rebelling against low expectations

The Responsibility of Modesty (Part Two)


By Shannon Moeller, a strong Christian young man from Illinois. Originally submitted as a text response to’s Modesty Survey.

Deuteronomy 22:8 says, “When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring the guilt of blood upon your house, if anyone should fall from it.” My sister has often heard from other girls, “It seems the whole point to this modesty thing is to try and hide the fact that I’m female. If I do that, how will a guy ever notice me?”

In my opinion, modesty is no more about hiding the fact that a woman is a woman than having a parapet around a roof is about hiding the fact that the roof is a roof. The primary purpose of the parapet is so that no one falls off the roof and dies, bringing guilt upon the homeowner. One primary purpose of modesty is to prevent men from “falling” on account of a woman’s unguarded body.

“But won’t certain men lust no matter what?”

Yes, just like certain men will jump off a roof, despite the parapet. If a man wants to jump, you should do what you can to stop him. But, if he forces his way past and jumps anyway, the guilt is on his head, not yours. The parapet is there to keep men that don’t want to jump from falling. It’s the same with modesty.

“But how do I know what’s modest and what’s not?”

This question can be likened to asking: “How tall does the wall around my roof need to be?” Some people judge this choice by asking, “How low can I make the wall and still fulfill the requirements?” While others ask the better question, “How tall should the wall be so that it will protect those on the roof?”

The “how-low” group might build a 12-inch railing or a fence with four-foot gaps between the posts. Technically speaking, the roof has a parapet either way. The problem is that these railings might actually do more to cause someone to fall off the roof than if there was no wall at all. There is no safety.

The “how-tall” group of people might build a nine-foot-tall, solid-brick wall ensuring that even Goliath would have a hard time forcing himself over the railing. This would certainly fulfill the requirements, but it’s obviously overkill. Instead of a roof with a parapet, you’ve got a two-story house with no roof at all.

Conclusion: In Modesty, You Are Protected

You don’t have to hide the fact that your house has a roof or that you are a woman. You don’t have to build a nine-foot wall or wear a gigantic paper bag over your body. But you do have to do what you can to protect the lives of your guests and the purity of your brothers (the Modesty Survey should be a great help with that).

In this, you are protected. If someone falls, the guilt is not on your head. You show love and honor to your God, your father, your husband, your children, others around you, and yourself. Your modesty shines. Even if a guy doesn’t know what it is exactly, he will notice you and that there’s something different about you. That’s the right kind of attention.

Additional Modesty Resources
  • The Purpose of Clothing: John Piper explains both the negative and positive messages God communicated by clothing Adam and Eve after they fell into sin.
  • Free To Be Modest: Nancy Leigh DeMoss explains how living under the Ownership and Lordship of Jesus Christ, frees us to be modest.

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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.


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  • Mr. Moeller, thank you very, very much for your well thought out analogy! It does a lovely job showing the balance many girls struggle with in fashion vs. completely-covering-everything-frumpyness ;). Superb job! 🙂

  • What a great analogy and insightful application of that verse! Thank you, Alex and Brett, for bringing these beautiful balanced testimonies to us.

    I am praising God for his goodness manifested through this whole project!

    Joyfully in Christ,

  • I think that was the best analogy written on modesty I have ever encountered…and judging from the replies I think it sent its message in a clear and loving manner…I don’t see any hot tongues or tempers. Modesty, like a parapet, was a commandment from God. God tells us to be modest, and that fact correlates nicely with the parapet picture.

    I am a severe kinesthetic learner, so when people paint a clear analogy that I can picture, it’s much easier to visualize. A very good post…it was like a breath of fresh air!


  • What a great analogy! It paints such a clear picture in my mind and gives a nice balance- addressing both extremes with modesty.

  • The building blocks of modesty explained! Good work, Shannon!

    Modesty should not only be an outward committment, but also an inward state of the heart – a committment to Jesus Christ that we will be separated from the world!

    It is great to hear young men share their hearts on what true modesty is!


  • I’m really liking these modesty parts that you are showing leading up to the release of the survey. I think it will make everyone think and understand more from the survey. Even us guys can learn from these points.

  • I realize that 20 people have already said this, Shannon, but you make a truly excellent point. You’ve encapsulated the arguments I’ve heard from both sides and answered them one-and-all with the truth of Scripture. Thank you for such an excellent analogy–it’s one I won’t forget! 🙂

  • This post was absolutely wonderful. Whoever thought all of this through was a genius. The analogies drawn were perfect.

    I am most definitely posting a link to this on my blog.

    Thank you so much for this insightful post!

  • Very sweet spirited analogy. My mama always says that my clothes should be loose enough to show that I’m a lady, yet tight enough to show I’m a girl. The point is, you can be fashionable without compromise.

  • WOW!! That was a really good analogy: I think it’s the best I’ve ever heard. 🙂 Thanks for putting this up! 🙂 Only one more week till the survey comes out!!! 😀

  • I appreciate this so much. It is very hard for me sometimes to want to dress modestly. I’ll see a girl go by in low rise jeans and a tight top, and I know that’s immodest. But a part of me is like, why can’t I do that too? Seeing it in writing makes me realize how awful that desire is. Or maybe just wearing clothes that are a little more immodest than the ones I wear now…everyone else is, after all. But just recently some things happened that made me realize how godly guys react to girls who dress immodestly. There’s this girl who is going as close to the edge of her school’s dress standards as possible. She’s dating but she still flirts with every available guy. And one guy she WAS after gets a text. Oh no, it’s from “Abby”. She’s texting him constantly and it really bugs him. And another guy agreed. And then there was the time she was flopped on the couch pretending to sleep, legs kicked up. A guy tossed a blanket on her to cover her up. This just made me realize what godly guys really value; women who care more for their brothers than themselves. Women who are secure in who God made them and their relationship with him. Who don’t need to flaunt themselves. Which girl would I rather be? I don’t think that’s such a hard decision, after all.

  • Good one! But what do you say to a guy who thinks that being feminine means showing off your body a little more than what you’d like? (I’m talking about my husband.) He also says “to look is free” but I don’t agree with that. He doesn’t mind if guys look so long as they don’t touch…I just don’t want them to look.

