July 18, 2013 by Stacy McDonald

The New Barely There Modesty

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Update: It has been brought to my attention that the pastor described in this article is actually now a “former pastor.” Please note this correction.

There seems to be this weird new drift in the concept of Christian modesty. Perhaps it’s just a non-theology reaction to truly poor theology; but, whatever it is, it’s growing…especially in the “relevant” crowd. In other words, the people who seem to support this new “barely there modesty” concept rarely use Scripture to defend or support their ideas. They just ramble on about legalism, uptight Christians, and a loose, self-styled “liberty” that pushes holiness into the ambiguous zone and redefines modesty into oblivion.

I recently read a disturbing article by a pastor who verbally rolled his eyes at Christian modesty. In his blog post, he was responding in protest to Jessica Rey’s video about the history of the bikini.  I’m hoping his attitude doesn’t reflect a trend, but after the defensive attitudes I observed when Soul Surfer was released, I have to wonder.

This “relevant” pastor (who is also a husband and father) was basically saying it shouldn’t matter what anyone wears (or doesn’t wear) swimming, and that he loves the fact that most women at the beach “feel comfortable” enough to parade around in front of him and other men in their bikinis.

He goes on to talk about his wife’s “black and gold bikini,” which he admits leaves “little to the imagination”…as well as her “double D’s” (as he refers to what’s “hidden by those triangles of fabric”). He extolls her right to display herself at the beach, while condemning any man who may be tempted to lust after her in response. In fact, he doesn’t even seem to mind the thought of his own daughters being gawked at. He says:

“There were several women I noticed as beautiful that caught my eye. Observing these pretty, God-created beings brought a smile to my face as I imagined my own daughters grown up, laughing and strutting down a beach such as this, blissfully enjoying the beauty they’ve been blessed with.”

Sadly, Isaiah 3:16 kept coming to mind. He also described the way one of the “most stunning women” on the beach that day couldn’t seem to keep her red bikini bottom up, as she innocently romped in the water. Seriously. And he wasn’t complaining. Rather he was using her as an opportunity to brag about his effortless self-control, exposing, if nothing else, his spiritual snobbery.

This young pastor was trying to make a point that, though he noticed plenty of half-naked women around, he was never tempted to lust after them—that men who do so are behaving like “animals” and that we should all just relax and enjoy the “beauty of God’s creation” (i.e. one another’s near-naked bodies) without getting hung up on how much breast or back sides we’re forced to view.

On one hand, he is right; a mature, Christian man should have the self-control and focus to be unexpectedly faced with a naked woman without lusting after. Lust is a heart issue and there is no room for blame when it comes to our own sin. A man should respect his wife enough (as well as women in general, clothed or naked) to guard his thoughts.

But to say that we women have no responsibility to use discretion in how we dress around others is immature thinking. To imply that public nakedness is no big deal is to ignore Scripture and the Christian’s call to chastity. And it’s unloving. But what’s love got to do with it, right?

If I force you and your husband to participate in my nakedness by publicly parading myself, the only person I’m loving is me. I’m satisfying my own comfort, convenience, or desire for attention. I could care less how it affects you. And if I blog about the freedom I have to offend you, I’m rubbing your nose in it too. But, hey, it’s my Christian liberty, dontcha know?

“Saying that those who pursue modesty are ‘uncomfortable with their bodies’ or ‘ashamed of their sexuality’ is comparable to saying that I am uncomfortable with my expensive silverware because I refuse to use it to feed the pet mouse. Just as my valuable silver is too precious to put to common use, so the treasure of the human body should be too valuable to use in any but the appropriate context.” – Robin Phillips

Modesty isn’t (or shouldn’t be) about legalism, rules, hiding, fear, body shame, or uptight-ism. Since modesty is included in our call to be chaste, it’s about covering our nakedness in public (which the Bible actually does present as shameful), so that we might represent Him honorably before the world. It’s about hallowing His name.

“The nations shall know that I am the Lord,” says the Lord God, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.” (Ezekiel 36:23)

It’s about selflessness. It’s about honoring marriage. And beyond that, ladies, it’s about love—loving our brothers and their wives. After all, modesty promotes friendship in women; and, when we remove the awkwardness of sexual immodesty, it promotes a relaxed, comfortable friendship with our brothers as well.

