Should Christians Wear Bikinis?

706 Comments May 14, 2012 in Christian Life, Teen Girls and Women

Okay… here we go again!! I’m about to step on the toes of many people… even some of those I love dearly.

But it’s not because I want to offend anyone, it’s because this is such an important issue.

I don’t think Christians should wear bikinis

I’ve never understood how a girl can shriek in panic if her dad or brother or grandpa comes near her bedroom door when she’s changing, wearing a bra and panties, but then run around in less than that on the beach and think it’s okay.

I really do not understand that.

I and my girls do not wear bikinis. The reason is modesty.

But why do I think modesty is so important? Why should tans and fashion be pushed aside in favor of modest, breast-belly-bum covering clothing?

Because…

  • God says you are made with value, and that value has nothing to do with your breasts or how sexy you are.
  • Boys and men (yes even the old senior citizen men on the beach) are turned on by your body.
  • Boys and men who see a woman’s body – especially a naked body (or mostly naked) – can remember that image even if they saw it for less than 13 seconds. And they can recall it more than 60 YEARS later with excruciating detail.
    • That means, yes, when Mr. Not-So-Pure-Old-Man on the beach goes home and wants to have self-sex he may well be thinking about you in the bikini. I’m not kidding.
  • Your brother and his friends (and cousins and uncles and probably grandpa) cannot help that their brain and body have a physical and chemical reaction to seeing your breasts and almost naked body.
    • Which means that you are putting these guys in a very, very difficult position. Many of them control themselves when you are around, but don’t even ask what they say when you are not. Trust me… they do say things, and even do things!
  • Boys and men who see you in a bikini have an automatic response to you: their brain actually reacts to you as if you are not a person, but rather a tool like a chain saw or hammer or power drill. Yep… you just became something to be used, not loved.

Don’t believe me? Watch this video.

God wants more for you. He wants you to know you are loved because of who you are.

He wants you to know you are beautiful because He made you.

And no matter how unfashionable it may be, you will have the respect and honor of the men around you if you don’t put on that bikini.

Finding Modest Bathing Suits

Here are some places you can find modest bathing suits:

Should Christians Wear Bikinis - Carla Anne Coroy - A DivinitaSole Bathing Suit

  • http://swimmodest.com/ – We bought these for years. We loved them! They are one-pieces, but very, very comfortable.
  • http://www.simply-modest.com/
  • http://www.divinitasole.com/ – I particularly like the ‘Bowtie Tankini’ and the fact that you can choose modest cut bottoms.
  • http://www.limericki.com/ – we’ve found great tankinis here paired with the shorts bottoms. Not everything is modest, use wise judgment.
  • http://www.swimsuitsforall.com/#back – many of these are modest, especially if you notice that they have ‘modest’ options for leg openings, back opening, and neck openings. We’ve found this site great for one-pieces as my girls have exceptionally long bodies and finding a one-piece is very, very difficult. Again, make sure it meets your modesty standard. (CAUTION: We have recently tried to return a swimsuit here and had significant difficulty with customer service.)
  • http://hydrochic.com/modest-swimsuits.html – they have some seriously modest swim suits including long sleeves, long legs, and skirts. But still sporty!
  • http://www.dressingforhisglory.com/ – this was recommended by Nicole in the comments. It looks like a great site and I may just try them out!
  • http://www.landsend.com/ – Recommended by Julia and Kellie. Caution: Not all bathing suits are modest! Please choose carefully and wisely.
  • http://www.llbean.com/ – Also recommended in the comments. Again, please choose wisely!
  • http://www.girls4sport.net/ – These rash guards look great! Thanks to Julie for the link!
  • http://www.mermaidmaternity.net/ – Thanks to Laurel for this great site for maternity bathing suits!
  • http://www.coolibar.com/ – another great site from a new commenter! So glad to have all your suggestions!
  • http://freshmodesty.com./ – Thanks to a new reader, this site is great as well. I checked it out and it looks like she sells a great modest bathing suit pattern that is fully customizable to your degree of modesty and style. And she’s even got a modest maternity suit! As I looked throughout her site I saw there were other great modesty tips and how to turn plain things into cute things. Looks like a great site!

What Do You Think?

You know where I stand, but maybe you don’t agree! Or maybe you do!

Tell us what you think on this issue!

One more question: If you have lived or currently live in a culture other than a typical North American culture, please comment on how modesty issues are different or the same in that part of the world. If another part of a woman’s body is sexually attractive in that culture (thighs versus breasts, or necks versus bottoms, etc) what does modesty look like there?

Some Related Posts by Carla Anne

Low Necklines – Modesty Part One
Carla Anne discusses modesty standards for tops. Includes tips on finding or adapting tops.

Modest Mocks – Modesty Part Two
Carla Anne gives step by step instructions on how to make a Modest Mock. Want to wear that great looking top, but the neckline is too low and you don’t want to wear another shirt underneath? This is a fantastic solution.

Purity
Carla Anne responds to a Toronto Star article based on the book “The Purity Myth”, which claims that “the myth of sexual purity is damaging a whole generation of women”.

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As this post went viral our hosting provider was not able to keep up with the multiple hits per second. Even the temporary server they migrated us to was not fast enough!

Thankfully our ministry sponsor Faithbuddy was able to quickly step in and get carlaanne.com back online. (Thanks Guys!) Faithbuddy has spent many years developing a prayer-focused social network, and it’s now in testing. You may want to check it out.

 

Due to overwhelming response I will no longer be approving comments or discussion on this post. Feel free to join the conversation on other topics around the site. Blessings, 

Carla Anne

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  1. You are so right, Carla.

    I am now the wife of a professor and the mother of two young boys. Behind my home are women – students at the college where my husband teaches, who continue to sunbathe in string bikinis. It is a Christian school, mind you.

    I am praying to have the wisdom and strength to talk w/ them and ask them to have mercy on my husband and my sons and stop doing this.

    I read online that women who are upset about others sunbathing are just upset that those women have nicer bodies. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I would be so ashamed to be seen w/ such clothing on regardless of my figure.

    Blessings for you sharing the truth.

    • Mary says:

      If a person works on being physically and emotionally sound, wearing a bikini is a non-issue. God blessed us with an amazing creation (our body). You give a lot of your power away by being so concerned about what a man determines to be your worth based on what you are wearing! and since the beginning of time men have been turned on and often felt threatened by woman’s beauty, but life goes on. In any case, all men are driven by instinct and it is perfectly normal and expected for them to have “impure thoughts”. If they didn’t you wouldn’t be here. I will wear my bikini proudly, and encourage all my fellow sisters on this earth to do the same. Nothing is worse than a judgemental prude.
      Focus on the Christ Conciousness within you and all these petty nonissues will fall to the wayside.amen

      • Silas says:

        “It is perfectly normal and expected for men to have ‘impure thoughts’.” yes. It is expected for all men and women to sin, whether that’s stealing, lying, physically abusing, or lusting.

        “If they didn’t you wouldn’t be here.” this is a broken point. If a man rapes a woman and she gives birth and the child is an activist against rape you can’t say to the child that “if no one ever got raped you wouldn’t be here”. Well you could say that but it doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to rape.

        If you really think it’s a non issue then fine go off to lala land where your actions don’t affect anyone but yourself. Where you can’t possibly be a stumbling block for your brothers, and where bikinis are no more temptation than other, more modest, swimsuits. Ignorance truly is bliss… Assuming there is no consequences for such ignorance.

        “Christ Conciousness within you” What exactly is “Christ Conciousness”? Can you give me an example or something.

        You have misused the word amen. I don’t think you are praying and I don’t think you are in agreement with this post.

      • Melissa says:

        Sorry no i dont agree…read ur bible before u write this…ur contradicting wat it says that i think u should read it more youll learn more about wat God wants from u believe me…i used to think like u until someone hurt me bad and thought i was easy so dont do it God wants us to read and understand the bible:) i agree on some points but it is degrading wearing a bikini and as the bible says we r not of this world and if u do these things u r basically making and exuse for doing wat ur doing and there is no excuse for sinning

  2. momo3 says:

    When we were dating my husband asked me if I would be okay if he walked around with his “boys” showing and why. I of course said NO because those are his privates! He lovingly told me that i might want to consider changing my wardworbe because breasts are privates too and just like I don’t want other women looking at his privates (even though not all would), he also didn’t want other men to be able to look at mine (even though not all would). Such an eye openner! I also have since taken more notice to the struggle men have when women are dressed in revealing clothes. Even at church I notice men struggling to keep their eyes up when talking to a women with her chest showing! Sad that I used to be the one dressed like that, and without even knowing! I loved the Lord and absolutely had a modest heart and pure motives. I’m glad my husband brought it to my attention when no one else would!
    We now have a 4 year old daughter and before swim suit shopping this year he again, lovingly, reminded me that 1. what she gets used to being able to wear now, will be what she is used to wearing when she’s older and 2. that she looks to mommy as a role model and if I am wearing suits (or clothes) that show my chest and tummy, she might also think that it’s okay. That’s something that we don’t want to see from our little girl.
    I like one of the sites suggested for swim wear but I was dissapointed that I should have to pay so much just for trying to do the right thing. It’s not in our budget to pay $100 for a swimsuit so it’s a t-shirt to cover up for me again this summer:(

  3. Kaley says:

    Because when you don’t cover your stomach ladies it means you want to have sex. Stomach = forbitten. Unless you’re planning on wearing layers upon layers at the swimming pool there really isn’t anything you can do about not showing your body. Where does it say in the bible that you must never wear a bikini or show your skin. To me, this webpost is beyond normal. I understand the modesty thing but by judging other women for choosing to wear a bikini, you’re sinning. Hm. interesting.

    • Abigail says:

      Hi Kaley! :)

      I read your comment on this article and I just wanted to say that I love this article by Carla Anne. (Thx, Carla!!!) Thr truth is, the odds are great that you will never actually see what it drives a man to do when you let your body hanging out in a sexual way, but God certainly does. The Bible says in Matthew 5:28 “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Why would would we ever want to cause a man to sin? And you can be assured they will after gazing on you for any period of time. You would never hand stolen candy to a little boy, knowing he would be punished for stealing, right? This is the same principle. And secondly, why do we really WANT to wear a bikini? Because we want to feel good about ourselves and we want other to look on at us with a sense of awe. The bible adresses that,too, in Romans 1:24″Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves.” Our want to is actually lustful in its own way! And third, if you want a ‘shoot it straight’ answer the bible says “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel…” That about says it all. Hope this helps! :)

      P.S. If there just happens to be any men reading this, go ahead and make this job easier by telling us how it is from someone who knows! :D

      • Kenny Aaron says:

        I am a Christian man, married to a lovely wife. Unless you are born again and dead in sin seeing a partially exposed lady can turn a man and lust after. Man can also figure such exposed ladies and mastubate. Wearing exposed cloths to church I feel is wrong. Swimming with swim suits is okay.
        Kenny Aaron

      • Melissa says:

        Wow ur doing the same…sorry to say this but ur being as judgemental as everyone else and its not judging cuz i dont say anything about a person wearing the bikini but i do think its wrong…u dont read ur bible do u?? It does say in the bible that u shouldnt dress like that and i think that wen people read the bible they change it to benefit themselves and that is wat ur doing so read ur bible and pray cuz u r changing wat it says and u shouldnt do that

    • I have noticed a lot of people saying that Carla Anne is being judgemental with her article. This is simply not true. Here is a good article to give people perspective on what Jesus meant in Matthew 7:
      http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/the-most-misused-verses-in-the-bible-excerpt.html?utm_source=Crosswalk_Daily_Update&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=06/28/2012

  4. Lauren says:

    I completely agree with your opinions & appreciate your honesty (and for attaching sites to purchase modest swimsuits!). As a young, 21 year old, newlywed, it makes me extremely uncomfortable to have girls & women in immodest swimsuits around my 21 year old husband. Knowing how difficult it is for boys & men to keep pure thoughts (when not having a choice on how people around them are dressed) makes me so sad to see women in such outfits and swimsuits. If you can’t yet grasp how critical modesty is for your own sake & for respecting yourself, do it for the women around you!

