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Timely Tips on Tuesday: What in the World is a Woman to Wear?

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Faith's Firm Foundation: Timely Tips on Tuesday: What in the World is a Woman to Wear?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Timely Tips on Tuesday: What in the World is a Woman to Wear?

The subject of modesty will never grow old, or be answered for all time.  Why? Because it is a spiritual battleground. Men and women are drawn away of their own lusts, but they are tempted by the dress of others.  This is true in the Christian community, as well as in the world.  That is a sad commentary, but true.  Today, I am linking back to an excellent article on the subject of Modesty on the site "At the Well". It is found under the category of "Woman to Woman", which is a section devoted to older Titus 2 women teaching the younger. (The first section of the article was written June 5, 2009, by Andrea Parlinak, with another section following immediately, which was written by another author. I recommend reading both.) 
The Bible has so much to say about the subject of modesty, that it is amazing that many Christians have not given it much thought.  They dress according to their tastes and preferences, and what appeals to their eyes, their flesh and what they think will attract the opposite sex. Does this remind anyone else besides me of the verses in 1 John 2?
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:15-17

Also, in Proverbs 7:10 it says there is a certain way of dressing that is the "attire of a harlot"

 9In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:
 10And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.
 11(She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house).
If there is "the  attire of an harlot", it would naturally follow that we study to not look that way!
But you say, "I don't dress that way!!"  Are you absolutely positive?  What is our dress communicating to men? (I speak to us, as women) Ladies?  Do you know for sure that you are not causing a "brother" to stumble, by provoking his thoughts to lust? (At the end of this article, I am including a survey which our church did of the older boys and men on what caused them problems in a girl's or woman's dress--I think it is very helpful.)

No, it is not only his problem.  I must act in love, and not cause another to stumble, using my liberty as a cloak of maliciousness, 1 Peter 2:16, (using my freedom to harm someone else). 

The sex of a person should be shown in how they dress.  But it goes further than that:
"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God." Deuteronomy 22:5
I have chosen to wear dresses or skirts all the time, since the Lord convicted me about my way of dressing, through this verse, and other verses and articles.  One reason is that I want to associate with, and identify with, the design that God created me to have: God made me a woman.  I am grateful for that. I want to be fully a woman. I want to look like a woman.  I want to act like a woman. I find it easier to act, sit and move modestly, and act more "ladylike", when wearing a longer skirt. You can do everything that a woman should do wearing a long skirt (in the "olden days" they had to).  I think people treat me more like a woman, and many (even strangers) have voiced their appreciation verbally for the way I dress. It honestly took me a while to figure out and change my wardrobe, and I still have to constantly think about this subject when buying new articles of clothing, and in my thoughts and actions. Please don't think that I think I have "arrived".

Another fact that I think is interesting is: What is the symbol that identifies women worldwide? A little drawing of a stick figure wearing a skirt.  Everyone around the world knows that is the symbol of a woman. That is what you look for when trying to decide which room is the women's room. From a distance, a person has no trouble identifying me as a woman, because I wear a skirt.  If you haven't turned me off yet, I hasten to add that wearing dresses makes me no better, or worse, than anyone else. It's not something that will get me into heaven, or keep me out.  Related to the subject of modesty, until about a hundred years ago, women wore skirts, but that doesn't mean they were always modest.  It goes much deeper than that. I do not tell you to wear dresses, unless the Lord does, and I am not saying that you are sinning if you wear pants.  I am not on any campaign to get women to wear dresses.  What I am doing is urging you to study this subject, and know why you wear what you wear, and that it is pleasing to the Lord. Modesty, like everything else, is a heart issue.

I encourage you to, please, read these interesting and thought-provoking articles, and do a study of Scripture, and decide prayerfully, talking and praying with your husband if you're married, about what you should wear.

Here are some books I recommend to you as you study this subject:
Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America, (really thought-provoking historical look at clothing) by Jeff Pollard
What in the World Should I Wear,
by Cathy Corle   Here's a link:
What in the World Should I Wear

"Unless the Lord" magazine:
Article on Modesty
(I didn't read this one at this time.)

Please read this Excellent Article(!) entitled "Modesty in Appearance" by Arlo Moehlenpah

Modesty Survey
55 Responses
Answer to question:  "What is an eye-catcher for you, what do you consider immodest,
what can cause you to have lustful thoughts?"
  • Tight shirt, skirt, or pants that reveal the form of the body parts = 42
  • Low-cut tops/dresses/blouses that reveal the bust or draw your eyes down = 37
  • Short skirts (knee or above) = 20
  • High slits in skirts/dresses = 8
  • Sheer fabric, see-through material = 6
  • Too much makeup = 4
  • High heels = 2
  • Hair hanging in front of face/unkempt hair = 2
  • Lettering on front of shirts = 2

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Blogger legendswife said...

This is a wonderful post. I must admit this is one thing I struggle with the most. For years growing up I was taught to wear skirts(long) only. Once I got out on my own, (sigh) I dress differently. As a wife and mother, I definitely have my "no no list" of things not to wear. But I found myself in quite a few of those categories listed..hmmm

April 6, 2010 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger carissa @ lowercase letters said...

i think all of us christian gals deal with this. whether it's deciding for ourself what is appropriate or judging what others are wearing. i think there's a stereotype that modesty means wearing a burlap sack... but it is possible to be completely modest and still look like you are from this century! : )

April 7, 2010 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I think you're right. My goal in writing this post is to cause all of us to look at what we're wearing and think about it from God's perspective (maybe for the first time, but maybe committing this to Him again). Also, I want to commit to loving others more than myself, and covenant with God to not cause another to stumble by what I wear to cover myself, or not cover myself.

April 7, 2010 at 12:15 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

They say, "You can't judge a book by its cover", but I think clothes say a lot about a person, don't you?
The survey our church did was so helpful; I hope they do another one, and maybe include some additional examples. Thanks so much for sharing.

April 7, 2010 at 12:17 PM  

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