  • To Alexandra: As a Christian husband, perhaps he might read the following verse and earnestly pray for the Lord’s revelation and insight: “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” Matthew 5:28. His desire to cherish you as his wife would include a desire to shelter his brothers’ eyes from the treasure he has found in your loveliness. His abiding and genuine love for you would inspire him to not invite “looks” that would cause his brothers to stumble. Part of loving your husband is saving what is special and his for his eyes only. Part of loving you as his wife is guarding and protecting that which God has given Him alone. Your carefully selected feminine clothing can be pleasing to his eyes and also protect his brothers and those unworthy from partaking of his treasure. He alone has been given by God the delightful privilege of looking at you that way and touching! Blessings to you both!

  • Just to make it clear: If a man “falls” by forcing himself past your “parapet,” and you’ve made your parapet reasonably high, it isn’t your fault, but if a man forces himself past your parapet and you’ve made it too low, you deserve that guilt?

    It’s nice to know that if I’m exposing my calves, I deserve to be raped! What a great Christian message your site is spreading to teenage boys!

  • I’m afraid you “grotesquely” misinterpret both this post and the survey. As Shannon said, the role of the girl is only to keep men from falling unintentionally (or against their will). If ever a man forces his way, or jumps off intentionally, it is his fault alone.

  • Alex, by emphasizing a restrictive dress code for women and not for men (what, women can’t get turned on by something a man is wearing?), you are putting the responsibility on women to avoid tempting men.

    Let’s deconstruct the most problematic paragraph by stripping away the metaphor:

    “Yes, just like certain men will jump off a roof, despite the parapet. If a man wants to jump, you should do what you can to stop him. But, if he forces his way past and jumps anyway, the guilt is on his head, not yours. The parapet is there to keep men that don’t want to jump from falling.”

    “Yes, certain men will have sex with women anyway, regardless of what the woman is wearing. If a man wants to have sex with you, you should do what you can do to stop him. But if he rapes you, the guilt is on his head, not yours. Your restrictive dress is there to keep men who don’t want to have sex with you from having sex with you.”

    This implies, in no uncertain terms, that a man is more likely to have sex with a woman, whether he “wants to” or not, and if she’s dressed in “immodest” clothes, even a good man won’t be able to “help himself.”

    You are justifying rape based on a woman’s clothing choices. I hope, for the sake of the young women in your communities—women who have the right to dress however they please!—that your parents don’t let you out of their sight.

  • Grotesque, your confusion is the result of a wrong understanding of what Shannon’s analogy refers to. You cannot accidentally have sex with a woman, consensual or otherwise. We are not talking about sex here. We are talking about lust, specifically, lustful thoughts—which all of us are fighting against, both guys and girls. And since we know what we mean by this post, let me re-word the metaphor correctly:

    “Yes, certain men will lust after a woman, even though she is dressed modestly. If a man seeks to lust, you should do what you can to stop him by dressing and acting with dignity and propriety. If he sins, despite your modesty, the guilt is on his head, not yours. Your modest attire and behavior is to keep men who are fighting against lust to stumble.”

    Finally, I’d encourage you to read the text responses of the guys about their responsibility in this area. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. 🙂

  • “If he sins, despite your modesty, the guilt is on his head, not yours.”

    And if you dress immodestly? I detect a certain disconnect between the boys in your link and the purpose of the survey. If the ultimate responsibility to not lust lies with men (though I suspect you kids are really missing out!), why bother informing women what is modest and what isn’t, especially given how subjective and confusing your survey was? Why put all the emphasis on women, when it’s the men who apparently need to be controlling themselves?

    Also, in the future, you might want to look into research techniques—you phrased your dictates as foregone conclusions, which will no doubt skew your outcomes. For example, instead of saying, “Jeans are immodest even if they’re loose” (agree or disagree?), you would ask, “Are jeans generally immodest or modest?”

  • Grotesque: I just wanted to clarify that statement-driven surveys with a 5-point agree/disagree response system is widely prevalent if not industry-standard. However, we readily admit that we aren’t professionals—that is why the survey is presented as a discussion only, not a scientific representation.

    At this point I would respectfully request that you discontinue this conversation. You have a problem with the very idea of having a modesty survey—which unfortunately we have already conducted and tens-of-thousands of people have already viewed. We welcome feedback on how we can improve things, but it doesn’t seem that you have any suggestions, you just don’t like what we do. Thank you for understanding. 🙂

  • thank you so much for this, it is really appreciated, as well as allowing me to freely express my opinions – I really, really, really am humbled by your generosity in allowed me to shoot off my big paragraphs – and I really liked this post!

  • What about this…the subject of modesty makes me shake. I think I am learning that it is because I instantly put a list of rules on myself, believing that everything I own is sinful. So what should I do?? Go but all new clothes??? Clothes that I don’t like?
    The battle I fight is this: I want to be, and feel attractive, first of all to my husband but on a lesser level to everyone else. God made me a woman. And I feel most attractive in comfortable clothes that fit my body well, which include tank tops, tight jeans, and bikinis. But deep in my heart, or mind, or wherever, someone whipsers to me (is this God or the Devil??) “a true christian wouldn’t wear those things!”
    So, to this point, my conclusion is to tell myself, over and over, “you are in Christ…”no matter what I wear. And then get on to more important things in life. I get obsessed with myself when I think about clothes! I will never be, or wear what is “perfect” here. I understand that you are ‘helping’ alot of people…but please, remind those of us who struggle with justifying ourselves by our works (what we wear), that we are clothed in Christ.
    ok, one more point since I am writing this…the whole modesty survey is totally aimed towards women covering up. The whole issue gets me mad, but I get even more mad because the guys are ‘free’ to wear whatever they want. If we are going to talk about this, then open it up. Girls lust sexually too. Not that I want to open it up. i really feel like it is a waste of time; an emphasis, even if you qualify that it is not, on works.

  • “Your modest attire and behavior is to keep men who are fighting against lust to stumble.”

    The reasoning behind the muslim hijab is exactly the same, put the woman in the tent so we don’t have to look at her. None of this modesty nonsense has to do with love or honor or respect or sorry to say, chivalry. It is about female loathing pure and simple.

    You may have been hypnotized and blinded with a shiny bauble and numerous overly sweet sermons but plenty of us have not.

    I encourage you to depart from your walk with the dead and search instead for truth and light.

