Modesty

22 May

MODESTY is actually quite bigger than I feel I can tackle.

Why?  Because it’s very uncommon for even two people to agree completely.  Even if they are relatively on the same page, there are often even minor details that they slightly waiver on.  And the reason behind that is simply this:

1. we all struggle in different areas

2. we all view scripture through our ability to understand and interpret it (I believe, scripture says this is given by God)

3. we are all surrounded by men of different opinions.

All men are visual. But that sentence does not mean that all men equally struggle with the same visual temptations.

I will go so far as to say this, even two men who struggle with pornography addiction, may very well struggle with different stimulation from different images.

As much as I’d love to write some hard and fast rules that clear up this issue and make it a non-issue in our culture, or at the very least, in the church – I simply can’t.

For example, a man once said to me, I struggle greatly with collar bones.  I don’t know why, but it brings forth intense sexual stimulation.  Should all women be forced and required to wear turtle necks so I am not tempted to stumble?

I also recently had a conversation in which we discussed how two women in a bikini can walk into a room and if one is inviting, flirtatious, and vocal and the other is quiet, reserved and avoids attention – the first will get more attention.  As well as, if two girls are dressed in a long skirt and modest top but have the same attitudes I just described, the first girl is still going to get a lot of attention – and inappropriate attention.

The point?  Modesty IS NOT all about what you wear.  In fact, it’s MORE about the condition of your heart first, followed by how you represent that condition with your actions. 

Out of the heart flows behavior.

So where really is the line?  And honestly, is there a line?

Lately, I’ve seen, read and heard quite a bit of discussion on the topic of women wearing skirts.

The debates are large and broad.  I can’t even write them all here without taking up WAY too much space and time.  I will however write some of the statements to show just what I’m talking about. ((THESE STATEMENTS ARE NOT ALL MINE NOR DO I AGREE WITH THEM ALL))

– Skirts make women more feminine and thus separate the sexes appropriately.

– Skirts help women to remember to be feminine and submissive to men.

– Skirts help to remove visual temptation for men.

– Skirts are only appropriate when they are floor length.

– Skirts can be worn from the mid-calf down.

– Skirts can be worn from the knee down.

– Some activities are not appropriate to wear a skirt.

– Some men see a skirt and immediately just see “easy access” and stumble more quickly.

– Jeans and pants are designed to put all the emphasis on the butt and crotch.

– Skirts that are made of spandex or cotton even if floor length hug the hips and butt revealing just as much as a pair of pants.

– Only skirts made of denim or wool are appropriate to not show any curves or figure.

– It is our responsibility to help keep men from stumbling.

– We can’t control men’s thoughts.  It’s less about what a woman wears and more about the man’s heart.

– Women in skirts get more attention from men than when in pants, especially in our culture where most women wear pants.

– Christian women are supposed to stand out and be different.

 

You get the idea.  What’s a person to do when they are bombarded with all the opinions and arguments???

 

Here is my SUGGESTIONS to you.  I am NOT implying what I write here is authoritative over anyone!  But I hope this will help.

Practical Application:

1.) Pray.  And no, I don’t mean pray one time.  Commit to praying for an entire month.  I’d even offer that you fast during that time as well.  Ask God to open your eyes to what HE SEES as modest and immodest.  Ask Him to remove your opinions, ideas, fears, and anxieties and just help you look around and in scripture to more clearly define what your responsibilities are to other Christian men, to the women of the world, to your husband, your children, and to Him.

2.) Ask your husband (brothers/father/male-head in your life) what they think of your current wardrobe.  EVEN if it’s all skirts.  Try on a few things. Even bathing suits.  EXPECT HONEST FEEDBACK and take it seriously.

3.) Try on your wardrobe for yourself and look in the mirror.  If you ever say “I wonder if this is OK” – It’s not.  That is a hard and fast rule I live by in many areas of my life.  (Side note – I tell unmarried couples that all the time.  If they ask, is this too far – then it’s too far.)  I believe that question comes from the Holy Spirit giving us conviction because it causes us to stop and think.

4.) Evaluate and also ask those same people from above to give you honest feedback about your heart attitude.  Are you modest or immodest in the way you walk, talk, approach others, behave, interact, and communicate.

5.) Be willing to accept the results of the above four steps.  It might mean you’re on the right track.  It might reveal that you need to throw some things away or go shopping for some new things.  Or it might mean you need to evaluate your heart for modesty issues and not even your wardrobe at all.

 

 

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Modesty”

  1. RaZella May 22, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    I would add to that list, never stop praying about it. My reality is that I live in a world I don’t belong to, and I have a flesh within me that seeks to belong to said world. However, I also have living within me the Holy Spirit because I am a follower of Christ. The area of modesty and purity is one I must ALWAYS be in prayer about because I am always being bombarded and attacked by images and suggestions from the World that does, at times, speak to my flesh.

    And it’s not only men my actions may impact. While I do know that men can stumble based on how I dress, OTHER WOMEN can stumble too. In our lives, many of us have younger women who look to us as the older women to teach them (as Titus 2 instructs), or we have peers who see us and think “Maybe I’m just being too legalistic, I mean, look at what she wears”, etc. etc.

    And while it’s not common, here is another reality. SOME WOMEN STRUGGLE WITH PORN TOO. Some women are also stimulated visually and in their own struggles we can cause them to stumble as well.

    Prayer cannot be over-talked. Reading the Word cannot be over-emphasized. It is only through prayer and reading and clinging to the Holy Spirit to speak Truth into our hearts that we can live in the confidence of the Holy Spirit.

    Modesty and Purity are a hard issue. I will confess, it’s one I personally struggle with. Vanity. Attention Seeking. Humility. However, I also know the Lord transforms our hearts. He is gentle and humble in spirit and therefore we LEARN from Him. He teaches us.

    I really enjoyed reading this post. Sorry for my long rambling comment. It’s a topic that actually came up recently in my life and WOWZA, did the Lord do some speaking to my heart and spirit! Thank you for your thoughts and application steps. Always appreciate reading what you share here. 🙂

    • Kayla Gulick May 23, 2013 at 6:42 am #

      Thanks girl!!

      I couldn’t agree more about making other women stumble!! I’ve wrote about that in two other posts awhile back because that is so true in my own life!!

      And what an GREAT point to not stop praying about it. There is new stuff coming at us all the time, and it does speak to our flesh!

      I’m so glad you commented and I really appreciate your insight! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: