It's a Choice

by Erica

I'm about to go on a trip with my Episcopal youth group that involves going to the beach. We've been on similar excursions involving water sports, and I've attended many church camps with swimming pools, lakes, and water activities. Until this trip wearing a one-piece swimsuit has never been a requirement. Now I understand if you believe in dressing modestly for yourself, or for God, but my youth leader is telling me to dress modestly because the boys cannot control themselves. Personally I am extremely self-confident and feel great in my body and in a two-piece/bikini. I feel as though what I wear is my choice based on my confidence and comfort level. I don't understand why I am being forced to cover up my body because of the men who will be present on the trip. I voiced this to my youth leader and said that I thought if the girls had to wear one-piece bathing suits then it would only be fair for the boys to wear t-shirts in addition to their swim trunks. His response was that that is mean to the boys. So how is requiring me to wear a one-piece not mean?

I respect your personal belief in modesty, but I don't understand why I have to change my wardrobe because a man can't control himself.

Comments for It's a Choice

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by: Laura

Hey Erica, thanks for your honest questions regarding modesty. Yes, it is good to dress modestly for the Lord, and I do believe that it's a good reason too. But you have to keep in mind that guys are visual, which makes it harder for them to resist temptation to lust. It is true that they are responsible to keep their minds pure for Christ (we all are), but alot of that temptaion can depend on what the girl is wearing. That being said, dressing modestly can also keep you from being a stumbling block to others. Shelly has written a great article on modesty. (You can find it under the fashion tab if you haven't read it already) She has included a verse somewhere that I would like to bring up again.

"Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for (her) to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around (her) neck than for (her) to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves." -Luke 17:1-3

Sounds harsh? Yes, but this is Jesus speaking. He takes sin very seriously. That's why He died on the cross for us. So He can set us free from the power of sin and death.

Another thing you mentioned was why guys aren't required to wear t-shirts along with trunks. As someone who personally struggles with lust and after listening to so many girls that talk lustfully about shirtless guys I sometimes wonder why too. My theory is that men do not think it is neccessary to cover up because the church has projected lust as a solely male problem. Uh, not true!!! It is also not alinging with what 1 Timothy says.
"Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but extort him as if he were your father. treat younger men as brothers, older womnen as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity."-1 Timothy 5:1-2
I don't see how men can treat their sisters with absolute purity if they let themselves become a stumbling block to their sisters in Christ! That's my opinion! I also realize that it's a culturally accepted thing for men to walk around topless at a pool or lake, etc. that doesn't make it okay. Just like it's culturally acceptable for girls to show off their cleavage and wear short skirts that barely cover their bottoms, but that doesn't make it okay. Let me tell you something, a couple of years ago, I went on a Christian youth retreat. One day me and a bunch of my friends decided to go swimming at the lake. One of my guys friends showed up in shorts and a t-shirt. Yes, he stood out from the crowd, and he was the only one that did that. But to this day I still respect him deeply for doing that. Feel free to bring that up to your youth pastor.

Tough Issue
by: Danielle


I understand how you feel. However, there is a larger issue here.

Your youth pastor is right.

Boys really really struggle with lust. No matter how godly the man, this is something that is a consistant struggle. It is similar to how women struggle with emotions.

You would not be happy if a boy played with your emotions. In the same way, it is not right to play with a boy's visual side.

If you are fine with bikinis in your personal life, that's one thing (although, i urge you to reconsider). For the sake of your youth group excursion, I would encourage you to purchase a modest tankini or one-piece. There are lots of non-frumpy and affordable options.

It's a small sacrifice to show respect for your leaders and respect for the boys at youth.

Hope that helps.

by: Anonymous

I have a tankini from this site.
I have boughten three.

It doesn't show the outline of my belly, it comes up high at the back to cover my back and it has extra fabric for the upper area.
I'm wondering if tankinis are ok.
Modest One pieces and tankinis don't show your belly or your upper area, so really is it wrong to wear a tankini or one piece as long as it's not to tight?

I don't understand why people are buying these rash guards and board shorts.
As long as your not showing skin or your cleavage or wearing a tight one piece than why would it be wrong to wear a tankini or one piece?

I've seen one pieces and tankinis advertised in magazines and there worse than the ones that are more modest.
There like a bikini because they cut in the back and cut to show your belly button.

I think everyone should remember to that their are different types of swimsuits.
monokinis, bikinis, one pieces, tankinis.
and their all cut differently.
so i think it's important to keep
in mind the different names for all the swimsuits.
but what do you guys think?
what do you think of this site.

Re: Tankinis?
by: Laura

Hiya! There is a website that I use as a resource to decide whether something is immodest or not. they do include things on swimsuits. Here is the website.

Ultimately, I would strongly advise asking God for wisdom/discernment on this area, because something can be modest for one guy, yet can cause another to struggle. In the end, I try to dress to help the weaker brother out. Hope that this helps. :)

by: Anonymous

I'm a teenage guy and I'm going to be blunt in my opinion because I believe this issue is too important to dance around.
In my opinion and experience, most one-pieces and tankinis are not ok, because you wouldn't wear nothing but a tank-top tucked into your panties and go to the mall, store, church. With those it's about crotch, move the wrong way and way too much can be seen, and no I don't mean you can see THE thing that shouldn't be seen, but way too close. Guys are imaginative, get that close and they can have the Full picture exposed in their minds without even trying, even if they are honestly trying to be pure in mind, if the view is that close to reveling the full picture than the full picture can pop into their mind without trying.
As a teenage guy, I beg you, don't make us stumble, I try so desperately to be pure and it's getting more difficult with even Christian girls conforming to this world.
And yes, the weight of this shouldn't all be on you, the weight is on all of us, but even though the guys around you may not be holding up their end, that's not a reason to cave on your end...there Are guys who Are trying to be pure and modest, and if you do whatever and wear whatever just because some guys you know aren't trying..good guys lose too.

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