The “barely there modesty” philosophy is not even consistent. How many women would stand around in their “me-oh-mys” in front of an open window where a bunch of construction workers were on lunch break at the house across the street? But these same women will wear the equivalent of their underwear in front of a crowd on the beach or at the pool.

Though this pastor/blogger seems to think he is a spiritual giant, I would guess it is more likely that he, like so many in our culture, has desensitized himself to nakedness by freely and regularly exposing himself to it.

“When a thing is enclosed, the mind does not willingly regard it as common.” – C.S. Lewis

How sad. A woman’s naked body is supposed to elicit more than a yawn from a man. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. But, like any of God’s gifts, freely revealing the intimate parts of our bodies to one another is supposed to be enjoyed within the boundaries that God has generously provided—in this case, within the oneness of marriage.

As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love. Proverbs 5:19

Keep your eyes on your own wife. And women, concentrate on satisfying your own husband…privately.

And that goes for guys too. We ladies aren’t immune to lust or distraction, and nakedness goes both ways. But, remember, it’s not always about lust; sometimes it’s simply about dignity. So keep your shirt on! Literally.

I love exposing my nakedness…to my husband. And I love enjoying his nakedness too! Shocked? You shouldn’t be. But you should be shocked if I decide to take it all off at the beach.

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled… (Hebrews 13:4)

It is good and right for a man to be excited by the body of his wife. But, if society manages to desensitize him by making nudity and sexuality common place (perhaps even boring), then the attack on marriage is subtly effective. God intended nudity to stir a reaction in us within marriage; we are wonderfully created to be sensitive to it. As nudity becomes common, and sexuality becomes almost mundane, it robs marriage of what is glorious.

CLICK HERE to download a free PDF of Jeff Pollard’s Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America

While some of this may sound like my personal opinion, I plan to post more soon about why I believe God has indeed given us a few specifics on what parts of our bodies he wants both men and women to cover in public.

“In his book The Sexual Revolution, Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957) described the means for achieving a society without any external sexual morals, “a free society” that “would not put any obstacles in the path of the gratification of the natural needs.” The road to the sexual utopia he advocated lay in first getting rid of the shyness and embarrassment surrounding sex.  In particular, Reich believed that before traditional morality could be completely vanquished, a society must be achieved where people “should lose their shyness to expose…erotically important parts of their bodies.”  Reich attempted to facilitate this by asking his clients to remove all their clothes during his psychotherapy sessions.

“Reich would be pleased if he could see a European summer today, which is more in keeping with his ideal than what we find in brothels.  In a brothel, women have overcome the natural shyness surrounding erotically important parts of their bodies in order to advertise sex; on a sunny beach, scores of women can be seen who have overcome this natural shyness with no thought of sex at all.  Indeed, by refusing to explicitly acknowledge the erotic implications of minimalistic attire, we are approaching Reich’s ideal of a society in which shyness has been overcome and flattened of its innate potency.

“Reich looked forward to a time in which sexuality would be treated as something merely common. “Profane” best describes Reich’s ideal and its realization in contemporary realization, given that the term originally meant “to treat as common.” Part 5 The Disenchanting of SexRobin Phillips

A few negative connotations of public nakedness in Scripture:

You shall make for them linen trousers to cover their nakedness; they shall reach from the waist to the thighs. Exodus 28:42

Nor shall you go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed on it. Exodus 20:26

“Your nakedness shall be uncovered, yes, your shame will be seen…” Isaiah 47:3

“You have uncovered yourself to those other than Me… you have loved their bed, where you saw their nudity.” Isaiah 57:8:

“She revealed her harlotry and uncovered her nakedness. Then I alienated Myself from her…” (Ezekiel 23:18)

“The nakedness of your harlotry shall be uncovered, both your lewdness and your harlotry.” (Ezekiel 23:29)

“[I] will take back My wool and My linen, given to cover her nakedness. Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall deliver her from My hand. (Hosea 2:9–10)

“Behold, I am against you,” says the Lord of hosts; “I will lift your skirts over your face, I will show the nations your nakedness, and the kingdoms your shame.” (Nahum 3:5)

“Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, pressing him to your bottle, even to make him drunk, that you may look on his nakedness!” (Habakkuk 2:15)

“I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed…” (Revelation 3:18)

Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame (Revelation 16:15).

