Monday, July 2, 2012

the problem with looking sexy part DOS, players.

ok so find part 1 here.

you're like part 2? what, i thought you were sick of being called a misogynist? no, not me. 

but here's the deal, there are some remarks that deserve attention as they probably highlight thoughts that are running around out there and i think we should talk about them. here, come sit on my couch. don't sit there, i think that might by poop.

can i first say, that i love that we're having some pretty honest words with one another? some of you agree with me. some of you completely disagree, and some of you are in between. it is good that we are thinking about this and talking about it...keeping our hearts in check is a good thing. we are all in this is hard for me too and awkward to even bring it up. so i say this with a non-judgy heart and from the perspective that i'm working through this too and it's not easy.

so anyway, i read everyone's comments and i have thought about them. prayed about them. even the kind of mean ones, i really let it rattle around in my head. it is good for us all to be questioned and to know what we believe. it is good to take your ideas and beliefs and work through them in front of the Lord. so what hurt my feelings for a little bit, actually turned out to be a gift. i am more confident in those words i wrote earlier.

i'll be straight up and say, i didn't come up with the idea of modesty. neither did your mom when she told you to march right back up those stairs and find something else to wear, young lady! neither did the muslim religion or any culture that dictates dress harshly and innapropriately. 

God actually came up with the idea. in fact, he made the first outfits. 
that made me laugh. 
so when you fuss with me and say, everyone should be able to wear whatever they want, when they want around whomever they want! don't put your rules on me! i love God AND i wear sexy clothes. bam.

your beef is actually not with me. it is with Him.

1 peter 3:3-7
3 Do not let your adorning be external--the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear-- 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

this is not saying, literally don't braid your hair and put on gold jewelry. the context is that the women of the time were using their outfits to seduce. prostitutes especially. and God said, hey...quit dressing like that.  in my kindness, i'm saying, it's better for your adornment to come from the inside. from me. not from your suggestive clothing. people are thinking you're apart of the wrong crowd.
(jami interpretation)

1 timothy 2:9-10
9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness--with good works.

God says, hey ladies, you have it wrong. if you are calling yourselves Godly and wearing those outfits, there's a disconnect. if  you want to put something nice on, put on good works instead of your deep V.
(again, jami interpretation)

now why would God give us instructions like this?

because he is the maker of humans and we live in a broken and fallen world that is not perfection. because he cares for our souls and knows we are running towards something terrible.

he knows what our hearts gravitate towards as men and as women. you are hiding nothing from him when you put on that dress and say, i do this to feel good about myself, not to get attention. 

if this were the case, you would put on that mini skirt and do the dishes, with no one around. and that would do the trick. but no, let us be honest...for most of us, we wear the sexy clothes  OUT. to be seen. to be affirmed. we love approval of others.

now as far as our part in helping others stumble. boy did that get ya'll riled up! 

we can't be blamed for other's stumbling!
it's their problem, their heart, their deal...not mine!!
i'm not changing my life because i guy can't control his thoughts!

you absolutely can't be blamed for choices that other people make. however, as a christian and as a participant in a community of believers, that does not give you license to live as you please. paul said that if he is at a table and he knows something he is eating is offending someone, he won't eat it. he lays down his life for the other even though he enjoys eating meat. but is his love for meat greater than causing someone to stumble. no way! i'll never eat meat again if that's the case!, paul says. (1 corinthians 8)

and there are countless verses in the bible calling us not to be selfish in the way that we live. 

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. ( philippians 2)

likewise, we should mirror the Gospel to others in laying down our life for each other. it is laughable that Christ died for us, and gave up so much, and yet our hearts are so hard that we can't literally lay down our dress.

i love how the message version puts this:
philippians 2: 5-8Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

when our brothers come to us and say, this is difficult, this is what most men struggle with...and you look them in the eye and say, too bad, buddy. my clothes are more important than your struggle. not my problem. you're heart sucks. deal with it...

it's much like, if my best friend came to me and said, hey, i'm struggling with alcohol. you bring out the drinks every time i come over and it's hard for me. 

in general, your response (if you're not a robot) would be, oh gosh...i had no idea. thanks for telling me. we don't need drinks! no big deal. your health means more to me than something i like to do. 

then why are our hearts so hard towards our brothers when they tell us the same thing on a different subject?

on that same note,  when we say that our clothing does not effect others, we are essentially denying that we are human. humans are influenced constantly. it's why advertising works so well. it's why words have power to cause movements. it is undeniable. 

you have to power to influence others with your clothing. that's why it's called "suggestive" clothing. it talks! it yells! 

it is why pornography is a gazillion dollar industry. 
sex. sells. 
your outfit and lack thereof. sells.

i will not back down from that, ladies and gentlemen. it's not popular because it's not easy and worldliness is mixed into christianity all the time. but God calls us to something different. living in a way that adorns ourselves with the Love of Christ and not our love of the world, or fashion, or approval, or my culture, or comparison. 

where is your treasure, friends?

clinging to idols of approval and affirmation from others will destroy you. read the old testament if you don't believe me. well, the new testament too.

it is a hard word to swallow, friends. we live in a crazy world where even christianity looks the same as worldliness. i implore you to check your heart and bring your heart to him. repent and turn away from those things which Christ says will harm you.

moving on...

in other news, i am not a misogynist. i am perhaps a feminist by saying, you're worth is not found in your body! 

nor do i believe telling people to cover up their butt cheeks and breast-a-siz  are furthering objectification of women.
is God objectifying women when He tells them not to wear sexy clothes? is he not  sparing women from objectification when He tells her the truth about her clothing and helps her make a better choice to find their hope in him? likewise when i tell a young woman or any woman to dress modestly, i too am sparing them from objectification. i do want my daughter to think about her body rightly. and that doesn't mean that she should never think about how her body influences others. i do want her to think about the elephant in the room. 
we live in a fallen world. people want to look at her body! to deny that is a disservice to any woman. it is not her worth. but it is a reality.

anyway, i could go on and on about this, but i won't. 
i only ask that we prayerfully consider our clothing and our motivations knowing that in reality, our clothing choices can effect others and that our hope should be found in Christ and not the approval and affirmation of others. everyone's wardrobe will be different. that's why i don't have a list of what you should and shouldn't wear. decide for yourself. i'm not against tank tops or shorts or bikini's, i am simply asking us all to use discretion and to examine our motives for dress. and to say, that if i live in a community of believers that is all moving towards the same purpose, to glorify Christ, that means our clothes need to glorify Him too.

to my non-christian friend who was so bold to comment, i commend you for your commitment to modesty regardless of your religious affiliation. i wasn't saying that non-christians have no morals. i was  simply saying, God wants your heart more than he wants your outfit. 

p.s.s. i can't address all the comments for lack of time. but if you want more reading on this, check out CJ MAHANEY's series on modesty. if i would have known this was out there, i would have perhaps sent you there instead of writing my own post. :)

thanks for sticking around. even when you don't agree.  this will be my last post on modesty because, c'mon... this isn't my favorite thing to do. LOL. i promise a more light hearted post next. 

woo! good night.


