Accidental Immodesty

Generally, I’ve stayed away from women’s blogs, because it’s not an arena that I feel approved to speak on. I was going to say competent, but really, I’m more concerned about offending people with my Y chromosome. But the current wave in Christian weblogging seems to be all about women. At least, I haven’t seen anything new in pastor’s blogs something like a year.

My friend Tara O’Rourke (no relation to Howard), recommended Women Living Well, and I ran across this very helpful post on modesty.

I think it’s a very helpful intro, both on how to think about modesty, and how to approach the issue with someone else. Unfortunately, too many people think they’re already, erm, covered, in this area.

What’s awkward for me is how to approach immodesty in a young lady as a married man. Somehow, while in most conservative Christian circles it’s considered inappropriate to wear clothes that are too revealing, it’s even more inappropriate for a man to make mention of what’s being advertised.

For a while I worked in a warehouse environment as a manager with a mostly all-female staff. For a week or so, we had a volunteer come who wasn’t used to thinking about what she was showing off while lifting heavy objects. In that situation, I was able to grab one of my team leaders and ask her to say something to her. A 40 year old woman can talk to a 20 year old woman about modesty a lot better than a 30 year old man.

In a church, though, where I’m not in any official position, it’s not as easy to use those degrees of separation. But accidental immodesty still happens. Is my only good response supposed to be to keep my eyes up and my mouth shut?

5 thoughts on “Accidental Immodesty”

  1. Either you keep your mouth shut or you go to a woman who is older than the young lady and very politely and compassionately ask her to say something. Keeping in mind of course that your standards are not going to be shared by everybody. And I. Setting boundaries, you are never responsible for how the other chooses to respond. If a woman dresses in a way that lets her body parts hang out well it’s her choice and its not up to any other person to convict her.

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  2. It’s true that not everyone’s standards are the same, but I’m thinking mostly of a church situation, not a public place, so I’m assuming at least the intent of a shared culture and the general Christian goal of sexual purity. In a true church, we do have some responsibility to police up one another’s sin, as in Matthew 18, but I think that’s easier to address in areas of less sensitivity.

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    1. I agree Kyle. Christians of a certain maturity level definitely should have a goal of modesty and purity. Not everyone is on the same level tho. You don’t teach a second grader algebra.

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