Saturday, June 30, 2012

the trouble with looking sexy.

it's summa time. and it's hot. really hot. temperatures in triple digits which means, everyone's clothes just melt off.

what?

ya, because people don't wear a lot of clothes in the summer.
i am slightly sensitive to this, as... well, you know our story. my husband had an affair and i am tender to the effects of clothes-less women have on men. not to say this is what caused the affair AT ALL. but after many-an-honest conversation, i see how much work it is to keep his mind pure. so i feel like i should address some things concerning our dressing skills. or skillz, if you are under 18.

and i'm not talking to non-believers here. i don't expect everyone to take this to heart if they don't know the Lord. if you don't know Jesus and you like to dress half-naked, the issue isn't your outfit, there's a much larger issue to discuss. God wants your heart. the outfit change will come later.

what i am concerned about is christian women wearing outrageously sexy things. in the public arena. girls night or on a date, at the pool or at the mall, at the gym or at the strip club. just kidding on that last one.
and ya, this a super touchy subject and addressing it can be seen as being judgmental. i totally get that. i don't like being told that my favorite dress or t-shirt isn't going to cut it either. but we're all in this together. let's quit avoiding the topic and straight up look it in the eye under a biblical umbrella.

if our chief goal in this life is to glorify Christ with everything we have: our minds, our bodies, our activities, our words, everything...then why do we act as if we haven't encountered Jesus when we slip on the skimpy bikini, workout outfit, dress, deep cut shirt?

there is a disconnect.

worse than that, we are taking part in spurring on lustful thoughts by others. while we think we're harmlessly getting less tan lines, other people are slapped in the face with our body.

by no means is it our fault that they are having lustful thoughts, it is their own heart. but why do we throw logs on the fire? why do we you take part in that act of drawing their heart towards sin.

honey, what's it like for a guy. like at a swimming pool or something?

nato looks at me like...really? you want to know?
no, i kind of don't. because it might make me feel bad about my outfit choices.

nato says: if i'm a guy that's not training my mind to be pure and i'm struggling with lust and pornography(and if studies show that that's 70% of guys, then that's a lot of men!), then i would be LOOKING for women to stare at. and i would probably watch them basically the whole time and keep their image in my brain for a while. it's gross and embarrassing but it's true of men in this situation. 
if i see someone half-dressed, i turn away immediately and do not do a second glance. but that's taken a lot of heart change and training and praying. 

it is baffling that we, who are followers of christ, "strut our stuff". why are we strutting? do we need attention? find your self worth in Christ who is sufficient for all your needs, even your deep need for approval and to feel affirmed by men or women. give that up for something that will satisfy your soul. not leave you wanting more. you will never get enough attention and affirmation to make you happy.

if you are a skinny winner/have a rockin' bod, i applaud you. but being healthy and vibrant and in good shape is to honor Christ. to have energy to accomplish His goals. our clothes don't accomplish much and will never. they can, however, tear down very quickly.

some of you are like. great! i have to wear a potato sack!
or like it's my fault that they are like that?!

don't get defensive on me. sometimes we christians work in extremes. it's this OR that. instead we can say, it isn't our fault when people choose to live in lust or cheat or whatever...
A N D
i will not be a stumbling block for my brother.

don't hear me saying that you need to burn your  super cleavage shirts and throw away your G-strings. i love my american flag g-string... my husband was just like...where is this magic?! ya, i don't have one, babe. lo siento.
so keep those crazy things for the bedroom not the local pool my friends, your husband will thank you and so will mine.
i only ask that we all take a look at our clothing and ask ourselves if it is God honoring. i don't want you to think you must look homely or unattractive or that you can't feel pretty. i don't want you to hear me saying that there is a dress code and it's this magic list of can and can-nots.  but what is going on in our hearts that we would need attention from others so much so, that we disregard honoring our fellow sisters in christ, brothers in christ, and our savior?

it is not just a sexy outfit that makes you "feel good about yourself", it is generally so much more. is it your need for attention? is it saying to God that He is not sufficient for you? is it you asking for affirmation in the wrong places?

for me, if i'm wearing something like this...those questions are good for me to ask.

and i say that i'm struggling right along side of all of you. i am guilty of dumb outfit choices. i am guilty of playing a role in putting a stumbling block in front of people. i'm not perfect, i don't have all the answers on this and i for sure need to work on it too.
but is is on my heart and i need to be honest about women who follow Jesus while our outfits say something completely different. it's happening everywhere, even in my closet, and it needs to stop.

let us find our worth and value in the Person of Jesus Christ, not anything else. let us be confident in the beauty of God shining through us so that we need not use our bodies to show that we are worth something. outer beauty is fleeting! stop chasing it.
  
proverbs 31:30
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

now read part 2 of the trouble with looking sexy

p.s. i welcome comments even if you don't agree with me. everyone has an opinion and probably some of you will disagree with me. we can still be friends.

113 comments:

  1. Thank you for this reminder. It's so easy to fall into the trap of what society defines as beautiful, and often times it includes baring lots of skin, tight clothes, etc. The "keeping up with the Jones" doesn't just include material items, but but how we look, etc.

    As the temperature rises, and my desire to wear less clothing for keeping cool, I will look at my wardrobe with a different eye. I wouldn't want to help anyone else stumble.

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  2. This has given me some food for thought, thank you! I'm just beginning (or perhaps getting reacquanted with) my spiritual journey and this is certainly something I had never thought to consider. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

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  3. Thanks for this! And for introducing me to Shade clothing, will definitely be doing a little shop there as soon as the budget allows!:)

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  4. I love this message. I wish, wish, wish we could get young girls to understand this. The SHORT shorts are killin' me. I don't know why our society keeps encouraging this skimpy dress for teens. So sad.

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  5. Thank you so much for your boldness in addressing this issue! I agree a hundred percent, and so would my husband, father, brother, and best guy friend. Not even exaggerating. We as women can't take responsibility for men who have a problem with lust, but where there is a problem we can contribute to it immensely. We can also make it extremely difficult for our Christian brothers who want to maintain a pure heart to do so. It really troubles me to see the way Christian women dress these days... It's hard to stay quiet about it, but a lot of women can't stand being told they can't dress a certain way. I think Every Man's Battle should be required reading for every woman who wants to live with eyes open about what it means to help our brothers walk in holiness.

    I'm sorry if that's offensive, really. But the fact that I, my husband, and everyone else in the world can see what kind of underwear you're not wearing under your butt-tight shorts is a little offensive to me, too.

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  6. Hey Jami,
    I struggle so much with this idea, not because i don't agree ( i dooooo ) but because i have no concept of how it exactly goes into play. I come from a really loose (strippers and prostitutes in the fam, not EXACTLY great models of modesty), latin background. I wonder about things like cultural boundaries and what is/isnt appropriate or sexy. Because SO MUCH of what I like or think is cute of fun to wear, others might see differently.

    And i like clothes. A lot. they are NOT more important than people, but I want to enjoy outfits and not make someone stumble, inasmuch as I can help it.

    Also, i've recently gone from a size 12 to a size 6, and I'm pretty fit, and I don't think I understand, yet, what I look like or what "fits" anymore. So it's all a big mishmash as far as knowing what vibe I'm giving off.


    ::sigh:: I just wanted to say thank you for your words and the encouragement, especially putting it into the context of "that's 70% of men!" It's a good word that I need to keep caring, even when I feel like I'm no closer to understanding than I was before.

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  7. So true. Thanks for sharing and for the reminder. "You'll never get enough affirmation or attention to make you happy", so true! Now, can you please blog on why Christian women shouldn't read "Shades of Grey." Pet peeve.

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  8. Thanks for sharing and thanks for thee reminder. "You'll never receive enough affirmation or attention to make you happy", so true! Now, can you please blog on why Christian women shouldn't read "Shades of Grey?" Pet Peeve.