  1. The way you write, just like you're talking these words aloud and not editing them as you type them out, leaves me riveted. Even though I've heard this message a gazillion times in church, I was like...let me hear it again! So refreshing. And convicting. Thank you!

  2. It kind of made me laugh when you said God made the first outfit, so true.

    Genesis 3:21; Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

  3. Thank you thank you thank you! Loved the first the second! I respect you so much for standing up for what you wrote and putting God's word into the conversation.

  4. Hey! Nice blog. I follow you but this is my first comment.

    When I saw your last post, part 1, I wondered if anyone would disagree with you. It looked like only about three or five people disagreed out of your tons of extremely positive comments, but it was sort of nice to see, because it meant a dialogue, and potential for growth.

    I grew up never questioning the truth of your words. You make some really good points; thank you for sharing your husband's perspective. But recently I came across a couple posts on other blogs that made me take a hard look at the message we send girls when we imply they are responsible for the sin of their brothers. I am sending you two links so you can read for yourself and see if you can see where this writer is coming from.

    My last thought is that, like so, so, many things in Christian life, it's not really a matter of convincing people to come to our conclusions, but of helping free them from the unique chains that may have been put on them, and journeying together towards what God has for us, even if it's not what we expect. It's so tempting to make up a rule and try to apply it to everyone, but we are just not all at the same place. You said it yourself, God is after people's hearts before their clothes, and it is not appropriate for us to universally place another burden on women, a shifting target that literally varies with each man who walks by.

    Peace, love, and please keep writing.


    P.S. I am kinda unclear on my own thoughts on this issue, but I felt it was important to present this side of it, whether I agree 100% or not.

  5. Amen girl. And thanks for the Kind and gentle shove of my heart. Not about modesty for me... But this works just the same for all sorts of approval/stumbling block situations


    This is one amazing post from one amazing women. Thank you Jami for sharing this!! It sums up so much of how I feel about this issue!! So thank you!!

    This line: "we live in a crazy world where even christianity looks the same as worldliness." Struck me. So much truth.

    Ngaio May xx

  7. thank you for starting the dialogue. i think it is important to be discussed and it was thought-provoking to read all the comments and see what others were saying. i remember looking at all the comments thinking "clearly this is something i am not alone in struggling with". thank you.

  8. mmmmmmm....i so commend you for speaking from your heart. it's not easy to do sometimes, especially when you know you're opening yourself up to harsh comments! yikes!

    I have to say though, that the example of the girlfriend with a drinking issue is a bit different (in my opinion) then being at the pool in a two-piece. that girl is a friend. those guys at the pool who may or may not have a fantasy issue are not. of course you would help out your friend if she was struggling. of course you would be extra careful if you knew your friend's husband had an addiction to porn.

    i've been seriously trying to sort out some of these chrisian-isms lately and i've come to this conclusion: we need to be really careful that we don't take a word that God gives US and make it everyone's.

    God might know that you struggle with self image issues and say to you "that bathing suit is too skimpy for you." or "you, my friend, should not be watching the bachelorette." or "I am calling you to have a dry household."

    does that mean no one should have a cocktail? or no one should wear a two-piece?

    i agree that at the pool or at the mall there is a "i really don't want to see your butt cheeks out the bottom of your shorts, thankyouverymuch." but if you start to get legalistic about it, you pull out the ruler and start measuring inches above the knee and i think then it's just a personal thing.

    that's just me. i agree with you that there's some TOO skantily clad chicks out there. i think we just need to keep OURSELVES in check.

  9. i spent 18 years of my life not knowing anything about modesty...other than the nuns at school gave us a hard time if our skirt was above our knee or we needed to button up our shirts one more button. the whole thing seemed restricting. i bet that's how a lot of the nay sayers feel.

    but, as you so wonderfully put it, modesty is a position of your heart. it is a way to honor god in everything we wear and it doesn't always have to do with the length or what we're showing. it's like women who object to submission because they don't really understand what it's about. can it be abused? yes. but when it is done right, God is glorified and everyone is happy.

    and like you said in your first post, first the heart change then your outfit...

    good for you for being bold on such a touchy subject!

  10. I think you hit the nail on the head. Its our call as Christians to fully invest in community and fellowship with love and grace for each other that makes us most uncomfortable. Its always so much easier to talk about our own motives and let everyone else take care of themselves...but that's missing a major point of the gospel. We're in this together, to love and build one another up. So yeah, it is that guy's problem to deal with his lust. But its my responsibility to set him up for success, not failure, whenever I can!

    Love the scripture that backs this whole thing up...God didn't skip a beat in that book, did he?! :)

  11. Girl, you are killin' it with these posts! I'm super-proud of you! It makes me sad that there are women out there who can't see the reality of this issue or are just to selfish or hard-hearted BUT I believe that the Lord is going to use your words to penetrate the hearts of some of these sisters. Big Hugs, from Ohio!

  12. I enjoy this topic and was interested to read another post yesterday along the sames lines...

  13. i'm waving a fan right now...saying AMEN over and over and over and over and over again.

  14. Hey Jami,
    I didn't get a chance to comment on the last post, but I wanted to say that I really appreciate these posts. The other day when I read your post, I was really feeling like, "It's soooo hot, so why do I have to throw on a more modest shirt to just go to the drug store when other people will likely be wearing more revealing clothes than my slightly low-cut tank top?" But you're right, and God is right (duh); it's not about what other people are wearing, but rather about my heart. I don't have to be a stumbling block just because someone else is. Thanks for the conviction; I needed it. :-)

  15. May our Father continue to give you the right words and the right scriptures to keep sending out His message of LOVE!! He protects us in so many ways, and those that buck this are usualy the ones that need His love the most...I have not come to help the healthy, but to heal the sick...(my paraphrase!) Thank you for following His leading!

  16. Hi Jami! First of all, let me say I love your blog. I laugh hysterically every time. Your post about your dad and the boy and the stairs - that was great. After reading your first post on modesty... I found myself half agreeing, half disagreeing. But after reading this second post I realize my disagreeance was out of my sinful nature and selfish desires. You are right and thank you for speaking truth to women. We constantly need to be reminded. The issue of modesty is a tough one for me... I'm newly married and only about to be 24 and we still go out a lot and I love clothes. Probably too much. I'm not ever sure where the line is... definitely something I realize I need to be going to the Lord in prayer with. Thanks for speaking truth to my heart!

