousands …?" goes to the hearts inside those attention-grabbing bodies and faces. The clothing standards so well defined above and everything that goes with them will be hard for those hearts to accept unless they first see themselves set apart by God, and know His love.

  • http://building-his-body.blogspot.com/ Anne Lang Bundy

    “How do I set myself apart from the thousands …?” goes to the hearts inside those attention-grabbing bodies and faces. The clothing standards so well defined above and everything that goes with them will be hard for those hearts to accept unless they first see themselves set apart by God, and know His love.

  • Sherrie

    I agree with you one hundred percent regarding your comments about Fathers. The sad thing about this issue is how it has infiltrated even our churches. I sit and look around me on Sunday morning trying to figure out how my 16 year old son is supposed to observe "what is good, what is pure, what just…and to think on these things"…when all the girls around him….look like they just walked out of Victoria's Secret! And don't get me started on the shorts and sweats with the little comments across the backside! The thing that bothers me the most, is that this kind of dress can be expected in the "world"…but as Christians we are to be IN the world NOT of the world…and I KNOW who those PARENTS are of these girls…and I want to walk over to them and put some glasses on them…and just scream…'DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU ARE CREATING IN YOUR DAUGHTERS….AND OUR SONS…??!! It's always been an issue with dress/attire and these girls wanting to push the limits as much as they can. I feel strongly that every parent reading this need not just take these guidelines to heart…but PLEASE take them to your YOUTH minister….ask him to post them as a guideline for a dress code for youth events (as I am going to). I think a lot of situations can be avoided…with something like this to guide them. If parents are not willing to stand up maybe our church leadership will..???!!!

  • Sherrie

    I agree with you one hundred percent regarding your comments about Fathers. The sad thing about this issue is how it has infiltrated even our churches. I sit and look around me on Sunday morning trying to figure out how my 16 year old son is supposed to observe “what is good, what is pure, what just…and to think on these things”…when all the girls around him….look like they just walked out of Victoria’s Secret! And don’t get me started on the shorts and sweats with the little comments across the backside! The thing that bothers me the most, is that this kind of dress can be expected in the “world”…but as Christians we are to be IN the world NOT of the world…and I KNOW who those PARENTS are of these girls…and I want to walk over to them and put some glasses on them…and just scream…’DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU ARE CREATING IN YOUR DAUGHTERS….AND OUR SONS…??!! It’s always been an issue with dress/attire and these girls wanting to push the limits as much as they can. I feel strongly that every parent reading this need not just take these guidelines to heart…but PLEASE take them to your YOUTH minister….ask him to post them as a guideline for a dress code for youth events (as I am going to). I think a lot of situations can be avoided…with something like this to guide them. If parents are not willing to stand up maybe our church leadership will..???!!!

  • http://www.vakil.org/ Ali

    Dear Michael,

    Great post! and very refreshing to read!

  • http://www.vakil.org Ali

    Dear Michael,

    Great post! and very refreshing to read!

  • Jayson

    Great article! Great guidelines! I haven't read every comment, but is it fair to say that our wives (our daughter's mothers) need to look at these guidelines themselves? Modesty is not just a problem with youth. Whether it's at a June wedding or a county fair, I see plenty of grown women who violate every one of these guidelines.

    Husbands can loving help their wives in this area:

    "Honey, I LOVE that top! But so will every other man you bump into. I enjoy your body, but I don't want every other guy who sees you today to enjoy it. That's my privilege alone."

    Is it okay to say that?

  • Jayson

    Great article! Great guidelines! I haven’t read every comment, but is it fair to say that our wives (our daughter’s mothers) need to look at these guidelines themselves? Modesty is not just a problem with youth. Whether it’s at a June wedding or a county fair, I see plenty of grown women who violate every one of these guidelines.

    Husbands can loving help their wives in this area:

    “Honey, I LOVE that top! But so will every other man you bump into. I enjoy your body, but I don’t want every other guy who sees you today to enjoy it. That’s my privilege alone.”

    Is it okay to say that?

  • J.P.H.

    I recently had a conversation with a single, male co-worker of mine who's in his early thirties. This is a guy who's fairly "hip" with regard to current trends and fashions and is fairly politically liberal. He, of all people, related to me how disgusted he was by the current state of MTV and how nobody should ever let their children watch it. Coming from this guy, that assessment is "extra" damning.

  • J.P.H.

    I recently had a conversation with a single, male co-worker of mine who’s in his early thirties. This is a guy who’s fairly “hip” with regard to current trends and fashions and is fairly politically liberal. He, of all people, related to me how disgusted he was by the current state of MTV and how nobody should ever let their children watch it. Coming from this guy, that assessment is “extra” damning.

  • Dave Northrup

    See here for some interesting data about how boys view girls. Especially read some of the text responses.
    http://www.therebelution.com/modestysurvey/

  • Dave Northrup

    See here for some interesting data about how boys view girls. Especially read some of the text responses.

    http://www.therebelution.com/modestysurvey/

  • Joel

    Your observations are excellent. The problem of modesty in our culture presents us with one of the strongest distractions of the Christian life; it inhibits our ability to be reoriented to the image of Christ. It has turned beauty into a thing in itself, causing men and women alike to look merely at the body and its accoutrements, rather than at the body as an icon of Christ. Immodesty causes the wearer of such accoutrements to idolize their own flesh (and more tragically the opinions of strangers), rather than seeking communion with the Trinity.

    Thank you for your insight.

  • Joel

    Your observations are excellent. The problem of modesty in our culture presents us with one of the strongest distractions of the Christian life; it inhibits our ability to be reoriented to the image of Christ. It has turned beauty into a thing in itself, causing men and women alike to look merely at the body and its accoutrements, rather than at the body as an icon of Christ. Immodesty causes the wearer of such accoutrements to idolize their own flesh (and more tragically the opinions of strangers), rather than seeking communion with the Trinity.

    Thank you for your insight.

  • Matthew

    If women and girls are being treated as sex objects the onus is not on them to correct the situation. The blame lies with those treating women poorly. Don't let "boys be boys"; require that they act respectfully.

    • Deb Bradford

      It all begins with self-respect.  Dressing provocatively (whether male of female) shows a lack of self-respect, & tends to garner a lack of respect from others as well.  

      While, theoretically, one should see past the exterior, we are all human, & visual imagery is extremely powerful.  Though there is no excuse for treating another human being in a vulgar or disrespectful manner, the chances of this happening decrease enormously with the use of modesty, self-respect & common sense.  

      To put in plainly, (and this applies to males & females) if it ain’t for sale, don’t advertise it in the front window.  ‘Nuff said…

  • Matthew

    If women and girls are being treated as sex objects the onus is not on them to correct the situation. The blame lies with those treating women poorly. Don’t let “boys be boys”; require that they act respectfully.

  • Mary

    @Matthew – I agree that males bear part of the responsibility but a woman (or even young teen) shares some of it too. If I dress in a disrespectful manner (say coming to work wearing sloven, messy clothing), I cannot command respect. I'll probably be sent home. The same goes for immodest clothing – it's difficult to command respect or to command that I not be treated as a sex object if I'm dressing as one.

  • Mary

    @Matthew – I agree that males bear part of the responsibility but a woman (or even young teen) shares some of it too. If I dress in a disrespectful manner (say coming to work wearing sloven, messy clothing), I cannot command respect. I’ll probably be sent home. The same goes for immodest clothing – it’s difficult to command respect or to command that I not be treated as a sex object if I’m dressing as one.

  • Chris

    I wonder if the folks struggling with modesty read any books from Nelson's Naked Ink imprint?
    http://www.nakedink.net/hotmomshandbook/

  • Chris

    I wonder if the folks struggling with modesty read any books from Nelson’s Naked Ink imprint?

    http://www.nakedink.net/hotmomshandbook/

  • Kyle Olund

    Mike, do you think you hit a nerve? Many great responses to a topic that is important to me as well, since I have two young daughters who love to be fashionable, but they also want to be modest. This problem also arises in the church and the workplace from time to time, and in those instances it's the more mature women who need to step up and talk to them. I will share these great guidlines with my girls, and hopefully they'll be bold enough to pass them along to their friends as they grow older.

  • Kyle Olund

    Mike, do you think you hit a nerve? Many great responses to a topic that is important to me as well, since I have two young daughters who love to be fashionable, but they also want to be modest. This problem also arises in the church and the workplace from time to time, and in those instances it’s the more mature women who need to step up and talk to them. I will share these great guidlines with my girls, and hopefully they’ll be bold enough to pass them along to their friends as they grow older.

  • http://www.angelfire.com/ok2/weakandfoolish Rob Sargeant

    We got rid of cable TV years ago because of this. I haven't missed it at all. Too many shows these days treat women as tools and eye candy. Fathers are portrayed as weak goofs.

  • http://www.angelfire.com/ok2/weakandfoolish Rob Sargeant

    We got rid of cable TV years ago because of this. I haven’t missed it at all. Too many shows these days treat women as tools and eye candy. Fathers are portrayed as weak goofs.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Chris,

    The vision for Naked Ink was to publish books that were authentic and transparent for the kind of audience that liked Blue Like Jazz.

    However, we killed that imprint with our One Company initiative. (In fact, we killed all of our imprints.)

    The Web site that you referenced was still hanging out there in cyberspace. Some how it got overlooked. Regardless, the site is now down.

    Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Mike

    • Anonymous

      Hey, just so you know, the link in the original comment now leads to porn.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Chris,

    The vision for Naked Ink was to publish books that were authentic and transparent for the kind of audience that liked Blue Like Jazz.

    However, we killed that imprint with our One Company initiative. (In fact, we killed all of our imprints.)

    The Web site that you referenced was still hanging out there in cyberspace. Some how it got overlooked. Regardless, the site is now down.

    Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

    Mike

  • A Quiet Spirit

    Look at the clothing store ads. Part of the problem is the clothing stores seem to promote the look of someone being poured into their clothes. It is discouraging for us who are older to find acceptable clothes to purchase.

  • A Quiet Spirit

    Look at the clothing store ads. Part of the problem is the clothing stores seem to promote the look of someone being poured into their clothes. It is discouraging for us who are older to find acceptable clothes to purchase.

  • http://www.gregatkinson.com Greg Atkinson

    I have 2 young daughters. Great thoughts!

  • http://www.gregatkinson.com/ Greg Atkinson

    I have 2 young daughters. Great thoughts!

  • http://human3rror.com/ John

    Excellent. My wife and I saw it the other night and it was gross. gross. gross.

    thanks for your comments.

  • http://human3rror.com John

    Excellent. My wife and I saw it the other night and it was gross. gross. gross.

    thanks for your comments.

  • http://lynnmosher.blogspot.com/ Lynn Mosher

    Mike, I couldn't agree more. Even the word 'modesty' is no longer used. If it isn't taught at home, then there is no modesty. Society throws seduction in our faces from every source. Thanks, Mike, for speaking up.

  • http://lynnmosher.blogspot.com Lynn Mosher

    Mike, I couldn’t agree more. Even the word ‘modesty’ is no longer used. If it isn’t taught at home, then there is no modesty. Society throws seduction in our faces from every source. Thanks, Mike, for speaking up.

  • http://www.gammasigmachi.com/ Christie

    Thank you for sharing the "Four Guidelines of Modesty" you used with your daughters and for your voice on this matter.

    It is heart wrenching to watch the girls of this generation parade themselves with complete disregard of self-respect. There is no longer even the slightest blush of inappropriateness.

    In working with the high school girls of our church I've determined that it is much more than just absentee fathers missing from the household, it is absentee PARENTING. Right now more than ever it seems that parents are choosing to be HANDS OFF, choosing to say nothing as long as they do not have to deal with the kids.

    My opionion is that we are in the middle of the ENTITLED GENERATION, a monster of a generation that we have created.

    As a mom of three boys I pray daily for their hearts to be guarded and for God to put blinders on their eyes, as well as for the girls they will one day marry!

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on this matter!

  • http://www.gammasigmachi.com Christie

    Thank you for sharing the “Four Guidelines of Modesty” you used with your daughters and for your voice on this matter.

    It is heart wrenching to watch the girls of this generation parade themselves with complete disregard of self-respect. There is no longer even the slightest blush of inappropriateness.

    In working with the high school girls of our church I’ve determined that it is much more than just absentee fathers missing from the household, it is absentee PARENTING. Right now more than ever it seems that parents are choosing to be HANDS OFF, choosing to say nothing as long as they do not have to deal with the kids.

    My opionion is that we are in the middle of the ENTITLED GENERATION, a monster of a generation that we have created.

    As a mom of three boys I pray daily for their hearts to be guarded and for God to put blinders on their eyes, as well as for the girls they will one day marry!

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on this matter!

  • Rhonda

    I have three daughters. My youngest, who is now 22, has had this as her slogan for years: A modest woman is a powerful woman.

  • Rhonda

    I have three daughters. My youngest, who is now 22, has had this as her slogan for years: A modest woman is a powerful woman.

  • http://www.rachelhauck.com/ Rachel Hauck

    Well said, Mike, and bravo for publishing your wisdom.

    I told about 40 youth girls at a lock-in once, "you think you're dressing to get the attention of the cute boy in math class, but guess who else you're attracting? Your older brother's friends, the pervert down the street, your father's friends, perhaps even the pastor of your church."

    They gasped.

    "And many of them don't want you to draw their attention."

    So, we had a long talk about "boys are different than girls."

    Several of the girls said the evening totally changed their perspective.

    We need to speak truth if we want real change.

    :) Rachel

  • http://www.rachelhauck.com Rachel Hauck

    Well said, Mike, and bravo for publishing your wisdom.

    I told about 40 youth girls at a lock-in once, “you think you’re dressing to get the attention of the cute boy in math class, but guess who else you’re attracting? Your older brother’s friends, the pervert down the street, your father’s friends, perhaps even the pastor of your church.”

    They gasped.

    “And many of them don’t want you to draw their attention.”

    So, we had a long talk about “boys are different than girls.”

    Several of the girls said the evening totally changed their perspective.

    We need to speak truth if we want real change.

    :) Rachel

  • http://seconddrafts.wordpress.com/ Craig

    Um, tell me again why Thomas Nelson is publishing Lynne Spears' book (and publicizing it within a post on modesty)? Not sure you're really helping your cause here (that is, the one of publishing books that can address the problem).

  • http://seconddrafts.wordpress.com Craig

    Um, tell me again why Thomas Nelson is publishing Lynne Spears’ book (and publicizing it within a post on modesty)? Not sure you’re really helping your cause here (that is, the one of publishing books that can address the problem).

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Craig: Actually, I think it is a book that can help. Don't believe what you are currently reading about the book on the internet. It's baloney. No one has seen it yet. Thanks.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Craig: Actually, I think it is a book that can help. Don’t believe what you are currently reading about the book on the internet. It’s baloney. No one has seen it yet. Thanks.

  • http://www.thetuskarcave.blogspot.com/ Al

    Women don't want to be treated like objects, they need respect just like men. Yet popular media tells them that to be popular they have to dress like an object. They have to obtain the airbrushed look of models in fashion magazines. There also seems to be a trend toward immodesty of attitude as well – i.e. it's ok to act like a princess, a premadona, or a complete brat.

    The truth is a little modesty goes a long way both in dress and attitude. I'm glad you addressed this and for those without daughters, treat your sons to act like men who respect women no matter how they dress. (although with tight jeans making a comeback in the teenage populace for both boys and girls your next blog entry on dressing modestly may have to be about boys… )

  • http://www.thetuskarcave.blogspot.com Al

    Women don’t want to be treated like objects, they need respect just like men. Yet popular media tells them that to be popular they have to dress like an object. They have to obtain the airbrushed look of models in fashion magazines. There also seems to be a trend toward immodesty of attitude as well – i.e. it’s ok to act like a princess, a premadona, or a complete brat.

    The truth is a little modesty goes a long way both in dress and attitude. I’m glad you addressed this and for those without daughters, treat your sons to act like men who respect women no matter how they dress. (although with tight jeans making a comeback in the teenage populace for both boys and girls your next blog entry on dressing modestly may have to be about boys… )

  • Josh

    With this post, you just made a fan for life. Heroes stand for something good. Thank you.

  • Josh

    With this post, you just made a fan for life. Heroes stand for something good. Thank you.

  • http://www.mommynotes.wordpress.com/ Michele

    I love this post.

    I also am careful at stores when I try on clothes to make sure they follow in the rules you have above. I have two daughters and I want them to dress modestly too so I think it is also starts at home. We do not allow our girls to watch Hannah Montana and all the "hip" shows. Our oldest is 6 and we want her to stay a child for as long as she can.

    I noticed something because we don't let her watch that stuff she is not into Hannah Montana and Camp Rock. I was so shocked when she attended a birthday party and the whole theme was HS Musical. The kids were 5. I don't want my girls emulate high school girls or saying they are in love with a boy or a star. They are 5 and 6 years old. Princesses and my little pony's are fine with me. Kids have to grow up so fast so why should they have to grow up in the area of what they wear or who the are because the media and the world says so?

  • http://www.mommynotes.wordpress.com Michele

    I love this post.

    I also am careful at stores when I try on clothes to make sure they follow in the rules you have above. I have two daughters and I want them to dress modestly too so I think it is also starts at home. We do not allow our girls to watch Hannah Montana and all the “hip” shows. Our oldest is 6 and we want her to stay a child for as long as she can.

    I noticed something because we don’t let her watch that stuff she is not into Hannah Montana and Camp Rock. I was so shocked when she attended a birthday party and the whole theme was HS Musical. The kids were 5. I don’t want my girls emulate high school girls or saying they are in love with a boy or a star. They are 5 and 6 years old. Princesses and my little pony’s are fine with me. Kids have to grow up so fast so why should they have to grow up in the area of what they wear or who the are because the media and the world says so?

  • diane

    Thanks for your thoughts regarding the absence of modesty in our present day! A few years ago, my husband and I coauthored a book entitled, The Beauty of Modesty, published by Cumberland House Publishing. We certainly don't advocate legalism either but it's amazing how crazy female dress has become. Your question, Where are these girls' fathers?" hit it spot on!

  • diane

    Thanks for your thoughts regarding the absence of modesty in our present day! A few years ago, my husband and I coauthored a book entitled, The Beauty of Modesty, published by Cumberland House Publishing. We certainly don’t advocate legalism either but it’s amazing how crazy female dress has become. Your question, Where are these girls’ fathers?” hit it spot on!

  • Kent

    I was shocked to see that Thomas Nelson Publishers is going to publish a book by Lynne Spears. Her parenting fiasco is a slap to the Christian community. Instead of calling it Through The Storm, how about calling it A Life Of Compromise?

  • Kent

    I was shocked to see that Thomas Nelson Publishers is going to publish a book by Lynne Spears. Her parenting fiasco is a slap to the Christian community. Instead of calling it Through The Storm, how about calling it A Life Of Compromise?

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Kent,

    Since the book is not even out yet, I have to assume that you are getting your information from the tabloids. The information they have been reporting for the past two weeks is a complete fabrication.

    I would encourage you to withhold judgment until you've read the actual book. You might be surprised.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Kent,

    Since the book is not even out yet, I have to assume that you are getting your information from the tabloids. The information they have been reporting for the past two weeks is a complete fabrication.

    I would encourage you to withhold judgment until you’ve read the actual book. You might be surprised.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://halfpinthouse.wordpress.com/ Megan

    Who needs to read the tabloids? All we have to hear is that there is a book by Thomas Nelson promoting the Spears family as credible spokespeople for parenting advice.

    Enough to make me lose even more respect for Thomas Nelson. I don't have to either read it or read tabloids about it.

    Poor decision making going on there. Period.