  5. Mark Holcomb says:

    I understand some things had to change. Women died or needed emergency surgery from too-tight corsets. Women drowned in appalling numbers from bulky, Victorian-era bathing suits. Abolishing these things freed women to have better and safer lives.

    The bikini cheapens women to nothing more than harem slaves. Even an Amazon or a woman gladiator would have worn more armor/clothing than a bikini. Bikinis are nothing
    more than pop-culture enslavement of women.

    I remember when an Australian town outlawed both bikinis and bare-chested males at their beaches(early 1990s). The unmitigated rage from this law’s opponents was appalling.. From then on, I always wear a shirt, even if it is just an A-Frame t-shirt. Be a real adult, wear some clothing when you are out in public. You don’t have to dress like Taliban, 1850, 1910, or Mr. Spock to be decently dressed.

  6. Jenn says:

    No matter what you wear, some men will still be turned on- even wearing jeans and a t-shirt (high cut), men can be turned on.

    • Mark Holcomb says:

      Turned on is one thing. Losing self control and attacking somebody is quite the opposite. Real men don’t beat or forcibly rape their wives and kids. Bikinis have desensitized the public to sex crimes against women.

      So that’s why mamy juries are so legalistic that even with DNA evidence and said evidence won’t get them to convict, too. Forcibe rape is torture, pure and simple. I don’t toleratre either forcible rape or toture.

      In 1950, the standard issue sentence for forcible was life i9mprisonment without mercy. Women could the streets in most sectors both alone and unarmed at night. Yes, there was always bad spots, but simply monitoring the crime radio/tv news data gave you an idea of what zones to avoid.

      In this sole respect, I think we should return to 1950. Stay safe, people.

    • Michelle says:

      Jenn,

      What you say is very true. In the example that you mention, the fault (sin, whatever you want to call it) lies solely at the feet of the man (unless the high cut shirt and jeans are skin tight, showing every detail of the figure, leaving little to the imagination – which can be equally tantalizing to a man). However, when women choose to wear bikinis, tight fitting clothing, etc., they now are partakers of the fault/sin – again, whatever you want to call it. No longer is it just the man’s issue, it is the woman’s too. They are equally wrong, and equally to blame.

      Blessings,

      Michelle

  7. SHARON WALLS says:

    I totally agree 200%. We are living in a sin sick sex age. The world has changed so much from time I was a kid, I am 44. Just think if time goes on anthor 44 years how much worse will all the sin in world be? But, I do believe the Lord Jesus shall soon return to take His children home. And, the says there will be a new heaven and a new earth. I have wondered why, but I know He wants both a new heaven and earth not tainted with sin! Yes, one day the whole world and heaven will be free of all unpure things : ) Can not wait! I want to be holy for my Lord! Sharon Walls

    Original comment was all in caps, which many find difficult to read or offensive. Edited by admin to remove the all caps.

  8. Annelise says:

    check out for yourself the history of the bikini and you will be surprised how it was marketed to women. “…it’s hard to comprehend how shocking people once found it. When the bikini first arrived, its revealing cut scandalized even the French fashion models who were supposed to wear it; they refused, and the original designer had to enlist a stripper instead.” ~ Slate Magazine i find that comment interesting from Slate Magazine, a secular view, to say the least. women are stupid if they think what is marketed to expose their bodies is just an accident, and they are silly to think that it doesn’t matter what they wear. if it doesn’t matter what we wear, then why is what we naturally choose alluring and seductive? here’s the article from Slate, read it for yourself. and for those who are saying Christians are so judgemental about this issue, that is so non-judgemental of you :)
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/recycled/2010/08/a_brief_history_of_the_bikini.html

    • Annelise says:

      ha…i just watched the speaker on the video and he talks about the history of the bikini…sorry!

  9. Bella Mija says:

    I do not want to come across as a disrespectful person, but can’t you wear a bikini kinda like a bra? Wear it under tank top or shirt? I mean you can’t say that, that is not ok, because then wearing a bra would be “immodest.” I am not a personal fan of wearing bikinis without modest stuff over it, but I think it’s going a little too far when you say, “I don’t think Christians should wear bikinis” As it kinda points out that you are against girls, and women wearing bras… Why not give a solution? I would rather spend a few bucks on a cheap bikini, and wear tank tops and shorts over it, than pay $30-100 on a modest swimsuit that is not going to last very long…

    • Breanna says:

      Hi Bella!
      I don’t think that there is anything wrong with wearing a bikini under other clothing. As you said, it can be way more practical. But as it usually happens, when you get wet your shirt gets all clingy and would stick to your bikini, making it clear that you’re wearing one. Often a wet shirt becomes a skin-tight, nearly see-through shirt… which is pretty useless! :) And then you’re basically just wearing a bikini top! I would be careful with wearing a shirt and bra in the water, because I know that shirts can become clingy when wet and every detail of the bra- and what it is supposed to cover- would become clearly evident.
      Of course bras are not immodest- IF they stay hidden! They are incredibly indecent on their own, after all. So, logically, bikinis- being exactly the same thing, but with less fabric- are also immodest by themselves.

      My point in saying this is this: I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with wearing a bikini underneath a shirt (as you would a bra), as long as you treat it as if it were a bra and do not let it be exposed.

      Oh, plus, a lot of pools don’t allow street clothing in the water. It could be tough to get around that! :)

      • Bella Mija says:

        true! But I was thinking of the swim shirts they have… Like a rash guard.

        I just think there are some issues that are more important than this one… Why waste the time to write this when there are millions of babies being aborted? Or hundreds of children getting kidnapped and being turned into sex slaves?

        Carla, you influence A LOT of people! Why not use your influence to help save babies and sex slaves instead of stirring up strife among us brothers and sisters in Christ?

        • Melissa says:

          Wow stop being judgemental cuz God doesnt want you to be or say that thats horrible and says a lot about u and u shouldnt judge

          • Bibi says:

            I’m not being judgmental. I meant, what I said, in a total respectful way… I’m just someone who dislikes to see strife, and this has stirred a lot of christians up. I myself would not wear a bikini unless it was under something. I’m just thinking that saying christian girls shouldn’t wear bikinis is a little over the top. as I said somewhere down below, other cultures have different rules. Not saying we should follow those rules, but to consider them. I hear God. and I’l Him if maybe I was a little judgmental. I wasn’t trying to be. I’m a peacemaker. and have gone thru a little part of hell, in my life. I seriously don’t feel like I’m in the right place to judge. Yes I am a human being who has made way too many mistakes. But who hasn’t?

          • Bibi says:

            oh! My name is Bibi. But I’m also Bella Mija…

  10. Matthew says:

    My dear cousin posted a link to this on facebook, so I thought I’d take a look:
    As a man, I was appalled, as a Christian I was embarrassed, and as a person I was disappointed.
    To begin, as a man, I am attracted to women. Yes, it’s the truth and even find a few of them attractive, however I do not run into a dark corner, as this article suggests, and have self-sex every time I see a woman in a bikini. Nor do I hold onto these images for the next 60 years so I can continually enjoy self-sex. To me, this article suggests that men are close enough to silver back gorillas that everyone should stay clear of them. It also perpetuates negative stereotypes on men, and cuts down the very being that is man.
    As a Christian, I was totally embarrassed because your depiction of the other half of God’s image is portrayed as being completely perverse. I am now an uncle, I have cousins, and I’m sorry but your research is pathetic. Honestly as I read this article I thought it was more fitting of an Evolutionary Psychologist than a Christian. The idea that man cannot separate cousins, daughters, and nieces is 100% evolutionary. When one looks at the sexual drives of a human through the evolutionist perspective; you may conclude that our primary desire is to pass on our genes. Thus, this article cannot be coming from a Christian perspective; otherwise man may have been more likened to somewhat flawed image bearers of Christ, as opposed to an oversexed slightly advanced ape.
    Finally as a human, with some life experience. In university we learned about creating experiments. We also learned about creating valid and reliable tests, to support our research, and to write papers. In doing so I learned that research needs to be valid, and reliable to make any sort of conclusion. Valid would be measuring what a test claims to measure. Reliability is getting the same measure over and over.
    A test like the one used for this article is neither Valid nor Reliable. Valid tests would have a better way of correlating how a man feels about a woman to what woman he sees. The flaw in this test is the options. The greater flaw in this test is the test group. This is where reliability comes in, you see to be even remotely reliable a test group must be made up of a wide range of ethnicities, ages, and backgrounds. Sorry but a group of 18 year old men from Princeton does not make a scientifically reliable test group. Thus the information this article uses to back its claims is a stretch at best.

    • Trent says:

      Hi Matthew,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. There is a public copy describing some of Dr. Fiske’s research in this area, which may be found here: http://www.princeton.edu/~mcikara/Cikara2011JOCN.pdf.

      I respectfully disagree with your suggestion that this article “suggests that men are close enough to silver back gorillas that everyone should stay clear of them”. Nor is there any suggestion that men cannot separate out their cousins, daughters, and nieces. Nor do we suggest in any way that the way men are wired is some left-over from an evolutionary process. In drawing such an extreme caricature of the information presented I’m afraid you’ve missed the point.

      Carla Anne presented the video because it provides a useful illustration of principles drawn from a much wider range of research and experience. The fact is, many men struggle with sexual purity, and many women are at least somewhat clueless about how their clothing choices can impact those around them – not to mention what their clothing choices might communicate about themselves.

      There are plenty of men out there who treat women, however clad or not, with only the greatest of respect. And rightly so. We know a large number of them appreciate it when women dress more modestly, because they say so. We are not suggesting men have no control over their actions. They do, and they are responsible for them. But that does not mean men are unaffected and unchallenged by these issues.

      Ultimately how men react is just one consideration in the modesty discussion (and it’s not at the top of the list Carla Anne gives), just as choice of clothing is only one expression of modesty. But it certainly seems to be a good place to start the discussion, judging from the response we’ve had to this post!

      Thanks again for your comments, and welcome to the discussion.

    • TJ says:

      As a Christian female, I think this is very well stated.

    • ModerWife says:

      Well said Matthew! I agree with your observation as I too got the impression from this article that men were nothing more than programmed robots who can’t control their thoughts.

      While I definitely appreciate a call to modesty, I feel like making a blanket statement that “Christian women shouldn’t wear bikinis” is missing the point. Christians shouldn’t judge other people or other Christians for their swimwear choices.

      Additionally, I feel that this is making a mountain out of a molehill. Cultures that promote the kind of thinking that WOMEN need to cover up in order to PREVENT male perverse behaviour is the exact same mindset that promotes blaming female victims for sexual assault and is the same theory behind Taliban burqa laws.

      When boys and men are shielded from women’s bodies and its built up to be some sort of taboo and mysterious “forbidden land”, I think THAT’S when issues with inappropriate sexual conduct are most likely to occur (just look at any repressive fundamentalist culture – Taliban & FLDS, where rates incest and rape are much higher than average societies, and those women have strict modesty codes to follow)

      Modesty is relative to time and location. Would I wear low cut tops to church or business meetings or everyday life? No. I think that’s inappropriate. But in swimming locations there’s a different set of exceptions about what people would wear, and it’s not immodest to wear a bikini.

      Just curious, what is Carla Anne’s opinion on men wearing speedos? Is that ok because women don’t have chemical reactions to male parts?

      • Carla Anne says:

        Thanks for your comments…

        First of all, I’d like to point out that I was using scientific studies to state my case – not just some arbitrary idea.

        ModerWife I understand this ‘forbidden land’ syndrome you are talking about. However, the logic just doesn’t fit this scenario at all. If exposing ourselves would reduce sexual misconduct then God wouldn’t have had anything to say about modesty and not exposing body parts, instead logic dictates that He would then encourage us to go around naked. But God was very careful in many parts of Scripture to say to cover our bodies.