  17. i loved this. isnt it so human nature for us to never want to take the blame? like "oh well its not MY fault". you go jamikins. (weird that i just nicknamed you?)

  18. Im always a little bit suprised when women put up a fuss about being called out to cover their Ts and As in a modest way! But then again I never responded well when my mom would accuse me of wearing my clothes too tight when I was just chubby and couldnt afford a new wardrobe in college. (sigh, the good ol days) its still good to have a reminder since our moms arent waiting for us at the bottom of the stairs anymore

  19. Jami, when you write your book of devotions for women, tackling these tough subjects, I totally want to offer up my editing services for free. You have SUCH a good, honest and Bible-based message here. Excellent scripture references backing it up--it's not about judgement, it's about WHO YOU WORSHIP and MOTIVE. Well writ.

  20. living in a self centered "ME" world it is not surprising you received harsh comments. most hearts are quick to become defensive. PLEASE keep with the heavy topics, thought provoking and heart changing! crafts are great but a heart change is much much better! obviously its needed!! ;)
    p.s where can i get jami's new living translation?? hehe!

  21. This was an excellent follow-up, Jami. Thanks so much for putting this out there and sharing views on this issue . . . . you did a great job of sharing and explaining in a way that just makes perfect sense!

  22. Well said, Jami! True maturity comes when we lay down our rights for the benefit of another. Let our witness not be overshadowed by our desire for approval. Let us boast in NOTHING(not the gym, not the dress, not the tan) but Christ!

  23. I have so many thought on this post (and the previous one) but don't know exactly how to put them into words. Thank you for writing this. Thank you for not backing down. You have spoken the truth in love. We know God's Word does not return void. The amount of good done by these posts will only be known in eternity. Thank you, Jami!

  24. i love your sweet, honest blog. casey w. pointed me to you, and i am so glad she did!
    i couldn't agree more with the whole modesty thing.
    our church, calvary chapel, is affiliated with a program called U-Turn for Christ.
    my husband went through it.
    it's sort of a christian version of rehabilitation from drugs/alcohol/immorality... ya know?
    so, in saying all of this, my husband and i OFTEN discuss how women shouldn't be parading themselves around (especially infront of the u-turn guys who have no contact with women unless they are married while in the program).
    it is a MAJOR distraction, and stumbling block for many many men.
    it's good to get this out there, because our nation is totally getting more and more comfortable with less and less clothes.
    not me.

  25. yep. love this. love love love.

    I think it's so important to say the hard things. I recently wrote on modesty and motherhood - how us moms can justify being immodest a lot and that it's not okay - and I got a lot of encouragement and some disagreement. My convictions are all the stronger now, but it was hard to say and write.

    I'm super grateful for your ministry on here, Jami. Keep writing, pllllease!

    also, I linked to these two modesty posts because I think you said it so well :)

  26. I thought you were spot on in both posts. I think my body is just fine when I am out and about in the world and appropriately dressed for the day, but I adore my body at night when I am home with my hubby and he is seeing legs and arms and cleavage that I have saved just for him to enjoy.

  27. Pinned this article and the last to save when talking with my daughter in a few years. Thank you for the great article. I wish my mother had taught us to dress more modestly...I learned it many, many years later as an adult. I am trying to set a great example for my daughter by the way I dress! Thank you for the great scripture and for your opinions.

  28. Loving this dialogue. Thank you!


    have you seen the above floating around Pin world?

    "Dear Girls, Dressing immodestly is like rolling around in manure. Yes you'll get attention, but mostly from pigs. Sincerely, Real Men"

    cracked me up.

    I'm on the fence. I don't feel as passionately as you do, and I enjoy feeling and looking good, and yes- sometimes sexy, for ME, and I'm not going to change that cause some man can't control his thoughts or eyes. But I also don't go around letting it all hang out either.. there are lines.

    Just my two cents. :)

  30. I told my husband about your last post and he says "Thank you!" :)

  31. Hello! You are toats awesome. That's all I got to say!


  32. I work in an office with mostly Muslims. I actually talked to them about modesty and headcovering/hijabs, etc. after reading your last blog. And the justifications are the same justifications you are giving. Yet we call their coverings oppressive. I don't have fundamental Mormons friends, but I suspect if you asked them why they wear the long dresses and long sleeves, they'd give the same justifications. And we call their dress oppressive. Oppression comes in many forms. I'm not saying I would ever wear revealing clothing (I don't because I don't have the body for it!), but to insinuate that women shouldn't out of respect for god and to protect men from their sinful are just reaffirming the justifications the "oppressive" religions use. I think it's a dangerous, slippery slope.

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  34. Boom. Amen, sister. (And seeing the word breast-a-siz spelled out made my day.)

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  36. You hit this one out of the park. As a mother of a daughter, I have to think to myself, "What does the way I view myself, dress, present myself, speak etc. tell her about who I am in Christ and how she should view herself in Christ?" I do want to help her make modest choices and see the woman God has created her to be, and not focus on outward beauty alone.

    On a secondary note...and I may get flack from saying this, but ultimately I believe this is a heart issue. The Bible is implicitly clear on the risk of being a stumbling block to and women alike. Why would I therefore say, "It's not my problem if you can't control yourself" when we as women know full well that men are wired differently than we are? They are visual...simple as that. The Bible presents a clear warning on being a stumbling block and I believe it is unwise to choose to ignore that and our responsibility as believers to live in such a way that does not cause others to stumble.

  37. I'm agnostic. And I'm with you on this. You don't have to be a Christian to have morals and standards for yourself.
    It's a huge problem at my place of employment. Short skirts, breasts on display... I hear men talking, see they're distracted. And I also know that these women aren't being taken seriously. It's completely inappropriate for the office. And no one wants to say anything for fear of being accused of sexual harassment. Sigh.

  38. This was written very, very well! Not sure how these Christian ladies can disagree or even question what it says in the bible. Modesty is a request from God, it's not just a request from other believers. WE don't cause other's to sin but we can support each other in this life long battle by obeying what God asks. The friend analogy is good. We should love each other as brothers and sisters. Who cares if the guy at the pool isn't your BFF, you should still have love, sensitivity and respect for him as a human. God doesn't tell us to just love on our friends. It's not an easy task, all of this obedience stuff but it's always good to learn about these subjects and bring them to light and be praying about them so we as individuals can decide where our hearts are in this matter and let God do the work in changing us if need be. It's in the Bible people, and obviously if you believe in the bible this subject shouldn't be so difficult to grasp.

  39. hey AKK, you're email doesn't pop up when i try and reply just to you. but i was wondering if you are a christian? toats don't have to respond to this on here if you don't want to.

    if you aren't a christian, i understand that this would seem very confining and oppressive and would 100% understand why you wouldn't agree with what's written in the bible.

