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What Guys Think about the Importance of Modesty


I deeply appreciate the willingness of these Christian single guys to talk about this issue so candidly and clearly with us.  This is a critically important issue for our brothers in Christ.  They need our prayers, our understanding, our support, cooperation and consideration.

GUY #1:

It’s funny, the members of my church (soldiers) must be in uniform during Holiness Meetings (The Salvation Army church service) and it is not the most flattering uniform (and shouldn’t be). The uniform “enforces” modesty on women; and I will agree, their appearance is not a distraction in church. The attendees or non-soldiers can dress as they please.

When I see a woman from my church outside of church in her street clothing, sometimes it is “night and day”

I mean, a lot of today’s fashions on women….are well…a bit arousing; and to be fair I am not saying the woman is trying to be a “tease” or is actively trying to put a guy in this situation…but

Women, you have no idea what your God given body and image does to men. 

A woman who dresses modestly is not a prude or boring. It means she has CLASS. It means she respects herself, and knows what her body can do to a guy.

GUY #2

I really appreciate modesty. It’s really annoying to have a barely dressed woman pass by or sit next to me on the bus. Yet should we speak up, we get called controlling or perverts. It’s not like we can have absolute control over our reactions.
Can I control myself no matter what a woman’s wearing? Yes. Am I comfortable when women are immodest? Absolutely not.
Yes they can wear what they like but we pay a price for their choices.

GUY #3

I see the intense feeling a guy gets from an immodest woman as a warning that she does not respect him nor care about him. In nature the most beautiful creatures tend to be the most dangerous. Tree frogs for instance are very pretty but very toxic! Translating that too woman means the same in my opinion. Once a man accepts that immodest women are more likely to support his destruction such women don’t look very attractive because you can see their spiritual ugliness like a deadly contagious disease. If a man doesn’t want to catch he doesn’t look.

GUY #4

I think there are many women who really don’t know the effect their modesty or lack of modesty have had on men, and they are probably the ones who behave somewhat naively, but with good intent. They don’t want to mislead men, but they don’t know where to draw the line between “modest” and “immodest” in ways that honor men.  Or, they believe they are already as “modest” as they need to be, while still feeling beautiful or comfortable according to society’s standards.

These good-willed women often have different definitions and standards of beauty than men. They would be surprised with how simply and non-legalistically we view beauty, and how easy it is for them to be modest, comfortable, and amazingly beautiful to us all at the same time.

There are also many women who know very well the effect their clothing and behavior have on men (that is why they do it), and they have made decisions to dress and act in specific ways to elicit reactions from men whose person and arousal responses do not belong to them.

They may believe they are just flattering themselves, “building-up their confidence,” or “using what God gave them,” but

really they are stealing emotions from men they don’t care about, and have no intentions to satisfy the responses they stir-up. It is false advertising – a deceit – a lie!

A young Christian woman made the following quote about modesty: (paraphrased)
“Women should dress like a flower to be looked at, valued, and appreciated, not like a sandwich to be bitten.”

Are you ladies dressing in ways that make us want to value and appreciate the beauty God has given you, or in ways that make us want to “take a bite?”

I believe God wants women to save this powerful “come take a bite” attraction for their husbands alone, and many men would appreciate the reduced stress, temptations, and distractions that such a choice would have on them in public, at work, or at church.

I don’t think women need to work so hard to follow society’s definition of beauty to look or feel attractive. God has a much different idea of beauty and modesty than society has told women, and godly men want to see more women choose to reflect that type of beauty.


Godly beauty is described in I Peter 3:3-6.  It is a “gentle and peaceful/stilled/quiet/calm spirit… that does not give way to hysterical fear.”  That is what is of great worth in God’s sight – and that is what is beautiful to godly men, too.

God calls us to dress modestly – for good reason.

I pray we might desire to dress to show respect to our Lord, and to show respect for our own bodies, our sexuality, and the men around us.  This attitude of desiring to draw attention to God instead of to our bodies is very honoring to Him!

