Thursday, May 10, 2012

Why I wear skirts? - Part 1 - Modesty

My parents were both raised in a church where modesty was highly regarded.  Skirts and proper dress were mandatory.  I can see how easily it is for us as humans to place a law over conviction.  It keeps us and our families at a safe place...so we think.

My parents left that church when I was only 3 years old.  I have no recollection of that experience, although to hear my mother talk about it now, it was one of the hardest changes they ever had to make.  After they left it took her a while to feel comfortable in wearing anything other than a skirt or dress.  But I only remember wearing dresses and skirts to church, special events like a wedding or funeral, and to visit our extended family out of respect for their beliefs.

We were very close to my mother's side of the family and spent quite a bit of time together.  I remember even as a young girl being fascinated with their dress.  Although I also remember getting one of my cousins in trouble by letting her borrow a pair of my shorts while we were at a youth group event.  Looking back, this same cousin had been one of those women who was inspirational to me in the way she presented herself.  She always dressed modestly and feminine as well as classy.  I have also been blessed by her hand-me-downs. 


Modesty was a topic casually talked about in our home.  Our mother set a good example for us and we knew the lines not to cross.  I am very thankful to have a rich heritage that valued modesty.

Over the last 5 years, the Lord has really been putting on my heart the need for modesty and femininity.  The work that Christ does in our hearts will be evident to all in the way that we speak, our actions and even our dress.  Everything we do and say is an external image of our heart {Luke 6:45}.  That is where it should start. 
 
Around this same time my husband starting opening up to me about the way men think and how they are visually stimulated.  God designed men to be very attracted to a woman.  Even though men will be held accountable for keeping their minds pure and their eyes focused on Christ, as his sister in Christ, I realized that I could help my brothers instead of making it a constant battle for them {even though that wasn't my intent}, for I too will be held accountable for my actions.

Once I began to dissect my intentions about my dress, I discovered that I wasn't dressing to impress other men.  It was a combination of dressing to impress other women and trying to follow the latest styles.  But the men around me could have been the ones who suffered for my lack of self control and ignorance. 

God showed me that my body is not my own to do with what I pleased.  He had bought me with the highest price {1Corinthians 6:19-20}.  I couldn't go back and take away all the times I lacked self-control, but I could set my eyes on what is ahead of me [eternity] and press on toward the goal {Philippians 3:13-14}.

My body also belongs to my husband.  It should be for his eyes only.  To go around 'flaunting' my body could and should bring my husband shame not fame.  I've heard of some men who like their wives to dress provocatively in-front of others so they can show off their 'trophy'.  It is sad that our world has fallen so far away from God's standard.  

I don't wear skirts 100% of the time.  You will occasionally find me in capris or a pair of jeans.    I feel the skirt doesn't conform to my body as much as pants do and therefore I feel more comfortable in a skirt.  The Lord had also dealt with me in the area of the length of skirts I wore.  A short skirt can be an even bigger stumbling block to men than a pair of capris.   


Now that I am a mother, I have and will continue to cast a vision of modesty and embracing our God given design.  I don't want skirt wearing to become pharisaic in my girls or I, but I will gently lead by example and will always refer them back to God's word and His standard.  Having the Holy Spirit govern our hearts is more important to me than laying out a law.  We live to please Christ, not others.

To bring this part to a close I want to end it by saying that wearing skirts doesn't make a person more holy.  It isn't something you can check off your 'righteous' list.  Nor is it something that 'now that you wear skirts you can judge others for not wearing them'.  That would be a pride issue that needs to be dealt within, you guessed it, the heart.  It isn't a homeschool mom image, or mean that you now have to bake your own bread and will have a gently spirit all the time.  That would be stereotyping.  For me it all started with a transformation in my heart and has slowly made its appearance.

 I pray that if you feel the Lord nudging you in the area of modesty that you will listen to Him and search His word to find answers to your questions.  I pray that you will look at His standard and not the worlds, for they are extremely different.  And by the way, you can still have a unique style without compromising your modesty!

11 comments:

Annmarie Pipa said...

You are beautiful inside and out! and so fortunate to have a husband to explain a mans perspective! My husband is like that too...and I can see how women get so caught up in pleasing their girlfriends we loose sight of many things!! your family is beautiful.
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

Erika @ Slowly Natural said...

We have recently began a journey to wearing more skirts and it's definitely a heart conviction. I never want to cause someone to stumble and while I never really dressed in an unmodest way, I am seeing how I could be MORE modest! On top of that, I want to embrace the gender I was created! I've written a few posts on our journey, feel free to come by and check them out!

Lisa said...

Hi Jennie,
Love this post. Just last year, the Lord led me to start dressing more femininely and modestly last year, so my girls and I started wearing more and more skirts...and we have never looked back. :)
Thanks for this post.
Many blessings!

Angela said...

What a great post. It pretty much describes me to a T! Over from Growing Home. Now following. We have lots of littles too...number 6 is being knit :)

Jaclyn wells said...

Keep wearing those skirts mama! I got your back! :)

Nicole said...

This is very well said. I see a lot of modesty posts like it's a trend and I came over from EOA expecting to see the same thing. Your post was very refreshing, and you are right- it is an outpouring of the heart- to dress modestly and feminine, the way the Lord created us, and not to be a stumbling block to men. I look forward to part 2, thank you!

~Nicole, Working Kansas Homemaker

Alana of Domestic Bliss Diaries said...

As you said, sometimes a decent pair of pants is actually more modest than some of the skirts that are out there. So, to me, it's not a skirt vs. pants issue. Instead, at it's core, it's simply a modesty issue. Having said that, I am trying to incorporate more skirts/dressed into my wardrobe as I personally feel more feminine in them. I know some women may feel more feminine in a pair of modest pants and blouse. I think this is an area where, as long as we are holding to God's standard, He gives us great freedom to dress as we choose within those standards.

Mrs. Mordecai said...

Thank you for sharing this. Modest dress is very important to me, and I hope to be able to pass this on to my children. Although I mostly wear skirts to church, I do think that wearing them more often would be fun!

Judith said...

It is encouraging to read posts on modesty. Thank you. I blog over at havenuvrest.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post!! This is an area I struggle with (because of the habit of wearing jeans and what I'm used to) and have been trying to make the change! Thank you for this wisdom and encouragement!!!!!

Blessings to you,
Christy

Dana Adams said...

Sweet post!~Good to hear from you! Our comp has been down and I was wondering how your family was!
Every blessing! Dana