  40. Thanks for the follow up post. I really like the topic and I think regardless of which side of the argument you are on, we all actually feel the same: it's not about what you wear, it's about who you are and what is in your heart. self worth is not determined by your exterior. It's funny how the same attitude can create such vastly different opinions on how one should behave.

    Honestly, what troubles me is not what you wrote, it's how others have commented about it. I grew up in a religious home but in my adult life, have struggled to come to grips with what I actually believe and why. I have found the comments on this particular topic to be extremely disheartening. Many were judgmental and in some cases downright mean toward the few dissenters who spoke out. They were immediately selfish or wrong. I think most intended simply to agree with you and your point of view, but in many cases it came across as extremely judgmental and harsh and it doesn't encourage people like me to make a return to organized religion any time soon.

    I am not blaming others for my own hang ups. At all. We are all entitled to speaking our mind and what is in our hearts but I would encourage people to drop the elitist attitude. I am happy that so many have found such a clear path for their lives. I hope they realize what a gift that sort of clarity is. It just seems that there was a great deal of judgment where there should have been love, acceptance, and hope for others. Women need to respect and love each other before we have any hope of men showing us the same courtesy.

    Thanks again for the great posts and for creating this forum.

  41. This is from Jami's father -- I used anonymous only because i don't want to go through the sign in steps...

    Disclaimer 1. Jami did not ask me to respond -- in fact, I don't know if she will allow this comment on the blog.

    Disclaimer 2. I am talking to you girls the way I talk to my own girls.

    Disclaimer 3. I love strong women. Who take a risk. Who tell me straight up. Free speaking women who can do that without necessarily two glasses of wine. Jami is a bold woman which I love.
    (maybe that wasn't a disclaimer as much a gratuitous encouragement to her)

    Here's the deal: Skin is way overrated -- see e.g. sex, self esteem, marital happiness. Don't get me wrong, God gave me the most beautiful woman in the world -- I mean that but let me tell you girls (I think that is still OK for me to call you all girls -- that is how I still think of Jami and all of my other daughters) what I love about Terri my wife -- she makes me laugh -- I love to hear her laugh (particularly at my witty sayings) Terri is has given her heart to not only her own children but adopted three other little children -- that is such a big heart. Terri is generous and is such a good and caring listener. She made such a wonderful culture of love and hospitality in our home -- i always loved coming home to her and our children. I still do (without the children now) Terri is very feisty -- at trait no one gets to really appreciate but me -- Terri is bold -- a nice bold. I have more but I have to get to the point.

    If you have read this far read a little further ( a knockoff line from Shawshank Redemption (Dear Red. If you're reading this, you've gotten out. And if you've come this far, maybe you're willing to come a little further...)

    I didn't exhaust all of the wonderful things about my wife but what does this have to do with clothing? Because girls, you didn't hear me talking about knockout figure, big brown eyes, her calves ... (oh wait, I thought I was only thinking that -- sorry) Why I love her is her soul. Yes, Terri is beautiful but she has always been discrete -- here's a thought which applies not only to writing but sexuality -- most of the time less is more particularly when it comes to skin.

    And one last thought -- to those who gave some push back -- I appreciate that that part is good. The good part is that something hit close enough to home that it merited a response. Good for you. The bad part is that Jami is right and to the extent you are fighting what she is saying, well, you really aren't fighting Jami but the Word of God.

    Alright have to go now. Looking for my speedo for my afternoon swim...

  42. This made me want to puke. Not because I disagree, but because I agree and realized that lately I haven't been dressing the way that I should. I do so love Jesus. I do so want to glorify Him. Why then must I dress the way that I do? Well, because I am finding my sufficiency (once again) in men's opinion of me. That's not the issue. It's whether or not I'm glorifying God.

    Because I tend to struggle with wanting to look "sexy" (who am I kidding, some of my outfits shouldn't be in rotation) and finding my worth in men's opinion of me I'm going to pray about what you've said and decide the best coarse of action.

    Hearing the testimonies from the men on that video also were extremely helpful to knock some sense into me. I've never heard anything like that.

    Thanks for having my back, girl.

  43. Our clothes are a very good representation of the person that we are. If you are creative, conservative, shy, loud. It shows what "things" you are into: music, sports, what company you work for or organizations you support. It is one of the most expressive ways to show your personality-even if you don't realize it. It can show what you are feeling on the inside-now refelcted a little more boldly on the outside.
    Just be aware that what you wear is a reflection of yourself and if you don't believe it, start asking yourself what you are saying about "you" when you wear your clothes...
    While you can attribute religion to just about anything and everything in day to day life, I think this has just as much to do with self-worth, self-knowing,and self-appreciation as it does with anything else. Really, it's good food for thought. You should always be aware of the image you are giving, you want it to be the real you, right?!
    I think your blog gets people thinking and this is a good topic in evaluating ones self :)

  44. I am really glad you wrote a second post. I really think you said some great things here and I think you addressed both sides of it well. You also covered your bases and left little room for argument. I definitely feel left with the encouragement to find myself drawn to the savior. Great Job Jami!

  45. Dear girls,

    Dressing immodestly is like rolling around in manure. Sure, you'll get lots of attention, but mostly from pigs.

    Real men

  46. Hmm... I hate this post, and the previous one. Not because I disagree, but because I know they're right (biblically) and yet I seem to still struggle with them. So I guess you could say they're giving me a lot to think about. As I grew up, I was always encouraged to be very modest (in fact, "encouraged" might be the wrong word ... hm, forced? haha.. well, you know my mom!). Now, looking back, I'm totally fine with that, because I was young and my parents were in charge. However, I don't think I really ever understand WHY I had to dress modestly. If I had, I'm sure I wouldn't have worn some of the things I did after moving out of the house. And honestly - some of the attention I got by wearing low-cut shirts, etc. was flattering. Apparently I had yet to find my worth in Jesus, and not in others.

    Some of the other comments on here made me think, because I've thought many of the same things. For example - who am I to know what other people find sexy? What if I am wearing jeans and a simple t-shirt and some other guy still finds me sexy? (I say sexy, not attractive, because I think you can look attractive - clean, presentable, etc. - without looking sexy or raunchy.) Why is it my problem if some guy lusts after me?

    Well, as a christian it's my problem because of the verses you provided as reference.

    As far as determining what others find sexy - I can't. That's actually kind of liberating, if you think about it. All I should be doing is making sure I am dressed in a way that is modest (and even that would be up to opinion, to an extent) and make sure I'm honoring God. If I'm doing my part, and a guy still lusts after me, THEN I think it is his problem. It's not an all-or-nothing thing. One side isn't 100% to blame for the issue. It's not fair of girls to say "Well, I can't control what guys think" and it's not fair of guys to say "Well, I can't control what girls wear in front of me". Duh - it's up to girls to control their outfits and guys to control their thoughts. Both parties play a role. Otherwise it doesn't work.

