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A Popular Way to Lose Your Respect as a Girl

By: Kristen Clark

I was at our local grocery store the other day in the checkout aisle when I saw her. I had never seen anything this disturbing in my grocery store before.

There she was, right in front of my eyes without a shirt on. I’m not exaggerating here. Thankfully she was wearing jeans…but she was shirtless!

I glanced back and forth to see if anybody standing around me was as shocked as I was.

Not a blink.

Nobody seemed to care a bit. Frustration began to well up inside of me. Why would a family friendly grocery store allow this shirtless woman to parade herself down the checkout aisle?! There are little children and unsuspecting fathers being exposed to her nakedness.

I finally made it out of the store and was shaken up to say the least.

“Where has our dignity gone as females?” I thought to myself.

As shocking as it was for me to see a topless woman in my grocery store, I am grateful for two things: 1. She was on a magazine cover and not there in person. 2. She was using her arm to partially cover her nakedness.

Ever since that day I’ve been thinking more and more about the whole idea of “women’s respect.” As 21st century girls, we verbally demand respect from the people around us and we get mad if we’re not valued as dignified human beings.

We want other people to treat us with such high respect, and yet, we don’t even respect ourselves.

The sexual liberation movement.

Thanks to the sexual liberation movement, we are now taught that “girl power” is the freedom to show off all our skin. “We’re finally liberated from the bonds of modesty and free to sexually flaunt ourselves in any way we want!” Says our culture.

It used to be that Playboy and pornographic websites were looked upon with shame by women all across the world. It was considered a huge disgrace that girls were flaunting their bare bodies for men to lust after. Fast forward a few years and many of these companies have women filling their CEO position.

From famous celebrities down to the average girl on the street, Americans have almost completely lost the value and self-respect that modesty brings.

As Mary Kassian points out, “Nowadays, there is little difference between the appearance of a prostitute and the appearance of what the world upholds as a sexy, attractive woman.”

The more we uncover, the more we lose.

Our culture teaches us that “if you want to be hot, show what you’ve got.” Their worldview tells us that nakedness should be publicly embraced and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it. They promise us lofty messages with their sexual liberation message…but what they fail to mention is the fine print.

The very thing most girls and women want is to be valued and respected, but sadly, that is the very thing we’re throwing away. By exposing our most intimate body parts for anyone to see, we’re training the world to view us as “objects” instead of dignified humans.

When we sell our nakedness on the front of magazines, we are training men (and women) to view us an item to be purchased. The more we uncover our bodies the more we throw away our dignity.

When we don’t value and protect our own nakedness, we are unconsciously training men to do the same. When we expose our most intimate body parts for the general public to see, we cheapen their value. A treasure is only called a treasure because it’s valuable and rare.

God created girls to be beautiful.

One thing I want to make very clear here is that our female beauty and sexuality is not the enemy here. In fact, one of the most beautiful things about being a girl is that God designed us to be just that – beautiful. There is nothing wrong with our beauty and our sexuality at its core.

Our sinful world has taken what God designed to be sacred and precious turned it into something common and cheap.

God has actually given us girls the ability (and desire) to be sexually alluring and enticing to the opposite gender. However, this allure isn’t for any man out there. He created us this way for the purpose of captivating one guy – our husband.

Proverbs 5:19b is talking to husbands about their wives and says, “May you always be captivated by her love.” This verse can also be translated to say, “may you always be intoxicated, exhilarated, and ravished by her love.”

Save your sexual allure for one man.

God is the creator of sexual allure and He had a specific purpose for how it should be used. The world will tell you to use your sexual allure to attract guys and to gain attention, but that is only selling yourself short.

Dannah Gresh says, “God’s intended purpose for you as a carefully crafted masterpiece is to intoxicate one man with the fullest extent of your beauty. That’s the bull’s-eye. When you dress immodestly, you create arousal in many men. That is missing the mark.”

Your sexual allure is a gift from God for the purpose of totally intoxicating your future husband. When you wear immodest clothes and arouse any guy passing by, you are using your sexual allure in an ungodly way.

Your body is extremely valuable, so treat it with respect.

As a Christian girl your body is more than just the beautiful artwork of God, it’s actually the temple of God. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-21).

We should treat our bodies with great respect and dignity because the Holy Spirit lives inside of us. By respecting God’s temple through pure actions and dress, we bring honor to God.