  • I just came back from a girl talk confrence and we talked about modesty, and they told us not to tempt our brothers in the lord, (cause them to sin).

  • I really liked reading the survey on modesty because I learned so many tips on how to dress. Thank you!!

  • I took advice offered above about reading text responses, and it has left me agog.

    From reading both the statistical results and many of the specific texts i nresponse to questions regarding swimwear, I reached the conclusion thatif most of the men/boys surveyed had been asked ‘women being anywhere near you is a potential stumbling block’, the response would have been towards the ‘I agree’ end of the scale.

    One even said ‘I wish girls understood that modesty can have just as much to do with suggestion as with appearance’. Once you know that someones a woman, what more suggestion do you need? If you have any knowledge of biology, you know what’s under there, so by dint of the fact that she’s a female, she’s being ‘suggestive’. It’s pathetic!

    Nearly 46% of those surveyed did not agree that a one-piece swimsuit was modest (I include neutral as not having been able to bring themselves to agree), suggesting that they’d sooner girls were not swimming anywhere near them at all… give me strength.

    And you say that you readily admit to not being professionals, but you need only look at the way the survey is being read to see that the inference is clear: this survey holds much authority for many of its young readers. You gents are held in such high regard by them (as is this site), that you’d have to make very strong qualifying statements at the top of the survey for them NOT to see it as scientific. It would be naive to think otherwise.

  • I understand your desire to promote modesty, but I think your focus is all wrong. Im sick of Christian men who think they can be lax on their own maturity by blaiming their lustful thoughts on the dress habits of women. Shouldn’t you be focusing inward on your own sense of self control instead of placing the blaim elsewhere and trying to control outside circumstances. Your blog is a great platform for Christian men to take because according to your way of thinking, you can tell someone else that its their fault that you have a self control issue. When people try to bridle their own lust by controlling someone else they get nowhere. If certain circumstances make you angry and you fly off the handle, the answer is not to try to control every circumstance that makes you angry, but rather to look inside yourself to see why there is anger festering. Situations don’t cause you to sin, they simply bring out what is already inside. I suggest you take Jesus advice when he said to stop trying to pull a mote out of someone elses eye when you have a beam in your own.

  • I get the feeling that some of the people reading these post are totally missing the point. It’s not about who is at fault. It’s about making sure you are not. We should not be focusing on the fact that this particular survey is about how women dress, but how if we do our small part in keeping our selves modest it will help those around us understand the importance of keeping themselves modest as well. As I have been reading it has come to my attention that some people are trying to avoid looking into themselves by turning to the ” Well if I have to what about you?” excuse. I don’t feel that is the point.
    I have never been able to wear shirts that don’t fit me properly without getting the feeling that I am doing something I should not be and end up putting something on o ver it or changing into something more appropriate. I don’t really have a problem with skirts or shorts because if the skirt is not below my knees I don’t wear it and I don’t like wearing shorts. I am glad I found this site though because I was beging to question if I was not pretty enough in the cloting I wear and if guys would pay more attenion to me if I wore something different against my better judgement.
    Well I have just shared more about my thoughts with a ton of people I don’t know than I have ever shared with any one person or group of people I have know for years.

  • I have not read the results this survey, however, I have read the “The Responsibility of Modesty Parts 1 & 2.”
    I personally believe that modesty is not just in the was you dress. My husband & I were discussing modest dress just recently. His comment was that a woman could be fully covered but still be immodest in her actions and speech. In my opinion, modesty is an attitude of the heart in addition to how you dress.
    Regardless of how we feel about guys responsibility & gals responsibility, we as women need to remember that we need to dress and act in a manner that will bring glory to God.

    Okay everyone. Those who disagree with the modesty survey can just sit and read what I have to say (please).
    The entire purpose (from what I gather) for this whole modesty survey was to help both the guys and the girls.

    Girls: This was to help us better understand the hardships guys face when some of the sisters in Christ dress the way they do. Now some are truly ignorant that the way they dress can affect the way guys think about a woman. If that is the case, some serious reality checks need to be in order. But if some know full well that the way they dress causes impure thoughts in a guy, and they still do it, they need to stop. Becuase it is a horrible waste of your time and talents to be doing this to your brothers in Christ. You aren’t doing them any favors. You are showing no respect for God, your brothers in Christ, or YOURSELF! Get some respect for yourself and dress modestly. I say this with so much love for you becuase I care what happens to my sisters in the LORD. (Now girls; there are guys out there who no matter how modestly you dress, they will still think of you impurely. That is not your fault. You cannot help it if they are sick minded and have the desire to do evil. Do your very best to keep out of comprimising situations, but if your best does not help, and you are in a situation where you are in real danger, do whatever you need to do to use self defense and get out of the danger. I am not kidding. But many guys out there WANT to be pure. They don’t want to look at you that way. But if girls dress in immodest ways, those guys who want to stay pure have such a harder time keeping their eyes away. They should be able to take comfort in being able to keep their hearts safe in the presence in their sisters in Christ. But they can’t if girls dress immodestly!)

    Guys: You also have a great responsibility. Guys can be immodest too. Keep yourself in check. If you are any decent brother, you don’t want your sister dressing immproperly, so tell your sisters in Christ not to dress immodestly! Don’t be looking a a girl like she’s just a piece of meat. You have a responsibility to God to keep yourself pure. And impure thoughts will come sometimes; I’m not going to lie and say it’ll be a piece of cake. But all you can do in that situation is rebuke the impure thoughts in the name of Jesus, and tell them to leave. You, as a Christian, have the authority to do that in Christ. And Never EVER get into comprimising situations. Treat women like your mothers and sisters. That will stop you in your tracks. And those of you who ARE keeping yourself pure for your wife THANK YOU SO MUCH! You don’t realize how wonderful this is to know there are guys like you out there.

    If we each do our part, we can accomplish this. I pray you will listen to what I have to say…… In His Service,

    ~Kirsten A. Gruber

  • I hope you realize, that poverty is prevalent in many other parts of the world

    While you sit here in your middle class suburb, sipping tea, typing furiously on the keyboard, insisting that women wear this and that, there are women (and children and people) on the other side of the world who have hardly anything to wear.

    Pick your arguments wisely. Channel your energies into things that have eternal value.