    Ahem. Ok, I'm done now. :)

  47. can we give a shout out to your dad for the awesome comment? thanks, jami's dad!

  48. I think by using the "best friend can't handle alcohol" argument absolutely represents what you're trying to get across.
    like you said, we wouldn't drink alcohol around them if we knew it hindered their life and walk with god (if they have one).
    just like the scripture we are memorizing this week, 1 john 4:21, "and he has given us this command: anyone who loves god, must also love their brothers and sisters"...dressing inappropriately to the point where it causes men to stumble is not loving your brothers in christ.
    i agree that some men will stumble at the sight of your ankles, and some when your boobs are falling out...and to the man who stumbles at the sight of your ankle, well then, yes, he has some major work to do (as we all do)...but to prounce around with your boobs hanging out is inappropriate. i'm not even a man and my eyes always go there if someones cleavage is staring me in the face. it's just awkward.

  49. yep. couldn't agree more.

    the good part is, that God speaks to His children if they listen.
    He has many a time reminded me that i am His, and sometimes that has been revealed in the conviction of what i am wearing isn't pleasing to Him.

  50. I thought Part 1 was excellent, right on, and well a heart that needed to hear it. But the gumption to see a need to Part 2 (again, right on and well said), confront what needed to be confronted, and back it up with scripture!?! You da woman, man!!!

  51. Jamie nato,
    I hope to read a book authored by you someday ;-)

    And hey! We got to do Starbucks or the like sometime ;-)

  52. Jamie nato,
    I hope to read a book authored by you someday ;-)

    And hey! We got to do Starbucks or the like sometime ;-)

  53. Amen! I completely agree!! And you are awesome for blogging about it!!

  54. Amen!! I completely agree with you. You are awesome for blogging about it!!

  55. modesty doesn't mean boring! and modesty can look downright cute. (see link below) thanks so much for posting this with such a down-to-earth attitude!

    this blog has been a great resource for me when trying to figure out how to flatter without the floozy or frump:

  56. Oh Jami, young women like you give me hope that my 9yo daughter will be able to successfully navigate a world that has taken refusal of the Truth to a whole other level.

    You are (joyfully!) standing on the frontline. Keep on keeping on. God's got you! <3

    Sharmayn Stoves

    PS. Your dad is some kind of special! The apple didn't fall far... What a rich heritage you have. You're blessed, Woman! Truly blessed! :D

  57. You should speak at women's events-you are awesome!!-

  58. Oh Mrs. Nato I pray you actually read this comment.... I would LOVE for you to do a separate post here about why these (and other) Biblical principles and guides really DO apply to everyone. What struck me is that some of those who disagree say that "these things do not apply to everyone"... Or "just because we believe something doesn't mean we should impose those beliefs on others".... Hmmm very true we shouldn't judge others or shun others because of disagreement. What you're doing here though is sharing the Word of God and your beliefs, which are inextricably linked to who you are, the way you live, the way you interact, vote, etc.

    I am beyond thankful you have taken the Word and correctly interpreted it and in context. Thank you for being a shining light when so many other popular bloggers do not address tough issues or misinterpret the Bible, when you dive into everything! I hope to read more posts like this so I can continue sharing with others. God bless and thanks again!

  59. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'm amazed that two posts on modesty can bring me to tears, haha. Stupid estrogen. :]
    I can't say that this is something I've personally struggled with, but what I do struggle with is being so outright and blunt with what I believe in. Even with other Christians. Reading your posts that are filled with such nitty-gritty honesty are so freeing for me and I thank you for that. I need the encouragement to be bold in my faith from time to time. Thank you for letting God speak through you. I, certainly, need it.
    And props to your dad! :]

  60. Jami
    Great topic to get people thinking! One thought I haven't seen mentioned is what is the guys responsibility? Men who are seeking attention from other women than there own spouses might also dress different, like in tight clothing, v neck shirts, ect. Should they too look at how they carry themselves and attract women. I think it's important for women do there part, I just wonder if men should be accountable with everything said. Question, should guys with great bodies keep their shirts on? I think bottom line modesty is a great thing and is God honoring and i hope to instill that in my girls! I just think men/women looking for more will find it no matter what the opposite sex is wearing and this shouldn't be used as an excuse to there issue or problem!

  61. i find your blog really interesting and like how your speak your mind. I have read your previous posts and understand you not wanting to see woman with bits and bobs hanging out, but at the same time i feel that men and woman both look at the opposite sex and it is whether you act on it or not, no amount of clothing or lack of is going to stop someone straying. My friends and I were just talking about what nice eye candy the film Magic Mike has. Its a hard topic for sure because its ok for men to wear shorts and no shirt but not really for a young woman to wear a short summer dress cause it may "throw logs on the fire". i understand dressing respectably but i certainly can't judge those who don't meet my opinion of that. Again i really enjoy your posts and you certainly get me thinking :)

  62. Thanks for the well thought out words! A hearty "amen!" from south Florida for these posts!

  63. Totally don't know why I'm commenting since this post already covered the 2 things that came to mind, so I guess I'm just going to support what you said. :)
    "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should not only look to your own interests but also to the interests of others."
    Philipians 2:3-4
    And before even watching that video I was talking to Jeff about these posts and said church should be our SAFE place!! For all temptations, struggles, sins. It should be the ONE place we can go to receive grace, mercy and rest. Of all places, men should not have to battle their sexual temptations THERE. Let's help a brotha out!!

  64. I really enjoyed both blogs and the discussion that followed. I considering myself somewhat sexist, which I know isn't a good thing. I have a feeling the women who are objecting to your blogs might have a similar viewpoint as I am tempted to hold. We just don’t know many sincere, Christ-following men who want to uphold the purity of their sisters in Christ. I used to believe that there were more men who truly wanted to be pure in the Lord, completely monogamous to their wives and avoidant of lust. Now, I know these men are FAR and FEW between. Despite my bad experiences, these men do exist and for these men, I believe it is important to honor them and their wives (who are very blessed!) by being modest. And yes, modesty is pretty much common sense, people. No extremes necessary, in my opinion. The “different standards of modesty” argument has validity, but we are talking about modern, American standards of modesty here. It doesn’t take much to be considered modest in our over-sexed society, right?! Anyway! Sometimes I just don't want to give a hoot about men, because I've been damaged and disgusted by their perverse nature (sexist, coming out again! I know, I'm far from perfect, but while we're on the subject I might as well be brutally honest), but for my own self-integrity and out of respect for the men who do truly want to be pure, I need to watch the way I present myself. I have no desire to flirt with another man's wife. I don't want someone's father looking at me sexually. I don’t want my brother-in-law, little brother’s friends and my best friend’s grandpa checking me out! Think about it ladies, when you draw attention to yourselves by “flaunting it”, these are the real life consequences of your actions. I want to encourage monogamy and marital union by minding my body. IF those men want to disrespect their families, they can go online and look at someone else. I might be considered attractive, no matter what I wear, but I refuse to intentionally put myself in someone’s line of sight with the knowledge that it’s likely to cause him to stumble or lose sight of the woman to whom he has committed his life.

