September 28, 2016

Addressing the Dressing: Modesty

by Lyndon Unger


My name is Lyndon,

I have a confession to make:

I have a heavy burden regarding the level of theological schlock that is regularly dumped upon my sisters in the Lord.  Many of my female friends struggle, far too hard, to find reliable theological resources that deal with issues of concern to them.  Because of this, I want to write some women’s-ministry-related literature that has some theological substance.

I have a second confession to make:

I’m male.  I wish that I could somehow turn that part of me off for addressing this topic, but I simply cannot.

That means, I suffer from typical male proclivities, aptly illustrated in the following:  

In other words, I’m can’t write theological literature addressing a woman’s perspective from a position of understanding.

I have a third confession:

I’m not really even going to try.  I won’t pretend to have any experiential understanding regarding the struggles that women face with this issue, and I’ve learned that any efforts to empathize generally appear either insincere or downright ignorant.  I’m a guy who is skilled in research and biblical interpretation, and in effort to respect women and not appear condescending, I’m going to try my best to stick there.  I’m going to just write as straight-forwardly as I can, giving the facts as best I can, and hope that some relatively unvarnished and objective treatment of a topic will be helpful.  Hopefully my “just the facts ma’am” approach will work well enough.

So what is this all about?


That’s right.

I’m going to write some more stuff about modesty.  It’s not like young women don’t already have an absolutely overwhelming mount of options when it comes to literature addressing the topic of modesty.  What could I possibly add to the innumerable treatments on the topic?

Well, I hope to surprise many of you.

I’ve made some rather interesting discoveries on the subject, and I’ve written a short series of articles that I’m going to post here to try and share those with you all.  Hopefully it will help sort out some of the confusion that many of us conservative evangelicals have about modesty.  Today, I’m going to lay out four categories of Christian women with regards to the subject of “modesty.”

1. The women who want to be biblically modest.

These woman recognize that the standards of contemporary fashion are abysmal but don’t think the solution involves dressing like someone from the era before electricity.  They are usually well-intentioned but get overwhelmed (or totally annoyed) at all the confusing and contradictory teaching on the subject of modesty.  These women recognize that more often than not, “women’s ministry” books are written by other women who don’t really know what they’re talking about…but try to distract from their vague or errant ideas via flowery fonts and pink/toile/teacups on the covers. These women struggle to find good stuff that sufficiently answers their questions, find themselves frustrated and just try to dress respectably by the standards of the day.


In this series, I hope to give these women a substantial biblical exploration of the issue.  I hope to answer some of their big questions, dig deep into some of the key texts, explore the history relevant to the issue, and give them a framework to deal with the innumerable little questions that follow.

2.  The women who want to be historically modest.

These woman look much like the first group except that their understanding of modesty is far more rooted in history than the pages of Scripture.  They often have arbitrarily selected a standard of dress from a period of time from recent history (i.e. the 1950’s or 1980’s) and have used that as the standard of “biblical” modesty.  These women tend to be rather sentimental about a previous time when people acted more “Christian” and want a return to those good old days.  You know...when legs needed warming and shoulders needed padding?

In this series, I hope to give these women a similar understanding as the first group.  Also, I hope to give them some freedom to understand that modesty allows a whole lot of diversity of clothing, but also would likely condemn some things that they assume pass for “modest.” I also hope that this any newfound understanding will result in increased influence with younger women who don’t share their tastes in fashion.

3. The women who want to be culturally modest.

These women don’t want to be seen as “immodest” but still want to dress “fashionably” as judged by the abysmal standards of the day.  They tend to react with aggression against the teaching on “modesty” that condemns how they already dress and claim to want to be thoughtful of their brothers in the Lord…but tend to blame hormonal and googly-eyed Christian guys as the sole reason for the existence of the issue in the first place.

pointing finger

In this series, I hope to help these women in similar ways to the first group.  I hope to help them by re-orienting their perspectives on fashion to be more in line with the Scriptures, and to also give them a healthy understanding of just what’s at stake in their fashion choices. Knowing that many of the women in this category tend to dismiss most of what a man says about this topic, I also hope that the women in the first and second category may take this information to the women in the third category, and inform/encourage them with it.