  • Honestly, it seems that it is my job to be modest so that men don’t stumble. Okay. Isn’t the issue more of me needing to be modest so as not to objectify myself? I am more concerned with young woman (which I guess I am one too) dressing as sex objects, disrespecting themselves, and representing to the world that their only role is to be pleasing for men than with woman’s immodesty being a stumbling block for men. I can understand that, and I feel for Christian men who are struggling to keep their minds on God and not on some sexed-up slutty looking girl. How come, though, the focus is all on what is good for men? I would like to know whether woman in your life dress so as not to shame you brothers or fathers or whether they dress modestly because they respect themselves as intelligent, capable human beings with futures and not the object of a man’s desire. Either way, I still am getting the feeling that I as a woman am serving as the object of a man’s desire whether or not I am covered up. Thankyou, but I plan on living and dressing for myself and for God.

  • It is interesting to see the responses here, more than the survey or anywhere else. The reactionary (aka: not christian) women, pose ridiculous analogies that defy logic. Go ahead and dress they way you want…(dress for god: your own god – yourself) The REAL men don’t really care, they’ll turn their heads away and ignore you. The REAL CARNAL (aka: not christian) men will drool and stare. That’s the reaction you desire, and that’s the reaction you’ll get. It matters little if you are married or not, or whether or not your husband/pastor/girlfriend/etc agree with you. You are Carnal. Read God’s Word.

    For you that are not christian (I really don’t care if you think you are): If you wish to ignore true Christianity and the Lord’s truth, then I will pose a humanistic question for you: If you women, who wish to have an attitude of immodesty and be clothed immodestly, all got together in the same room, or on the same beach, or in the same place, and there were no men around at all, what would be your point?? To show off to each other what you have? Your whole carnal purpose is to tempt men (or even more ridiculously, to be more fashionable than another woman). There is no other reason. Because, as I said above, the real Christian men won’t be where you are, or if they are, they’ll be headed a different direction. The only women in the Bible (if you want the truth), who wore appealing clothing and wore makeup (eye-shadow, etc), were harlots. That is why in the New Testament, the Lord implores the ladies NOT to have the outward adornment, but the inward adornment.

    For you Godly young men and women, thank you for standing for truth, for walking in the truth, and for understanding modesty (or trying). It IS about helping each other – it IS about not making anyone stumble.

  • MY Lim: I respect what you’re trying to get across about how bad legalism is next to ignoring other’s needs. I agree that we do need to invest in what matters, and the Bible does say to care for the needy. At the same time, though, we do need to remember that investing time into modesty and righteousness is investing into something that matters as well. Sin is as much as an issue as poverty. I don’t think these articles have been legalistic, as Alex and Brett have been dealing more with the principles behind the issues than with their own rules. And they do have some articles relating to modern-day slavery (the articles on Zach Hunter.) You’re right in that we should be very active in Christ for the needy, but God also wants us to pay attention to everyday obedience.

  • Shannon: Why is it not possible to dress modestly for BOTH reasons? Are you willing to tell me it is NOT possible to dress modestly both to honor our fathers and brothers AND because we respect ourselves as intelligent, capable human beings with futures? I’d really like to know…

    In His Service,
    ~Kirsten A. Gruber

  • I am so glad that my mum found this site and let me look at it. I completly agree with modesty. Here where I live, if you go off of the compound you have to wear an abia, which is like a big dress or robe, that is usually black. When I go back to Australia, I feel half undressed because I’m not wearing my abia!

  • Thank you for this site and the survey. I had no idea there was SUCH a struggle for men. I knew for sure the girls who dressed immodestly were often drooled over by just about all the young men, noticably, and the girls who dressed modestly were treated as boring or ‘uncool’. This happened at church, constantly, as well as at school. Young men who were supposed rock solid Christains would be dating the most immodestly dressed girls! And then, after graduation and college, suddenly want to get to know the more modest girls? The girls don’t forget!
    I am now 26 years old and STILL find shopping a huge chore. I have recently felt convicted about my wardrobe choices- I kind of went with the flow for a while- all the gals my age, and I mean all, wear clothing that is DEFINATELY immodest. It is almost like a contest to see who can get the most attention- at church! Teenage girls all the way up to their thirties dress this way- I am a woman and I find it distracting! I don’t want to sit in church, dressed modestly, with my husband next to me, while my ‘friend’ or someone’s teenage daughter is sitting in front of us with inappropriate attire on! She gets the attention all right, but it hurts me that someone would be so insensitive as to flaunt what she has in front of everybody, especially my hubby. He is a wonderful man, but I can tell when he is distracted, and I get angry, not so much with him but with the distraction. I bring the issue up and they see no problem with their outfit, and like-yes, LIKE -the fact it draws attention to them. They are fully aware of it and exploit it in a big way. It hurts my friendship with the women and I am finding MY HUSBAND DOES NOT RESPECT HER HUSBAND either, based on how the woman dresses! Needless to say, we don’t attend there anymore. I have three boys- I want to worship in an environment where parents give a hoot, where the women make it a point to dress modestly(instead of vice versa), where my daughters and sons can see what a real lady walks, talks and dresses like, and where church is truly a place to worship the Lord and not spend the time trying not to stare. Because of this, and largely the survey, I am changing my dress. Thank you again.

  • Well Well Well……I’ve never seen so many names of guys that think “Modesty” is VERY important. I’m really glad to know they are out there. But mom has always told me that that the “good guys” are still out there. Just alittle hard to find, though God will send the right one along in His time…which is PERFECT timing!!! How better off people would be if they just left everything to God….”Don’t worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will bring it’s own troubles”….and God will be there AGAIN! I could NEVER do the job that I do without knowing that God’s will , will be done,,,and you can’t get better then that!!!! I’m so happy that my fellow “teens” of the Rebelution are using their life and talents for the Lord.

    God Bless You!!!

  • Amen! (to the post)

    (To the comments), you guys are doing what is right. Don’t let a few bad apples spoil the rest of the barrel. 🙂

    God bless!

  • “In this, you are protected. If someone falls, the guilt is not on your head.”

    Wow, do you mean to imply that if a Christian woman dresses immodestly (unintentionally, or intentionally), then some of the guild for a man choosing to lust after her is her fault and the guilt is on her head? Wow. Before you pull out the “stumbling block” verses, take them in context and look at the rest of the picture.