Don’t buy into the lies of our culture that “sexual freedom” is the best route to go. It’s a dead end road that will only leave you hungry for more. Instead, use your beautiful body to glorify God by placing value on your nakedness and saving your sexual allure for one man.

What about you?

  • Are you enticed by the culture’s message to “flaunt what you’ve got”? If so, why?
  • In what ways are you tempted to “allure” guys with your beauty?
  • Do you view modesty as a tool that places value on your most intimate parts?
  • Since your body is God’s temple, in what ways should you respect it?

 Photo credit: www.flickr.com | MFer Photography

Girl with Sunglasses on

 

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Radical Purity
  • luzdurano12

    Thank you for this post! My resolve gets stronger whenever I read something about modesty. It’s not really a common topic in my circle. I got convicted to become modest 5 years ago, when I was 17, though I was never into sexy clothes even before the conviction came. It’s quite hard to keep wearing modest apparel when the girls around me are wearing clothes that show too much skin for comfort. By the grace of God, I am able to stick to my conviction. Please continue posting topics about being a godly woman.

    • So glad this post was encouraging to you LuzDurano. Keep up the good work by glorifying God through your modesty. Stay in the fight, even when it’s tough. :)

  • JessicaLetchford

    Thanks Kristen! I needed the reminder for what’s really going on here and what God desires for our bodies. I have to remember that my body is something sacred and precious to God and my future husband, so don’t buy into the lie that anything else will bring delight, value, and respect.

  • Mama Baird

    Great post girls!

  • DA

    Love this blog post! Part of the problem is that girls are told (through various sources such as the media) that their value and worth comes from being beautiful/alluring and being able to attract men all the time. I have been tempted to wear immodest clothing (e.g., low cut tops) in order to get attention from guys; but then I remind myself that the only type of guys I’ll attract dressed like that are the same types of guys that as a Christian I’d rather avoid (especially when it comes time to choose a spouse). I recently had an experience where I put on a wrap dress with a low cut v neckline. I was tempted to leave it ‘as is’ but then I chose to do the right thing by using a safety pin to make the neckline modest. That very same day I met a very cute, godly guy and thought “Boy am I glad that I didn’t wear the dress with the low cut V!” As a Christian, it’s important to me that I always represent Jesus well :-)

    • Hey DA, We are so proud of you for choosing to dress modestly. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and modesty testimony! Loved it.

  • Monzii

    Excellent point and I 100% agree with you! #I must stand up and out for Jesus!

  • Stephanie Leon

    Love this! ♡♡♡♡♡

  • “and we get mad if we’re not valued as dignified human beings”

    I’d encourage you to reword this sentence. All people should ALWAYS be treated with dignity and respect regardless of what they do or wear. That’s exactly what Jesus calls us to do. He treats the woman at the well with incredible dignity and respect regardless of the fact that she committed adultery with multiple men and was still currently living in sin. He didn’t shame her or treat her with disrespect. This current cultural shift isn’t unusual, in fact it is just a repetition of history. As Christ followers we shouldn’t be asking the question “how can women expect to be respected while they themselves do not treat their body with respect?” Instead we should be asking “I wonder why women aren’t respect their bodies?” The majority of my clients I counsel that tend to be promiscuous were usually sexually abused in their past. For every action there is a reason behind the action. Yes, women are not respecting their bodies and are putting themselves out their in a shameful manner, but they are probably doing that because they aren’t experiencing unconditional love anywhere. So as Christians those are the women we should be MOST concerned about and pursuing. We should be treating them with dignity and respect because nobody else probably is. I get that there is a feminist movement claiming women are more sexually free and praise this culture but instead of slamming them be curious! Did you know 1 in 3 women are sexually abused in America? It is no wonder women want to put it out there! At least now they have some control. I have heard women who have been sexually abused say, “Yeah, I sleep around with men, but I am already so worthless at least now I get to act as if I have a choice with who I sleep with. I am no longer worth a good man’s time, I’m already ruined.” The only people this message will resonate with is women who are already like minded as you. It will not reach the women who are struggling to find love somewhere, anywhere even if it leaves them feeling like trash. I would put money that that model on the cover of that magazine you referenced feels worthless and so if the only acceptance she can get is on the cover of that magazine then at least she gets some attention. This is the problem in mainstream church! We obsess with modesty and polarize women who may be looking for acceptance. Would a prostitute feel love and understanding after reading in this post she has no self respect for herself? No! And trust me, most women are very aware they have no respect for themselves, they just put on a brave face and act like they do to judgmental Christians.