4. The women who want to be Christian hotties.

These women are somewhat like the previous group except that they go a lot farther; instead of wanting to dress fashionably, they tend to want to dress “sexy”.  For some reason, they don’t seem to clue in that “sexy” means “dressing in a way that purposefully stimulates (in others) a strong desire for sexual intercourse.”  These women constantly have problems with Christian guys who don’t “act very Christian” and end up regularly dating non-Christian guys because “they act more ‘Christian’ than the Christian guys…”  I’m not really addressing the Christian hotties.  If they somehow end up on here they’ll likely dismiss this whole series immediately because it’s written by a guy, and because their main problem involves spelling…
In this series, I still hope that these women will be helped in a secondary way.   I hope that they’ll be helped by the women in the first three groups who will possibly talk with them and pass on the biblical information that they’ve gleaned from this series.

Here’s hoping.

Truthfully, I’m guessing that some in all the groups may have trouble stomaching what I’m going to write as well.  This series will, without a doubt, overturn a few apple carts and challenge a few traditional understandings.

So what’s first?

In the next post,  we’ll explore the Biblical terms related to modesty.

I’ll do my best to be clear, but be warned: I’m going to dig deep and get into some legitimately difficult bible study; it will require a little patience to slug through but I promise to pull everything together at the end.  Also, I’ll say in advance that this series will be quite a few posts, but it’s a thorny issue and I want to treat it with some seriousness.  The posts will be kept fairly short to make it readable, and I hope it’s ultimately helpful.

I welcome suggestions in the comments!

Until Next Time,

Lyndon “So how many enemies did I just make?” Unger

Lyndon Unger

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Lyndon is a pastor/teacher who’s currently between ministry work and in the Canadian Mennonite Brethren Witness Protection program. If you think you saw him didn’t.
  • Christina

    I am very interested in reading this series. I often feel like I am walking a fine line with my dress….the fine line between being modest and being dowdy in my quest to honor God in my dress (with the exception of my high heel shoes which may not fall into either category). I welcome your perspective.

    • Lyndon Unger

      Here’s hoping that I can give a helpful framework for coming to some conclusions!

  • Jane Hildebrand

    You could throw in whether or not public breastfeeding could be considered immodest, but then you’d have to move and change your name.

    • Lyndon Unger

      By the end of this, you’ll have an answer to that question. Tell my wife and kids that I loved them.

  • Now ya’v gone ta’ meddlin’. It might be a good thing you’re in the Canadian Mennonite Brethren Witness Protection Program.

    • Lyndon Unger

      By the end of this all, I’ll be getting plastic surgery and regularly wearing a bullet proof vest. Here’s hoping that I’m paranoid.

  • Cathy

    I appreciate this article! When I was in my twenties I had a very nice figure, and I loved to show it off. I guess I would have been classified as the “Christian Hottie”. I didn’t wear outright revealing clothing, I wore clothing that showed off my figure without showing skin, I guess you could say. Anyway, I loved the attention, it made me feel pretty, a girl starved for male attention. Now that I’m older, I realize my foolishness (and sinfulness). I try and speak to women on this subject whenever I can. Why would we want to cause a brother to stumble? Anyway, thank you for addressing this, I know that women who dress provocatively have something else going on. Please, no arguments from women who say they dress that way because it makes them feel good,etc…yes, it makes you feel good because you are getting the attention you are starved for. Examine your heart, ask the Holy Spirit to show you the root of why you are doing what you are doing (as we all need to do with everything in our lives).

    • Lyndon Unger

      Thanks for your thoughts Cathy! I definitely agree with your sentiments: the conscience needs to be educated on these matters, but one should also attempt to examine one’s heart on these issues and not violate the conscience.

  • TiredofHearingAboutIt

    So here’s the thing. Modesty is important. It’s Biblical. It’s what we ought to do. BUT…I feel like the whole issue of dress is lose/lose for women no matter what. At least on this side of heaven. Women dress immodestly and they are being unbiblical, causing their brothers to stumble, etc. They dress modestly and they’re seen as unattractive, undesirable, and their husbands look at other women. What’s a girl to do? Most of the time I just throw my hands up in the air and give up. I’m over the whole discussion.

    • Jason

      If a husband’s affection for his wife is based on how immodestly she dresses that affection is not going to last even if she spends most days walking around naked. At some point (fairly early in a relationship), the shallowness of physical attraction is recognized for what it is.

      I suggest a wife who has a believing husband who is struggling with lust of the eyes encourage him to try to find a good, honest guy/group with which he can work through this.

      God asks us to dress (and behave) modestly, and there is a wonderful way for a marriage to work even when we respect that.