    First, those verses about not eating meat are to protect the consciences of those who did not have the faith to recognize that food that was dedicated to God was now pure even if it had been offered to idols. It was to protect them from doubt, not alleviate them from responsibility.

    Second, there is no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. No one else is guilty for what you as an accountable Christian man choose to do with your thoughts. Could I be guilty for a motivation of trying to seduce a brother? Sure I could. But I’m not guilty for your lust. That’s your choice. There are thousands of immodestly dressed women in the world who are not Christians and do not care about your struggles. If the guilt can be shifted in any degree from yourself to them, then I guess we women of faith can just give up any hope of finding husbands who keep their eyes and minds pure because you all “cannot help it”.

  • Okay some people are really missing the point here. I think this is awesome. In my Youth Group( before i graduated lol) modesty was our most important rule. We weren’t Nuns we were just considerate. I understand that men are to be responsible for their thoughts so girls please don’t freak out okay,they are… however,this isn’t an attack on us. Let me explain, there was one Beach day i will NEVER forget,neither will any of the girls that were with us. We were at the beach bathing suits,tank tops to cover our middles and decent board shorts. So we’re chillin and the girls around us were lets say..not so modest. The guys talk to our Youth Pastor and not a minute later he says,”hey guys were moving down because the surfing is better down the beach.” Later on however,we found that was his way of covering up,turns out the guys were struggling with thought issues and taking that second look. They were considerate didn’t make a scene and moved down the beach. Now if they are willing to do that for us we should show them the same respect don’t you think?.We are not only responsible for our own thoughts but if you cause a brother in Christ to stumble you are responsible for that as well..remember that.Don’t do things that cause others to stumble especially now that they’ve made you aware of it.If you know,then you are responsible and will be called into account for your actions one day.
    You girls are missing the point.It’s not a set of rules or a way to “control women”, it’s a guy saying,”Hey i need some help,I’m struggling please christian Sister help me out”. We should be more than happy to do this for them,as their sisters in Christ ..well as the Bible says,”you are your brothers keeper.” I believe this applies to our Christian Brothers as well.So before you flip out and get on the Feminism train consider this. Be open and willing to listen you don’t have to be a Nun but girls,”If it’s not for sale..stop advertising.” You can be beautiful and have your own style and personality without showing off your body. Bend,stretch,check it all out in the mirror if the stuffing is coming out of the pillow,change the cover okay! Thank you guys ssoo much for speaking up and for looking out for’s not only the Christian Guys who are watching ladies,they do have more control,these guys are also protecting you from the Non-Christian guy who if he see’s it is not afraid to make an offer. If a guy only notices you for the way you look then he’s not a guy you want to be with so really your looks don’t matter in the big picture,God will bring that man along and he will love you even if you do look a little nun-ish 🙂 I have many guy friends and they all RESPECT! a girl who covers up.So lets do them a favor and remember..MODEST IS HOTTEST!!!!!! WWOO HOOO!!!!!!!!!

  • i thought this was going to blame women, and it kinda does- but it’s well deserved. i know girls who throw themselves at guys, for attention. and i hope i’m not like that, but i do also have the mindset of how low can i build my wall.
    i don’t want to go overboard, but i also don’t want to go too far.
    mom told me if i’m uncomfortable- don’t wear it. but she has also said. “your dad would kill me, but you should wear that.” -what does that mean? dads will always be too strict i guess, but sneaking around dosn’t make since either.

    and at a pool the rules do change. i see nothing wrong with wearing a two piece to a pool party, it’s not even a small 2 piece, but I’d never wear that to go out.

    so when is, how far, appropraite?

    and if i Act Modest even in not-extreme-modest clothing, does that make it ok?

  • This is a great article! And how true. We need a balance in the way we dress. My parents always try to make sure I am dressed in a way that is modest but that does not look like a throw-back to another century. But it is so hard to find clothes like this! I wish I could find more stores and websites that sold modest yet fashionable clothing. Does anyone know of some places?

    God bless!

    Sarah 🙂

  • Oh wow… That was very, very good.

    Sarah Pena: Good places to find modest clothing are everywhere; you just have to know where to look. You can find modest clothing in most department stores, you just have to look at what’s NOT on display with big flashy signs, etc. The more modest stuff is usually on the sale racks, in the misses dept., or just on a rack with no signs at all. You just have to look better. It’s laid out so that people who DON’T want modest clothes barely notice them.
    Hope this helps!
    Love in Christ,
    Stephanie Joy

  • OOPS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sorry Stephanie! I wasn’t thinking and I typed in your name instead of mine! Sorry!


    God bless!

    Sarah. 🙂

  • In light of eternity, is it worth causing someone to sin, just to get attention? When you go shopping, buy what you won’t regret a million years from now.

    Thanks for a great article.

  • Every man’s battle by Fred Stoeker, co- author Stephen Arterburn with Mike Yorkey is a good book focusing on the struggles of men christian or not struggle with on a daily basis. The reality of it is very heart breatking, and that is why it is so important to be modest everywhere we go. To step up for our men and help them conquer their battles with temptationk, and to support them, and build them up in the Word, and in condfidence in Christ Jesus. Just like woman, our identity is in Christ alone, and unless we put all our weight on him, and trust him with every area of life, it will be more than a struggle for us, and generations to come if this problem is fixed now. Full satisfaction can’t come from our selfishness, and pitiful pleasures that last moments. True staisfaction comes from a relationship that is growing, and being nurtured daily through Jesus Christ. We need to know God, to know ourselves better, and to know our struggles, and to confess them as sin. As woman we need to guard our hearts as well as guarding our future leaders of this world by honoring them, and respecting them with our attitudes, character, and even the clothes we wear. Being modest is cute, and fun, and even when your trying to be frugle with finances it is so easy! Modest is hottest 😀 and a real man will be thankful for the woman who are willingly excited to help them win victory over their struggles. a true friend will do whatever they can to see a brother or sister in Christ succeed. Jesus is the answer to all of our problems, cast your burdens unto Jesus for he cares for you.:)