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  9. Thanks for sharing and thanks for thee reminder. "You'll never receive enough affirmation or attention to make you happy", so true! Now, can you please blog on why Christian women shouldn't read "Shades of Grey?" Pet Peeve.

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  10. I'm not a commenter in general but I follow your blog faithfully and I really appreciate the non-fluffy stuff you have to say. This post was simply fantastic and I posted it on my facebook page because I think every girl should read it (I hope thats ok!). Thanks for keepin it real.

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  11. YES.

    Jami, I love all your posts, but particularly appreciate this one. I wrote something on moms and modesty recently and I think I need to add that non-followers of Christ don't need to fall into that category. Thanks for the reminder.

    Christian women (myself included) need to remember this one!

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  12. Jami, I applaud you for sharing what is on your heart and also for sharing from the Mr's perspective.

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  13. Thanks so much, Jami! I think "these days" [insert old lady voice] people get focused on the freedom we have in Christ but use that freedom as an excuse to ignore the affect their choices have on others. I love hearing about your beautiful family as you blog. Thanks again for sharing your heart in this great post!

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  14. Thank you so much for your and Nato's honesty, Jami. As a fellow woman who has been wounded by sexual sin in a man I love's life (and healed, praise God!), I am keenly aware of this issue. This is a hard truth for many of us women to swallow but prayerfully this would be a reminder or a light bulb moment for many!

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  15. Woah i really need to hear this and look at my heart. I honestly struggle a lot with this issue. My dear husband is not a natural affirmer of any sort and i crave his affirmation. I feel that i am so needy for it that i will (if im being honest) conciously dress in a way that asks to be noticed by him (but honestly anyone i think.) i think i try and justify it as ok because it is "for" my husband... But the need for his attention is really a deeper issue. Thank you for the slap on the hand here. Why do i crave the affirmation of anyone (even my husband) more than the approval of my Savior? Goah it hurts to be honest about the state of my heart, but i thank you for this timely exhortation.

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  16. Thank you for the great article.

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  17. Thank you for the great article.

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  18. A to the MEN times 10 billion and a half!
    modesty is a big deal around here, and we do not do the swimming pool at all. i don't want my boys to see that and i don't want my girls looked at, either. it's shorts and a t-shirt.
    that may sound extreme, but the wickedness of man's mind is far more extreme than even i can imagine(which you well know).
    this is so spot on...and i am SO guilty of this, too. i find myself wanting to look good or choosing an outfit out of pride, instead of looking for Jesus' approval.
    i NEEDED this..thank you so much...i am passing it along, too.

    praise God for your heart and boldness to share it.
    amen, amen and amen.
    xoxoxo

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  19. no not agreeing here. preach it sister friend.

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  20. BAM.
    thanks for writing this! praise jesus for this reminder.
    our husbands, dads, brothers...they all need us to help them in this way!

    i LOVE you.

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  21. well, lady. i will say something. this? thank you.

    my husband has always been super protective, always telling me when my junk is showing. because it's for him and he doesn't want anyone else looking at it. the thing is i've always had a horrible body image and i used to wonder: who is even looking at me?

    after 11 years of being a wife, i have learned a bit more about how men's minds work and i have learned that there is always someone looking.

    you are right. it's an issue of Who we are representing and Who we draw our worth from. if it's about Christ? everything changes. so, thank you.

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  22. wow...great post! recently just went on a trip to vegas with a couple of "christian" ladies...(it was a girl's trip!) i was kinda shocked at how vegas brought out the...um...how do you say...hoochiness??...in them. i'm sure after the trip they talked about me as the "debbie downer" i didn't go to the club (we are all married) just because i didn't want to put myself in that type of situation...i know what goes on in clubs...i was once a raver!! haha! then when we went to the pool i stayed in my little corner pretty much covered up the whole time while they were in the pool, bikinis and all talking to guys. i'm not perfect either and from time to time i'll ask myself if what i'm wearing is too revealing but after this trip it really made me realize the importance of how your clothing (and behavior) really affects men. kudos to you and this post!!!

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  23. this is amazing. you are amazing. amen to every single thing you said. just talked to the young girls I lead at church about modesty & picking the appropriate swimsuit for our upcoming beach trip. might need to borrow a few of your lines :) thank you for always be so darn transparent!

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  24. well said. beautiful written. thanks for this...i love your honesty. i have read lots of your marriage posts...incredible. Great to read about how God carried your family thru this difficult time. I am in the midst of pain, thank you for sharing how God has worked in your life.

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  25. Thanks Jami. Love this post and whole heartedly agree with you. As a mother of three daughters aged 16,14,12 I am constantly battling what has become the community norm- baring the cleavage to the world. I am blunt with my girls- no man should be seeing their chest. And you're right, we have an obligation to NOT put stumbling blocks in front of others. Thanks.

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  26. Love this post! You are so right and I have been saying this for YEARS! I'm sharing this on FB! Kudos to you for standing up for what is right! (High Five!)

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  27. I 100% disagree. How people lust after others is subjective. Stop wearing Low cut shirts and they'll just find something else to lust after. Think back 100 years when seeing a women's ankles was considered too sexy. Are ankles sexy? No. Not being able to see them is what made them sexy. Breasts are not sexual organs...they are baby feeders. We make them sexual be defining them as something you shouldn't see. Why aren't men's nipples considered to sexy for the swimming pool? Because society doesn't define them as being forbidden to see. ALSO I'm tired of women taking the blame for others' lustful thoughts. When I'm at the pool I don't stare at the young sexy guys. I play with my kids, I talk to my friends. It's not up to that muscular 20 something hunky lifeguard to wear a tshirt because some bored unhappy housewife might fantasize about him instead of her husband. That is HER problem...not his. Sorry, but If my husband can't stop staring at other women...it's his issue. Not theirs. He needs to look deeper in himself to see why he can't control his own desires. jMO.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Someone who finally has some sense on here... honestly I'm kind of disgusted by some of the misogyny I see here.

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    2. Thankyou, I was thinking the same thing. I thought I was in a parallel universe there for a minute!

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  28. too funny. i got dressed up tonight because I have a girlfriend in town and we're going out to dinner with a college friend. now that I have kids, i never go out! but here i am ready to go and every other minute i'm thinking about my outfit. and i mean i even have long shorts on, BUT is my tank top just a little too low cut?? just couldn't decide....totally borderline. sadly, i was excited to feel like i look attractive tonight. let's be real, it's been like two days since i've been able to fit a shower in with babies crawling around. but here i am sitting with ten minutes to kill before i get picked up and decide to flip through some blogs. and here i land on yours and think, hmmm, okay looks like God is trying to tell me something. so back to the closet i go!

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  29. Jamie, yes yes yes! i love this post! I am a 21 year old female college student who loves the Lord. MAN is it hard to choose the clothes that don't cause other to stumble when 'everyone else is doing it' (and I will be first in line to say i am totally guilty of wearing things that are not honoring of the Lord). thank you so much for this encouragement and the reminder that while its so tempting to choose unwise outfits in order to 'compete' in the college scene, it's simply not worth it! thank you for addressing this...not many people will call Christians out and we need more women like you who will keep us accountable and speak truth!

    p.s...i hope you are mentoring someone! all your wisdom would be so beneficial to a young woman. and if you're looking for a 'mentee' from ohio, let me know :) LOL.

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  30. Thank you for this amazing post. I often fall short when trying to compare myself to those who seem to rock the hard bod and trendy clothes. I love your honesty and courage to share what god has laid in your heart.

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  31. I love your post. Your words are beautiful and true - hard hitting but necessary.

    I think I can so easily expect that living like and for Jesus will be easy. But the life of Jesus does not show an easy call.