RELATED ARTICLES (a post from my dear friend, Kayla, about the effects seeing a woman in a bikini can have on guys – and what we as believing women can do about it)

Is the Issue of Modesty Relevant in 2013?

Why I Wear Skirts Daily – Part 1

Why I Wear Skirts Daily – Part 2

Shaunti Feldhahn’s book “For Women Only” and for teenage girls “For Young Women Only” are great resources into the inner thought lives of men

56 thoughts on “What Guys Think about the Importance of Modesty

  1. I was so disturbed by what I read in Shaunti’s book that I completely cleaned out my closet. I don’t have that much to wear anymore and hate shopping so it’s a good thing I have to wear uniforms to work.

    1. Trixie,

      Sometimes you can find some really great things at Goodwill and thrift stores! 🙂

      I’m glad that you cleaned out your closet. I hope you will be able to find some lovely, beautiful, modest things soon that you can really savor and enjoy wearing.


  2. Speaking for myself, I found modesty to be a value than non value. To me all those women wanted was a man’s attention and most of time they caused drama which I didn’t need or want. So I just left them alone.

  3. It is possible that I was just weird and my situation maybe didn’t apply to a lot of other girls, I don’t know. I think a lot of Christian girls/women are so consumed with what they perceive to be their “flaws” that they don’t think they are a temptation to men. For me, when I was in middle school, a guy made a horrible comment to me and my twin sister about our lack of curves. IT HURT. Girls are already super sensitive about their bodies and to have a guy ridicule us on the bus in front of dozens of people was like a knife.
    Later in high school and college, I had a lot of friends that were guys – but I didn’t see myself as being feminine. I didn’t see myself as a temptation. I didn’t think I was on guys’ radar because I was so “lacking.” I allowed my entire field of vision to be consumed by my “flaws.”

    If I had heard about modesty – I am sure that back then, I would not have thought it applied to me.

    I did try to be modest. But some clothes didn’t fit just right – I am sure there was inadvertent immodesty at times.

    I wonder how many women have this same issue. They think they are “too small,” “too big,” “too pale,” “too thin,” “too tall,” too – whatever. And they don’t see themselves as possibly being a temptation – so don’t give this issue a lot of thought?

    I do think many girls are just trying to be trendy and “cute.”

    The other HUGE issue is that trying to find clothes that are modest – especially in the teen section – is REALLY hard! I can still wear a girls’ size 14 or a teen size 7 many times – so I check out those sections and YIKES! The shirts are ALL too tight and too short and the jeans are all too low cut. The shirts/blouses have plunging necklines.

    It can be a nightmare to find modest clothing for some sizes and ages.

    I’m thankful to the men who are willing to comment about this topic – I think many women just have not really thought about it and don’t realize what a struggle it is for many guys.

  4. It’s true! Most of the time women dress to impress women, not men! I can’t tell you how many time I think, “Oh I know so and so will be there and have her/their make-up on perfect and be dressed super cute,” and I end up feeling like I need to put on my make-up and get dressed “cute” so I don’t look like I don’t care.

    1. Nicole,
      Thanks for sharing your perspective!

      I do think there is a feeling among women of not wanting to be judged negatively or compared in a negative light. I can definitely relate. Being an identical twin, my sister and I were compared CONSTANTLY as we were growing up. It got really old! No one wants to be the “ugly” twin, the “fat” twin, etc…

      One time, my twin sister was going through a phase where she was spending 2 hours/day getting primped and ready and trying to look super “hot” for her husband. She dyed her hair blond and everything. At that time, I was a pharmacist in a grocery store chain and didn’t wear makeup to work. And my hair was just my normal brown color. I had been hit on too much and decided it was better NOT to try to impress men at work – so I just had on my labcoat and khakis and no makeup. An older lady who worked in my store saw my identical twin sister and looked at both of us and said, “Oh! April, now you can see what YOU would look like – if you were sexy.”

      My sister and I looked at each other incredulously like – “Did she really just say that out loud?” So then I resigned myself to being the “frumpy” twin for a long time. I did not see the point in spending 2 hours/day on vanity. But it still hurt! People say the most cruel things many times and don’t even realize it!

