Men and Modesty

One of the biggest complaints I ever heard from my students was about the school’s dress code, and these complaints sometimes caused me to think about the relationship between female modesty and male thoughts. The students had been told that boys were easily distracted by female dress—hence, at least one of the reasons to have a dress code. While the students did not like to acknowledge that connection, the Bible also points out in 1 Timothy 2:9 that women should “adorn themselves in modest apparel” and focus more on “the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:1-6). Young ladies in the Church are taught this principle and given instructions on how to put it into practice, and if you’re one of them, a great place to start is the companion to this post, Mrs. Jeanine Smith’s “Women and Modesty.”

But this post is for young men: When you think of modesty, do you think it only applies to the ladies? That can be a dangerous trap, for two reasons. 

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Women and Modesty

In Muslim nations and communities, women dress in burkas or long-sleeved abaya in order to be considered appropriate in their culture. Yet in Indian culture, an exposed belly is not considered revealing—whether it is 20 years old or 80, and whether its size is 2 or 32. Meanwhile, in the United States, Amish women dress only in dresses comprised of a simple scoop-neck bodice attached to a loosely gathered straight skirt, and perhaps only pinned together, because pleats and buttons are considered too ostentatious.

Depending on where you live, culture does play into how one should dress. However, with a few exceptions here and there, most Western nations have a lot of leeway in what is considered appropriate or inappropriate for women to wear. But do we have that much latitude in God’s view?

Biblically, women should not be ashamed of their bodies. When God created Eve, He made her beautiful, and women are designed to want to be that way. Peter acknowledges that women want to be beautiful, and he extends that to beauty that is more than skin deep (1 Peter 3:3). Our character needs to be beautiful, and every godly woman wants to be beautiful on both the outside and the inside.

So, if God meant for women to be beautiful, why must Christian women be concerned with what they wear in public? Does God care if we wear yoga pants and a cropped sweatshirt to the mall? Does God care if we wear a low-cut blouse with a keyhole opening? Does God mind if, when we sit down and cross our legs, anyone in front of us can see halfway up our thighs? Although it is godly for women to desire to be beautiful, is that the same as being sexy—by definition, “sexually suggestive or stimulating”—in public?

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Podcast 46: How Can I Have Hope for My Future?

Today we answer a question from a listener: With the world getting worse as Jesus Christ’s return approaches nearer, how should a young person think about his or her future?

Mr. Weston’s LCN Articles

In last week’s podcast, we mentioned two Mr. Gerald Weston articles, and we just realized we forgot to post links! So, here they are, the first of which might already be in your home!

We hope you’ll consider clicking through. Both make for excellent pre-Spring Holy Days reading.

Podcast 45: Why Is the Bible Sometimes Vague?

Sometimes you just want the Bible to spell out all the “dos and don’ts” of things in all their details, but it doesn’t. Is that a bug or a feature? Join us today as we chat about why God might choose to handle some things this way.

You can find the episode on any of the platforms below, and if you have a favorite platform that we’re not on, just let us know at [email protected].

Podcast 44: A Sneak Preview of the Next TW!

Well, just as the March 2023 issue of Tomorrow’s World is hitting subscribers’ mailboxes, we’ve just finished creating the April-May 2023 issue. And with it still fresh in our minds, we thought we’d give you a preview. Asking whether we’re sleepwalking into WWIII, pondering the possibility of an A.I. information apocalypse, warning against the dangers of perfectionism, explaining why world leaders can’t fix anything, and more—we think this issue has a lot that deserves your attention!

Podcast 43: A.I.—Friend or Foe?

Artificial intelligence is quickly moving from behind the curtain to the very front of the stage, as increasingly intelligent chatbots, image generators, and more are entering mainstream use by “regular” folks. Join us for a bot-free chat as we ponder a bit together about what these new tools mean. Also, if you’d like to check out our old TW articles about A.I., mentioned in the podcast click here: “Artificial Intelligence: Promise or Peril?” and “In Our Own Image.”)

(For an example of the power of A.I.-generated images created by our own Ben Graham, check out this link.)