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WHAT IS GOD'S DESIGN FOR WOMANHOOD?

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Choosing Modesty and Dignity over Sexual Compromise

By: Kristen Clark

From the time I was a little girl I’ve had random people approach me and ask if I did any modeling. I had never thought of myself as a model, but all of their questions made me curious.

As I grew older my curiosity for the modeling industry grew stronger. I was raised in a strong Christian home and both of my parents knew the dangers of the modeling industry.

When I grew a little older I finally convinced them to let me try a “family friendly” modeling agency.

I got the job immediately and signed a one year contract.

Things seemed to be going well at first and I liked the idea of being called a model. I wasn’t pressured to lower my standards for modesty and purity until several months into the job.

One day my director called me on the phone and explained that models need to be flexible with what they wear and what they do. “If you want to join the big leagues, you need to be less picky.”

Ultimately she was telling me that in order to become a successful model, I was going to have to undress a little lot.

I walked away from the modeling scene shortly after that.

Even though my experience in the industry was brief, I got a taste for what it felt like to “sell” my image for profit. I remember my director telling me that my role as a model was to simply be “eye candy.” I hated being viewed as an object for others to consume.

I was constantly pressured to accept jobs and wear things that were raunchy and sensual.

Sadly, the modeling industry along with countless other industries have re-trained men (and women) to view the female body as a consumable object. TV shows like Girls Gone Wild, companies like Playboy, restaurants like Hooters and magazines like Cosmo have completely destroyed America’s view of women.

Teen girls are now taught that female liberation and empowerment means illicit sex, sensual clothing and an occupation as a porn star. As Carolyn McCulley writes in her book Radical Womanhood, “Raunchy has become synonymous with liberated.”

Our over-sexualized culture has done an incredible job at making the raunchy girl the cool girl.

“We live in a culture of hyper aggressive female sexuality, which is arguably the worst ever in recorded history.” Carolyn McCulley says.

Modesty has become close to extinct in the new American raunch culture. In fact, modesty is now looked upon with shame and embarrassment.

Author Wendy Shalit says, “The prevailing view is that if you think sexuality should be private or special, then you must be ashamed of it. You’re prude. Conversely, if you are ‘comfortable with your sexuality,’ then you should be cool with lifting your shirt for strangers.”

Sadly, this distorted way of thinking has poisoned the minds of young and old women alike.

Women everywhere are buying into the lie and that wearing the Bunny logo is hip and cool, that dressing raunchy will gain them fulfillment and respect and that sex-without-limits is empowering.

As author 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.”

So what has the sexual revolution accomplished for women?

Are we better off as a result? This newfound “freedom” begs us to ask this obvious question: If girls and women are more liberated than ever before, shouldn’t they be happier than ever before?

Not surprisingly though, a study published on the UK Daily Mail found that, “Women are less happy nowadays despite 40 years of feminism. Despite having more opportunities than ever before, they have a lower sense of well-being and life satisfaction.”

The results from this study make sense from a Biblical perspective.

Our raunch culture claims to be liberated…but have you ever wondered what they’re liberated from? They are liberated from this: God’s authority and His design for sexuality. At its core, our raunch culture is nothing more than a rebellious movement against God.

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

Ultimately, girls who buy into the messages of our raunch culture do nothing but sell themselves short – waaaaay short – of all God created them to be.

I mentioned this in a previous post called “A Popular Way to Lose Your Respect as a Girl” that when we, as women, don’t value and protect our nakedness, we are unconsciously training the public to do the same.

When we expose our most intimate body parts for anyone to see, we cheapen their value.

The very thing most girls and girls want is to be valued and respected, but sadly, that is the very thing we’re throwing away. As girls, we will never ever be happy until we reject the lies of our culture and reclaim our identity according to God’s Word.

Girls are not objects to be consumed, but are precious humans designed in the image of their loving Creator.

Our raunch culture promises women excitement, fulfillment, fun and happiness, but the results are nothing less than devastating relationships, self-image issues and unfulfillment.

Instead of settling for cheap sexual compromise, choose modesty and dignity instead. 

God designed you as a beautiful masterpiece and His plans for you are far greater than anything our raunch culture has to offer. God loves you and values you more than any human ever will.

God calls you, “His workmanship…” (Ephesians 2:10) and says you are “…fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Those are words you will never hear from mainstream society. Unlike our culture, God actually values modesty and purity and teaches us that, “women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control” (1 Timothy 2:9).

My prayer is that you will find all of your value and worth in Christ and will come to view our raunch culture as oppressive and repulsive.

A truly liberated female is one who knows her worth in God’s eyes and views her body as a handcrafted masterpiece designed by God for His glory.

I’d love to hear from you below. 

  • Have you bought into the lies that the “hot and sexy” girls are the standard of beauty?
  • In what ways are you struggling to maintain purity in this raunchy culture?

To learn more about God’s beautiful design for modesty and dignity, grab a copy of our e-book, Project Modesty. 

