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