Modesty Matters


I was browsing the athletic section of our local Marshalls recently. I needed new athletic clothes because mine were looking a little worse for the wear.

Standing in a sea of spandex, shorts with the tiniest inseams, and back-baring or nearly see-through tops, I was quickly reminded of why I disdain this task of shopping for athletic-ware.

It’s almost impossible to find something that isn’t seductive to the umpteenth degree.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to me. I often see more than I would prefer of other people’s bodies as I try to get in my daily walk in our waterfront Boston neighborhood.

I am not sure where as a society we go from here. Take our run or walk in a bikini or speedo? (Unfortunately, I have seen that once, too. Yikes!)

I realize I am stepping out on a ledge here and many people won’t agree with me (even those who are religious). And I am ok with that.

Modesty is a tricky and somewhat subjective topic. But I strongly believe that it needs to be addressed now more than ever. For our sake, for the sake of our children, and for the sake of society as a whole something needs to be said—now.

You see, it goes far beyond our workout clothes. We have grown-ups posting selfies(!!) of their mostly bare bodies and major news organizations pick this stuff up like it is newsworthy. And we must be clicking because there seems to be more and more of this stuff popping up all the time.

What does immodesty say about our society? What does immodesty teach our kids?

It says that we have come to believe a lie that women are only as beautiful as they are sensual. It presents women as one-dimensional beings by zooming in on their sexuality. Immodesty functionally teaches our children that sensuality trumps all else.

It says that we don’t esteem our bodies as holy and sacred–lovingly created to be treated as such. Clothing our bodies in a modest way shows respect for the one who made us. It shows respect for the body made in that image, as well. Immodesty teaches our children that their bodies are of no sacred value.

It says we don’t understand what we are throwing away. There is something incredibly beautiful about the mystery of modesty!! About something that is hidden for a special purpose and place. Trust me. There is nothing sweeter than sharing that gift in the secrecy and safety of love and commitment. Immodesty robs us of this beautiful mystery and will rob our children as they follow in our footsteps.

It says that women have bought the lie that attention gained through immodesty is worth the cost–to others and ourselves. Inappropriate pictures that are being published online are there forever. They can’t be taken back and the damage they cause can’t be either. This goes for immodesty in person, as well. There is a cost to be paid. A cost to relationships and marriages and families. A cost to our children.

Because, like it or not, modesty matters.