Wikipedia starts its description of modesty as ……..
Modesty and modest have two rather different meanings. The word is used as an antonym of boastfulness; a modest person does not draw attention to their own real or supposed accomplishments and desirable attributes. Terms related to “modesty” in this sense include “humility”, “shyness”, and “simplicity”. A related usage is for some object or attribute that is, in fact, not very desirable; a “modest dwelling” would describe a hut, but not a palace.
The word is also used, more about women than men, to describe a mode of dress and deportment intended not to encourage the opposite sex; actual standards vary widely. Clothing should not reveal parts of the body that society of the time and place consider immodest. A modest woman would not behave so as to encourage the sexual attention of men. In some societies women must cover their bodies completely, viewing the world through a cloth grille, and may never talk to men who are not immediate family members; in others a fairly revealing but one-piece bathing costume is considered modest when other women wear bikinis. Modesty in dress and deportment is usually encouraged by peer pressure, although a few countries enforce rigid dress codes. In some countries, exposure of the body in breach of community standards of modesty is also considered to be public indecency, and public nudity is generally illegal in most of the world and regarded as indecent exposure. However, nudity is at times tolerated in some societies; for example, during a world naked bike ride, while a lone man attempting to walk naked from south to north Britain was repeatedly imprisoned..
It is interesting that 1) modesty has grown out of its original meaning to become a second meaning regarding women and their dress sense. 2) that the second meaning is focussed mostly on women, nothing is mentioned about men.
Let us just focus on the first and original meaning. This would have been the meaning of the word modesty when the Greek scriptures were translated into English. Now think of the Bible verses that use Modesty. Doesnt it throw a whole different meaning than our typical understanding of the way women dress especially this well quoted passage
“likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, “(1 Timothy 2:9 ESV)
This has little to do with sexual attractiveness, its about showing off your wealth. The early Church was passionate about serving the poor and the widowed. How would they have coped having to be compared to a gold and pearl adorned woman.
One of my favourite Bible passages about nudity is regarding King David and the way he sinned against God and the people of Israel when he procured Bathsheba as a wife.
“It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. (2 Samuel 11:2 ESV)”
As you read through to the end of the account, at no time is Bathsheba rebuked for being publicly naked to David. David is the one who takes all the blame for his sin.
Lets go back to the beginning, Genesis and the first sin. As I have mentioned previously, God never rebuked Adam and Eve for being naked, they were punished for disobedience. However, who blames who for the disobedience. The man blames the woman, and several thousand years later the man still blames the woman for his own personal lack of self control. Muslim, orthodox, Jew and many other religious men enforce strict clothing rules on women as a blame shift for their own lust. And in western societies, the media is exploiting this blame shift, causing women to dress scantily to be sexy in cutoffs and barely there bikinis while the men lap up the lust through advertising, media and pornography and say its all the womens fault.
I do not accuse women for my lust, though since being a Naturist I cant ever recall lusting after someone, women, no matter your body shape, colour or style, you are not to blame for the males inability to control himself sexually.
Men and women, be modest. Do not be proud or boastful, thinking of yourself better than what you are. (1 Corinthians 3:21) men, control yourself, and if you think it good and helpful, become a Naturist and see the beauty of all bodies, not just the sexual objectification of women.
Respectful comments and feedback appreciated