Thursday, July 5, 2012

Modesty...Modesty...Modesty


Modest Maidens?   Shorts, skirts, pants, Bermuda shorts, capri, button up blouses, tank tops, swim suits, bikini's, the list goes on and on...so many opinions...what is one to do?  What is the answer to being a modest maiden? 

Modesty can not, and will never be defined because there are so many opinions about it.  Many preach that dressing immodest is sinful and unpleasing to the Lord.  Is this true?  Is it just about how we dress?  Or is it deeper than that?  Doesn't the Psalm 139:23 ask the Lord.."Search me oh God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts". 

This seems to be the hot topic in our little blogging world.  So many good posts have been published...ones I wish I would have saved and linked to.  In light of those posts, here is my two cents worth and I want to know your two cents worth - so please comment. 

The other day I listened to an acquaintance who expounded on the fact that she was brought up in a "Christian" home where modesty was applied in the strictest sense.  I listened to this gal explain that she was never allowed to let shoulders show, wear bikini's, short shorts, or even tank tops...she was lamenting the fact that she never experienced wearing such things and now that she was older and had lost weight and had "form" she wasn't going to hide her figure any more.... Quote, "I'm trying get over having to be modest all my life and am learning that I can be more free - after all I have a shape now and don't intend to keep it hidden"...Whoa Really????!!!!! 

Alarm bells went off as I looked over at my daughter who was intently listening to this "freedom from having to be modest" speech.  What was she thinking?  Seems as though more and more women are throwing off this "bondage of modesty".  But is it bondage?  Or is it beautiful freedom to be who the Lord created us to be.  Titus 2:5 "To be discrete, chaste..."


We dress modest...probably not as modest as others...but we are covered.  Our swim wear is basically swim shorts and swim halter top...modest right?  I don't think I even own a low shirt...or a tight pair of jeans (well not on purpose anyway - LOL too many cookies)...or a bikini.  I don't wear those things because I'm 40 something and feel very uncomfortable in them...and Titus 2 has convicted me to want to be a woman after God's heart.

My husband and I have always been careful to not let our daughter be "immodest" in her dress and now we see the benefit of doing this,  as at age 11 she is conscientious about how she dresses...but does she know why?  Or is she just dressing modestly UNTIL she leaves our home and can "throw off the modesty teachings".  Scary thought!  Will I one day see my daughter throwing off all modest dress because she saw it as bondage?  Or will she embrace it and enjoy being modest - seeing the beauty and protection in it?



I have always said that modesty is a heart issue...something that comes from walking in the Spirit...for if we are walking in this way our hearts will be modest, sensitive to the Spirits leading about dress, we will have hearts that follow and will be circumcised for Christ! 

There are those who dress modest yet have a heart far from the Lord - having a religious piety about them...while there are those who might wear a bikini - yet their hearts are striving towards Him.  I know a young mama who does wear a bikini, yet, she has a delightful Godly spirit and modest heart..a heart that is always striving to be a true daughter of the King. 

For the past month or so I have felt the Lord tug on my heart to study up on modesty.  As I ponder this issue I recall that not so long ago...about a 50+ years or so...all of us...you, me, the ladies at the beach, the ladies in the malls, the ladies at Bible study...we would all be considered very immodest.  So where does one draw the line?  What about men?  What if you were called to be a missionary in Saudi Arabia - you would have to wear more than a light dress or skirt on a 100+ day.  Being completely covered would be what you would wear or risk being offensive to those around you.  What about those women in Africa who wear almost nothing...but this is their culture...and if they don't they will overheat and cause skin infections. 

My question and concern with the modesty "mantra" being preached as sin is, will this "preaching" be life changing to a mama in Africa?  Will their hearts be won for Christ after they are dressed "properly"...does the Lord not love them just as much as He loves one here in America dressed modestly?  Where do we draw the line?  Are we missing the bigger picture?
 
My blessings, freshly soaked by the water sprinkler.
From a Godly man's point of view:  My husband says that modestly dressed women are more attractive and classy.  He would never want myself or our daughter wearing "scantily" dressed clothing or a bikini for the fact that there is so much immorality in our country.  So it is for our protection that he likes to see us dress modestly.

He also discussed with me how modest dressing can be used by others to manipulate and control.  When he was a young man, he dressed weird - tire tread jeans with huge holes, weird hair, mixed shoes...etc.., (not very manly or modest)...there were some who talked to the pastor about their concerns over his attire because he always sat in the front pews...he was a distraction they said...but what they failed to see was his heart and that he was bringing MANY to hear the word of God.  God was using this "inappropriately" dressed young man for His glory. 