  • pleaseforgive my typing abilities haha..for one: I type too fast & have many mis-spelled words. forgive me 🙂
    so i re-wrote it…
    Every man’s battle by Fred Stoeker, co- author Stephen Arterburn with Mike Yorkey is a good book focusing on the struggles of men (christian or not) struggle with on a daily basis. The reality of it is very heart breaking, and that is why it is so important to be modest consious. As woman we should “step up” for our men in a way, and help support them in conquering their battles with temptation. We can help by building them up & encouraging them to continue everyday in the Word, and take refuge in & find condfidence in Christ Jesus. Just like woman, our identity is in Christ alone, and unless we put all our weight on him, and trust him with every area of life, it will be more than a struggle for us, and generations to come if this problem isn’t fixed now. Full satisfaction can’t come from our selfishness, and pitiful pleasures that last moments. True staisfaction comes from a relationship that is willing, growing, and being nurtured daily through Jesus Christ. We need to know God, to know ourselves better through him, and to know our struggles, and get ready for the battles that are lurking at every corner. we need to confess these tempations as sin. As woman we need to guard our hearts as well as guarding our future leaders of this world by honoring them, and respecting them with our attitudes, character, and even the body with the clothes we wear.
    Being modest is cute, and fun, and even when your trying to be frugle with finances it is so easy to cover up! Modest is hottest and a real man will be thankful for the woman who are willingly excited to help them though kindness, support, and encouragment in winning victory over their struggles. a true friend will do whatever they can to see a brother or sister in Christ succeed. Jesus is the answer to all of our problems, cast your burdens unto Jesus for he cares for you.:)

  • I like that quote by Martin Luther: “Temptations, of course, cannot be avoided, but since we cannot prevent the birds from flying over our heads, there is no reason to let them nest in our hair.”

    Great post.

  • I like the quote by Martin Luther: “Temptations, of course, cannot be avoided, but since we cannot prevent the birds from flying over our heads, there is no reason to let them nest in our hair.”

    Great post.

  • Alex and Brett,

    Just want to commend you for encouraging those who are struggling to remain pure.

  • Alex and Brett,

    Just want to commend you for encouraging those who are struggling to remain pure.

    Modesty is all about love. Love for your brothers in Christ; love for your sisters in Christ. It is an Absolute Truth that God’s word COMMANDS us to love others. It is an Absolute Truth that the Bible COMMANDS us to refrain from causing our brother to stumble.

    Guys are NOT the only ones who struggle with sexual temptation; Alex and Brett have made that clear. That is still completely beside the point. Girls, if you believe every word of the Bible, you will do your BEST to keep your brother from stumbling. The Bible says there is no greater love than laying down your life for a friend. IF you actually Love Others, as the Bible says, and IF laying down your life is the BEST way to show love, than you should WANT to sacrifice your “rights” for those around you. Guys, the exact same thing applies to you.

    Never be concerned about whether it’s your right to wear a certain article of clothing, or whether others get away with more. Put aside the selfish desires; die to self. EVERYTHING you do should be showing love to others and your God.

    Modesty is simply part of sacrificing yourself for others. It’s a Biblical concept. It applies to everyone on the face of the earth. If you don’t believe EVERY WORD of the Bible, there is absolutely NO reason for you to dress modestly.

    IF you do believe that the Bible is God’s message to us, and are doing your best to follow it with your LIFE, than take the words of the Modesty Survey and other statements from your Christian Brothers and Sisters SERIOUSLY.

    God’s word says “Love others” and “Do not cause your brother to stumble”;

    Do your best! Lay down YOUR life for others!

  • I cannot believe some of the responses on the actual survey. Seeing a girl lying down is immodest? It is a stumbling block for a girl to bend over (probably to pick something up) ?It is a stumbling block how girls walk? This is ridiculous. I consider myself to be a modest dresser, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t wear jeans (like when I go horseback riding, or hiking). However, this survey actually says that everything a normal woman would do is a stumbling block, and it has the audacity to call all women “girls”. I got an idea. Women never leave the house, so as not to be a stumbling block. Isn’t that what the Taliban did? And all in the name of God there too. . . . Hmm, I don’t think that’s what the bible was talking about.

  • thanks for it…it made me ‘modesty’ clearer to me and easier to define and to share to others!

  • All that was said was just so on track. I have know about the importance of modesty for years but how wonderful it is to hear the opinions of others my age that agree and want change too. He made such a good point. I see it as girls and women’s commision from God and doing their part in helping their bothers not stumble is what it is all about.

  • I am a feminist and an atheist and I’ve found this discussion so interesting. I like to dress modestly – and fashionably – and would feel very uncomfortable in anything tight or revealing. I wear trousers because I feel the cold very much and they are modest , smart, warm and easy with a jacket for work. The world around me is saturated with inappropriate sexually driven images and ideas. Apart from close friends, who naturally share some of my values, people are staggered when I comment on a garment as not suitable for me because it’s too revealing. A typical conversation will go something like this:

    “But you’ve got such a great figure! So slim! You shouldn’t have any hang-ups about it!”

    “Thank you, yes, I’m very happy with my figure.”

    “So why aren’t you showing it off?”

    “Well, it’s private, it belongs to me and ‘showing it off’ doesn’t respect my sense of privacy.”

    “But you must have hang-ups then.”

    “No, no… I’d happily use a communal changing room if it’s female only. I’m not embarrassed or shy about my body, honestly.”

    There’s usually a short disbelieving stare here, and a sometimes the dawning of comprehension.

    I hope this post is interesting as to how a non-believing and feminist woman is also interested in modesty. As some people in the debate have noted, men have responsibilities in this regard too, both in their dress and behaviour. It is wrong to suggest that men cannot control themselves – that’s like saying they are non-rational animals.

    As a final point, I try very hard not to judge immodestly dressed people. We are all under peer pressure and conditioned by society, and it can be very hard to fight that.

  • Marian, i think thats cool but i am not wearing trousers…………I do wear tight and short but………since i am only eleven i dont wear ANYTHING reveling or well……… get it…….I do wear bakinis tho……..