        The other part of that argument that simply doesn’t hold water is that it would make sense then that the more men see naked women the less interested they would become. However, the porn industry has proven that wrong over and over again. It’s not the modest woman (modest in clothing AND action) that is plastered over porn sites – it’s the immodest woman.

        I also think it’s entirely wrong to compare Christians – who should be following God’s call to “be holy as I am holy” and who have the Holy Spirit to empower them to live holy lives – and the Taliban, etc who do not serve Jesus Christ as Lord and who do not have the Holy Spirit. Any culture – not just the Taliban, etc – that does not have as it’s center, Jesus Christ as God and Lord will have issues as you mentioned.

        One of several reasons for not wearing bikinis is to help those men in our culture, especially Christian men, who are trying to live lives of purity.

        If I truly thought, like you and Matthew have accused me, that men are beasts or robots, there would be no point in modesty at all because there would be no help for them. However, I believe men are made in the image of God, they are fallen as are all women, and the struggle for them to remain pure in thought and deed in our culture, especially in the area of sexuality must be very difficult. Science proves it. The media affirms it. So as a Christian woman who takes to heart, very seriously, the command of Christ to love our Christian brothers and to help them not to stumble the most loving thing I can do is to dress modestly – at the beach AND at church.

        Although the setting may change, their minds, eyes and struggles do not.

        And as for my opinion on speedos: As I’ve said in previous comments… I do not approve of them.

        • ModerWife says:

          Thanks for the response!

          I can understand and respect and to some degree agree with your perspective, but I take issue with deeming a bikini as “exposing” oneself. In fairness, there are certain types of bikinis that are certainly racy like string bikinis or thong ones, and for those I would say it’s inappropriate – but there are several sporty types of bikinis that I would call totally appropriate for Christian women (http://blu.stb.s-msn.com/i/16/ABBEBF587EA8A05A5177AB397BE3D2.jpg)

          Further to your point, I never said men should be exposed to more naked women at all to reduce sexual conduct (I never mentioned nakedness at all), I simply said we shouldn’t create a sense of “forbidden mystery” about bodies – that doesn’t mean naked, it means promoting a healthy awareness and relationship with feelings towards women’s bodies.

          Your point: “The other part of that argument that simply doesn’t hold water is that it would make sense then that the more men see naked women the less interested they would become. However, the porn industry has proven that wrong over and over again.”

          To this I have to add that in the porn industry it’s not the nakedness of women that causes men to be interested and addicted, its the highly explicit and sexual acts they are performing and depicting. By your logic then, heterosexual male gynaecologists would become more and more interested and obsessive with female bodies because of their mere exposure to dozens of ladyparts on a daily basis. As I’m sure any doctor would tell you, this is simply not the case.

          “So as a Christian woman who takes to heart, very seriously, the command of Christ to love our Christian brothers and to help them not to stumble the most loving thing I can do is to dress modestly – at the beach AND at church.”

          I can respect that. If you think avoiding bikinis offers spiritual brothers help in following God’s commands – you go girl! At the same time, I don’t think its right to imply its “un-Christian” to wear one.

          • ModernWife says:

            Forgot to add – appreciate your stance on speedos! lol

            This is my first time on the site so I haven’t seen previous comments.

            May I ask why you un-approve of speedos? Is is the same reason? To help spiritual sisters follow Christ? Is there scientific evidence that demonstrates speedos cause a woman to have an automatic response?

          • Carla Anne says:

            ModernWife, Glad you approve of my speedo stance!! :)

            You are right, part of this particular study was done on younger men. However, other topics I’ve covered in the past provide additional. In research I’ve done (including several books, several interviews with a sex addictions counsellor, and reviews of materials written for wives of porn and sex addicts) I’ve learned that the sexual arousal response does not change through into old age unless there are health issues. There are also plenty of studies that show incest or sexual molestation by relatives is by no means a rare occurrence. Naturally, that doesn’t mean it WILL happen with every man, absolutely not. But it does indicate that not every man is safe either. It is fairly common to find that perpetrators have been considered ‘safe’ people, giving them freedom to act in harmful ways.

            My point is not that all grandfathers, uncles, brothers, and male relatives are nasty. That would in no way be true. But it IS true that we need to recognize that all men – regardless of their relationship to us – are visually stimulated sexually, and therefore it is in our (and their) best interest to respect that and dress modestly around them.

            And in regards to my reasons for my view on speedos, etc…

            My stance on modesty – whether bikinis or speedos, or even low-cut tops or short shorts – is not just to help others in their walk of purity, although that is a big one. Modesty also affirms that the beauty and sexuality God created us with has value. As far as I am aware women do not have the same kind of automatic response to a speedo, but that doesn’t make modesty unimportant for men.

            There’s several reasons I have such a firm modesty stand… here are some more:

            1. God took modesty very, very seriously. In the Old Testament, God even had the altar made in such a way that if a priest climbed the stairs nobody would accidentally see under his skirt. That tells me that God took into consideration the logistics of being modest, and even the ‘accidental’ viewing of ‘private parts’. That is just one of many places where God instructs regarding modesty.

            2. As I mentioned above, modesty also has to do with value. The higher the value of something is, the more protected and guarded we should be about it. There’s a reason people don’t drive porsches much in Canadian winters… the salt and sand on the roads would degrade the value of the porsche, marking it up and causing it to rust. But vehicles that don’t have value, take for instance a 20 year old pick-up truck that’s been used on the farm for who-knows-what, can be driven just about anywhere.

            3. What I wear (or don’t wear) communicates something no matter what it is. That is why so many businesses require certain uniforms or dress codes. If I have a meeting with someone who is wearing cut-off jean shorts and a muscle shirt I’ll have different expectations likely, than that of someone who comes in a 3 piece suit and tie. Granted… I hope I have the opportunity to get to know the person better, to make a sound judgment, but the fact is how you dress communicates how you expect to be treated. If I want to be treated with dignity and respect, modesty will play a huge part in that. Bikinis, or sexually charged clothing, communicates something very different than a more modest outfit will.

            4. Christians have a mandate in Scripture to avoid being a stumbling block. If we influence people to sin, we will be held accountable. So as a Christian woman, I believe it is entirely appropriate to consider the effects of what I’m wearing on the people around me. If bikinis encourage men (at least most men) to lust then I believe it is not wise to wear them.

            5. These principles are further illustrated by the science in the video. I have a very high view of men which is based in Scripture. I also have a high view of the woman’s role and recently wrote about that for another online magazine. If we take into consideration the high-calling and value of women, the high-calling and value of men and the call of God for us to help each other – then when we see the science it should re-enforce what we already know. Porn sites, erotica, X-rated movies, and the blatant sex-pitch that is used in selling so many products in North America all provide ample confirmation that men in particular are drawn to scantily clad women.

            Rather than imitate the world and sell something I’m not selling (let’s face it, if you smoke a pack of cigarettes you won’t see any more of that model’s bare body… but what she’s revealing certainly convinces many to purchase that pack over another!) I want to communicate honestly and truthfully about who I am, what my value is, and what I am offering. And there are some things I’m only offering to my husband! :)

            I hope that clarifies things for you!

          • ModernWife says:

            Sorry last point,

            I think it’s important to note that the scientific study was an experiment on UNDERGRADUATE COLLEGE AGE “MEN”

            That is a very important thing to point out – we are talking about 18-22 college-age guys having physical brain responses to bikinis. I am very curious to know why grandpas, uncles, and other men were thrown into this argument, the science isn’t talking about them (unless there was another article I missed?)

  11. AMS says:

    - I think most people wear a bikini to swim in, not to be “sexy” or “made with value”.
    - Boys and men will be turned on by your body regardless of what you are wearing.
    - Wow, cool story bro.
    – And I really don’t care what irrelevant old man does when he’s home and behind closed doors. It’s not like I’m ever going to run into him again.
    - Okay that’s just sick that you even thought that up.
    – Oh so it’s my fault some people “can’t control themselves” and get the jollies out of incest? I’m not putting anyone in any “difficult position”. I’m swimming!
    - Yeah, okay. You are the one with the problem, and you’re in the minority, not the majority.

    • Bella Mija says:

      And I really don’t care what irrelevant old man does when he’s home and behind closed doors. It’s not like I’m ever going to run into him again.
      -Okay that’s just sick that you even thought that up.–

      I was laughing so hard when I saw this!! That is so right, and I totally agree with you.
      haha Thanks, you just made my day!!

    • Silas says:

      - If the only reason they wear a bikini is to swim then why not wear any other piece of swimwear. You know like the kind that covers more than the bare minimum.
      - Correction, boys and men CAN be turned on by your body regardless etc etc. It’s easier to maintain control when women are being modest.
      - I’m not even sure who or what this is directed at.
      - If you’re a christian and the old man’s a christian then you wouldn’t want to be a stumbling block would you? So you might care more then although you have limited control in that particular area.
      - No one said it’s your fault. All that’s being said is that you could make it easier. And believe me it is very often a difficult position.
      - Since when was the majority right? Majority of nazi germany voted for Hitler. Majority of Communist Russia supported Stalin. And a majority of Americans said go to war and then several months later started screaming for the troops to come back home. The majority is the dumbest lot on the face of the earth. No offense to anyone claiming to be part of the majority.

  12. Yvonne says:

    I agree, women show way to much when they wear bikinis. They should keep themself cover when they are out in front of other people. There are nice swimsiuts out there can wear that do not show to much.

  13. Pingback: Planned and Scheduled Maintenance - Carla Anne Coroy

  14. Fat Guy in a Bikini says:

    I am just curious, why on earth does this woman get so much attention?

    • Silas says:

      My guess is that the title involves both the words “christians” and “bikinis”.

  15. Amber says:

    500!!!! lol I know that’s not why you do this Mrs. C but it is pretty interesting to me that this post is what people have felt so passionate about :D

  16. Greg says:

    Modesty is always a difficult topic because this goes far deeper than what is, and isn’t, appropriate to wear. As a guy, I’ve been guilty of lusting after an attractive woman in overalls. In short, it’s an issue of the heart for both women and men.

    As Christian men and women, we simply can’t control how the world is going to dress (or not dress); but we can–and have been commanded to–control our own thoughts and responses. Several years ago, God rescued me from pornography, and the way He did that was by convicting and changing my heart and mind about the sin I was involved in. Freedom in all areas comes in recognizing sin and Satan’s lies about sin for what they are: lies. God also has to place within each of us a disgust and repulsion for sin in all its forms.

    As a single Christian male in my early 40s, I find myself caught between the extreme and (frankly, bizarre) perpetuation of sexual sin, and the unfulfilled longing for intimacy as God intended. More than anything else, I just want the truth. Satan has massacred sex, intimacy, commitment, and anything even closely resembling God’s design. I’ve said this before in other posts, but God’s commands aren’t arbitrary or draconian–they are meant for our own good and for His glory. When we realize that, and /why/ we are to live as He commands us to, that is when we will experience freedom.

    • Carla Anne says:

      Greg, I completely agree that God’s commands aren’t arbitrary or draconian. And I completely agree that modesty does go far, far deeper than simply what we wear. I could talk about modest eyes, modest attitudes, modest speech… all of it is part of the whole package of modesty.

      I do believe though, as Christian women there is much we can do to help our Christian brothers in their struggle, and that is to dress modestly. You are so right that we can’t control how the world is going to dress or not dress. But as Christians we should be dressing to a higher standard AS WELL AS controlling our own thoughts and responses.

      I’m grateful to God that He rescued you from pornography. My prayer is that more Christian men and women would be convicted of our sin (mine included) so that we can continue to grow in intimacy with Christ and to become holy as He is holy.

      • Greg says:

        I agree–each of us will have to account to the Lord for our thoughts, actions, and motives, and how we dress is indeed part of that. We need to be 100% honest with ourselves and the Lord as to why we’re dressing the way we are–especially as the world is aggressively pushing anything-goes-sex in /everything/…and it’s not going to get better.