Further Reading

Modesty Promotes Friendship

Holy Matrimony: The Unexpected Connection Between Religion & Sexual Fulfillment

Why Feminine Modesty is Important

Training a Modest Heart

Gender, Morality and Modesty

Nudity and the Christian Worldview (part 1)

Nudity and the Christian Worldview (part 2)

Series on Gender, Morality and Modesty

Sex and the Kiddies: The Sexualization of Children & How Advertising & Entertainment Change Their Brains

 



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59 Responses to “The New Barely There Modesty”

  1. Lyn says:

    Mrs. Stacy~EXCELLENT post and I agree 100%. This is becoming a huge problem in Christianity! I have four girls and am just realizing the enormity of the task to raise them in a modest and God~fearing manner in a culture where even a large percentage of Christians have abandoned holy living for “radical grace.” We must be on our knees for them~DAILY. Thank you for this! ~Lyn

  2. Melanie says:

    Thank you. I have sat dumbfounded while reading some of the latest coming out in the modesty debates. You stated it all well!

  3. Thank you for this post. I saw a video going around about a modest line of swimwear. When I looked at it, I was shocked. To my thinking, it was not a lot more modest. I said as much under a link on Facebook, and I was shot down for being negative about someone trying to buck the trend. The way I look at it is this – surely it’s not about seeing how little we can get away with covering up? Surely it’s about making sure we do our utmost to honour the Lord, from the inside out, by not causing any stumbling block at all, in how we dress? I was surprised at how many endorsed her swim-line. Personally, there was only one I *MAY* have felt comfortable wearing.
    I am shocked about the above blogger/pastor’s views. I really am. :-(

  4. Mary says:

    I agree! It is shocking when you walk into some churches and see the clothing of some of the women and young girls. Even some of the pastors wives. My 24 year old daughter has said one more than one occasion that she doesn’t like summer, because of the way women dress out in public. It is a sad time when you get embarrassed when you take your sons grocery shopping in the summer. I must admit sometimes I get outraged by the lack of morals. What happened to public decency laws?

  5. Malissa says:

    Very well written. I agree 100%!

  6. Alyssa Bohon says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! “Grace” is God’s free mercy and love extended to us in Christ, and what does it do? It covers us. It strips us of our scanty, filthy rags and dresses us in the glorious robes of Christ’s righteousness. If we want to live as people under grace practically, our dress should show the beauty and dignity of what God has made us to be, not the uncovered shame from which He has rescued us. Bad practice always starts with bad theology. How we need to know and love and obey the precious word of God!!

  7. Sherry says:

    Thank you, thank you , thank you. Your post inspired me. The guide to living is found in the Scripture, if only we would study it.

  8. Joy says:

    Thanks for this post, Mrs McDonald. :-) Since getting married I have been shocked by the number of people who assume that if you believe in modesty in public you must never enjoy the physical side of marriage, so I really appreciated what you said about enjoying each other’s bodies in marriage in PRIVATE.

  9. Amanda says:

    Excellent post. I love your perspective and think you are right on!

  10. Deborah says:

    Oh, how refreshing to know that there are still Christian women who are concerned about modesty among believers!! I, too, was concerned about the fact that the video regarding modest swimsuits didn’t go far enough in covering the “necessary” parts. I also agree that the beach is not the only place that Christian women are dressing immodestly. There is far too much “cleavage” and bare thighs revealed even in our places of worship! How ashamed ladies should be that our Christian men should be distracted from worshiping God because of our careless way of dressing when we come to God’s house. It is appalling to know that there are even pastors who would try to disparage the Christian responsibility of modesty. To attribute the necessity of dressing modestly as legalism is to proudly set himself up to fall! The scripture warns us of taking heed when we think we stand strong, lest we fall. No believer is immune from the sin of lust and immorality, and it should behoove each of us as believers, men and women, to accept our God-given responsibility to dress in a godly, Biblical manner. Oh, for more godly fathers and husbands that would be vigilant about how they allow their wives and daughters to appear in public! Oh, for more godly ladies, young and old, who would love their Christian brothers enough to dress modestly!

  11. Mandi P says:

    I’m curious to know just who this pastor/blogger is. Good thoughts!