  • http://halfpinthouse.wordpress.com Megan

    Who needs to read the tabloids? All we have to hear is that there is a book by Thomas Nelson promoting the Spears family as credible spokespeople for parenting advice.

    Enough to make me lose even more respect for Thomas Nelson. I don’t have to either read it or read tabloids about it.

    Poor decision making going on there. Period.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Megan,

    This has never been a book about parenting advice. The only one's reporting this are the tabloids.

    @Everyone else: I will delete any further comments about Lynne Spears on this post. It's simply off-topic.

    I plan to write on the book in the next few days, and you can comment there—if you have read the book and are not simply speaking from hearsay.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Megan,

    This has never been a book about parenting advice. The only one’s reporting this are the tabloids.

    @Everyone else: I will delete any further comments about Lynne Spears on this post. It’s simply off-topic.

    I plan to write on the book in the next few days, and you can comment there—if you have read the book and are not simply speaking from hearsay.

    Thanks,

    Mike

  • http://www.heartchoices.com/ Debbie

    Although I didn't watch the MTV VMA awards, I certainly saw the clips on TV the next day. I was proud of Jordin Sparks for speaking up about the promise rings. I think it takes courage to speak up when everyone around you takes such a different point of view. Speaking of view, Elizabeth Hasselback has that unique position on "The View". I applaud women who aren't afraid to speak out about their beliefs even when they are contrary to the majority (or so it seems from TV).

    As far as the Lynne Spears' book, I'm always open to first reading a book before judging it. I watched the YouTube video you alerted us to on Twitter. And I can say I'm intrigued to read about her life. It's easy for people to pass judgement but I'm sure being in the spotlight and having an abundance of money presents new temptations. We all make mistakes.

    Thanks for this post.

  • http://www.heartchoices.com Debbie

    Although I didn’t watch the MTV VMA awards, I certainly saw the clips on TV the next day. I was proud of Jordin Sparks for speaking up about the promise rings. I think it takes courage to speak up when everyone around you takes such a different point of view. Speaking of view, Elizabeth Hasselback has that unique position on “The View”. I applaud women who aren’t afraid to speak out about their beliefs even when they are contrary to the majority (or so it seems from TV).

    As far as the Lynne Spears’ book, I’m always open to first reading a book before judging it. I watched the YouTube video you alerted us to on Twitter. And I can say I’m intrigued to read about her life. It’s easy for people to pass judgement but I’m sure being in the spotlight and having an abundance of money presents new temptations. We all make mistakes.

    Thanks for this post.

  • Matthew

    So the countries with the most stringent modesty guidelines should have the greatest respect towards women, right?

    • Jean

      So, Matthew, that our only choices is to choose to dress like streetwalkers, or like Muslim women, with no middle ground? Sorry, not falling for your false dilemma

  • Matthew

    So the countries with the most stringent modesty guidelines should have the greatest respect towards women, right?

  • http://www.blomerus.org/ Marysol Blomerus

    Hello Mr. Hyatt,
    Well this is my first time posting on your blog. I love that you raised this issue and I think it goes even deeper. Years ago, in my late early 20's a read a book that changed my view on the topic of modesty forever. I highly recommend it for you as a father, and for your daughters. Its insightful and deeper than I would expect for the 21 year old author.

    A Return to Modesty by Wedny Shalit.

    I moved to South Africa recently and it was one of the only 5 books I brought over with me. It will be in my libraby for years to come.

    Kind regards,
    Marysol http://www.blomerus.org

  • http://www.blomerus.org Marysol Blomerus

    Hello Mr. Hyatt,
    Well this is my first time posting on your blog. I love that you raised this issue and I think it goes even deeper. Years ago, in my late early 20′s a read a book that changed my view on the topic of modesty forever. I highly recommend it for you as a father, and for your daughters. Its insightful and deeper than I would expect for the 21 year old author.

    A Return to Modesty by Wedny Shalit.

    I moved to South Africa recently and it was one of the only 5 books I brought over with me. It will be in my libraby for years to come.

    Kind regards,
    Marysol
    http://www.blomerus.org

  • http://www.dadslastletter.com/ Bud Boughton

    Great post, Michael. Simple guidelines and they are really nothing more than common sense. While we don't ever think in terms of "modesty" for boys, we need to set some common sense guidelines there as well. It all reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, "What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular."

  • http://www.dadslastletter.com Bud Boughton

    Great post, Michael. Simple guidelines and they are really nothing more than common sense. While we don’t ever think in terms of “modesty” for boys, we need to set some common sense guidelines there as well. It all reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, “What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular.”

  • http://www.soap-queen.blogspot.com/ Anne-Marie

    Your modesty rules are great! I passed them onto a few people.

  • http://www.soap-queen.blogspot.com Anne-Marie

    Your modesty rules are great! I passed them onto a few people.

  • http://www.caterpillarscandles.com/blog jen sherman

    Thank you for this post. I have two daughters and two sons. Trying to teach modesty these days is like swimming upstream! I appreciate your posting your rules, they are very sensible!

    Years ago, my husband and I witnessed two teenage girls walking down the road. One was wearing very tight fitting, revealing clothes, the other had on overall shorts and a t-shirt. My husband turned and said to me, "I bet the girl in the overall-shorts gets asked out more." and I was like…what? why? do you think she's cuter than the other? And his response was very surprising to me, and has changed my outlook to this very day. He said, "No, she's not cuter. Guy's probably wonder about what's under her clothes versus the other gal who let's it all hang out. There's no mystery".

    Truly a lesson.

    • Riley

      This exchange in and of itself is incredibly objectifying. There is a much deeper sexism at work here… modest dress is NOT the issue. 

  • http://www.caterpillarscandles.com/blog jen sherman

    Thank you for this post. I have two daughters and two sons. Trying to teach modesty these days is like swimming upstream! I appreciate your posting your rules, they are very sensible!

    Years ago, my husband and I witnessed two teenage girls walking down the road. One was wearing very tight fitting, revealing clothes, the other had on overall shorts and a t-shirt. My husband turned and said to me, “I bet the girl in the overall-shorts gets asked out more.” and I was like…what? why? do you think she’s cuter than the other? And his response was very surprising to me, and has changed my outlook to this very day. He said, “No, she’s not cuter. Guy’s probably wonder about what’s under her clothes versus the other gal who let’s it all hang out. There’s no mystery”.

    Truly a lesson.

  • http://joannamuses.blogspot.com/ joanna

    As a young woman, i find this a difficult topic. I want to dress in a modest way but its hard work, especially given i'm larger than average. That tends to make my options wear stuff that's too tight or dress like i'm middle aged. Nether is a particularly good option.

  • http://joannamuses.blogspot.com joanna

    As a young woman, i find this a difficult topic. I want to dress in a modest way but its hard work, especially given i’m larger than average. That tends to make my options wear stuff that’s too tight or dress like i’m middle aged. Nether is a particularly good option.

  • Jamie

    I didn't read all the comments, so I hope this isn't a repeat. My church has a girl's program for 4th – 6th grade girls. There is an emphasis on teaching them about purity. One tidbit that my daughter took away that has had a profound affect on her choice of clothing: Whatever skin is showing, make sure you are comfortable with a strange man touching it. Why? Because that's where his eyes are. That "grossed her out" enough to be very picky about how low the top goes, how short the shorts/skirt and the coverage between waistband and the hem of her shirt.

    I also wish that girls realized how visual men are and, even if the girl is comfortable with what the boy is thinking and feeling when he looks at her, maybe he isn't and wishes that she would be more modest too.

    Jamie

  • Jamie

    I didn’t read all the comments, so I hope this isn’t a repeat. My church has a girl’s program for 4th – 6th grade girls. There is an emphasis on teaching them about purity. One tidbit that my daughter took away that has had a profound affect on her choice of clothing: Whatever skin is showing, make sure you are comfortable with a strange man touching it. Why? Because that’s where his eyes are. That “grossed her out” enough to be very picky about how low the top goes, how short the shorts/skirt and the coverage between waistband and the hem of her shirt.

    I also wish that girls realized how visual men are and, even if the girl is comfortable with what the boy is thinking and feeling when he looks at her, maybe he isn’t and wishes that she would be more modest too.

    Jamie

  • http://thepornographyeffect.wordpress.com/ Paul in Canada

    They say that one thing that distinguishes us from the animals is our ability to blush. That's disappearing. An entire generation is losing its sense of shame.

  • http://thepornographyeffect.wordpress.com Paul in Canada

    They say that one thing that distinguishes us from the animals is our ability to blush. That’s disappearing. An entire generation is losing its sense of shame.

  • http://beyondJEMS.wordpress.com/ Amy

    I have saved this. Actually wrote them down in a book I keep for things to share with the kids as they grow. It was very refreshing and so simplistic that it is hard to forget. I will have these posted and framed for Emma. And I'm ashamed to say that I needed to hear them as well.

    The other piece of great advise I've recently read for single females or HS girls is from Randy Pausch's book "The Last Lecture". In it he talks about advise to his 18 mo old daughter as she begins her dating yr down the road… Ignore everything a guy tells you and pay close attention to everything he does. (i.e. actions speak louder than words) It was the context of the story but it's left an impression on me as well.

    Thanks for the post. It will come in handy, especially since Emma is one of those without her father in her life.

  • http://beyondJEMS.wordpress.com Amy

    I have saved this. Actually wrote them down in a book I keep for things to share with the kids as they grow. It was very refreshing and so simplistic that it is hard to forget. I will have these posted and framed for Emma. And I’m ashamed to say that I needed to hear them as well.

    The other piece of great advise I’ve recently read for single females or HS girls is from Randy Pausch’s book “The Last Lecture”. In it he talks about advise to his 18 mo old daughter as she begins her dating yr down the road… Ignore everything a guy tells you and pay close attention to everything he does. (i.e. actions speak louder than words) It was the context of the story but it’s left an impression on me as well.

    Thanks for the post. It will come in handy, especially since Emma is one of those without her father in her life.

  • http://www.jeffwidman.com/blog/ Jeff Widman

    Thanks Mike!

  • http://www.jeffwidman.com/blog/ Jeff Widman

    Thanks Mike!

  • http://www.iphi.net/ Iphigenie

    It all sounds fair, but something else bothers me – why is modesty always about the girls? All of it seems to lie on the girl – she has to be demure, modest etc.

    Now I dont think teens should dress like prostitutes, like parts of the culture seems to encourage them to do – but the other extreme implying that even a strappy top is too much seems also wrong to me. The whole message isnt unfairly skewed to put the onus on the girls – it's all the fault of the girls.

    What many of us girls learn is that we have to hide ourselves, physically but also intellectually and artistically, because when a girl lets herself shine she threatens men. And that often cripples a woman for her entire life, trying to hide her talents because she will be perceived negatively if she shows that she is really good at something.

  • http://www.iphi.net Iphigenie

    It all sounds fair, but something else bothers me – why is modesty always about the girls? All of it seems to lie on the girl – she has to be demure, modest etc.

    Now I dont think teens should dress like prostitutes, like parts of the culture seems to encourage them to do – but the other extreme implying that even a strappy top is too much seems also wrong to me. The whole message isnt unfairly skewed to put the onus on the girls – it’s all the fault of the girls.

    What many of us girls learn is that we have to hide ourselves, physically but also intellectually and artistically, because when a girl lets herself shine she threatens men. And that often cripples a woman for her entire life, trying to hide her talents because she will be perceived negatively if she shows that she is really good at something.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Iphigenie: I agree it should be about the boys, too. I just don't have any experience there, since I have five daughters and no sons.

    I definitely do NOT think that women should hide their talents or their personalities. And if you met my daughters you would know that is not the case.

    I just think that dressing provocatively is often a cheap substitute for exhibiting personality and talent.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Iphigenie: I agree it should be about the boys, too. I just don’t have any experience there, since I have five daughters and no sons.

    I definitely do NOT think that women should hide their talents or their personalities. And if you met my daughters you would know that is not the case.

    I just think that dressing provocatively is often a cheap substitute for exhibiting personality and talent.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • Craig

    There does seem to be a lot of "blame the girls" / "boys can't control themselves" in the responses. It's quite archaic and disturbing really. [perhaps people don't realize that's how they come across]

    One would hope, that the lessons of the past many decades would include that women, and well as men, are sexual creatures and need to express it. So it's not just the boys.

    That being said, I agree that modesty is a valuable lesson. What I think is more valuable are the lessons of being true to yourself and others, and not resorting to such cheap tactics (like dressing poorly) in order get attention.

    Perhaps this just shows how lonely and desperate everyone is…

    • Riley

      thank you craig. I’ve been reading through all the comments waiting for a perspective like yours.

  • Craig

    There does seem to be a lot of “blame the girls” / “boys can’t control themselves” in the responses. It’s quite archaic and disturbing really. [perhaps people don't realize that's how they come across]

    One would hope, that the lessons of the past many decades would include that women, and well as men, are sexual creatures and need to express it. So it’s not just the boys.

    That being said, I agree that modesty is a valuable lesson. What I think is more valuable are the lessons of being true to yourself and others, and not resorting to such cheap tactics (like dressing poorly) in order get attention.

    Perhaps this just shows how lonely and desperate everyone is…

  • parisfreek*

    mike, I would just like to say thank you. I am a fourteen year old girl and a Christian and it makes me very uncomfortable that I see girls at my Christian school dressing innappropriately. I completely agree with you. I, myself, dress pretty modestly and I wish everyone would follow my example. I was googling appearance, beauty, and modesty and what we Christian teen girls' response should be to these thingS ((I run a bible study group or am going to). And so, I just wanted to say thank you. 1 timothy 4:12.

  • parisfreek*

    mike, I would just like to say thank you. I am a fourteen year old girl and a Christian and it makes me very uncomfortable that I see girls at my Christian school dressing innappropriately. I completely agree with you. I, myself, dress pretty modestly and I wish everyone would follow my example. I was googling appearance, beauty, and modesty and what we Christian teen girls’ response should be to these thingS ((I run a bible study group or am going to). And so, I just wanted to say thank you. 1 timothy 4:12.

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    Here, again, I’m coming late to the table, but I have to thank you for this. I’m going to forward it to one of my pastors: the father of four daughters. Another of our pastors periodically refers to the manner of dress that distresses him, especially on girls who are Christians and probably don’t really understand the message that they’re sending. I think I’ll forward it to both men.

  • http://passionsforthesoul.typepad.com/vicki Vicki Small

    Here, again, I'm coming late to the table, but I have to thank you for this. I'm going to forward it to one of my pastors: the father of four daughters. Another of our pastors periodically refers to the manner of dress that distresses him, especially on girls who are Christians and probably don't really understand the message that they're sending. I think I'll forward it to both men.

  • http://trafcom.typepad.com/ Donna Papacosta

    You know, I've actually talked about modesty, without using the word "modesty" with my daughters. I'm not sure when it happened, but a shift occurred in North American culture (around the time of the Spice Girls?) when it seemed to be acceptable for young women to flaunt their bodies. Tight clothes, low necklines, short skirts and shorts became the ALMOST-norm. One of my daughters is naturally very modest, the other less so, but I think it's important to have these conversations so that young women are aware of what they're doing, the reaction it has on others, and how it reflects on them.
    I do like your guidelines.

  • http://trafcom.typepad.com Donna Papacosta

    You know, I've actually talked about modesty, without using the word "modesty" with my daughters. I'm not sure when it happened, but a shift occurred in North American culture (around the time of the Spice Girls?) when it seemed to be acceptable for young women to flaunt their bodies. Tight clothes, low necklines, short skirts and shorts became the ALMOST-norm. One of my daughters is naturally very modest, the other less so, but I think it's important to have these conversations so that young women are aware of what they're doing, the reaction it has on others, and how it reflects on them.
    I do like your guidelines.

  • http://www.kaylafinley.com/ Kayla

    Pretty interesting. I've been objectified my fair share of times- even (and maybe especially) in church. I'm in the band, and it's a constant struggle to find church appropriate outfits. Often, I have to wear 3 layers because I have to find a jacket to go over something that would be completely appropriate even if I ran into one of my pastors at a restaurant- but that I can't wear into church. I always try to keep myself modest because, well, I want to be. But sometimes that doesn't even help, and it's so hurtful to be objectified. It doesn't help my view of men at ALL, which already suffers. Fortunately, God seems to usher some good men into my life at just the right time to take on the role of mentor since my own father is absolutely not up to the job. Thanks for posting this.

  • http://www.kaylafinley.com/ Kayla

    Pretty interesting. I've been objectified my fair share of times- even (and maybe especially) in church. I'm in the band, and it's a constant struggle to find church appropriate outfits. Often, I have to wear 3 layers because I have to find a jacket to go over something that would be completely appropriate even if I ran into one of my pastors at a restaurant- but that I can't wear into church. I always try to keep myself modest because, well, I want to be. But sometimes that doesn't even help, and it's so hurtful to be objectified. It doesn't help my view of men at ALL, which already suffers. Fortunately, God seems to usher some good men into my life at just the right time to take on the role of mentor since my own father is absolutely not up to the job. Thanks for posting this.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/barryk barryk

    Fantastic post. I plan on sharing it with my readers. As the father of two daughters 17 &21, I could not agree with you more. Amazing how young, and I mean young teenage girls are made up to look much older and flirtatious. So difficult with the media to drive home the message to kids. Mostly in the name of greed and $$ signs. Some parents should be ashamed of themselves.

    I often remark to my kids, many of the video and acts on tv today would have been rated R when I was growing up.

    Thank you for posting!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/barryk barryk

    Fantastic post. I plan on sharing it with my readers. As the father of two daughters 17 &21, I could not agree with you more. Amazing how young, and I mean young teenage girls are made up to look much older and flirtatious. So difficult with the media to drive home the message to kids. Mostly in the name of greed and $$ signs. Some parents should be ashamed of themselves.

    I often remark to my kids, many of the video and acts on tv today would have been rated R when I was growing up.

    Thank you for posting!

  • Cristy

    I didn't read all the comments, so someone may have already mentioned this. I took my daughter to a Secret Keeper Girl event a few years ago. Here is a link to some modesty advice from their website: http://www.secretkeepergirl.com/Truth_or_Bare.asp

  • Cristy

    I didn't read all the comments, so someone may have already mentioned this. I took my daughter to a Secret Keeper Girl event a few years ago. Here is a link to some modesty advice from their website: http://www.secretkeepergirl.com/Truth_or_Bare.asp

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/CaronGuillo CaronGuillo

    Great thoughts, Michael. Appreciate the repost.

    Intentional parenting is all about setting reasonable boundaries and then, well, actually being the parent, no? I wrote along these lines in my humor column a few months back, essentially reminding parents that it's our job to establish an appropriate framework for our children to function within our secular culture. If we don't, who will?

    http://www.newchristianvoices.com/column/bad-mom-

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/CaronGuillo CaronGuillo

    Great thoughts, Michael. Appreciate the repost.

    Intentional parenting is all about setting reasonable boundaries and then, well, actually being the parent, no? I wrote along these lines in my humor column a few months back, essentially reminding parents that it's our job to establish an appropriate framework for our children to function within our secular culture. If we don't, who will?

    http://www.newchristianvoices.com/column/bad-mom-

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JeffHolton Jeffrey Holton

    Thanks for the repost.

    Is it any wonder that one of the paradigmatic quotes guiding contemporary girls is: "Well-behaved women seldom make history."

    Apparently, the conclusion our culture draws from that is that we cannot achive relevance or progress without deplorable behavior.

    I think that interpretation says more about our culture than it does about the original speaker of it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/JeffHolton Jeffrey Holton

    Thanks for the repost.

    Is it any wonder that one of the paradigmatic quotes guiding contemporary girls is: "Well-behaved women seldom make history."

    Apparently, the conclusion our culture draws from that is that we cannot achive relevance or progress without deplorable behavior.

    I think that interpretation says more about our culture than it does about the original speaker of it.

  • mike oates

    Russell Brand is an embarresment to my country.

  • mike oates

    Russell Brand is an embarresment to my country.

  • http://carolinamama1.blogspot.com/ Carolina Mama

    Awesome post. Thanks for speaking out and for these guidelines. They really do say it all.

  • http://carolinamama1.blogspot.com/ Carolina Mama

    Awesome post. Thanks for speaking out and for these guidelines. They really do say it all.

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  • Anon

    I have to say, I have always thought it was better to be a beautifully classy woman than a trashy sex object. However, I didn't learn how to dress classy until after high school. Until that point, I hid myself behind too big shirts and baggy pants so that I could make sure no one looked at me and only saw my body. If someone had shown me that I could be beautiful without dressing like all of the other girls, I would have been so much more confident in myself. I'm positive that my peers would have felt the same, if anyone had shown them how to dress while they were still young. I'm twenty years old now, still young and still being bombarded by the media telling me that it's odd that I'm a virgin or that it is somehow uncool for me to dress like a lady. Yet every time a man speaks to me, it is full of respect and kindness. No one would dare call me a name like "tramp" or "slut" or any other condescending word that girls have to put up with. My boyfriend treats me as if I were something precious. Some people in our society might think me frigid or conservative because of my choices, but I get to be treated the way every woman dreams of being treated. I would choose classy over trashy any day.

  • Anon

    I have to say, I have always thought it was better to be a beautifully classy woman than a trashy sex object. However, I didn't learn how to dress classy until after high school. Until that point, I hid myself behind too big shirts and baggy pants so that I could make sure no one looked at me and only saw my body. If someone had shown me that I could be beautiful without dressing like all of the other girls, I would have been so much more confident in myself. I'm positive that my peers would have felt the same, if anyone had shown them how to dress while they were still young. I'm twenty years old now, still young and still being bombarded by the media telling me that it's odd that I'm a virgin or that it is somehow uncool for me to dress like a lady. Yet every time a man speaks to me, it is full of respect and kindness. No one would dare call me a name like "tramp" or "slut" or any other condescending word that girls have to put up with. My boyfriend treats me as if I were something precious. Some people in our society might think me frigid or conservative because of my choices, but I get to be treated the way every woman dreams of being treated. I would choose classy over trashy any day.

  • Anon

    I have to say, I have always thought it was better to be a beautifully classy woman than a trashy sex object. However, I didn't learn how to dress classy until after high school. Until that point, I hid myself behind too big shirts and baggy pants so that I could make sure no one looked at me and only saw my body. If someone had shown me that I could be beautiful without dressing like all of the other girls, I would have been so much more confident in myself. I'm positive that my peers would have felt the same, if anyone had shown them how to dress while they were still young. I'm twenty years old now, still young and still being bombarded by the media telling me that it's odd that I'm a virgin or that it is somehow uncool for me to dress like a lady. Yet every time a man speaks to me, it is full of respect and kindness. No one would dare call me a name like "tramp" or "slut" or any other condescending word that girls have to put up with. My boyfriend treats me as if I were something precious. Some people in our society might think me frigid or conservative because of my choices, but I get to be treated the way every woman dreams of being treated. I would choose classy over trashy any day.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/rickguilfoil rickguilfoil

    As a father of 8 and 3 year old girl I thank you for these guidelines. I will definitely use them as they grow up. I appreciate reading your blog posts. This one was especially helpful and applicable.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/rickguilfoil rickguilfoil

    As a father of 8 and 3 year old girl I thank you for these guidelines. I will definitely use them as they grow up. I appreciate reading your blog posts. This one was especially helpful and applicable.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/rickguilfoil rickguilfoil

    As a father of 8 and 3 year old girl I thank you for these guidelines. I will definitely use them as they grow up. I appreciate reading your blog posts. This one was especially helpful and applicable.

  • http://twitter.com/bretceren @bretceren

    Mike, excellent post. Thanks for re-posting it. As the Father of a new young woman, this is one of the areas I think about as it will be coming in just a few short years. Your guidelines will help quite a bit, I think!

  • http://twitter.com/bretceren @bretceren

    Mike, excellent post. Thanks for re-posting it. As the Father of a new young woman, this is one of the areas I think about as it will be coming in just a few short years. Your guidelines will help quite a bit, I think!

  • http://twitter.com/bretceren @bretceren

    Mike, excellent post. Thanks for re-posting it. As the Father of a new young woman, this is one of the areas I think about as it will be coming in just a few short years. Your guidelines will help quite a bit, I think!

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  • HonestlyWonderingMan

    Can you explain (or email to me) some practical application concerning #4?

    I am a 20-something man who notices the…um…attributes of my girlfriend. She does not at all dress in a way that I would consider immodest, but I do have to be careful where I look upon her.

    Is this natural, that is, that I am attracted to my girlfriend? Is this because she has been given attractive physical features by God? Or am I just blind to my own lust and her lack of modesty?

  • HonestlyWonderingMan

    Can you explain (or email to me) some practical application concerning #4?

    I am a 20-something man who notices the…um…attributes of my girlfriend. She does not at all dress in a way that I would consider immodest, but I do have to be careful where I look upon her.

    Is this natural, that is, that I am attracted to my girlfriend? Is this because she has been given attractive physical features by God? Or am I just blind to my own lust and her lack of modesty?

    • http://www.nathangilmer.com/ Nathan Gilmer

      I think you are missing the point a little bit. There is absolutely nothing wrong with admiring here beauty, even her body. I think he was referring to outfits that immediately draw attention to other parts of her body, other than her face. Because her face is where she really is. In her eyes is where the true person is, not the rest of her body.

  • http://risingupward.org/ Jamie Simmerman

    WOW! Great guidelines, I am definitely passing this one on. I have boys, not girls, but I think it's important that they know that modesty is a desirable trait in a woman (or girlfriend).

  • http://risingupward.org/ Jamie Simmerman

    WOW! Great guidelines, I am definitely passing this one on. I have boys, not girls, but I think it's important that they know that modesty is a desirable trait in a woman (or girlfriend).

  • HonestlyWonderingMan

    Can you explain (or email to me) some practical application concerning #4?

    I am a 20-something man who notices the…um…attributes of my girlfriend. She does not at all dress in a way that I would consider immodest, but I do have to be careful where I look upon her.

    Is this natural, that is, that I am attracted to my girlfriend? Is this because she has been given attractive physical features by God? Or am I just blind to my own lust and her lack of modesty?

    • http://www.nathangilmer.com/ Nathan Gilmer

      I think you are missing the point a little bit. There is absolutely nothing wrong with admiring here beauty, even her body. I think he was referring to outfits that immediately draw attention to other parts of her body, other than her face. Because her face is where she really is. In her eyes is where the true person is, not the rest of her body.

    • http://www.nathangilmer.com/ Nathan Gilmer

      I think you are missing the point a little bit. There is absolutely nothing wrong with admiring here beauty, even her body. I think he was referring to outfits that immediately draw attention to other parts of her body, other than her face. Because her face is where she really is. In her eyes is where the true person is, not the rest of her body.

  • http://risingupward.org/ Jamie Simmerman

    WOW! Great guidelines, I am definitely passing this one on. I have boys, not girls, but I think it's important that they know that modesty is a desirable trait in a woman (or girlfriend).

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  • http://kelly-justathought.blogspot.com/ Kelly

    Two summers ago we were cottaging w/my sisters' and parents and our brood in Northern Ontario. My 14 year old daughter had a bikini that her dad (my ex) had bought her to wear sunbathing @ home, and she had brought it with her. I looked out our cottage window one morning and saw my daughter in her bikini lying on the dock w/my two nieces, who had been bikini-clad all week. It was like seeing my baby out in public in her underwear. I was, like, "Oh! Oh! Is she…? Oh! She is…that little brat…I need to go..oh, wait, I can't…oh my goodness!" My sister, also a christian and lover of God and modesty, was with me, and together we decided that it would do more harm than good to go marching out to drag a humiliated teen off the dock. Besides, from the way she was tugging at what little material she had on and pulling her towel over herself, it seemed that God was teaching her a lesson in His own gentle way. Not wanting to interfere w/God's instruction, I sat at the window alternating between prayer and wincing as I watched my child wrestle w/her desire to fit in AND to honor God at the same time. Later that morning,she pulled on a t-shirt and shorts, and that evening on the dock she and I had a private talk about the modesty. I re-established the rule about no bikinis in public, which she accepted freely having lived through an illustration of the rule earlier that morning. This past summer, she told me that at a visit to her dad's, his girlfriend's 26 year old daughter was pressuring my 15 year old to wear a bikini, my child refused and told her that I did not allow it. I was so proud, and grateful for a God that intervenes and teaches our children in ways that we can only stand back and be amazed at. Modesty is about self-respect and honoring God, others and ourselves. It says to the world, "There is much more to me than my physical attributes" and it is vital in young men and women learning to truly value God's creative work in them. Thanks for sharing this article!
    My recent post But, it's fun!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/rosacola rosacola

    AMEN!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/rosacola rosacola

    AMEN!

  • http://kelly-justathought.blogspot.com/ Kelly

    Two summers ago we were cottaging w/my sisters' and parents and our brood in Northern Ontario. My 14 year old daughter had a bikini that her dad (my ex) had bought her to wear sunbathing @ home, and she had brought it with her. I looked out our cottage window one morning and saw my daughter in her bikini lying on the dock w/my two nieces, who had been bikini-clad all week. It was like seeing my baby out in public in her underwear. I was, like, "Oh! Oh! Is she…? Oh! She is…that little brat…I need to go..oh, wait, I can't…oh my goodness!" My sister, also a christian and lover of God and modesty, was with me, and together we decided that it would do more harm than good to go marching out to drag a humiliated teen off the dock. Besides, from the way she was tugging at what little material she had on and pulling her towel over herself, it seemed that God was teaching her a lesson in His own gentle way. Not wanting to interfere w/God's instruction, I sat at the window alternating between prayer and wincing as I watched my child wrestle w/her desire to fit in AND to honor God at the same time. Later that morning,she pulled on a t-shirt and shorts, and that evening on the dock she and I had a private talk about the modesty. I re-established the rule about no bikinis in public, which she accepted freely having lived through an illustration of the rule earlier that morning. This past summer, she told me that at a visit to her dad's, his girlfriend's 26 year old daughter was pressuring my 15 year old to wear a bikini, my child refused and told her that I did not allow it. I was so proud, and grateful for a God that intervenes and teaches our children in ways that we can only stand back and be amazed at. Modesty is about self-respect and honoring God, others and ourselves. It says to the world, "There is much more to me than my physical attributes" and it is vital in young men and women learning to truly value God's creative work in them. Thanks for sharing this article!
    My recent post But, it's fun!

  • http://kelly-justathought.blogspot.com/ Kelly

    Two summers ago we were cottaging w/my sisters' and parents and our brood in Northern Ontario. My 14 year old daughter had a bikini that her dad (my ex) had bought her to wear sunbathing @ home, and she had brought it with her. I looked out our cottage window one morning and saw my daughter in her bikini lying on the dock w/my two nieces, who had been bikini-clad all week. It was like seeing my baby out in public in her underwear. I was, like, "Oh! Oh! Is she…? Oh! She is…that little brat…I need to go..oh, wait, I can't…oh my goodness!" My sister, also a christian and lover of God and modesty, was with me, and together we decided that it would do more harm than good to go marching out to drag a humiliated teen off the dock. Besides, from the way she was tugging at what little material she had on and pulling her towel over herself, it seemed that God was teaching her a lesson in His own gentle way. Not wanting to interfere w/God's instruction, I sat at the window alternating between prayer and wincing as I watched my child wrestle w/her desire to fit in AND to honor God at the same time. Later that morning,she pulled on a t-shirt and shorts, and that evening on the dock she and I had a private talk about the modesty. I re-established the rule about no bikinis in public, which she accepted freely having lived through an illustration of the rule earlier that morning. This past summer, she told me that at a visit to her dad's, his girlfriend's 26 year old daughter was pressuring my 15 year old to wear a bikini, my child refused and told her that I did not allow it. I was so proud, and grateful for a God that intervenes and teaches our children in ways that we can only stand back and be amazed at. Modesty is about self-respect and honoring God, others and ourselves. It says to the world, "There is much more to me than my physical attributes" and it is vital in young men and women learning to truly value God's creative work in them. Thanks for sharing this article!
    My recent post But, it's fun!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/rosacola rosacola

    AMEN!

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com Kim

    Oh, I remember when parents started dressing their girls like the Spice Girls in my daughter's first grade on non-uniform days. Then, certain parents stepped it up a notch to B. Spears dress. Finally in daugh's fourth grade, parents around US started complaining loudly. In fourth grade, daugh wrote an ad for the got milk? mustache milk campaign. I snapped a 'wholesome' pic. A photographer and the Dairy assoc flew her to NY for a mag ad and to duplicate. What happened next, I was told: B Spears' racy milk ad was booted from school cafeteries around the country, and my baby girl's ad replaced hers. I believe shortly after, Spears went to Pepsi.
    My recent post Again Because You Can Never Have Enough Of Anything

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com Kim

    Oh, I remember when parents started dressing their girls like the Spice Girls in my daughter's first grade on non-uniform days. Then, certain parents stepped it up a notch to B. Spears dress. Finally in daugh's fourth grade, parents around US started complaining loudly. In fourth grade, daugh wrote an ad for the got milk? mustache milk campaign. I snapped a 'wholesome' pic. A photographer and the Dairy assoc flew her to NY for a mag ad and to duplicate. What happened next, I was told: B Spears' racy milk ad was booted from school cafeteries around the country, and my baby girl's ad replaced hers. I believe shortly after, Spears went to Pepsi.
    My recent post Again Because You Can Never Have Enough Of Anything

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com/ Kim

    ETA from my post below: Over the years, I've always tried to remember as a parent, to pick my battles carefully and that clothing is an artistic expression for youth — to an extent, but morals are everything–lifetime lessons given, which solidify the spiritual growth of self. Daugh spent this past summer modeling in NY (she is 5"10), and she checked off every type of ad she would NOTdo: they included bikinis, liquor, cigarettes etc. I was so proud when I saw that checklist. Now a freshman in college, daugh has stayed true to her self, morals and has maintained her self-respect. Did I tell you I'm proud of my daugh? ; ) http://twitpic.com/xfnuj

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com/ Kim

    ETA from my post below: Over the years, I've always tried to remember as a parent, to pick my battles carefully and that clothing is an artistic expression for youth — to an extent, but morals are everything–lifetime lessons given, which solidify the spiritual growth of self. Daugh spent this past summer modeling in NY (she is 5"10), and she checked off every type of ad she would NOTdo: they included bikinis, liquor, cigarettes etc. I was so proud when I saw that checklist. Now a freshman in college, daugh has stayed true to her self, morals and has maintained her self-respect. Did I tell you I'm proud of my daugh? ; ) http://twitpic.com/xfnuj

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com/ Kim

    Oh, I remember when parents started dressing their girls like the Spice Girls in my daughter's first grade on non-uniform days. Then, certain parents stepped it up a notch to B. Spears dress. Finally in daugh's fourth grade, parents around US started complaining loudly. In fourth grade, daugh wrote an ad for the got milk? mustache milk campaign. I snapped a 'wholesome' pic. A photographer and the Dairy assoc flew her to NY for a mag ad and to duplicate. What happened next, I was told: B Spears' racy milk ad was booted from school cafeteries around the country, and my baby girl's ad replaced hers. I believe shortly after, Spears went to Pepsi.
    My recent post Again Because You Can Never Have Enough Of Anything

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com/ Kim

    Oh, I remember when parents started dressing their girls like the Spice Girls in my daughter's first grade on non-uniform days. Then, certain parents stepped it up a notch to B. Spears dress. Finally in daugh's fourth grade, parents around US started complaining loudly. In fourth grade, daugh wrote an ad for the got milk? mustache milk campaign. I snapped a 'wholesome' pic. A photographer and the Dairy assoc flew her to NY for a mag ad and to duplicate. What happened next, I was told: B Spears' racy milk ad was booted from school cafeteries around the country, and my baby girl's ad replaced hers. I believe shortly after, Spears went to Pepsi.
    My recent post Again Because You Can Never Have Enough Of Anything

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com/ Kim

    Oh, I remember when parents started dressing their girls like the Spice Girls in my daughter's first grade on non-uniform days. Then, certain parents stepped it up a notch to B. Spears dress. Finally in daugh's fourth grade, parents around US started complaining loudly. In fourth grade, daugh wrote an ad for the got milk? mustache milk campaign. I snapped a 'wholesome' pic. A photographer and the Dairy assoc flew her to NY for a mag ad and to duplicate. What happened next, I was told: B Spears' racy milk ad was booted from school cafeteries around the country, and my baby girl's ad replaced hers. I believe shortly after, Spears went to Pepsi.
    My recent post Again Because You Can Never Have Enough Of Anything

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com/ Kim

    Oh, I remember when parents started dressing their girls like the Spice Girls in my daughter's first grade on non-uniform days. Then, certain parents stepped it up a notch to B. Spears dress. Finally in daugh's fourth grade, parents around US started complaining loudly. In fourth grade, daugh wrote an ad for the got milk? mustache milk campaign. I snapped a 'wholesome' pic. A photographer and the Dairy assoc flew her to NY for a mag ad and to duplicate. What happened next, I was told: B Spears' racy milk ad was booted from school cafeteries around the country, and my baby girl's ad replaced hers. I believe shortly after, Spears went to Pepsi.
    My recent post Again Because You Can Never Have Enough Of Anything

  • http://www.kimmirich.wordpress.com/ Kim

    ETA from my post below: Over the years, I've always tried to remember as a parent, to pick my battles carefully and that clothing is an artistic expression for youth — to an extent, but morals are everything–lifetime lessons given, which solidify the spiritual growth of self. Daugh spent this past summer modeling in NY (she is 5"10), and she checked off every type of ad she would NOTdo: they included bikinis, liquor, cigarettes etc. I was so proud when I saw that checklist. Now a freshman in college, daugh has stayed true to her self, morals and has maintained her self-respect. Did I tell you I'm proud of my daugh? ; ) http://twitpic.com/xfnuj

  • http://twitter.com/andywittwer @andywittwer

    Thanks for the post – I have 2 girls (under 3) and this topic is certainly a concern for the future. A guideline I've considered is: "If you'd be uncomfortable with someone touching it, then they probably shouldn't be able to see it."

  • http://twitter.com/andywittwer @andywittwer

    Thanks for the post – I have 2 girls (under 3) and this topic is certainly a concern for the future. A guideline I've considered is: "If you'd be uncomfortable with someone touching it, then they probably shouldn't be able to see it."

  • http://twitter.com/andywittwer @andywittwer

    Thanks for the post – I have 2 girls (under 3) and this topic is certainly a concern for the future. A guideline I've considered is: "If you'd be uncomfortable with someone touching it, then they probably shouldn't be able to see it."

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  • Chew Keng Sheng

    The basic question I should ask myself is: would I want my own daughter to wear this? Whatever I think is not too appropriate for my daughter is probably not too appropriate for other girls.

  • Chew Keng Sheng

    The basic question I should ask myself is: would I want my own daughter to wear this? Whatever I think is not too appropriate for my daughter is probably not too appropriate for other girls.

  • Chew Keng Sheng

    The basic question I should ask myself is: would I want my own daughter to wear this? Whatever I think is not too appropriate for my daughter is probably not too appropriate for other girls.