      Comparing ourselves to other women is a huge downer! I pray that we might dress out of respect for ourselves and for God and that we might enjoy what God has given us and savor the gift of our femininity. And I pray that we might learn to not try to outdo other women or compare ourselves to other women, but be confident in ourselves and in Christ. 🙂

  5. I used to be foolish and thought sexy was beautiful…now older and much wiser I realize that I could have saved myself much unwanted attention from the wrong types of men with bad intentions and tons of jealousy from many women…..I didn’t realize the way I affected others because I thought I was just being fashionable and considered myself ordinary….don’t judge these women too harshly because some are really unaware of the effect they are having….some really are just trying to be beautiful because they have no self confidence because of their lack of a good father figure in their lives….Blessings

    1. Thank you Sammythebeautiful!

      I think you make some important points. 🙂 the world definitely sells sexy as beautiful, especially to young girls. And if there isn’t a dad or mom involved to put limits on young girls’ clothing choices, young girls like the male attention they get, and have no idea what guys are truly thinking many times.

      Thanks so much for your comment!

    1. Thanks, churchbus71! I agree completely. These guys did a fantastic job of explaining the importance of modesty from a masculine viewpoint. I would like all Christian women to know how critical this is.

  6. I really appreciate modesty. It’s really annoying to have a barely dressed woman pass by or sit next to me on the bus. Yet should we speak up, we get called controlling or perverts. It’s not like we can have absolute control over our reactions.
    Can I control myself no matter what a woman’s wearing? Yes. Am I comfortable when women are immodest? Absolutely not.
    Yes they can wear what they like but we pay a price for their choices.

    Another ‘style’ that thankfully is only practiced by activists is quite beyond belief that it is now legal. Men and women really aren’t the same as far as keeping our shirts on. I’m quite convinced that some men support this for very wrong reasons.

    I really liked this post.

    1. > Can I control myself no matter what a woman’s wearing? Yes. Am I comfortable when women are immodest? Absolutely not. > Yes they can wear what they like but we pay a price for their choices.

      What a powerful statement, Eric! I don’t think many women understand this. Thank you for commenting. Would you please allow me to quote you in this post or a future post as well? I can have it be anonymous if you would prefer.

      I want to help women empathize with men and realize what immodesty does to men and what a huge problem it is.

      Thank you so much!

    2. Joseph,

      I agree that ultimately Jesus pays for our sin – or we pay for our own sins by being separated from God.

      But – I do think that sin hurts people around us – no matter what sin it is.

      A root of bitterness can spring up and “defile many.”
      A wife’s affair that destroys her marriage deeply wounds her husband and children.
      Someone with an addiction brings great pain and suffering and cost on many levels to his/her family.
      Someone whose loved one was murdered experiences excruciating pain every day.
      Someone who holds on to unforgiveness and hatred destroys the unity in his/her marriage and family

      I think one person’s sin definitely costs other people, too – not in the same way it cost Jesus, of course.

      I’m glad that you are able to overlook the immodesty. That must be really difficult to learn to do!

    3. @peacefulwife: I hear what you are saying and agree to some extent. Most of the examples you gave though are emotional pains. Immodesty is more of a spiritual pain.

      “That must be really difficult to learn to do!”
      Let me address this statement with a parable of my own. A burglar wants to break into a certain house through the front door. He has 3 options. 1) Break down the door 2) Pick the lock 3) Use a key

      Of those options, #3 makes his robbery very easy. The first option is very difficult and likely to result in his own capture. Option #2 takes time and skill of which he may not have. If the robber used option #3 is his robbery really that difficult? Not really.

      The key to dealing with temptation is two-fold. The first piece to continually remind men that no woman deserves such power over them unless they choose to yield it. Each of us has God-given free will and it is the most powerful force that exists provided we let God empower it! In Jewish teachings “the will – Keter” is seen as the most powerful and most mobile force. Surrender yours to God and “beauty – Tiferet” which is a much lower force will not be a problem. These things carry over into Christian teaching in some form or another as well.