    Living up to a higher standard means putting up a white flag and surrendering. I've gotten to a place where I can finally say - I love Jesus more than I love revealing clothing, and I care more for my male brother in Christ than I do for clothes that live up to our cultures fashions.

    It's not easy. Sometimes it sucks.

    But Jesus is far more important
    than cultural comfort.

    Thanks for writing this. I love it.

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  32. Thank you for this bit of honesty, in the most grace-filled way. It's hard to explain this to young women (teens) especially. My husband and I work with them in our church and it's difficult to speak in a manner that is grace-filled and not legalistic. This puts it in a totally different perspective - it's not about a list of "should wears" or "should-not wears," but an issue of a brother in Christ struggling with his thoughts or his eyes.

    The best part is that the Holy Spirit does the work for us if we let Him! It doesn't have to be us striving, but resting in Him and letting Him work through us. Thanks for the good word.

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  33. BOOM!
    there it is.

    modest is hottest. that's my motto.

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  34. Amen. You are a wise woman and I'm thankful the Lord is using you to bring Him glory.

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  35. I have to agree with AKK on this one - those who lust will continue to do so regardless of what women choose to wear. how could we, as women, cover up enough and dress in clothes loose enough to eliminate men's thoughts about our bodies? it's impossible. While i tend to be conservative in my dress, it seems incredibly naive to blame clothing for a man's thoughts straying from where they "should be."

    I love to see women make choices based on what makes them feel great about themselves, but you are masking this as an argument for women to join together in a way that seems manipulative. I sincerely disagree with the suggestion that women need to "help" men overcome these "weaknesses" by wearing more clothes and consciously thinking of making themselves less suggestive.

    Women in my city hear catcalling in the winter when they are covered head-to-toe in coats and boots, so I really don't think lust is based on the visibility of skin, but rather it is based in men perceiving a desire for power over women.

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  36. i agree. completely. amen and amen and amen. the end.

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  37. ps. must share a link to this post on my blog. you are just too dang good. God is using you, girl.

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  38. I actually agree somewhat with those that disagree with your post. Men are not going to stop lusting just because more women start wearing more clothes (yes, it would be helpful) because they will always have other means to sastify that lust (computer etc...) I like what you said "by no means is it our fault that they are having lustful thoughts, it is their own heart. but why do we throw logs on the fire? why do we you take part in that act of drawing their heart towards sin." I think that is the key here for sure.

    I think that we need to be thoughtful about OUR motives for our dress. What kind of response are we hoping for? What are our thoughts about ourselves when we put on those clothes? Are we hoping to be noticed? Examining our hearts and having pure motives in our dress is a big part of the modesty issue. I really dislike this season for the sames reasons you stated Jami, and I am a 100 percent skirt bottom tankini wearing bathing suit kind of person. I am very conscious about what I am wearing and how much skin is showing. The thing is, you can look attractive without showing your whole body. There is a good balance there. Once, in high school, a boy at my youth group told me that he really appreciated the way I dressed. He said I was classy without being trashy and always modest. He said that he thought that was very attractive. I have always kept that comment with me to remind me that I don't know need to compete with anyone to show more skin or be more provacative. And I would much rather be able to be around the opposite sex and feel comfortable that what I am wearing isn't a blatant stumbling block.

    Good thoughts and definitely good discussion. I definitely need to take care in guarding my own thoughts and motives when I am getting dressed each day.

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  39. my husband and i don't care so much about what woman wear its what those women's daughters are wearing! its getting worse and worse! just last night while waiting for a seat at a restaurant a young girl walked by in daisy duke shorts and my husband was mortified! how will we teach our 4 year old daughter that is not acceptable!!

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  40. this post unsettles me. it reminds me of the muslim beliefs that your wife should be fully covered so not to tempt men. it comes across as blaming the victim. my husband thinks i look pretty so why wouldn't i wear a summery dress out to dinner with him? if your husband is looking is that my fault? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/28/natasha-smith-british-jou_n_1634847.html

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  41. Wow. You nailed it girl. And you just gave me a spiritual spanking that I needed. We need to check ourselves every freaking day. I know how hard it is for men to keep their minds and hearts pure so if I don't want other women to be a stumbling block for MY man, why would it be okay for me to be one for others? Its not.

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  42. Jami,
    I love this post. I think the main thread is to EXAMINE YOUR MOTIVES when you choose what you wear. What are you representing and why? If your heart is with God, then the answer's pretty cut and dried. It's easy to look attractive and even sexy without looking like you're headed to the Playboy Mansion.

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  43. I completely agree. Thank you for putting this out there. I think there are many women who just don't even think about. The notion of modesty and how the way we dress affects others doesn't even cross their mind.

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  44. This has been on my mind a lot lately.. just yesterday on the way to the pool, I brought it up again with my husband. Ever since becoming a mom, I've thought more and more about whether or not a bikini is appropriate for me or not. My husband doesn't really get my concern- he likes seeing me in it and frankly, I think he's a little proud of his wife. I don't really worry about him seeing other women (not our particular issue), but I'm not sure I'm totally comfortable running around in next to nothing with other men/husbands/fathers there. Sigh.

    Great post. Really, no one ever talks about this anymore. My mom talked about it ALL.THE.TIME when I was growing up, which is probably why I'm conscious of it. Anyway, thanks for putting this out there and for being so straightforward. Love your posts!

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  45. This has been on my mind a lot lately.. just yesterday on the way to the pool, I brought it up again with my husband. Ever since becoming a mom, I've thought more and more about whether or not a bikini is appropriate for me or not. My husband doesn't really get my concern- he likes seeing me in it and frankly, I think he's a little proud of his wife. I don't really worry about him seeing other women (not our particular issue), but I'm not sure I'm totally comfortable running around in next to nothing with other men/husbands/fathers there. Sigh.

    Great post. Really, no one ever talks about this anymore. My mom talked about it ALL.THE.TIME when I was growing up, which is probably why I'm conscious of it. Anyway, thanks for putting this out there and for being so straightforward. Love your posts!

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  46. Thank you for this poignant reminder. I struggle with this as I find myself baring more skin to seek attention and affirmation from my husband, but unwittingly at the expense of my fellow brothers and sisters.

    I constantly have to remind myself of how the Bible defines beauty and combat the lies of culture, even those flung at me by my own husband. I often justify my clothing choices to "prove" to myself I'm thin enough or pretty enough only to be left feeling disappointed.

    I'm reminded to take responsibility and ownership of this, especially since I see you and our family at church, and to make wiser decisions (and decisions based on truth). I appreciate that you didn't place 100% responsibility on us women, but offered instead encouragement that when we recognize this as a struggle for those around us, this is an opportunity to either help or cause them to stumble. I cannot love someone and continue to be their stumbling block.

    Thanks for your honesty and truth.

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  47. I agree completely! Thanks for being so transparent about it!

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  48. Scott says, "damn straight." :)

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  49. Jami, I love what you have to say about examining our motives. Spot on. Anything we place our worth in that is not Christ is an idol, and all of us are little idolaters from birth. I've had (and have) my share of approval idols, affirmation idols, acceptance idols, etc. And yes, a lot of those idols of the heart have translated themselves as body-image issues. My concern is that in dealing with modesty (which is a heart issue that is not exclusively related to how we dress) the Christian community puts too much emphasis on the whole "don't be a stumbling block" thing. My fear is that by constantly telling young girls to watch what they wear because their male friends will objectify them, we are ironically teaching them that that's all they are: objects. By putting so much pressure on how they dress, we're fueling the proverbial objectifying fire. Deciding how you dress should not be based on whether or not some guy is going to get aroused. Because like some other women have already stated, men, if they want to, can lust after a woman no matter what she's wearing. My husband has always said that very thing. I would bet that most affairs are not started at the pool, but at the workplace (or at church), where both people are dressed "appropriately". Modesty is so much more than how we dress. It's a character trait, and it comes from the heart. But I didn't hear that a lot as a young Christian girl. It was always "don't wear those shorts, be more modest!" Or "do you WANT the boys to stare at your chest? BE MORE MODEST!" Harping so much on the outward, physical appearance is, in and of itself, objectifying.It's like telling someone to not think about a pink elephant. "Stop caring so much about your body, young girl. Oh but also, think about it all the time because to guys, you're just an object!" There is so much room for discussion when it comes to these issues. I think the Christian community has done a lot of things wrong when it comes to handling sex and lust and physical appearance. I am still working through a lot of these kinds of issues myself. We all need so much grace in order to properly handle our "idols of the heart" matters. I do think that we, as adult women, need to be super mindful about how we dress. But I also think that we need to be super careful in how we talk to young girls about modesty.

