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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Modesty

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rainydaygirl
Member



Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


 Modesty

Hey
So I know there has been much discussion about the head covering and all but something that I am trying to work through in my own life at the moment is the issue of modesty. I was out shopping for some tops just last weekend and well lets just say its discouraging and nearly impossible to find things that cover. I don't know how some of you others gals deal with this but I came across this article and I like it so far, seems to give some really good things to think about when considering the topic of modesty.

rdg


Modesty
Though this may focus on the issue we call “modesty,” it is first and foremost an expression of our need for God and our need for His cleansing and Life and Mercy on our lives. Why? Because apart from His touch on our lives and His imparted vision to us, we will not be able to understand much of anything about His Heart for this temporary material realm. This is not about the “do’s and don’ts” of a Christian’s proper moral dress code. It is the Journey of finding God’s Heart. Legalism is death, just as ignoring God’s Heart is fatal. This is not about legalism or license. It’s about HIM. This is about being drawn deeper into the heart of God and having our hearts and minds renewed from the inside. It is about loving Him more deeply, and again, seeing why He has very specific thoughts and opinions about how we clothe our physical bodies.



Part I
Changing Our Eye-Glasses

It is always worth reminding ourselves what our part is, as followers of Jesus. Obvious, we say? Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that GOD is God. That means that He calls the shots. He sets the course. He makes the decisions. He is the Potter and we are the clay. He is the Creator; we are His created beings. That is very important to fix clearly in our hearts and minds at every turn. That we will submit to, obey and ultimately love His commands, decrees and thoughts. No “Yeah, God, but....I don’t like that.” Or “I don’t think that’s so important...” There is no way a child of God can hold that kind of selfish, prideful attitude and expect to prosper in Christ and grow spiritually. God makes certain, every so often, that we have practical “life tests” to see how surrendered we are to Jesus. Our hope is that you find in this, another opportunity to lay everything at His feet, with a mind and will to obey Him, no matter what the cost. This may be, for you, a topic that provides that opportunity. Please, take it seriously. If you have left everything to follow Jesus, just like people in His day—if that is your intent and heart, then don’t stop now! Don’t let your personal experiences or preferences or pride or vanity be your god or your guide. He deserves far better than that. “Do you not know that...you are not your own: you were bought at a price? Therefore honor God with your body.” (1 Cor 6:19-20)

It will be very helpful, as we approach God and His Word about modesty, if we first understand what it is that we’ve most likely been taught and exposed to all our lives. If we’ve been raised in mainstream America, or most any other culture or civilization or nation, we have been force-fed a steady diet of sensualism, immodesty, immorality and flesh. Our minds and opinions have usually been saturated with the world’s point of view, not God’s point of view. As children of the King, our whole foundation and frame of reference must change from that of the world! Please understand that we all have a worldly point of view prior to God changing our hearts and creating a new person with a new mind. Paul speaks of the need to be renewed in the attitudes of our minds and to throw off the worldly perspectives.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”Romans 12: 1-2

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking...You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4: 17,22-24

Our minds must be renewed by God, and part of that process involves recognizing and repenting of patterns of this world. We have had our minds so saturated with what the world deems “valuable” in regard to our bodies: a slim waistline, shapes, muscles and features; appealing clothing to draw the eyes of men and women. The enemy is forever lying to us that appearance means everything and defines who we are. The world constantly screams that appearance is of utmost importance and whispers invitations to drink in the parade of sensuality from billboards, magazines, advertisements, clothing stores, movies and television. The world says that it’s only natural and normal to be drawn to the fleshly appeal of immodest dress. It’s okay! Enjoy! Indulge! Our eyes and ears have been so bombarded with a godless, sensual standard, that we have been almost completely dulled to the Standard and the thoughts of God Himself. It is a fact of spiritual life in God and obeying His Son that when we are fed worldly thinking and breathe its air and absorb its lies and its standards for living, it is impossible to see clearly and understand and hear God’s Heart on other matters, either.