  • Tania Palmer

    Amen……I'm the mother of 4 with my twins. I have one daughter that fights me on the issue of clothes. I will never loose on this one. She came home from someone's house with one of their really short skirts on and all I had to say was I wonder what your father will think. She ran in the room and changed her clothes. She handed me the skirt and it went into the trash. My friend thought I was wasteful, but if it is don't proper for my child then it is not proper for any child. We wonder why our children have been attacked in this time and age.

  • Tania Palmer

    Amen……I'm the mother of 4 with my twins. I have one daughter that fights me on the issue of clothes. I will never loose on this one. She came home from someone's house with one of their really short skirts on and all I had to say was I wonder what your father will think. She ran in the room and changed her clothes. She handed me the skirt and it went into the trash. My friend thought I was wasteful, but if it is don't proper for my child then it is not proper for any child. We wonder why our children have been attacked in this time and age.

  • Tania Palmer

    Amen……I'm the mother of 4 with my twins. I have one daughter that fights me on the issue of clothes. I will never loose on this one. She came home from someone's house with one of their really short skirts on and all I had to say was I wonder what your father will think. She ran in the room and changed her clothes. She handed me the skirt and it went into the trash. My friend thought I was wasteful, but if it is don't proper for my child then it is not proper for any child. We wonder why our children have been attacked in this time and age.

  • http://www.kristigriem.com/ Kristi

    PREACH! I could not watch either, it made me sick. I wanted to plead with those girls "leave a little mystery, please!" Thank you for this post.

  • http://www.kristigriem.com/ Kristi

    PREACH! I could not watch either, it made me sick. I wanted to plead with those girls "leave a little mystery, please!" Thank you for this post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stuart.blank Stuart Blank

    Great post Michael, thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/stuart.blank Stuart Blank

    Great post Michael, thanks!

  • http://www.kristigriem.com/ Kristi

    PREACH! I could not watch either, it made me sick. I wanted to plead with those girls "leave a little mystery, please!" Thank you for this post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/stuart.blank Stuart Blank

    Great post Michael, thanks!

  • Kevin

    @michaelhyatt – Excellent post. I've got an 11 year-old and we've always done "fashion shows" from the time she was little. We made a big deal out of it and made it also fun. One rule was that if Dad didn't approve, it had to get returned. To this day – we do not have an issue with clothing. I wish more Dads were involved in their daughter's lives in this way. Thank you for your leadership in your family! Thanks – @hudsonkerrigan

  • Kevin

    @michaelhyatt – Excellent post. I've got an 11 year-old and we've always done "fashion shows" from the time she was little. We made a big deal out of it and made it also fun. One rule was that if Dad didn't approve, it had to get returned. To this day – we do not have an issue with clothing. I wish more Dads were involved in their daughter's lives in this way. Thank you for your leadership in your family! Thanks – @hudsonkerrigan

  • MarCya

    THANK YOU! IT HAD TO BE SAID! FINALLY!

  • MarCya

    THANK YOU! IT HAD TO BE SAID! FINALLY!

  • Kevin

    @michaelhyatt – Excellent post. I've got an 11 year-old and we've always done "fashion shows" from the time she was little. We made a big deal out of it and made it also fun. One rule was that if Dad didn't approve, it had to get returned. To this day – we do not have an issue with clothing. I wish more Dads were involved in their daughter's lives in this way. Thank you for your leadership in your family! Thanks – @hudsonkerrigan

  • MarCya

    THANK YOU! IT HAD TO BE SAID! FINALLY!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ebroussard Eddie Broussard

    Good words…thanks for the common sense wisdom.
    My recent post CONFESSION…what is it good for?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ebroussard Eddie Broussard

    Good words…thanks for the common sense wisdom.
    My recent post CONFESSION…what is it good for?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ebroussard Eddie Broussard

    Good words…thanks for the common sense wisdom.
    My recent post CONFESSION…what is it good for?

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  • bill

    No htank you, I just wanted to copy hte short article to read to my crisis preg center but you will not allow it
    I am sorry for that
    My recent post 12-Year-Old Sets Out on 2,478-Mile Walk

  • bill

    No htank you, I just wanted to copy hte short article to read to my crisis preg center but you will not allow it
    I am sorry for that
    My recent post 12-Year-Old Sets Out on 2,478-Mile Walk

  • bill

    No htank you, I just wanted to copy hte short article to read to my crisis preg center but you will not allow it
    I am sorry for that
    My recent post 12-Year-Old Sets Out on 2,478-Mile Walk

  • genjun

    You know that when you go to the stores, it is hard to find a shirt or sweater that is not almost low enough to see your belly button, Why do they think all people want to show off what they have. I am a granny and I sure dont want to show my stuff. Morals have gone out the window, We all need to stand up for Jesus and let him help us decide what to wear, because if you are living a godly life you will feel the conviction when you put something on that is not decent and you will change. I love having God as my personal consultant. Try it , you will too.

  • susie

    The very reason we do not have a TV in our home, we do not want the junk in our home or our family.
    However, we did set limits with our children and both have grown up to be wonderful people. We never had a problem with modesty (and they did not fight us about it).
    If more parents would draw the line instead of “picking their battles” the world would be a better place.

  • Cebra

    I have seen some of us with high- high heels on and tight skirts split up the back and when walking you can see the top of the thigh and even a pantie line. Some girls want to be attractive; but you could attract the wrong guy. We have to be careful, doesn't mean we cannot dress our age. We should see a specialist on what proper fits.

  • http://yahoo jeanie stone

    i wish modesty was a BIG issue!!!!! we need every postive minded modest woman to stand up and teach our younger girls!!!

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  • Debbie Simler-Goff

    Boy oh boy do I agree wit this post!! You are so very correct!! Keep getting the word out… I worry about my grandaughters and the world they will grow up in!!

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  • http://sarah-aubrey.blogspot.com/ Sarah Aubrey

    I've always loved designer Edith Head's quote:
    "Your dresses should be tight enough to show you're a woman and loose enough to show you're a lady.”

  • Jason

    I was a youth minister for ten years and saw (literally) this way to often. The way I addressed modesty, with my girls especially, grossed most of them out. I told them don't show anything you wouldn't want your grandfather to touch. They would all wince…but it is a great rule. Makes shoulders and knees OK…but cleavage and upper thighs concealed.

  • http://twitter.com/ThingsBright @ThingsBright

    I disagree with #3 completely. It's not a woman or girl's fault if a guy is can't control himself or is a straight up pervert.

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  • Leigh Anne

    I agree. thanks for the list of guidelines, which are easy to explain to younger girls. Unfortunately for #3, there will be men who look at other parts no matter how a girl/woman is dressed before they look at your face. I think you should make another list for boys/men and modest behavior. We can't just address the way females are looking these days and not address how males behave.

  • http://www.healthmedicinetalk.com Stacy Annichiarico

    you can buy some promise rings from ebay but those are the cheap ones, the quality ones are sold elswhere :’.

  • http://www.embracepositivepassion.com Georgiana

    Modesty displayed on the outside reveals a person’s heart’s intentions on the inside. We dress the part in life. It shows our genuine character and morals in how we live our lives each day. It’s important that we as a culture be a people of true value and worth and therefore dress appropriately to be a Christian witness to others. After all, that’s the fundamental reason Jesus came ~ to spread the love of God and his eternal blessings for us! :-)

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  • Rebecca

    I wholeheartedly agree with you.  And you are not being overly sensitive.  I believe that a lot of people are choosing to be underly senstive…if that is a word.   I love your guildlines.  I get sad when I walk onto a school campus and see students and teachers dressed inappropriately, especially when they have a dress code in place.  And the boys need to take note too.  All to many are wearing such baggy pants that are ready to fall off of them, and that makes me feel so uncomfortable.  And I wonder how they can feel comfort at all.  If we dress modestly, we feel better about ourselves and can concentrate on the important things in life, instead of sorrying about bending over or someone looking at our bodies instead of our faces.  God has given us standards to live and dress by.  He has told us through His living prophets.  He wants us to dress modestly and behave modestly.  We need to live up to god’s standards, not the world’s.  Thank you for your great article. 

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  • Dewayne

    I’m
    afraid most girls aren’t getting it because the “church” is
    not teaching it from Gods Word.  As watchmans and under
    shepherds of Gods flock we will be held accountable for the care, or
    lack thereof, of His sheep.   “Son
    of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel:
    therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from
    me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou
    givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his
    wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his
    iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Ezekiel 3:17-18.

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  • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

    Just re-read this post. Love it!

  • http://www.mycallingiq.com Natasha Crozier

    Not sure when this was originally posted but glad I got to read this today. I would highly recommend reading A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit – it’s such a great look at what modesty means and why it’s important.

  • Nicole

    And for the young men:

    1. If you are unable to train your eyes to seek out a woman’s face first, you are probably not being modest.
    2. If your first reaction at seeing a woman is to point out how hot she is to your friends, you are probably not being modest.
    3. If you don’t complement modestly dressed women, but fix your attention on scantily-dressed women, you are probably not being modest.
    4. If you can see your most private body parts or an outline of those parts under the fabric, it is probably not modest. (yes, that works for both)

    If men didn’t so highly prize the women who are so very scantily clad (as they do in our culture), perhaps men wouldn’t be such a stumbling block to young women who simply want to be accepted and seen as beautiful. Modest women are not put on a pedestal in our culture and–sorry, guys–that’s not women’s fault.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is excellent. If you have a blog, you should write this up as a post!

  • http://jlgerhardt.tumblr.com Jennifer Gerhardt

    I’ve been thinking and writing a lot about modesty lately–realizing that in teaching it poorly we’ve sabotaged generations of women. Here’s a link to an interview I did about a life-changing modesty project I’ve been working on this year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPODYc2PrWk

  • http://byrdmouse.com Jonathan

    This is one of the first posts of yours I read. It was a re-post, but as the father of 3 girls it certainly struck a chord.

  • Drusilla Mott

    Thank you, Michael.  This is the first time I’ve seen this.  I so appreciate you posting this.  I have a 35 year old son that was brought up to respect women, and his girlfriends all told me how well he treated them.  I am praying for a woman with a strong Christian faith for him that will exemplify those things which I tried to teach him about women.  The sad thing is, I think probably the morals and lack of modesty have only gotten worse since you first wrote this.

  • Jklewis54

    I think this applies to all women . . . (at least I wish it did) I can’t even look at store ads in the newspaper anymore.

  • Ruth Funk

    Thanks for sharing it’s new to me. Great guidelines.

  • Dianekennard

    Great post!
    I have a daughter, and I always taught her that I wanted boys and men to be attracted to her for who she is, not what she looks like. She is tall, blond and beautiful, but we all age, and things change with our bodies. If she marries a young man who loves her body more than who she is…well, that could be a problem after 10 years and 2 or 3 kids. But if he loves her for who she is first and foremost…she’s in a much better position as time and years do their work.

  • http://www.theselfempoweredinvestor.com Tim Butt

    Interesting blog as yesterday’s message at church touched on this very issue. The new Web 2.o and smart phones continue to accelerate the exploitation of social demise within our youth. Not enough fear of God these days.

  • http://twitter.com/kelleygray77 Kelley Gray M.A.,LPC

    Mystery. I want to teach my daughter the faith that being mysterious requires, rather than taking her desires to be noticed into her own hands by revealing her precious body like our culture counsels her to.

  • EuniceS

    Thoughtful article – it makes sense without being judgmental or “prudish”.  I hope many folks read it and take it to heart.

  • Joe Lalonde

    Thanks for bumping this up on Twitter. It’s a great reminder of what you can do to be modest.

  • http://twitter.com/gpfarah Gregg Peter Farah

    thanks! As a dad of 3 amazing daughters, I appreciate it!

  • http://twitter.com/whythulc Deanna Gernert Ogle

    “If you have trouble getting into it or out of it, it is probably not modest”

    Definitely true. 

    “If you have to be careful when you sit down or bend over, it is probably not modest.”

    This is definitely the case except with a lot of skirts and dresses. Sometimes they can be a normal length but still have to be messed with when you sit down. And no one should ever bend over in a skirt or dress unless it’s extremely long.

    But going back to my point: I was wearing a dress the other day at my friend’s bridal shower, and even though the dress went down nearly to my knees, I still had to adjust it when I sat down. Although, I will totally concede the point that if you have to be careful with your dress like most guests on late-night talk shows, it’s probably not modest. Good point though–if you have to worry excessively about your item, it’s probably not modest.

    “If people look at any part of your body before looking at your face, it is probably not modest.”
    “If you can see your most private body parts or an outline of those parts under the fabric, it is probably not modest.”

    Hah! Totally reasonable.

  • Bill Moore

    I wish the women in my church followed these guidelines!!

  • http://krissiwyss.wordpress.com Krissi

    Love it! I really like the simplistic, bottom-line approach here. Going to share-we have 3 daughters & lots of young girls in & around our lives. Thanks.

  • Jennifer McAnally

    Excellent post!  My husband and I have rules for our two daughters, also.  It astounds me when, as Christian women,  allow our children to dress inappropriately everywhere including church.  As a daughter of the Most High King, we should dress ourselves and our children with dignity, honor, and respect.  I tell my girls all the time, “If you show all your presents today, there will be no surprises for later.”

  • Tymbras

    Went to the beach the other day, Seen a Jewish  family place there little Yarmulke hats on a pile of towels, then off went the sandals  and into the water they ran, fully clothed.
         I also seen a Indian couple playing in the waves in beautiful starved dress, fully clothed, then i see christian holiness teaching  people in bathing suits.
     wow  feel someones very Confusedwith modisty issues.

  • http://twitter.com/1WeeSpark OneWeeSpark

    Great blog! I’m going to share it on FB and with my 15 yo daughter. What I’d love to share with tweens/teens:

    Fall in love with Jesus–deeply, madly, completely. Make your tweets about your undying desire to know and be known by Him. Post your status updates about your growing relationship and how He loves you no matter how pretty, skinny, handsome, built you are. You’ll do yourself a favor by putting your life priorities right early…not to mention the witness and light you’ll be to friends!

  • Richard Graham

    Thanks for the post Michael –  you might like to check out :  “10 Things to  Teach your Son about True Manhood”
    http://www.allprodad.com/top10/parenting/10-things-to-teach-your-son-about-true-manhood

  • https://twitter.com/#!/rmw1221 Bob Wright

    Thank you Michael for this important post. I certainly will be borrowing your 4 Guidelines for Modesty with my 3 girls, now ages 8, 5, and 17 wks.

  • Anonymous

    My advice to young women is this: sex, outside of marriage, isn’t love. No matter how much you’re boyfriend says, “if you love me, you’ll have sex with me.” Sex, outside of marriage, isn’t love. 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1419226621 Eva Pauline Scott

    When I was a teenager a tall friend of mine wore very short dresses. She said people judged her for being immodest but never offered her clothes to fit. She was very poor. Since I was a teenager, I never thought of telling an adult about this. Sometimes people need help to be modest.

  • Rhonda Girard

    There are a lot of wives and mother who would benefit from these guidelines, too!

  • Rhonda Girard

    And one more thing!  Before I saw that you were referencing MTV, I thought maybe you were talking about one of those wedding dress shows.  REALLY?  Have you seen what these girls are walking down the aisle in these days?

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  • C4latta

    I believe that modesty should be taught by the parents by role modeling modesty themselves. I think it’s important at the same time that we are teaching our daughters to cover up and be  modest not only for their own dignity but so that they don’t become a stumbling block to guys out there. Let’s face it showing cleavage has been a trend for a while but it is just that a trend. Soon looking back into this era people will note it was the decade woman hung their breast out for the world to admire. We should not judge one who does this but rather bring awareness of that the outcome is lack of propriety. I think there is a mixed message in lack of modesty and wanting to maintain a degree of dignity, you simply will have a difficult time having both dignity and lack of modesty. But I strongly believe this is a touchy subject in this day when it’s so the norm within most cultures. Bottom line if our heart is to please God then we would want to make sure we are being modest and recalling it is a imperative form of being. 

  • KLadle

    Love, Love, Love this article. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. As a mother of 2 daughters, one of which is a teenager, it is extremely hard to find modest clothing, but well worth the search!

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  • Helene

    For the woman who wants to be valued for who she really is — for the heart and intelligence and inner beauty that makes her a wonderful companion and friend — those guidelines are priceless.  For the woman who wants a long-term relationship based on the qualities that will not fade with age, compliance with such wise counsel is foundational.

  • http://twitter.com/twelvetwodesign Designer Rob Russo

    I am the father of two young girls myself. I’m going to make a note of these points for the future. Thanks for sharing.

  • Bonnie

    I too have been greatly disturbed by the lack of modesty among people of all ages today.  I ask, what happened to glamour and elegance and grace ?  “Muffin tops and trashiness ” do not fit in those categories, nor do they flatter 99% of the population.  I have been working on ideas for a book and possibly magazine devoted to grace, elegance and glamour.   That doesn’t mean that we have to wear evening gowns to work in the yard or a burkha (sp?) either.  Your four rules of thumb sound good.  But women, most women, want to feel attractive and feminine, and there is a difference between sexy/trashy and attractive/feminine.  You can be modest and feminine and attractive without being overtly sexy or looking like a hooker.  I think you can add, that if it makes you feel uncomfortable you shouldn’t wear it (and by that I mean that men are probably more interested in what is under your dress or outfit than what you have to say).  Mystery is still attractive to men.  In fact, I am in my 50′s, have gray hair ( I choose not to ruin my hair with dye which is in truth what it does… I did it for ten years… my hair is sooo much more healthy now), wear classic, modest clothes, and yet everywhere I go both men and women complement me (and many of them feel half naked and go put their coats on).  Make no mistake, they don’t think I look nice for a “grandmother type.”  They think I look nice and am appropriately dressed for whatever activity I go to.  Also, I only own about a dozen tops, one or two dresses, three skirts and some jeans.  I have a few classic accessories,  8 pairs of shoes that I take good care of, and some high quality, natural looking makeup that protects my skin.  I eat right and exercise and most importantly… I cultivate that inner glow of the Spirit.  I think without that inner glow, the clothes wouldn’t be that remarkable.  It seems that the opposite attitude also goes with the skimpier/hooker look.  You could say in part that “We are what we wear.”  I used to work in the fashion retail world.  There are both wise financial choices in dressing modestly and wise lifestyle choices.  And the type of man you will attract, for those who wish to meet men for more serious relationships, is definately affected by what you wear, both inside and out.

  • Arlene

    I recently read the “rules” one mother gave her daughter as she went shopping for clothes.

    “When you buy something, I don’t want to be able to see see the three B’s:Boobs, butt and bare midrif.”

    I am 75 and when my daughter was a teen-ager, I wish I’d have thought of that.

  • http://www.aquaflames.co.uk flavel gas fires

    I do agree with the modesty guidelines specially 3rd one.  If people look at any part of your body before looking at your face, it is probably not modest.

  • http://www.hobbsparker.co.uk/CF/?Link=HomePage&BulletinId=18 Hobb Sparker

    That is just vanished. New electronic age make us not to think long about the life, changes, good , bad. We do not in habit of thinking what we are doing is right or wrong. Modesty is in my opinion is to judge the aspects of you deeds on the other’s life.

  • http://www.spiritualwellness.com Angie Schuller Wyatt

    Rather than teaching women a set of rules.  I teach them to hear God.  Then, the pursuit of modesty becomes a pursuit of God, and an opportunity for their conscience to mature.  

  • http://lasherstudios.com/blog Teresa Lasher

    EXCELLENT guidelines for modesty! well done.