      The second attitude to see the intense feeling a guy gets from an immodest woman as a warning that she does not respect him nor care about him. In nature the most beautiful creatures tend to be the most dangerous. Tree frogs for instance are very pretty but very toxic! Translating that too woman means the same in my opinion. Once a man accepts that immodest women are more likely to support his destruction such women don’t look very attractive because you can see their spiritual ugliness like a deadly contagious disease. If a man doesn’t want to catch he doesn’t look.

      I hope that didn’t come off as too negative against women but a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.

      1. Joseph,

        That is a very interesting description of the pain immodesty can cause to men. And I really love the way you look at it – the warning sign – a sign of danger/toxicity. I think that is completely appropriate and wise.

        Would you please allow me to quote that paragraph about the toxicity of an immodest woman? That was really good.


    4. @peacefulwife: Of coarse you may use my words how you deem necessary! I’d also add that I can see how immodesty hurts other women too. In an effort to compete I often see God-fearing women feel inadequate or have poor self-esteem because they feel that is what they need to do to measure up. What hurts me the most is that no matter how much a man tells such a woman she is beautiful she doesn’t believe him because of what other women do. In an ironic twist of fate, a spiritually ugly woman clothes even her flesh in ugliness and that is NOT attractive. It is a turn off. Just like a guy that flashes his wallet and expensive car around.

      1. I agree that the immodesty around us in the media and in our lives every day can create great pain in women, too. My friend, Kayla, wrote a post about this a few months ago.

        And you are right – women can be so consumed by the message of the media and other women and so consumed with their own insecurities about their bodies that they can’t hear a man’s words of praise for her beauty. That is very sad to me.

        We do advertise on the outside a great deal about our priorities on the inside by how we dress and how we choose to present ourselves to the world.


    1. Unshakable Hope,

      I checked out your blog a few weeks ago and I admire you and your faith and your work in God’s kingdom so much! You are always welcome to comment and share any insights you would like to here. I pray for God’s greatest glory to be reached in your life. Thank you for allowing God to work in you and for your beautiful example.

  7. I don’t understand why it’s each woman’s responsibility to control how men perceive them. Maybe men need to be stronger in spirit. It’s a really unfair burden to have to be constantly be aware of how men see you. I wear what I wear for me not for you. And to be expected to be modest to satisfy someone else ew. Control your own thoughts don’t expect me to feel sorry for you.

    1. Tyler,
      Thanks for your comments! Men definitely are responsible for their thoughts. They are accountable to God for any sinful thoughts – as well as their actions, motives, sins and obedience to Him. Women are also accountable for their actions, thoughts, motives, sins and obedience. Since God calls women to dress modestly – we do so out of reverence for Him.

      I appreciate your thoughts!

    2. I think one thing women need ask themselves and be honest with themselves is intent. What makes a woman feel good about wearing a skinny bikini on a beach for example? I’m not asking for a reply. If you aren’t doing it for attention from other people then what is the point? If you are doing it just for you then why not walk around your own home in the nude? Then you can learn to fully appreciate yourself as God created us.

      Realize that if your body fits the measurements society deems “hot” you can rouse jealousy and envy in women who don’t share those measurement. That could make them uncomfortable and in extreme cases be harmful to a girl / woman with eating disorders.

      Also, when a woman thinks too highly of herself because of beauty that is pride. Modesty for women in my opinion should have nothing to do with men. God endowed women with physical beauty but that makes women prone to vanity. I have seen many times that some women with these prideful attitudes have a sense of entitlement. I dated one once but it didn’t last long because I refused to give in to her. Such women use their body to manipulate others and that is a totally immodest use of the human body.

      It really isn’t just about men. I think people of faith really short change men and women when we sum modesty up in terms of men’s thoughts.

      1. Joseph,

        Thank you! This is very helpful – and I agree – it is not primarily about men.
        Immodesty DEFINITELY causes hostile feelings, jealousy, angst, etc in other women. And you are right, other women may be more prone to eating disorders or exercise addictions because they feel they don’t “measure up” to the women they see.