      • Jane Hildebrand

        Jason, if the shallowness of physical attraction was recognized for what it is in Christian relationships, we wouldn’t have the pornography epidemic we have among Christian men. These are very difficult times for women to navigate.

        • Jason

          I suppose I didn’t pick my words carefully. I don’t believe most people realize that’s what’s happening, but I intended to say “the shallowness of physical attraction becomes evident”.

      • TiredofHearingAboutIt

        I totally agree. HOWEVER…given that pornography use is at an all time high within the church, you’ve got women who are desperate for their husbands attention. When they dress modestly, they feel frumpy, ugly, unworthy of their husbands affection, and rejected at every turn. This is not a rare circumstance in which one believer needs the help of other men in the church. The rate is high..somewhere around 50% within the church. And yes, I see these two issues as being directly related. Men are the leaders of the church and home, and we have men LEADING women to dress immodestly because they themselves are reveling in immorality. This does not excuse women; they are still accountable for their own heart/actions/sin, but the problem is far bigger than shallow women trying to get attention. In some ways, the heart of women is the direct reflection of the heart of men. And I don’t mean the men of the culture or society as a whole, but the men in their churches and homes.

        • Jason

          Every instance of sin is a circumstance in which one believer needs the fellowship of other believers (James 5:16)! This is certainly a common sin that doesn’t see enough confession and, therefore, healing (which is why I recommend close fellowship, as it’s also one we all probably have difficulty being gracious about).

          In today’s culture of feminism, we hear the church talking primarily about how dressing provocatively is disrespectful to self. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11, directly relates a wife dressing modestly with her showing respect for her husband.

          You’re talking about a husband’s lack of love leading a woman to be disrespectful which, but for the grace of God, is always true. It’s also true that her disrespect will make it more difficult for him to be loving. Neither is excused, and reacting to each other this way just keeps the spiral going.

          Because of this, I don’t think we should give up on modesty any more than it would be right for the church to give up on sexual purity because it’s difficult.

    • Lyndon Unger

      I’m glad for your questions, because this series will directly address many of your questions. If I can be so bold, hang on and I’ll try to help you in two areas:

      1. Giving you some room in which you can win.

      2. Giving you a few ideas of what a girl is to do.

      I’m “mennoknight” online, and my blog has the original series from which this series has been taken. I’ve done a bit of editing, but you can go and read ahead for yourself. Much of the content is the same. Feel free to throw questions at me and I’ll do my best to help out as best I can.

  • Jane Hildebrand

    Okay, so here’s a question I would like addressed. What is the proper response to a man who pays a woman a compliment? For example, what do you do when someone says something like, “By the way, you are beautiful.” Should you say thank you, ignore them or give them that ‘wow, you’re a creeper’ look. If my husband is present, he will usually respond with “Yes she is” and I feel safe in his care. But when I am alone, I struggle with how to respond. More often than not, even eye contact or heaven forbid a smile is perceived as an invitation these days.

    • Heather

      hahahahahaha my response is ALWAYS to give them “wow, you’re a creeper” look hahahahahaha 😉

      • Lyndon Unger

        Probably not a bad idea.

    • Heather – funny comment!!
      “I’m very married” worked for me (probably sometimes unwittingly accompanied with a “you’re a creeper” look). It declared me uninterested, unavailable, and under the care of my husband even when he wasn’t there.
      One of the advantages of aging–you get less of these awkward flatteries.

    • Lyndon Unger

      Oh boy Jane. I answer cautiously and openly admit that I’m not sure what the best biblical answer would be.

      Here’s what my wife has said regarding how she deals with compliments:

      It depends on the context.

      Public context (i.e. grocery store) + day time + non-creepy guy (i.e. senior or adolescent) = Give a polite “thank you” and then move on.

      If they attempt to continue talking with you, politely inform them that you’re not interested in further conversation.


      If any of those change: if it’s a private context (i.e. you run into someone at a storage facility), or it’s at night, or the guy is creepy, your response can range from a silent but polite smile to openly telling him you’re not open to compliments or discussion to simply pulling out your phone and vocally describing how your dialing your husband/the police/your friend who’s a mafia assasin.

      If you’re afraid or creeped out, you also have my uninspired permission to be rude if need be and immediately get out of there. Far better a random creeper think you’re a hag than an easy target…and possibly act super crazy. That moment where he’s trying to figure out why your screaming at invisible bats might stun him enough to allow you an escape.

      Best use your own judgment with that last paragraph.

      If nothing I said makes sense, please feel free to disregard what I’ve said. I don’t claim to have any good answer here for you.