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  • Alexansah

    Thank God for this because God wanted us to  stand against the devil’s work

  • Nora

    Amen

  • http://thewritersremedy.com/ ShelleyD

    Sadly, immodesty has crept into our churches and for a reason. Rather than promoting Godliness as a believer, we have become weak in our resolve to honor our Lord. We fail to train our children, accordingly.  Instead of telling our children about God, we need help them establish a close relationship in such a way that every aspect of life takes His Word into consideration: we are not our own, we are bought with a price, our bodies are a living sacrifice, etc.  As for the world, they live as unsaved do.  For the believer? Judgment begins in the house of the Lord.

  • http://www.frymonkeys.com Alan Kay

    Michael, at the risk of some boos from the stands may I
    offer a slightly different view?

     

    Parents, and in particular the dads of girls, have always
    been fearful their children are at risk. Lack of modesty is a contemporary issue,
    but it’s been around in various forms for a long time. Giving guidelines and boundaries on dress sense can be helpful
    for young people, but I believe the more powerful route to helping them is
    through the values that we live.

     

    People in their teens are experimenting and finding where
    they fit in to the societies they belong to, not just their family. They are
    under more pressure than we can ever imagine and this is not new. The scale of
    the pressure to conform has grown. So, our exhortations to conform to the
    standards we feel are appropriate can fall on deaf ears. I’m reminded of the
    line, ‘the more you insist, the more I resist’.

     

    I say, let them make their own decisions unless they are
    taking risks that will do real harm. Let them experiment and learn, and at the
    same time use the values we demonstrate to help guide them.

     

    My practice with my own daughter when she was in her teens
    was to say ‘no’ to her requests only occasionally. When I did so it was always
    definitive. She knew the boundaries and knew she could take risks, but had to
    be successful with in them. I believe those values guided her. And, there were
    nights where I didn’t sleep. Now, as a 24 year old, people constantly remark
    what a fine person she is.

     

    My key point? Detailed guidelines may not have the same
    impact that demonstrated values can. A few sleepless nights are an investment
    in a self-reliant, confident young adult who respects herself. After all, isn’t that the gift we want to give our children? 

  • William Chris Shelton

    Young ladies and men learn
    about relationships from their fathers (how a woman should be treated and how a
    man should treat her). Unfortunately, we have generations being raised without
    fathers. They are instead being raised by Jerry Springer, MTV Spring Break, and
    Girls Gone Wild. These programs show young people drinking, partying, acting
    out sexually, and apparently having fun; however, what they don’t show is the
    venereal diseases, the people who drank too much and died from alcohol
    poisoning or caused a car crash killing innocent victims, the unwanted
    pregnancies, the feelings afterward that lead to depression, low self esteem,
    etc.  I remember a case where I had to
    respond to the emergency room, because a 17-year-old girl had been at a “party”
    where she shouldn’t have been and was slipped drugs and used as a prostitute
    and dropped passed out outside the hospital emergency room.  Numerous statistics from credible official
    sites show that 1 out of 4 sexually active teenagers is reported with a
    sexually transmitted disease each year; many without any visible symptoms and
    many incurable.  Further statistics show
    1 out of 4 girls being sexually molested before adulthood and 1 out of 6
    boys.  Isn’t it time for The Church to
    rise up and reach out to these young people in love showing them the truth that
    God loves them and has a good plan for their lives.  And that the lies being told them are to
    destroy their lives and to prevent them from experiencing the real joy that God
    has planned for them. (from “It’s Okay, You’re With My Father”, A Child Abuse Investigator’s Call to The Church, published through Westbow Press).

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  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    Modern day Sodom and Gomorrah? In our teams we have dress codes for stage etc. Personally I’d give the same advice to people. I don’t know what the cause of it is but I know that we have a responsibility as Leaders to ‘encourage correct encourage’ people. Unfortunately we can’t fight every battle, but we can still fight.

  • Jenniffermollet

    Those are great questions! They help girls make good choices even on there own…

  • Norman Bowman

    PLEASE READ Miss Modesty – Wendy Shalit:  
    http://www.goodgirlrevolution.com/
    http://blogs.modestlyyours.net/modestly_yours/ 
    http://chemistry.typepad.com/the_great_mate_debate/wendy_shalit/index.html 
    Her book, Return to Modesty will put will power into everyone who reads it SERIOUSLY!  And especially the quotes of great men and women throughout history.  Of course, WHO knows ANYTHING about history anymore.  Furthermore, History has now been “revised” by those who are “more intelligent” than the rest of us! Let us raise our children with the habits of looking dignity straight in the face and recognizing how beautiful it truly is.  I work with these young people.  They need to EXPERIENCE dignity and they KNOW it when the FEEL it.  So let’s get on with our job. 

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  • Stefani Brain

    I am frequently shocked at what girls are allowed to wear or not wear and not to mention the age of these girls. I feel very sorry that they obviously don’t have decent parenting around them.  My two daughters are aware of their image, which breaths modesty. They are advocates of dressing appropriately and freely give advice to others their age. Hopefully this is an approach will also help those girls that need advice.

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  • http://www.faithbogdan.com/ Faith Bogdan

    My favorite take on the topic is Beth Moore’s fiery Youtube video in which she yells, “Mean girls show our husbands their breasts!” Good for you, Beth.

  • http://twitter.com/ziz87 Ziz Abdur-Ra’oof

    Forget MTV….in my daily endeavors I see this!  I am willing to buy a belt that will help keep your pants up young man. 

  • Lclark352001

    Great article and guidelines. The only thing can add is that most of us have a built in modesty alarm, even if we’re not aware of what it is, so: If you put it on and have an urge to try to cover something with your hands,your purse, or your jacket, when you’re around other people, it’sprobably not modest

  • Flavio Lugo

    Hello Mr. Hyatt. This is my first read on your blog as it was a recommendation on another blog I came across for the very first time today as well (http://cliffmarshall.blogspot.com/). I thank you for your honest and humble comments towards what you witnessed. I think it’s quite amazing how we as a human race always have so much to say when it comes to giving advice. I won’t give advice per say, but I will share my struggles that God has allowed me to experience triumphs through. 

    The best advice given, is a committed and consistent life lived where words and actions meet together to accomplish the same goal. I can’t say I’ve always been a walking testimony of this, but I certainly desire to be one. Sometimes catastrophe would better define my life, but I believe through God’s grace I have had days where I can say unashamedly I blessed the name of the Lord. 

    I myself am not a father, yet I came close to becoming one, yet the Lord saw fit that my then wife would lose it. As a man living in this world, I can honestly say  modesty is far and few in between as oppose to arrogance, ego and pride that’s so prevalent in this day and age. In reading this post, I am reminded of this comment I shared with the Lord. “Lord, I wished it was how it was millenniums ago, where all were covered and beauty was adorned by a quiet and gentle spirit. Then we wouldn’t have the issues we have now with men lusting after women, and women showcasing themselves like the mannequins in the shop windows today.” How amazing God is to show me that such a thing does not exist unless there is a willingness to do so, as He reminded me of the Hebrew woman Moses saved from being raped in killing an Egyptian man (see Exodus 2:11-12), and later she was committing adultery with another man behind the back of the man she was betrothed to in which lead to her stoning. 

    Such an illustration of modesty being almost nonexistent could have us all depressed and deciding to do as we please, but I thank God that although it may be a remnant of modest women, and honorable men around, they’re still around and those who are willing to take a stand for modesty and chivalry can rally up the current and next generations to follow suit. Wouldn’t you agree Mr. Hyatt? How we certainly need more men and women of a quiet and gentle spirit that live to honor the Lord, His house and His children. Amen.

    Well, for what it’s worth, whether you read/respond to this comment, I thank you again for what you posted here. God’s grace and peace to you, your family and all your God-given endeavors. In Jesus name. Amen.

    Everyone, please feel free to follow and subscribe to my blog at:  (http://www.n2myheart.blogspot.com/)

    Follow me at: http://twitter.com/flugo315 
    Friend me on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/flugo315

    God bless you all.

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  • Josh Keys

    Another good rule of thumb for young ladies to adopt is to only reveal what skin you would be comfortable being touched by every man with which you come in contact. Like it or not, the overwhelming majority of them are doing just that – with their eyes.

  • http://jrjarvis.com/ Joshua Jarvis

    Well said Michael, actually, Well Said Jordin!  People wonder why romance is rare, it’s probably hiding in the same place as modesty.

  • Stevekozak

    Thanks for the simplicity. I am going to need it all to soon. I have two young daughters that are growing way too fast.

  • Eeyoremalysah2005

    I totally agree. Being a young woman myself, I always understood that my body was something special. I’ve noticed that people do treat me differently as well. In fact, I’ve heard of several instances when men have treated modestly dressed women with more respect that they did to the other women who were not so modestly dressed. I’m grateful there are other people out there that are willing to bring up this generation of girls to be the respectable modestly dressed young woman our world needs to see :)

  • Cheeba

    If you may be wondering about the rise in sex crimes against women or why so many men have gotten involved in pornography, take a good look at the way you are dressing and presenting yourselves. Are you dressing/acting provocatively? Why do you feel it necessary? The change must begin with you. Lead the way back to modesty Make it happen! See more. Download my book at: http://www.ImagebyCheeba.com

  • Kleinselc

    Thank you very must for that the world needs that am a dad of two girls it is a challenge

  • Lindasandmann

    Good guidelines – now to convince the girls of the importance of modesty.

  • Robt Holliday

    This is wisdom, Michael, thanks for this. As father to 2 girls (7 and 1), I worry about expectations they may feel pressured to meet. I also have 3 sons. It’s my aim as a father that they all understand that women are not merely sex objects but companions and friends to be cherished. I’ll be printing these for my wisdom wall.

  • Rajdeep Paulus

    Hi Mike, Raj here. Thanks for sharing those. I will totally pass these on to my girls. All four of them! :) And I know that hubby will appreciate it too. The only thing I’d add is something I always tell the teen girls in my life, youth group, friends, children of friends etc. I remind them that God did make their bodies beautiful and there is something innate that wants to be seen, because the female body was made for eyes. That’s why Adam was so in awe when he first laid eyes on Eve. But it’s the timing and freedom of that desire to be seen that happens in marriage that God prepares us for, the place where our desire meets God’s plan. So long for the young women of today to see that place and time. -Raj 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Raj. A very good point. Hope you are well.

  • Felix Ashindu Amwayi

    modesty is not about the hemline..modesty is an attitude of the heart.your dresscode says alot about the state of your heart..the question is,whom are you emulating??and whom do you want to impact?are you considerate enough to remember the people around you that could be struggling with issues?or is it all about imitating the fashion trends of the world that are poisoning and belittling modesty??remember modesty will earn you alot that you can’t get on the path of immodesty.you are already fearfully and wonderfully made so,your beauty is not dependant on your dressing’lets embrace modesty,lets embrace purity.

  • Medina Pruitt

    Thanks! I have granddaughters that were their jeans so tight it is very immodest !

  • http://twitter.com/Sherrey_Meyer Sherrey Meyer

    I have to second this with a resounding AMEN! We don’t watch much TV, no MTV, and very few movies, but just being out in our community it’s obvious that no one is sending this message to our young or our young aren’t hearing it. Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us today, and for our opportunity to pass them along.

  • http://twitter.com/YogaandLove Yoga and Love

    Brilliant blog Mr.Hyatt! I am relationship coach and emphasize to my women clients a low neck blouse will not find you the love of your life. There is nothing prude about modesty, on the contrary it is power in its highest form.

  • http://twitter.com/YogaandLove Yoga and Love

    Brilliant blog Mr.Hyatt! I am relationship coach and emphasize to my women clients a low neck blouse will not find you the love of your life. There is nothing prude about modesty, on the contrary it is power in its highest form.

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  • Accomplish

    I know intelligent, talented girls who are modest in their dress, value virginity and support and encourage one another to do so also. They are regular attenders of a Protestant church of which I am a member. 

  • Csanchez123407

    To think
    mmmm..
    I was just like that little girl that teenager..
    who was not taught by my parents.about MODESTY.
    Modesty in the family
    Modesty in my morals
    Modesty in the Church.
    MODESTY IN MY SPEACH.
    MODESTY IN MY CHARACTER.

    All I can say is.
    I am Glad. I choose to Hear the Voice of the Lord.
    And I am GLAD. HE gave me a chance.

    We should ever be PRAYFULLY and HUNGER for the LORD.
    To what is given to us as wisdom,and knowledge. To KNOW..
    Halleluya! To The LORD JESUS!!

  • Mayra Gomez

    This is why www.christianfashionweek.com was created. 

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  • http://twitter.com/alibroughton Ali Broughton

    The rule I came up with is “no gap” – no gap in the back, belly, or top
    I currently work in a school and we have other rules as well but this one work for guy’s pants as well as girls clothing.

  • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

    These are great!! I am so sharing this. In my Bible study ‘From the Trash Pile to the Treasure Chest: Creating a Godly Legacy, I talk about modesty and sexual purity. It is always the most popular portion of my message when I speak about legacy. Women and girls WANT to know more about it, but are not getting the right messages from our culture.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AirPotter Air Potter

    Don’t try to win your spouses attention by immodesty and expect Satan to do anything different. And, you aren’t an object…to anyone….you are a child of God. We teach, and practice, modesty in dress and attitude (no “look at me” attitude), to our son and daughter. These four points are great! Thanks for your influence!

  • http://cbcpm.net/ Michael Andrzejewski

    Excellent guidelines. I’m going to share this with my four daughters tomorrow. Very well put and easy to understand at any age. Timely wisdom, once again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.warner.58 Dave Warner

    passed this along to my daughter for her and my granddaughter. excellent and with todays fashion very difficult

  • Matthew

    Well said Michael. My daughter likes to say “Modest is Hottest”.

  • Katherine Hyde

    It’s important for girls to understand (a) how easily aroused males are, and (b) that if they want to be loved, rather than lusted after, they shouldn’t be going out of their way to arouse men. The kind of man they want to attract is the kind who’s looking for a modest woman.

    As to your question, “Where are these girls’ fathers?” the answer in all too many cases is, “Absent.”

  • Charles Hall

    Love this Michael. Thanks so much.

  • Cynthia Finley

    Michael, I’m the father of five daughters as well AND two sons. I love your guidelines because they aren’t legalistic and they get beyond the rules of “fingertip length” and address both heart and practicality. Thanks!

  • Candice

    Leave an everlasting legacy of your heart to our hurting world because our bodies change and grow old. In Hollywood once you turn 23 your no longer good to them all because of your physical attraction. Hollywood pulls even on the youngest of pre-teens now displaying them as sexual and sensual objects. It’s psychologically sick!
    Be known for being a woman or man of courage, love, strength, peace, joy, honor, and integrity!!! Stand out and be different by integrity and you will be known and blessed! When you dress with this type of success your life will be respected and your influence great to change the hearts of others to hunger for the same!

  • http://www.facebook.com/trishandjustin Tyl Sastrellas Dejiga

    Maybe I should remember those guidelines. It will help thousands of young girls and boys.

  • Misty

    We’ve taught our 9 year old daughter since she was a very girl that “daddy’s girls” don’t show the three Bs…bum, belly or breasts. I follow the same rules in my own dress because I want her to have an example to follow. These are great rules.

  • Guest

    It is truly a shame that modesty has become a foreign concept to so many. People are even showing up in church today showing more of their bodies than prostitutes did twenty years ago. This has troubled us for a long time. So, we wrote a series of articles about modesty. Not so much a “how-to” list, but about the attitudes and Biblical aspects of modesty. Please feel free to take a look http://net-4-christ.org/category/topical-series/modesty-topical-series/

  • http://brettcohrs.com Brett

    Crazy the wild difference in tone in comments from the blog to the Facebook.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      It really is. I was really taken back by the comments on Facebook. Part of the problem, I think, is that few read the original post.

  • LaVelle Thomas

    Our Bible actually teaches us to be modest in our dress. First Tim.2:9 says that women should adorn themselves in modest apparel. We never hear that taught anymore. Mothers don’t seem to be teaching it to their daughters as they wear immodest apparel themselves. I’m appalled at what some women and girls wear to church in the summer time. It is disrespectful to our Lord. We should all ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?”

  • Laura

    Culture teaches that beauty is sex-appeal. Oddly, many “liberated” women think men have forced modesty on them, and a true free woman will dress however she pleases…which somehow translates into dressing to please men, go figure.

  • Karen

    In our house one rule is “if you can’t ask your father if it’s ok to wear, you can’t wear it”.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Karen—what a great rule. As a father to 6—and 2 girls, I’m not sure how i’m gonna deal with that when my daughters get older. We are trying to instill those values now—before they are teens. Great comment!

  • danzac
  • http://twitter.com/liveafrugallife Melissa Earl

    great article!! wish more designers would make modest clothing.

  • Brad Collins

    The only disagreement I have with your four points is the word “probably”. Otherwise, you are spot on.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Schultz/1471407576 Christopher Schultz

    I have 4 daughters and we have a saying around our house, “My body is a private garden, not a public park.”

  • heidisaxton

    Are there any corresponding guidelines for men, Mike? Both in how to dress with self-respect, and in what to do when they encounter women who haven’t yet gotten the message?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience raising boys. All five of my children were girls. I’d love to see a parent of sons write something comparable.

  • LauraLee Shaw

    Great post! Your list is good, especially because it is not based on a standard of legalism. Since every girl has a different body shape, different things are going to look immodest. Also, no matter what a gal/woman is wearing, much of modesty is in the way we carry ourselves too, our attitudes, our words, body language, etc. I pray for wisdom & discernment in the way we as parents pass on the idea of true modesty to our girls (& son).

  • Emily L. Moore

    I saw an excellent video recently where Jessica Rey spoke about the actual affect that skimpy clothing worn by women has on men. I love this because some people think that to be modest is to be legalistic, prudish, boring, etc, and that dressing sexy is powerful and makes the woman stronger. But in fact, when women wear clothes that show a lot of skin/are sexy they are distracting men from treating them like a person, and instead men look at the woman as if she is an object. Watch this video where Jessica explains the affect bikini’s (and I think you could say many skimpy clothes) have on men and their perception of women. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJVHRJbgLz8

    Great post, Michael!

    • http://www.lambpower.com/ Steve Dawson

      The study that Reys refers to is a scam. It was unpublished (not peer reviewed) because the methodology was faulty. It was done with only 21 undergrads at Princeton, the images that the subjects were shown had there heads removed. In short, it proved nothing about what clothing had as an affect on anyone (except for the 21 test subjects).

      • http://blog.achievelastinghealth.com/ Emily L. Moore

        Very interesting, I was not aware of that, thank you for bringing it to my attention.

        • http://www.fromtwotoone.com/ Danielle | from two to one

          If anything, the study demonstrates that 21 men sexually objectified women and have issues with lust. So why are Rey and Michael Hyatt making this — what is really a men’s issue in this case — about women and their clothing choices? This is what is called the Modesty Rules.

  • Lisa Johnson

    There is too much divorce and too many girls having kids without being married. The result is these kids growing up without a strong father figure and see a mother desperate for companionship, love, and a helping hand with their child so they settle for “sex” as a way to reel someone in to get what they need. Those same kids grow up thinking that that is not only what’s “normal” but what’s expected and needed to get the attention they crave.
    I guarantee that most girls/women would tell you they would MUCH rather have someone say “cover it up, I’d rather look into your eyes and talk to you than to see you dress that way.”

  • Dan Ryan

    Michael,

    Thanks for sharing this.
    I am the father of two sons. I remember well how forward many young ladies were in the teenage and college years. Not saying my sons were not interested, but people always put the onus on young men when there is blame on both sides.