  12. Penny Raine says:

    I love your observation “a mature, Christian man should have the self-control and focus” however the pastor in question does not show the fruit of a mature Christian man by his flippant attitude here. I would venture the guess that since he thinks clothing optional he might also think he thinks truth is optional, and is indeed also ok with the pride he feels over his wife’s body, and also probably ok with self satisfaction, if he looks at other women then satisfies himself it is all ok in his eyes, or at least many like him. Because to some folks as long as it makes them happy it must be good right?
    Uggh.

    The church needs to get saved. The truth needs to be preached. Eyes need to be opened. Thank you!

  13. Lori says:

    So excellent Stacy. Thank you for the time you took to post. My husband just wrote a book on Tattoos and as I read your post, much of what he has said is highlighted in your post on modesty. He states…”Men seek to justify bad behavior, redefining them as moral in the light of their lusts. That is the reason idolatries are created from the imaginations of men” That’s what I believe that “pastor” was doing as he spoke so sinfully about his wife and daughters. He’s redefining morality! Thanks for setting him straight!

  14. Collin Brendemuehl says:

    You emphasis on modesty is one to be shouted more loudly.than ever.
    But your understanding of male biology leaves something to be desired. Put a half-naked, or completely as you suggested, woman in front of a man and lust is the biological outcome. That is how we are made. We are also made to say No and turn away. But lust (normal sexual desire) is always there. Any pastor who says he is not lusting is a liar. (This is why I do not go to waterparks.)

  15. Stacy McDonald says:

    Collin,

    You are defining lust as “normal sexual desire.” However, that is not what lust is. Sexual desire is a gift from God; but, lust is a desire for something that God has forbidden. God has given intimacy as a blessing to be used within the oneness of marriage. As Christians, because of Jesus, we are not slaves to our sinful desires.

    Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. Romans 6:18

  16. Deanne says:

    I read that post too. He left this comment on Amazon:

    https://kindle.amazon.com/post/q78PZZdBSree9cTe8VqmLw

    For a pastor, he sure lacked one shred of scripture to support his nakedness theory.
    I think you were dead on about his spiritual snobbery. It’s as though he thinks his amazing will to not lust after other women should be just as easy for all men – what’s their problem? Why can’t they appreciate the “art” of a stripper? (and as a side note, it would be interesting for you to address classical art, and how we can appreciate the nakedness of sculptures and historic paintings, etc. Doug Wilson has some interesting videos on his blog about this…)

    I am certainly no prude, however for this pastor to say I am “religious” and “insecure” because I would be uncomfortable with naked women prancing around my husband, and that we are unliberated and so forth for feeling shy– is exactly as you put it: immature thinking. Sounds like the only thing unliberated is his Bible.

    And… if you noticed in the comments of his blog, someone asked about his thoughts on nude beaches, and since he was trying to be consistent, declared nude beaches are perfectly acceptable if it’s the cultural norm and that he wants to encourage “healthy body image” in his daughters and so he would take them to nude beaches too. *facepalm*

  17. Jennifer says:

    What in the Lord’s name was that foolish pastor thinking of?? He takes pride in his wife’s body, so feels free to practically thank God for “His” granting the liberty to gawk at other women?! Then throws in that gross bit about his own daughters, which may just switch around in time. Ugh. I genuinely can’t believe that.

  18. Jennifer says:

    “that he wants to encourage “healthy body image” in his daughters and so he would take them to nude beaches too”

    WHAT?

  19. Great post! I agree with you 100%!!!! It is so sad how lost our society is and that includes “Christian” people. We are desensitized to sin so bad it’s not even funny.

  20. Things have proceeded from bad to worse. Language, body exposure, Christians (maybe) hating other believers for being holy, modest or in any way not like the world. Thanks for the article.

  21. Bambi says:

    I am not familiar with this “pastor.” However, your post was outstanding, Stacy. Such a needed word to women!

  22. Amanda says:

    Why didn’t you post the scripture where David danced naked and it was ok? Your wrong in stating that modesty promotes friendship in women. I missed the exact rules for how long your skirt can be and what cut of a neckline is appropriate in scripture. Your definition of modesty may be different than mine. You may judge me immodest and it will not promote our friendship- nor the love of Christ. Glad you agree with Travis that men should exercise self control – he’s right. I personally am not comfortable in a bikini but men lust after women in burkas so where do you draw the line? Oh thats right it’s between a woman and God. Sorry if I refuse to tape down my breasts because they have curves and might be appealing to a man but God gave me them and I will wear what I am comfortable with in the body He gave me. Keep your ruler away from my daughters skirts thanks.

