Modesty? What’s That? – Commentary

By Paul Martin August 12th, 2002, in Editorials

Just a little warning: This is not for the faint of heart. This is the first writing that will have people thinking that I am some kinda moron. This is going to be difficult for a lot of people to read, because sometimes the truth can hurt. Many will not agree with this, and many are not ready to. So it is with a heavy heart that I post this as the new editorial for the week.

The history of the Modesty letters is as follows: Last summer, our youth group had a month long study of what it means to be modest, and how helpful that it can be. Over the last few weeks, the guys and girls separated and talked about it, and each group composed a single letter that they could agree on, to sign and give to the other group. This was done between June 17 and July 8, 2001. So, without further adieu, here are the letters:

From the Guys to the girls:
Dear Ladies of the Assumption Youth Group,
We greet you in the name of Jesus our Lord. We ask that if you have not already done so that you pray before reading this, and ask the Holy Spirit and Mary our mother for wisdom and understanding.

This letter is not to be taken lightly and should not be read or listened to if ones only reason for doing so is out of curiosity as to what guys struggle with in regards to modesty in women. Indeed, we ask that you only read or listen to this letter if you have a firm resolve and desire to help your brothers in Christ. Not everything in this letter will be easy to accept for everyone, if anyone at all. Nevertheless, our intentions are not to condemn women, tell them what they have to wear, or how they should act; rather we write this letter as an honest account of many things we as men struggle with, and leave it up to you to do what you feel is right.

However, before we convey to you some of our struggles, we want to take this opportunity to praise those of you who have been, or are striving to dress modestly and be modest in speech, ears, and eyes as well. Furthermore, we ask forgiveness for failing to always recognize or vocalize to you how much we appreciate it when you act, speak, and dress modestly. We realize it must be difficult for you to act, speak, and dress modestly given the nature of fashion today, the peer pressure you go through to dress differently, and finally because the media is always throwing immodest pictures of women at you as how the ideal woman should dress. Praise God, that you have been, and are striving to resist these pressures.

In addition to this, we would like to apologize to our Sisters in Christ for anytime we may have embarrassed you, or in a cruel way suggested to you that we thought you were dressed immodestly. We want to let you know that we do not ask you to dress modestly for us, but also for our brothers, and most importantly for yourself and God. As the visiting priest said at youth group a couple of weeks ago. You are royalty, you are Princesses of the King of the Universe, of God Almighty; you have been adopted by Him as His daughters in Christ. You have so much dignity just as you are, and we want to let each one of you know that God loves you, and we love you, and that you do not have to speak, act, or dress immodestly to impress us.

Unfortunately, many times we forget that you are royalty, and that you are our sisters in Christ. When you do not speak, act, or dress modestly, it makes it all the more easy for us to forget this fact.

We struggle with flirtatious behavior, meaning behavior meant to attract us to your physical beauty rather than your inner, and spiritual beauty. We realize that we flirt and need to work on this, and ask you to call us on this if you feel we are being flirtatious.

Furthermore, we have a more difficult time seeing you as Daughters of God, and Sisters in Christ, when you wear certain types of revealing clothing that draws us away from your inner beauty. These clothes types include things that reveal legs, shoulders, navel, too much of your chests, and your backs. Some clothes that seem too revealing are tank tops, halter tops, tube tops, revealing bathing suits, short skirts, visible undergarments, and tight clothing.

We would appreciate anything that you could do to help us to always see you as daughters of God, and our Sisters in Christ.

God Bless,
Your Brothers in Christ

From the Girls to the guys:
Dear Brothers in Christ,
We may not show it but we, girls, struggle just as much with modesty as you do. We know many of us have hurt you, and we are sorry. All of us struggle in many ways though. For example: taking your shirts off (or wearing “wife beaters”). Immodestly touching yourself or others, massaging and excess ticking. It is even hard for us to see you kissing your girlfriends in public. So unless you’re married, please refrain.

If you could compliment us more often it would be greatly appreciated. It would help boost out self-esteem because most of us have problems with insecurities and self-esteem. Don’t give us empty compliments just to flirt. Carelessly playing with our emotions will make our self-esteem plummet. Comments on how we look are nice, but when it’s all we hear we feel that a girls worth is based on looks alone They can also lead us on because we don’t often receive compliments and so we perceive them as superficial. Girls who dress modestly don’t often get as much attention so please make a conscious effort to compliment those who dress modestly. This may cause girls who don’t dress modestly to want the same respect and think twice about what they are wearing. Compliments on our personality and talents are also appreciated.

Also remember that all girls are your sisters in Christ, therefore, all deserve the same respect. Describing an immodest girl in a disrespectful way will not cause her to aim for modest dress. It instead may lower her self-image even more, so the problem may be worsened. Treat her like you would treat Mary.

A lot of us like being “one of the guys” because you talk to us and spend time with us without ulterior motives. But we are still ladies and need to be treated as such, so please don’t talk “locker room talk” around us. It is extremely uncomfortable and tempts us to think about things other than God. But at the same time, “locker room talk” is disrespectful to those being talked about and those doing the talking. So if you could drop it all together, that would be a good idea.

Thank you very much for trying. We, girls, appreciate all that you are doing to respect us. Hopefully through all of this, we can become closer to Christ and each other. We will pray for you and your struggles as well.

In His Grip,
Your Sisters in Christ

There you have it. I am sure that most of you think these letters are full of crap, but it’s something that just needs to be said. If you actually read them, thank you for being open enough. I’m expecting a bit of a backlash from this, but please carefully consider it. Until next week, I am Specter. *vanishes*

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