Guidelines for Modesty

Michael Hyatt (President and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers) shares his thoughts on modesty following the 2008 MTV VMA awards.

It got me to thinking, Where are these girls’ fathers? Has anyone ever taught them the concept of modesty? Or have all the men in their lives simply exploited them as sex objects? Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a prude. But I do think some basic guidelines are in order. These are not rules about skirt length or the amount of cleavage you can show. I’m just not a very good legalist; they are simply guidelines.

I gave these to my girls when they were growing up. Frankly, they haven’t been perfect in following them. Modern culture exerts a powerful influence. Nevertheless, I wanted them to have something that would transcend current fashion and guide their attire once they were older and, perhaps, a little wiser.

Here they are: “Four Guidelines for Modesty”:

  1. If you have trouble getting into it or out of it, it is probably not modest.
  2. If you have to be careful when you sit down or bend over, it is probably not modest.
  3. If people look at any part of your body before looking at your face, it is probably not modest.
  4. If you can see your most private body parts or an outline of those parts under the fabric, it is probably not modest.

What do you think about guidelines for modesty?

Related post: Women’s Clothing That is Modest and Trendy


  1. Elizabeth Taillon says:

    Modesty continues to be a battleground for us with our three teen daughters I am sorry report,despite their conservative views. The objective points you list are helpful and similar to ours.
    The low rise, clingy jeans and the form fitting (albeit long) tees of todays teen culture just give me a fit. Some seem to think that just because it covers skin it passes the modesty test. Your guideline 4 is of utmost importance.
    I was extremely disappointed with the Sweet Innocence “Modest” dress line which featured solely that thin and clingy polyester form fitting fabric. This is not modesty!
    I prefer the mentality of the women towards modesty and their precautions with modern dress on the Muslim website We Love Hajib.

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