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  50. whoomp
    there it is.

    i love when you get all deep on us.
    thank you.
    jesus loves you!

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  51. Amazing blog post! Thank you so much for talking about the tough subjects.

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  52. right on, jami. you said it so well.

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  53. I totally appreciate this. Right on. It's not about preventing guys from lusting, it's about honoring the Lord in our clothing choices. Preach it sista.

    Now...why don't you follow this post up with one on boob jobs and the christian?! Por favor.

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  54. I am not a Christian. I do read your blog. I hate public skimpy dressing too. I would hate to think however, that because I do not know Jesus, I would be lumped in with the ladies of the night et al. I know that is not what you said, but I never the less, got a funny feeling... Like a 'them and us'.

    I think this subject is about morals and self respect, which I understand (even as a non-Christian) is relevant to Christianity. It is however relevant to us heathens. Christians do not have the monopoly on leading good lives, you know.

    Back to the skimpy dressing, I think people do not realise how exposed they are in the summer. I live in SE Asia and as a pale skinned British woman I try and cover my pastey white skin (and my children's) so it doesn't burn in the equatorial sun. The choice of conservative clothing is limited and I often feel frustrated when shopping.

    Anyway. Thanks for sharing your stories. It must be hard for you to find security in your marriage again. I think you are brave, and your husband is a very lucky man to have you. I do not know if I could have been so forgiving. Food for thought...

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  55. Well written! I know most women struggle with this, including myself. It is hard to dress sytlishly yet modestly, especially for moms. I want it to be a part of my reputation that I am modest. Let's be honest...low cut tops and short shorts say something about you and your character, like it or not.
    1 Timothy 2:9
    likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control....ESV

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  56. Ross and I JUST had this conversation in the car last night! On the one hand, yes, anything other than a potato sack will be flattering to some extent. But on the other hand, let's cut the guys a little slack and show a bit of modesty! It's definitely self-respect on the girl's part as well. We are more valuable than the clothes we wear or the looks we get.

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  57. Jami, I enjoyed and agreed with your post but something was unsettling for me after reading it.

    Katie Mae Mckenna, you really filled in that gap for me! what you said was perfect! and is it just me or is it somewhat arrogant to think men are just constantly lusting after me all the time? sounds like a complaint that smells like a boast. I tend to believe how we dress says more about where we find our self worth and respect.

    either way it is something that needs to be talked about, especially those of us with little girls. thanks for the discussion!

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  58. Maybe men should stop going to the pool. If it is such a trial for them to see women enjoying and appreciating the skin they are in, perhaps they should be the ones to change their behavior, not women.

    I think this post borders on the concept of 'she was asking for it.' I know it wasn't the intention or even the point, but the suggestion is present and I think that notion is dangerous for all women, regardless of how they dress.

    If a woman is confident in what she is wearing and it makes her feel like a true and wonderful version of herself, it is nobody else's business what she is wearing. Least of all, a man's.

    Infidelity is an issue for all married couples and I don't think the solution comes from what is on the outside as much as what is on the inside. We are all, men and women, tempted by certain things in this world. If you can't overcome temptation within yourself, you never will--doesn't matter what someone is wearing.

    I like your blog a lot and I think your honesty is so brave and I truly respect you for that.

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  59. sorry that previous comment was from me not my husbands account :)

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  60. Jami, I enjoyed and agreed with your post but something was unsettling for me after reading it.

    Katie Mae Mckenna, you really filled in that gap for me! what you said was perfect! and is it just me or is it somewhat arrogant to think men are just constantly lusting after me all the time? sounds like a complaint that smells like a boast. I tend to believe how we dress says more about where we find our self worth and respect.

    either way it is something that needs to be talked about, especially those of us with little girls. thanks for the discussion!

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  61. As a 22 year old who wants to be in the world but not of it, it is so important to see women like you who are young, funny, resilient, and "look up to worthy" preaching the things we already know, but need to be reminded of.

    I hope one day your daughter will have someones blog to read and be inspired by.

    You are proof that we are preachers in any field of work we choose!!

    -Krista from igetmycraftyfrommymama.blogspot.com

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  62. As a 22 year old who wants to be in the world but not of it, it is so important to see women like you who are young, funny, resilient, and "look up to worthy" preaching the things we already know, but need to be reminded of.

    I hope one day your daughter will have someones blog to read and be inspired by.

    You are proof that we are preachers in any field of work we choose!!

    -Krista from igetmycraftyfrommymama.blogspot.com

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  63. Thank you so much for this! I'm still a teenager, but it sickens me how so many of my "Christian" girlfriends have been loosening their standards. I was talking with a close guy friend of mine and he was saying that as nice as they are as friends, he was going to have to cut ties with most of them because of the whole modesty issue! You're preachin' it right, sister. xo. michaela

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  64. I am, well let's just say I am still in my 40s (barely) :P. I've nursed 4 children (and could currently stand to lose around 50 pounds). A few weeks ago I ran out in one of my favorite maxi dresses, one that just happens to reveal a little too much of my ample baby-feeders. I've worn that dress for three summers now but on this particular day, I was acutely aware (and shocked) at how many men-- young and old --seemed infatuated by my in-your-face flesh. I was shocked and ashamed. Could not get home fast enough. I have not intended to put myself out there like that. I don't need or desire that kind of attention. I had not noticed it before. I mean, I'm ooold.

    I have worked with countless teen girls and young women over the past 20 years. When we *expose* ourselves thru our dress, on whatever level, I believe we do so out of our innate (unconscious?) need/desire to be known, to BE SEEN. Our souls are asking, does anybody see me? Am I valuable? Our hearts were made to be known. When Hagar ran away from Sarai (Genesis 16), God met her in her despair. The Angel of the LORD is identified there as "El Roi", the GOD WHO SEES.

    This post is just so powerfully true and beautifully said, Jami. Until we understand and accept that GOD SEES us and LOVES us with an everlasting love, we will continue to look for approval, affirmation and validation in people ( men!). May we all BELIEVE, take heed, act accordingly and teach (by example) our girls to find their worth in their Maker. Bless you Jami Nato!

    Sharmayn Stoves

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  65. Jami-- I don't want this to come off wrong because I agree with you but sometimes it is difficult for women to avoid this problem, not because society or whatever else says they should dress a certain way--that's a choice--but because that's the way their clothes fit on them and they don't have the money or whatever to go buy new clothes. I know you were not attacking me personally, but this is something that's been bothering me lately. Since I had my second baby, my baby feeders have become jumbo-sized and it's uber difficult to cover them all up, especially because I am often wearing a nursing tank top under whatever shirt I have on and since I only fit into so many shirts (and don't have the money to go buy others), a lot of times I wind up will major cleavage even though I don't want it. Again, I know this wasn't about me, I was just using my situation as an example that some girls just can't help it. That said, I agree that to the extent you can help it, you should since a Christian woman's focus should be on pleasing Jesus and serving others, not on attracting lustful stares from men or envious stares from other women.

