The Girls' Growing Up in the Lord

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Study Questions

  1. Since fashions change constantly, how can we determine what is appropriate to wear?
  2. Using Genesis 2 and 3, what kind of clothing is definitely inadequate? What kind of clothing is definitely adequate?
  3. It is possible to be clothed and naked at the same time. Explain how this is so. List examples of this from current fashions.
  4. What is modest dress?
  5. Write out I Corinthians 11:14-15. What does it teach us?

Class Discussion

Note: See the question and answer section below. All answers are not directly posted to this page. They will be screened to remove inappropriate words and personal identifying information.

  • Does a Christian have the right to wear anything she wants?
  • Would tattoos be acceptable?
  • Would body piercing be acceptable?
  • How long can your hair be and still be considered short?
  • Can a male Christian go shirtless in public?
  • Can a Christian wear a bathing suit in public?
  • Should boys and girls swim together?

    Reply

    Bonnie (Age 61)

    I would like to ask why this wasn't discussed in your article? To me, wearing any bathing suit is as close to being naked as you can get. There is NOTHING left to anyone's imagination. Even if a person is clothed from head to toe, going to a public swimming pool or the lake would not be an appropriate activity for a child of God. There are others in that setting that are as worldly as they come and to view others in swimming attire would be enticing one to lust. I believe most congregation's leaders are ignoring this and other issues of immodesty. I have grandchildren who are allowed to go to school proms and mixed swimming. It breaks my heart; because I have given them everything to read on these subjects (with the Scriptures included) and have instructed them myself; but of course their parents (my daughter and two of the kids step-father) are in favor of all this activity. My daughter says she wants to "pick the battles" with the kids so as not to go overboard and say no to every issue that comes up. I am totally amazed at that philosophy! The parents refuse to listen to the word of God or any wise counsel on these issues. I am very discouraged concerning these issues and in general with the height of members worldliness in the church.

    I didn't come from the best of families, nor did my husband. We made MANY mistakes with our 3 children. It is being proved in our case that personal example speaks louder than words. My husband was working long hours and therefore I was the one left alone with the kids most of the time. I did not make a good "single parent" so to speak. My husband had more of a "relaxed" attitude toward some issues with the kids. He also smoked cigarettes (began AFTER our first child was born) and at that time we also went to public swimming places, as did the other members of the church. Public swimming by members of the church was something we both grew up with. I don't recall the time frame when I learned how wrong the mixed swimming was; but I think it was sometime in the 1990's. I believe I have always known it was wrong; but all those years before, I thought it was because I was shy and didn't have much self esteem, etc., etc. Now I realize it was because I did not feel comfortable having so little clothing on my body, especially when males were present. I ignored my inner voice and since I had always swam in public and the church had not given any instruction about it, it continued on with my own children.

    I believe my kids received mixed messages from us all those years and that's why none of them are strong Christians today. Parents may not be the only example their children have; but they had better be the best one! My family is living proof of that and it will probably cause me much heartache until the day I pass from this earth.

    A

    You are right that the issue of mixed swimming is important to address and it should be taught more often. When I originally wrote this book, I mistakenly thought that the issue was a clear application of the principles brought out. Given the questions I received, I realized that I needed to spell out the issue more clearly. I just recently wrote an article on it, which you can read by clicking on "Is It Okay for Boys and Girls to Swim Together?"

    Thank you for sharing your concerns with the younger generation. I hope they will learn from your experiences. Concerning the need for consistency in expectations of children's behavior, may I recommend the lesson "When I Grow Up"? Please also look at the study on parenting, titled "Raising Godly Children in a Wicked World."

The following questions were presented to a teenage Bible study class in Pennsylvania. I think you will find their answers interesting. Those with blue backgrounds are the boys' answers. The pink background are the girls' answers to a similar question.

Q

What does a man feel and think about when he allows himself to look at a young woman in enticing dress?

A

This can lead to immoral thoughts, lust, which is sinful. The man, if he persists in such behavior has spiritual issues and it can lead him further down the road to more immoral sinful thoughts and behavior

All kinds of evil thoughts. Some men imagine morbid things. Men imagine having sex with women and what they look like naked. Men imagine what women look like in certain sexual positions, etc. Enticing dress appeals to the lust of a man's flesh and leads to all kinds of evil thought.

Makes you want to look further or want more.

Perhaps, at times, it is simply an admiration of beauty. However, having been in the world and among the worldly, having been involved in numerous "guy conversations" about women, the norm is thinking about sexual things to do to her.

Q

In your judgment, avoiding such thoughts is a [daily, weekly, monthly, rare] struggle for most men.

A

Daily

Hourly

Daily

Minutely

Q

Do even Christian women sometimes make it difficult for you to keep your mind pure by the way they choose to dress? Do they make it difficult for you to keep your mind pure by the way they dress when they come to assemble with the saints?

A

Yes. A very few Christian women come dressed in an inappropriate manner making it difficult to keep my mind totally focused on worship.

Yes. Yes.

