Modesty: We Can Do Better

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I was recently talking to a friend whose husband was one of the ministers in a large college church. She confided in me that at this congregation there were lists of men who had volunteered to serve the communion. She added that there was a separate list of guys who, while willing to serve communion, had specifically asked NOT to be asked to serve communion in the college section. Puzzled by this odd request I asked “Why do they not want to serve the college kids?”My friend responded “It’s the way the girls dress. They say they can’t focus on the cross and the Savior when there’s such an unavoidable visual distraction as they stand at the end of those pews full of college students.” Something is very wrong with that picture.My husband recently asked a large group of teen guys guys at a summer youth camp to identify their greatest challenge in being what God wanted them to be while at camp. The unanimous answer was “It’s the way the girls dress.”

My husband prodded them to be specific in explaining exactly what kinds of clothing made it difficult for them to be what they want to be for the Lord. “It’s very tight clothing. It’s those shirts that show some of their stomachs when they reach up to hit a volleyball or shoot a basket. It’s those times when they sit down in front of us on the bleachers and we see their backs and sometimes their underwear. It’s just really hard to focus on the devo when this is what is in front of us.” They went on to say that low-cut tops are a problem. “Maybe not so much if we are just standing around, but when we go into a Bible class and sit across the table from them and they lean over to write a note in their Bibles, little is left to our imaginations. We just wish they would help us out a little.”

The fact is… you can help them out a lot! When you choose to be discreet and modest, you not only help the guys in your circle of friends. You help the girls in your circle of friends. You help them to be modest without being excluded. You encourage them to be more aware of our calling to be holy. You help them to be able to sing “Purer in Heart O God, help me to be,’ without hypocrisy. You help them to stop being a stumbling block and start being this kind of example in their circles of friends. You make a difference in lives that you may not even know. There may be guys who are indirectly blessed by your modesty that you may never even meet. Someone may actually abstain from fornication or adultery of the heart as a result of your choice to be modest.

Best of all, you will know you mean it when you sing “O Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary..pure and holy, tried and true.” You will be a living sacrifice, not conformed to this world but transformed by a renewed mind. It’s really a small thing to do for such great rewards.

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