  23. [...] person responded to Stacy McDonald’s article by saying “Since getting married I have been shocked by the [...]

  24. Rev. James E. Delanoy says:

    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    While I could preach a long message on the sin of lust, I think it is sufficient to say what God has given as a warning to those who think they have arrived.
    1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
    As he ignores the Word of God regarding immodesty, he can easily deceive himself into believing he does not lust after immodest women.
    Notice James 1:22. says “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”
    Self deception is among the worst kind.
    There is not one man in this world that is not lustfully affected by young women in bikinis as well as other seductive clothing designed for that purpose. If he is really saying he is not lustfully affected by immodest women he has truly deceived himself. It could be simply that he has actually ignored Proverbs 6:25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids. and the words of Jesus Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
    It is obvious that we are going to be exposed to this kind of thing in a society that is completely focused on sex. But even the strongest of Christian men have to immediately look away and ask God to help them not to ponder what they have been exposed to.
    As for the woman who just feel free, the truth is that unless a woman is looking to invite the stares and attention of men, they are not comfortable dressed that way.
    Finally, if one is to still think they are above reproach in this, there is one other issue the Bible addresses.
    Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
    I Corinthians 8:23 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
    You put whatever you want there. Meat was the issue in the context it but it also emphasizes “or anything” that causes my brother to stumble.

    So dear ones, if you are really convinced that you have overcome this, then you better start concerning yourself with causing a weaker brother to sin. This is really not just about you. In fact, Christian sisters, if you think your Christian brothers are strong enough not to lust after you, (they are not) it does not excuse you for drawing the lust of the unbeliever.
    So please rethink your priorities.
    Do what is right! Be modest and humble. Refuse what you think is a right for you, for the well being of others who do not have this liberty.

    Sincerely in Christ,

    James E. Delanoy

  25. Bethany says:

    Somebody posted his article and I read it, confused at the end. I’ve been dating a (Christian) guy for 6 months and talking to him about modesty (on the girl’s end) and lust (on the guy’s end) has been a real eye opener. Some of the things I thought would be ‘stumbling blocks’, like pants or fitted T-shirts, he said were not a problem at all. But on the other hand he has also told me that any guy who claims to not struggle with lust is either lying or had his parts cut off.

  26. Stacy McDonald says:

    Hi Bethany,

    Every man is different. They all have different tastes, as well as varying degrees of weaknesses and strengths.

  27. Jessica says:

    Oh, good thing that rule only applies to women, right? I mean, no woman has ever been turned on by a man in his bathing suit, right? I honestly wonder if your husband covers his upper body at the beach? If not, by your standards, you are hypocrite and just as “bad” as the pastor you reference, no? Should your husband, or any man for that matter, be ashamed of exposing himself to a beach or pool full of onlookers? I don’t think most people are debating that sometimes people lust after people due to their lack of clothing, however the onlooker should be the one responsible for controlling that, not the person being lusted after. There are plenty of men and women who lust after fully clothed people. I think the people who despise the modesty rules are those who see the severe sexism and inequality that exists in it. It’s quite unfair that men get a free pass while women are expected to carry the burden of both parties’ responsibility. This type of thinking is what leads to a culture where women are told they are responsible for men’s sexual assaults on them–it is scary that people are nothing wrong in that.

  28. Stacy McDonald says:

    Hi Jessica,

    Nice name (I have a daughter named Jessica). :-)

    Did you read the whole article? If so, you must have missed this:

    And that goes for guys too. We ladies aren’t immune to lust or distraction, and nakedness goes both ways. But, remember, it’s not always about lust; sometimes it’s simply about dignity. So keep your shirt on! Literally.

    And no, neither my husband nor my sons go shirtless in public.

  29. Stacy McDonald says:

    Amanda,

    The text makes clear that David wore a linen ephod (2 Sam. 6:14). What David stripped off when he was dancing was the royal robe that went over the ephod (1 Chron. 15:27). He was not nude.

