Monday, January 18, 2010

Modesty

Hello and welcome back, or should I say thank God I am back. I have been in and out, there and back, so many times in the past two months it has been quite an end and start of years around here! I know many of you are anxiously awaiting pictures of our darling little doxies and I am anxiously awaiting an opportunity to put those pictures up. I truly want you to see just how beautiful they are! However, the time that I am having right now with a missing battery charger and some on going health issues that I am dealing with, well it has made a simple task of picture taking very not simple! I will tell you I am working on it and thankful for your patience!

A few of my friends have been talking about some of the things that God has been laying on my heart for quite some time. One of those things happens to be modesty and the way in which we dress in current society.

First and foremost I have to say that this is an issue that each person should think about on their own. I am simply expressing how God changed our hearts on an issue. This may not be an area of your life that he is calling you to change for Him at this time. Faith is about your relationship with Him, following His lead and while the Bible is the complete infallible word of God, he will use the teachings that he put in their to mold each of us on His timing. NOBODY has mastered every teaching and we all experience the lessons in a different sequence. This just happened to be one that we came upon now and I would like to share it with you. Happy reading!

Brendan and I began praying about modest and what our family should wear about two years ago. Brendan and I had differences in opinion as it pertained to modesty since we first met and it was becoming apparent that we needed to be on the same page. The funny thing to me is that how much we neglect the fact that God is in fact the third strand of rope that is our marriage. He is the rule maker and safety net, the one that loves us most and blesses us with all we have. Yet it always surprises us when we realize a particular area of our life that He does in fact want us to be on His page about, even though we thought it was 'not a big deal.' When Brendan and I decided that we needed to pray about what modest meant to us God spoke to us and knocked us both out of the water.

In our opinion modesty is important to follow God's orders, to bring glory and honor to Him and to our bodies as they are His temple, and to bring glory and honor to our family as we are his vessel/servants/friends/children...The clothing that we wear portrays us to society and even though we all try to 'judge-not' it is impossible not to turn the switch of stereotypes or 'first-impressions etc. when it comes to how we cloth ourselves.

Something that sticks out to me about our foundation that is Genesis is the story about Adam and Eve creating clothing for themselves and then God creating better ones for them because what they thought was "covered" was not sufficient. So that tells me that it is better to be more covered than less.

Another thing that speaks to me not necessarily from scripture, although the scriptures would support this, but from our current culture and my own personal beliefs is that women are beautiful creatures. We are created to bring peace and order to a tough and sin-filled world. We are here to nurture, mother, help, and create. Our image creates a certain feeling in a man, in a friend, in a child. Obviously we know that men are attracted to women and we should know that it is just as much are responsibility to gaurd our brothers from the temptations of lust. Some think it is not important to be modest in front of the same-sex person, however, we want to be as approachable and safe as possible to encourage friendships. We also want to make sure that just as our home should be welcoming in appearance so should our bodies. As Christians we are also called to take into account all of our actions as well as each way that we influence those around us. Arguably the most effective way to learn over the long run is by example. Our example speaks volumes. Everything that we say and do is being watched by all and we need to know how to present ourselves in mind (words), body (clothes), and being (actions).

In the same way we need to make sure that our influence is a good one and not one that would cause another to sin. The Bible tells us it is better to pluck out our eye than to sin with it. That means that sin can occur in the mind by a simple thought or sight. You know the song "be careful little eyes what you see" that speaks to me so much because one sight of things that God detests is sin, and each time we view something that he detests it makes us more and more numb to the guidance of the Holy Spirit that is in us! I would never want my actions, words, or attire to cause someone else to sin. Instead I want to build others up!

Brendan and I were also compelled by the scriptures that describe a woman's clothes to be distinctly different from that of a man. Of course the scriptures from these passages were for written for a specific culture and a church that was quarreling over religious law. The point being that if the arguments over said religious law caused discourse in the body of Christ than they were focusing on the wrong things. The Lord wants us "to agree wholeheartedly with one mind." But again I revert back to Genesis where more conservative was better in God's eyes.

The last scripture that comes up a lot in the modesty debate is in reference to a Woman's hair but for now I will leave that one alone and come back to it later this week.

For now I will tell you what Brendan and I have decided for our family.
1. We will be very careful about what shirts our family wears as far as logos and prints because some just send the wrong message. We will not have belly showing and no deep v-necks. We are still discussing some other parts of this like shirtless men and bathing suits. Although our girls are not going to wear two-piece suits.
2. Girls should wear skirts or dresses whenever possible. We will wear leggings/bloomers under skirts and dresses and are gradually making the switch now. One style we like a lot in the cold is to wear jeans under our knee length dresses. It is fun and feminine. I have recently begun sewing again and I have made the girls a few pinafores that look so cute over a long sleeved t-shirt and jeans or leggings. They love them and they are so much easier to change if they get dirty rather than having to change the whole outfit. They are also rather inexpensive and I can make them out of repurposed clothes/sheets/etc... The point is to be distinctly feminine and Bren really loves the dress/skirt thing.

Have any of your experienced this conviction in your home? Do any of you adhere to the skirts and dresses rule? If so where do you get your clothing?

In switching over it has been very difficult to do all of this as long skirts are not popular and warm clothes for girls that are not jeans and sweaters is also a feat. Thankfully I have been switching over for two years and have found quite a few spots.
One that I found locally is CATO fashions, we have several in the Oklahoma City area and I know that they are in several states.

Here are several others, the first one is my favorite for skirts!
Hannah Lise
and my favorite for bathings suits is here at Black and White Apparel
Tzius

Modest World
Here is a directory I found of a few links I like
This is a lady named Cathy that custom makes them for you

I am sure there are many more. With these listings and the directory that I listed I am sure you will have a good start for your own search. I would love to know of any others! Thanks so much!

1 comment:

  1. Im always on the lookout for modest clothes for our children. my oldest is very well endowed( for lack of better words) and it is very difficult at the tender age of 13 to find clothes that are modest and don't reveal anything. Most clothes her size are "trashy". So im always searching for a way to cover her as much as possible and usually end up with lots of undershirts to cover what her shirts don't cover. As far as skirts, we were them to our christian meetings and out in the ministry, but not on an everyday basis. We also don't buy things that have characters on them ie. spongebob, spiderman etc. We try to stick to animals and things along that nature. I also shop at CATO and find lots of good things for my girls there and love their clearence racks. It is very clear in the Bible that we are to be modest in dress and not to adorn ourselves with all the extras to draw attention to ourselves....It sets a good example and is always a good witness when we are in the ministry. thanks for sharing...

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