I notice more with Christian young people, rather than adults. Things that are common, such as tight pants and shirts, short skirts, and low-cut shirts.

Yes on both accounts. Revealed cleavage, tight-fitting shirts and pants, skirts revealing the thighs all make it difficult to think about God instead of sex, even during the worship assemblies.

Q

Which of the following do you consider enticing dress on a female? Which of the following do you consider inappropriate dress for a female seeking to be pure and seeking to help her male acquaintances to be pure?

 

Low neckline revealing some breast curve or cleavage

A

All answered "yes"

Most answered "yes"

 

Open back

A

yes

All answered "no"

yes

not really

no

 

Sleeveless shirt

A

yes

All answered "no"

not for me

Must watch for bra showing under arm

I have seen a few that I could say are modest, but most leave too much ability to see inside the shirt from various angles. However, I would prefer women not wear them at all.

 

Spaghetti strap shirt or dress

A

yes

Most answered "no"

yes

yes -- Very

Depends on how the dress is cut, how tight, just spaghetti straps -- no

 

Strapless shirt or dress (nothing covering the shoulders)

A

yes

All answered "no"

yes

yes -- Very

Depends on how the dress is cut, how tight, just spaghetti straps -- no

 

Midriff showing

A

no

Most answered "no"

yes

yes -- Very

On a teenage girl or young woman it is enticing.

 

Pants that reveal waistband of panties

A

Enticing

All answered "yes"

yes

yes

yes

 

Form fitting shirt or pants

A

yes

Most answered "no"

yes

yes

yes

 

Short shorts (how short?)

A

no

Most answered "yes"

I consider hot pants style shorts enticing. Shorts around mid-thigh or just above are not a problem.

yes -- Showing thighs

yes -- A little more lenient here than with the skirts; but not much. Typically, if it is close to the knee while standing, I view it as modest.

 

Undergarments visible through the outer garments

A

Enticing

All answered "yes"

yes

yes

yes -- Over knee and above.

 

One piece swim suit

A

yes

All answered "no"

yes

yes

Depends on the cut of the suit. If it is somewhat modest cut, no problem. I have seen one piece suits that cover little.

Q

Additions to the list?

A

Men are visually stimulated creatures. That is why advertising shows women wearing little or creatively hiding their bodies with the product they are trying to sell.

Under garments visible through arm holes

Shirts with provocative messages on them. Clothes with symbols, pictures, or messages that necessitates looking at sexual areas of the body in order to read them.

Q

Assuming you are unmarried, are you more attracted to a young woman who is careful to dress modestly or to a young woman whose dress excites you? Explain.

A

I prefer a woman who dresses well but is dressed modestly. I would not want my wife or girlfriend flaunting herself to others by showing too much of herself.

More attracted in an honorable way to the modestly dressed. More attracted in a dishonorable and sexual way to the immodest dresser -- MEN ARE EVIL.

More attracted to a woman who is dressed less modest because there is more skin showing which makes you want to see more.

I am somewhat unclear on this question. However, regarding sexual stimulation -- that is clearly greater regarding one who is immodest. That is why you say "dress excites you." But ...

Q

Which woman from the previous question would you rather have as your fiancee or wife? Why?

A

Modestly dressed. Again, she is my wife. I want to be proud of her. Someone who will walk with me through life as a Christian mate and not be influenced by the evils of this world, conforming to the dress and culture. I want a modest wife who can stand by my side and assist me in getting to heaven.

The modest dresser. This is indicative of what is on the inside of a woman and whether this potential mate is very spiritually minded.

I would rather have the modestly dressed woman for a wife. I would have it this way because I know how guys think and what they are looking at.

I would rather have a modest woman as a fiancee or wife. Why? Because I do not want other men stimulated sexually by my wife or fiancee. Secondly, modest says something about what kind of woman she is. Immodesty demonstrates, at best, weak spirituality. At worst, rebellion for God's order and plan in the home.

Q

Is there anything yet unsaid that you would like Christian women to know to help them keep their male acquaintances pure?

A

Males are visually stimulated. If you attract your boyfriend or husband by wearing provocative dress or by provocative behavior, what makes you think that down the road another woman cannot do the same? Read Proverbs 31; this is the kind of woman Christian men want.

Be modest in your heart, and it will show in your actions and dress. Flee fornication. Don't do anything with a guy more than simple kissing before marriage. Keep yourself pure for the sake of your future mate.

I think in today's society you will really have to work to dress modestly. The styles are tight, low cut, and short. So it will take some commitment to do the right thing.

Just some Bible passages: I Peter 3:1-6; Matthew 18:6-9, I Thessalonians 4:7. Do not let the world be your standard. Let God be your standard: Romans 12:1-2.

Some of the surveys included advice about kissing. Summarizing those responses: If you are going to kiss on a date, keep it short. Long kissing can cause lust and can lead to other actions. The more you touch, the more you will want to touch and the harder it will be to stay pure.

Other Useful Resources on the Topic of Modest Clothing

The Rebelution Modesty Survey An informal national survey of young men on the issue of what is perceived to be modest attire in women


Your Questions

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