    • MaryMc

      You are projecting things that aren’t implied in this article. You are also being judgemental. You are assuming everyone agreeing with this article has a squeaky clean past. I liked her perspective and insights. I assure you, I could tell you stories about my life that would make your head spin.
      Each person is going to read online through the lens of their own life. Realize this about yourself and don’t be so quick to anger. Put it in context. Think before you shame someone for being brave enough to be true to herself and put her opinions on the internet.
      The biggest issue any female has in this country is feeling like they have to be less than themselves to please the world. Don’t contribute.

    • Lottie Shaw

      Whether others should be treating is with respect isn’t the point. If we act in a way that is disrespectful to ourselves, then we can’t complain when others, who are also human, sinful beings, treat us the way we treat ourselves.

  • Alisha Rose Glenn

    I don’t want to live on this planet any more.

  • Julia Louise Green

    Wow!! Awesome! Thanks for the GREAT blog!! Very encouraging. I struggle with what to wear sometimes! Its hard in todays world!! :( But with the Lords help Im doing my best to dress modestly!

  • Gabi Lopes

    Hey! I’m really surprised with this blog, not because the things it talks about, but because of the way how it talks about. Purity, sexuality and beauty are things very important and complicated, sometimes, for us, christian girls, and read and learn about it is very edifying. God has a different love and a different care to us, and he’s trying to make us see how we are, sometimes, failing ourselves. So, congrats for what you’re doing, and know that your blog has come to South America.I’m from Brasília, Brasil, and I’m being very edified, as like many other girls! XoXo <3 (that's how you do, right?)

  • Hurricane

    You need to be careful with articles like this, the way this reads, it seems as though you are saying that women that dress “immodestly” (whatever that means) don’t deserve to be treated with the same respect as women who do not dress this certain way and have no “right” to expect this respect as a human being. You also strongly imply that are, and should be, dressing for the benefit of men and any positive or negative thoughts a man might have about her are her own fault. You title itself very much seems to imply that a girl’s self worth and dignity are at least partially dependent of her clothing. Is this really the message that you want to send young women? That no one will listen to her or care about her as a person unless she is wearing certain clothing? That she really shouldn’t expect them to either, she is essentially a lust object is she allows anyone to see more than you might think is appropriate? And speaking of women who do chose to make choices in life that are deemed to be immoral (in dress or otherwise), this article seems to toss them aside as being as close to worthless as anyone could be, cheap and used up as objects. Come on now, this sends an obviously twisted and terrible message to young women and is NOT the way to encourage positive decisions.

    • alicia

      I disagree with your interpretation of this article. I used to be one of those girls who would flaunt but then Christ saved me from my sin. I didn’t change the way I dressed right away, but surely the Holy Spirit taught me that I am lovingly His and didn’t need male attention. Christ gives us our value even when we fail. We do cheapen ourselves with ALL types of different sins, not just this one. Again, Christ gives us our value even when we were “worthless” and “used”. :) Take care and please reconsider the perspective from the author.

  • jiujitsulover

    Amen, Kristen. That is SO true. I am always going to save my body for my husband. 😉

  • Beth Steury

    A great take on a very important subject. Thanks for honestly “going there.”

  • Lis Simpson

    This is very freeing for me and yes I agree all ppl should not lose respect. I think it gets worse for women who flaunt themselves but men are held to the same standard.

  • jayne190

    So I as a woman shouldn’t dress in a sexy way? For the most part I do dress modestly, but what one person considers modest another may think they are pushing the boundaries.

    • Lottie Shaw

      You can dress modestly and sexy. Your only responsibility is to dress modestly for yourself, and if someone lusts after you, then it isn’t your responsibility because you have done all you can do to do the right thing.

      • jayne190

        And I should control an man’s lustful thoughts. Not happening, as those are his thoughts not mine.

  • Maddie

    It really rubs me the wrong way when people tell me what God wants for me. I think God has a lot more pressing issues to worry about than women’s clothing and no being but Him knows what he wishes for me. This article states that we should dress in a way that is pleasing to men – “modestly” and “godly”. What arbitrary terms. My husband appreciates when I look my best, but I dress in a way that supports my self esteem and makes me comfortable. I do not dress, in any particular way, to please men. Why should my value be dependent on my attire, whether it be modest or revealing? Why shouldn’t a woman in a mini skirt be respected as much as woman in maxi skirt? According to this article, they are not equally worthy of respect. What an awful message to send to young girls.