      • Jane Hildebrand

        No, this was very helpful! I love the phone idea if ever I feel threatened. Thank you!

  • Heather

    Oh man….it’s really a good idea to NOT secretly read Lyndon’s articles at work because people look at you like an idiot as you randomly burst out a loud laugh. hahahaha I couldn’t control myself…serves me right for reading articles at work…woops :/ lol
    Looking forward to reading more, Lyndon!!! 🙂

    • Lyndon Unger

      Thanks for the vote of confidence Heather!

  • Love the pictures! I don’t struggle with this as long as I can wear the jeans that come up to my waist, in other words “mom” jeans, and live on the west coast where everything is casual, I’m fine. I am looking at those leggings as they are supposed to be comfortable. But the problem with them is that you have to wear a dress over them or at least something that is long enough to cover your posterior. The problem with dressing modestly is that once you find something that looks good and is comfortable the clothes wear out! I’d like to have clothes that never wear out!

  • Andy Snider

    Since you are welcoming suggestions, I suggest the following: 1) retract your third confession and wait until you actually care about your audience, then try to actually communicate to them; 2) find a new attitude toward women that demonstrates respect and empathy instead of the supercilious and condescending attitude that is particularly strong in your “category 3” and ending. This is painful, Lyndon. Even more so because you seem to think that this rebuke will count as evidence that you’re on the right track. Please, brother, be a *pastor*.

    • Jason

      Please edit the venom out of this post. As it is, the request for empathy seems hypocritical.

      • Andy Snider

        Hi Jason – Since Lyndon knows me, I think he will understand there is nothing venomous/hateful in my words. He bears great responsibility writing in this forum because of its reach, and so I believe the strength of my exhortation is warranted. Our sisters in God’s family deserve better, in my opinion. Blessings…

        • elainebitt

          You forgot the part where you bear responsibility as a commenteer. I think even I could write a more charitable comment than yours. Well, if I truly cared about my brother I surely could.

          • Ben

            I find it funny that request a charitable tone in response to a blog that is dripping with condescension and disdain.

    • Dan Phillips

      I disagree on every count. I also not that, so far, every actual woman who’s commented seems to “get” both Lyndon’s tone and content.

      Since you are welcoming suggestions, Lyndon, please continue in exactly the same tone and direction. If actual women report actual injury, as always, take it on a case by case basis, keeping in mind that not even inerrantly-inspired writers managed to please everybody.

      • Guest

        I’m a woman, and have been a believer for a long time, and I don’t “get” Lyndon’s tone and content. Frankly, I find it incredibly demeaning and insulting to women. So thank you to Andy for calling it out.

        • Lyndon Unger

          Mrs. Guest, can you help me out with a few specifics that you’d like me to change?

          • Guest

            Well, since you asked…

            “These women recognize that more often than not, “women’s ministry” books are written by other women who don’t really know what they’re talking about…but try to distract from their vague or errant ideas via flowery fonts and pink/toile/teacups on the covers.” This comes off like you think women aren’t capable of teaching each other effectively without the help of a wiser, more theologically aware man to guide them along the way. I know of many helpful resources written by women on this subject, and mocking their femininity (flowery fonts, teacups, etc) is demeaning and just uncalled for.

            Regarding women who fall into “category 3” you said:
            “They tend to react with aggression against the teaching on “modesty” that condemns how they already dress and claim to want to be thoughtful of their brothers in the Lord…but tend to blame hormonal and googly-eyed Christian guys as the sole reason for the existence of the issue in the first place.” Honestly, the reason that a lot of women react with “aggression” is BECAUSE they’ve been told that it’s their fault that their “brothers” stumble. Whether you want to agree or not, in the conservative Christian culture, it is MORE common for women to be criticized for their modesty than it is for men to be confronted about their wandering eyes and lack of self control. Most sermons go like this: “Men, you need to control your eyes and your thoughts, but women, if a man can’t control his eyes or his thoughts, then it’s probably because you’re dressed too seductively.” There is usually some kind of justification for it. I mean, I’ve literally heard these words come out of a pastor’s mouth when he taught a sermon on modesty: “Ladies, men are attracted to skin and curves. We just are.” I mean, seriously? So because you’re attracted to skin and curves, it’s our responsibility to cover them up and disguise them as to not make you tempted to look at them? I’d like to think that women who fall under “category 3” are just tired of the debate always ending the same way and they’re just wanting more of a balance.