Another point that we discussed was the issue of tightness.  Some clothing is very tight and shouldn't be warn...but what about the woman who gained some weight and there is no money to purchase new, better fitting clothing?  (I've been there and it is humiliating to have to traipse around in tight fitting clothing...getting the "looks" and feeling horrible because we really had no extra to spend on clothes for me...)  Before we judge someone we better stop that judgemental attitude and pray for them...pray for the Lord to open their eyes and for the Lord to provide what they need. 

So at the end of this post I have to conclude that modesty is an issue that is only between you and your Creator...not you and those around you...not you and the pastor's wife...not you and anyone else...simply you and your Creator - that is it! 
*Note:  As a married woman, God will speak through my husband about dress...and I need to listen to what he is saying...for instance my husband prefers jeans on me because skirts are not flattering.

Here is a blog I really appreciate, as this young lady is such an inspiration to those her age and even us older gals....her clothes are delightfully modest...but what is more is that her heart seems to be delightfully modest - LOVE IT!  http://freshmodesty.blogspot.com/ 
(Strawberry, I think you will really enjoy this blog...I thought of you while visiting it.)

A note to me from a friend:

"You wrote about your leanings toward Biblical modesty as a woman. I encourage you wholeheartedly in that direction. Our attire is such a statement about our principles and priorities. As mothers, we are setting the standard of a godly wife to our sons, and obviously also to daughters. I think of how I’m creating an appetite in my sons for the women they will be attracted to: Am I lovely in modesty? Am I delightful to be around? Do I care more about the standards around me or the standards God has given? Am I feminine (not frail!), which is naturally attractive to a masculine man? We are not just a shapely version of a man – we are created unique as women, and our family should see that God-ordained difference every day in their mother." - Well said dear friend of mine!

I really want to know your thoughts as I am going to begin a study...so please leave me a comment!  And as always thank you so much for taking the time to visit and read my post. 

3 comments:

Jaclyn said...

When I was convicted of the way I dressed, whT really hit home for me and made sense to the point were I listened and obeyed, was that 1) why do I want to look like the rest of the worldly women who follow the world and not Jesus and 2) men. We know that when they see cleavage, our thighs, or our shape in our tight skin outfits they are having lustful thoughts, wether they fight it or not. How sad is this for our brothers in Christ, right?

Since I have always had a nitch for fashion, I have been able to find a fashionable way to be modest. I simply wear skirts, all modern and found recently but still feminine and appropriate, and I wear tops that are not low or tight. Voila!

Chandra More Modern Modesty said...

Modesty is most definitely a heart issue. My parents raised me in a strict home, but it wasn't until I searched God's Word for myself that I realized that my outward appearance is not the only way of pleasing Him. Too many people dress modestly and abide by a set of rules because that's how they were raised. I have no problem with that, but there is much more to our Christian walk.

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!

Chandra

Sally said...

Well Dory--this one will probably push you somewhat. I think that the "modesty movement"is just another pendulum swing of doctrine in the church. I wore a bikini until I was 59. Was I immodest? No, my heart was not to be seductive in any way and I wasn't. I like a tan. A lot of times a dress--even a modest dress is seductive because of the person wearing it. The excuse that it causes men to lust totally fractures me. The word says to watch what you put before your eyes--if a man looks a second time that is his sin. If a woman is trying to seduce men then it is her sin. A husband tells a wife how to dress? Why? Did she forget how to think? Is he her Holy Spirit? I will admit I wear things for my husband that I do not wear in public. But he doesn't tell me how to dress. If we make so much of modesty that it is always in the thought process it is now a religion unto itself. An imbalanced weight is an abomination. I never think about it. If I pick up something and I put it on and I hear the Lord say no--I put it back. The most my husband ever says is, "Hey beautiful, are you ready?" I think we over think things. His way is easy and his yoke is light. We are the sheep of His pasture. His sheep know his voice and the voice of a stranger they will not follow. Does God care what you are wearing? I doubt it. Does He care HOW you are wearing it????? Absolutely. I ask the Lord every time I leave the house what to wear--what jewelry, what clothing, what shoes etc. I want to attract people in the spirit. I may pass someone today that likes lime green and I need to wear lime green just to attract their attention so God can talk to them. Same reason I wore Today perfume for so many years. I know this is outside the box for your demographic but I also want to suggest that Jenny is one of the most modest women I know. I never even thought or taught that to her--She loves God and listens to him. Don''t get in a box of any kind--Blessings

Pslams 144:12 -

That our sons may be as plants
and our daughters may be pillars sculptured in palace style.


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