  • Marian, i agree with you wholeheartedly on not judging those who might dress immodestly or differently than we do. Only by grace have i seen the problem with that. I am a Christian, but i can also identify with you the fact of not being embarassed of my body as much as wanting to cover it to be modest. But my reasons for covering it are different, for it is plain in the Bible that women are to be modest and not wanting to cause lust or a wrong attraction from men and guys. You will definately find a better guy if you are dressing modestly, because you can know they aren’t just looking at your body, but your personality and your heart. You can definitely be attractive while still being modest, just because you cover up more doesn’t mean guys aren’t going to like you. i’ve seen living proof 🙂

  • I think it is interesting how women of all faiths can unite through the idea of modesty. Obviously, this is a Christian site, but through Marian’s post, and mine as on Orthodox Jew, obviously modesty is a larger-reaching issue.

    I believe one of the ‘stumbling blocks’ for women is the amount of attention men pay to immodest women. Men may say they like modest women, but when they chat up the girls in the short skirts and stare at the girls in the tank tops, it makes us feel less attractive simply because we are dressed modestly. If men really desire to help us help them, they should take care to notice and compliment women of modesty, and not with “Thank you for dressing modestly”, which makes it sound like a job, but “You look lovely/beautiful/amazing”, or something of that nature. It may sound silly to met, but this is important to us, and many of the women I know who struggle with modest dress, struggle because they wish to be noticed, and while women will notice an attractive adornment like a unique necklace or new shirt, men seem only to notice flesh sometimes. So while you are asking us to help you, help us!

    Stephanie, while it can be hard finding cute, fashionable modest clothing in stores, there are a number of online stores. Funky Frum, Frum but with it, and Sakura Rose are all wonderful modest online stores.

    • Thank you Tzniut! You hit the nail on the head on why it’s sometimes so hard for girls to remain modest! Everybody talks about how modesty helps the guys etc., but you’re the first person I’ve come across to ask the guys to do their part in helping the girls out with modesty. Yes, it’s hard to try and be modest out of respect for others and hear that you’re modesty is to help out the guys and then notice all the guys giving all the attention to everyone but the modest girls. Yes gentlemen, if you value your modest sisters -in -Christ as much as you say you do, show them their value in an appropriate manner. Don’t just tell them they need to be modest and then ignore them when they are!

  • Havent read all the comments well said burlesque Im 40ish and do not consider jeans immodest.Iin fact some wear them at a church I attended I cant stand dresses and skirts all th time is Im not skinny anymore and it would be tacky to say the least Any piece of clothing can be immodest. Modesty is fine but young people are a bit misguided today in the ‘purity’ and ‘modesty’.Ten foot long skirts do not prove Christianity one way or the other.

  • WOW! As a 52 year old woman, I cannot express my joy that this was started by youth, developed by youth and carried by youth.

    This is an important gospel principle. Thank you for being interested and up to the task!

    Carrie Lynn

  • This survey and these comments have been very helpful to me. I always thought ‘if only I could dress in a way that would draw guys, then I would be secure’. As it is, that is totally messed up because we need to find security in pleasing Christ, not the world, but hey that’s what I thought.
    Now I realize that the kind of attention I would get from dressing immodestly is not what I want. I want to marry a strong Christian guy and now I can see that by dressing immodestly I would recieve the wrong kind of attention. I have begun to notice the way my brother reacts when he sees an immodest girl. He looks down and completely ignores her. Probably not easy for him, but a great example to me of the way strong Christian guys will react to immodesty.
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts. The survey and comments have really made a big difference in my life.

  • I’m 17 and I’m still a student. During physical education lessons, everyone wears school shorts. I have to say that our school shorts are mini-shorts. The whole school seems comfortable about it, even the guys don’t seem to have any problem with our short shorts. What do i do? erm, do i consider it a trend? so can i ignore it or erm do i wear pants.

  • Thank you so much for being open and honest about all of this. I’m planning on using the results of your survey in a Sunday school class I’m teaching on modesty for the youger girls in my youth group because they are a really big indicator of how serious modesty really is. Thanks again for sharing.

  • Hi, firstly I want to say thank you to Alex, Brett and the godly contributers to this site. You have really helping me; I was beginning to feel kind of alone, since our family is pretty isolated in our beliefs.

    To some of the people who disagree with the conclusions/arguments presented on this blog, I would like to remind you of something Jesus once said.
    ‘Whoever causes one of these little ones to sin, it would be better if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.’
    Admittedly, it does not say ‘whichever lady wears next to nothing and causes one of these bigs ones to sin would be better off drowned’, but I think the principle is the same.
    If a girl walked the streets naked, and men lusted after her, whose fault is that? It is a joint sin. If a girl walks the beach in bikinis, I sincerly believe that it is the same.
    I have an older brother, and we stopped going to a church-run meeting for him. He was being tormented in his walk with the Lord by the young woman who sat opposite him, cleavage clearly visible, arms bare. Whose fault was that? My brother was sinning, and that is why we stopped going. But the young woman was sinning, whether she knew it or not, by causing me beloved brother to stumble. The Israelites had to offer sacrifices for the sins they didn’t realise they had commited. This young woman was covered with the blood of her Saviour, but we are told not to keep sinning though we are forgiven.

    For those who say that men are not being held accountable.
    I sometimes struggle with this. But I realise that it is just me trying to shift MY guilt. The guys seriously could not help attracting me to them – I am attracted to personality, godly character, love of children, fun-loving nature, the way a godly young man helps the younger children play blocks. If I start having sexual thoughts about a man, it is not normally because he is flashing his TC. Girls are simply more immodest then guys. They rarely wear three-inch jeans as tight as their skin, or singlets that cling to their masculine body! Sure, topless guys and men showing even their knees make me look away. But I am not racing with hormones, at least not like they probably are. Girls don’t go raping boys, it’s the other way around. The girls are doing the attracting, the boys are attracted. Certainly some girls do race with hormones, and I know of several. Guys do things to aggrevate this. But not on the scale of girls to guys. We are not trying to ‘let them off the hook’. They sin, and they know it. But they’re begging us to help them refrain from sin. Are we so heartless as to turn away and flaunt our bodies in their faces?