    I don’t believe you read the article. If you did, you must have failed to comprehend what you read. Nowhere in the text is there a reference to:

    1. “exact rules for how long your skirt can be and what cut of a neckline is appropriate in scripture.”
    2. judging anyone
    3. taping breasts (that’s just weird)
    4. rulers or skirts

  30. Diana says:

    Agree*Agree*Agree*Agree

    Thank you!!!

  31. Lesley Lamprecht says:

    I found this article via a friend liking it on fb and was encouraged after reading it – thank you. As an aside, the info on Soul Surfer was especially helpful; a relative has bought it for us but I had to explainthat our family (that also includes teenage boys) would not be able to watch it because of the beach scenes. And this was before I had read this info on it…
    We do not compromise on modesty: on very hot days we do not wear strappy tops or shorter skirts; we do not visit beaches that are very popular, or beaches during summer months; we stopped swimming lessons for our sons when they began to mature and had mixed groups; I gave up swimming at school when 13 years old as it was immodest even though I was set to win medals. Modesty is serious and we can’t pick and choose which parts of God’s Word we want to submit to. Thanks once again.

  32. Thandi says:

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And what you said about a women and construction workers at the window reminds me of what my husband says during presentations he does on modesty. “Why is it that it’s ok to wear something that basically like underwear as long as there’s a body of water but if I were to walk into church or around the mall you would all think I was insane? How does location change the principles of modesty?”

  33. Jennifer says:

    Great post Stacy! It’s about that Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit issue time again, isn’t it? sigh… Thank you for continuing to speak out on these issues!! Weary not in well doing friend!

  34. Collin Brendemuehl says:

    Stacy,
    The desire (‘lust’ in general) is built into men. That’s just the physiology of testosterone. The sinful lust that the Word deals with is how we handle it. Unfortunately many women just do not know how men are built. Idealizing male behavior, or projecting female sensibilities onto men, those things are not productive.

  35. Stacy McDonald says:

    You are still defining lust as any sort of sexual desire, but the word lust is broader than that. A man can have a strong sexual desire for his wife, but it is not lust because it is within the bounds of marriage, and can be fulfilled without sin. We can lust after all sorts of things (food, money, etc.). Lust is sinful; sexual desire (which is God-given) is not. It’s all in what we do with that desire.

  36. Jennifer says:

    “Glad you agree with Travis that men should exercise self control – he’s right”

    What exactly do you mean, restrain? Not say anything? Not look? Not think? Good luck controlling the last; feminists for years have been yapping that women should be allowed to act like sluts and never even be addressed because of it. That’s as cute as saying people should pretend they can’t hear cannonballs.

  37. Michelle says:

    I would like to add another thought:

    I read this man’s post.
    This is a married man. His sexual needs and are being met regularly by his wife and her “double d’s” as he so eloquently put it. How nice for him. I’m glad he has no reason to stray and that his marriage leaves him with zero desire for another.

    But what about the single men? What about the young teenage boys who will be waiting at LEAST 8 years or more for a wife with whom they can have those needs and desires met? What of the adult men who are also waiting and praying for wives? Where is his article encouraging PURITY for THOSE males?

    Bad form, sir. Bad form indeed.

    ~Blessings,
    Michelle

  38. Andrea says:

    Bravo! You have said it beautifully Stacy. Thank you for being honest and supporting your statements with scripture.

  39. Collin Brendemuehl says:

    Of course I’m defining it the same because the physical desire is the same. Sin is the question of context — when is it right or wrong to *give consideration* to those desires.

    Most good husbands will employ the “lie of politeness” to their wives. They will appropriately mask their physical desires and tell their wives that they do not seek anyone else. Well — that’s true when it comes to their intentions. But their hormones are another matter. Every man at the pool or beach sees and is responding internally to what he sees.

  40. Jennifer says:

    Amen and brilliant, Michelle.

  41. Stacy McDonald says:

    Yes, Michelle; and even if a man is married and is being satisfied sexually, it doesn’t mean he will never have weak moments or deal with sinful thoughts. In addition, I cringed at the humiliating way he spoke of his wife. How sad for her to be married to a man who sees nothing wrong with soaking in the “beauty” of the naked women around him, or describing his wife on his blog by her bra size. Gag.

  42. Stacy McDonald says:

    I know, Deanne. I saw that book he endorsed. What in the world???

    By the way, he refused to approve my last few very polite, but direct comments. He also refused to answer another gentleman’s excellent questions. He only answers those who agree with him and those who disagree, but are not very well spoken (so he can make fun of them).