Please, take responsibility. Go in your room and shut the door and face God on this matter. Honestly ask Him to open your eyes and expose the whole thing to you personally, to help you see it for what it is. It will do you absolutely no good whatsoever to go on reading this if you won’t question your own opinions about how you dress, and if you don’t ask God specifically to cleanse and renew your mind on these matters. And the other response of just “doing it,”—changing your dress because it’s the moral and religious thing to do—that’s no good either. Our choice to submit our thinking and our hearts to God and change our ways must be because we see Jesus and we respond to Him as a Person. We don’t have to understand all the details in order to surrender to His Lordship. Our peace will be found in becoming soft hearted and ready to respond to our Living God who has thoughts right now about all this. Find Him! Call out to Him! Search for Him on this matter with your whole heart. He wants to richly bless you and draw you to His side and fill you with the Glory and goodness of His Holy Word. Here is a promise that He has made with us according to His Word:

“For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: `I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’

`Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.’ `I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.’

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1

Notice the condition He has placed on being “a people belonging to God.” We must come out from them, the world, and purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit. He has, and is, drawing us “out from” this world and the ideals and opinions and pressures and values of this world. No longer are we “yoked” with it. If we are truly His, then we are “aliens and foreigners” in this world, not belonging in its mainstream, nor to be polluted by it. God says to come out from them and urges us to embrace what He has said about our lives.

Who are we to argue with God about anything? “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind;” no longer “conform to the patterns” and thinking and marketing schemes of this world. We have been “rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son He loves.” No longer are we slaves to sin and bound to “the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.” (Eph 2:2-3)

For most of us, those cravings have included jealousies about others’ appearances, comparisons of our flesh to others’ flesh; competing with our looks, and being eaten up inside with our lust to look good—vanity of every sort. This would also include the terrible sin of drawing people to our own bodies instead of pointing them towards God with our behavior. And whether knowingly or unknowingly, most of us have been, at times, responsible for causing others to stumble into lusts and other sin, because we were so selfish and vain to adorn ourselves outwardly in an effort to impress or entice people. That is the product of a diet of worldly thinking in regard to clothing and appearance. This alone should cause us to run from anything originating in the heart of the world and the devil. He is our enemy and will work through any means to spoil and twist and poison and pollute our minds against Godliness and a Life hidden in Christ with God. It is no surprise that he has steeped people in a cauldron of stinking flesh and immorality and immodesty through the avenues of our eyes and ears and emotions. Please, recognize this for what it is! Agreeing with God is not optional for a follower of Jesus.

By the way, it may be helpful to mention here that you are no better off in your walk with God if your clothes are modest but your heart is still worldly. Your “acts of righteousness” can easily be filthy rags before God if you’re not responding because of God’s Heart. Some people, because they dress modestly, can become self-righteous in their thinking. But it means nothing if it is not in response to Jesus, your Head. So please don’t simply become a modest dresser who has made no effort to find Jesus’ heart on your clothing. Changing how you dress may be a good place to start, but it would be shallow and robbery to stop there!

Here’s an example of how the futility of keeping an external “law” in the name of “modesty” can tragically cause someone to miss God’s Love and Heart. Recently, a sister saw a Muslim woman walking with her young daughter. As the sister watched, the little girl ran ahead and headed for the street where a car was coming along. In her hurry to go after the child, the mother’s head covering began to fall off. At this, the mother was torn between the two apparently equal concerns. She had to replace her head covering! But what about her daughter? The sight was mournful, to say the least. Is this the result of a “religiously” held belief? A scrap of cloth becoming as valuable as a child’s life? It has never been Jesus’ thought that we robotically conform to an external list of “rules for holy living,” missing the value of Life itself. Remember His words about how the religious people of His day would “keep the Sabbath” and hold on to their traditions, while ignoring or forgetting the Love of God for others? Suffice it to say that in our desire to please our Father with our apparel, we must respond to Him in love, as a Person—not to a legal mandate that would quench our Life in Christ and our lives with others.

Be spiritually deepened as you find and embrace God’s Heart on this matter. Please, do not just embrace a “right way to dress.” Embrace GOD! Then, in turn, you can help your brothers and sisters to see and be changed inwardly, by God’s Spirit and by His Grace. So together, let us thank God that “because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” (Eph 2: 4-7).

Let’s press on together to find God!

 2012/2/9 19:47Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7421
Mississippi

 Re: Modesty

QUOTE:
"I was out shopping for some tops just last weekend and well lets just say its discouraging and nearly impossible to find things that cover. I don't know how some of you others gals deal with this"

rdg, I have a suggestion for you. Do you know how to sew? If not, I suggest you go to a sewing machine dealer and buy for yourself the most expensive sewing machine you can rightly afford (the cheap ones will do nothing more then frustrate you). Usually, a dealer will give you lessons on how to operate the machine. In the meantime, take sewing lessons or buy a good book that will show you how. YouTube has good videos that might help. Just know that sewing is a skill that is constantly evolving - I just learned an easy way to remove stitches by watching a video demonstrating it on YouTube.