            You did say something that I do agree with: you can’t possibly understand or relate to this particular struggle that Christian women face. And the tone of this blog post proved that.

          • Lyndon Unger

            Awesome. Thanks for the specifics.

            Allow me, as the single author, to give you the authorial-intent. Let me know if this helps!

            With your first quote, I recognize that there are good women’s ministry books out there. That’s why I wrote “more often than not” as opposed to “all the time”. I think women are fully capable of teaching, and I wish there were more good teachers out there, but if you look at Evangelical Christendom on the whole, a majority of the popularly known women writing tend to lack the training to engage this issue on any serious exegetical level. My wife has frequently come to me with a women’s ministry book and asked “does this verse teach THAT?” and then had that turn into a multiple hour conversation about how in the world an author ever got milk from a stone.

            The comment about some authors who “don’t really know what they’re talking about”, as well as the complaint about flowery language/fonts/etc. is actually a summary of a complaint that I’ve got from a lot of women. The original writing of this post was actually in response to requests I got from multiple women who were searching for some biblically rigorous teaching on the issue and only found stuff that they weren’t remotely satisfied with. They told me that they were tired of the constant flowers and fluff and wanted something beyond that.

            With your second quote, that makes sense to me.

            I honestly don’t encounter that, since I don’t really travel in the same sort of conservative circles that I imagine you’re part of. The circles that I travel in are ones where the issue is often skirted around, and guys take a majority of the blame. In fact, up here in Canada, I’ve only heard a sermon about this issue once, and it basically focused most of the critique on men and urged the women to “focus on inner beauty”. It didn’t help that the sermon was at an aggressively egalitarian Bible College and coming from Miss Universe Canada; it was an awkward mix of audience and speaker, to say the least.

            All that to say that the Christian culture that I’m a part of up here in Canada is definitely not the same as large swaths of conservative Christian culture in ‘Merica.

            If you don’t dress in ways that are generally considered inappropriate, and don’t date non-Christian guys because you think they’re morally superior to Christian guys, you’re probably not in the third category. You’re probably in the first category.

            In fact, many of the women in category 1 (and I admit my categories are “just tired
            of the debate always ending the same way and they’re just wanting more
            of a balance.”

            I’d up the ante and say that many of the women in category 1 are tired of being blamed for someone else’s sin. That should not be the case, and hopefully I can provide some good food for thought for women like you who are understandably ready to throw in the towel on this issue due to all the ignorant instruction you’ve had to endure…which kinda takes us back to the first quote. Many of the women who write less-than-helpful stuff on this are just parroting the pap that they’ve been sold by the men who are supposed to be spiritually reliable leaders.

            I don’t take the blame for that personally, but the problem with this issue exists because innumerable men in spiritual leadership have exerted no small effort to create it.

            If you’ve felt the frustration of feeling like you’re blamed for someone else’s sin, I’d like to ask you to tune in for the following posts, because you’ll likely encounter some information (especially in the 2 final posts) that I hope will be exceedingly welcome.

            You’re right: I don’t pretend to understand the struggle. I’m only trying to offer what help I can.

            If I’m of no help whatsoever, then so be it.

            If I provide even some sort of helpful direction, then run with that and exceed my feeble offerings. That would please me to no end to run across some dynamic and biblically savvy woman one day who was offering great teaching on this subject and discover that she was the “guest” on the Cripplegate who took the 2 good thoughts she could harvest from my inane ramblings, and turned them into something far better than I could have ever done.

            I hope my comments help with some understanding…hopefully?

    • elainebitt

      He is being a pastor, not to you, clearly, but you’re not the final voice. I happen to be a woman and I believe Lyndon is right on.

      So here it is: you know Lyndon, so you say. Well, why not write him in private? He welcomes suggestions, not opinions and attacks veiled in some hipocritical “I care about you”. Give your brother the benefit of the doubt and act as a mature Christian. I don’t really know you, but I think you’re one of those who should know better.

      • Jane Hildebrand

        FYI, Dr. Snider is a pastor and former Professor of Theology at the Master’s Seminary.

    • r

      In other words, “It’s not about the nail?”

    • I deleted several comments in reply to this. Here is my summary: Lyndon asked for feedback, Dr. Snider thinks his tone shows a lack of respect/empathy (esp. #3), and others disagree–I left two of them.
      So let’s not let this comment thread re-litigate the same territory.

