Modesty, Femininity, and Expressing Christ in an Adverse World

“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the ways thereof are the ways of death.”

Proverbs 16:25

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I had begun a post series on modesty a while ago, and haven’t written another post to follow it until now.

Modesty seems to be such a controversial subject. People have their different ideas of what modesty should be, and to what extent to carry their convictions. Others don’t believe modesty is a real issue, and they mock or scorn those who do. While some in between believe that you’re called to be/dress a certain way, and while some may be called to cover their bodies and maintain a modest outlook, other may be called to be more outgoing and look more like those they are trying to reach for Christ.

The schisms created by this topic are very wide and very many, and thus it is a difficult subject for me to address.

Why not just let it be then? you might ask. Let someone else do the sharing and I could just pray for the Lord’s working.

Well for one thing, I feel it is every believers’ duty to spread the Word of Truth; be that through sharing or praying. And after much prayer, and much seeking the Lord about this subject, I’ve felt led to share it on my blog. My flesh balks against it, as I fear the unhappy feelings and the rejection that I know will come my way, but it is a subject so deeply entwined in my day-to-day life in Him that I don’t see how I cannot share it on my blog which bears the same title.

So, with much prayer I embark on the second edition of my Modesty posts.

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What has been on my heart most about modesty lately is the position it puts you in with the world.

Last time I shared how the love of our bodies and of showing them off can become an idol and draw us away from the Lord. Thus, dressing modestly can be a means of avoiding this side-ways path, and keeping our eyes always focused on the Lord.

But one big draw-back we have as Christians when we chose to dress modestly is the effect it will have on our relationships, or on how people look at us in general.

When you chose to dress modestly – as a woman or a man, but especially as a woman – you are choosing to look distinctly different than everyone else around you.

One thing the world hates is different.

You have to subscribe to their school of thought – including their thoughts on how you should look – or you immediately run into problems.

The thought – and indeed pain – of this can, and does, keep many women from choosing to dress modestly. Instead they dress in a low-scale form of today’s fashions. This way they don’t have to look so different; they’ll still fit in, but they won’t be exposing so much of their bodies to others.

The fear of being rejected, and the pain at being ostracized is too great to overcome.

But ladies! Once you take a stand, once you chose to cover your bodies, to save yourself for your husband’s eyes only, and to tell the world, “I’m not like you; I am different; I am a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ”, then the pain you feel when people shun or mock you will turn into pride; pride that you are different, and prayer; prayer for them and for yourself, and it will draw you closer to the Lord.

If you allow it.

I’m not saying you won’t feel the pain. The pain I have felt of late, directly caused by my choice to dress modestly, has in part inspired this post. But the more I dwell on the events that caused the pain, the more I feel determined to maintain my stand; the more it has pushed me to declare to the world that I am different.

And I am so proud of that!

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As you step out of fashion and into modesty you are making a statement.

At least I feel that I am.

I am telling the world that I don’t agree, that I don’t like the way they are dressing, what they are exposing, and how suggestive their dress is, and that I am not going to dress that way; that I am a Christian and that, as a believer in Christ, I am determined to behave myself with modesty, humility, and discretion.

And the world will hate you for it.

Some people will appreciate it.

We’ve had many, many people come up to us and compliment our clothes and how we dress. Many men (absolute strangers) have told us how they appreciate our modesty, and that they think we’re pretty. Many women have looked at us with envy and expressed how much they would like to dress this way.

Why don’t they?

Because they are afraid of rejection.

But, sisters! If you are truly born from above, if you are truly allowing Christ to live through you and work His Life out in your daily activities you will be rejected anyways!

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than His Lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you.”

John 15:18-20

The pain we feel from others’ mocking and scorning, because we choose to follow our convictions, is nothing compared to the joy we receive in Jesus – in having His Arms about us, in having His Life within us, and having His Protection always round us, His guidance always within.

To be rejected from ones’ own family, by ones’ friends – even by whole churches – is not easy, it does not come without pain, and it is not the joyous part of the narrow way. But if, within, you feel you are doing what the Lord Jesus would have you to do in all honesty and sincerity, then it is better to obey God than man.

If we bear up under the pain and sufferings for a little while, His blessings will come. Going through the trial is nothing compared to the joy we receive afterwards!

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We’ve had people come up to us in the store and tell us how much they appreciate our dress – many, many people; men and women. At least once every time we go to town someone compliments our dress.

But we’ve also had people (mostly relatives) to speak evil of our choices. They have told us we are not pretty, that one doesn’t have to dress in a feed sack, and other sorts of remarks.

But these are far and few between – and mostly from those whom we know the closest from our “old lives” before we chose to dress modestly. They know what we were before and they don’t like the change.