  • Johanne Newell

    Maddie, of course a woman in a miniskirt is just as deserving of respect as a woman in a maxi skirt. What the article is stating is that she’s not going to GET that respect. Not that she doesn’t deserve it.

    It isn’t telling you what you have to do. Yes, it is suggesting what God wants for you. God loves you and wants you to be happy. The author is trying to sway readers with her opinion of how modesty will actually make you happier. After reading the article, if you are not convinced, then you are free to change nothing about your appearance.

    And you are right… modesty is kind of arbitrary. I guess I’d rather look at it as a “spectrum”. I don’t think the author is suggesting that we all put on burkas. But, if one woman on the “more immodest” end of the spectrum decides to shift a little toward the “more modest” end of the spectrum, for the right reason (to be able to better share her body with her husband one day, because this is how God designed it to be), then I think the world will be a better place because of this article.

  • Jeanie Nelson

    This is a really wonderful post. When I have a doubt in life I go to the book and here is my post. 1 Timothy 2:9English Standard Version (ESV)
    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,

  • Steve Curran

    I hope you have the copyright to that picture. Otherwise, you would be doing the exact thing you’re shaming other women over…Only, you’re doing it to somebody else (probably some unsuspecting underage girl); not yourself. But, hey, you dress in a respectable manner, so it’s okay!

  • mystique Hanson

    Oh my god! this is so hilarious!!! This woman is a true comedian, I can`t wait to read her other posts!!!

  • Olivia

    lol im atheist so

    • Olivia

      woops didnt realize this website was about god sorry. just clicked on a link

      • Lottie Shaw

        Don’t apologize. :) My guess is that everyone is welcome particularly if they are willing to be respectful, which you have been so far. :) :)

  • Cas

    I think that one shouldn’t feel pressured to dress modestly or to dress with a lot of skin showing. Everyone deserves respect, dress should not affect that, and if it does then its the person who’s not giving you the respect you deserve thats in the wrong.

  • Medusa

    I dress “modestly” because I’m unhappy with my body and I experienced sexual abuse for years. Showing skin makes me feel uncomforble. This is not a positive thing. I should not feel like I am inviting people to sexualize me because I put on a sundress. Articles like this are not helping. :)

  • Amaris Watje

    Hey @Medusa, I know what it’s like. I’m sorry. I am actually kinda insecure too, but I try give myself a bit of self-esteem when I choose to dress “modestly” as some would say. I don’t want guys to objectify my body. I want a guy to be attracted mainly to my character, not my curves. So, in all reality, I dress modestly because I know that is what’s right and I respect myself. Does that make sense?

  • Maria Wilson

    Sometimes, I feel sort of tempted to dress “immodestly” because I observe a lot of girls wearing really outlandish clothing in public. But then, I realize that I would be calling bad attention to myself. This article really helped!

  • Prion Indigo

    What seems to be “shameless” is your astute arrogance and judgmentalism. How another woman dresses is NOT your business. But there you Christians go, you speak against gossip and yet use blogs like these as a FORUM FOR SLANDER. That si what you are doing, YOU ARE SLANDERING.

    • Lottie Shaw

      The definition of slander is “make false and damaging statements about (someone)”. She isn’t speaking about anyone in particular. She is talking about the way women in general dress. Which is perfectly within reason. Women are wearing less and less and the less we wear the cheaper we look to everyone who sees us. Lack of clothing does show how little respect we actually have for ourselves.

  • Prion Indigo

    Since when did our “priceless human worth” become dependent on how we dress. If we reveal ourselves “we cheapen our worth”, as if our INNATE dignity were EXPENDABLE to begin with. Worth that can be so superficially cheapened is NOT WORTH AT ALL. But good to know that at least women like yourselves have worth. Know that in some parts of Egypt, the few inches of tightness around your thigh that your pants expose would seen to cause “fitnah”, or moral chaos.

  • Huy Pham

    thank you god for having created beautiful women.

  • Cappy

    “It used to be that Playboy and pornographic websites were looked upon with shame by women all across the world.”

    Playboy was actually a champion of women’s rights. It was only looked down upon by those who didn’t want women to be free to make a choice about their clothing, marriages, sexuality, and even contraceptives.

    • Lottie Shaw

      Man, you are really delusional if you truly think that Playboy was ever a champion of women’s rights. Really? How is it freedom to display every inch of our bodies for everyone to gawk at and lust over?