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  66. Nice post Jami. And I love that you addressed both issues at the center of clothing choices- heart motives and honoring others! Like you said, no amount of attention or affirmation is going to fill the God-sized hole in our hearts. And though each is responsible for his/her own mind and thoughts, we have the opportunity to be one less stumbling block for others-- and Paul took this so darn seriously that in I Cor 8:13 he said he would never eat meat again if it caused his brother to stumble!

    May our love for God and others free us to this end!

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  67. I think this post is wonderful. I feel the same way when Christian women tell me that they have read the book series 50 Shades of Grey (which I could go on and on about because, seriously, you cannot convince me how that makes any sense what-so-ever). God commands us to honor our bodies and, as a woman, we should be sharing our bodies only to our husband. I don't think you have to be all crazy modest and throw away your bikinis, but I think we need to look at what we choose to wear and think about who we are trying to please with our outfit choices. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post!!!

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  68. I think this post is wonderful. I feel the same way when Christian women tell me that they have read the book series 50 Shades of Grey (which I could go on and on about because, seriously, you cannot convince me how that makes any sense what-so-ever). God commands us to honor our bodies and, as a woman, we should be sharing our bodies only to our husband. I don't think you have to be all crazy modest and throw away your bikinis, but I think we need to look at what we choose to wear and think about who we are trying to please with our outfit choices. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post!!!

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  69. A friend posted the link to your blog...right after I was done looking at pictures of young adult Christian girls...that my husband is also friends with on Facebook...dressed very sexy. I so badly wanted to text them and say..."Hey!!! I don't my husband seeing your boobs!" Christian girls!
    Anywho...your article was very encouraging.
    And can I just say, I wish I could be your friend..I mean in real life! I spent some time reading through your blog....and I love it.
    Funny, right now I am walking through a valley with my friends...I feel like in the majority of my friendships...I can't be honest...I can't really be myself. I am withdrawing..and I know that's not what God wants from me. Sinners being friends with sinners is a messy thing. I have to keep running to the cross and remember that Christ has loved me in all my yuck. I just wish I could be more open with my friends...in all the good, bad and ugly.
    BTW--I'm a white girl married to a Japanese guy too! :)_Ut will be 25yrs in August! We have three beautiful girls...21(married), 19, and 16. I love my husband to death! God has been so gracious to us. You don't happen to live near Orange County do you? ;-)
    Thank you for your blog. I have been truly blessed today and will subscribe!

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  70. Yes and thank you.
    Had my aha moment years ago and I wasn't even wearing anything sex-ay but realized if I cause a man to stumble then that is a terrible thing.
    It kills me when I see women dressed immodestly. You don't have to do it.
    Also, modesty is an attitude, not just how you dress, but how you act. You can be all covered up and be immodest in how you interact with men.
    Guard your heart ladies, guard your heart.
    Anyway, thank you.
    And at one time I did have an American flag bikini. Yeah, good choices.

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  71. I love this post. My husband and I have had TONS of conversations about this very subject and it went pretty much with the exact words of this post. I appreciate this post. I get that men can find lustful images anywhere but we, as Christ followers should NOT be that image, should NOT be that stumbling block. It really is an issue of the heart when we are. It really is all about honoring and glorifying God with our body and in turn honoring our husband. Love your honesty and boldness.

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  72. This is a post that needed posted, and I am "proud" of my fellow sister in Christ to be so bold to post it!!!
    As a wife of a man who admitted to me 4 years ago that he was addicted to porn, your words were so true and so needed in our Christian world today.
    Woman who love Jesus and are married or not should not be flaunting there bods to anyone but their husbands. It isn't honoring to Christ or to their marriage to do other wise.
    I know that there are woman who get all huffy about this issue, saying "Hey! Don't put that blame on me!!" and I would say it could be conviction that they are fighting against. I know that it isn't the gal with the shorty shorts and her chest hanging out all over fault that a man is lusting after her, but she isn't helping him that is for sure. It is harder for a man to think lustfully when they are surrounded by woman that are properly covered.( and I don't mean they are in a robe with head covered and no skin showing what so ever, I mean that they are not showing chest, a ton of leg and not showing off their shape with tight clothes)
    I know that so many woman just simply do not understand how men's minds work, and how much lust is an issue for them.
    If we are hungry and are not near food, don't see it or smell it is is easier to put our hunger out of our minds, but if your staring down a well dressed buffet full of yum looking food and you can smell the wonderful foodie smells, well then your tum tum starts growling and you can't think of ANYTHING but that FOOD, I suppose that is a way to think of how it is for guys, they have an easier time not lusting when it isn't right in their face.
    It is biblical to NOT be a stumbling block for any other believer, and that holds so very true for our brothers in Christ. And I know of plenty of men that say they wish that there sisters in Christ would "help them out" by not dressing all skimpy.
    I know my hubby has said the same things to me as your husband did when you asked him about the pool and about lusting after women, (yeah, ouch) that it is harder to think pure when the girl at the pool is in a skimpy swim suit or when the gal on the worship team is showing off her legs and chest. He has told me how hard it is to worship when all around you is woman in skimpy clothes.
    This struggle for him has gotten easier, but it will never be "cured" and I don't blame other woman for how they dress, I didn't fully understand the impact of a mini skirt or tube top on guys until we were battling this porn addiction and I was educated on how the male mind works and the affect of seeing a woman in next to nothing. I hope and pray for conviction for Christian woman every where, I hope that they would AT LEAST educate themselves on this issue and like you so well put, that they would consider why they are even dressing like that in the first place. Hey, I used to dress pretty yuck at one point as well, it wasn't until God convicted me of how I dressed and what that said about me as a follower of Christ, as a Representative of Him, it hit me that not only do I want to help my brothers in Christ as much as I am able to NOT lust, but I also want my sisters in Christ to take me and my walk with Christ seriously, and I wanted to be a good example to them as well.
    I know I am yakking on and on, But I am passionate about this issue as I have seen first hand the destruction that porn and lust issues have on men, wives, children, families and how much this issue is not talked about from our pulpits enough.
    Thank you more then I can say, for your boldness, your desire to be real and honest and for your faith and sharing it with us.
    God Bless my sister!

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  73. My daughter(20) wrote a similar article in her blog a few weeks ago... it's a struggle for all of us (even over 50)...looking nice and in style without looking hot to trot (is that showing my age?) or looking matronly/boring... 1 Cor 6:12-All things are permissible for me--but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me--buit I will not be mastered by anything. My version: "Just because it comes in your size doesn't mean you should wear it."

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  74. Jami I feel like you just crawled into my heart and saw all I have been struggling with. Its funny because last week I got all hot and heated over some girls who plopped their pretty much naked bodies next to my husband and family at the beach. It has been such an issue for me, and yes I struggle with body image issues. But this just really hits home with even what I wear to the gym. We are recovering from an affair and pornograhpy issues and even years later with grace, mercy, forgiveness, Jesus, and hard work, I still have issues that he is watching and lusting. I HATE it!! I will never look like that NEVER and I hate that others peoples issues can affect me so deeply. I want to just walk up and slap those women and others right. Often times like my affair we were appropriately dressed and nothing hanging out and we still landed where we did. but you have given me so much more to think about and pray about. Even more so to pray for the women who just hanging out there with their hineys and boobs because they are struggling too just like me.

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  75. Understanding the depravity of our hearts is when one can truly understand our motives and reactions. I'm responsible for me AND for my "brother". Thank you for speaking Truth and glorifying the Father in your words. Praise God for His Word that is alive and everlasting - Micah 6:8.

