Friday, March 28, 2008

Modesty in the Christian Woman

After some sweet requests for a post on modesty, I have been trying to write this post in my head for several days. First, I would like to begin by saying that any modesty in my life is truly a testimony to the Lord changing hearts and having everlasting patience to bring His children to sanctification. Before I became a Christian, I had absolutely no thought about modesty. My only concern was what looked pretty and popular. I look back on so many of my choices with sadness and shame, but I remember that Godly sorrow leadeth to repentance. Which is a Good Thing. Even after I became a Christian, I didn't really understand modesty. It took many years, and many godly young women in my life to help me to follow the Lord's leading in this area. I think the biggest struggle was that I saw modesty as being unattractive. I saw young ladies not dressing feminine at all, and that was my picture of a modest woman! Well, I certainly didn't want any part of that. Thanks be to God, He led me, through a series of funny coincidences, to Ladies Against Feminism. Wow! What a great website. That is when I really *got* modesty finally. (I'm a slow learner!) And even now, every day, I learn more about what being modest is really about. So this is definitely not a "how to" post from a girl who "is completely there". This is just my testimony about my own personal journey, and the Lord's sweet forgiveness and lovingkindness towards me.
Believe this... it was a long journey. It involved a lot of struggle. It still does sometimes! Oh, that sinful nature. It does creep up on you! I had to throw out quite a bit of my clothing. I had friends and family members who slowly noticed the change, and began to think I'd gone completely out of my mind. But if someone asks me why "I wear skirts all the time" or why "I've changed the way I dress so much", what a great opportunity to tell them about the Hope that I have! And how my Saviour has changed my heart and my life!
Here's a little bit of the nitty gritty, so to speak. Some call "rules" legalistic. Now I'm not saying that being modest will save your soul. No sirree, it will bring you no salvation, and no joy, without accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. So don't call me legalistic, thank you :)
I stick to "elbows to freckle to bottoms of kneecaps". Turns out I have a wonderful freckle a few inches below my collarbone smack in the middle of my chest. I think this was God's way of giving me a marker :) Also, OF COURSE, if you can see the outlines of your body or the contours of every feminine curve, it doesn't matter that it's a different color because your wearing clothing over it. So yes... I think skirts are more modest than pants. ( Eeek! Now people will really think I'm crazy! ) But also I believe there are times and places for looser pants (loose scrubs or along those lines) or a cute above-the-knees dress over jeans. I do have my trendy days....
My own personal thought? Err on the side of caution. When it comes to Judgement Day, I would much rather hear, "You were a little more modest than you needed to be," than "You led many men into sin by your appearance." Once again, this has been such a long road for me. By Grace the Lord has showed me and led me gently to where I am today. Never think that you can't change. Never think you've gone too far to return to modesty. Remember what the Lord says about the greater debter? May I love more for my forgiveness. For without that, I would be the greatest sinner of them all.
Now about my sweet hubby... He said he might guest post about this subject! But he is a very busy man, being the wonderful provider he is. So it might be a while before he does! I can say though, how unbelievably hard it would be to uphold standards of modesty if your husband did not support it. What a tragedy that would be. Praise God my hubby loves the fact that I save my feminine form for his eyes only.
Hear are some of the things that helped change my heart, my point of view, and just plain encourage me:
The Secret Garden, by Mrs. Jennie Chancey
Ladies Against Feminism Modesty Section
A Return to Modesty, by Wendy Shalit
Getting Used to Dresses
My favorite article about modesty, by Mrs. Jennie Chancey
If anyone has a question... or wants to add their own standards or a great link, please let me know!


Mackenzie said...

A lovely, refreshing post, Lauren! Can you hear my clapping?? I for one, don't think you're crazy...but then, many think I am, so I don't know if that helps. ;) I'm off to go read (or re-read in some cases!) some of those links you shared...And I completely agree about how important a supportive husband is!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

Sommer said...

Thanks Lauren for posting this:-) Some great thoughts. I have to say I still wear pants, but I try to keep them of a modest variety. I have been more and more turning my thoughts to modesty(for myself as well as my children) especially since I have daughters. I think I will go read those links...I don't think I've read all of those.

Lots of love,

Lynn said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It was a very good post.

Anonymous said...

I love your words about erring on the side of question. It's true... when I die, I would rather find that I had done more than was necessary rather than less.

I have some days when I'm tempted to be a little more daring in my dress... er, not in a good way! Keeping what you said in mind will help, I think... thank you for the beautiful thoughts!

Jaimee Lavin said...

This is wonderful, dear Lauren! Thank you for sharing from your heart about this much-needed issue. I so appreciate you and your desire to do everything for the glory of the Lord. It's a delight to know you!

Sarah said...

A beautiful, convicting post. I am thankful to also have a husband who supports modest, yet feminine dress. The links you posted are some of the very same ones that helped me on my road to modesty as well! :) Modesty for me continues to still be a struggle as I let myself 'lapse' at times, but praise God for His Spirit of conviction, for His guidance and enabling, and for other like-minded ladies like who continue to encourage me in becoming more Christ-like in my dress.

Amy said...

Thank you for this post, Lauren. I really struggled when I was younger with switching from shorts, pants, and whatever was trendy at the time. I'm so glad that God convicted my parents, and then myself, that dressing modestly is important!

With love in Christ,

Lauren Christine said...

Dear "Anonymous",

I deleted your comment because I felt it was written in a spirit of meanness and divisiveness. I did not name call in the post, and I did not judge others. It was written in a spirit of humility and knowing the grace that has been shown to me. If you would like to discuss any more, I hope you will bravely do so with your name, and we can discuss the differences in our opinions like Sisters in Christ.

Mrs. Lauren Christine

Anonymous said...

What a blessing to hear your heart and agree with what you said! Praise the Lord for His working in your heart (in my heart) - may we all continue to seek after His righteousness! It's only by His grace!

Unknown said...

Very good post... your position on modesty just about mirrors mine (or mine mirrors yours C:). I want to err on the side of caution, too. My husband is with yours... he doesn't want anyone else to see "what's his." I'm thankful for that. I think husbands/boyfriends who don't care feel like it's okay for their wives to be immodest because they want to look at other girls. Just my philosophy...

Anyways, Thanks!

Colin said...

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful wife.

Thank you for your modesty.

I love you,

Anonymous said...

This is a thoughtful, well written and eloquent post Lauren Christine! I have to thank you for taking the time to voice a modest opinion on (no pun intended) a much needed subject... Because I live here in the states, I'll refer to American ladies. I feel that sadly our culture has polluted the minds and hearts of our women. Hollywood especially has written and engraved in the hearts of so many women that certain dress is not only acceptable, but to a degree, required in order to be "someone". All while trying to "fit in" many young women completely throw out all morals and common sense, just to get noticed.
If more women such as yourself would be brave and speak the truth gently and kindly for what it is, than maybe, just maybe it would start to change the hearts of the women of this nation.
Thank you, this was a pleasure to read!

Anonymous said...

This is a great post! I, too, share your views on modesty. You've expressed it perfectly! I struggle with being too "frumpy" or too immodest. It's been hard to find a middle ground, but I'm getting there. You always look lovely in your photos; I think you've got it down perfect! :) If you don't mind, I'd like to link to this post on my blog.

Leigh said...

That was beautifully written and I could agree more. I do need to do better in this area though. It can be a constant struggle.



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