Modest Is Hottest

I remember being in a class at Hillsdale (now Randall) back in the 90’s. Side note: I can now relate with the generation before in school who said, “It’s Oklahoma Bible College, not Hillsdale!” I now say, “It’s Hillsdale, not Randall!” Anyway, at…Hillsdale a professor said to someone who didn’t have their work done, “It looks like you’re SOL.” We caught him and said, “What?! Do you know what that means?” He thought it meant “sorry out of luck.” We told him what it most usually means. I don’t think he said it again.

There was a song recently put out by Matthew West (popular Christian musician) around Father’s Day to his daughters. It was called Modest Is Hottest. If you’ve been in church for a while, you might have heard this phrase used before. It’s meant to be humorous, while still referring to the goal of being modest in dress style. His song was not received well at all by progressives and exvangelicals. In fact, some labeled him and all who agree with him as misogynistic and abusive. Here are the lyrics:

Dear daughter, it’s me your father
I think it’s time we had a talk
The boys are coming round ’cause you’re beautiful
And it’s all your mother’s fault
And I’ve been trying hard to raise you up right
No drinking, no smoking, no swearing
But your old man’s got a little more advice
When it comes to the clothes that you’re wearing, listen

Modest is hottest, the latest fashion trend
Is a little more Amish, a little less Kardashian
What the boys really love is a turtleneck and a sensible pair of slacks
Honey, modest is hottest, sincerely, your dad

If I catching you doing dances on the TikTok
In a crop top, so help me God
You’ll be grounded till the world stops
I’m just kidding, no I’m not

‘Cause modest is hottest, the latest fashion trend
Is a little more Amish, a little less Kardashian
What the boys really love is a turtleneck and a sensible pair of slacks
Honey, modest is hottest, sincerely, your dad

All the parents be saying their prayers
That all their girls, they’ll be wearing more layers
Moms and dads round the world, yeah, they’re on their knees
Lord make them more like Jesus and less like Cardi B

No offense to Cardi B
I’m sure she’s a really nice girl and Jesus loves her but I just think…

Modest is hottest, the latest fashion trend
Is a little more Amish and a little less Kardashian
What the boys really love is a turtleneck and a sensible pair of slacks
Honey, modest is hottest, sincerely, your dad
What the boys really love is a one piece with a raincoat over that
Honey, modest is hottest, sincerely, your dad
Trust me, modest is hottest, sincerely, your dad

I’m sure you all feel the outrage that I do. “How dare he care about what his daughters wear! The nerve! The abuse just spews through his words.” That’ll probably make someone mad. It’s not my intent to only stir up issues. What we should do is use opportunities like this to dialogue. Some of the backstory of many who are hurt by this song and from those in conservative Christianity, is that they have come from abusive christianity, churches, or homes. If you remember the Purity Culture movement from the 90’s (maybe it’s still going on?), then you’re familiar with what many call a trauma they endured.

There is no doubt that countless people have gone through religious trauma and abuse in church, or by their pastors, parents, or family. The problem I am seeing now is that in opposition to that wrong behavior, oftentimes people go too far in the opposite direction. I fully understand that some who use this issue are not really those who have been hurt by religious trauma, but those who are opposed to a more evangelical, conservative lean. They look for anything they can use to discredit Christianity. Nevertheless, how should we respond and address modesty in our twenty-first century time?

Our Goal Should Be To Please The Lord

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

In coming to know and follow Jesus, it’s important to understand what He did. He paid our debt by going to the cross. So in essence, we are not our own, autonomous beings. We are God’s. By the way, this is a far better place to be in than on our own! So because of this fact, that He has rescued us from hell and judgment, we should follow and obey God. The greatest commandment is to love God with everything we are and have. So our thoughts, our actions, our belongings, and our body should be devoted to Him and for what He wants.

Our Actions Should Reflect Love And Humility To Bring Others To Jesus

So we have a freedom when we come to Jesus. He has set us free from sin and it’s death grip on us. But then comes in the responsibility part that God calls us to put ourselves last. Consider these passages:

Romans 14:13, “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” (Read this whole chapter for instruction on how we should interact with each other)

1 Corinthians 8:9, “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”

1 Corinthians 9:22, “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.”

1 Corinthians 10:23-24, “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”

1 Corinthians 10:31-33, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.”

The two greatest commandments are to Love God and love others. When we love God, we will want to please Him, which means we want to do His will and follow His commands. Part of His will is to love others. Part of His will is that we tell others about Him and teach them to follow Him. And part of doing that includes humbling ourselves for the greater good of others and being an example. Everything we do as Christians should be intentional and with the purpose of pleasing God and bringing others to an understanding of Him and to holiness. I believe if that is truly our approach, then the abuse and religious trauma will be eradicated. If this is our goal, then the modesty subject probably will not even be an issue. But that’s just my thoughts.


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