Some thoughts on modesty (or lack thereof) in this day in age...
How have we come to this point? Do people even realize the things that we have lost sight of and replaced with modern fashion? I have heard so many sermons about our manner of dress and how we need to watch out for our sisters and brothers in Christ. But how much of it really sinks in?
Even in my own church's youth group I see the plague of modern fashion. It seems to be the most difficult thing to get the youth abide by a dress code. For example, when we were preparing for our mission trip, the hottest topic of discussion at one of our meetings was the dress code rules. Some of the girls made it seem like the end of the world that they had to wear a one-piece bathing suit or a tankini that covered their midsection. Heaven forbid you can't walk around in something comparable to underwear!
Skirts seem to be getting shorter, scoop necks on shirts even lower and fits of clothing even tighter. If a girl cannot so much as bend over without showing cleavage or her underwear, it is not even worth it to buy the over-priced clothing in the first place. Why is it that even a shirt marked "XL" still fits me like a glove? I am not a heavy-set person by any means. But it does something to my self-image when I leave store after store empty handed on account of clothes not fitting the way I want them to. I can only imagine what this is doing to those who struggle even more with their insecurities and self image (guys and girls alike.)
Our society has trained us to pay good money to get "the look" that consists of as little fabric as possible. I even see 5 year-old girls wearing less than I would even imagine going out in. It makes me wonder how careful of attention their mother and especially their father pays to their daughter's taste in clothing. Quite honestly, it makes me sick.
Granted, girls are not entirely the culprits in this situation. Guys can be just as guilty in the way of flaunting themselves and also looking at girls in ways they should not. I can understand (to a point) that it is hard for a guy not to look at a girl when she is dressed inappropriately. But they can also be honest with that girl and respectfully and tactfully approach her about it. Done properly, I can hardly imagine a girl taking offense to a guy who is simply trying to protect her (and himself, in essence.)
And in case people have not noticed, guys are not the only ones with eyes. I have heard girls talk about guys' bodies just like guys would talk about girls' bodies. Granted, I am not so naive to think that girls and guys minds and bodies operate in the same way. But there is a middle ground where everyone is affected by what they see and by how someone is acting.
People spend so much time trying to make their bodies perfect. I am not against being healthy and feeling good about yourself. But regardless of all the things we do in our youth to make ourselves look our best, outward beauty is fleeting. The modern media are of little help, bearing in mind that their standards of physical perfection are unattainable. The longer we neglect building our inner beauty on behalf of outward perfection, the worse we will end up when age takes catches up with us and diminishes our physical attractiveness.
The pressure is mounting against our generation of youth to have the ideal body, the perfect tan, the right clothes and the "in" attitude. The trends of decadence, fashion and apathy are spreading like a disease. And whether we acknowledge it or not, it has already begun to infect our church, our friends and even our families.
I myself have been tempted to fall into these trends. But, by the grace of God, I have maintained my style and my life without compromising what I believe to be modest, pure, true and appropriate. And if I am wearing something that "crosses the line", please let me know. Silence never helped anyone in this issue. In fact, we have been silent for far too long.
I will leave you that have read this with a challenge. What will you do to stop this plague? I implore you to seek God and His guidance, be it for how you personally need to change or how you need to approach a brother or sister that needs to change.
Now is not a time to be silent. Now is the time to speak boldly on God's behalf and to begin to restore what the enemy so easily destroys each day.