Sewing is fun, challenges your creativity. There is no end to what you can make. Pray about it as well. I consider my ability to sew a gift from the Lord although I had help since I was a small child. The fact that I love it can only be explained as a divine empowerment because there was a time when I had lost interest.

God bless.

ginnyrose


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2012/2/9 20:27Profile
rainydaygirl
Member



Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


 Re:

Hey ginny

I do have a sewing machine and I do sew but not really well enough to make my own clothes. Not at least yet.watching you tube is a good tip thanks. I have gone from both ends on this topic. When I was younger before I got married I pretty much dressed very worldly. I did not even think twice about the effect my choices had on the guys around me. I liked the attention and I wanted it.(just being honest about that time in my life) Now after I got married and I became a christian I saw things differently. I wanted to be modest and I cared about those around me so I did what I think a lot of women did I threw stuff out and began dressing like I thought I should. The problem was I went overboard, i bought clothes that were really big and loose. I wanted to just hide in my clothes because I felt bad and because I kept thinking i wasn't doing enough to cover myself and be modest. My husband finally admitted to me that he would like to see me dress more like a girl, a modest girl but so at least you could tell that I was a girl. Somewhere I guess I got confused and thought pretty and feminine was the same as sexy and both were sinful. Anyway I am trying to find balance in all of this, i want to cover and be modest but I want to be pretty for my husband too. Its really hard though in today's stores.

Anyways thanks for taking the time to respond and for listening.

rdg

 2012/2/9 22:24Profile
dvndsn
Member



Joined: 2011/8/3
Posts: 86
Kentucky

 Re:

So this is a little off topic from this thread, but it pertains to what has been said. My wife is beautiful, oh so beautiful! Like you rdg, I feel she kind of hides behind her clothes. And like ginny and you, she has a sewing machine!

I have been wanting to see her in more girly-ish clothes, yet still be modest. I agree it is extremely hard to find good women's clothes, I have tried. I have 5 sisters, so I have seen this played out since I was little.

My wife mainly dresses in free t-shirts we've gotten from Christian gatherings (concerts, seminars, etc.). Every once in a while she will pick out from her wardrobe something that does look absolutely great on her. I want her to have more of these things.

First thing tomorrow I am going out and getting her a gift card to the local sewing shop here in town. I also got her a gift card to "Motherhood Maternity"; she's 25 weeks pregnant with our second, a girl! Thank you both for the dialogue and idea! God bless!

 2012/2/9 22:34Profile
jimp
Member



Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481


 Re:

hi, as a much younger man ,iwent on a protracted mission trip to mexico and was warned about the water and the food.when i came back into the states we stopped at mcdonalds after we crossed the border and i was shocked by the immodesty of dress in texas as compared with mexico... i had never noticed it before but it was overwhelming. i ate at mcds and had a coke and got sick as a dog...lol

 2012/2/9 22:36Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7421
Mississippi

 Re:

jimp wrote:

"i ate at mcds and had a coke and got sick as a dog...lol"

Hey! this just happened to me the other day! I felt so green, wondered if I am going to go belly-up! Obviously, I didn't...

edg, and dvdsn, here is a website you can go to to get some inspiration for pretty, feminine clothing: http://liliesapparel.com/ This lady and her family were at our church this past weekend and I must say they dress so pretty. Evelyn Miller looks like a queen! Really! She is almost 50 YO but dresses so pretty, so beautiful.

It is not necessary to dress dumpy in order to be modest. Nor, does it have to be expensive. I like to buy remnant pieces, match it with other remnants and then I sew a very nice garment for very little money.

I design my own clothes using ready made patterns but modified to suit my tastes. You can do a lot with color - mixing, matching colors. Your best fabrics are found at a Mennonite fabric store, however, there are other stores that sell decent fabrics but they are getting harder to find. I suggest you stay away from the cheap stuff sold at Wal-Mart - it ain't worth much.

Have fun, but if you want to discuss this more with me, you can email me - my email addy is listed on my profile.

