Category Archives: Modesty

Question and Answer: Modesty

Question:

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(@)homesteepedhope.com (w/o the parentheses).

 

 

Welcome to the Carnival of Modesty

Welcome to the August 10, 2007 edition of carnival of modesty. This month’s line-up promises plenty of stimulation for our moral processing! Thank you, MInTheGap, for originating this particular carnival, and for scouting the net for so many great entries!

Modest Resources

Leticia Velasquez raves about Pure Fashion and the new trend of modesty fashion shows at A Return to Modesty posted at cause of our joy.

“This kind of talk is music to the ears of mothers, who, like myself have a beautiful teenage girl who is bursting on the social scene, dying to express her taste and decorate the lovely form God has given her. Instead of keeping her under wraps in a shapeless jumper, where she is unattractive, and feels resentful that her beauty is somehow rejected, she can dress like the girls in the Pure Fashion show above, feminine, hip, and MODEST!”

Modest Monday – Let it begin with you! posted at Purely His, says,

“One exciting way I’ve found to encourage modesty is by hosting a “Modesty Tea” or a “Modest Fashion Show,” at your home church (You can do this!).”

Kathy at brokenhomeschool.com presents Modesty is Back in Style–Thank Goodness. She calls it, “Essentially a speedlinks post.” And she’s right, it’s like a mini-carnival highlighting several great articles and resources for us modesty-seekers!

What is Modest?

My beliefs posted at PRACTiCAL CHiCK, writes,

When I buy clothing it must pass two tests: the praying test and the hallelujah test.”

And Sometimes Tea posted Skirting the Issue, saying,

“The morality of our clothing choices has to do with our intentions in wearing the clothes, not in the specifics of the garments themselves (specifically and obviously immodest garments excluded).”

Is anybody up for a style quiz? Here is a style q… posted at Christ is King!, saying,

“This Quiz will give you a good indication of what you think is modest…”

Is there such thing as a modest t-shirt? Find out at THOUGHTS FROM A KEEPER AT HOME,

“Modesty is not just covering skin. Would that it were that simple. A woman can cover her skin completely and still be very immodest. Among other things modesty is an attitude which leads to certain choices in how one acts and dresses.”

Anna Cory tackles The Perennial Question: Pants posted at Veiled Glory, saying,

“To wear or not to wear, that is the Pants question…”

Why Dress Modestly?

MInTheGap shares about the heart of modesty in What Does the Bible Say About Modesty. Using Old and New Testament examples, MInTheGap does a great job of encouraging us to Biblical modesty. I appreciated his use of the 1 Peter 3 passage, on the importance of both inner and outer beauty.

The Daily Planet – Expectations… reveals how hard it is today, to be a modestly dressed teenager. Super Angel, shares how frustrating it is, to know she’s not the only one who wants to be able to buy something off the rack without having to “re-make” it at home. Maybe if more teens went against the trends, the fashion industry would sit up and take notice. She writes,

“…because that is what everyone is wearing. They know that most teenage girls aren’t gonna go against the crowd and pick a modest dress. So they just cater these girls to what they know they will give in to.”

SEXPERT: Chastity Online, says in her post Modesty,

“Many people, like myself, when they first hear about modesty feel like it is unimportant. ‘Why should i dress any differently than my friends and every other girl out there? Guys are just going to see it anyways. And if they have a problem with the way I dress, that’s their issue to deal with.’ That whole mindset is completely absurd and selfish.”

Toward Praxis presents Males and Female Modesty.

“But when daughters are loosely dressed we can know for sure that there is incompetence on the father’s behalf. There is no leader. I don’t think ignorance plays a part here because men know what “immodest”, “seductive”, and “sexy”, look like.”

What ever happened to Holiness? Join the discussion at Everyday Life. Here’s a tid-bit to ponder:

“We, as Christians have embraced worldly ways. We are watching the same things on t.v., listening to the same secular music, laughing at the same crude jokes and dressing in immodest ways.”

Right-Wing Agenda posts After spending a day at Sea World I can see why radical Muslims want to kill us. He makes a good point in light of the skimpy coverings worn by the masses,

“As a Christian who is trying to raise his daughters to focus on God’s purpose in their lives, how am I suppose to explain to them the tendency for kids their own age to do the exact opposite of what their mom and dad are trying to teach them to do?”

The Haphazard Housewife shares her eye-opening experience in Titillating Tinkerbell?

“As I prepared to put up the appliques of Tinker Bell, I stopped short. What my eyes beheld was not the innocent little fairy I remembered from the Peter Pan I watched as a child, but an almost Marilyn-Monroe-esque little pixie – complete with cleaveage, curvy hips, and “come-hither” eyes. I also didn’t remember her being so scantily dressed.”

Why dress modestly? Part 4 presented by Unfurling Flower, says,

“It is a well-known fact that men and women are wired differently, and so from a female perspective it can be hard to fully understand the physical/visual way men are designed and the extent of lust to which they struggle.”

Anna Cory takes us on a modesty journey with The Women Formerly Known As Sexy posted at Veiled Glory. Examine her thoughts on the church, and its influence on women recently. Has it been feeding the souls, or the fragile body images of the “Daughters of the King”? Lots there!

Other great entries:

Catholic Fire reminds us in Fellas & Fashions: Skin is not in that though men may look at scantily clad women walking by, what they really appreciate is a woman whose confidence isn’t reliant on the latest fashion trends:

“Real men like real women who show respect for themselves and their bodies. To me, dresses and skirts make a woman appear more dignified and feminine. They express self-confidence and contentment with one’s sexuality. Isn’t is great to feel comfortable with the sexuality with which God has blessed you?”

Kristen presents Submission, Headcovering and the Christian Woman posted at Kristenmomof3’s Xanga, saying,

“To me the headcovering has a lot to do with modesty too…”

TherapyDoc shares that wasting time worrying over how others perceive you simply robs you of many of life’s great moments. Read The Cure for Self-Consciousness for more at Everyone Needs Therapy.

Annette Berlin of Frugal Journey encourages readers to check out Ladies Against Feminism, a wonderful site promoting stay at home motherhood, being your husband’s helpmeet, modesty, and thrift. She begins her post with:

“We all have our little secrets, and I’ve decided it’s time to confess mine. Here it goes…I’m a closet anti-feminist. It’s true, and now you know.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of modesty using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Carnival of Modesty

Check out Home-steeped Hope on August 9th, when I’ll host the second edition of the Carnival of Modesty, a carnival maintained by MInTheGap.

“This Carnival is for posts that talk about modesty in daily living. We want to highlight those that give good resources, and promote the discussion of modesty in the current culture.” ~taken from blogcarnival.com’s description of this carnival

There are 5 categories:

  • What is Modest
  • Modest Resources
  • My Story
  • Why Dress Modestly
  • Other

Submission deadline is the first Friday of the month, this month that falls on August 3rd! Follow this link to participate, and check back here on August 9th for some inspiring reading…and you just never know, you may discover some new favorite blogs. I know I did!

You can check out July’s Carnival of Modesty at Space Between My Peers.