"Modesty: A Pastor's Concern"

C.J. Mahaney recently wrote a chapter for the forthcoming book, Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World. The chapter he authored deals with modesty. Below is an excerpt or two from the 4th of a 7 part post that includes excerpts from the book. You can go here to read the entire post and the previous posts as well.

In this post (excerpt) C.J. gives two testimonies from two young people concerning this battle in the believer's life around the discipline of modesty. One is from the perspective of a young man and the struggles he faces and the other is from a young woman and her realization of the responsibility she has in the lives of her brothers in Christ. If you have a teenager (or are an adult for that matter) you would do well to pass this along and we all would do well to heed the counsel here.

The young man writes,

The one place I might think I wouldn’t have to face as much temptation is at church. But this is not always the case. When ladies I’m friends with dress immodestly, it definitely has a negative effect on our friendship. When she dresses immodestly, it doesn’t make it easy to see her as a sister in Christ. There’s a constant battle going on as I’m interacting with her. Communication becomes more difficult, but I’m also trying to fight temptation.

I also think that some ladies aren’t aware that even the little things can distract guys a lot — showing even a little part of their stomach, wearing a bag that has a strap that goes between their breasts, etc.

I’m so grateful for the friendships God has given me over the last year and a half and for the godly ladies in my small group. I’m so appreciative of the sacrifice that these ladies make to glorify God and to serve and care for the guys.

I heard a story of one of the ladies in our small group who went shopping and really liked a shirt she was trying on. But then she thought, "No, I can’t do this to the guys." That was the first time I had ever heard of anything like that, and it made me so grateful. It is such a blessing to have friends who care for me enough to be selfless and to sacrifice what might look attractive in order to help me and other guys with
sexual lust.

When ladies dress modestly, it’s attractive and it makes me want to hang out with them. I think modesty is so attractive and helpful in friendships; it makes it easier for a friendship to be centered around God and for fellowship to be unhindered.

A young woman then writes,

I had a vague idea that guys were more affected by sight than girls were. But I never realized how pervasive the temptation was. . . . Now, knowing a little bit of what guys go through every day, I have an ardent desire to serve my brothers in Christ. I want to make the church a haven for them.

Thanks to my parents’ oversight, I don’t think my wardrobe is immodest. But I can often spend too much time critiquing my outfit, trying to figure out how I can work with what I have to get guys’ attention. After your message, I no longer have the desire to dress immodestly— rather, my concern is to protect the guys and help them in their walk with God. I don’t want my clothes or behavior to distract them from focusing on God.

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