    Girls, young ladies, women are all being sold a bill of goods.
    I feel sorry for many of them.

  • http://www.fromnothingcomics.com/ Steve Crespo

    Your position is nearly identical to mine, and in a discussion in a form recently I stated my views as carefully as possible. I was called every name in the book, and not only accused of hating women, but accused of blaming the victims of rape and/or sexual harassment.

    We live in a narcissistic culture that wants total autonomy with no sense of responsibility for our actions, or thought of those around us.

    So very sad.

  • ricksbell.com

    Society has generally abandoned God and has been deceived by the allure of immodesty. It brings a temporary sense of acceptance and power, filling for a moment the void that God wants to fill eternally. What many people don’t understand is that they can achieve a higher quality of beauty in modest dressing. It is not just “immodest” or “prude.”

  • Kaneisha Northern

    Nothing seems to be left to the imagination anymore because of the credibility that vulgarity has received. Generations are only conforming to what is displayed which is unfortunate. My nonprofit will be holding a symposium and panel discussion at Hollywood High School in November titled: You Can’t Just Be Pretty: Merging Beauty, Brains and Substance. We have awesome people from the entertainment industry and business world taking part and this will be something that I definitely incorporate into the conversation.

  • Rosanne

    I was flipping through channels a few weeks ago and came across the movie Pretty Woman. It came out around 1990 I think. I hadn’t seen it in a while, so I sat back to watch the ending. When Kit came out, I was sort of shocked – not by what she was wearing but by the fact that she looked just like a lot of the people I see walking in the mall. The clothes she wore in that movie were to signal she was a prostitute. Now, those same clothes are just normal every day attire. It was a weird time warp moment.

  • Barbara

    Girls are touch with their hearts. Everything runs through it. Boys are touch with their eyes. Be very careful not to make them sin (or want to sin).

  • Annabel

    I think you’re asking the wrong questions, Michael and perhaps you’re taking it for granted that modesty, as you’ve subtly defined it, is a virtue. I would ask instead – where are these women’s role models (not just fathers, but also mothers, sisters, brothers, mentors, etc.)? what are these women aiming to accomplish by dressing provocatively and why do they think dressing provocatively is the best means to getting there? Who is teaching women to dress provocatively? Is there a double standard for men? What does your reaction of disgust say about male privilege? I would recommend reading an occasional feminist blog – especially on the topic of “slut shaming.” This is a good one: http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2010/04/04/what-is-slut-shaming/

  • brmathew

    Mike !!! thats a wonderful post worth sharing .. :D awesome !

  • FFS

    Oh look! Someone must have intvented a time machine… Because no way someone still does slut shaming in 2013.

  • Julie Woodruff

    Fantastic article. Much appreciated.

  • Faith Anne

    This is great! My parents raised me and my 3 sisters to be ladies. To be modest. They raised us to believe that sex is a special loving bond between a man and his wife not just something you do for fun or pleasure. I can’t tell you how much I was ridiculed for being a virgin at 19 years old and then laughed at when I said I wanted to wait until I was married. It was my own personal choice. I wasn’t pointing the finger and saying “oh you’re a sex addict and a slut for doing this and that!” I was simply living my life the way I though it should be lived. I think it’s sad that people don’t get ridiculed for being immodest but they do get ridiculed for being modest. This was a great read. THANK YOU!

  • Jennifer Suchey

    Excellent article. I love what Jordan Sparks said! You go girl! In have always taught my girls modesty and was happy my oldest took it to a new level after her Bible teacher started a discussion about it in class. I think about my youngest who wants to be an actress and singer and pray she will follow in the footsteps of Jordin Sparks as far as her atire, her image and speaking up for chastity and modesty.

  • Benita Kimberly Bylicki-Marzio

    I dress modestly but in my case I take it more extreme then many might. I honestly believe that the Bible teaches us who follow Christ to dress modestly. We all know the scriptures tell us that if a man even looks at a woman with lust, he has already committed adultery in his heart. Well if your dressing in a open and sexual way, immodestly you are responsible for making a man commit sin in his heartr and mind. Think about that the next time you put short shorts and a tank top on.

    • http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/ Belle Vierge

      I’m not responsible for the sin of others. I have never MADE a man sin. Furthermore, it is IMPOSSIBLE for a woman to prevent the lust of every single man. http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/2013/08/my-bikini-answer-all-women-cannot.html

      • Benita Kimberly Bylicki-Marzio

        Speaking to you girls like you, does no good, you will use your own excuse to show off what should not be shown and make yourself believe a lie before you will believe the truth.

        • http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/ Belle Vierge

          So the Bible isn’t truth? I linked you to my blog post in which not only do I quote scripture, I link to outside historical context as well as provide my own analysis with multiple supporting arguments, including quotations by other Christian writers.

          You vaguely refer to some Bible passages and use them out of context.

          I’ll stick with the Bible and other Christian writers over someone who won’t actually use a well-reasoned argument.

  • Jason McIntyre

    Sexuality is an amazing part of God’s creation. Treasure it, don’t squander it, for it is an analogy of God’s attraction to us and our deepest-being’s desire for Him. In this world a woman’s body sings and the men around her hear that song, usually whether they want to or not. God’s eye is ever on us, longing that we would open our hearts to Him and learn to share His desires. The younger men seem to be affected by the woman’s song more strongly than the older men. The less modest the clothes, the more the tone of the song tends toward seduction, whether the woman realizes it or not. If the body is the bait, what are you fishing for? Sex or your one true love? What do you want your one true love to know you for, your body or your heart? What age do you think you will be ready to marry? Don’t advertise something that is not available. Focus your sexuality on your spouse, whether you have met them or not. If not, then wait for them, keeping and caring for your body as a sacred trust for them. You are not your own, you belong to your spouse. Act like it.

  • http://DouglasStewart.org/ Douglas Stewart

    Young woman, respect yourself. Young men, respect women, even when they don’t respect themselves.

    • http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/ Belle Vierge

      I’m just curious. How can you tell whether or not I respect myself? Does this involve actually talking to me, or just judging me based on my appearance?

    • Alexandra

      You can tell if I respect myself based on my clothing choices, and if they meet your “modesty” standards??? Are you serious?

  • http://hoshikogen.tumblr.com/ Genevieve

    Just another patriarch trying to condemn women who are comfortable in their own skin. If a man checks out a woman’s breasts or behind it’s on him; not the woman. Why not teach your daughters to love themselves as they are and dress how they feel most comfortable? Why not let people be who they wanna be? What’s with this need for men to constantly indoctrinate women and tell then what is “right” and “wrong”? Pathetic.

  • Aunt Soody

    I SO agree. I remember when girls wanted a “good” reputation, and were devastated when they had a “bad rep”! Now it seems the opposite is the goal, with young girls (even in grade school) wearing bracelets or other indicators of their sexual prowess and experience! Incredible. It is sad that so many young girls today have missed out on the concept of modesty and pride in themselves for the right reasons. What is WRONG with today’s parents, allowing their daughters to flaunt themselves in ANY VENUE, even church!

  • Maggie C

    Here is something for you… I know some kids that love this.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVKsd2PIBH0 (Modesty is Hottesty)

  • Anon

    Great standards but I believe the last one needs to be refined to be a little more specific…by that standard no woman or developed girl can wear any shirt without being immodest.

    • http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/ Belle Vierge

      Welcome to the world of Modesty Culture. You can only win if you’re skinny and middle-class. Otherwise, you’re screwed!

  • Plaid Dad

    Honestly? Fuck modesty. Fuck patriarchy. Fuck slut shaming. Also, fuck virgin shaming, fuck judgemental bullshit, and fuck ridicule.

    Women: wear whatever you want, because you want to. Want to wear body paint and nothing else out in public? DO IT. Want to cover yourself head to toe? DO IT. But whatever you do, do it because you have decided it’s what you want without the poisonous patriarchy or misogynist social pressures.

    Fuck whoever you want, because you want to. Be chaste, because you want to.

    Stand up and declare that you are free to do what you want and BE who you want, not because you’re a woman, but because you’re a human.

  • Name Withheld

    You just need to take the word “probably” out and then you’re good to go.

  • jerry

    Set your own standards. Don’t follow the herd.

  • Susan Kelley

    Oh this is wonderful!! And from a father nonetheless! All to often we hear mothers saying these kind of things,but it truly is a breath of fresh air to hear a father speaking out on MODESTY! Wow,I LOVE this post! Can’t say enough good things about it & I am a mother of 8,which includes 4 boys & 4 girls :) I do believe in modesty & morals,& it seems these days there are none left. Very sad….Thank you Sir for your thoughts on such an important subject that’s not talked about often enough,especially from men! God Bless!

  • Pearl

    Let me just say one thing (because I really could go on for a looong time) – You are not overly sensitive. The fact that you turned the show off shows how great a man you really are. No one should be watching that. Thank you for openly talking about this here.

  • Modest Muslim

    In a world that fines women for covering up, its nice to see parents still think this way in the west.

  • Regina Coker

    I remember some 20 years ago I was at a homeschool conference. I had to set up some things in the back of a room where the dads’ session was ending with a question and answer time. I don’t remember the last question, but I’ll never forget a dad standing there with tears rolling down his face saying, “We have failed our daughters. We have failed to protect them.”

  • forgedimagination

    How about telling your daughters nothing you wear makes you a slut? How about telling them that if someone (man or woman) looks at them in a way that makes them feel objectified, it has nothing to do with them and is NOT THEIR FAULT?

    How about having a brain in your head and realizing that no matter how loose your clothes are you’re never going to be able to disguise the fact that you’re a woman– and no matter what you’re wearing, our culture has taught men that it’s totally ok for men to make assumptions about a woman’s character and intentions based on what she’s wearing, and that is asinine?

    How about you stop putting all the responsibility on women and start telling men to own their own shit? How about we actually start talking about the actual problem– that it’s our culture of sexualization where women’s bodies are nothing more than objects and sex toys and this has nothing to do with their clothes, and everything with how men are taught to treat women?

  • http://somuchshoutingsomuchlaughter.com/ suzannah | the smitten word

    one of the “redeeming” moments was a bit of slut-shaming? woman are either madonnas or a whores in that tiresome narrative preached on the pulpit and in the streets, and it’s a terrible message that doesn’t allow women to inhabit their own sexuality at all. if we don’t like how our culture “does” sexuality (and i don’t), we should be modeling something incarnationally better–not contributing more shame. the antidote to sexualization, objectification, and exploitation isn’t disengaging from our bodies or shaming sexuality, integrated parts of what it is to be human whether one is celibate or not.

  • http://www.fromtwotoone.com/ Danielle | from two to one

    If anyone is wondering why folks like Emily Maynard, Dianna Anderson, Abi Bechtel, Rachel Held Evans, Elizabeth Esther, Christianity Today Magazine, yours truly, and many, many, many more continue to debunk the Modesty Rules, it’s because people still think that the best way to evaluate women’s and girls’ “dignity” and “self-respect” is by what they wear, and that by dressing more “modestly” they are being protected from rape culture and over-sexualization.

    NO. Modesty culture contributes to rape culture. So until people begin to understand that, we will continue the anti-modesty rules conversation.

    • Tom

      I’m curious: how?

      • http://www.fromtwotoone.com/ Danielle | from two to one

        Further reading:

        - Synchroblog I hosted on the Modesty Rules with dozens of quality posts on the issue: http://www.fromtwotoone.com/2013/06/modesty-synchroblog.html
        - How purity culture fuels rape culture: http://prospect.org/article/purity-culture-rape-culture
        - Connecting the dots between modesty and rape culture: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2012/12/modesty-body-policing-and-rape-culture-connecting-the-dots/

        • Tom

          Question: Would there be as much of an objection to these standards for women if men were held to the same standards of behavior?

          • http://www.fromtwotoone.com/ Danielle | from two to one

            Not necessarily. It would be welcome to have it be less a double standard since women also are sexual beings that can “lust” after men’s bodies (which is equally as dehumanizing as men sexually objectifying women). However, shaming and blaming anyone – man, woman, boy, girl, etc. – for what they wear, or reading into what they wear and then (dis)respecting them needs to stop on any and all sides.

          • Tom

            I see. Next question: would saying this be shaming and blaming: “That particular garment, sir/madam, is inappropriate to wear at the present time, as it is far too sexual for this venue?”
            Also, what is your opinion on reading non-sexual things into what people wear?

          • http://www.fromtwotoone.com/ Danielle | from two to one

            Context is always a factor. It would be “immodest” for me to wear flip flops to my office, a professional environment, but perfectly acceptable for the beach. It can be trickier in less contrasting situations, but my policy is to not read into what someone is wearing, even if it is more/less “modest” for a given situation. Also, cultural standards on what constitutes modesty are ever changing and highly diverse based on, again, the context.

      • http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/ Belle Vierge

        Further reading:

        -In which I blog about how slut-shaming led to me blaming myself when I was sexually assaulted. http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/2013/01/dressing-like-slut.html

        -The first in a series of responses to the viral blog post “The Bikini Question,” in which I explain how bodies are not objects nor do they exist in a constant state of consent. http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/2013/06/my-bikini-answer-i-am-not-cake.html

        • Tom

          To begin with: My condolences. What happened to you was evil, and not on your part.
          But here’s a question: How was this post “slut-shaming?”

          • http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/ Belle Vierge

            I’m now on my iPad and using public wifi before I start my second job in 30 minutes, so please excuse my brevity, lack of links, and potential inability to comment further until tomorrow.

            The post supports modesty culture. It suggests that dressing a certain way is necessary to be respected. It suggests dressing a different way is only the result of being sexually exploited. It praises Jordin Sparks (who I like overall–I believe her comment was said without thinking, out of personal hurt/anger) for calling anyone who DOESN’T save sex for marriage a slut.

          • Tom

            I don’t this post was supporting what you call “modesty culture–or, if it was, it seems more born out of shock and horror at what might be called the promiscuity culture.

          • http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/ Belle Vierge

            Parents should definitely have some control over their children’s attire. That’s fine. But otherwise, you don’t get to control what other people wear. However, this post is offering rules on dress, I’m sorry, “guidelines,” by a man, for all women. Furthermore, the author refers to adult women as girls, and asks questions about their fathers in regards to their dress… They’re ADULTS. Treating women like children and controlling women’s attire are both parts of Modesty Culture.

          • Tom

            “I gave these to my girls when they were growing up. ”

            So, in other words, he was doing what you said he could do. Also, given that in context most of the people involved are the age of his daughters, I think he can be forgiven thinking of them as girls.
            And regarding the fathers question, he’s asking why their fathers didn’t seem to have taught them better.
            Control isn’t going on here.

          • Jean

            Understand about your time restraints. Yes, everyone should be respected no matter how they dress. But unless you are living in an alternate universse, that aint happening. The fact that you know the difference between professional dress and casual dress and that you don’t mix up the two without repercussions shows that, as per one of your previous posts. I’m not sure I understand your 3rd sentence; please clarify later , if you can. No, Jordin was NOT calling anyone who doesn’t save sex for marriage for marriage slut. She was letting R. Brand and others know that not everyone is living or endorsing a sexually promiscuous lifestyle. She did the best she could within the TV time constraints, and I believe the audience got the point! With more time she might have done better, I agree. (The fact that deep down, most of the audience knew that kind of behavior is wrong, was reflected in their reaction to her. You know no one booed her off the stage!)

          • http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/ Belle Vierge

            “Where are these girls’ fathers? Has anyone ever taught them the concept of modesty? Or have all the men in their lives simply exploited them as sex objects”

            He sets up an either/or. Modesty or sexual exploitation. I’m still wearing what I wore shopping today. Short denim shorts studded with rhinestones and a ribbed tank top that reveals cleavage if you’re taller than I am or if I lean over. It was hot today. My outfit is comfortable and good for running errands outside. My cleavage is unavoidable unless I wear crew necks. I’ve been criticized before for similar outfits as “immodest.” But I don’t wear this as a result of sexual exploitation.

            “It’s not bad to wear a promise ring, because not everybody, guy or girl, wants to be a slut.”

            Again, this is an either/or. You wear a promise ring or you’re a slut. A promise ring indicates saving sex for marriage. So you save sex for marriage or you’re a slut. It’s the age old Virgin/Whore dichotomy, and it’s tiresome.

  • Diane Belz

    If you want someone to remember you for a moment, show your body. If they want them to remember you for a day, show your mind. If you want them to remember you for a life time, show your heart and soul.

    Fonzie said it best to Joannie, “Don’t advertise what you don’t want to sell.”

  • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

    I’m father to 9 girls. No, you’re not being hypersensitive. You are right on, Michael. Great post.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Chris. Nine? Wow!

      • http://www.chrisjeub.com/ Chris Jeub

        And only 6 boys to watch out for them. We need all the help we can get! =)

    • http://www.producewithpassion.com/ Dan McCoy

      I once heard a father who had 3 girls tell my dad (who has two boys)… “You only have two boys to worry about, I have them all to worry about” :-)

  • Tracee Persiko

    It makes me sad to see the ways girls feel like they need to get attention. The self-worth of world is plummeting. The “Look at me” need for young women these days is so loud. I think we have forgotten how to create and enable real value -value that is worth something. Everyone likes attention, but that does not equal value. I wish more girls wish they knew that who they are is more than enough.

  • littlewarrior

    To play devil’s advocate (as everyone seems to agree)… isn’t this an extension of make-up and photoshopped magazines (and even book covers). The moment we say ‘the way you present yourself’ is important is to invite the idea of pleasing others by the way you look. It starts with the beauty pageants and doesn’t get any better from there.
    Even as Christians we sell and are sold this idea. Peer pressure and the pastor’s wife made-up at the front of church? While we look disapprovingly on one side we encourage the problem on the other…

    • http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/ Belle Vierge

      Yup. Modesty Culture pretends to be “empowering” by “turning against” the world’s message that you have to look a certain way to have value. Except Modesty Culture still insists women only have value if they dress a certain way…

      • Jean

        …while the world says that woman that DON’T dress a certain way have no value at all. Have you seen Dustin Hoffman video where he talks about how he learned (while doing the movie Tootsie) how he had overlooked the gifts and talents of women who didnot dress or look a certain way? Belle, you are reading things the wrong way. What you call Modesty Culture DOES AFFIRM a woman’s value; because we have value, we dress modestly. It is no accident that previous generations called women who dressed immodestly cheap; these are not “bad” women but those who did not see their God-given value and/or were devalued by those around them. We all have value; it is given to us by God. Some of us grew up in families where that value was affirmed; some did not and had to learn it elsewhere. Some have yet to learn that, and we as Christians must help. You seem to think those who dress modestly are trying to become more valuable or get value. NO–we ARE valuable. What God has given cannot be taken away–but it can be ignored and trashed by others. If I applied your way of thinking to African-Americans, then I would believe that A-A had no value until the passage of 1960s civil rights legislation! WRONG. African Amer. had value already, that value was ignored and trashed by others. Dressing modestly will not insure that others will value me, anymore than an African American with a PhD from Yale will get respect from a Klansman! But I and the African American will still retain our value, and (hopefully) affirm the value of others, including the ones that disagree with us. I am a woman with value, and I hope that the way I dress, work and treat others reflect that–and I know I have to strive to do so.

        • http://www.findingmyvirginity.com/ Belle Vierge

          My value comes from God, who gave me humanity. My clothing is not a reflection of my self-worth. My clothing is not a reflection of my self-respect. My clothing is not a reflection of my value. I am valuable because I am a person. Period. But Modesty Culture tells women that they must dress a certain way to be respected whereas the rampant sexual objectification of pop culture tells women to dress a certain way to be desired. They are two sides of the same coin. Women must dress a certain way, based on the male gaze.

