Question and Answer: Modesty


Wondering if you wear dresses/skirts daily, and what are the reasons? Is it personal convictions or does your church preach it? Also do you do it because of the scripture in Deuteronomy? Thanks in advance 🙂

Mary’s amary2.jpgnswer:

Great question. Very recently my daughters and I have begun to wear jeans again, after many years of wearing dresses/skirts in public. At home we ride horses, garden, work hard–it’s not uncommon to have found us in jeans doing these things. My husband has no preference, except that we be modest in jeans or in skirts alike. The reason we are mixing it up in public, now, is that for 3 years we ran a booth at our local farmer’s market and always wore skirts. We always wanted to be a witness in our community at the market, to be “set apart” but approachable. In our attitude and smiles and attempts to initiate conversations we made many friends, but no one wanted to approach the subject of God, except to ask us if we were Pentecostals, Amish or Mennonite. We do not wear head coverings, or buns, or anything that would make us look Amish, etc, but this was the assumption everyone made about us. We are non-denominational, btw. My main reason then, in wearing skirts/dresses in public, was two-fold, but not based on any specific biblical injunction regarding women’s dress codes. 1) I did not want to cause anyone to stumble. Many Christians believe that wearing dresses and skirts is helpful to the “weaker brother” who may have tendencies toward lustful thoughts. 2) I love the femininity of females in skirts and dresses, especially in this genderless culture of ours. To make a long story short, we now know  that we actually were causing unbelievers to stumble. People that would have wanted to know about the joy that was within us, but were turned off by our skirts-only appearance, or the thought or assumption that we belonged to a strict denomination kept us from even getting to square one. I believe our conviction from the Lord now, is that we not cause our unbelieving friends to stumble and not come to the Lord b/c of our outward appearance. It is surely a bigger tragedy that someone might go to hell because they were afraid we would be too holier-than-thou to approach with questions about eternity, than that a man might have lustful thoughts when seeing a woman in pants. Maybe this is slightly skewed, but it’s where I’m at currently. Every woman needs to follow her own husband’s leading on this one, and if he’s like my husband (happy as long as we’re modest), she needs to settle it between herself and God.

I’d love to hear if anyone else has struggled with wanting to be more approachable to this culture. Not that we’d start wearing bikinis if we moved to Hawaii, but people tend to lump all skirt-wearing women into certain molds (yes, it’s wrong, and I really do prefer wearing skirts for the femininity factor) but I don’t want my outward “behaviorist” appearance to cause people to shy away, and never care to know if my fruit is the real thing.

Oh, the question also asked if my church preaches the dresses-only viewpoint. No, it doesn’t. In our fellowship, the ladies follow their own convictions based on their understanding of God’s word and their husband’s leading. That the issue of dress is not a doctrinal one, but one we believe is of personal conviction. So that should answer your Q about whether or not my decision to wear dresses in public (previously) was based on the Deuteronomy 22:5 passage which says,

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.

There are different interpretations as to what context this passage is referring to…and as it is highly controversial, I’m not going to attempt to refute or affirm it from either camp. Let us each be thoroughly convinced in our own minds and live accordingly!

Thanks for the great question! If you have a question for me, contact me at Mary(@) (w/o the parentheses).