        I think it’s also worth mentioning that beauty and sexuality are /not/ the same thing. Women /are/ very beautiful, and as men, we need to be careful to acknowledge, admire and respect the natural beauty God gave them; lust cannot (and need not) ever be part of that.

        • Carla Anne says:

          Good point, Greg. Beauty and sexuality are not the same. I have found though that for far too many people – both men and women – they have lost the difference between the two. In our culture a woman who is not ‘sexy’ is not beautiful. Modest dressing, in my opinion, helps to differentiate between sexy and beautiful. A beautiful woman can be dressed modestly and her beauty will be enhance. But if that same women dresses immodestly the attention she attracts will more likely be because she is ‘sexy’ than because she is beautiful.

          I’m a firm believer that beauty is not just about the amount of skin shown or how one dresses. Beauty embodies the whole person.

    • truthtrumpstradition says:

      I have a lot of compassion for guys whose experience is like Greg’s. Many Christian men find that they sincerely love God and have a heart for Him, but they see themselves as continually falling to sexual sin because they can’t seem to stop thinking about sex or masturbating or checking out women in tight clothes or viewing pictures / videos of women in the nude or enjoying sex. The problem is NOT those men or their “lack of self-control” (as they often perceive it). The problem is NOT scantily clad women or the availability of sexually oriented media. The problem is that religious culture has completely redefined “lust” from what the Bible shows it to mean, ignoring many Biblical passages that conflict with what they’ve already concluded God says about sex. As a result, men whose hearts have been purified by the Holy Spirit have been trained to see their normal, healthy sex drive as the sinful nature. The sinful nature is very real, but the acts of the sinful nature are things that GOD defines as sin – things that harm other people or involve worshiping false gods, not things that simply fill a basic human need. Normal desires – for food, for rest, for friendship, for significance, for sex, etc. – do NOT come from the sinful nature.

      A desire to do something cannot possibly be sin if the act itself is not sin. We have been told that “lust” means any sexual looking, imagining, or meditated desire other than that between one man married to one woman. Yet, not all sex apart from one-man-one-woman-in-marriage is sin. I’m not speaking of what the religious culture disapproves of. I’m talking about what GOD says is SIN. Go back to the OT and read God’s sex laws. Unlike the NT, which usually refers to sexual sin in general (Gk. “porneia”), the Law tells us exactly which sex acts God considers sin: incest, adultery (which meant taking another man’s wife, NOT “all non-marital sex”), bestiality, at least one form of male homosexuality (deserves research in light of the Law’s silence on female homosexuality), forcing one’s daughter into prostitution, being a cult prostitute.

      The Law also regulates some sexual activity without forbidding it: polygamy / concubinage, and sex between a male and a virgin female who is not engaged. There are laws protecting women involved in those situations, but those sex acts are not referred to as sin, nor is any punishment or sin sacrifice required. (That is important. Folks who are convinced that premarital sex is sinful fail to read those verses as they are without adding to them.) Then there are things God did not see fit to even mention in His Law: sexual arousal, masturbation, female homosexuality, voluntary nudity in general, *seeing* nudity or sex in general, writing about or creating images of sex (as was common in surrounding cultures… and Song of Solomon is itself a graphic description of a female body – one who is not your wife, if you read the book – as well as a couple’s sex life), etc.

      The point: God told us in His Law exactly what He considers sexual sin. He did not “forget” anything. He did not change His mind thousands of years later in the NT, condemning modern men to hell for doing things that were not sin at all in OT times. (Read the NT in the context of what God already said in the OT, and you will see it is consistent.) Yet, modern theology tells men they’ve sinned by simply desiring things that God does not say are sin! Go back and read God’s Law. Read the life accounts of the OT heroes of the faith. See what God condemned and what He did not. If God did not make a law against a sexual activity, it is not sin, nor is the desire for it sin. That is, of course, within the overall command to love one another. God did not forbid certain sex positions, for example, but a man may not force his wife to be in a position that hurts her.

      When Christians discuss what they think of as “lust,” Matthew 5:28 is among the first scriptures quoted. Unfortunately, it is usually taken out of context to condemn a host of things that God does not. The word commonly rendered “lust” is Gk. epithumeó. It is used several times in the NT to convey desire – sometimes in a positive sense (Matthew 13:17, Luke 16:20-21, Luke 22:15, 1 Timothy 3:1, etc.), and sometimes in a negative sense. In this context, it is properly translated “covet” (desire with intent to steal something that belongs to another). Matthew 5:28 is a paraphrase of Exodus 20:17 where God forbade men from coveting their neighbor’s wife… or house, cattle, servants or other property: If you look at a wife with inclination to steal her from her husband, you’ve already done so in your heart. Few believers do their homework to understand Matthew 5:28 in the context of Matthew 5:17-19 where Jesus upholds the Law. Adultery for a man in Biblical times (not using our modern definitions… but neither was Jesus) involved taking another man’s wife. Under God’s Law, it was NOT adultery for a married man to have sex with a single woman, nor was it adultery for two single people to have sex. One cannot use Matthew 5:28 to condemn sexual desire between singles as “adultery in the heart” because actual sex between singles is not actual adultery. If the act itself is not adultery, then the desire for that act is not “virtual” adultery. Similarly, because God’s Law does not forbid the act of sex between two single people, desiring or imagining that act is not sin either. That’s not to say unmarried sex is necessarily a good idea, but it is not SIN.

      I realize that not all who read this will be receptive. Some have their minds made up and do not want to examine the many passages in the Bible that conflict with their current beliefs. If, however, this resonates with you – particularly if you’re a Christian guy who’s struggled to no end with what you thought was sexual sin – I encourage you to read Divine Sex by Philo Thelos. It is a very thorough examination of the entire Bible as scripture discusses sex. If you’re open to seriously considering what God has actually said about sex, Divine Sex is essential reading.

      • Carla Anne says:

        Truthtrumpstradition, thanks for your comment. I appreciate all the detail you went into to craft a well-written comment.

        But I completely disagree with you.

        The arguments you have laid out are not strong enough to convince me that sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman are not sin. The Bible clearly says that both adultery and fornication are wrong.

        Adultery being sex outside of marriage after marriage (for at least one of them). Fornication being sex outside of marriage before marriage.

        Some of the instructions God provided were intended to show Israel how to handle situations that would arise because of sinful behavior. That does not mean those behaviors were ok.

        For example consider divorce. He made it clear NOT to divorce. That He hates divorce. But at the same time, because He is a gracious God, He has set forth parameters so that in the event you break His heart with divorce you reduce the damage by following His guidelines.

        It’s not that He’s okay with it. Rather that He knows we are a sinful and wayward people and that we’ll be rebellious and end up needing to know how to deal with the consequences.

        I’ve told my daughter that I hope she never gets pregnant out of wedlock. She knows what I think about that. However, I have also told her that if it ever happens I would not want her to abort the baby. She knows we would do whatever we could to help her have a healthy pregnancy and take good care of her child.

        She knows that my statement about what would happen ‘if’ doesn’t mean she has my permision to go get pregnant!

        I believe that is exactly what God did in those situations. He set His standard High and Holy. ANY sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman is a sin.

        Any books or teachers who attempt to ‘lessen’ the sinfulness of sin are like the false teachers the Bible talks about. They ‘tickle’ the ears of those who want to persist in their own pleasure rather than abiding by the laws of a holy God.

  17. Elena says:

    While I definitely applaud modesty, to simply state that bikinis are wrong for Christian girls and women is short sighted. There are many different styles of bikinis ranging from boy-cut bottoms with full-coverage tops to string bikinis with hardly any material up top just as there are many one-piece swimsuits that are much more revealing than a bikini! Have you taken a look at one-pieces lately? It’s all about balance and the individual. I recently purchased a bikini for my youngest daughter that met my standard for modesty (which is just below the belly button), however, when I brought it home and she tried it on, I realized that her long torso made it look even smaller on her frame. Not good! By the same token, had my middle daughter worn that same bikini, it would have looked appropriate on her because she is 3″ shorter and has a shorter torso.

    I’m also a little disturbed by the tone of your article that seems to suggest that women and girls are more responsible for the lust of men and boys who are surely responsible for their own sin. True, to dress in a suggestive fashion for the sole purpose of drawing attention to oneself is wrong, imo, but it’s also equally wrong to place the blame on a woman or girl for one’s lack of self control. We also know that men and boys can be aroused by just about anything and that includes a woman at the beach wearing a simple tank swimsuit or a pair of shorts (that aren’t necessarily too short) and a tank top. As my husband says, there isn’t any amount of clothing that will cover up a dirty mind.

    • Carla Anne says:

      Hi Elena! I would like to point out that I am talking about bikinis specifically in this post. Note that I didn’t say two-piece bathing suits. A bikini is a “Very brief two piece bathing suit”, or “Very brief, legless underpants or swimming trunks” according to most dictionaries. So a two-piece bathing suit with boy shorts and a long top is NOT a bikini.

      I just want to point out that a bikini is not just any two piece bathing suit.

      The history of the bikini very briefly: A man who ran a lingerie shop decided to try using the lingerie (which at that point was still a lot more coverage than today’s bikini) as swimwear, hoping and expecting to get a shock from the people on the beach. That’s WHY it’s called the bikini. It was intended to cause shock value… to reveal so much body that people would be shocked. Bikini Atoll was the first test site of the atomic bomb. He thought the lingerie bathing suit would have the same effect – it would shock people on the beach like the bomb had shocked people in the world.

      And because I didn’t discuss any other type of bathing suit – only the bikini – I never did say that every one-piece was a good, modest choice. I clearly understand that there are ‘next-to-nothing’ one-piece bathing suits. The point I am trying to make in this post is the EFFECT of being scantily clad, specifically the bikini, has on men.

      Please understand, Elena, that I don’t and never have put all the blame for lust on women. Never. That would be ridiculous. But just as ridiculous is the idea that how we dress doesn’t affect them.

      Your husband is right, there isn’t any amount of clothing that will cover up a dirty mind. But there is a point at which you start “forcing” at least an initial reaction from men (which many men do not appreciate), and there are many other good reasons to practice modesty besides. If you take some time to read through some of the comments and discussion here, I believe you’ll find my explanations clearly cover this.

      Thanks so much for your comment, and welcome to the discussion!

  18. truthtrumpstradition says:

    Thank you for your reply, Cara. Though your views are traditional and follow what is commonly taught as “what the Bible says,” I do see them as being in direct conflict with the scriptures and God’s nature. Your theology puts God in the position of condoning and even causing sin in certain passages of scripture (I’ll explain below), which I do not believe is acceptable.

    Is your position that some things were sin in the OT even though God did not *say* they were sin? Or that He left it to His people to “infer”? That does not sound like God or His Law to me (Romans 7:7). God is not the author of confusion. If unmarried sex was sin, He would’ve said so in no uncertain terms in His Law. That was THE place to forbid it if indeed it is forbidden. You mention abiding by the laws of a hold God, and you mention God setting His standard high, but that is my point exactly: Where in God’s Law did He establish that unmarried sex is SIN or that one-man-one-woman-in-marriage is the only acceptable standard? In your example with your daughter, at some point, you would have said to her: “DON’T have sex while single. But if you do and get pregnant…” As you read the Bible, you are reading the second part of that statement (“if singles have sex”) and assuming God said the DON’T part before it. But He did not. Treating scripture as if He did is adding to God’s law and is forbidden (Deut. 4:2).

    Regarding one-man-one-woman, I encourage you to try this exercise: If all sex is sin except between one man and one woman in marriage, then some of the holiest men who have ever lived – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Gideon, etc. – were deeply sinful by having sex with more than one wife in addition to concubines. Pretend you are having a conversation with one of those men in their time. Using only the scripture that was available to them in their lifetime – for God did not wait until the NT to finally tell us how he really feels about sex – show them how polygamy is a sin for all who engage in it. Point out to them the Bible verses where God Himself forbids it or condemns it.