          I’m not saying women can’t choose to dress in what they consider modest apparel. That’s totally fine. But modest clothing is very much still a cultural, and thus worldly idea. What one considers modest in India is different than modest clothing standards in Utah which would be different yet again in France.

          • Jean

            Belle, I know you are a good hearted person, because you are so gracious in your replies to my statements. But if you think “Modesty Culture” alone tells us to dress a certain way to get respect, then you are either living in an ivory tower or never worked in a corporate/professional setting! Yeah, I know my value is a constant, not tied to my wardrobe. But if my boss and coworkers are dressed professionally and I come to work daily in jeans, flipflops and lowcut tshirts, I will not get respect from them–and I might find myself unemployed! Yes, I am still the same person, but the reality is everyone/every workplace/every culture has standards. We have to negotiate the standards, and not compromise ourselves or our value(s) or our commitment to Christ. Cultural/worldly idea? Hey, what country on the planet can we go to and escape that? I haven’t found one. I don’t wear a head covering in America because our culture (unless you’re Muslim) doesn’t call for it. But if I got a job transfer to the Middle East, I would have to wear one, even if I’m not Muslim. As all followers of Jesus have through the ages, we negotiate the particular ocean we are swimming in. Sometimes we will make a wrong or bad call. Realize that, repent, pick ourselves up and do better the next time. I personally don’t believe in shaming people into modest behavior; long term, it never works anyway and it just cuts off dialog with the person(s). Modesty is just one part of the package of our witness to the world–if I dress modestly but treat my coworkers like dirt and don’t pull my weight in the office work….I don’t think my coworkers will be open to hearing my wardrobe tips or about my love for Jesus! Cultural and worldly? Guilty as charged. But the perfect society won’t exist until Jesus comes. In the meantime, I work hard, dress well, attractively and modestly, ask for the power of God to reach out to help and witness to others. Some days I make it, some times I fail. But I don’t quit just because I live in a society that either screams I need to dress like a video vixen to be attractive to men, or wear plain, drab clothes to show how godly I am. I think there is a middle ground (heresy, I know–I like to live dangerously!) Like it or not, there are clothing standards–whether the “Modesty Culture” you speak of existed or not. Business has them. Schools have them. I think we both agree that a person’s value is not tied to the specified wardrobe. As long as we keep that in mind, we both will do well. As my Catholic friends say, sometimes Jesus comes to us in the guise of the poor. One of the tough things about being a Christian is that we have the all too human tendency to look at the outside alone and treat people accordingly. The letter from James in the New Testament warns against that. Thanks for reading my ramblings…

  • Amy Lore

    Edith Head said that a woman’s clothing should be tight enough to prove she’s a woman and modest enough to prove she’s a lady. I have always loved that.

    • Brianna Gipp

      Wow. Imposing not just one stupid rule, but two contradictory ones, on women’s behavior, AND expecting us to prove we fit both of her stupid requirements of what a female has to be. It doesn’t get any better than that.

  • Amy

    I just started the online dating thing recently. I had the perfect opportunity to talk to my boys about what it means to respect a girl and treat them as a whole person after a man who claimed to be “a godly man who lives by biblical truths” asked for a bikini pic after only a few words. That was the end of my messaging him.
    I am a fan of Audrey Hepburn and the mid-century era and I try to keep it classic and classy. I have been able to show them the comparison as I chat with a man who likes the classy way I dress, who does not pressure me in any way and is taking the time to get to know me. I think as we teach our boys to see the heart of a person and to compliment females in appropriate ways, the girls will begin to change the way they see themselves by having confidence in who they are and not feel the need to gain attention in other ways. In the end, it is really about the need to be noticed, to know that we are valued and to be loved for who we are. How we go about finding that depends on how we see ourselves.

  • Shelia P

    I taught my three daughters that guy are like window shoppers, “They only buy what you’re selling.” So if you want them to view you as quality, you have to present yourself that way. In an ideal world no one would be judged on their appearance, but we don’t live in a perfect world and as we all know, that’s the first impression that any of us make on each other.

    • sarahoverthemoon

      Hmm, too bad my body isn’t a product and isn’t for sale. I’m a human being, not an object in a department store window and “guys” had better treat me as such regardless of what I wear.

  • Searchofkings.com

    Great post! Modesty is not only RIGHT but it is Biblical! http://www.searchofkings.com

  • Tom

    http://www.chapellibrary.org/files/archive/pdf-english/cmod.pdf

    Review by Ryan Mcgraw
    This review is from: Christian Modesty and the
    Public Undressing of America (Paperback)

    One of the women in our congregation picked up this small
    book at a national Women in the Church Conference for the PCA. I suppose that
    there are many books that may be considered “must-reading.” This
    book, however, is one of those rare volumes that may threaten to turn your
    thinking upside-down on the subject that it addresses. It is my hope and prayer
    that it does, since Pollard challenges practices that have become ordinary, not
    only in the world, but in the Church.

    What makes this little book so powerful is that it takes most of the subjective
    element away from defining standards of dress that are pleasing to God. This
    does not mean that the author argues for one style of clothing for every time
    and every place. It also does not mean that he provides a list of modern attire
    that is acceptable, and another list of attire that is not. He has not
    idealized any age in the history of the world as a standard. The true strength
    of this book is that rather than taking the practical effects, or temptations
    presented by various styles of clothing as his point of departure, he begins by
    demonstrating from Scripture that from the day that clothing was invented by
    God, he designed it to conceal human bodies rather than reveal them. The terms
    used in Scripture demonstrate that God has always clothed his people from the
    neck to the knees. Every great book that deals with biblical ethics does not
    provide an exhaustive list of applications, but it gives us clearly established
    principles that provide the criteria that is necessary for critical thinking.
    Because he has done this, in the first chapter the author has noted the fact
    that some shall consider his work “legalistic,” while others shall
    consider it to be too vague. Both of these accusations reflect a shallow
    perspective on Christian ethics that negates thought. One option requires no
    thinking at all, and the other requires someone else to do all of your thinking
    for you.

    In addition to his strong biblical arguments, Pollard provides invaluable
    historical evidence (particularly in chapter 5) to the effect that clothing
    manufactures, along with the entertainment industry, have intentionally eroded
    the remnants of a once biblical standard of modest dress. He has not rested his
    arguments upon the historical evidence, but upon the Scriptures. Nevertheless,
    it is eye opening to uncover the philosophy that lies behind these changes. It
    should not surprise us that the philosophy that has shaped the modern fashion
    and entertainment industries are anti-Christian. We live in a world that is
    under the sway of the evil one (1 Jn. 5:19). If anything is widely accepted in
    a sinful society, we should assume that there is something wrong with it. In
    this case, something is dreadfully wrong.

    The primary issue that Pollard has placed a discomforting finger upon is the
    issue of swimwear. The conclusions of his book are not limited to the issue of
    swimwear, but the author has used this single issue in order to illustrate what
    is at root a basically unbiblical attitude towards clothing in general. By the
    end of the book, he has addressed matters related to style, clothing that
    accentuates the form, and most importantly, proper motives for selecting
    clothing that honors God. It is a strange anomaly in our society that a woman
    may walk down the street in her underwear and be arrested, yet she may walk
    onto the beach in “clothing” that is almost identical to her underwear,
    and it is considered “normal” (and if you take refuge in the
    “modest” one-piece suit, Pollard shall not let you escape either).

    I must warn you that although the position presented in this book has always
    been associated with biblical Christianity, it is about as common in the modern
    Church as the great doctrine of justification by faith alone was when Martin
    Luther was born. My challenge to you is to read this book, to pray over its
    contents, and to digest it. It is easy to dismiss arguments simply because they
    are used to criticize practices that no one questions. It is easy to dismiss a
    position with terms such as, “strict,” “legalistic,”
    “old fashioned,” or “impractical.” It is one thing to
    vilify someone or something with labels (which our society loves to do). It is
    another thing entirely to demonstrate that the Scriptures that have been
    misunderstood in the attempt to establish a position. Pollard’s biblical
    evidence is a force to be reckoned with. The subject matter in this book is too
    important to dismiss, ignore, or left to collect dust upon a shelf. We should
    neither be afraid nor surprised by the fact that the Scriptures often require
    us to adopt radically different beliefs and practices than those that have been
    integrated into every level of our society. After all, we are Christians.
    Christians have no right to submit themselves to any other Master than the Lord
    Jesus Christ. Like the apostle Paul, we must remind ourselves that if we still
    seek to please men, we cannot be bondservants of Christ (Gal. 1:10).

    (Published Previously in Puritan Reformed Journal)

  • http://www.everydaywindshield.com/ The Everyday Windshield

    Agreed. We make children’s clothing and toys as a business — and our motto for designing is “Everything between the hearts and knees is covered”

  • Sarah Siders

    Michael, great post. I wrote about something similar related to gender-bending today on my blog. Anyway, I think the question I’m going to have to face with my kids is: what is modesty for? Why modesty? I think that’s at the root here. Modesty maintains mystery, and that’s all good, but I think the Christian community has sold ourselves and our kids short by telling them to be modest without giving them a vision for it. What do you think?

    • ArielMalek

      Right I agree Sarah. Excellent and well needed article. But I agree so often the church comes across with a religious mindset that just says “No” to the yearning hearts of youth and others who are not discerning the difference between healthy love and sensuous attraction (Not saying Michael saying that.) But in some quarters the church rather fails to offer young, singles of all ages and all really, a positive, God-birthed vision of the great value of waiting for passion and romance in the context of a pure love and marriage. Sort of akin to saying “Now don’t think of a pink elephant!”
      Physical passion and romance in the holy bonds of marriage -and as portrayed in the Song of Solomon — a treasure to be waited for and guarded — not cheapened nor cast into the streets for every passing eye.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I think that is a great insight. What would you say?

      • Lana

        Michael, modesty is to hide up all your goodies until you are legally bound by a church-sponsored wedding. Sheesh, google it, buddy, why are you so helpless?

  • Lana

    Please note: http://michaelhyatt.com reserves the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic as well as any peons who dare question the supreme authority of said author.

  • Patty Heal Underwood

    I actually busted out laughing when I read #1. When I have trouble getting things on, it’s because as I age, those jeans sizes just keep getting smaller. Can’t be because of my diet. . . .

  • Nya

    so true i agree. Most of us young people are just picking the costumes we see on TV and wearing them in real life…its disgusting in real life.

    Thanks for the post. Hardly any bloggers have time to write in such matters :-)

  • Jessica Lyn

    People forget “Body language” is just that: a language! What are you telling people about yourself? That you’re proud? Flashy? Vain? Insecure and need attention in all the wrong ways? Or are you classy, respectable, humble, and secure in your personality that you only need to strike up a conversation to get attention – and that not for yourself, but for a good topic of discussion, because your mind is engaged in the outside world and not on yourself all the time and the latest in thing? People also forget that their bodies don’t belong to them – it’s not your body, it’s God’s temple, as He says. So are you dressing to adorn and take care of His temple properly this morning, like a good coat of paint and a floor sweep, or are you turning the temple into a den of thieves?

  • JC Cruz

    Before I continue I must say that it is not my intent to cause offence but I know someone will take offence because that is the way the world is now. I apologise in advance. I am amused but not surprised that a man cannot share his opinion without someone deciding it’s an attack on women or that he is discriminating against women and how he’s not showing equality and people trying to shout him down because it’s not what is popular. In today’s world and culture, practically falling out of your clothes is what’s popular and “sexy”. Mr Hyatt has shared his perspective on an issue and I admire him for it. The post has nothing to with telling anybody how to do anything. I am saddened that any time a man makes a comment especially about a female issue, people react as if there’s a war going on. I have read the post and nowhere does he seek to excuse rapists. I wonder how people jumped to that conclusion.

    A few years I used to ask myself if the world was growing worse with regard to dressing or whether I was just seeing what was there because I was older. I came to the conclusion that things were growing worse. Nowadays, the rage is posing naked pictures for “a worthy cause”. Jesus said a man who looked at a woman lustfully had already committed adultery in his heart. He didn’t have to actually sleep with her to commit adultery. Most have the people who pose naked for magazines: film stars, musicians, athletes, all have something else to sell apart from magazine copies. So they see posing naked as a means of furthering their careers so it’s not about art or self-expression as they would have us believe but the dollars involved. Also I doubt if they posed naked without receiving some form of remuneration. In my personal opinion, you don’t have to be standing on some street corner to be someone who sells her body for monetary
    gain. Unfortunately, that is the way the world works. So even what we would not want our daughters or wives to do, we talk about defending someone else’s right to do. I wonder how many people here would feel happy and chipper if their daughter came home and told them she had found what she wanted to do for the rest of her life and that she wanted to be a stripper? The other day, I read an article where a woman said cheating on one’s husband or wife was fun. Sadly that is the world we live in today, a world where everything goes. The phrase is “whatever makes you happy”. I wonder how many people here think there’s nothing wrong with sleeping with someone else’s spouse as long as “they’re in love”? Words like commitment, fidelity have all become dirty words that have no place in today’s world. There are no more rules for living. The new rule is you
    make your own rules as you go along.

    Modesty has died in America and it has become a dirty word. Along with the word shame, it won’t be long before it’s removed from the dictionary. If you dare utter the word, the accusation is about how you’re trying to suppress, subjugate and dominate a woman which is the accusation Michael is facing. I intend to write a blog post about the topic and point people to Michael’s post because I think it’s the truth. But saying anything against the culture of nudity is not allowed. I wonder how we got to that point. Apostle Paul said all things are lawful but not everything is expedient. The Bible also talks about a woman covering her nakedness. Personally speaking both as a Christian and a man, I would prefer not to sit behind a woman and see the crack of her behind. I also would prefer not to see her mammary glands falling out. I therefore wonder how anyone who professes Christ can argue for a woman’s right to wear anything she pleases. If the Bible is not your authority, what is? A film star? A musician? Your conscience? Looking for modesty in a woman’s dressing has nothing to do with legalism or
    trying to control or subjugate women. Modesty has to do with having a standard. A good standard. You don’t have to go naked for people to know you’re a woman or attractive. You shouldn’t have to go naked to attract attention. People talk about how women shouldn’t be objectified. A friend of women used to say the word sexy simply meant a woman who looked good enough to have sex with. I agree. I’m sure a woman would like to be remembered for more than looking good enough to
    have sex with.

  • Alexandra

    I don’t see anything to praise in Jordan’s comment- the word “slut” is a slur. When someone uses that word, one is essentially saying that when a woman doesn’t dress “modestly” or a woman whose sexual behavior does not meet your moral standards, than that woman is “dirty” or lesser. Comments like yours and hers suggest that anything but modesty is disgusting and bereft of “good morals”. We live in a time where popular culture teaches young women their body is their only commodity and they should show it off. Meanwhile religion tells young women that they should be ashamed of their bodies and cover up .You are right that many women are exploited as “sex objects. But the answer, I think, doesn’t lie in telling our young women to “cover up”. It lies in a change of thought- it lies in teaching young men to RESPECT women regardless of the clothes they wear. It lies in teaching young men to recognize women as human beings, not something for sexual pleasure. It lies in teaching young men NOT TO RAPE. Women have been taught and told and scolded to cover up their bodies (which God made and created is His image) for all of know history. It hasn’t stopped the view that women are for sexual pleasure, for viewing. That women are in some (i think ABSURD) way lesser because of they way their bodies are shaped. Modesty didn’t stop my friend’s rapist. We need to stop telling women HOW to be, how to dress, how to behave. We need to start teaching that clothes do not make the person. That women are worth MORE than the sum of their physical parts, and the way they dress. I’m a human being, like anybody else. Don’t I deserve to be treated thus? I am the image of our Holy God am I not?

    Also- I never, never see any blog posts talking about teaching boys modesty, or telling boys and men how to dress- there’s something wrong there, don’t you think?

  • Sherry Langland

    Thank you, Michael, for a timely reminder of the importance of dressing appropriately. I teach 12-15 year olds, and sometimes I am blown away at what parents will let their children wear. T-shirts with profanities or offensive content. Girls with clothing so skimpy that certain body parts threaten to fall out. It’s only a few times every year I have to deal with this, but it is enough to make me wonder how their parents can find it acceptable. What do we teach our children when we allow them to dress inappropriately?

  • Sue Duffield

    Good stuff, Michael. Ironically, I posted recently, “What Knot To Wear”, which describes similar thoughts. I just added your URL to this post at the bottom of mine. Too good not to include. I love it coming from a male perspective. http://sueduffield.blogspot.com/2013/08/what-not-to-wear.html

  • http://lovinglifeathome.com/ Jennifer Flanders

    Yes, thank you very much! I just saw some MTV footage at a restaurant 1 hour ago and was likewise appalled. My husband and I have four daughters (and eight sons), whom we are also trying to point toward a higher standard (http://lovinglifeathome.com/2013/07/07/girl-power-dont-waste-it/). I love your guidelines. Thanks for sharing them.

  • Angela Bickford

    Great message! I agree wholeheartedly, but you might not think that if you read my latest post. I wrote about self-image and how you should love your body no matter the state it’s in. It was a bit of a risque post because of the images I used, but I thought, prayed, etc. before I posted it and felt the message was bigger than my fear. I knew I would possibly lose some of my Christian audience, but I also knew that I had something that couldn’t go left unsaid. It’s a very fine line…
    http://www.angelabickford.com

  • jesse

    I don’t watch MTV or any of the awards show because they have no decency at all. All these modern day singers want to do is grab themselves when they sing. Personally I think it’s disgusting. Then they wonder what’s wrong with our youth.

  • tmg

    I agree, just one thing..It’s not fair to women who have breasts, they get stared at, in a sweater, in a tank top, in a puffy coat..unavoidable. I wore huge sweaters when I was young and it didn’t stop someone who wanted to look, trust me I tried.

  • Irene Belyeu

    Immodest dressing creates lust. 1John 2:15-16: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
    Lust ultimately brings death. James 1:14-15: “But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished bringeth forth death.”

  • http://www.jackiebledsoe.com/ jbledsoejr

    Great stuff here Michael!! Thanks for sharing. I have not been able to pull my thoughts together after watching the YouTube clips of it…I’m embarrassed, amazed, and saddened all at the same time. But this is the culture, the society, are kids are growing up in today. I loved when you said, “Where are these girls’ fathers?” I can’t imagine…

  • http://moyomamora.com/ M.Mamora | Discovering Purpose

    Great to see fathers who stand up for truth as unpopular as it may be!

  • http://shops.half.ebay.com/booknookatl_W0QQ Book Nook Atlanta

    WOW! STUNNING! Thank you for sharing your heart, Mike! As I shared this with my facebook readers, I made it clear to say that I’d be heartbroken if this message wasn’t shared and went viral! EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS!

  • Aileen Rodriguez Price

    I love the guidelines, Michael. They’re simple and on point. Another guideline my mother gave me was: “Just because it’s a style, it doesn’t mean it’s a style for you.” I was raised very old-school, and it shocks me when people don’t seem to understand they can look stylish and attractive while being modest.

  • Judi G. Reid

    Modesty helps to generate respect & dignity as criteria for the value of women. Launching in Oklahoma City in October is a project, She’s Somebody’s Daughter. Wouldn’t that concept change the thinking and behaviors of many who see only flesh? http://www.somebodysdaughter.org (soon to be shessomebodysdaughter.org) Thank you Michael, women and fathers who supported this post.