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  76. Found this on the FB-wall of a friend.
    I agree with al of this. Women should dress as lust-objects. But there's just one question that's hard to answer : what is sexy?
    I once visited my husband at work for an outdoor lunch in front of his office, dressed in a loose fit jeans and a simple t-shirt (with no cleavage showing at all) and a pair of hiking sandals. A real casual look, far from sexy as far as I know. Later that day when my husband came home, he told me that several of his male co-workers said 'You have a sexy wife, she is a knock-out'. Really? Me???
    I never wear short skirts or shorts, I feel very uncomfortable in those things, not to happy about showing off my sturdy legs. And those upper body parts are private property, for his eyes only!
    So, I guess, even when you dress modest men can go 'wow, she is hot' ........ but then, that's their responsibility, right?!

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  77. AMEN sister! I just hopped over here for the first time from a Facebook share and WOW did you ever put into words what I have totally been preaching to my girls and girlfriends! THANK YOU and I will be subscribing to your feed!

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  78. Not a whole lotta men commented. My wife and I have both struggled with this issue and with this new movie "Magic Mike", the comments I see on Facebook from Christian women shows me that they struggle just as much with this issue. I don't ever even joke about the looks of another woman, why give creed to it? If my wife doesn't feel like the only woman in my eyes, I've done something wrong. She's the one I married so I had better treat her like that was the best decision (next to Christ) that I have ever made. Guess what? She rewards me for that. Wink, wink!

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  79. I just read a fb post that said

    Dear ladies,

    Dressing immodestly is like rolling around in the mud. Yes, you may get attention, but only from the pigs.

    Sincerely,

    Men

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  80. jami,

    thanks for another wonderful post! i could not agree more. i realize some people might disagree, but the truth is that you are right on. it is easy to get in the ditch on either side of this issue....one being that it is all the guys fault and we bear no responsibility and on the other that women are totally responsible and should never wear anything other than turtlenecks and floor length skirts. there is a balance and i think you have found it. wearing a string bikini to the pool does not glorify Christ in the least. recently at our neighborhood pool there was a woman who was very well endowed wearing a bikini like that and my husband told me when we got home that he had to make an effort to not look in that woman's direction. if we are all believers and all unified in Christ, can't we help out our Christian brothers and show some modesty? i just don't get why Christian girls are running around half dressed?

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  81. Wonderful post! I talk about this stuff all the time and it just amazes me how so many women get defensive. My husband has struggled so much with porn and going to the beach is such a struggle. I think if some girls actually realized the thoughts that guys were having about them... maybe that would help?? My husband sharing how hard it is and how a guys mind is soooo different from a girls has taken my understanding to a whole new level and makes it so much easier to do a heart check before buying clothes.

    There are people I enjoy but can no longer invite to my house because of how they dress. It's the only safe place for my husband and my son and I plan to keep it that way.

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  82. This is well-put and honest, but gentle. I think the "Am I dressing for attention?" question is a good one. Thanks!!

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  83. First, your post fails to address some important differences. You are attacking those who you feel dress “sexy.” Your opinion and someone else’s opinion of “sexy” are not going to be the same. Perhaps you feel that a bare midriff and cleavage is sexy while another person feels that a cropped pants are sexy. There are so many comments on here agreeing with you because you are using a general term. I would naturally be opposed to someone wearing an uncovered thong in public, as would most people. In some countries, a woman’s hair showing is considered sexy and must be contained. A man will lust if it is in him to do so. If we were all covered up, he would still lust. Perhaps it would be a shiny manicure that sets his mind ablaze, or simply my perfume that is so provocative. While I do not dress seductively, I continue to be an object of sexuality to the male community. Even as a married woman, men will comment, whistle, dream and fantasize. I may look as a nun and receive similar treatment. There are those that are turned on by pregnant women, ear lobes, bare feet, freckles, large bottoms, red nail polish, red hair, exposed ankles, and on and on. I cannot control what another deems “sexy.”

    Second, should I truly be sorry that your husband thinks impure thoughts when he looks at other women? Does it make me less Christian (and I am a Christian) that I choose not to take blame because a man thinks me attractive? I am sinful for simply being born female? Shame on you. Perpetuating the woman-hating drivel that so many stand upon as moral grounds to vilify, mortify, and intimidate. If we are truly responsible for the impure thoughts and actions of others based on our looks, how is that we haven’t wrapped our children in woolen burka’s to prevent child molesters from seizing on their innocent beauty? Why do we not cover the bare naked parts of our animals to stem bestiality? Yet your attack is only on women. I saw no reference to men walking around with bare chests and shorts so low that their pubic hair shows. Why? Because women tend not to pass on blame to others when they have impure thoughts. I should think you false if you were to deny ever having had an impure thought. In that instance, did you tell the offending man that his sinfulness was making you sin? I have not seen you blog about any such event, so I should think not. Surely, it would be noteworthy.

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  84. Third, you are also trying to make “sexy” a bad thing. There’s sexy and there’s slutty. The two are certainly not the same, though some may think slutty is sexy. But all in all, what is so wrong with sexy? I certainly don’t consider myself sexy. I am 80 pounds overweight and definitely do not dress to show off my body but I also do not wear a potato sack. Any and all of my clothes fit me without being tight, and as such, my shape does show. There is nothing that I can do to hide a DD chest and a wide bottom, so then is it my fault that I still receive attention even as my collar is up to my ears and my skirt to the floor? Whether I consider myself sexy or not, I refuse to wear a potato sack. I could wear one, but why would I want to incite the men who love potato sacks? I love my kids, I love my husband, I love my God, I love my life and I only surround myself with people that lift each other up. And I am happy for that.

    I am sad for you, though. Sad that you would stand behind religion and on God’s toes to look down at your fellow women through the eyes of an injured wife. That you would place blame on other women for your husband’s infidelity and lack of self-control. That you don’t acknowledge in your blog that your husband’s thoughts and actions were his own. Not yours and not anyone else’s. It is unfair to use the Lord’s name in such a way as to lash out your anger and disgust. God is balm to a wound, the salt you spread is not. I have never read a passage that dictates that one should be shunned and disgraced by their appearance. Forgive me as I am a merely an imperfect human, but such does not sound like God’s will.

    Just as no one is responsible for the dirty thoughts in your husband’s head but your husband, neither does anyone have any control over your perception of other’s sexuality. Since you preface your post with “this will sound judgmental, but it’s really not,” you should know that all such prefaces are exactly what they proclaim not to be. “I’m not saying this to hurt you, but…,” “I’m not trying to be racist, but…,” “I’m not trying to be a jerk, but…,”etc. All of these comments are inevitably followed by an opinion presented precisely as what they are prefaced not to be. God's judgement is the only one that matters. You continue to post passages that you claim support your views, yet these are passages written by men - not God - and interpreted by you. If we all have such freedom to interpret the bible as we see fit, then your interpretation is no more valid than mine.

    An opinion is:
    1. a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
    2. a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

    “Your opinion of me is none of my business.” (Randy Pausch) And just so, it does not affect me nor does it shape who I am.

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  85. VERY well written. I completely agree!

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  86. wow! love reading all the comments. i commend you for writing about such a controversial topic. you are brave. i am not quite sure how i feel about all of it, but it is a good reminder to think before you head out the door.

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  87. Thanks for speaking up! I am passionate about modesty and purity as well. I have written several posts on those topics on my blog, ahumblebumble.blogspot.com. Definitely following your blog! :)

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  88. You have literally taken the words right out of my mouth. I once had a closet full of plunging neck lines to illuminate my bust. Then one day, Jesus and His will for my life eclipsed everything. The profanity ceased, modesty entered my vocabulary, and integrity pursued me with tenacity. I think we are all guilty of conforming to the culture of the "world" on occasion. We are empty vessels dying to be filled. A believer knows Jesus completes us and that nothing else comes close to what He can offer. When we allow this truth to take root in our hearts and in our minds, we are renewed and no longer walk in the darkness.

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  89. I happen to stumble across this blog by accident but it has opened my eyes. Firstly can I say, you are exceptionally brave in what you post and the honesty in which you express. Also you are hilarious. As a guy, I am genuinely shocked that it is ONLY 70%. I struggle with what your husband was saying and I do not know any guy, ANY, who never has at a time in their life. I just wish there was a higher percentage of those who want to do something about it.