Have fun! and God bless!







_________________
Sandra Miller

 2012/2/9 23:22Profile
twayneb
Member



Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1930
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Modesty

rainydaygirl: Thank you so much for your post.

God made men and women to be different. Those differences are beautiful, however the world has perverted that true beauty and turned it into something wicked (twisted). Modesty is about humility and the love of Christ shed abroad in our hearts. When a Christian man or a woman is modest in dress and behavior it demonstrates their love for God and their obedience to Him as well as their love for their brothers and sisters in Christ.


_________________
Travis

 2012/2/10 8:27Profile
Sree
Member



Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1624


 Re:

Quote:

edg, and dvdsn, here is a website you can go to to get some inspiration for pretty, feminine clothing: http://liliesapparel.com/ This lady and her family were at our church this past weekend and I must say they dress so pretty. Evelyn Miller looks like a queen! Really! She is almost 50 YO but dresses so pretty, so beautiful.

It is not necessary to dress dumpy in order to be modest. Nor, does it have to be expensive. I like to buy remnant pieces, match it with other remnants and then I sew a very nice garment for very little money.



Dear Sister,

Just an additional thought, nothing to oppose your view. Also I am not an expert in this. When I read the word that Paul talks about dressing in modesty and Peter wearing ornaments. This is how I understood it.

1 Peter 3:-
Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

A modest dress according to 1 Timothy 2:9 and 1 Peter 3 is a dress that does its purpose and does not attract anyone's attestation. Having said that it does not mean we need to dress shabbily because even that attracts attention (you being odd). This women who dressed like queen though she spent a penny she still attracts people towards her dress which contradicts what the scripture states. Even if it does not attract others still the fact that this lady spends a penny and still dresses like queen becomes her external identity, which is not what Peter states here.

In short I don't think modest is just being cheap, it is also not being too attractive or in other words not worn with an INTENTION to attract attention. Even if a dress is not costly if a women puts too much thought (or time) into making it attractive then it is not modest. God given time is much more valuable than God give money.

Again this is how the Holy Spirit helped me to interpret scripture. I am not here to pass judgment on others interpretation. Please forgive me.

Also I am a guy, I can easily accept this scripture and wear a dress that does its job (covers my body) and does not attract attention. May be for a women it might be difficult.



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Sreeram

 2012/2/10 12:14Profile
MaryJane
Member



Joined: 2006/7/31
Posts: 3057


 Re:

Sree wrote:Also I am a guy, I can easily accept this scripture and wear a dress that does its job (covers my body) and does not attract attention. May be for a women it might be difficult.

__________

I had to laugh at that last line because honestly if you were wearing a dress even if it did cover your body I do think it might attract a little attention (wink) :)

In all seriousness modesty is a really huge struggle for some women. The desire to be covered and modest while not attracting attention and still being pretty and feminine for our husbands can be a daunting task at times.

God Bless
mary

 2012/2/10 13:35Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7421
Mississippi

 Re:

Sree,

I appreciate your concern and I share it as well. One of the issues in the OP was on how to dress and being modest but still look nice. After reading my post I can see how you could think I was ignoring the modesty of the heart issue.

About modesty....as I understand its definition it means not being extreme. One can be extreme by denying beauty or go to the other and deck yourself out with all manner of jewels, gold, etc., making your self look very expensive. Actually, dressing in Ts is very cheap, form-fitting - hardly demonstrates the Proverbs 31 woman, don't you think? Am I wrong?

One thing I did not tell you is that Evelyn speaks to women about the issue of Biblical femininity, the Proverbs 31 woman; how to be a woman in a world that has masculinized females. The way modern women look, act is repulsive to me. The contrast is so stark it is disgusting. When you see a female nicely dressed she stands out like a beacon in this fallen world, at least it does in Mississippi. The women of the world dress awfully bad here - I think it is worse here then in the mid-west.

When a female is dressed nicely, modestly, it is not unusual to be complimented by people out there who still appreciate a female being a woman and using her talents to be such. I get compliments as do others...Do I live for it? No. I do ask my husband what he thinks, how should I do and work to this end. Scriptures teach us that wives are to be subject to their own husbands and this will be the goal of all godly women - as long as the husband is a godly man. Woe on the wife whose husband wants her to dress like a harlot!

God bless.


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Sandra Miller

 2012/2/11 12:28Profile





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