        Primarily, this is a heart attitude of humility that desires to honor God in every aspect of our lives. What we wear is one aspect – but our attitudes, motives, priorities and behavior are all part of modesty as well.

    3. Don’t kid yourself. Every person wears what she wears with others in mind to a certain extent. Otherwise we could all walk around in sackcloth or pajamas all day, every day, for any occasion.

  8. Hello and thanks for tackling an unpopular subject. I have two daughters so it is always relevant to me. Here are two “tips” my wife practices and we both try to impress upon our daughters.

    1. Always be aware that men are attracted to women. Period. Therefore make careful decisions about how to present yourself in every situation. (Many women never think about it — modesty simply isn’t something they are taught to think about)

    2. Any woman can aim for “hot” (the current beauty goal of our culture) to inspire male desire. Or they can aim for a more modest version of female beauty, such as “elegant” or “graceful.” There may be many other ideals, too. These are beautiful and attractive, yet also inspire respect and admiration for the person behind the face.

      1. certainly and I’m honored that you asked! Also, I’m always interested in guest post opportunities. there may some overlap between the blog my wife and I write and yours. You can find lots of posts that illustrate our interests, perspective, and writing on If you think I could write something of interest for your audience, let’s chat. Thanks again, Lon

          1. Wow! Thanks for all the likes. It occurred to me that this post might overlap your blog’s subject matter: “14 Reasons Lust scares me”. Thx again.

    1. Lesbians and bisexuals are attracted to women too Lon! Studies have shown these groups of people are aroused by sight as well. Also, not every man is going to be attracted to every woman.

      A woman (or man) should practice modesty for herself. What do we say about a guy that goes around telling everyone how rich he is? Drives a super sporty luxury car and talks down to those that don’t own one? Constantly brags about his achievements but gives no credit to those who helped him? Boasts how strong his faith is (hmm…Peter?)? Modesty goes much deeper than just dress. It is a virtue to be practiced in praise of God, not fear of men.

  9. As a Christian girl, I value modesty, but I don’t know where to draw the line. I know that guys struggle with it and I want to to help them, but I don’t know what is “arousing” and what is not.

    Can you help me?

    For ex. Knee length skirts? How short can shorts go? If my breasts are covered, but below my collarbone is showing is that too much? Should I wear tight-fitting shirts? Yoga pants? Etc.

    1. Kat,

      Well, it depends a lot on the particular man what clothing can be problematic. You can google “The modesty survey” to read what a number of men say about almost every possible kind of clothing and how they are impacted by it.

      Then, prayerfully go through you closet, ask God to help you decide what needs to go. This will be something you will need to come to your own convictions are. But, generally, tighter clothes and clothes that cover less are more problematic.

    2. @Kat: I’m a guy so allow me to comment. It honestly depends on your intent and reasons for wearing what you choose. Lust is still an issue in the Middle East so event complete covering is not going to stop lust. At the other end of the spectrum, some people visit nude beaches in Europe and the US where sexual activity is not permitted. How often do you hear about things going wrong at a nude beach? I have never heard of complaints. I am NOT suggesting visiting one but trying to make a point.

      I think the problem in our culture is not so much the dress as it is how a woman carries herself. These days women use their sexuality like a weapon to get what they want or feel good about themselves. They do not use their sexuality to reflect the glory of God rather they use the glory of the female body to influence men and even other women to get what they want. Many times women try to make other women jealous or envious by their dress. Some women use their body to influence men into “loving them” and giving them attention. I think a good question to ask yourself if you are being modest is the following: do I think I’m more entitled to wear this than a 95 year old woman on whom gravity has taken its toll?

      If the answer is yes then you may want to rethink what you are wearing.

    1. Tammy,
      We humans can make ANYTHING into an idol – prayer, church, quiet time, the Bible, modesty, having a clean house, food, marriage, our husbands/wives, our children, a political party, a president, an athletic team, beauty, money, a career, fame, power, health, doctors, a pastor, a teacher, a boss, luxury…

      We have to constantly check our motives and take every thought captive for Christ and be sure we are only seeking to honor, obey and love God from a pure heart and to love others with God’s love.

      Great point!

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