  • Sydney

    Whoa…..a shirtless woman?! That’s crazy!! Kirsten and Bethany, keep up your good work. God is using your ministry to change lives!!!
    P.S. Loved your “Project Modesty” book! Totally awesome!!!

  • Val

    Everyone deserves respect, no matter what they do, wear or say.
    I try to treat the most intimate parts of my body in the same way I treat my most inimate and personal thoughts and memories: I don’t share my most intimate thoughts with everyone not because I’m ashamed or I think that my thoughts are ugly, shameful or bad, I just think that not everyone would be interested in them, or able to understand their meaning and they could even misunderstand them or mistreat them.
    It is the same with my body: not everyone is interested in seeing it all and not everyone loves me enough to be able to appreciate my body for what it is and not use it.

    I understand what you girls meant in this article, I think you were misunderstood, as it often happens in articles about modesty

    • silvana tavares

      I think is you who misunderstood this article. When you said everyone deserves respect no matter what they do, wear or say, you are forgetting something very important. That is what other people do, wear or say does have an impact on their outside reputation. For example if a person murders purposely someone he is a murderer. Yet he doesn’t want to be considered a murder(which makes no sense). If a person is rude and says that’s how he is, that how he’s going to be seen. If a person is rude to you, it’s your fault or is fault? What is the outcome?

      A woman who flaunts her skin to the world, and says she doesn’t want to be seen as flesh, is what? The same way of those two examples an hipocryte. There is a lot of problems with the world and one of them is people thinking they can control other people thoughts no matter what they do, wear or say. Thinking that respect is something you deserve, is like saying you are holy. Respect is given, respect is an act of love.

  • Lottie Shaw

    Thank you so much for posting this. This is such a difficult issue to address in this day and age. Women are so horribly touchy about this issue. To be honest, myself included, particularly when discussed with certain people in my life.

    I grew up in a really conservative household and we were made to wear clothes that had necklines right up to the base of the neck and skirts that came down to ankles. I kind of reacted to being forced to wear clothes that made it almost impossible to tell if I was a girl or not, and started wearing really immodest clothes when I left home. Well, they were immodest by the standards I grew up with. I never went completely overboard like wearing short shorts and cleavage popping out everywhere. It was just jeans and tighter tops.

    Then I got a bit older and past that reaction to my childhood. But I still wore jeans because of the pressure to conform to what was expected of me by the world. And I was working as a private au pair and the mother was very opinionated about the way I dressed and my background. So, I kept dressing in a way that I never quite felt comfortable with.

    I am now two years on from that au pair job, and I have become more sure of my convictions in this area. My thoughts are, that the right sort of jeans, when “worn” modestly can be modest. But for me, I can’t wear jeans because I look so good in them. It causes me to stumble to see how good I look in jeans, so to avoid stumbling in that way, I just don’t wear them at all. And, I have been struggling with weight and I don’t like the way I look when I wear jeans while I am fat. lol But, when I am a good weight, I look amazing in jeans. Scarily beautiful. So, I don’t.

    You have to truly search your heart on why you wear certain clothes. And ask God to lead you, and that is all you can do.

  • Danielle McGonnell

    Hi Kristen,
    I want to thank you so much for writing this article. After reading it, I scrolled through and read all of the comments. The majority of the comments made me sad. Nobody in our culture seems to get God’s design for purity and modesty. Sure, a guy needs to train his heart not to lust after women (trust me, I get it; I have a Godly brother who understands the struggle), but we need to love them like JESUS, and make their ever so difficult job EASIER. Trust me girls, dressing immodestly will get you attention from plenty of guys. Those revealing selfies that you post on Instagram will get you plenty of likes. However, all of that is the wrong kind of attention. When I meet my future husband, I want him to love me for who I am in Christ, not for my cleavage and rear end. There is so much more to all of you girls than your bust, waist, and dress sizes.
    I encourage all of you ladies to step up to the plate, realize that your bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, and live out God’s design for your lives. After all, we are not our own; we belong to Jesus.
    Because of that, everything else suddenly fades away including feminism, attention seeking, and the ache to be loved by a man. Only Christ can fulfill that empty, hollow feeling inside of your heart.
    At the end of our lives, we are all going to stand face to face with God. What’s going to have been more important? Getting 100+ likes on that revealing selfie you posted over 50 years ago, or choosing to serve God by the clothing that you wore? The choice is up to you.


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