  • raisingrealmen

    Good post! It’s a shame that stuff isn’t obvious anymore. Here’s our take on it: there’s something behind it we all need to understand, especially parents. http://www.raisingrealmen.com/2013/08/miley-cyrus-mtv-and-why-it-matters-to-christian-families/

  • Cathy Hamilton

    I love this. But, It’s not just dressing modestly, it’s more important to behave modestly. They go hand in hand. I have 3 daughters and a son. I think I’m most concerned for my son because girls are very very aggressive in their behavior towards him. He’s only 15 but he has girls from 13-25ish getting way too close and saying inappropriate things. How’s he supposed to contend with that? And he spends most of his time in church and christian school related activities. So parents, please talk to your girls about their behavior as well as whether wearing a bikini or tank top is okay and how high a hemline should be. And talk to your sons about how to keep the girls at arms’ length. Something we’re still trying to figure out.

  • http://www.5toolgroup.com/ Jay Oza

    This was nothing but great marketing and it always works. Marketers don’t think of modesty as long as there is no penalty for being immodest. Just look at Kim Kardashian and many others. It is hard to get people’s attention today, and Myley Cyrus got lots of attention with her twerking (didn’t know what this meant till this week). I don’t think she cares that few parents are offended. This is the new norm now.

  • Heather

    If it’s something you wouldn’t want you grandparents to know, see, or hear, it’s probably best not to do it.

  • Lori Cray

    Love the guidelines. I have 5 girls also and 1 boy. Not only do I want my girls to be modest. I want other girls to be so that my son isn’t put in bad situations.

  • Vanessa Sundin

    first, i want to say that i was raised as a christian and still identify as christian, though i have significant issues with the church.

    i find this article, while likely well intentioned, very sexist. why is it
    always the girl’s/woman’s responsibility or fault if/when another person finds
    her attractive? what
    about expectations for boys/men generally?

    i’m so sick of christian denominations making the female form
    out to be a sinful thing or at least something about which girls/women
    should be afraid of embarrassed. how do you expect your children to
    have reasonable, healthy relationships to their bodies and sexuality?
    i’m not condoning kids dressing revealingly, but there’s a level at
    which the criticism and rules for girls/women becomes a shaming ritual
    and/or tool for oppression.

    furthermore, men are rarely, if ever criticized, for their form or presentation, other than for sloppiness, in christian denominations. i suppose this is to be expected, though, as men also rarely, if ever, bear any responsibility or accountability for anything under the dogma that many christian denominations espouse. instead, men largely are treated as kings of the kingdom and are given free reign. i think it’s about time that we start treating the sexes equally and began talking openly about sex and the human form.

    as a side note, i have no comment as to the vma’s other than i generally find them pretty despicable. i do actually like russell brand though. i find him to be funny, intelligent, and sometimes insightful, though he often presents his opinions in controversial/shocking ways.

  • Kennedy

    These arguments of modesty may be fighting against the objectifying and sexualizing stigma of women by our culture, but they perpetuate the idea that a woman’s body is shameful and needs to be hidden. It achieves the opposite purpose, by objectifying her. Rather than make a woman into a sex object to be put on display, these arguments say she needs to hide her natural curves. Sexual attraction is biological and natural. Lusting, however, is very wrong. Turning a woman into an object in your mind is terrible and inhumane, degrading them to something less than they are. And if a man sees a woman wearing something that might fit to her curves more than it would on a skinnier woman, it does not mean that he is lusting. Lust is his choice.
    In addition, this kind of thinking promotes the idea that women are responsible for men’s behavior. It follows the same kind of logic as the “you should cover up more because it distracts the boys.” Why do girls get in trouble when boys look at them inappropriately? Why are girls held accountable for men’s wandering thoughts, a domain over which we have no control? A man could have a foot fetish. Does this mean woman should not ever wear flip flops or sandals simply to protect the potential man out there who might fantasize about her feet? No. It is not her job. It is not women’s responsibility to protect men’s “innocent eyes.”

  • tessa

    Well said. I applaud you for speaking up and couldn’t agree more. As a young women I’m appalled at the sexualization and exploitation of young girls today and the simple fact that no one seems to notice or care. When will we start to realize and teach these girls they are far too valuable to simply give themselves away.. in the way they dress and the actions/decisions they make.

    For all the reasons you’ve mentioned I’ve started Five Ten Girls (http://510girls.com) in hopes to empower and educate these girls in the truths that lie hidden and go unspoken with the cultural “norms”. I loved your guidelines and will be sharing these with my audience as well! Thank you again for speaking up!

  • http://learningfromsophie.com/ Laura Anne

    Why is this only directed at girls? The amount of guys who have their jeans hanging past their boxer shorts or wearing tight fitting shirts to show off their muscles…how is that any more acceptable?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Because the entire premise of the article was my experience as a father. Since I only have girls, that’s all I know. Thanks.

  • lnwalker

    Bravo!! Thanks!

  • Russel Polk

    When I watched TV with my girls or saw girls pulling their skirts down or their blouses up, I always pointed it out and told them, “If you are feeling the need to pull your skirt down or your blouse up, your conscience is telling you it is not modest.”

  • ORA Executive Coach

    I’m wondering if you have parallel guidelines for sons.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Im afraid I don’t. I have five daughters but no sons.

    • Jo W.

      At our house, modesty is a dual issue. One daughter and soon-to-be two sons. Things like “Don’t show your underwear” go both ways. If I don’t want my daughter hanging her fanny out the bottom of a skirt, my son isn’t going to be showing his cracked bottom out the top of his shorts. There are easy ways to teach your son modesty, just as your daughter. Modesty isn’t just about appearance though. The language you use, the tone of your voice, your attitude, all of these can be modest and pleasing to God or they cannot be. Appear is just one aspect. I wouldn’t want my daughter writhing on stage like Beyonce regardless of how she was dressed.

  • Chaya

    Well said. Growing up, when we would dress up for special occasions or even when we would spend time making our hair or simply being girly, my mom would kindly say, ”it’s the beauty inside that counts most”. It was a simple phrase but it went a long way. We were taught that any part of the body that is used to be intimate with a loved one, should be covered otherwise we are giving our intimacy freely to strangers. My relationships are so real and healthy because, I know that guys won’t hit on me for the body I am flaunting openly; rather it’s a relationship that grows from the inside out. And when the roots are strong, the branches are free. Thanks again for your insight.

  • mellella

    Hey i’m a 20 year old girl who totally gets where you’re coming from! That’s why I started a modest fashion blog…to inspire women and girls that they can be fashionable AND show a respect for themselves and their bodies at the same time. Check it out at Facebook.com/MissMellalina

  • J. Plo

    Good article.

    I think your guidelines are good but could be added to. In my experience, regardless of what you’re wearing, if someone wants to check you out, they’re going to, baggy sweatpants and all. We are wired to acknowledge beauty, no matter how blanketed or uncovered it is.

    What matters is your heart motivation behind wearing what you are wearing and the manner in which we present ourselves as people worthy of love and respect.

  • Mark

    I wonder if maybe the reason so many people in the entertainment industry disregard God because of those violent nuns and molesting priests in the Church, among other atrocities. Sorry to bring that up, but the Church is once again in the news for the wrong reasons and as a result, I am in a bad mood. No really, I believe the Church has done just as much harm as MTV.

  • Anna Marion Howell

    Or, as my dad would say, “If I can see up it, down it, or through it, you’re not wearing it!”

  • Donna

    Excellent guidelines. Young women are getting the wrong messages from everywhere today. I remember when Beyonce was performing the halftime show at the Super Bowl, the first lady Michelle Obama tweeted about how proud she was. I understand she meant proud that a black woman was headlining the super bowl, but she was dancing around in a skimpy black leather body suit. So, what message does that send to young women, and coming from the White House?

  • Donna

    I would like to add that this also applies to young men. Pull your pants up and keep your shirt on. LOL. Now get off my lawn.

  • LadyJevonnahEllison

    Awesome. Simply awesome.

  • Researching for my platform

    Michael, what made you choose to make this blog post about “what to wear” instead of addressing the misogyny?

  • http://warriormen.com/ Glen Evans

    Both moms and dads wield a great deal of influence in the battle against our declining culture. Moms are the example of modesty and dads reinforce how a woman is so much more attractive when all isn’t revealed at first glance – at least to the right man.

  • L2Brennan

    Michael…I like this so much I’ve made it a permanent note on my FB profile, printed it to hang in our daughter’s room and saved I’ve also saved this to our daughter’s email folder for future reference (our daughter is 8.5 y/o). Only one observation to add….where are these girls’ Mothers (in addition to their Fathers)?!

  • gardenlobster

    It would be great if those guidelines worked in the real world. Let’s face it – whether you’re in a bikini, a business suit, a burka, or a space suit, if you’re a woman your body will be objectified and the eyes will go to certain places on your body because the beholder hasn’t been told that you have worth and value as a person. Granted, virginity shouldn’t be shamed and the desire to cover one’s body isn’t a bad thing, but remember you said it yourself: misogyny. What you are witnessing is the self-objectification by women who are misogynists themselves, who live in rape culture. They are trapped in the matrix, while believing they have choice – the choice is false. They dress to gain approval through their sensuality because they view themselves as mere objects and that is their only value and purpose. Instead of teaching girls to dress modestly, how about teaching boys not to objectify? How about teaching them it’s a lie that they can’t control their urges? How about teaching them that rape culture is a thing and it stops with them? How about teaching them that even if you find a person attractive, they have value as a human being? How about teaching them that the gender or sex they find the most attractive does not HAVE to conform to any standard of beauty, that if they don’t find them traditionally attractive the person is still a person, and that no matter what age, race, size, biological sex, sexual orientation, social stature, occupation, sexual expression, or disability status a person is a person is a PERSON is a valuable soul worthy of respect??

  • Pam Taylor

    This is great, Michael. Thank you for sharing this now…with summer upon us. Seems like the time of year when modesty is not a priority anywhere. My heart goes out to the men that are trying to guard their heart and their eyes. It must be very difficult!

  • Bree

    I agree with what is written here..to a point. But why, as a women, do I have to cover myself so that men won’t “stumble? Do these men not have any self control? If I am constantly policing my wardrobe to protect men from their out of control sex drives, am I really helping men? Or am I allowing them to be complacent by placing the burden of self control on women? And alternatively, evangelical Christians tend to ignore the fact that women also have active sex drives that are visually stimulated. Perhaps seeing a shirtless man cause me to stumble, but no one would dare tell a guy to cover up. Their is a double standard here and it needs to be addressed.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Look, I wrote this as the father of five daughters. It isn’t a piece in a journal or even a magazine. It’s my personal experience. I don’t disagree with what you have said; I’m just not the one to write it.

      • Brianna Gipp

        Oh, that is such a cop-out. It doesn’t matter if it’s in a journal or a magazine. You still posted it publicly and people are allowed to comment on it.

    • Jo W.

      How about showing respect for yourself and your future husband in a manner that is pleasing to God? I don’t dress modestly to protect other men. I do it to honor my husband. I don’t want to draw unwanted attention from other men (attention that may get me into trouble and will cause problems in my marriage) because that attention has been placed under the role my husband fulfills. It is his duty to provide me with that attention and it’s my duty to guard my heart. Covering my body is a great way to do that. I am respecting myself, respecting my husband and respecting God, as well as teaching my daughter to be modest and my sons to find a modest wife, when I take a look at the “stumbling block” I may be putting in front of other men. I wouldn’t want an immodest woman tempting my husband, what right then have I to do that to another woman’s husband (or future husband)?

  • Kathryn Andrews

    I agree with your points, but I also want to point out that men can dress immodestly too. For either gender, if your clothes are showing every detail of your body (and especially parts that should be kept private) they’re not modest. As a mother of daughters and sons, I’ve had to have this conversation with both boys and girls. My son is growing into an attractive young man, and he’s gotten just a little too fond of skin-tight shirts that show his muscles. It’s not modest, and he needs to learn to think about how he dresses just as much as my girls do.
    If your clothing is being used to brag about how rich you are by conspicuous designer labels and outrageous jewelry, you’re not being modest, you’re being a showoff. Don’t get me wrong, I like to wear well-made clothes when I can afford to, but I don’t like to use my body as a walking billboard for some clothing company. It’s another form of exploiting people’s bodies for money. Is the first thing you want someone to learn about you when they meet you “they buy their clothes at ____ store?”

  • Jaime

    Good stuff! Only the last “probably”, should be a “definitely”!

  • Norman Simpson

    May we address this subject from a spiritual/Biblical perspective? When we pray over writing a
    tract and publishing it to be passed out or write an article to be published it
    is with the intent and purpose to be an extension of God’s love to all that
    read it. This is part of our work through the Lord as a weary traveler just as
    Jesus was walking through Samaria, being a human he stopped at a well for rest and refreshment of water. He told a woman who also came to get water at the well that “we worship what we
    know, for salvation is from the Jews.” He had hopes concerning her, what
    she would have done if she had known him; to be sure she would not have given
    him such a rude and uncivil answer; this was her day of visitation. That time was
    a period of transition from the Law of Moses to the dispensation of grace and
    truth which came by Jesus Christ and now salvation is offered to the entire
    world in him. Many who read the writings, if they had known the gift of God and
    who it is that inspired everything in reaching them; they would have asked to
    give them this living water.
    Both women and men of purity should practice
    modesty of dress and behavior (1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:2-5). The Scripture
    teach a great difference between feminity and masculinity as to dress. In the
    law given to Moses it was stated: “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 an abomination unto the Lord thy God.” (Deuteronomy 22:5 KJV). The desire to emulate men in dress has also seriously affected the fine and noble characteristics of
    womanhood. Often it take a second glance to determine the sex of a person, due
    to the distorted and strange garb many women are wearing, and the close
    proximity of their entire attire to that of a man. This is called an
    “abomination” by the Scriptures.
    In America, many women wear apparel
    that closely resembles that of men. Some women come to church in culottes and
    gauchos so tight that the brothers standing behind them have to concentrate on
    resisting the devil while trying to “lift up holy hands” unto the Lord. Culottes
    are garment that hangs like a skirt, but is actually pants. Also described as a
    split or divided skirt or any garment which hangs like a skirt, but is actually
    pants. Gauchos are a wide, calf-length trousers modeled after the trousers
    worn by South American gauchos (cowboys). They usually have a high waist cut
    and loosely tapers from the thigh until a few inches below the knee. More
    importantly, they are related to a uni-sex spirit that is an abomination to
    God. Sometimes it’s hard to see the big difference and at other times it’s
    obvious. Sometimes they just look like oversized, wide leg pants which
    sometimes are known as palazzo pants. Semantics! The women’s fashion industry
    commonly takes words that have historically been used to describe men’s
    garments and uses them to describe an entirely different garment, often
    creating confusion among historians and history students and readers. So, in
    conclusion, culottes look more like a skirt, it’s only when you separate your
    legs that you realize they are not a skirt. Whereas gauchos, are more of a
    cropped pant, sometimes wide leg shorts, if they are the shorter version. The
    fashion of this world passeth away but he that doeth the will of God abideth
    forever. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the
    world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all
    that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the
    eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the
    world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God
    abideth for ever. (1 John 2:15, 16 and 17 KJV) Do not deceive yourself, reader,
    in the belief that you can continue to wear things which the Word of God
    forbids, and still be a spiritual person, filled with the grace of God. It is
    impossible. God’s children are to be “obedient children, not
    fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance.”*

    How often we meet professing Christians who are
    living in open violation of this part of the Bible, and who, when we mention
    the fact to them, are ready to excuse themselves, saying, “Oh, these things are
    not in my heart”! Well, if they are not in the heart, then why are they carried
    about on the person? When we enter the city and see a display-sign outside of a
    store, we naturally expect to find the goods thus advertised kept in stock in
    that store. Now, we know that proud people manifest their pride in their dress.
    If you are humble in heart, free from this worldly abomination, and do not wish
    to be mistaken for a proud person, then take down the sign. If you think these
    things are not in your heart, then it will be a very easy matter for you to
    prove it by obeying God’s Word and removing them from your person. When you
    undertake to do this, however, you may find, as thousands of others have found,
    that the love of such things goes deeper than you have ever imagined. Your
    teeth may rest so easily in your mouth that you seldom think of them; but when
    the dentist attempts to remove one, you become painfully aware of the fact that
    it has long roots and draws hard. Similarly you may be so accustomed to wearing
    worldly adornments that they seem perfectly natural and easy, so that you are
    deceived into thinking that they are all on the outside; but when you attempt
    to obey God’s Word and discard them, you will find that they are rooted in your
    affections and reach down deep into the soul. But Jesus says, “If
    a man love me, he will keep my words.”* “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I
    say?”*
    Others wear dresses so short or form-fitting, with splits so high
    or necks so low, that some churches stock shawls and mini-blankets for their
    sisters to cover up with. And similar comments could be made about the way some
    Christian men dress. The fashions of this world for both sexes, but especially
    for women, are generally immodest and indiscrete, having been created under the
    influence of the spirits of lust and sensuality, and as such, should not be the
    standards adopted by Christians “professing godliness.” What you wear as a
    Christian does matter, and God does care about the issue. This is because
    one’s external physical appearance is usually an indication of one’s internal
    morality: Placing one’s self on Sex appeal display is a moral decision
    associated with one’s inner moral and emotional state. If God didn’t care about
    this, He would not have given us any principles of instruction about modesty
    and Sex appeal in His Word. Practical purity involves not only dress, but also
    carriage and comportment. Flirting is a behavior that is contrary to purity. Purity
    teaches both sexes how to carry themselves “modestly,” so that they don’t
    behave in ways that are Sex appeal, even though the world may not care and may
    not know such behavior has Sex appeal overtones. A lot of what we do in our
    society today emanates directly or indirectly from the spirits of fornication,
    lust, and sex appeal looseness. For example, notice the common behaviors listed
    below, all of which are just fine by the world’s standards but contrary to the
    principles of modesty and propriety: sitting wide-legged and provocatively
    (women and men),
    taking up various positions in front of the opposite sex, omitting pieces of
    clothing no longer deemed important by the world, discussing certain sex appeal
    topics in mixed company, coarse and indiscreet talking.

  • Schop

    A great worship leader I know gives his team a simple admonishment:
    If you look at yourself in the mirror before church and think, “dang, I look good!” You need to turn around and change!

    • RustbeltRick

      Why is that good advice?

  • Elisabeth M

    Hey, I wanted to weigh in on your Guideline Number Three. Please be aware that this guideline is actually not in anyone’s power to follow, because none of us can control the behavior of others.

    Many, many women experience the daily harassment of being ogled for no reason other than that they are female. It’s not at all uncommon to get leered at and objectified – no matter what they’re wearing. For women with extreme curves, adhering to modesty guidelines is an exercise of shame and futility: some women have body types that makes it seriously impossible to wear ANYTHING that doesn’t accentuate those curves. Short of a sheet. Maybe even a sheet.

    I want to bring your attention to this because it’s an easy thing to overlook unless you’ve experienced it. Objectification is something women deal on a daily basis, whether they’re adhering to guidelines such as your own, or not.

    Point being, we should never ask ourselves, or each other, to control what other people choose to do. It’s the very definition of an unachievable goal. If you’re a woman, and you’re standing next to an objectifying creep who thinks of women as objects, you are going to get ogled. And that is not your fault, or your responsibility.

  • erin r.

    It’s also possible that these women know what your concept of “modesty” is, and simply chose not to engage. Slut-shaming these women (and not that their sexual history is any of your business, but there’s no way for you to know it) by the way they dress is more misogynist than Russell Brand’s comments. This is just more patriarchal “I’m a man and therefore can’t control my eyes” nonsense.

  • Brianna Gipp

    You, sir, are in no position to be calling anyone out for misogyny.

  • John Patrick Lichtenberg

    I would suggest not telling girls what to wear. Modesty culture is why we have rape culture. But by all means, do whatever you want.