Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Titus Twosday "Modesty in 2010?!"

Take a journey with me as we talk about modesty as it relates to Christianity. I will say now if it hurts say “OUCH” and make the needed changes. If you are fine then encourage another woman to be more aware of her need to dress modestly. Okay, so you may be wondering where all this began.

About two days ago Phil was listening to a sermon by C.J. Mahaney about modesty. Then Saturday we went to Wild River Country (a water Park in Arkansas) for the day. After careful review of the scripture, the message (by CJ) and a close look at the world we live in I was horrified. I was horrified by the dress of others and at times my own dress. I will say when the topic of modesty is brought to the table women usually leave it at a condition of the heart. What is your motive in dressing this way or that? To that I agree and at the same time we have to take that a little further.

Look at some scriptures.

1 Timothy 2:8-10 (ESV)
8I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

1 Peter 3:3-6 (ESV)
3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

Proverbs 11:22 (ESV)
22Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful woman without discretion.

After the visit to the water park I was pretty much in shock. Young girls wearing those triangle string bikinis that not only showed the tops and sides of their breast but the bottom too! The list of things goes on and on for inappropriate attire. Since I listened to that message by CJ I could only think of the men who wanted to have a day of adventure with their families having to endure breast and butt in their face every where they turned. It doesn’t even end at the females. I can’t even count how many times I got a full moon shine from some guy wearing his swim shorts too low. Both genders are attempting to show as much as possible to as many people as possible. This breaks my heart. I have to ask why? What has happened in our world that is creating this type of monster? I should not be surprised. There is nothing new under the sun. Modesty seems to change depending on the time period. This is why I agree with an individuals dress being an issue of the heart, but what is the rest?

I will be honest and say for many years I just felt like if a guy has a lust problem he needs to seek the Lord about it. I should not have to cover my whole body only revealing my hands and face for his sake. My mind is changing. You could say my mind is being renewed! I don’t want to appear as an Amish woman or a prostitute. My desire is to dress as the scripture calls us…respectable and modest. The trouble is what does that look like. I did some research on the web and found many, many articles about modesty, even clothing websites were you can purchase modest apparel. Some I thought were way over the top. But could I just be a product of this culture and be missing the mark as well? There is a fine line between legalism and license. I will connect you with one of the websites that I personally found very helpful. It did not seem legalistic at all. It seems to serve as a guideline. I’ll post that later. Moving to the reason why I believe this is a problem in our culture.

I think several things have happened. Women have not been teaching the younger women as Titus 2 instructs. I also believe women have forgotten or misunderstood what truly makes them beautiful. It is not the outer beauty that is lasting but the hidden person of the heart. That is what God looks for in his daughters. This is what we should be reflecting to the world.

I stated earlier that there were some things I needed to change as well. I am busty. Anyone who has seen me is well aware of that fact. It can not be hidden from anyone. You might ask Nicolle, “Why are you making this statement while talking about modesty?” Why not? We all have to identify what about our body’s poses a stumbling block to the opposite gender. Then pay special attention when leaving the house that, that particular area is well covered or doesn’t command undue attention. Women you are designed with hills and valleys that are visually pleasing to men. The goal in that was not for you to turn every man’s head when you walk in a room but to turn your husbands head. Your body is for your husband, not every Tim, Terry and Tom. So toning things down in public is a wonderful idea.

Here are some questions for us all to consider.

1. What would you tell a young girl about modesty? What does it mean?

2. What do you personally do to remain modest in your appearance?

3. If a woman in your church said your dress was immodest what would you do or say?

Now here is some material for you to consider.
http://www.purefashion.com/ this site has a great modesty guideline allows you have some style.
http://www.achristianhome.org/ a great resource to other sites about modesty
http://www.therebelution.com/ an interesting movement about youth rebelling against the cultural expectations of immodesty.


Precious 3 said...

Great post! I totally agree! Thanks for writing about this subject. We live on the Gulf coast, so swimsuits are always an issue. We try to go to the beach only at non-crowded times, like after supper. But sometimes it can't be avoided. Like going to Walmart or Winn-Dixie where people down here think it is ok to stop by on their way home from the beach while still in bikinis. Why???

We just discussed this issue on Sunday, and all the men said they have trouble with being at the beach (or the store) and seeing women this way. Sometimes they are disgusted, but sometimes it makes it hard for them to avoid the lust trap.

Here's my answers to your questions.

1)I'm not sure about this, but I have 2 young girls so I need to figure it out! We have already taught them it is not proper to show certain parts of your body. Dresses/shorts should not be much higher than your knee. (It's hard to find decent shorts for kids!) I've started having them wear undershirts, so that the transition to bras in a couple years won't be so hard. For dresses that give me concern with young girls during play time, they wear legging under them.

2)I do not wear skirts/shorts that come much higher than my knee, or tank tops out of my house. I wear a lot of capris, but at home I wear what I am comfortable in. I am also busty, so I try to wear things that cover well. And I have to watch out for thin shirts that are basically see through!

3)If someone said my outfit was immodest, I would seriously consider what they were saying. I do try to dress decently, but maybe they noticed something I hadn't thought of.

Thanks for the links! I'll have to check them out.

Holly said...

Love it .... you always make me smile! Last summer I remember going to the pool and thinking girls! There were several young ladies in particular in very cute little, and I do mean little, bikinis who decided to do split jumps off the high dive --- HELLO! Good thing ya'll wax but come on.... made me so sad after the inital shock, that these young ladies felt the need to display themselves in such a fashion in an effort to attract the male of the species! Will be looking at your links in just a sec and am reposting your post....

Love you!

Amy said...

I am so connecting with you!
This has been a big issue on my heart lately, but I don't know how to convey it to people without offending anyone, even if their dress is offensive!

I listened to the modesty series by Nancy Leigh DeMoss on Revive Our Hearts. It has 9 segments and I burned them to cd's, so I could hand them out.
You can scroll through each segment. There is a "Listen" button or you can read the transcripts. Great stuff!

I already have committed myself to being modest. I have my husband look at what I'm wearing before I go out in case there is something questionable. He is a man, so he's going to give me a man's point of view. My husband will not allow me to leave the house if I am immodest in any sense and I greatly appreciate him for that.
I called him the other day to ask his opinion on how low a neckline can go. He said his opinion was once "meaty chest" starts showing it's too much, lol. Loved his wording.

I would also graciously accept any word from another woman telling me I'm being immodest. I expect the other women to keep me in check, especially when it comes to modesty.

Thanks for the post! I'm in total agreement with you!

righteousnessbyfaith said...

Great post and information. I couldn't agree with you more!
Gonna go check out the sites you listed now too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post Nicolle. I'll share what I've shared with you here with your other readers. I've always been considered pretty modest by my peers. But I've always felt comfortable, covered and convenient. My favorite modesty tip is athletic shorts. I have quite a few fun full dresses that could blow up at any moment and though they are usually at or below the knee I always wear little athletic shorts underneath. This allows for me to be completely covered no matter the weather, comfortable that I will not be showing anything to anyone, and convenient to be able to (if needed) sit on the ground or anywhere. So that is my modesty fun tip. Enjoy!
Love ya,