  65. amen sista! i have written at least three posts on this same subject in the last few weeks but couldn't bring myself to "publish" any of them. you've inspired me! i will post one. just because something might be controversial doesn't mean we shouldn't say it. stay bold! it's inspiring.

  66. i promised you i would! =)

  67. I am SO glad that God is leading you to stand up for His name so boldy and proclaiming Truth! I'm praying God uses your voice to bring more to Him! Thank you!

  68. I think it's funny that no matter how many times you say you're not writing out rules for anyone, people keep saying, "hey don't tell me i can't wear a bikini!" she's not saying that people! :)

    i love these posts! i think you are right on sister. and i LOVED that comment in the first post when the lady told the story of hagar and reminded us of God's name, El Roi, the god who SEES us, knows us and loves us.

  69. I haven't been so excited about coming back to read someone's blog comments in a lonnnnng time ?!! Feel like a bit of a stalker in that respect. but what you wrote here Jami is just SO 'hit the nail on the head' (is that just a New Zealand saying? I dunno) but anyway.... you seriously ROCK.

    In NZ church circles I haven't noticed this to be that much of an issue, maybe it is different in the USA? People dress pretty modestly here in all kinds of churches from what I've seen. Even in summer. So even tho I don't see it as such an issue in my own country, I know I've had conversations with my husband many a time over the last 10 years about how difficult it is as a man to always divert divert divert the eyes all the time when girls parade around flaunting their bodies in next-to-nothing. He feels like saying to them "go put some clothes on before you go out!!". Seriously it IS a huge issue for most men, Christian or not, God made them to be VISUAL creatures and when you marry one you begin to realise this and it should reflect in your own wardrobe choices when you become aware of this. I choose to dress modestly for the same reason I don't want my own brothers to feel awkward, not just the guy on the street or at the supermarket checkout - it really doesn't matter who, at the end of the day. I also don't think you necessarily have to wear a 'tent' over you to be 'modestly dressing'. A woman can still look 'sexy' in a non-revealing way and without wearing body-hugging clothes that show your form underneath. Using jewellery and looser tops and nice makeup and casual hair can all be combined to still show unique sense of style, confidence and grace if you put some thought into it and perhaps ask another trusted male if you are unsure before you leave the house!

    Thanks for your awesome awesome blog, which I read regularly all the way from little old New Zealand :-)

  70. PS your dad rocks Jami Nato!! (sounds like the kind of dad everyone would love to have in their lives)

  71. Agree on the posts. Wanted to address some of the other comments. For those thinking the post sounds "elitist" because Jami mentions that we shouldn't hold non-Christians to the same "standards"... the reasoning behind that isn't because Christians are better at keeping rules or are better people... it's because they have Christ and the Holy Spirit to move them and convict them toward that. We can't put others first or even desire purity without Him (and we often fail miserably by not heeding His ways) so we certainly can't expect someone without Him to, either. Make sense? And for those that view the men as lustful pigs and we aren't responsible for them... Jami isn't giving the guys an out and laying the burden on us. They (Christian men) need to be running to Jesus to help them. But we do our part to lessen their battle regardless (there aren't 2 teams in Jesus). The view that "why should I if he's not" doesn't fly with Jesus and kills your faith that He alone changes and transforms. Motives of our hearts, ladies. If you're a Christian woman... ask God to search your heart and reveal what He sees. We all struggle with plenty and need the help of brothers and sisters to spur us on. Spur and get spurred.

  72. oh, hey.
    you slayed it, ace.

    praise jesus for you. mostly because you wrote these posts, that i've had in my head for dayzzzzz.
    again, so encouraged and blessed by you.
    LOVE you, and so appreciate you, jami girl.
    you're the jam. xo

  73. you can tell me to put away my breast-a-siz anytime. i would appreciate someone calling me out. thank you for speaking truth even when it's hard.

  74. Hmmm, this is all so very interesting. I personally think an issue like this typically calls for maybe a more soft approach and well, soft is not so much found here, unless your looking at one of those adorable kiddos of our beautiful fellow bloggers'. The slang, and 'BAM in yo face' style of writting is all fun and games until it hits 'youz straight up in the grill'. Ouch. um, I needed that it turns out. This issue is as old as sin. There is nothing new under the sun. My heart raced as I read these comments and I thought to myself, "wow... real discipleship is happening here."
    This message is a gift to the church. This drama is beautiful and messy. I bet a follow up letter from one of the appostles would go out to the 'church' following all of this if we were living in the time of ACTS. Glory be to God, he got some this time. And that is so amazing. My take away? Sometimes we are called to deliver a message that will cause a mess. And from it can come much understanding and Glory for the one who takes a hot mess (like me) and binds up the broken places and calls her dazzeling, beloved and clean. I got a big tat on my forearm the night before my missions training 3 years ago, I wear tank tops and my 2 daughters have boo-keenies. We live in the least reached nation in the world and it is Muslim. I have total freedom to be 'me' here, not because I sold the hooters tanks at a garage sale a few years back, or because I have conformed to the cultural here... but because my Father cleansed my heart. So, I have freedom to see Him when ever He calls my name. I feel proud to be from the mid west right now. Proud to see God at work in your lives, transforming your minds. Blesings as you work out your salvation daily sisters;)

  75. Thanks again for posting this, and for putting your husband's perspective in part I. It makes a big difference to hear things from the guys' perspective.

  76. Thank you…Just found you (hopped over from Lower Case Letters,) and read both of these posts. VERY WELL DONE. Thanks!!!
    Funny, b/c I just wrote a sort-of related post (not nearly so deep, feeling a little lame :)) on my blog about appropriate swimwear…Living in Hawaii this comes up a lot, esp. in the Christian community.
    Anyhoo--I'll be back now that I've discovered you. i enjoy your style!

  77. It's paining some folks to read your posts because your words are jabbing them in the tender wounds of their hearts. We live in a world that walks in darkness and many of us have made agreements with satan's lies. We are convinced our worth is in how others react and respond to us. Lies. Our worth is found in Christ only. He completes. He fills. He satisfies. Thanks for the speaking the truth today. It took courage.
    Your sister in Christ

  78. Thanks for these posts.. it's so hard to remember things like this living in such a sinful world. I appreciate your openness to really stand by what you believe and encourage others to really ask themselves if that's what God really wants for us. This was so humbling for me and an encouraging message that I think I needed. Thanks!