    If you have a good argument, he ignores your questions and eventually stops approving your comments. Typical.

  43. Stacy McDonald says:

    Mandi – His name is Travis Klassen.

  44. Yvonne R. says:

    Wow, I stumbled on your blog and was presently surprised; it’s not popular these days to adapt a modest lifestyle, and who wants to be different?! Well, I want to please my Lord, first and foremost!

  45. Jennifer says:

    “He only answers those who agree with him and those who disagree, but are not very well spoken (so he can make fun of them).”

    Ugh, he sounds like a child in every sense. And frankly, in response to his little endorsement, I’d rather cover up all femininity than have “godly” men like him “appreciate” me. Disgusting.

  46. Jennifer says:

    I hope I don’t sound nasty, but I just couldn’t believe the ugly feeling that his comment in the book endorsement gave me, like he truly thought women should show off their bodies so MEN, like him (married and supposedly spiritually disciplined ones) could watch us, as though men’s flesh eyes were what we were made for. It’s a very unpleasant feeling.

  47. Stacy McDonald says:

    I agree, Jennifer. Kind of creeped me out too.

  48. [...] all to get a copy and start reading it; it is wonderful! I also encourage you to start reading on Your Sacred Calling. It is a blog by Stacey McDonald and she has a wealth of knowledge on this subject.  Also, the [...]

  49. Joanna says:

    To be fair, Travis K’s blog clearly states that he is a “former pastor.” I think you should be careful that you’re accurately describing him, especially when the concept of him as a pastor (exercising spiritual leadership/authority) is sure to make his views more alarming to your readers.

  50. Linda Freeman says:

    I read your article on modesty and I believe the world surely needs more of it. It has none except for we Christians. In my mind and in this case I feel fine saying “Judgmental” this preacher needs to get saved or get our of the pulpit. I am not a person to mince words. However, I have done word on the scriptures in an study bible and most of them have nothing to do with body nakedness.

    Perhaps next time study the scriptures a little more. I think if you do studies on these particular ones you will see what I mean and I did a study on all of them, just because it is late night and I have nothing to do. I can assure you my dad an AOG deacon would have never let me out of the house with the clothes the kids were nowadays. Somewhere women are missing the point that if we make a man lust after us we might as well commit the sin.. Thank you for the article. I just wish the young people in the world would learn this. Do one on tattooing. That is disgraceful and is going to be horrible at 80 coming from a 68 yr old. In Christ Love, Linda Freeman

  51. Jennifer says:

    True, there’s not much about Linda, I think bc it would usually not even occur to people of Biblical times to go around under-dressed. The few times it is mentioned, though, the associations are negative.

  52. Jennifer says:

    Sorry, reposting because I clumsily made my first one.

    True, there’s not much about nakedness, Linda, I think bc it would usually not even occur to people of Biblical times to go around under-dressed. The few times it is mentioned, though, the associations are negative.

  53. Paula says:

    Dear Mrs. McDonald,

    I am not a christian, but I often read your site due to some of the interesting and enlightening content. I do find it interesting however, just how different American and European culture is regarding “modesty”. We often holiday in Croatia (for example) and nude beaches are perfectly normal and nobody is particularly interested, women swimming naked then breastfeeding her baby etc. What I would like to point out, is that we do not associate nude swimming with sex. It is just normal. Also, you may find interesting that in many European countries, Scandinavia (my home) the type of “modesty” swimwear like on the video is not allowed in public swimming pools as it uses too much material and is dirty and full of bacteria and unhygienic, the same for male swim trunks.

    http://www.thomson.co.uk/destinations/europe/finland/lapland/rovaniemi/hotels/rantasipi-pohjanhovi.html

    if you check the above link you will see that only tight speedo type trunks may be worn.

    The other thing I notice is that “modesty” seems very important in America, yet they are the largest consumers of porn, and the female breast is very sexualised and rates of breast-feeding quite low.

    Please understand my post is respectful and I am not engaging in any argument with you, simply pointing out that we do not, in Europe, feel the same way about the body. My daughter is 16 and gets health-massages in the health-spa (they are really for health in Europe) by a male masseuse often and of course you must be fully naked for that in Europe. Not even underwear allowed. To me it is totally normal.

