You know those blog posts that are so well written that they start to get you thinking. They have a way of almost getting under your skin at times.
Sometimes I love those posts, other times I hate those posts, and almost always I wish that I was able to write something so eloquent and thought provoking that what I had to say would travel around the world and maybe someone would begin to understand my point of view.
I am a firm believer in being able to make our own choices. Agency is something that is so precious and dear to me. It is how we learn and grow. I do not want you to think that I am trying to tell you what to do, I only want you to see where I am coming from, and then you can continue to choose what you will.
Personally I have, more often than not, been an advocate for modesty. It's an easy mindset to fall into when you are raised in an LDS home and you grow up in "Mormon Central" (more commonly known as Provo, Utah). There have been times when I have given into the temptation of wearing a bikini because I wanted to be viewed by my peers as "cool." During those times I was lying to myself about how what I was wearing made me feel. Looking back on the summer of 2009, I realize that I was very uncomfortable, but at the time having certain friends was more important to me than feeling completely comfortable in my own skin. But that was only one summer. Besides that summer, I have found myself questioning what drives some women to dress scantily.
Before I continue I want to talk a little bit about how I view and define modesty. I think that modesty is subjective. It changes based on the eye of the beholder, but overall I think that modesty is being able to dress in a way that respects yourself. There is no one definition of modesty. Cultures around the world differ, times have changed, and fashion turns at every corner, but through all this, one thing remains the same: we are created in God's image, and thus our bodies are sacred. Our bodies are not a thing to feel shameful of, that is a statement of truth, but that doesn’t mean we can flaunt ourselves unnecessarily.
Fully understanding the sacredness of the body has taken me time, and it has taken my husband time, and it is an understanding that we have been able to reach intimately together.
My husband is an amazing man. He is kind and gentle. He has a big heart. He has a strong testimony of Christ and how Christ can heal us. And while he is all this and more, he is still imperfect (as am I). He has his own struggles and trials, and Satan is fighting hard to keep my husband bound as he has been bound in the past.
I can understand that those of you who have not had a close loved one battling the trial of pornography would think that dressing however you like, or in what is comfortable is okay, I mean it is your choice. But I see how this affects my husband. I see how hard he fights everyday to have pure thoughts, to avoid the temptations that surround him, how can he fight it when it is everywhere and we are justifying it? This is not an easy burden to bear. My husband and I have many discussions on how we can make things easier for him, but he has often related his trial to being on a diet. He can be on a diet and he can do everything he can to avoid the things he shouldn't eat, but when we go to the store and at the end of every aisle is another junk food display, how does he continue to fight the temptation?
Until I met my husband I never quite understood how serious an addiction pornography can be, and it is a very dangerous addiction. Satan is promoting a lie that the little bits, such as fabric over the belly button, or over the breasts, don’t make a difference. And the fact that there are people out there agreeing to that is free advertising for Satan.
The little bits can make the biggest difference. Maybe it’s not entirely the women’s responsibility to keep a man’s mind clean and pure, but if the man is doing everything in his power to do what he can, why can’t we as women help him out, make it a bit easier for him. It’s not wrong for a man to need a little bit of extra help.
God did not put us on this Earth to do it alone. We are here to make it back together. That is why we have family, and the church. We are a community and it’s okay to work together. It’s okay to ask one another for help. It’s okay to ask God for help. We all have our own trials and tribulations. We all struggle at times, it’s part of being human. We are not asked to be perfect in this lifetime, we are asked to have faith, we are asked to serve one another, we are asked to love each other even as He would love us.
The campaign for modesty isn’t to judge others, or to make anyone feel like less of a person, it’s a movement against a threat, perhaps the biggest threat we will ever face, the devil himself, Satan.