    • Carla B

      I’m definately a woman and I’m not offended or wounded in the least by this post. I prefer Lyndon’s insight, straight forward facts, and humorous “tone” over being molly coddled by content that is dumbed down and decorated up so it seems “relevant” or appealing to woman. I doubt I’m alone in saying that we’re capable of pulling up our modest big girl panties and dealing with some depth of content without melting into a puddle of female tears. I hope to be challenged to move past some of my own assumptions regarding modesty, encouraged as I seek biblical wisdom on the topic, and even uncomfortably convicted by future posts in the series.

      • Carla left her post simultaniously to me leaving mine. So…you got in under the wire by 2 seconds!

      • Lyndon Unger

        Carla, I’ve now added “molly coddled” to my repertoire. That’s wonderful.

      • Joy

        Carla’s post wins!!! Between “molly coddled” and “modest big girl panties” I just about fell off my chair laughing! You tell it like it is, sister! I also found Lyndon’s tone to be funny and appreciated that he didn’t beat around the bush. But I’ll also be the first to say that tone in writing is lost on some people, and I’m not super sensitive to stuff like that. I’m looking forward to this series!

    • Lyndon Unger

      Okie Doke.

      So in answer to the last question, I’m at a grand total of two.

      I’ve re-worded the confession #3 to try to remove any mystery as to my intent. Let me know if that helps clarify.

      I also edited the component that I anticipate was taken as some condescension at the end.

      Let me know if that’s hitting what bothers you.

      As for my attitude, I suspect that you’re importing a whole LOT of tone into what you read and I imagine there’s some underlying context to this all that I don’t really understand. I was actually shocked to take such an aggressive punch in the stomach from you.

      I was teaching this last night to 22 junior and senior high school students (most of which were girls), and I don’t talk in the same way that I write, but the context is incredibly different. I’d dare plead 2 Cor. 10:10 and claim that I’m in fairly well established company there.

      I can’t please everyone, but I hope I’ve at least pacified you somewhat.

      Feel free to let me know if and how I failed.

      • Andy Snider

        Thank you for listening, Lyndon. The changes you made are very helpful. I’m sure I’ll agree with most of what you’ll write in the series, but your words must overflow with brotherly love, even if your best strengths are as researcher and exegete. My strongly worded comment is a reflection of how urgently I take this topic as a pastor and father of 3 girls. I’d say more, but I’m on the run at the beginning of a busy day. Blessings, brother…

  • Judy Parker

    Thank you for addressing this topic Lyndon, brave man 🙂 I look forward to reading it. I was wondering if you could share your take, if appropriate, on christian leaders – pastors and elders – who refer to their wives publicly as hot or sexy. To me it seems as though they are only paying lip service to 1 Pet 3:4…maybe I am over-reacting…thanks.

    • Jason

      I agree, we need to do a better job of appealing to spiritual maturity as an admirable trait. Our preoccupation with physical attractiveness is evidence that we are still conformed to the patterns of this world.

    • Lyndon Unger

      Well, when a pastor points to his wife and gives a speech about how attractive she is, that’s just:

      a. Actually Wicked. That’s telling other men to take notice of her physical appearance, which invites them to give her more than a passing glance. I mean, that’s expressly asking the guys to take the first step towards disobeying 1 Thess. 4:4-8. Given Matthew 5:27-30, it’s spiritual perilous to invite anyone in your church to let their eyes linger on anyone…

      b. Insanely Dimwitted. I mean outside the whole “blazing sin” side of things (which is admittedly 99.9% of the problem), I’d dare suggest that any pastor who goes off at length about how hot his wife is would be the sort of guy who lacks basic social awareness. I’d let a passing comment slide by, since it would be equally awkward for a guy to overtly evade saying that he finds his wife attractive, but I’m assuming that your question isn’t coming from a one-off comment.

      I know a couple (who are currently in ministry, no less) in which the guy used to point out his wife in a crowd and ask innocent guys (who didn’t know them) if they thought she was a hottie. He would poke and prod them to consider all her various features and then once they would finally admit that she was a babe, he’s hit them and feign offense and yell “dude, that’s my wife!”


      • Jane Hildebrand

        My husband is not a pastor, but he did this often and I never saw it as wrong until recently. My husband is a true sweetheart and tells me I’m beautiful every day, but he also does this in public. After 32 years of marriage, he still compliments me publicly. I had never considered how that made other men (or women) feel so I talked to him about it.

        He has since removed “hot” from his public vocabulary, but is still complimentary. I know he never meant any harm and his heart was in the right place. It’s good to learn new things.