Over the past few months there have been a lot of articles, blog posts and status updates on facebook, all urging and encouraging modesty, mostly towards the feminine sector of society and more specifically, women in the church. Sometimes it is well received, and other times it is not. There is no doubt that modesty is an issue that needs addressed repeatedly.

While my purpose here is not to discuss what constitutes modest attire, modesty is a topic that ought not be reserved for females only.  Guys need to be taught about appropriate dress, as well. Though it is true that men, generally speaking, are more easily tempted to look and lust, women are hardly exempt from such temptation.  Both sexes need to dress with careful regard for one another. That being said, it is my opinion that women, young and old alike, are more frequent offenders when it comes to immodest dress.  It pains me deeply when I see a woman, particularly a sister in Christ, baring to the public what ought to be reserved for private viewing by her husband only.  Many times I’ve thought to myself: “If only she knew.” If only she knew that godly men, who battle daily to keep their minds pure, are actually disgusted by her over-exposure.

So, what’s a guy to do?

How can you, as a Christian man, hold your sisters in Christ accountable for their immodesty?  It’s a rather awkward and delicate predicament that you find yourselves in.  After all, if you say something, you might be accused of having a dirty mind.  But guys, it’s time to stop being silent. It’s time to be more concerned with your convictions than with your comfort zone.  Yes, older women are instructed to teach younger women, but some women “just won’t get it” until you are willing to take a more proactive stand and voice your concerns.

As a guy, how can you be a man of conviction rather than compromise in the area of modesty? There are many different scenarios that come to mind, but allow me to throw a few ideas out there for your consideration:

Concerning Social Functions

Let’s say, for instance, your congregation is hosting a banquet for young people. You and one of the young women from your congregation plan to attend the function together.  If  you go to her house and the young woman presents herself wearing a strapless dress and/or baring her cleavage to you and anyone else who will glance her way, what should you do?  It’s kind of embarrassing, but there’s not much you can do, right?  So, you go ahead and take your date. She’s showing way too much skin, but she sure looks nice. Picture time rolls around and now you are supposed to put your arm around her, touching skin in places that ought not be touched, and smile for the camera.  Guess where those pictures will end up?  You guessed it – facebook – for all of the world to see.  STOP.  What happened to courage?  Guys, take a stand!  If your date shows up with revealing attire, either ask her to change, or REFUSE TO GO WITH HER! Sure, it’s embarrassing.  Yeah, it might make her mad.  But as kindly as you possibly can, remain firm in your convictions. By doing so, you are not only helping yourself resist temptation to sin, but you are also helping that young woman to be more aware of her need to dress modestly.  Additionally, you are protecting your reputation. You could avoid such an awkward moment by discussing clothing and your concern for modesty ahead of time . Sometimes occasions such as these, uncomfortable as they might be,  are necessary in order to help our sisters understand the seriousness of modest dress. Instead, all too often, nothing is said, and in reality, a stamp of approval has been given. (The above scenario was chosen because it is a common occurrence. It’s a whole different subject as to whether the dating game is best for young men and women. Read more on that subject here).

Similarly, weddings are often occasions where Christians get themselves into awkward situations that could have been avoided.  Have you ever been invited to participate in a wedding? Have you thought to ask what dresses the bridal party will wear? Have you entertained the idea that you might ought to refuse to be in a wedding because of the clothing that was chosen for the wedding party? This applies to men and women.  What kind of impact could be made if every Christian took such a stand? I am not suggesting that we be unkind, uncaring, or tactless, but we must be willing to turn against the tide.

Concerning Relationships:

Do not compromise your convictions for the sake of a girl!  I am aware of numerous instances  in which guys have made statements of conviction about modesty, and then turn right around and enter into a relationship with a girl who has posted  numerous pictures of herself online, in which she is very immodestly clad.  I don’t get it! Guys, when you do that, you lose your credibility!  Giving the young woman the benefit of the doubt, maybe she doesn’t know any better.  Maybe she has not been taught.  So teach her!  She may be a wonderful young woman who is willing to mature. But this is just one of many areas that ought to be discussed and resolved BEFORE you agree to enter into a relationship.

There are many other situations that provide opportunity for you to let your voice be heard.  Let’s hear them. Christian brothers, as a Christian woman I am asking you to do your part in holding your sisters in Christ accountable for the way they dress, and that includes me.  Standing against the tide is never comfortable, but nevertheless, it must be done. It is a sensitive subject; one that must be discussed tastefully, but it cannot be ignored.

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.    I Corinthians 16:13