Photo Credit

Girl Smiling

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Radical Purity
  • Elizabeth Lea

    Thank you Kristen for this post! I do not necessarily struggle with modesty…I praise the Lord that He has given me the desire to dress modestly. BUT! I’m not perfect when it comes to clothes. I occasionally find myself being discontent. Discontent with my body and/or my budget. In the last few years I lost 35 pounds that needed to go. (= It’s so fun to wear cute clothes now! I have to be thankful for the clothes I have, be considerate of my family’s clothes budget, and know that God looks at my heart! I’m not judged by the way my body looks or how cute my outfit is. And of course, I want to marry a man who has good taste in (modest) fashion, but loves me because of who I am on the inside.

  • Christa

    For me, I find it hard sometimes to distinguish between what IS modest and decent vs. what is blatantly sensual– unfortunately the lines have blurred not just in the secular world, but also in Christian circles. Even among Christian friends, I can sometimes feel I’m being prudish and old-fashioned for wearing longer skirts, dresses, and shorts, and less tight pants. It’s sad how the prevalence of immodesty is pervading the church, and we as Christian girls don’t have to look past our youth groups to see raunchy dress. It’s definitely hard for me, as a teenage girl, to choose modesty over the sensual and accepted trends of the culture (and my own fleshly desire for attention, or at least to fit in), but God has worked in my heart to reveal that pride is the root of a desire to dress in a way that brings attention to me and my body. I’m valued by my Maker and that He calls me to a standard of holiness because HE is holy, to dress with dignity as an ambassador for Christ and the Gospel.

  • Britts

    Thank you both for stuff like this! I struggle with lust and etc. because I really want to be in a relationship. A very deep one. But then I realized I already had a chance for a deep relationship with Jesus. He finds me Captivating. He wants all of me. And He wants all of you too!

  • Sami

    How do you get a 13 year old to see why she should dress modestly and decide to do that herself? Especially when she just wants to “fit in.”

    • Set rules and enforce them if you have the authority of a parent. Teenagers may not like you now, but they might thank you later.

    • Christa

      Hey Sami, I don’t really think there’s any way to “get” her to understand– it’s a heart issue, and also depends on a lot of things like your relationship to her (sister, friend, mom?) and whether she is a Christian and genuinely wants to please God in her dress. If she doesn’t listen to you lovingly encourage her to dress modestly, or care even when you explain the value of modesty, the best thing you can do is pray and be an example to her (assuming you don’t have authority over her).

      My parents have always upheld a standard of modesty for me and my sister, and I am thankful for them because I personally love Jesus and want to please Him in my dress. So even when I turn 18, I will continue to dress in a way my parents approve (for the most part, though my convictions may vary some)– not because I want to please my parents (though I do want to respect them), but because I have come to embrace modesty personally.

      My sister, on the other hand, doesn’t like the restrictions of no off-the-shoulder tops and other trends my parents see as immodest, so she will likely choose a different path once she moves out. I’m trying to be an example to her of dressing in a modest but attractive, stylish way and encouraging her to do this same. But if her heart’s desire is not to please God, she’ll still want to dress the way she wants. My main prayer is for her to desire a personal relationship with her Savior, which is more vital than the outward sign of modesty anyway (just because a girl dresses modestly, doesn’t mean she truly has a relationship with Jesus; sometimes it’s more of a matter of legalism and following the rules than a change of heart, so I’m definitely wary of that).

      I think Christian parents SHOULD have a standard of modesty for their daughters (rebellious or not), and expect their daughters to comply out of respect, but more importantly, they should teach their girls that true modesty starts with the heart and only really makes sense if you have accepted Christ as your Savior and chosen to live for Him.

      I don’t know if any of that helps, since I don’t know much about your specific situation. But I hope God gives you wisdom, whatever the case!

      Blessings,
      ~Christa

    • Savana

      I was raised in a family that, all we wore was modest clothing. And when you have that support group around you and everyone you know encourages you when you want to give n to modern fashion trends, it’s so much easier! If you as a mother set an example for you teenaged Daughter, and maybe encourage her friends to follow this new trend………. I will get easier! I promise!

  • Ameera

    @girldefined I think some aspects of the liberal culture and media actually like modesty. They believe it’s your choice. I mean liberals love hijabis and many women who wear the hijab are models wearing modest clothing.

  • Susannah

    The great thing about modesty is that with a little bit of creativity it can look super fashionable as well. I’ve grown up in a home where my mum and dad taught us about the importance of dressing modestly and even though I can sometimes find it annoying about how strict they are, there are so many beautiful clothes out there that are modest. I’ve been loving the new palazzo pants and culottes because they are so summery but also modest. Rather than seeing modesty as a set of rules that bind you it is a liberating choice but comes from a heart that wants to honer God. Modesty ultimately starts in the heart, and rules cannot make you have a modest spirit. Thats what I’ve learnt from seeing friends who followed the ‘rules’ but didn’t actually value modesty – it has to flow from the heart. Thanks so much for this post – its so helpful to be reminded of this! Xx

  • Julia May

    That is a great reminder! It is something that I see every day! There are still fashionable ways to dress modestly…it just takes a little extra effort!:)


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