Tuesday, May 29, 2007

True Modesty

School is over and summer is finally here. Along with summer comes many challenges such as deciding how you will spend your summer, how much will I work, which trip will I go on, and how many camps do I volunteer for. With June comes numerous graduation open houses you are obligated to go to, July brings weddings, August is full of vacations and camps, and then comes September with the back to school push. One of the decisions you make is what will I wear. As you look for that perfect outfit for your friend's wedding or a swimsuit to wear at the beach what do you think about.

Modesty is a controversial topic that many people just avoid. Some view it as rules and regulations, others think they can never look cute and stylish if they are modest, some just want the attention they get when they dress scantily. I come to find that modesty is not just a matter of how short can my shorts be or what necklines can I wear but where is my heart at when I put on that outfit. Before you examine your closet examine your heart. In my heart I want to dress and act in a way that will not be a stumbling block to the men I encounter but more importantly I want to be a witness for Christ. Many girls will ask "Isn't lust just a guys problem? Why do I have to change just for them, they can deal with it." Guys do need to work on fighting lust but as sisters in Christ we can help them along. The way you dress can also affect other girls who may get discouraged in their quest for modesty or may develop low self-esteem because they think they do not look as good. They have been countless time when I have been in youth group and not been able to concentrate as I watched the midriff gap on the girl in front of me grow bigger and bigger or saw that tight, low cut shirt and my heart goes out to the guys in the room. So modesty can affect every, guys and girls, but how can we be modest.

I have no rules and regulations as what is right or wrong but here are some of my personal convictions based on what godly men and women have said about girls' modesty. If you are even in doubt steer towards caution and if possible run you outfits by a godly dad, mom, or brother. Guys, your part is below.

Girls

Tops: I try to avoid anything that would draw attention to my bust line or not cover my midriff. Focus on drawing attention to your face. Some styles to be very careful of or avoid are tube tops, spaghetti straps, halter tops, plunging v-necks and shirts with writing across the bust line. Before you leave the house sit down, bend over, and twist around to check to if the shirt is too short, bra straps might show, or there are gaps between buttons, and bend over to see if you can look down your shirt. Some easy fixes include layering several shirts to provide more coverage, safety pins can close up problem spots, and remember to hold a hand over your neckline if needed when bending over.

Bottoms: I want to make sure that my pants are never to snug, that you cannot see an under ware line, that skirts are not see through when the sunlight hits them, and that shorts are not to short. I good way to check shorts is to evaluate them while sitting in a chair or cross legged in front of a full length mirror. Beware of how far skirts will ride up when you sit down. I will not wear a skirt that is above my knees and have heard that slits in skirts can be unhelpful.

Swimsuits and formal wear: I believe that the location does not change the standards. I know that modest formal wear may be hard to find but it is out there and many dresses can be easily modified. Swimsuit are also a challenge to find. Easy updates to a suit include swim or exercise short and a tee shirt. I have heard a college guy asked "Are two piece swimsuits a problem?" and the answer was an immediate "Yes!" Do you guy friends a favor and spend the extra money on a suit or let the tan suffer to be modest.

Random Comments: Guys are often taller to girls so what does your neckline look like as you gaze down at it. Along the same lines, as I sat in several different places at church the past few weeks I got some different perspectives. When I was in the balcony I was able to look down several shirts on girls on the main level and as I gazed across the sanctuary there where several short skirts that you could look up. Also when you sit in the balcony or go up stairs be careful of your skirts. Be very cautious on lying down around guys, not only does this look bad but you it causes many other problems with neck and waist lines. All in all, no matter where you are, consider you outfit from many angles. My big pet peeve is wearing pajamas in front of guys. If naturally draws attention to the a bed. At times this is unavoidable but when you are at retreats or camps take the time to dress before breakfast and do not get ready for bed again before the evening session.

Guys

Big surprise guys - you can think about modesty also. Girls may not be visually stimulated like guys but we can still get uncomfortable and distracted when guys dress immodestly. Some tips coming from girls would be: keep your shirt on if possible; if you take a sweat shirt off with a tee shirt underneath do it on the side of a group and make sure both shirts don't come off at once; don't wear pajama pants outside of home; if you have jeans on with gym shorts underneath and want to take the jeans off for playing games, don't do it in the middle of a group; don't wear baggy jeans that won't stay up or jeans that are tight. Just like girls, act in a way that will take the attention off of you and point it towards Christ.

In Closing

Examine your heart, then examine your closet. Make sure your clothing and you actions are God glorifying not attention attracting. Have fun looking cute and blessing your brother and sisters in Christ in the warm summer weather.

2 comments:

cdt said...

amen sister! I especially love the part about pajamas in public. I was raised that way, and it is a blessing to hear you affirm that!

Keep up the good work!

2520 said...

Rachel,
thanks for posting!! hope you are doing well. i haven't talked to you in a while!
love you,
andrea