Last Sunday we had a lovely tea-party with moms and daughters and women of many ages. We drank tea, ate cheesecake and talked about why modesty is important. We had a funny little 'unfashionable' show as our older youth demonstrated some of our current fashions and how NOT to wear them and then how to wear them in a modest way. Jodi Kozan from Women's Journey of Faith came and shared her story with us of how pain and insecurities and wrong choices can influence how we present ourselves to the world. She encouraged us to look to our Saviour for His ideas on what to wear and how we present ourselves. He is the one who gives us our identity, he is the one who tells us we are beautiful and the one who loves us more than anything even when we get it wrong. In light of all that we have researched and talked about in the last few weeks I offer you...
A Modest Proposal
I realize that this is a very cliche title but I'm going to use it anyway. We are aware as women even though it may only be subconsciously, that we are being sold a bill of goods by the media that is untrue. Yet, we still strive to be that model in the magazine. Oh to have flawless skin, the perfect size breasts, the trim, flat belly and of course, gloriously long legs, no matter what our height is. If only we got that particular sweater we would then be able to attract the kind of man that we have our heart set on or to be acceptable with the group of females that we want to associate ourselves with. It is all a vicious lie which is spilled out on a daily basis to keep us unhappy with ourselves enough so as to open our wallets and purchase something else to make us beautiful. The whole thing is a marketing gimmick.
So what is the truth? How are we to present ourselves? What is beautiful? We have all heard the saying, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" the key is to know who's eye we want to be 'beholding' us. As Christian women, we want our hearts to be turned to our Saviour, to dress and act and live for HIm alone, our glorious bridegroom. So how does he want us to look, and what about those male creatures that are down here, what are they thinking? After a look at scripture and asking the male creatures, I've realized that they're saying a lot of the same things. They would rather have our parts covered so that our true beauty is not overwhelmed by what we are wearing.
We conducted a short survey of men from ages 12 - 70+ asking them what causes them the most discomfort in women's dress. We are aware that men are visually stimulated so how we present ourselves has a profound effect on their thought life. While we are not fully responsible for how another person thinks, we do have a great influence on how they think and are partly responsible for those thoughts when you take into consideration scriptures like Romans 14:1-4 which talks about those whose faith is weak. So, what did they say exactly?
They said alot. We had an amazing response, very thoughtful and very helpful. Overall, the fellows who responded said they don't want to see cleavage, overly tight or low cut (either shirts or pants) anything. Clothing that shows off skin where skin shouldn't be showing is difficult for them. Basically, to put it very succinctly, no breasts, no bellies, no bums. They have no desire to see our underwear, either through our clothing or coming out of our clothing. They seem to have great respect for those who respect themselves enough to reserve their bodies, visually, for the man that they may marry one day. Believe it or not, they are not fond of bikinis, these are a nightmare for them visually speaking, as one of them said, "Who made it okay for women to go out in public in the equivalent of their underwear...or less." This is a particular issue when an event is a church sponsored thing, like a beach party or hot-tub event, they're thinking they shouldn't have to fight quite so hard because we girls would have them in mind, unfortunately, this is generally not the case.
According to what the scriptures say about women's dress (and there are quite a lot of them to be found), and the insight these courageous men have given, modesty, dressing so as not to attract undue attention to ourselves, is a vital aspect of a women's Christian character. It isn't a subject to be taken lightly. It isn't just a problem for the guys to figure out on their own. It is a battle that must be fought and one for the sake of purity in the lives of men and women everywhere. How we dress is important. How we present ourselves publicly is important. Beauty is not in our clothing or makeup it is in our heart and reflected in our character. There is nothing wrong with pretty clothes, nice hair and makeup, in fact the fellows appreciate when a woman is doing her best to take care of those things, those things just shouldn't be the focus.
So the modest proposal is this;
make modesty a priority in your life.
End of proposal