Thursday, 4 August 2011
Modesty...Going Out of Fashion?
So...I read a blog the other day by Matthew Paul Turner, on JesusNeedsNewPr, about modesty. And to be honest, I literally sat there a bit dumbstruck for quite some time after. Then I ranted on to Ben about everything I had just read, and how it was a complete revelation to me, and that I was completely blown away by what he said, (Poor Ben, the number of my rants he puts up with that boy). Then I got to chatting to a good friend about it, as she had also read the blog, and not taken it quite as 'this-is-the-best-thing-I-have-read-in-forever' as me. Which is great, cos it got me thinking about it a tad more and realizing it is not quite such a black and white topic after-all.
So I thought I'd share some of my thinking on it. Being that modesty is definitely something the Church, over the years, has had a lot to say.
Firstly, I want to say, that I felt kind of special that there was a guy out there, sticking up for us gals, on the whole modesty issue. And my experience, through having both a VERY protective male dominated family, and Church, had definitely left me taking pretty much all the guilt and blame for any guy looking in my direction. After-all, I must have been wearing something provocative, and led them astray, cos otherwise no man on the planet would have looked! Right? I mean, that's the ONLY reason guys will look, is when we are asking for it? Anyway, this was my thinking for pretty much most of my life.
And I have to say, I totally agree with all that he said!
But then in discussion with my friend, she brought up some points, which in my excitement at my new revelation, I had not thought about. She asked if I would have a degree of modesty that I would expect from my daughter. And again, I would have to say 'YES', most definitely.
But my reason for my desiring a level of modesty from my future daughter has less to do with 'modesty' itself , and more to do with 'why' she is craving men's attention in this way.
During my later school years, I did go through a phase of exposing more of myself than I would deem decent now as an adult. And I know that I was doing this because I craved attention from males. At the root of this craving, was a longing to be wanted, needed, desired by someone. A need to feel loved. I was insecure, lacking confidence, truly believing that WHO I WAS, was not enough, and that being the case, my looks, and body were all I had to offer. People wouldn't truly like ME, so therefore I just had to present a desirable physical package.
So were my daughter dressing to reveal herself, I would be concerned with her need to do it. What is broken in her, that she so longs for men to desire her sexually and craves that attention?
This also I do not desire for my daughter. I would like her to be secure enough to wear clothing that is flattering on her body, without being completely immodest.
My friend also brought up modesty within some Churches. For example, dancers wearing little more than a bikini top, as they writhe around in provocative, sexually charged moves. (This is not an attack at dancers by the way...I totally wish I could be a dancer, and always fancied myself a bit of a Latin American jiver...just an illustration for my point).
And this line of thinking got me wondering if there is a lack of consistency in some Churches, where the afore mentioned is tolerated, but where females on the worship team have to ensure their shoulders are covered, and to accidentally show any flesh as a preacher is unacceptable, and scolded?
I think this all leaves me wondering what the balance is? Or even if there is one? Can we ever be modest, yet still feminine, and not attract unwanted attention? And is it society, and its diminishing boundaries, that has men so easily prey to an attractive women, or is there simply a level of self-control that is not being practiced, due to the blame being laid at the feet of women, for so many years?
So people...what do we think the answer is? Or is there even one? What do you expect from your children, or Church?