    If you can do that (and I don’t believe it is possible without adding to God’s commandments – Deut. 4:2), part two of the exercise is to explain why GOD should not done some things:
    - Claiming to be the source of David’s multiple wives (2 Sam. 12:8) at the very moment He was condemning David’s adultery. (Modern concepts of sexual sin hold that polygamy is just as sinful as adultery and perhaps it is adultery itself.)
    - Calling Abimelech a man of “integrity” (Genesis 20:6 ASV) at the very moment Abimelech as a married man was seeking to take *another* woman for himself. (Note that the context conveys he already had multiple sex partners when this occurred.)
    - Handing David’s concubines over to Absalom for him to have public sex with them (2 Samuel 12:7-12 and 16:22), making Absalom “sin” sexually and causing many others to “sin” by viewing public sex. God does not tempt man (James 1:13), and God does not change (Malachi 3:6), yet modern theology puts God in the position of causing great sin here.
    - Legislating “adultery” (according to modern theology) in His Levirate marriage law (Deut. 25:5-10) in which a man is required to marry and have sex with his brother’s widow if she has no son, regardless of whether the man is already married.

    A similar exercise can be done with divorce. Common belief is that God hates “divorce,” but more literal translations use the phrase “putting away.” There is a huge difference between the two. A divorced woman is legally single. She may without sin “go and be another man’s wife” (Deut. 24:2). A put away woman is still married because she has not been legally divorced, yet her husband has abandoned her – far worse than divorce, and many Jewish women today are in exactly this situation.

    http://www.totalhealth.bz/divorce-and-remarriage-jewish-women-in-chains.htm

    For this exercise, one starts with the belief that full, legal divorce is sin. The task is then to explain why one can hold that belief in light of several instances where God either told His people to end marriages or ended His own marriage. If divorce is sin, it certainly looks like God sinned:
    - God tells Abraham to end his relationship with Hagar. (Gen. 21:9-13)
    - God requires His people to send away their pagan wives. (Ezra 10:1-3) (Note that He did not require them to send away all of their “extra” wives, which He should’ve done if polygamy displeased Him.)
    - God requires a man who takes a wife as a spoil of war to end his relationship with her if she does not “delight” him. (Deut. 21:10-14)
    - God requires a man to end his relationship with his wife if he fails to provide her food, clothing, or sex after adding another wife. (Exodus 21:10-11) (Also note that He does not rebuke the man for marrying another woman in the first place, which would be logical if that displeased Him.)
    - God Himself divorces some of His people (Jeremiah 3:8) by following His own divorce law procedure as outlined in Deuteronomy 24:1-2.

    Many Christians read Jesus’ statement in Mark 10:5 that “for your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment” (to write a bill of divorcement and send the woman away) in a way that accuses God of legislating in favor of sin. God wrote divorce laws (and many others) as the *solution* to man’s hard-hearted actions, not to accommodate them (Matthew 22:37-40, Romans 13:8-10). God did not say, “well, ok, if you’re going to sin by divorcing, then you win. I might as well make it legal.” Heresy! God NEVER accommodates sin in His Law – not in divorce or in sex. Some say that Jesus overturned God’s divorce law, but Matthew 5:17-19 shows him supporting it entirely. (And it would be odd to think that God the Son had a problem with God the Father’s laws in the first place.)

    By translating the Greek word “apoluo” as “divorce” (instead of its literal meaning “put away”) in newer, interpretive versions of the Bible, translators have completely confused folks on what Jesus actually said. We as a Christian culture have come to falsely accuse other believers of adultery when they remarry after a legal divorce. Yet, God’s Law protected women SO THAT they could remarry WITHOUT being guilty of adultery and consequently executed.

    • Silas says:

      Just because God hadn’t made those rules known yet doesn’t mean that they aren’t official rules now. How was Cain supposed to know killing was wrong? God never said so, did He? Obviously some things just don’t need to be said. That doesn’t mean Godly men won’t do them. The bible is very good at exposing even the most righteous men as the imperfect mortals they are. The old testament as we know it might not have any verses that plainly says fornication is wrong but the new testament is chalk full of apostles condemning prostitution, fornication, adultery (even with an unmarried woman) and homosexuality is in multiple places in the old testament and new testament condemned as impure and an abomination. God is not the author of confusion but there are false teachers who can make confusion out of even the simplest of bible passages. Genesis 1 has been twisted into what many believe is solid evidence that God made the earth over the course of billions of years. The bible does say that women should remain silent in the church (1 corinthians 14:34) but I think we all know that’s a little unreasonable.

      • truthtrumpstradition says:

        Silas, I don’t think you’re considering the ramifications of your beliefs. If some things that don’t harm others are “just wrong” without God saying so, then how do YOU know if you sin? Aren’t you afraid that God is going to be mad at you for doing things you should “just know” are sin? If OT saints could not rely on God’s commands to them being complete, what makes you sure we can rely on the scripture WE have? David states that “the Law of the Lord is perfect” (Ps. 19:7), and I believe it was indeed a reliable guide for OT saints. Paul states, “I had not known sin, except through the law: for I had not known coveting, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” (Romans 7:7)

        Do you really think that God is going to judge His holiest saints as sinful when He didn’t warn them that they were sinning, not even in His full-blown list of statutes? That would be quite unjust. An example: Imagine being pulled over by the police and told, “You were driving with your window down. I’m going to have to write you ticket.” You reply, “I was, but that’s not against the law,” and the police officer says “but you should’ve known it was wrong to do. Here’s a ticket.”

        Please remember that the Bible was not written in English. Research the Greek words arsenokoités, malakos, porneia, and apoluo before you assert that the NT condemns things the OT does not. To think that Christ came to set us free from the heavy regulations of the Law but then bound us to a far stricter standard just in the area of sexuality makes no logical sense to me (Matt. 11:30). Nor does the assertion that God wrote a full system of laws yet failed to tell His people what constituted sin.

        • Silas says:

          All are going to be judged as sinful unless they repent. All fall short of the glory of God, there are no exceptions. Not Moses, Elijah, Elisha, David, or any other “saints” are anywhere near perfect. And who’s to say there are some scriptures they had that we do not have? All we need to know is the bible today is all from God, new testament and old testament. If the new testament says that fornication is wrong but the old testament is a little vague on the subject then fornication is wrong. Christ came not to set us free from the law. That’s completely incorrect. He came to set us free from our own sin.

          • truthtrumpstradition says:

            Silas, the theoretical missing scriptures argument could be used to evade just about any conclusion that appears obvious based on the scriptures we DO have. Do you have any evidence that certain sex laws were omitted from the middle of the OT books we have today? It’s not like ALL the sex laws are missing, only the ones that would be needed to justify misguided popular theology. The same is true for what God rebuked in the OT. He rebuked people when they broke His laws; the OT is filled with such accounts. God’s criticism is “missing” (according to popular theology) when people did things He didn’t forbid in the first place.

            The OT sex laws are anything but vague. They are far more specific than what is found in the NT. OT law is the only place in the entire Bible where God makes lists of sex acts and legislates on them. Compare OT and NT texts on incest, for example:

            OT:

            Leviticus 18:6-18 ASV – 6None of you shall approach to any that are near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am Jehovah. 7The nakedness of thy father, even the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. 8The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’s nakedness. 9The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or the daughter of thy mother, whether born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover. 10The nakedness of thy son’s daughter, or of thy daughter’s daughter, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover: for theirs is thine own nakedness. 11The nakedness of thy father’s wife’s daughter, begotten of thy father, she is thy sister, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. 12Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s sister: she is thy father’s near kinswoman. 13Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister: for she is thy mother’s near kinswoman. 14Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s brother, thou shalt not approach to his wife: she is thine aunt. 15Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter-in-law: she is thy son’s wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. 16Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife: it is thy brother’s nakedness. 17Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter; thou shalt not take her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness; they are near kinswomen: it is wickedness. 18And thou shalt not take a wife to her sister, to be a rival to her, to uncover her nakedness, besides the other in her life-time.

            Deut. 22:30 ASV – A man shall not take his father’s wife, and shall not uncover his father’s skirt.

            Lev. 20:11-12,14,17,19-21 ASV – 11And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. 12And if a man lie with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them. … 14And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you. 17And if a man shall take his sister, his father’s daughter, or his mother’s daughter, and see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness; it is a shameful thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of the children of their people: he hath uncovered his sister’s nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity. 19And thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister, nor of thy father’s sister; for he hath made naked his near kin: they shall bear their iniquity. 20And if a man shall lie with his uncle’s wife, he hath uncovered his uncle’s nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. 21And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is impurity: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.

            NT:

            Mark 6:17-18 ASV – 17For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. 18For John said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.

            Another account of the same incident – Luke 3:18-20 ASV – 18With many other exhortations therefore preached he good tidings unto the people; 19but Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things which Herod had done, 20added this also to them all, that he shut up John in prison.

            1 Cor 5:1 ASV – It is actually reported that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not even among the Gentiles, that one of you hath his father’s wife.

            OT laws are far more specific than what the NT says, and OT examples are more plentiful. Is it not good scholarship to side with the majority of the evidence and then resolve any apparent discrepancies?

            Did you notice the word “fornication” in 1 Cor. 5:1 is used in reference to adulterous incest, NOT sex between single people? That’s one example of why I said to research “porneia” and other key words. If you study that word and how it is used in various NT verses, you’ll see it refers to sexual sin in general, not a specific kind of sex act. Seeing the English rendering “fornication” doesn’t mean you can open a modern English dictionary, read the definition “sex between unmarried people,” and confidently declare “God forbids unmarried sex.” That is not sound hermeneutics.

            Yes, Christ set us free from our own sins. Jesus also set us completely free from the Law. Galatians and Romans discuss at length our freedom from the Law. A few highlights:

            Romans 7:4-6 ASV – 4Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God. 5For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were through the law, wrought in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that wherein we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.
            Romans 10:4 ASV – “Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness to every one that believeth.”
            Romans 6:14 ASV – “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under law, but under grace.”
            Galatians 2:21 ASV – “I do not make void the grace of God: for if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nought.”

          • Carla Anne says:

            truthtrumpstradition, I must say that some of the verses you have mentioned above are taken completely out of context and have no bearing on this topic at all.

            Romans 10:4 has nothing to do with us being set free from the law but rather being set free from the law as a way to righteousness!! Scripture teaches in many places that the Law was given to prove we could not live justly. So your comment is incorrect.
            Romans 6:14 again you have obviously not understood what this says. We are not under the law because of grace. But you have to understand that GRACE is the power to live holy live according to God’s holy standards, not to break them or to live without them. This is the very verse that I say should convince all of us to live to God’s HIGHER standard because now we have the power of God’s grace! We no longer need the law, because we can live by meeting and exceeding what the law requires!
            Gal. 2:21 basically says the same thing as Rom. 6:14… that because we now have access to GRACE… which is the power of God in us… we can live to the holy standard that God has for us. But if you can have righteous living and be perfect according to the law then you don’t need God’s grace. But you see… NONE of us can live to that holy standard.. that’s the whole point of the law. We NEED God’s grace – His power in us – to live righteously. The Law doesn’t help us live righteous live… God’s grace helps us live righteous lives. That’s what the verse is saying.

            I could go into more detail explaining how some of your other verses are incorrectly interpreted. However… I will leave that for now. This topic is about Christian women wearing bikinis… not the interpretation of Scripture.

            But I would like to invite you to subscribe to the posts, because you’ve raised some interesting questions here and I would like to address them. But I don’ think this is the place for it. So if you would be so kind, I would love to have this conversation on the appropriate blog post. Then perhaps we can get into more detail.

            Are you up for that TruthTrumpsTradition?

          • Silas says:

            I’m not saying that there must have been some scriptures missing in the old testament. I’m saying we don’t know. What we do know is that it is condemned in the new testament which is still part of the bible. Regardless of what the “old testament saints” knew, we are given knowledge, maybe more knowledge than they and we are supposed to obey the Bible since it is from God. To pick and choose which rules and which parts of the bible are valid is to add, modify, or take away from the scripture. That is distorting and twisting the bible.