  79. Hey jami! Woh lots of comments. Have you read the book, "for women only"? Awesome book! It's kind of about getting into a mans brain. And there is a chapter on modesty. Changed my perspective on what men go through. You should read it. Really easy read as well.

  80. Way to go Jami! Anger and backlash can be from conviction, so don't be afraid to speak the truth! You have a platform with your blog and I believe you are using it to honor God. Women need to be reminded now and again, and as old as the message of modesty is, it is always pertinent, especially in this generation. Keep it up! :)

  81. It's interesting to me that everyone who agrees with this point of view rationalizes that those who disagree must be sinful, immodest women who have had a painful chord struck. You are all missing a crucial point: Men will lust even in the presence of modesty. As I have stated before, I do NOT bare my chest, back, arms, or legs in public. I am 80 pounds overweight, so I choose not to show off my wobbly bits. Even at that, I am approached by men, whistled at, leered at, etc. To vilify me based on my gender and the fact that men respond to a female simply being present if NOT Godly. Yes, women who let it all out should tuck it back in, but don't tell me that I have a problem with God when it is men that have the problem. Thank you to Adam, for some real male honesty. The bible does mention not being a stumbling block to others, but it does not say that men are an entirely different species with the inability to control their impulses. Men, who are revered as protectors of the faith and their families should be insulted that they are presented as weak minded, weak willed troglodytes.

  82. Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?

  83. I totally loved both of your posts & completely agree and try to dress modestly for that very reason. Love your blog- I can always relate to the emotions you share.

  84. anonymous, sure. share away. you never have to ask to share anything on my blog as long as you tell where it came from. no biggs.

  85. I'm going to admit that when I read your first post, I wasn't too fond of it. I didn't agree that women who wear skimpy clothes are responsible for the wandering eyes, and other body parts, of men who are married or committed to someone else.

    However, after reading your example about the alcohol, I totally understand the message you were trying to convey the first time, and I completely agree!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  86. I truly appreciated both posts. My oldest daughter is almost 17 and we have been having these types of discussions lately about modesty, sexuality and how the Lord has alot to say about these things. For other Christian moms out there a good book to read with your teen is "Every Young Woman's Battle" by Shannon Ethridge and Stephen Arterburn. I wish someone would have revealed these truths to me as a teen and young adult.

    Great posts Nato!! Keep them coming :)Love your transparency and willingness to speak truth.

  87. Dear Jami-
    I agree completely. I grew up in a religion that practiced modesty. My mother dressed me modestly and I try to do that with my daughters. It is very difficult to find clothing for a 14 and 6 year old that don't strut their stuff. It is hard for them to understand why we don't wear tank tops and bikinis. I think that I am a well adjusted person and so are my girls.
    Now with that background I am the wife of a "recovering" pornography addict. He has been addicted for 27 years. It is all about the skin. He is very aware of what women are wearing and how he needs to stay away from it. Skin does sell and it does RUIN/DESTROY families.
    May God continue to bless you for sharing your very heartfelt post.

  88. Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?

  89. Is it inappropriate if I wear a really low-cut shirt, but there's STILL no cleavage to be found? Yes? No? What about a bikini if I have nine-year old boy hips? Am I causing men to stumble or just laugh?


  90. I read both parts.. love your writing and especially love your heart! What you wrote reminded me of a video I saw recently about the science behind what happens in a guys mind when he sees a woman in a bikini. Very interesting!

  91. AMEN & AMEN! First time commenting on your blog, but I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate this post ~ you have said it perfectly!
    God Bless.

  92. Hello all! Just spent my kids' ENTIRE nap time reading through these posts and comments...well almost all the comments. Anyway, I keep seeing people bringing up different cultures, religions, time eras, opinions, etc. to make the point that modesty/sexy is not truly able to be defined, and therefor, it is a non-issue that we cannot possibly impose on ourselves or anyone else for that matter. My thoughts are that SINCE this issue is subjective and different people in different areas, with different backgrounds and in different times obviously see sexy different ways, this issue is a personal one. One between your heart and God's. If you feel convicted when you wear a tight tank top, great- ditch it! If you feel convicted when you wear a bikini, awesome, trade in for a one piece. Jami never said anywhere that there is an exact outfit that God describes that we as women should wear. We aren't talking uniforms here, people. We're talking about getting in touch with your heavenly Father and being in communion with Him, so that He will speak to you clearly on this and other issues. That YOU will know what He desires for you and because you are so in love with Him and His creation, that you would truly desire to please and honor Him.

    And the issue of not being a stumbling block, obviously we cannot help what other people are going to think or imagine...heck I can picture someone looking sexy without even seeing them ;) However, it is our responsibility and duty to take care of one another. To love and respect one another. And to me, that goes whether you are friends with the person or not. God made us all...let's stop being so consumed with ourselves and be there for each other. :)

  93. You are SO RIGHT ON, sister!
    Praise God for people like you who are not afraid to speak the truth.
    For my fellow sisters who think that they, or I, should dress however they want, I like to think about it this way: if I wear a tight shirt that shows off all my stuff, and your husband has lustful thoughts because of it, are you OK with that?
    Cause I'm not OK with my husband having lustful thoughts about you and your tight shirt.
    I'm passionate about this subject and that is something that many women just don't get.
    I didn't use to either.
    Thank you for your boldness and willingness to share a topic that is so hard for many of us to talk about.
    Love from,

  94. I agree with so much of this. Modesty has always been a sensitive subject with me, especially women's modesty around my husband. I especially agree with looking at our own intentions when we dress. Are we wanted a guy to stumble? Would we get pleasure if a guy stared?

    I also think that women have no idea how their modesty affects men. Men react so differently than women, it's hard to us to understand how visual they are.

    I work with a church internship group one summer and the guys would actually say, to us that our swimsuits were making it hard for them to concentrate and keep their thoughts pure. We immediately changed and wore coverups or different suits from then on!

  95. Just want to say that I love love loved these posts and you have moved more women then you will ever know closer to the heart of God and what He wants for them in their lives. As a college student I worked at Hooters, at first it felt empowering and amazing to be viewed as sexy, then it became a bit of an addiction of sorts. Was I showing enough skin, was I as sexy as I could be, why didn't that guy fall over himself when I walked by??? Then my self esteem began to drop like a rock. Did any guy want to know more about me, didn't anyone care that I put myself through college and was graduating in 4 years, there was so much more to me, or was there? I quit that job, and got serious with my soon to be hubs, and we started regularly attending church. But my wardrobe was still "hooter-fied" and I still worried constantly about being sexy, until a sweet friend from the church took me to lunch. She told me all the things that you just did and it hit me square in the nose. I was being a stumbling block not only for my brothers in Christ, but to myself. My true happiness and worth has to lie in my relationship with Christ and who I know I was created to be, not in what I look like. Thank you so much for this!! If you don't mind I think I will share my story on my blog and direct my readers back to you and these amazing posts. I found you on the influence conference blog, and I hope you will be there so I can thank you in person for your transparency and willingness to tackle the hard stuff!!!