    For those complaining about rape etc.
    I believe that a girl wearing bikinis is more likely to be raped than a girl who isn’t. Simple, ain’t it? It’s not that the guy is innocent. He is a guilty sinner who must be punished. It is a heinious crime. But the girl? She was begging for attention. She got it. Not on the scale she had intended perhaps, but she got it. It is not ‘her fault’. But with a flash of the eyes, a jiggle of the leg, a swing of the hip, and a near-naked body, she said ‘I’m delicious.’ She didn’t say ‘come get it’, but neither did she say ‘I am a precious girl protecting what is mine for the day I give it to one man and him alone’.
    As for sending a message to teenage Christian boys, I don’t believe Christian teenagers actually have a problem of going around raping any girl who flashes an ankle. Do you? Does anyone on the site seriously believe that ANY girl deserves to be raped? I don’t think so. No matter how little she wears.
    But I don’t believe than any boy deserves to agonise over his sin, when his sisters could simply wear a comfy shirt and skirt instead of getting skin cancer and help to prevent it.

    Wow, that is one long post!

    Thankyou again for the survey, and for the blog. May God bless you.

    Cheers, Georgia 🙂

  • Oh, and for the person who mentioned modesty as ‘works’, saying that it was therefore not important, James says,

    ‘What good is it if a man claims to have faith but has not deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well. Keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way faith, if it is not accompanied by actions, is dead.’

    We are trying to walk in the light, trying to do His will. If He is not your Lord and King, he is not your Saviour either. I don’t want Yahweh to be my Prime Minister. I want him as my King; Boss; Commander. Therefore I follow his commands.

  • OK, I really have problem with this. More than 80 % of guys said that two-piece swimsuite causes them to have impure thoughts. My quiestion is: why on eart are you going to beach or anywhere else where you KNOW at least 90 % of women will be wearing it? Why do you deliberatley expose yourselves to the situations you know you’ll be tempted in? Can someone please explain that to me??

  • I have to express my respect for your kind-heartedness supporting those people who need guidance on that question. Your special dedication to getting the message throughout became remarkably valuable and have specifically permitted guys and women like me to achieve their objectives. Your amazing informative useful information entails a whole lot to me and still more to my fellow workers. With thanks; from all of us.

  • I’m impressed, I have to say. Actually rarely do I encounter a weblog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you might have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is excellent; the difficulty is something that not enough people are talking intelligently about. I’m very completely happy that I stumbled throughout this in my search for one thing regarding this.

  • Have you ever thought about publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.

  • Wow, this really helped me feel like being modest is actually something worth aiming for, rather than being some boring set of rules. I know modesty is the best way, but sometimes I feel like no one ever appreciates it, so why bother? But thanks a lot!

  • “Civility”- You have elaborated it in such a way, I think whosoever reads
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  • This whole forum has not discussed the issue of:

    How does God view people who tempt others to sin?

    The following verses answer this issue:
    – Rev. 2:14;Jude 1:11; 2 Pet. 2:15; Gen. 3:14; Prov. 7:21, 25,27; Rev. 2:20

    Why is this forum ignoring these verses?

  • hm…my main issue with this survey is kind of to the side of this entire argument. to start, i think dress modestly. i try to at least. but, and here’s the noteworthy part, i don’t think about it at all. i was raised in a christian home; my mom made sure i knew how to dress properly, and i always try to make sure i do, and that’s the end of it.

    but the idea i feel like i got from the survey and from some of the comments and articles is that modesty or immodesty is something girls think about all the time. maybe i’m just the aberration, but…i don’t agree. i don’t think “yeah, this is just on the line. i can get away with wearing this” or “yeah i’m gonna be immodest to get this or that guy’s attention.” i put on clothes because i own those clothes and they fit nicely.

    i don’t think guys wanting girls to be modest is wrong or tyrannical, but i do find this idea that girl’s wear clothes thinking specifically about how they can or cannot attract the male gaze to be…weird. again, maybe i’m the aberration, but i’d say girls are far more worried about looking nice, wearing stylish or comfortable clothes or WHATEVER THEIR MOOD IS THAT DAY, than they are about what some guy thinks about their outfit.

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  • Is it possible that modesty also has to do with the norm? I was shocked when I read that shorts above mid-thigh are considered immodest. I live in Hawaii, and EVERYONE here wears shorts that short, including little girls and my mom. I even bought a pair of shorts the other day that only went down to my pinkie when my arms were down. I asked my (Christian) parents, my (Christian) boyfriend, and two of my guy friends if they were too short, and they all said no. I also wear a halter-top tankini swimsuit, and I asked my boyfriend if it was immodest. He said no, because everyone here wears bikinis, so anyone would be tempted to look at them rather than at me.

  • wow! this survey is great. it changed my entire perspective. thanks to all who worked so hard to put it together. i love reading the posts and gleaning all that i can from your books. i believe that this website is a large step to changing the lives of modern-day teens. being homeschooled, i always thought i was missing out on all the great things to be had in the world. but thanks to DO HARD THINGS, i no longer think that way. keep up the good work! you have my prayers!

  • grotesque burlesque’s reply is perfect.

    This article is nothing but fallacious crap.

    Stop telling women what to wear and do just because you want to absolve yourselves of responsibility.

    Simply put, grow up.

    Try evaluating your dogma too. If your dogma tells you to push responsibility onto others, it’s probably a bad one.

  • Wow. That is really quite awesome. I didn’t really think a lot of guys thought that much about modesty…. Goodness, I was very wrong.

  • “One primary purpose of modesty is to prevent men from “falling” on account of a woman’s unguarded body.”

    Strongly disagree!

    Covering is part of glorification. On the positive side, to be modest is to be clothed in glory.

    On the negative side, modesty protects the woman from the lusts of both evil men and angels.

    Deliberate exposure is a declaration of sexual availability.

    For a married man and woman to expose themselves to each other is no sin.

    Exposing ourselves to the public or to people we are not married to declares sexual availability. Naturally, if a woman wants attention from men, this is the shortcut to get it. But, men usually have no interest in actually marrying a woman who is perceived to be sexually available to the public. So, immodesty in women is counterproductive to their long term interests.

    Men and women are not responsible for the decisions of others. A beautiful woman should not be made to feel that she is responsible for the lusts of men. As long as she is not declaring sexual availability, the man’s lust is the man’s problem.

  • We would love to know the results of the survey but cannot find them anywhere. We sincerely want to set standards for our dress that honor God. The Bible says we shouldn’t cause our brother to stumble so it would be good to know what actually does cause them to stumble. 🙂

  • Is there any way to view the results of the modest survey still? i know it happened a long time ago but im really interested.

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