            Jesus was not sent to replace the laws. He said that himself. The laws do not give salvation, they are still valid. Jesus offers forgiveness for breaking the law but that requires repentance. Repentance isn’t just saying “I believe in Jesus” or “I repent in the name of Jesus”. That’s meaningless words. Faith without action is useless. Repentance means to stop breaking the law. And if you never break the law then you are free from it.

            And as for the definitions of the greek words used. If I can go onto a bible website that has many many different translations of the bible and not one of them is similar to what you are saying I’d say God meant for it to be translated the way it is. I think He has a hand in making sure the bible is not corrupt. He kept it from being burned multiple times in history and I don’t know why He would let such deceptive word games exist in what is supposed to be knowledge for all.

    • marge says:

      When you look for loopholes and twist scripture enough, you’ll find the justification you are looking for. Sounds like you found yours!

      • truthtrumpstradition says:

        Marge, it’s super-easy to dismiss someone who disagrees with you as “finding loopholes” and “twisting scripture.” If you are content ignoring the OT in favor of what you’ve already concluded “God says,” then by all means, believe what you want to believe.

  19. truthtrumpstradition says:

    I apologize for leaving out the “l” in your name, Carla.

  20. marge says:

    The loopholes & twisting scripture comment was meant for ‘truthtrumpstradition’.

  21. truthtrumpstradition says:

    Carla Anne, if you would like to move the non-bikini parts of this discussion to a separate thread (I think that’s what you’re saying), that’s fine. I don’t know what you were referring to when you said my comment regarding Romans 10:4 was incorrect. I didn’t comment on the verse at all; I only quoted it. And I agree with most of what you said. I never suggested we are to break God’s standards or live without them. On the contrary, one of my main points is that we should carefully examine the scriptures – not just English renderings, but also original words and contexts – to understand exactly what His standards are. Those who have been made new creations in Christ will fulfill God’s standards as they love God and others.

    Silas, you said, “To pick and choose which rules and which parts of the bible are valid is to add, modify, or take away from the scripture. That is distorting and twisting the bible.” That is one of my points to you. Your arguments keep downplaying the OT, which is most of the Bible, because it doesn’t fit your theology. That is not sound treatment of scripture.

    You CAN see “porneia” rendered as “sexual immorality” not “fornication” in a number of translations: http://bible.cc/1_corinthians/5-1.htm Don’t give up your investigation so quickly. It will take some effort to get to the bottom of these issues, if you are willing.

    • Silas says:

      There is no part of the OT that says fornication is acceptable. However as you have stated it also does not explicitly condemn it. However multiple parts of the NT DO condemn fornication specifically. Therefore by saying that since it is not in the OT it is not a law you are picking and choosing which part of the bible are going to be considered valid to you. I’m not downplaying the OT. I believe every word of it. But just because something ISN’T there doesn’t mean it’s not true.

      You CAN I agree. Could this not imply that fornication IS sexual immorality? In many places in the old testament (and parts of the new testament) the word prostitution is translated as fornication in many translations. In Galatians 5:19-21 lists multiple sins including sexual immorality and impurity and sensuality. But aren’t those all the same things? Obviously these words have multiple meanings that need to be taken into consideration. What is sexually immoral? If impurity is different from sexual immorality perhaps it is sex with wrong motives? What is sensuality then? Is it not either enjoying physical pleasure (especially sexual) or being pleasing to the senses? Would a bikini (or any immodest clothing) not be considered pleasing to the eye (especially in a sexual way)?

      “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”-Matthew 19:4-6.
      Notice how there is ONE wife. Notice how the TWO become one (not two or more, just two). And notice also that they are not supposed to separate. It also says “the Creator ‘made them male and female’”. So there the bible condemns polygamy and divorce and homosexuality. Your theological views on what the bible says about sex looks like it has a lot of holes in it. Perhaps you should read some books by christian authors with a view opposing to your own on this subject.

  22. KJC says:

    I think this is an insightful essay, and I will keep it in mind. I definitely struggle with wanting to look attractive at the beach when I see that others do. This is going to sound silly, but I struggle in part because women with larger breasts tend look better in modest bathing suits than those of us who are of a more moderate build. Sometimes I wonder where is the flattering yet modest option for me? In the end, I think this desire to feel attractive comes from a place of insecurity/sin, but I know it’s still there and have to wrestle with it. One option I do like for modesty on the bottom end is to wear a scarf around my bathing suit bottom – I always get compliments on my cute “surrongs.”

    From the male perspective, I will also say that my husband told me he decided to stop going to the gym because of the way women dress there – he did not want to put any images in his head, even inadvertently. He runs on his own and exercises at home now. He is one of the most sexually pure men I have met (very sexual in our marriage, but really God-honoring before we were married), so it really made me think when he said that even he struggles when other women are not covering up. At the same time, I do think it is important to remind men to take responsibility for their own thoughts and actions. (There are some people, for example, who will say it was the woman’s fault for a rape if she is wearing a revealing outfit, and I think that attitude is harmful. As Christians, we need to be careful of shifting that blame when it should not be shifted.) One practical thing my husband does is to make a point to never look at the magazines on the grocery store checkout line. He just looks the other way. Yes, it takes effort and inconveniences him, but it is something that is within his control.

  23. Amy says:

    For the ladies commenting about the price of being modest: I have purchased tankini separates (tops and skirts), mainly from Land’s End, on clearance. Most of them can be mixed and matched and I can get them pretty cheap. The last black skirt I bought was $4.00 then I found a decent tankini top at Kohls for $12.00. Not bad for a new modest suit!

  24. Susy says:

    Seriously this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Women are not to be blamed for men being pigs. We should dress how we feel most comfortable whether it’s in a bikini or just flat out naked. It is no ones business what they do with their life. So think about that next time you try to shove your beliefs down everyone’s throats.

    • Carla Anne says:

      Hi Susy, welcome to the blog.

      I’d like you to notice that in my post I never called men pigs. Those were your words, not mine. And I’d like you also, please, to note that you are more than welcome to be on this blog… you are free to come and to go if you like. I exercised my right to freedom of speech and my own beliefs. Expressing what I think is not shoving it down anyone’s throat.

      I would love for you to be part of this blog, I welcome you to engage in respectful conversation. I love a good, logical discussion!

  25. Kelsey says:

    Carla Anne,

    I noticed there have been comments made about Doctors, and I would like to see what you have to say regarding modesty and “thoughts”.

    Doctors see so many unclothed men, women, AND children. Logically following your train of thought: ”

    Your brother and his friends (and cousins and uncles and probably grandpa) cannot help that their brain and body have a physical and chemical reaction to seeing your breasts and almost naked body.
    Which means that you are putting these guys in a very, very difficult position. Many of them control themselves when you are around, but don’t even ask what they say when you are not. Trust me… they do say things, and even do things!”

    AND

    “Boys and men who see you in a bikini have an automatic response to you: their brain actually reacts to you as if you are not a person, but rather a tool like a chain saw or hammer or power drill. Yep… you just became something to be used, not loved.”

    This makes our doctors who care for us sinners by-way-of our bodies automatically! It also makes then pedophiles, and necrophiliacs.

    I don’t understand what you’re defining as the “reaction” that make men think women with less clothes on are tools. Do you mean that they’re sexually attracted to their hammers and lawnmowers? If not, then the point is moot because this point is not about lust at all.

    Back to doctors. My boyfriend is going to school to be a doctor and has seen many naked dead people, diagrams, and WILL be seeing many naked people once he begins his clinical rotations. I am NOT heart-broken by the number of women he’s going to see naked. Why? Because men have control their minds. He is not going to lust after these people because he sees them naked. He is not going to masturbate and visualize them in his spare time. He recognizes that they are human beings that deserve respect, dignity, and that there is no shame in what he does.

    Carla, do YOU feel immodest when a doctor looks into your vagina during a physical? I hope not. There should be NO shame about having your female body. A doctor CAN look at it and maintain integrity so can men who aren’t doctors.

    It is everywhere. There is no escaping that. It is what you do with it in your own mind that matters to God (That was more for the men in these scenarios).

    As far as women at the beach. We are being told to feel shameful about our bodies. You have breast and cant hide the fact that you have them?! Shame! Feeling that shame also gives us a low self-esteem. Having that low self-esteem makes us weak in relationships with men and may lead us to do sexual things we regret. I believe we should be comfortable, and also care about others comfort around you when it comes to the clothing we wear. We should focus on OUR happiness and health before we worry about what the stranger at the beach is going to do that is sinful in his own mind. If he is determined to do that then he will. Do not take the burned of what he may or may not do onto your shoulders. It is NOT your sin to bear.

    Women, be happy. Be healthy.

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  27. Gwendy says:

    Carla Anne,
    Thanks for sharing this and the video. Modesty is very important to us and we believe to the Lord. We are all in different areas in our walks with the Lord and our convictions are not all the same nor are our struggles. It’s the Holy Spirits job to convict. I appreciate you sharing your convictions on this very hot topic.

  28. Lecia says:

    Thank you thank you thank you!!
    I am an LDS mother who is so grateful to see other Christian religions recognize this important concept and truth. I have a daughter and a son. Modesty affects them both.
    Keep up the good work!!

    • Carla Anne says:

      Lecia, I have two boys and two girls and I think, like you, that modesty affects both genders. Welcome to the blog!

  29. Tamara says:

    My 3 year old daughter usually wears a 2-piece swim suit. Her father couldn’t understand why I would put our baby in a 2-piece – until he had to take her to the bathroom in a wet 1-piece swim suit. Our daughter is potty-trained, but sometimes waits until the last minute to tell us she needs to go potty – especially when she’s having fun and doesn’t want to stop. Like when we’re swimming. Trying to get a wet 1-piece off of a kid who really has to pee made him understand where I’m coming from.

    • Carla Anne says:

      Tamara, welcome to the blog!! I think there is a big difference between a modest two-piece and a bikini. I do think that modest bathing suits are important for young girls as well, because it is teaching them from little what to expect and how to dress. But you are right… a wet one-piece is horrible!! But a long tankini with shorts bottom even for the little girls is more modest than a bikini. There’s a lot of ‘sexualization’ in the clothing options for little girls. I like to see them learning early that modesty is good no matter their age.

  30. bluestar says:

    I understand that women should be modest but I really don’t agree with this post here. Everything that i’m reading is all about how the men see things and that men are more visually attracted to things. Women are in fact some what equal in this, they just dont make it known. The video posted, have you even read any of the comments it has, majority are actually negative. WOMEN see men and are VERY attracted to the way they look and sometimes think lustful thoughts. I gurantee you, if you take a bunch of women and put them in a room and bring in a few men there will be some crazy THOUGHTS thrown. Men just come on out and say it while women are more quiet about it. No matter what you wear, are you even aware that there are men out there who are going to be attracted to your body? Even though I am only 17 years old, I can clearly see that a lot of this is soo wrong. What do you think about men going to the pool or beach with no shirt on? No one ever mentions that. At the beach what do you think women say when they see an extremely good looking man walk by? It truly amazes me how some people think…I don’t think anyone goes out thinking that some man will see them and they go home and perform self-sex..insane. Now I do agree, there are some bikinis out there that are so over the top like “string bikinis” but that’s different. I believe that a regular, properly fitted bikini is perfectly fine.

    • Jal says:

      Good points bluestar. I agree, this article was much to far over the top… I feel it discredits men. Most men have more control than you give them credit for. The number one issue with showing skin in a bikini is the big deal we (women) make it to be. And I guarantee you my grandfather or cousin isn’t going to be sexually attracted to my body… like the comment further up noted… It’s disgusting and very evolutionary to even state that.

