Quoting Quiverfull: Our Clothing Choices Hurt Other Women?

by Stacy McDonald of Ladies Against Feminism and Your Sacred Calling – The Idol of Modesty

Our reasons for dressing modestly should have nothing to do with gaining a sense of satisfaction or worth from another person. It should have nothing to do with attention seeking or yearning for approval from others. If we do that we have the same sin dressed up in modest clothes. The way we dress should have everything to do with dressing for the glory of God (and that goes for men as well as women).

However, by that, I do not mean that we have no responsibility to lovingly consider others by the way we dress. In fact, there should be a distinct element of loving our neighbor and putting them first in what we choose to wear. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not all about us (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).

We may contribute to, and even participate in someone else’s sin if we dress in a way that we know is likely to sexually distract the men around us, whether or not that’s what we’re hoping for. And it’s not so nice to their wives either. In fact, for women who are married to men who struggle in this area, it can be downright tortuous. See Modesty Promotes Friendship

By the way, men certainly own their own sin and are responsible before God to control their thoughts and to be faithful to their own wives in every way, regardless of what the women around them are doing. But, since I’m only called to teach women (Titus 2:3-5), I’ll keep my focus on what we women are called to do, and I’ll let my husband go there with the men, which he does. See his January 2011 article, Surviving Sexual Temptation, on our church website.

How am I loving my sister if I carelessly and unnecessarily dress in a way that makes me happy, but causes my sister distress or pain? And I mean that literally. I have counseled with numerous women who really struggle because of the way other women, especially younger women, reveal the sensual areas of their bodies to their husbands.

Comments open below


QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • So even though men are accountable for their thoughts, it’s STILL the woman’s fault, not just for causing the man to lust, but hurting his wife? I’m confused.

  • Trollface McGee

    Everything is the fault of women.
    Even that article addressed to men tells men to run from temptation, as if a man is unable to resist any sort of sexual invitation. Men are uncontrollable sex beasts, therefore women, who lack a sex drive, are responsible for keeping sex away from men who they aren’t owned by. It’s a horribly rapey and pessimistic view of humankind in my opinion.

  • texcee

    Exactly how does one dress “for the glory of God”? In some cultures, that means covering completely with a long black burqa. In other cultures, it means being wrapped in a bright silk sari and midriff bearing shirt underneath. In some cultures, it means being nearly naked but covering the body with red mud. In other cultures, it means simply not wearing a blouse that exposes too much cleavage and a skirt that isn’t too short above the knees. “Rules” on how not to dress so that other women are “not distressed” are as meaningless as arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

  • I have counseled with numerous women who really struggle because of the way other women, especially younger women, reveal the sensual areas of their bodies to their husbands.

    I can imagine that it can be quite painful to see your husband treating other women as objects for his perusal rather than as people going about their business. In fact, I don’t even have to imagine, I can just remember how I felt when I would hear my ex-husband say something like, “Look at that set of lungs” when catching sight of a woman with large breasts or something about another woman’s ass. Those women didn’t even have to be dressed in particularly revealing clothing, just normal slacks and sweaters that no one back in the day would have considered immodest. I didn’t blame the women for his disrespect, I blamed him, and told him how uncomfortable those comments made me. He never seemed to see it (not for nothing is he an ex.)

    But if divorce is not an option and you are told you aren’t a good enough wife if your husband misbehaves, then I can see how you would want to tell yourself that the problem isn’t your husband’s lack of respect for women, it’s those sluts that keep dressing to catch his eye.

  • Saraquill

    In short, my clothes are still your business. I don’t approve.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I can’t begin to wrap my mind around sticking my nose into other peoples’ lives so much, or having to work this damn hard to find a way to blame my issues on anyone but me.

    I have issues that are my fault, and issues that were caused by other people. Everyone has a little of both. A healthy, mature adult will learn to identify what a real issue is, and who the cause is.

  • Madame

    I’ve never got that one either. So I’m supposed to stand in front of a mirror and ask myself if my clothes give glory to God?

    I’ve always understood modesty to mean not attracting more attention to oneself than the average. People should see me, as an equal, not better or worse than them.

    I think Paul was writing to a church where women were using their clothes, braided hair, jewels and such as a way to show off their wealth. They were giving glory to their wealth, and maybe passive-aggressively bidding for better positions and honor. Didn’t Paul also write to some church that they shouldn’t give more honor to someone because of their riches, but instead, be more honoring of the humble and even the needy?

    If modesty means not showing off, then it’s a lot more about attitude than it is about what one is wearing.

  • Stacy writes that we contribute to others’ sins in the way we dress but let’s be honest–if someone has an issue, it’s THEIR issue not mine. That means if a man or woman looks at me and reacts in a way that messes up their life or the lives of others, it’s THEIR OWN DAMN FAULT.

  • newcomer

    Are we supposed to try to dance around any fetishes that might be floating around out there, too? You can be as buttoned-up as all get out, and some guys are still going to see it as sexual because they think ‘sexy librarian.’ Considering just how varied and complex attraction is across all of humanity (internet rule #34, anyone?), trying to avoid dressing in a way that anyone considers sexually provocative is either a testament to naivete or a hopeless enterprise.