formerly: becoming God's gift.... all content has been moved to the new address! come join us over there.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

where modesty begins

I have found that many people, when they see that someone is going to talk/write about modesty, completely tune out because they think the subject is going to be pants and tight clothing. our bodily coverings.  but it isn't.

Modesty was something greatly stressed as "what you wear" to girls in the churches I grew up in. It was not something I really studied for myself until my husband and I had our first child. Our first child is a girl.

After the initial reaction of I don't want to dress her in all pink and all lace and only frills [I know. I'm not the normal girly-mom and her favorite color is now pink!], I became more practical in my thoughts and began contemplating just how WOULD we dress her? 
lol. I'm wearing pink!---my sweet girl
Cute, trendy clothing is hard to be immune to. Classic clothing is not synonymous with modest. and modest clothing is really, REALLY hard to find. and my first THREE children are girls!

When they were infants, it was so simple. cute dresses. ruffly bloomers. But I knew that when they were a little older it would be time to address covering ones' self modestly. and how.

and then why? and...

what is modesty, anyway? so let's start there.
[I am no expert. This is simply what the Lord has taught me through personal Bible study and Godly influences.]

modesty: behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency
some synonyms to help: unassuming, meek, decent, ladylike, pure, innocent, sedate

In order to guide my girl's into having a modest appearance, I must address behavior and manner {attitude} because modesty is so much more than the clothing we wear on our bodies {as the Lord is so patiently teaching me.}
this one keeps my laughing!
This verse is the only place I find in Scripture that puts the two [modest & clothing] together:
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel... [I Timothy 2:9]. and there appears to be an order here. We must be 'in like manner' before we will adorn ourselves in modest apparel.

Going back to verses 1-8 [please feel free to go find your Bible!] we see reference to giving thankspraying for all men, living quietly and peaceably, lifting holy hands to pray, living in honesty, desiring to see people saved--in THAT like manner.

True, Godly modest apparel will only follow praying for others and quiet living. and giving thanks and living honestly. It follows a proper behavior and manner of life. which can only come from a personal relationship with Christ. [am I first teaching my children to love God with the intent of leading them to salvation?]
Then. how do I teach my girls to have modest behavior and manner of life? {as in, what is my goal? because I fail every. single. day.} I must [attempt to] model it [this requires personal Bible study and seeking God's face in prayer to BE MORE LIKE CHRIST.]

point out other ladies who also model it.

speak plainly yet gently & privately when they notice those who are NOT behaving with modesty. because they will notice.

So, now. what IS modest behavior? {by definition} being decent, ladylike, sedate & pure. in my actions. speech. responses. facial expressions. body language. with a proper attitude.

...Does my reaction in a stressful situation bring added stress? Am I known as the one who will roll her eyes when others stray off course? Do I speak so loudly that everyone around knows my family's conversation? Do I have an attitude that publicly conveys my personal disapproval about things that are none of my business? [in essence, do I strive to be seen? to make my thoughts and opinions the center of attention?]

OR my speech quiet. gentle. unassuming? [only when I am conscious of Him.] are my responses in a stressful environment relaxed. composed. calming? {Christ-like?} [ugh.] when others' actions are distasteful, am I the one who points others away? looking for the good. directing the focus elsewhere. [only if I remember that I am no better!]
{LOVE} this face

I will never be accomplished in this modest behavior or attitude. Though saved by grace, I am still a sinner. But I strive for it. It must be a conscious decision each day. a prayer on my lips. I have to be purposeful. I must point my children to Christ... so they can also point others to Him 
because modesty is so much more than the clothing we wear on our bodies.

Modesty is how we cover our heart. 
with Christ. 
His love. 
His humility. 
His kindness. 
His graciousness. 

While people do judge our outward appearance, and Christian women have need to "dress modestly," it is a lie if our heart is not covered by Him. and continually addressing the "issue of  modest clothing" to young girls still learning to follow Christ in their own hearts will not draw them towards the like manner also, which must come first because modesty is so much more than the clothing we wear on our bodies. {yes, i said it again. I think I may need to read that over and over for myself!}


I am so glad you stopped by!
Thank you for taking time to say HI or share a thought. It's nice to know someone is out there {smiles}, and comments are always appreciated.