To be rejected by those you love and care for can be hard, but the testimony we bear for Christ weighs out in the end – the people we don’t know who see our dress and are blessed by it; who even ask us to sew for them so they can dress modestly too! – this weighs out by far.

Choosing to dress modestly is choosing to make a statement to the world that you are different; it is choosing to be different everyday, to be rejected by those who feel challenged by your modesty, but also to bless others who feel unhappy with the world’s sensual fashions, to encourage others to follow Christ in a physical way, and to be a testimony to the world that the Lord Jesus does reign in some hearts.

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When I write about modesty, I am amazed by how many different aspects there are to it. So many different reasons why we should dress modestly, so many different thoughts on why the Lord desires it, and so many different things I could say on style, fashion, and the Christian life that I can’t possibly fit them all into one post – or even feel I really have expressed myself well covering so deep a topic, like the one today, in one post alone.

Despite how controversial the subject is, modesty is something very close to my heart; its part of my everyday life. Everyday I make an active choice to dress modestly, and I love it.

And I’m actually looking forward to sharing more about it!

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At home.

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

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Though it may seem like it right now, my life is not all construction work. 🙂

Yesterday, Daddy had to go to a contractor’s class, so all us girls were able to stay home and do things around the house that have been needing done.

Before even going out to do chores I cut out my new dress and sewed the cape on.

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Yesterday was a beautiful day for me. I love being at home. Home, home, home….

I love sewing, cooking, gardening – even cleaning! So long as I’m home. 🙂

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The day was beautiful. Things are really beginning to blossom and grow in this early summer weather of the south!

It was up to 91F yesterday! That’s HOT!

Thankfully, we got out in our garden before it was too hot and planted 13 tomato plants (four different varieties).

Its not much, compared to what needs done, but its a start!

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Before we could plant the plants we had to put up more fencing.

Our garden is very near our chicken coop and chickens love gardens….. We ran out of wire (again) before we could finish, but thank the Lord its just a small spot that we can finish pretty easily once we get more wire.

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We only planted tomatoes since chickens don’t seem to like tomato plants. (They’ll devour the fruit though, but hopefully we’ll have our fence up before then!!)

We planted four varieties;

Marion

Rutger

Beafsteak

Betterboy (hybrid)

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I love the little plants and how fragile they are – and look at that root system!!

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A tiny tomato plant, hiding in its spot. 🙂

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Carra, planting a tomato plant.

We did all this before we even ate breakfast! Needless to say we were hot, tired, and hungry by the time we came tramping back up to the house near 11.

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After resting a bit and eating brunch I got back to work on my dress.

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The Lord be my Strength, I was determined to finish it – even down to the cuffs on the sleeves.

After filling a dress order for a dress with long sleeves and cuffs I decided to try one.

I like long sleeves for two reasons; modesty and protection from the sun.

I don’t like long sleeves because we’re out in the heat a lot in the summer on our farm and on our job sites and long sleeves make the heat even worse.

On top of that this material we bought several months ago was purchased for winter-time dress making (that never happened) so its dark blue.

I may just have to put this dress back in my closet and wear it when it gets cooler!

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While I was sewing and Mama was cleaning, Carra made up a batch of English Rose Goats’ Milk Soap.

I don’t know if I ever shared our last batch on my blog. It was Lilac scented and turned out so well!

We sold two bars, are giving some to our friends and only had two bars left for ourselves!!

So, hurry, hurry, make more soap!

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The oils that go into the soap.

We’re really enjoying soapmaking. 🙂 Its something I personally have wanted to do ever since I was very young (nine or ten) when we read about soapmaking in our homeschooling.

We made our first soap in 2010 or so and since then have been trying new recipes and searching for the right base.

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I think we may have found it in this recipe. Its our second time trying it and its turning out marvelous! Can’t wait to see how it cures.

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One big hurdle in soapmaking is finding a place to buy the oils and other ingredients from.

We have the milk, but that’s all. 😀

So yesterday, after pouring up the soap, Carra grabbed Mama’s laptop and started searching the web for a good place to buy reasonably-priced ingredients and equipment.

We think the Lord might have led her to just the perfect place!

We’ll have to make an order and see how it goes!

Lordwilling, our order will go in today. 🙂

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A poor up-close shot of the soap in the mold.

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Meanwhile, I did finish my dress, thank the Lord, all save the shoulder zipper (must buy a zipper).

It turned out just as I had planned; the apron creating the waist line for the dress. I plan to make a half apron of the same color fabric as the dress as well to go with it when I don’t feel like wearing the full apron (though that may be a while; I’m enjoying my new apron 🙂 ).

I’m searching for a way to make a nonelastic waist – have been searching for at least a year and a half! But last night as I was going to bed, I think the Lord has given me a thought on how to do one. Lordwilling, I’m going to try it on my new dress ( even if that will mean a bit of taking apart! 🙂 ).

