Friday, January 23, 2015

Modesty: The Hidden Person of the Heart

Social media's "control" over people has changed our culture in so many ways: 

Mass movements of people doing good, or doing evil.  

"Firestorms" of "likes" and also those of verbal destruction.

Our once beloved freedoms in our country electronically trounced, where "innocent until proven guilty" has morphed into media-mob rule.

I suppose I could go on--but this is not my desire.  Instead, I want to express some thoughts on modesty.

1 Peter 3:3-4
Your adornment must not be merely external—
braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, 
or putting on dresses; 

but let it be the hidden person of the heart, 
with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, 
which is precious in the sight of God.

I have been a seamstress since I was a young teen.  I have used patterns - sometimes altering them - and designed my own fashions. 

I have seen the fashion industry come out with new styles, but the populace do not "catch-up" fast enough.  

One example was in the mid '70's when the fashion industry had planned "high-waisted" pants with "short blouses".   What happened with the female populace was "short blouses" paired with the already popular "hip-huggers".   There were a great many women with tummies showing because they wanted their original pants and not the new high-waisted kind. 

For over a decade I have worn leggings.  They are wonderful for me.  I wear tights most of the time instead of nylons with dresses, but this can be hot unless it is actually cold outside.  Leggings were the wonderful answer for me!  No feet and so no heat!

I have not necessarily followed what is popular in fashion so I would be wearing leggings with my dresses, but rarely see anyone else doing so. I can't help it if no one else discovered them!  If it is cool outside, I most probably wear leggings instead of tights to this day.

Eventually I began to see younger women wearing leggings as pants---and definitely, not the leggings made as pants (in other words, quite "see through").  I was disappointed to see this fashion style come about-- although definitely more opaque now, they are still revealing; it is "second skin," as my husband calls it.  

Today I see all ages, but mainly younger women and girls, who are not taught how to be "you"; how to be "fashionable" and yet honor and guard themselves by being modest.  

I have known parents who are completely legalistic about clothing, and those who have no rules at all.  Chaos can come from either end of this spectrum.

I have known parents who have chosen modesty for their daughters until they reach preteen ages and then all the ideas they had in place to protect and guard their daughter's modesty are out the window so that they "fit in". 

Kudos to Veronica Partridge for sharing her own testimony of how the LORD was working in her inner person long before she made her decision in modesty. I love how she came to the point of asking her husband his opinion.  What a beautiful testimony she has shown to younger (and older) women.

1Peter 3:5-6
“For in this way in former times the holy women also, 
who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, 
being submissive to their own husbands; 
just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, 
and you have become her children 
if you do what is right without being frightened** by any fear.”

**When we trust the LORD by trusting our godly husbands in Him, to be godly in their thinking and doing, we can relax in our living and not live in fear any longer.  Even when our husbands make mistakes and perhaps chose wrongly, we will honor them and glorify God by our choices to trust the LORD by trusting them.


Matt Walsh comments on this media-mob"firestorm":

"Modesty is good.  We can laugh at it, we can make fun of it, we can treat it like a joke, but in the end we only degrade ourselves."

He ends his commentary with a quote from C. S. Lewis:

"In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function.  We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise.  We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.  We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful."


Anonymous said...

Hi Jill, oh how this is a topic that needs to be addressed in the church today. Far too many young women, little girls :( , and sadly sometimes even the older women who should be setting the godly example, "push the envelope" with regard to attire. If it's not those yoga pants/leggings, it's items like skinny jeans/"jeggings", or short/tight skirts, or tops that are cut too low or have some "show through" to the undergarments.

I love what you said, that you can teach women and girls to be "themselves" and be "fashionable", yet guard themselves with modesty. The 1 Peter 3 verse is perfect, tested and true.

I read Mrs. Partridge's blog post and Mr. Walsh's article. Both were wonderful. But my goodness, how angry many, many people got at the concept of modesty. Romans 1:18-32, we've fallen far in our society, unfortunately.

Modesty does get noticed in a positive way, though. A few years ago I had an interesting encounter in a store, where a group of men were talking. They were all using foul language. When they saw me, immediately they all began to rebuke each other saying, "You can't talk like that, stop using those words, there's a *LADY* here". I didn't have to say a word. :)

Now that I've written my own blog in your comments - I'll stop talking! Thanks for this post, Jill.

in Christ,

The Piper's Wife said...


Thank you for your mini post, I appreciate your thoughts!

Sadly, the modesty issues in our churches are a symptom of how much the "Church" has become like and a part of the world.

*When I speak of modesty I am not being legalistic. There are ways to not show off your body parts so that others will look at you.*

(I am talking of respecting ourselves and respecting the other people who have to see you.)

Not many people want to hear a message on modesty. Many times it becomes a finger pointing match ("At least I do not dress like so&so".)

I have found that some fathers of young girls greatly desire to have more clothes on their daughters. I have had fathers ask me to teach their wives to sew, this way their wives can use the machine they gave them years before and never used, to make appropriate clothes. The wives usually do not agree.

In life it is our response which matters. We are to glorify God, and so individually, we can choose to be modest. We can know that others watches us in our behavior and manner in which we dress.

Here is a suggestion:

1 Peter 2:12

"Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation."

Anonymous said...

Jill, I agree with you completely! So sad though that the wives do not agree when the fathers want their daughters more covered up.


The Piper's Wife said...

Very sad. I have seen it all these years where the fathers (Christian and non-Christian) have convictions and the mothers "go along" only to a point until fashion begins to overshadow convictions, and the fathers "cringe" in the background.

The most sad is when both parents are absolutely on board with common-sense modesty, but when the daughters become teens, they look like everyone else and then into adulthood with no modesty.

I understand it is difficult to find appropriate clothes in this age of immodesty, but it can be done!

The Piper's Wife said...

To follow up on my comment: It is important to consider that people can go overboard with the modesty issue in legalistically, unhealthy ways.

Just because you are covered from your neck down to your ankles doesn't make you a better or "more holy" person in God's eyes, even if you think you are so super modest.

Becoming judgmental over other women for their immodesty is also a sin. We must be careful how we are thinking of others. Many have no idea about modesty, even in the Church, because the subject has never been taught to them.

I have dealt with people who think themselves much better than all others for how they dress "so modestly", although they could cut you down and destroy everyone else severely, cruelly, sinfully in their haughtiness.

Proverbs 6:16-19 doesn't speak of immodesty, but it certainly points out some things the LORD hates:

"There are six things which the Lord hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
Haughty eyes,
a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that run rapidly to evil,
A false witness who utters lies,
And one who spreads strife among brothers.

May we be faithful to our great God :o)

Anonymous said...

Well said, Jill! I wholeheartedly agree!