      • Denise says:

        Sorry Jal, the guys don’t agree with you. All of them battle it and some are more successful than others. From a man:

        http://www.cke1st.com/sr_modst.htm

        • Melissa says:

          Sorry your wrong…the worlds norm is that u have to give a guy something and i dont agree every guy i know cant be with a girl that is waiting for marrage or dresses modestly…so i think that guys have it hard wen it comes to that and a lot arent successful

      • Carla Anne says:

        Hi Jal and welcome to the blog! It is true that many men have lots of control. But that is not the topic at hand. The video talks about automatic, involuntary reactions. This proves that men don’t have to think through the process to have a reaction, their bodies automatically react. After the reaction there is the opportunity for men to take control and think purely, and many men do. This also shows that the big deal is not what women make it but how men are naturally wired. Men have those reactions regardless of what the women are doing, simply what they are wearing. By dressing more modestly we help eliminate that involuntary reaction.

        I would completely agree that it is disgusting to think that grandfathers and cousins, or fathers and brothers, are sexually attracted to their female relatives. But whether or not I think it is disgusting is irrelevant. Stats show that incest and sexual abuse between family members still exists and is probably much more prevalent than you think. As horrific as that is, the fact remains that male relatives often are attracted to their female relatives. But most men will not act on that attraction and will in fact be repulsed by the thought. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.

    • Melissa says:

      The video is negative cuz ur talking to worldly people but we [i mean Bis children cuz not all r His childen] r not wordly people we belong to Jesus Christ and ur argument isnt valied because u should ask people that read there bible not people that just attend church

      • Bibi says:

        Bis children? I’m guessing you mean His children. lol. Everyone is Jesus’ child. some just choose to not follow him…

    • Bibi says:

      I agree with some of what you are saying. In some cultures it is a sin to show your skin. in others, like Hawaiian cultures, its their culture to wear bikini type clothing. You cannot be legalistic! Not to you bluestar. We as Christians have to be very careful. I myself wouldn’t wear a bikini unless its under something. haha I just don’t like showing my tummy. :P

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  33. Angie Piccirilli says:

    Hi Carla Anne, Great article!! I just found your stuff and I love it! I’ve been doing research for a girl’s night for our HS girls at out Church. We are going to have a local beauty queen (yay!) give beauty tips, hair, make-up and modesty fashion tips and tricks to use/do while keeping current with today’s trends. Even though it won’t be until November, talking about swimsuits will be good, maybe even better because they can think about it before they buy for next season!

    Can you tell me who is in the video you posted? He’s very good and we are at a Catholic Church so, it’s extra poinient that he’s Catholic as well.

    I’m looking forward to reading your other articles and following you in the future. Keep up the awesome work!

    God bless you, Angie Piccirilli <

    • Carla Anne says:

      Angie Piccirilli, I believe his name is Jason Evert. And I believe you can find him at http://www.chastity.com or http://www.howtofindyoursoulmate.com. Chastity.com is part of ‘Catholic Answers’ so it might be a good fit for you. Their site looks great!! :) Let me know what you think. Sounds like you’ve got a great thing going there… it’s a great idea for a high school group!! Way to go!

  34. Melissa says:

    I believe that you wrong whoever wrote the comment down there you have to do what God says in the bible and honestly i believe you do it for attention and i wouldnt be surprised if you believe in having sex neither read the bible and dont assume your right cuz thats wat a lot of christians do…i believe its so wrong to wear things like that and thanks for all of you that read the bible and know wat REALLY IS RIGHT:))) and im not saying that ur a bad person for it but i believe what the bible says:)

  35. Mark says:

    By the way she wasnt saying that we are to blame for men being pig…this topic really heats me up cuz honestly anyone that believes they can wear or do wat they want dont read the bible it clearly says to dress modestly i dont think that people read the bible and it upsets me:(

  36. bluestar says:

    Melissa, please know that anything you wear can attract attention. I guess it’s okay for men to walk around shirtless but women have to be completely covered. What if you are on vacation with your spouse? Most times it’s about being comfortable. And im pretty sure most of us believe in what the Bible says but that’s the problem with people today. They take the words in the Bible and twist it, and some “Christians” don’t want to agree on anything else because their way is the only “right” way.

    • Melissa says:

      Anything can attract attention but wat kind of attention r u asking for…if u want men to treat u like an object then fine but id rather not…i left some more comments answering ur questions:D hope u understand cuz i understand u bluestar:)

  37. Melissa says:

    I agree bluestar…i believe with my husband only i would but not if other man can see me cuz i dont want to be at fault for a man sinning sexually and im sure my husband wouldnt want for any man to look at me that way…i am currently engadged and believe that God put that man here for me and we barely fight and he loves that i believe in all this not that he wants to control me but cuz it is true…men do not have the parts that women do so thats y i feel its wrong and im sorry for being strong on anyone and im not judging but if u r truly with God u would change for Him…i was never like this but God changed my heart and u r right people love changing the bible to benefit themselves not God.:D

  38. Melissa says:

    I also would not like to attract attention in a sexual way but if u see a girl wearing a short dress and next to her is a girl wearing jeans and a T shirt who would u imagine naked or in a sinful way men do think about anything sexual as do women but r u sinning against the bible is the question I do wat the bible says and everyone sins but thats why the world is wat it is now cuz people dont believe and they dont change…i agree with wat the bible says and if anyone says but this or that i tell them “show me where in the bible says that”

  39. Melissa says:

    1 Timothy 2:9-10 ESV / 89 helpful votes

    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, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

    Leviticus 19:28 ESV / 70 helpful votes

    You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.

    1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV / 54 helpful votes

    Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

    1 Corinthians 14:20-40 ESV / 27 helpful votes

    Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. In the Law it is written, “By people of strange tongues and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.” Thus tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is a sign not for unbelievers but for believers. If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, …

    • truthtrumpstradition says:

      For 1 Timothy 2:9-10, notice the contrast Paul is making. The opposite of modesty in this context is “braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire.” Paul is not warning against wearing too little. He is warning against wearing too *much* in a way that calls attention to oneself. To use this passage to condemn abbreviated attire is to ignore what Paul actually said.

  40. Mark Holcomb says:

    The bikini is also symbolic of outlaw oppression of women and girls. The home in which the proper decreed attire for females is always to be bikini and flip flops is wrong. It raises health issues of skin cancer and damaged feet. It cheapens females to the level of toys for the amusement of others.

    I remember recently a high school where cheer leaders refused to attend football games to protest the fact they felt their halter top uniforms were not appropriate. The reaction from the pro-bikini crowd was beyond appalling. Accusations were as follows: prude’. ‘Communistic’, ‘homosexual’, and other evil insults were both printed and uttered.

    These young ladies are heroes! Just like Rosa Parks’ refusal to go the back of the bus in 1955 Alabama changed the world, these young ladies are pioneers in human rights, too. I salute them for standing against this toxic waste-related mindset that has corroded our society’s value system.

    Clothing can be uniforms, and uniforms can be be used tp both depersonalize and dehumanize people. . Remember the striped pajamas Jews wore in the death camps? Or the Taliban-mandated chador for Afghani women? Bikinis serve the same purpose of devaluing woman likewise.

    Wearing cargo shirts , sandals and an A-frame t-shirt over an athletic bra on a hot day? YES! Dressing modestly does not mean suffering because of fashion. Likewise, I approve of women wearing layered haircuts, because the New Testament does not decree an exact, specific length. I believe that to so decree is sinful.

  41. stacey says:

    Wow, after reading about half way down I just skipped the rest.
    It seems like most people are missing the point of this article. Christians just need to take more personal responsibility for their actions (in this case wearing very revealing clothing items). That’s not saying that the males are off the hook! But it’ll do the men (all ages) a favor by being less of a stumbling block. And it will do all women a favor (again all ages) by not cheapening their self-worth. If you’re an all out “I’m going to wear what I want, and I don’t care what you say” person, well, no one is stopping you. But it doesn’t change the fact that your choice in swimwear has an affect on the males, and the potential way they value you (or don’t.) God sees past the body and looks straight into your heart. But your body is also a temple and should be regarded as holy, because it is made in God’s image. No matter what you wear, as a Christian, the first question you should always ask is “Will this honor God?”

    • Carla Anne says:

      Stacey… I LOVE your comment… so clear, so appropriate, so concise… and you hit the nail on the head!! Blessings!

    • melissa says:

      I love what you said…thank you. Im always going to remember what you said. Any advice on telling a sister at church that what she is wearing is distracting. Because im not the one to but in but im very worried about this particular person and I car for her deeply?

  42. Carolyn says:

    For anyone who has not seen it and is interested please check out this survey of girls’ questions answered by guys:

    http://www.therebelution.com/modestysurvey/

  43. Nick C says:

    I went to the beach with a church group many many years ago, but this image has remained whenever I come across this debate. I was a boy about 13, and the only girl close to my age was about 15. She was wearing something that looked like a long sleeve sort of T-shirt and a pleated skirt stopping just above the knee, yellow in color. It was designed for the beach, a “swim suit” although even at the time I thought: 1. it would be difficult and potentially dangerous to swim in that outfit and 2. it frankly looked ridiculous.

    Under the circumstances however, was it “modest?” Emphatically No. It was wrong for the beach. Too out of place, and had the reverse effect of drawing attention. That suit was the pharisee praying loudly in the front pew, “Everybody! Notice me! Look at my holiness!”

    Where is the formula found in the Bible: cover the belly button?

    The discussion is formulaic as if a set of calipers should be used to differentiate the modest from the immodest, yet this discussion is still made relative to American cultural norms.

    Male *or* female, one can be completely clothed and immodest (e.g. flashy gold jewelry that says “notice me”) or completely nude and perfectly modest (e.g. quietly sitting on a towel in a Finnish sauna.)

    • Ronald says:

      Nick, did this girl wear the swimsuit to be holy and show her holiness to the world, or did she wear this swimsuit because her conviction was to be holy before the Lord? The girl had the right to be at the beach and if she was willing to stand out and not be the norm, but hold to her convictions, she should be applauded, not condemned.

  44. Haley says:

    Thank you for this perspective. I personally don’t see the stomach as something sexual and I do wear a two-piece bathing suit. (I wouldn’t call it a bikini, since the top and bottoms are both very covering, but the stomach does show).

    I’m curious as to your opinion: what about men in swimming trunks? I’ve heard the argument time and time again that women are not “visually stimulated” and therefore men do not have to cover up. As a girl in college and overhears many conversations about men, I can tell you that this is utterly untrue.

    So do you also think that a man should wear a t-shirt while swimming since the sight of him may cause girls to lust? Or should only women cover their stomachs?

    • Carla Anne says:

      Thank you for your comment, Haley. My main point of this is to say that regardless of how we feel about our bodies, regardless of whether or not we think something is sexual, etc, the evidence shows that men are naturally wired to respond to scantily clad women. The question, in my opinion is not… do I think it is sexual… but how does what I wear affect the men around me?

      And about your question about men and modesty, if you look through the comments we had quite the conversation about that. In short… yes I think men should be modest. But I didn’t address men in this post so it seems a bit unfair to make them the focus in the comments. Perhaps I should do a post on men’s modesty!?! :)

      In regards to your comment about women who are visually stimulated causing girls to lust… I won’t say it is true or untrue. I suspect that any truth that comes from it is a ‘trained’ response as women are becoming more and more entrenched in the pornography scene. And although I don’t think any test like they did on men in this video has been done on women, I would hypothesize that they would find vastly different neurological responses. I still think – again without scientific evidence but anecdotal – that woman are less likely to lust over good looking men than they will fantasize about men who treat them as wanted, loved, accepted and beautiful. But… all of that is just my opinion on it and why things have changed as they have.