    But people like you inspire me to better myself in every way so thanks for sharing. :)

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  90. as usual, i continue to think about your posts loooong after i first read them. this one has stuck with me and keeping the summa summa time dress code in check. thank you for sharing.

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  91. I rarely if ever comment on blogs, but I just have to say AMEN sister! Thank you for putting into words what so many people have been thinking for so long! Judgmental or not, most people are thinking this. I agree with everything you said and it needs to be said! I just think about the young daughters of these women who choose to dress like this and it makes me sad. Do you really want your daughter to grow up seeing you constantly needing this type of attention? Thanks Jami for having the courage to write this post.

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  92. jami- i love that you are addressing it and "the sheriff" doesn't have to be the only one. it breaks my heart to have to unfollow or defriend...disconnect FB altogether bc of pictures people share. i cannot comprehend how someone who is a new creation in Christ and has the mind of Christ can willingly be a stumbling block for friends or husbands of friends. freedom in Christ has nothing to do with flaunting body parts...we are fREE FROM the NEED to flaunt body parts not free to flaunt...you said it all. I needn't say more. insecurity is what it boils down to. whether people say it is bc they are comfortable in their skin or confident enough to wear certain things, it is damaging for friendships and marriages. bottomline. i am more comfortable in my skin than i have ever been, but i love my friends too much to be a stumbling block for them or their husbands. preach on.

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  93. I normally get kind of peeved with the discussion of stuff like this because I feel like us guys get portrayed as these helpless beings who lack the capability to not be stimulated visually by women every time they step outside the house, but your unique perspective gives her a pass in my mind though. But, it's almost like the acknowledged pervasiveness of this in our culture gives guys a crutch to suck at resolving their issues. I've been in so many small groups where guys go around and talk about "Every Man's Battle" without actually addressing or much less winning their personal battle. Some of the onus is on women, modesty, and culture... but the bulk of it lays on Christian guys being lazy and culpable in their own crimes.

    This isn't to cheapen the argument for modesty, I think both genders are guilty of not taking into full account God's direction in that sense. My old small group started a group Facebook chat the other day on the Magic Mike phenomenon and Christian women our age. There was just so much animosity towards it being "just a movie", when if guys in our small group went out to go see a movie based entirely around female strippers stripping, we'd be rhetorically crucified by women in the church and rightfully so.

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  94. my fiance and I had this exact same conversation last night. Such an important reminder for Christian women and men!

    Thank you for sharing your heart!

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  95. ohhhhh susannahhhhhhh.... perhaps you should make your own blog. looks like you have a lot to say on this.

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  96. Is that truly your response? A pat on the head and a dismissal of a differing point of view without discussion. For one that quotes the bible so voraciously, it would seem that you have never read the book of Daniel, or the story of Susanna therein. Susanna was a chaste and God-fearing wife and a daughter. She was beset by the elders of her town. They had lust in their hearts and turned their eyes from God to conspire against her. Since this was so long ago, I think it’s fair to say that there were no bikinis or deep-V tees to provoke this lust. In first their sight, Susanna was among the court, fully dressed, when they were first taken with lust. It was then that they sought her out when she would be alone. They watched her for a fit time, and saw that she would often walk in her garden and bath therein with her maids. They resolved to hide there as she took a bath and sprang at her when she sent her maids for bathing oils. They demanded that she lay with them or they would speak against her for the crime of adultery. Adultery carried a death sentence, yet she refused to lie with them. And so they spoke against her, accusing her of adultery and all the men and women of the town believed the elders, for they were elders and the judges of people. The elders ordered her shown and uncovered that all men might see her beauty and be consumed with lust, thereby condemning her and giving cause to believe the elders based solely on her God given beauty and desire it provoked in them. And so it was that Susanna would be put to death as an innocent woman, for the unsought lust of men. Fortunately, the story has a happy ending in which Daniel sees the deceit and proves falsehood in the elders. Susanna is saved and the elders are held accountable, paying for their crimes against God and Susanna with their lives. Even the bible shows that men are responsible for their own thoughts and actions, and that men who have it in their hearts to sin will do so whether it is provoked or not.

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  97. susannah,
    we can continue this over email if you would like. i'm happy to do it here, but my thoughts are all written out in the two modesty posts, so i basically have the same things to say to you here as i have written above. which won't satisfy you, it appears.

    i wrote no where in my post that it is a woman's fault that a man lust. i wrote that everyone is responsible for their own heart.

    yet God wrote verses in the bible that discuss our responsibility as well. hmmm, why would God want to discuss OUR responsibility in our clothing?

    why would God ask us to dress modestly? even the meaning and essence of modesty is not for ourselves. do we need to be modest with ourselves? oh no, better not see myself naked! no, modesty is dressing in light of others. we are dressing modestly because others are looking at us. they will look at us. humans have eyes. humans are influenced with their eyes. and ears. and noses. etc. does your mouth not water when you see a commercial for food, regardless of hunger? yes, we are constantly being influenced.

    in fact, we are broken humans that need boundaries and laws. we need the bible. we need to hear what it says about everything. even our clothing.

    knowing that, God gives us laws that help us mirror the Gospel. we lay down our lives for each other and we live selflessly. even in our outfits. God cares about what you wear! can you believe that? he wrote about it. i didn't make this up.

    i didn't tell you what to wear, i didn't say my husband cheated on me because of other people's outfits. that ridiculous. go back and re-read, perhaps. because my husband struggled with a sexual sin, we have been able to talk more openly and honest about men's struggles with purity! and that's how this post even came about. i was looking at some of my outfits and wondered what they are really saying about my heart. and i wondered what effects they have on men. so we talked about it and i shared that.

    this is my blog where i get to work out my struggles. i was saying, that you should write your own thoughts out on your own blog instead of leaving in a comments section where they will get lost. you obviously have a lot to say. in fact, you have written over 5 comments on these posts alone! lonnnnnng comments. angry comments.

    it is fruitless for you to continue to come back here and write angry and mean comments, one after the other, that are not covered in love. they are accusatory and unkind. there are many ways to engage in conversation with one another that can be fruitful and loving and full of grace. as God asks us to. was i mean in my post? no. i said, everyone, submit your clothing to the Lord. i don't know what it will mean for you. all i know is that we need to really take a good look at what it means when we are dressed outrageously sexy.

    i would ask that you pray over the next comment that you write. it seems that your words need more taming than your outfits.

    again, we can take this outside of a public forum if you would like. email seems more appropriate to really dig in, but perhaps this conversation will help others.

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  98. Contradiction of your ideas does not constitute hate or aggression. It is discussion. I say to you what I say in hopes that you will take a moment, yourself, to consider how generalizing and anti-female these two posts have been and are much more accusatory against women than my own. The YouTube video of the pastor discussing how men are afraid to go out in public because there might be women who dress or act in a way that fuels his desires is its own testament to the blame that is being placed on women everywhere. Never does he or you mention men dressing inappropriately. The women who post about keeping their husbands at home because that’s the only place they are “safe”? Many of whom are wearing deep-v tees and tank tops in their profile pictures attached to their posts. I speak because of the hypocrisy demonstrated being demonstrated. (Okay, that one was mean.)
    Quite frankly, I do not dress modestly because of others. I would not be naked if I were all by myself. It is a matter of personal comfort. I don’t like my bits and pieces touching each other (a little too much information, but there it is.) However, I’ll ask you this: Why were we not given clothes at the start if we were meant to have them? Does it all come back to woman as the original sin, yet again blaming us? I speak in defense of my gender and in protection of the beauty that God has given us. To equate beauty with sin is false. God created beauty. Is it different if an unattractive woman wears a g-string? Yes, that would be disgusting to others, not sexy. I don’t believe that could be construed as a stumbling block for our brothers. A g-string in different contexts creates very different responses. You would support your husband in his thoughts of a giant woman in a g-string, yet object to the thoughts he has about a sexy woman in a g-string. If you had simply said, “Everyone keep your underwear in your pants and your tops covered,” I would have had nothing to argue with. It would not single out women, it make presumptions over women who are continually made sexual targets despite how modest they may be. In fact, if you read through all of my posts to you, you will see that we agree very much with the exception of singling out women. That’s it. It’s not a struggle over religion. We can both quote the bible until we are blue in the face. That’s not the point at all.

