I am so grateful for the brave young people who submitted their modesty posts! There are probably a couple more to come and I have told my young writers to take their time to think through what they want to say. I appreciate everyone’s honesty….so awesome! I want to take a few minutes and comment on some of the posts. Each one of them is unique and each one of them made me reflect on my own ideas about modesty and fashion.
In Grace’s post, she talks about a piece of trivia that I found very interesting. In the first five seconds, 70% of a someone’s impression of you is made up of your clothing choices. Interesting. Some could argue that we should not care what others think of us. The fact is, that most of us do. Also, as Christians don’t we want to be an example of what is truly pleasing to God? Grace wrote (and I love this!): 2 Corinthians 6:17 says, “Come out from among the unbelievers and separate yourselves from them says the Lord.” Do you think that people are going to think that we’re genuinely different from the rest of the world if we dress and act just like them? Our goal in everything we do, and that includes everything we wear, should be to show that we are separated from the world and we are a chosen people and a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9).
That made me think. Do I need to be wearing my clothes so tight? Would I want my daughter to be wearing my new bathing suit that I bought for Mexico (it is a one piece but it has a deeper “v” in the front that I usually wear.) I was kind of desperate because it was about the 5th one I ordered from the Sear’s catalogue and time was running out. It looked great on me. It made my stomach look flat…bonus! I tried it on for my daughter, Carlee, and she just sweetly looked at me and said a bit sheepishly as to not to hurt my feelings….”it’s nice.” I know what she was thinking but I dismissed it. I settled. When I got to Mexico with my husband and went to wear it to the pool he looked at me and said, “uh, hon….that bathing suit is kind of low don’t you think?” My hubby didn’t approve but I spent a small fortune on it and I was wearing it! Well, after one trip to the pool I felt uncomfortable. Who was I looking great for? Myself? Other women (us women do dress for other women’s approval, I believe) or other women’s husbands????? Yuck! When that revelation hit me like a ton of bricks, I did not wear ithe bathing suit again. I wore my old bathing suit which was still fine and tasteful….just a bit boring. My husband approved and I more comfortable and I ultimately knew I was more pleasing in God’s eyes.
I love the set of rules Grace, Katie and Carlee have for themselves. They are all basically similar but I will just quote Carlee’s as her comparison to food items in her post makes me chuckle:
1. Nothing strapless
2. With my hands at my side, I should be able to touch the hem of my shorts.(except I’d go even a bit farther on the shorts than arms-length because some people have short arms. Like me.)
3. Nothing that shows cleavage.(only I dislike the word cleavage because it reminds me of a cabbage)
4. Nothing that shows midsection.
5. The shortest skirt I’d wear about an inch above the knee.
It is good to have personal rules for yourself. I am a dancer (for the Lord) which means I dance in church services and sometimes for other gatherings like ladies retreats. I have had to make clear rules for myself in the modest area because the LAST I want to do is to attract attention to my body and off the Lord which is why I dance…to glorify Him. Some standards include, wearing my clothes loose enough, longer tops, layering a tank top so when I raise my arms my belly doesn’t show. One of the rules I always do is the “bend over” test. If I bend over can you see down my shirt? (I realize that this is harder for women that are larger in that area but not impossible.) My challenge is to take these rules of modesty I use for dancing and spill them over into my every day life. I think it is definitely our responsibility to dress so we don’t trip up our fellow men friends.
I became most aware of how I was dressing when I began to dance. I became even more aware of how women dressed in general when my boys were growing into young men. The desire of their hearts is to strive for purity in their hearts and minds and to live for Christ and to receive all He has for them. I saw the struggle when they would be around females that have a hint of cleavage showing or just generally dressed provocatively. We talk about how it is their responsiblity to “bounce” their eyes and they do try but they are human and they are guys. I think if we really knew how we affect men, we would dress differently. I have a good relationship with my boys so they are honest with me. I am grateful for that. Why add to our men’s struggles…..?
These modesty posts have been great for me because it has made me think. I do not have to wear my clothes so tight. I still look nice and tasteful without that. I will be taking a hard look at my closet. One common theme seemed to prevail in the posts so far…..There are no set of fixed rules. We need to ask God to show us what is acceptable to wear in His eyes for ourselves as individuals. He has blessed all us with our unique sense of style and personality and it is fun to reflect that in clothing choices. As Amanda said…..if you are comfortable in what you wear and respect yourself, modesty and fashion can fit together.
I realize that this post is focussed on modest dressing for females…..this issue for men will be a whole other post. Stay tuned!