    I congratulate you on your beautiful family, and I have often thought you should be a wedding planner, such beautiful, simple and natural weddings as I have seen in your postings.

    kindest regards from Europe

  54. Stacy McDonald says:

    Hello Paula,

    Thank you so much for writing. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond!

    Obviously, we are coming at this from different worldviews, since I’m a Christian; however, let me try to explain why I think your reasoning actually supports my point.

    It is a good thing for a man to be excited by the sight of his wife’s naked body (and likewise); but, if society manages to desensitize them both by making nudity and sexuality common place (perhaps even boring) by constant public exposure, then we’ve lost something precious. In most cases, nakedness is supposed to arouse sexual desires – it’s the way we’re designed. To flatten those desires by making nudity “no big deal” is depressing because it takes a huge chunk of excitement and mystery out of the marriage bed!

    God intended for nudity to stir a reaction in us within marriage; we are wonderfully created to be sensitive to it. When our intimate parts are kept protected from public view, it communicate their value and exclusiveness. It may even create passionate anticipation between a husband and wife.

    Public nudity makes our bodies “common” and bland instead of special and exciting! Please see Gender, Morality, and Modesty which refers to Robin Phillips’ post: Gender, Morality, and Modesty: Liberated into Bondage. Robin and his wife are from the UK, so you may appreciate some of his insight.

  55. Yvonne says:

    I wholeheartedly agree.

  56. Christine says:

    “it’s growing…especially in the “relevant” crowd.”

    Sadly in our experience, it’s not just in the “relevant” crowd.

    A couple of years ago, the church we were attending hired a new pastor. A well-known church planter in the “home-discipleship church” movement. Three of his daughters dressed not only immodestly, but provocatively.

    My husband addressed the issue directly with the pastor, who “ramble[d] on about legalism, uptight Christians, and a loose, self-styled “liberty” that pushes holiness into the ambiguous zone and redefines modesty into oblivion.”

    He told my husband that his girls were *just* expressing their femininity. He then accused my husband of having a “problem” and quoted Ecclesiastes 7:16, telling my husband that he was too extreme. My husband shared that it was an assault on all the marriages in our church as well as the future marriages – we are the parents of two sons. The “pastor” proceeded to advise my husband that as parents we needed to desensitize our sons by taking them to the beach.

    Needless to say, when the board of elders also refused to address the issue, we left the church. That same pastor now co-authors a website of supposedly Christian erotica along with one of his provocative daughters.

  57. Jennifer says:

    “That same pastor now co-authors a website of supposedly Christian erotica along with one of his provocative daughters”

    Oh come on, now tell me you’re kidding. Please. Please tell me you’re kidding. Because “co-authoring” such a hypocritical and nasty website with one’s own offspring would not just qualify as ignorant and irresponsible, but also perverted and unnatural.

  58. I am so glad you posted this! I have found that I am among the few that revere modesty within my friendships…

    I absolutely cannot get over children’s clothing these days!

    And the dolls that are nearly naked for little girls to play with! I am disgusted.

    I haven’t had a bathing suit, until recently, for almost 8 years because I couldn’t find one that covered my bottom and hip region, along with my stomach and chest. Even with the swim dresses coming out, there was always a surprise in the back: “Peekaboo! I was just kidding! I am not covered!”.

    What?!?!?!

    This summer, I was actually able to find a bathing suit dress that covered everything: no cleavage; the skirt hits me mid-upper thigh (and it hangs longer when wet :). Everything that is ‘mine’ stays where it is supposed to: covered beneath my swimsuit.

    I think it’s a shame that women, and girls, feel the need to expose themselves, quite literally in the physical sense, in order to feel accepted.

    Modesty is a wonderful form of self respect.

  59. Diane says:

    I am not shocked at the pastor’s “barely there modesty”, just google the statistics of porn use and Promise Keepers (50+%) on a self reported survey had actively sought out porn. Use of porn by pastors is also in high numbers….

    http://faithandaddiction.com/?p=173

    http://www.safefamilies.org/sfStats.php

    http://gospeldrivenchurch.blogspot.com/2011/03/what-you-do-in-your-hotel-room-gives.html

    http://www.blazinggrace.org/porn-statistics/

    http://www.freedomeveryday.org/sexual-addiction-articles/viewArticle.php?articleID=94

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