So, all in all, we had a wonderful day at home – doing things women are supposed to do, instead of hammering, painting, pulling up carpet, and installing insulation.

But we’re back at that today. 😀

And I don’t really mind. 🙂 I hope one day to make a living off our farm, but until then, this is what the Lord has given us to do and I’m embracing it!

The beginning of something new

At a loss for blog posts the other day, I posted to Fb and asked if any of my friends had any thoughts.
I got several responses, and this one in particular from a sister in the Lord.
She asked if I couldn’t do a post on modest dress/purity etc. 
I thought it was a wonderful idea, but I must confess I’m a little doubtful whether I can tackle it!
I’ve been praying though, and I do feel I should address this subject more often.
It is met with so much repulsion and I’ve experienced so much hurt from speaking/writing of it in the past,
I suppose I’ve shunned it like the plague for a couple years. 
But running away from pain will not make the pain go away – nor the ailment causing the pain.
Things should be talked about, whether they hurt us or not, and so…I’m planning this and other posts
later as the Lord leads on this very controversial subject concerning modesty and purity in women.

Jesus calls us, o’er the tumult
Of our life’s wild, restless sea;
Day by day His sweet voice soundeth
Saying, “Christian, follow Me;”

As of old, apostles heard it
By the Galilean lake,
Turned from home and toil and kindred,
Leaving all for His dear sake.

Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store;
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more.”

In our joys and in our sorrows,
Days of toil and hours of ease,
Still He calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love Me more than these.”

Jesus calls us: by Thy mercies,
Saviour, may we hear Thy call,
Give our hearts to Thy obedience,
Serve and love Thee best of all.
Cecil F. Alexander

Praying last night during our Wednesday evening prayer meeting together, I was called upon to
accompany everyone’s singing by playing this hymn on the piano.
Its an old, old song – old by right, but also to me. I’ve played/sang this song for years.
But last night, baffled over how to address this post, the Lord Jesus blessed me with this song.
Singing/reading this hymn with modesty in mind is such a rich blessing I had never known before!
The tumult of life, the troubled seas could symbolize the world we live in today; all the rush and scurry,
all the pressure to be like everyone else.
{I pray I’m not the only one who feels this!}
The song repeats Jesus’ calling us – from our home, and toil, and kindred; everything we’ve ever known,
and everything the world today expects of us.
From each idol that would keep us.
Oh, sisters!
I know I am not alone in this one.
I truly love myself; I love my body, my face, my hair, my skin tone….
And I would love that others could see it and enjoy it – and brag on me – just as much as I do myself.
{Alright…I don’t actually brag…ahem….}
For women – and for men – our bodies can become one of the greatest idols.
We become obsessed with looking good, with feeling good, with appealing to others; making them like us.


Jesus calls us from the worship
Of the vain world’s golden store;
From each idol that would keep us,
Saying, “Christian, love Me more.”

But just as much as anything else, our pre-occupation with ourselves can take away – and so much so –
from our relationship with our Lord Jesus.
Another song comes to mind.

Nothing between, like worldly pleasure; 
habits of life, though harmless they seem, 
must not my heart from Him ever sever; 
He is my all, there’s nothing between. 

How easy it is for us to allow ourselves to get between us and our Jesus!
Harmless though it may seem, an obsession with one’s appearance can be just as crippling to one’s
spiritual life as an obsession with lying, or an addiction to drugs/alcohol.

{This is not to say we should wear rags.}

{Dressing appropriately and dressing obsessively, or to attract attention, are two different things.}

Anything that takes us away from our Lord Jesus should be thoroughly thought through, examined,
and then dealt with.

I think dress is just such a thing.
Especially as women, it is something that needs to be a main subject of concern.
Not only are we the objects of our brothers-in-Christ’s natural affections and desires
(and thereby can also be their temptation into sin or lust)
but we are also a great crutch to ourselves in that we know the beauty the Lord has endowed us with.

The Lord Jesus created women to be beautiful creatures.
And it is one of those little blessings He gives to His children here on this earth.
But it can also be a temptation, a snare, and a trap.

All things should be brought in prayer before the Lord.
Our own opinion of our appearance, our own feelings about our bodies/dress should not be neglected.
These things can become that ‘something between’ us and our Savior.
This is not something to be taken lightly!

This is a very deep subject!
But I think I see a little in what direction the Lord Jesus wants me to go with this.
And that includes breaking it up into multiple posts. 
And that brings us to the something new part of the title of this post.
I haven’t quite grasped the whole thing yet, but there will be more heard of this!
So…
until the next time….
I pray you all have a wonderful Friday 
{hooray for the weekend’s eve!}
and may we all think more seriously through this day about those things that can lead us away from 
Him.