I have been so blessed by reading posts from some of the other Christian women’s blogs. I hope all of you have been browsing as well. I know, I need to update my list (see Kindred Minds) because I have discovered some new ones to add…
As I was reading through some of these blogs, I came across some articles regarding modesty, which reminded me of the time when I first began to consider the way I presented myself to the world. I don’t remember the year, but I do remember the time period in my life ~ it was in the late 1990s after our household first got on the internet, probably around 1997.
I don’t know which came first, but the two strongest influences in regard to my decision were a magazine from the wife of the man who was our pastor at the time. The magazine, which I cannot remember by name, had articles discussing modesty, gardening and doctrines, some of which I had never considered for myself, but God was working in my heart to make me open-minded and teachable, so I began to study my Bible and research on the internet to see what He had to teach me. That is most likely when I ran across the article on modesty. I have included a link below to the pdf for those who want to download and read it. Again, please read with discernment. I do believe the author of the article had good intentions, but I do not necessarily agree with everything he says nor do I think that Bathsheba necessarily sinned. I don’t believe we know enough about the surrounding circumstances to know if she sinned or not. However, please don’t close your mind to what he says because of the way he says it. =)
This article is written from a man’s point of view and he does not mince words, but it certainly hit home with me. After reading it, I got out every outfit I had and tried it on in front of our full length mirror and bent over in every position possible to determine if it was modest. Did it hang open when I bent to the front? Was it tight in the back or did it creep up too short when bending over? Was it tight or short when I sat down? I certainly do not want to be the cause of one of my sons or any other man to struggle with more lust than they already have to face in our day.
There is a wonderful list of questions that we can ask ourselves about our outfit after we try it on, which you can download here. This was written by some young ladies who desire to dress modestly. Add some of your own to the list!
I also discovered another blog that discusses modesty and they offer a modesty e-book, which must be requested. Here is a link to the page. to request the Modesty Handbook.
On a side note: I do realize that modesty is cultural to some extent, but just because it is modest in Africa to not wear a bra and bare your breast when you feed your baby, it does not mean that the men in America who are bombarded daily with suggestive ads and scantilly clad women (who have been trained by our culture to allure men and who most often have ulterior motives) have the same mentality as the men in Africa who have grown up sheltered from our culture and around the women who do NOT dress that way to draw a man’s attention. There is a difference. Modesty is not just what you wear, but an attitude and motive of the heart. Drawing too much attention to yourself or carrying yourself in a seductive manner, can be immodest too.
That said, I also believe there is a set standard of modesty that comes from God’s word which is regardless of any culture. The Bible clearly states that a woman and a man are to be distinct, so a woman should not dress like a man. Scripture also states that a woman should not be showy. And the final standard is that a woman should not cause a man to lust by the way she dresses. So, do we walk right next to the edge of the cliff? Or stay as far from the edge as possible? Personally, I do not want to be responsible for causing even the most sensitive man to stumble.
When I opened my eyes to my own way of dressing, I had to admit that some of the clothing I wore was for men. A part of me liked men to look at me, and that is what our culture teaches.
I can remember when it began for me. It was in Junior High and my heart was drifting away from the Lord in many ways. We had just moved to a new area and I can remember compromising in several things trying to fit in with the youth at our new place of fellowship. It was at that time that I began to wear the shortest skirts I could get away with (which were not very short at all, thankfully, due to my godly parents who set limits on me) and wearing nylons with high heels to show off my legs. My nickname with some of the young men in the youth group was “legs” and even though that was as far as it went, that appealed to my flesh. By all outward appearance I looked like everyone else (which wasn’t necessarily good) and acted like a nice, Christian girl… but in my own heart I knew the rebellion and flirting with wickedness that was going on. I am so thankful that the Lord led my parents to move again before any serious damage was done. Shortly after that God began doing a major work in my heart.
This desire to appeal to men creeps in everywhere, sadly, even among those in the Church. A short time ago, we worshiped with a small group of believers where some of the women’s dress was immodest. Our boys would be fine all week and then every Sunday they would have to avert their eyes because of the way the women were dressing. This is the case in many of the places we have gone to fellowship over the past 10 years and it is a travesty. Of all times and places, a man should be able to fellowship with other believers and not have to worry about how the women are dressed.
Although it is natural for a woman to desire for a man to look at her, wearing clothing that allures a man should be reserved for just ONE man, namely, her husband. We need to continually check our hearts and be completely honest with ourselves to see what our true inner motives are.
Our clothing identifies us. Those who wear all black are identified as Goth’s. Those who wear “Plain” Clothing are identified as Amish. Those who wear harlot clothing are identified as harlots or “easy”. Those who wear business suits are identified as professional… etc. Those who have odd piercings and strange hair color or hair cuts are letting the world know that they need to be loved. What does your clothing identify you as?
I will leave you with one final question and then hope that this post will get a lot of feedback and comments =). I know there are quite a few people reading this blog, so please comment so that you can encourage others who are reading! To comment, click on the little quotation looking thingy in the upper right hand corner of this post and let us know what you think. Do you agree? Disagree? Have something to add?
Here is the final question:
What are we advertising when we wear our clothing?
- we can advertise our womanly body to men by wearing tight, revealing or alluring clothes
- we can advertise our SELF or our beauty to everyone by wearing too much makeup or loud, gawdy and showy clothing or jewelry, wearing piercings in strange places, tattooing or getting unusual hair styles or colors
- we can advertise our money to others by wearing expensive clothing, diamonds, gold and jewels
- we can advertise that we are a child of God to the world by dressing modestly
- we can advertise that we love being a woman by dressing in feminine clothing
- we can advertise that we don’t value who God made us to be, by wearing frumpy, dirty clothing or having an unkempt appearance
Ladies, what we choose to wear sends a very POWERFUL message. As godly women, we need to be very careful not only to send the right message, but also not to send the wrong message! Let’s be considerate of the men in our lives and the Holy God whom we represent as we present ourselves to the world.