  45. Nick C says:

    @Haley, for purposes of this thread, I don’t see a distinction between “bikini” and “two piece” because you’re still left without an objective measurement, an inch here=immodest a cm there=modest? I don’t think it can be that simple. As for male bare chests, tight shorts, or whatnot, again, I think the context is important. As a male, I’ll take your word for it on the conversations among women about being “visually stimulated” by men, but based on my own life experience I’d agree. But as an example: Would a fit young man in UDT* shorts and nothing else on your dorm floor be immodest? Most likely, unless of course the dorm was part of a special forces training facility, than most likely not. Context is what is important. Which is again, why I made the statement about a Finnish (or German) sauna, which are coed and where complete nudity is the norm. If a woman cannot ever be modest in a bikini, or a man in a speedo, how could either be modest completely nude? Yet they are. Granted, that is based upon certain European cultural norms. N. American cultural norms accept the bikini and the bare male chest as acceptable beach attire. Middle Eastern norms do not, where even the “modest” female swimwear pictured above is completely unacceptable.

    *(UDT underwater demolition team an old fashioned term– they are very short and tight, but made out of a khaki uniform type material, not a nylon swimsuit material)

    Competitive swimwear is also generally very tight and form fitting for both males and females. It’s purpose is to provide minimum drag in the water. Same reason, a “shower cap” is worn. For females, less flesh is generally displayed than e.g. a bikini would display, yet also by default accentuates the physical attributes of both sexes. But the purpose is not to attract attention, but to enhance performance in the water.

    @Carla, please see my comments to Haley. And I also question your conclusions of the Princeton study, to make a blanket assertion that men are “wired” to respond to “scantily clad women.” From what I’ve read, the test group consisted of 21 college age heterosexual males. A very small group and a very narrow demographic. Additionally, the participants were screened regarding their attitudes about women in general, including, what the coordinator of the study deemed “sexist” to “hostile sexism,” that is extremely negative attitudes toward women. Did the study reflect a natural biological response or a response based on existing pre-conceived attitudes of the participants?

    IMO Modesty can’t simply be about the ratio of flesh exposed to covered. It must be about the attitude of the person. I also disagree that I am causing my sister to “stumble.” Is it really about my backside or my chest? I could cause her to stumble in many other way that don’t involve my body, what if I drove up in a bright red Porsche, flaunting my Rolex? Contrast to my “muscle shirt” at the gym, where I am keeping the body the Lord gave me healthy, and what I wear designed to facilitate that.

    • Nick C says:

      Quick follow up, I should have said certain Middle Eastern norms. Additionally, to clarify, I personally do use a gym regularly, for the reasons stated above but I personally don’t wear a “muscle shirt.” I actually find them uncomfortable, and generally wear a regular old T-shirt, and some baggier shorts that I prefer because they have pockets….

    • Carla Anne says:

      Nick, if you read the entire study you will notice that they were leaving as little leeway for pre-concieved ideas as possible. The electronic readings of what happens in a persons brain is a natural biological response. If there were only 1 or 2 that had different readings, it would be safe to assume that they had differing preconceived attitudes that would lend themselves to such a response. But that’s not the case.

      And regarding causing your sister to stumble… you are right. You can cause anyone to stumble with any manner of things. HOWEVER… just because there are plenty of ways to cause someone to stumble doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to eliminate the issue of immodesty. if you are flaunting your rolex, or whatever… that is sin too. Just not one I covered in this post. This post is simply about how men naturally are wired – according to that study, and I believe most anecdotal evidence would concur.

      What boggles my mind, is how so many men (like yourself and so many others) argue against the very thing we are doing to help you remain pure. Unless you are having issues of impurity elsewhere in your life, it would make sense that you would appreciate the efforts of women to not dress provocatively around you. (Not saying you are impure elsewhere, but rather how this certainly seems like a contradictory stand you are taking.) If as women, we are trying to make it easier for you (as in men in general) go to the beach and not be sidetracked with sexual thoughts, or to have a less-valuable view of women in general, it makes logical sense to me that Christian men would be grateful.

      I’d like to also make a note that just because the Finnish do something doesn’t make it right for us. There are verses in Scripture that make it clear that seeing someone naked is not good – and if it is not good in Scripture, was God wrong? Did he get the culture wrong? What about Adam and Eve? oops… no culture there, yet it was a problem and God clothed them. We have a culture, and so do the Europeans, that is steeped in sin that has become “normal”. Not just in the area of dressing, but in many areas. So just because they don’t have an issue with it, doesn’t mean it isn’t an issue.

      • Nick C says:

        I have given this particular subject a great deal of thought and reflection over the years, based on the circumstance I mentioned above. I’m sure the parents of “LJ” meant no harm and believed they were dressing their daughter modestly, and her age an important component. Yet her outfit had the net result of becoming immodest under the circumstance. If we consider a continuum from bikini to burkini, hers tended toward the latter end of the that spectrum.

        I can’t argue with the results of the Princeton study, but I remain skeptical at the size and makeup of the sample group and the lack of more extensive data. The link above to the study is broken, so I am basing my opinion on what I was able to learn from other news sources. Additionally, I have been privileged to have seen many parts of the world, and have seen varying concepts of modesty. (Not as a matter of wealth but for other reasons)

        The point I am arguing is that modesty has to be relative to the particular cultural circumstance. You are stating that the bikini is by definition, immodest, that it can under no circumstance be modest, similarly for the Finnish sauna, though I’d imagine the Finns would vehemently disagree. Effectively you are arguing that for a woman, anything more than exposed leg, exposed arm, and exposed hair are by definition, immodest. Yet a significant part of the world would disagree, and demand that legs, arms, and hair be covered.

        Furthermore, how much exposed arm, leg, belly? If it were that simple the Scriptures would contain a calculator for entering height and weight and determining an area measurement of proper covering. They do not. St. Paul gave guidance on what not to wear, in the context of the times, and for a very good reason IMO related to piety. The gold and braids in similar context the Rolex and the Porsche, or heavy makeup. However, that also does not make any of them inherently sinful. Both the Rolex and Porsche are very well built machines, if not flaunting or envying economic status, there is no harm in recognizing and appreciating that craftsmanship. Heavy makeup for both sexes is obviously necessary and therefore appropriate if performing under lights. “Provocative” need not necessarily be revealing. If that were the case, prostitutes would wear less. That is often not the case. The choice of wear is not necessarily revealing, but conveying nonetheless a very specific message.

        I would also disagree that Scriptures state that seeing someone naked is *inherently* a bad thing. If limited to opposite sexes, a male e.g. could never assist in child birth, nor either sex with imaging, physical therapy, massage therapy, etc., a member of the opposite sex. Here again, it depends on the context. You state an absolute, where is the exception for medicine? What qualifies as medicine? A physician in Europe might order spa treatment. As another example, it is acceptable in N. America and Europe for members of the same sex to change and shower together. Contrast to the middle East again, and a locker room where even changing into workout clothes was done in private.

        St Peter was “naked” while fishing. (There are varying interpretations on what that exactly meant in terms of dress: “naked” or in some sort of “underwear”) but whatever the garment it was appropriate for fishing. For him, though, I would surmise he felt, it was not appropriate to greet his Master. Similarly if I were working in the yard on a hot day and removed my shirt, my society would deem that OK, but would require I put that shirt back on to greet an unexpected guest. For Adam and Eve, they were alone as husband and wife when thrown out of Paradise. There was no one else to see them naked, so by itself, their nakedness could not have been inherently “wrong.” I think there are many many lessons to take from that, but one, that humans would have to hunt for food, and need shelter from the harshness of the world. That I think is emphasized by Him clothing them in animal skins, which required a killing, when something other than animal skin would have likely done just as well. They were entering a world with violence and hardship. Violence with a purpose (hunting by man and animal) but violence nonetheless. Again, there is much much more to be learned from even those two snippets, but enough for purposes of this discussion.

        Now, maybe I am idealistic or unrealistic, and that in N. American society, cultural norms would view the bikini as immodest, and that the majority of beach goers are therefore either immodest or witting/unwitting voyeurs of immodesty. Similarly, nudity is not acceptable in a coed sauna in N. America, nor even in many single sex saunas. In that case the question should not be should Christian women wear bikinis but should either sex visit a N. American or European beach. I would disagree with that conclusion but on those terms I would accept that a bikini is immodest in N. America, just as I would contend that board shorts and a t-shirt are immodest in Saudi Arabia, even for Christian women, not because of an absolute, but because of a moral standard guided by the culture. To say Saudi Arabia is not a Christian society misses the point. Under the local circumstance, swimwear for either sex that is acceptable in N. America becomes immodest.

        Kelsey’s comments above are also particularly pertinent. An objectively ‘modest’ swimsuit, might be ‘immodest’ for a particular body type. IMO each person should reflect upon what motivates a choice of dress, with consideration to the setting.

        • Jamie says:

          Thanks for your insight, Nick! Very thought-provoking. It’s interesting to ponder why some Christians say uncovered arms, legs, and head are acceptable but not uncovered navel. Seems pretty culture-dependent to me. I also like your point about where to draw the line related to nudity. Medicine is a big consideration, and as you suggested, it’s tough to say exactly what constitutes medicine.

          • Ronald says:

            Nick, Peter clothed himself when in the presence of the Lord in the passage you are citing. As I skim through your posts, I see the argument of how much is too much…That argument goes from completely no skin showing to all skin showing. You also take the argument of medicine seeing nudity. There is a drawing line between personal conviction and sin. That drawing line for the purpose of this discussion is seeing women in their underwear.
            The “church” has fallen into so much sin that it is acceptable to go to nude churches. There will always be the “how much is too much” or in this case how much is too little clothes. We all work out our own salvation with fear and trembling and I fear for those that look at how close they can be to sin and still be right with God.
            Concerning the medicine issue: The motive behind medicine and nudity is the wellbeing of the patient. The HCP does not get nude to examine the nude patient, in fact the HCP is trained to maintain the modesty of the patient the best they can. Most would say it is uncomfortable for them to have an HCP seeing them in their underwear, but it has to be done for their well being.
            Those that are truly Christ’s have convictions that come from Him. The demon possessed man who had the demons cast out clothed himself…It was sin for Noah’s son to laugh at his fathers nakedness…God clothed Adam and Eve…They stripped Jesus to shame Him…The question is how much clothes? All I can say Nick and Jamie is each of us will stand before a holy and righteous God who will judge us according to our works. If our works are done in and through Him then they will stand, if they are not they will be burned. If we rely on our works to be saved, we will not be saved, and if we do not have works, but say we are save, His life is not living in us and we are not saved. Grace is the empowerment to live holy and acceptable lives, which is our reasonable service unto Him.
            Nick, you mentioned the Pharissee in a prior post. The Pharisee looks for ways to justify his sin, yet look holy. Your comments have seemed to try and find ways to justify the sin of causing a brother to stumble (concerning dress) and now has Jamie saying “thought provoking.” It is thought provoking to see how African tribes change their dress and worship when coming to faith in Jesus the Messiah…it is thought provoking to see how porn-stars change their dress when coming to faith in Jesus…it is though provoking to see how Jesus changes us from the inside out, not a white washed tomb, unclean on the inside with only an appearance of clean on the out , but clean on the inside making the outside clean (in appearance).

  46. amy says:

    http://Www.modetswimming is another great option, and quite a bit cheaper.

  47. Diane says:

    What a crock of *****

    [Edited for swearing. Keep it clean please.]

  48. Jamie says:

    Lust seems to be the main concern in this discussion. [...]

    We might be tempted to see the “coveting” forbidden in the Ten Commandments as different from what Jesus condemned in Matt. 5:28, but Jesus used the same word the tenth commandment used (Greek “επιθυμησεις”).

    [Reference and link to inappropriate site removed by editor]

  49. Jamie says:

    Editor,

    Why would you censor a discussion of the holy scriptures?

    • Trent says:

      Hi Jamie,

      Your discussion is more than welcome! However, we don’t allow links to sites related to erotica/porn.

      • Jamie says:

        Do you allow porn/erotica as a whole to be mentioned in discussing what the Bible says? (No specific porn sites named or linked to.)

        • Carla Anne says:

          Jamie, mentioning it in respectful ways that contribute to the understanding of God’s word is one thing… links to porn are a completely other thing. If you have further questions about this please address your questions through the contact page. Thank you, Carla Anne.

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