Our Life on Christ

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Showing Skin Around Church Folk

My church held a back-to-school swim party for all the children who were--you guessed it--going back to school. When I learned of the party a week before the event date, I recognized one dilemma: how do you swim around church folk? I don’t necessarily feel comfortable being around people at church clothed in what is equivalent to a bra and underwear and, as a woman, I worry about being a stumbling block to my brothers in Christ. I am not implying that I am any sort of “knock out” but you never know what “does it” for some people—I don’t want to cause any plucking out of eyes (Matthew 18:9)!

I have realized recently, though, that if I don’t feel comfortable engaging in a particular activity around those I attend worship services with, I should not ever feel comfortable doing that activity. WE are the church—not the building in which we raise our hands, sing, and listen to sermons. Wherever WE are, so is the church. I cannot wear my two-piece bikini to the public pool and then find some homely one-piece to wear to church-related water activities.

I am now on a quest to find something comfortable, modest, and somewhat fashionable to wear to the pool—any and all pools.

So far I have found several modest options (some more fashionable than others): swim dresses (who knew there were such things?!), one-pieces, and tankinis. There are also many different kinds of shorts/skirts available. I am especially interested in these options for bottoms because I don’t think we should be okay with showing our butt cheeks to people simply because we have a swim suit on (if your dad’s friend saw you in your underwear, would that be okay?).

I think I am going to get a tankini top with some shorts or a skirted bottom.

What do you do? If you’re a guy, what do you feel about this subject?


  1. I would agree with what you said. Although many won't say that the beach or pool is a breeding ground for lust, but, it is! I'm a married man, hence you are my wife :) but I'm not exempt from the pleasures of this world like any other man. I try not to fall into temptation but the pool or beach is definitely a place for it. The beach and swimming pools are a place where you can basically gawk at women in their "swimsuit" which should be called what it really is...under garments (bras and panties).

  2. Great post! I can definitely relate. When I attempted to purchase a modest swimsuit, the cashier asked me how old I was and "kindly" informed me that I was purchasing a swimsuit made for senior citizens. However, a few months after wearing the swimsuit to a pool party I hosted, one of my friends from work called wanting to know where I purchased the swimsuit. She was going on vacation and was having trouble finding a cute swimsuit that didn't resemble "butt-floss." Our clothing choices and life choices in general will garner different responses from different individuals. However, in all cases, we are always being watched.

  3. So true, Korin! We are being watched and, as Christians, it's important we remember that. Even NOT as Christians, people claim they want things to change so they should remember, too, that young people are watching and repeating the actions they see.

    So nice of the cashier to 'warn' you that your swimsuit was 'old lady-ish.'

    "Butt floss." That's funny!

    Thanks for commenting!

  4. I appreciate the spirit of this post. I think it is appropriate and good for women to be cognizant of what they wear. But I think it is not possible to control how others respond to you. A guy can lust just as easily if you are in loose jeans and an oversized sweatshirt as he can in a bikini. Girls already have enough pressure to be liked, be pretty, be a godly woman, etc, without also giving them responsibility for guys sinning. If a girl is intentionally dressing to spark lust that is one thing. If she is just dressing to look nice and a guy happens to lust anyway she should not feel (or be made to feel) responsible.

    I did some sociology research in college for a class. Our research topic was beliefs about rape. At the time, and this was a while ago, the Christian students were more likely than the non-christians to believe that women had some responsibility for their rape, especially the area of dress. Christian student were much more likely to say women "were asking for it" by the way they dressed.

    I am not at all suggesting that this is what you mean by this post (I think the personal introspection focus of the post is exactly the right way). But I do think it is a distortion of good teaching that is easy to fall into.

  5. "I worry about being a stumbling block to my brothers in Christ"(Anji 2010) This was great when you said this. I find that in our society this is not focused by women, and I am hear to say that it is a distraction that works in the devils favor, not a Christian brother. I wish that all parents would stress this topic to their daughters. This was a great topic. Wil I think that if anyone says that there is no lust going on at the swimming pool then they are not telling the truth. It is ashame that you can not take your kids to the pool without seeing a naked women walking around. Society is crazy.

  6. Interesting...I couldn't even put on a modest swimsuit...I opted to just watch my kids swim and wear tshirt and jeans....Not comfortable in swimsuits period...

  7. Really...so you're NEVER comfortable in swimsuits or just not at the party?

  8. I love this post. It is something I fight with my stepdaughter about. Why is it ok to wear something skimpy when your father isn't around, and then try and hide when he is? And now we can move this to the biblical Father, He sees all, are you ok with Christ seeing you in a string bikini? Don't get me wrong, I had my day of wearing things that I deem now as inappropriate, but I never went around flaunting it. I agree, I may not have the best body anymore, but I appreciate my body, however, it is not on display for everyone, but instead for my husband. I feel that if you "can't do" something around "church folk" than you probably shouldn't be doing it at all.

    I am not a fan of these little bikinis (or shorts for that matter) that society is pressing these young girls to wear, for multiple reasons. One-exactly what Anji said, why be a stumbling block for my brothers, two-why walk around "semi-naked", you can find many bathing suits that accent your figure without showing all your flesh!

    Ok, sorry this is getting to long, all in all, great post Mabons...

  9. Great points, Candice! You summed up everything I feel by saying, "..if you 'can't do' something around 'church folk,' then you probably shouldn't be doing it at all"! That is SO true. And yes, our Father does see everything...kind of scary to think about sometimes! :-)

    In America, little girls see half-naked women and other little girls daily--heck, hourly! They are being pressured into wearing these revealing things. It's sad that parents think it's cute when their baby girl wears a miniaturized version of something that would be (well, should be) considered suggestive. We are sending our kids the wrong message!

  10. Butt-floss...that's hilarious. I wish women weren't viewed and treated the way they are in society. But I'm a huge fan of people that are being oppressed to step up and do something about it. I wish that women across the United States would all decide to stop trying to "look cute" at the pool, lakes and beaches if it means displaying their bodies. And as my wife Anji stated, when women do this, they often become stumbling blocks for our brothers that are trying to stay on the straight and narrow.

    Well, thanks for the comment, sorry my response is so late.