  96. Just want to say that I love love loved these posts and you have moved more women then you will ever know closer to the heart of God and what He wants for them in their lives. As a college student I worked at Hooters, at first it felt empowering and amazing to be viewed as sexy, then it became a bit of an addiction of sorts. Was I showing enough skin, was I as sexy as I could be, why didn't that guy fall over himself when I walked by??? Then my self esteem began to drop like a rock. Did any guy want to know more about me, didn't anyone care that I put myself through college and was graduating in 4 years, there was so much more to me, or was there? I quit that job, and got serious with my soon to be hubs, and we started regularly attending church. But my wardrobe was still "hooter-fied" and I still worried constantly about being sexy, until a sweet friend from the church took me to lunch. She told me all the things that you just did and it hit me square in the nose. I was being a stumbling block not only for my brothers in Christ, but to myself. My true happiness and worth has to lie in my relationship with Christ and who I know I was created to be, not in what I look like. Thank you so much for this!! If you don't mind I think I will share my story on my blog and direct my readers back to you and these amazing posts. I found you on the influence conference blog, and I hope you will be there so I can thank you in person for your transparency and willingness to tackle the hard stuff!!!

  97. I really appreciate your heart! I live that you are fired up about women seeking Gods approval over mans...or anyone's. I do think however that in Titus 2 and in Peter he isn't talking about modesty at all. I think perhaps he may just be saying(in my most humble opinion) "stop thinking about your clothes at all ladies! Stop worrying about how you look! Put on my good works put ME on and stop fussing about the crap that matters least in the world... Vain beauty and fleeting apperences." (Dana interpretation) :) I think sometimes we still focus to hard on the outward... Modesty is an issue worth praying about for everyone. But so is not getting too concerned about it or any part of our outwardness. We like you said so perfectly should focus on our hearts. Keeping them quiet so the Lord can sleek his truths to we can put Him on.

  98. I'd like to give my perspective on this as a young man. First of all, I agree with these blog posts.
    But for those who disagree, here's a explanation of what plays out in a guy's head. The biggest factor is not what you wear. I know some very attractive young women who could wear practically nothing (though they don't) and still not be sex objects in my mind. Why? Because I respect them.
    There are other girls who are almost automatically the object of lust even in modest clothing because I don't respect them. And the biggest factor in whether I respect them is whether they respect themselves, and whether they feel the need to be validated by men looking at their bodies.
    So we're back to clothes again. They tell people how you want to be perceived, and they shape the way everyone sees you.
    There are some men who manage to have respect for all women, and with the help of God I might be one of them some day. But the fact is, for most christian men there are still a few women -usually secular- for whom it is nearly impossible to have respect. The flip side of this is the standard male stereotype, with which we are all so familiar. There are many men who do not have respect for any woman, and they will lust shamelessly no matter what.
    I do not blame women when I have trouble controlling lust, but I do feel grateful when they don't tempt me. There is no standard of modesty that we can set for everyone, but remember that if you set out to be the center of a man's thoughts, it'll likely happen. Likewise if you focus on God, every christian man around you will see that and they will try to honor you.
    As far as the idea of oppression goes, I would never encourage a muslim woman to remove he hijab any more than I would make someone wear one. It is not the clothing that is oppressive, it's the manner in which women are forced to conform to a culture and a custom. Women who feel that they need to wear as little fabric as possible are equally dominated by men, just with the opposite goal.
    Now on the topic of gender equality, I think that men also have a responsibility to not cause women to lust. It doesn't tend to be as common of an issue, but men who strive to be noticed by women are just as shallow as the women who want nothing more than to be noticed by men.
    There is nothing wrong with trying to look beautiful, but you should never confuse beautiful with sexy.
    So in closing, I would like to repeat that respect is truly what makes the difference. We all need to work on changing our mindset and stop looking at appearances so much. Men need to strive to have respect for all women, and women should try to be respectable. You will never gain the respect of all men, but you can affect the way most men see you. Look to God for you validation, and the rest will follow.

  99. I really enjoy these posts and the commentary. BUT YOUR DAD!! Seeing his comment is so precious and brings such insight into your life and family. It's so sweet, and he is hilarious just like you. After the staircase story and that comment it feels like I "know" him like I "know" you, which is only through the Internet.

    Thanks Jami!

  100. Jami,
    I find myself in a similar situation EVEN AT CHURCH. There are lots of women who choose to wear skin tight pencil skirts and super high heels and they stand with their ass right in front of my husband's face (excuse my french). Seeing this is embarassing for me so I can't imagine how he must feel.I never catch him "checking out" other women, I know he tries his best to avoid staring when there is someone inappropriately dressed,at church or the mall or where ever. My issue with this is I feel offended as his wife that this other woman is dressing in such a tempting way. Not only is it a matter of respecting your brothers, but their wives as well.

    I have a family member who always uses the excuse that dressing provocatively makes her feel good. How you put it is so true.

    "if this were the case, you would put on that mini skirt and do the dishes, with no one around. and that would do the trick. but no, let us be honest...for most of us, we wear the sexy clothes OUT. to be seen. to be affirmed. we love approval of others."

    It's really sad that so many "Christian" women use church as a place to not worship the Lord, but a place to get validation that they are appealing to men and to make other women jealous of them.

    Thank you for posting this.

    I will say that I struggle with this myself. I love fashion and looking cute as the next girl. But there is certainly a line that is being crossed by Christian women today. I try to ask myself before I leave the house if I would be embarrassed if Jesus met me and saw me in my outfit. If I would be I pick something else or save that outfit for staying in with my husband.

  101. Jami, just stumbled on this article and I LOVE it! I am super passionate about modesty and am often discouraged that so many believers do not value it. I was going to say also, this is always the argument I had heard for modesty, but recently God has brought another angle to heart. I have a friend who struggles with an eating disorder and she was sharing with us how much harder it is in the summer. all her friends are wearing bikinis, so she is constantly seeing these other girls in skimpy bikinis, with flat stomachs, etc and comparing herself to them. And then she feels pressure to wear one too so she fits it, but then she feels more exposed and more self conscious. Obviously she has some issues she is dealing with, but this convicted me too. I would never want to wear anything that could cause her to stumble or not see herself as the beautiful creation she is. So many girls struggle with body image and eating disorders. I would say that immodesty causes women and girls to stumble just as much as it does men.


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