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  99. I so appreciate this post. Thank you. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who thinks about this in my world and I start second guessing myself that I am just an "over" modest 30yr old. I completely agree that it is a heart issue but also it's good to be aware of how your dress affects others. Yeah we can't stop what guys do but we can help.
    When my husband and I were dating, I remember him thanking me for being modest, especially if we were going to the beach or swimming somewhere. I think as girls we look past the real struggle men have.
    Thank you again for sharing your heart. Love your boldness and honesty.

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  100. Hey Jami, Good job on your posts about modesty and dress. Have you and your husband ever read "For Men Only" and "For Women Only" by Jeff and Shaunty Feldhann? They are a MAJOR eye opener!
    I am frustrated on your behalf about the people who make comments about men having to control themselves. While this is true it's about time people realized that God made men waaaaay different than he made women! Men think about sex about 1000 times a day more than women. Know why? It's called TESTOSTERONE, and FYI it is also what gives us gals our libido. We just have a whole lot less of it. Men can and must help their immoral thoughts, but it is not easy for them, when I go to church and see girls scantily clad I just don't get it. So you want the guys to look at you instead of hear the Word????
    While my husband has kept his body for me, though I'm sure not always his mind, we also have had very frank discussions about this subject. He says when we go to a restaurant and our waitress has her bazongas out it is a FIGHT to keep his thoughts on me, and to keep them pure, he is always aware where she is and is stealing himself for her presence. I would ask the girls who posted comments here giving you a hard time, do you really really want to be that girl. The one making someone ELSE'S husband uncomfortable? Who cares if you are tempting him, you are making him uncomfortable. If you say I don't care about men's comfort level then, you are not acting like a christian and putting your brother first. If you say my husband is not the norm you need to do your research, he is not the norm, the norm is worse, the norm is that probably later on that night some guy is picturing you while he touches himself.

    I really just don't get the arguements! You didn't say wear a haasmat suit!

    Anyway I do have my own blog.... so maybe I will post on this one some day too, until then, hope this encouraged you!

    all the best!| Amy

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  101. As someone who clearly "doesn't know Jesus" this post is incredibly condescending and ignorant... I don't dress "half-naked" but I'd never judge another woman who does (yes you are being judgmental, even though you claim not to be...which by the way makes this post all the more ridiculous and patronizing).

    You are in effect blaming women for doing what they want despite the fact that men struggle to 'keep their minds pure' and can't help but stare 'lustfully' at female bodies (which by the way is not true, completely unfounded).

    I'm actually horrified that other women are taking this as food for thought...

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  102. Jami...
    thank you for posting this. i've hear the modesty talk many many times before, but it's always good to be reminded again. i strongly beieve it's a matter of the heart. you cannot separate your heart from your outward appearance. I never engage in this types of debates. I tend to feel that people who make negative comments already have their mind made up and just want to comment for arguments sake. (i'm not trying to assume people's motives, but i do think often words speak for themselves.)

    anyway i feel the need to make two comments...

    1.there was a comment made that this is anti feminine. i would argue that it is just the opposite. i believe we can be beautiful and feminine while being modest. the bible is the inspired word of God and it is him who calls us to be both feminine and modest.

    2. i get tired of hearing people say to christians not to judge. i think it's time to study what the bible actually says on the subject. yes the bible says that only God is our jugde, but it also says we will know them by their fruit. as believers we are supposed to see fruit of other believers. (that means judging their works) the bible even gives an outline for how to address people's sin in love in order to restore them to Christ. we live in a culture where no one wants to be told what to do or be held to any kind of standard, but we are to live according to what scripture teaches and not be influenced by the world.

    i know that this post is a couple days old and most people have already made their comments and probably won't be coming back. like i said, i just felt the need to address these points.

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  103. I loved this post, honestly. The only thing is deeming what is and is not appropriate is kinda subjective, ya know? I mean, it seems clear, but everyone seems to have a different line. Back in the day, my mom caught flack from the church ladies for the size of her earrings. Her EARRINGS, y'all! The rest of her outfit was modest, but she chose to have a little fun with the accessories. These days, I wear shorts, but I make sure I can bend over, squat, or whatever without showing the world my bun cakes. That's my criteria. Other folks would probably say my shorts are still too short. Some people don't even think shorts are appropriate at all, no matter the weather. I'm not saying we shouldn't try our best, but it can be a bit difficult and confusing to do so.
    Anyway, I hear what you're saying and I actively try to dress in a way that keeps me cool, but also shows respect for my faith, my marriage, my kids, and myself. I don't always get it right, but I'm doing my best.

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  104. I'm sorry, but I have to completely disagree. I grew up with this kind of teaching and I think that it is completely shame and fear-based teaching. You can only do things as personal evaluation and conviction from the heart and honestly this sounds like something you are trying to control in other people out of fear that your husband won't be able to control himself. There is temptation everywhere and if you teach "Christian" women that they must keep their body's concealed for the sake of others yet the hot half-naked non Christian sits beside her at the pool... I'm sorry if your guy has a lust issue- it's still going to be there- and then the Christian girl dressed in camouflage at the pool feels shame and/or judgement to the nakie woman. I think dressing as in everything else, comes from your personal conviction, don't get me wrong I think what you wear says what you feel about yourself, but this kind of teaching only promotes shame in a woman's body. It is completely misogynist to say girls you are responsible for everyone's sin. No one should have that burden. Pornography and "sin" are at the fingertips of every male anytime anywhere... and if they can't help themselves at the pool- they should not be allowed out of the house. I have felt the negative affects of this kind of teaching 5 years into my marriage today. And believe it only puts condemnation and shame on the shoulders of women and removes total responsibility from a man's will.

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    1. girlfran,
      first, go back and re-read...i'm not saying this because i'm insecure because my husband an affair. i said that because of our situations, we had many honest conversations about sex, pornography, and lust.

      second, your view is quite worldly and has no biblical backing. i did not once blame women for the actions of men and their thoughts. that is on them. wholly and completely, it is between them and God. but to say that you are not responsible for YOUR dress and YOUR heart in wearing a sexy outfit and YOUR effect on others is unbiblical. it is unbiblical to say that we are not in this together, that we do not take part in each other's burdens as a community of believers. paul says (1 corinthians 8:13), hey...if you're eating something and it causes another guy to stumble....STOP IT. lay yourself down and stop eating that food, regardless of your "personal conviction". why would he say that if we are all on our own and have no responsibility in putting a stumbling block in front of each other? because we do have impact on one another. studies show and the bible says.

      third, God asks us to be modest. (1 timothy 2:9-10) is he shaming women? is He a misogynist? no, you picked that up in the world. it sounds logical but it is foolish! God is kind and good and in his kindness asks us to refrain from dressing immodestly as a heart issue (because we are looking for affection and approval from others who can not fill our hearts) and as a community issue for our brothers and sisters (because we live in a community and are asked to live unselfishly).

      there is no need to defend dressing provocatively. absolutely no need. it does no good! let us find out hope in Jesus, not in a rebellious heart that will not submit to the call of Christ...who came to serve and not to be served. not in your outfit and certainly not in your freedom. not in our defense of being our own person with no responsibility to others.

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