Saturday, April 5, 2008

I Was So Embarrassed

I’d like to start out today by thanking Tonya for being willing to host Soapbox Sunday. I pray that many women will be blessed and encouraged each week by her thought provoking topics.


As a mother of five sons, I’m going to approach this issue from a personal perspective, because I’ve never had a daughter of my own to instruct on this subject. However, having been in full-time ministry for many years, I have had the chance to influence many women in this area.

As a young Christian just coming out of a secular lifestyle, no one specifically taught me about modesty or what the bible had to say about the topic. One night after a home bible study I was attending, a brother in Christ sat down with me and said these words, “Susan, you are a beautiful young lady, and I know you love the Lord, but sometimes what you wear distracts me”. I didn’t know what to say…

Back in those days I liked wearing my jeans really snug, and my shirts were pretty form fitting! I remember getting in my car and crying the whole way home. How humiliating! I had never been raised in a Christian environment. I felt so bad that I could be causing men to stumble?

Part of me never wanted to return out of embarrassment, but it caused me to study the scriptures and learn what the Bible had to say about this issue. One scripture that really spoke to my heart was in 1 Timothy:

"Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments; but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness." (I Tim 2:9)

Immediately the Lord began to show me if I was going to make a claim to godliness, then everything in my life should reflect it. It didn’t take long for me to understand what God was saying to me. Our bodies are precious because they are a gift from God, but He never intended for us to flaunt ourselves or display our bodies in an immodest way. He wants our whole person; body, soul, and spirit to be consecrated fully to Him.

"I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." (Rom. 12:1)

Many of us have asked the question, “Then what should I wear?” What I tell younger women to do is; go into your closet and look at all your clothes really well. Then ask the question before you put on that dress or blouse, “Is this too revealing or immodest in any way? If I wear this outfit, could it distract or cause a brother in Christ to stumble?” This is not easy because as women we really enjoy dressing up and looking good. But it is the inner beauty of a sanctified life that will actually attract others to us. Outer beauty is a fleeting thing, but to be pure in spirit is eternal.

I will be praying for those of you who are raising daughters, or responsible for teaching younger women. I know it’s difficult even to find modest clothing these days. Most of what they see on TV or in magazines is so seductive. It is our obligation to instruct them in the truth, and to be an example and role model of what is pleasing in the sight of God.

“Give unto the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come before Him; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." (I Chron. 16:29)


Tonya said...

OH, Susan, Your post was BEAUTIFUL! I sure wish I'd have had more time this weekend to really put myself into this one.

We don't have daughters either... all that I know is what I see my sister doing with her daughter. Like your story, I'd never been taught about modesty. I'm just so thankful for my "older sisters in Christ" that cared enough to give me some guidelines.

I've missed our "chats'" this weekend. We've had company all weekend long and this Sunday it was my turn to make the bread for the Lord's Supper. This was a FIRST for me! (I had to get online and look up recipes for "unleavened bread." ) It's really neat to go back to the basics and make our own.

Anyway... it's well after midnight and I've STILL not gotten to bed. After hanging with my teenaged girl all weekend (my niece Ashley) I can honestly say that I'm TOO OLD to "hang." LOL!! I just can't function on this little sleep. OH... but SHE'S BEEN SO MUCH fun to have around! =-)

Okay... I'm going to turn in now... thanks SO MUCH for joining this "SS." I think if this continues we might just have to take turns with who hosts. (Kinda like Amy does on the Tuesday meme) I suppose we'll see....

Night, my friend... LOVE YOU!

e-Mom said...

Oh dear, that brother's words must have stung! :~D

Girls do need instruction in this area, because we don't respond visually in the same way that men do. Actually, sometimes it's difficult to understand.

Where I grew up in Canada, it was "low class" to dress provokatively. I suppose there's some consolation to the (sometimes limiting) British class system I was raised under.

Thanks for sharing your heart on this subject. I think one of the best things we can do as Titus 2 women is model feminine attractiveness-but with purity and modesty. An emphasis away from the figure and onto the face is usually successful. :~D

Blessings, e-Mom

lori said...

Those of US raising daughters NEED your's a tough road!! You were so courageous to take the words and USE them to many girls and women just DON'T realize what we do...that is why Dannah's book is sooooo great....she is quite blunt about what happens to a guy....(you KNOW!!:) you have a HOUSE FULL!!)

It's something we have to be responsible for....
As much as I worry about the girls...they won't get the message until WE, us mom's many of us still equate beauty with 'sexy.' We have to show them that beauty can be fashionable, and modest...
It's just that simple..
If mom isn't going to walk the walk, how can we expect these poor girls to GET it????

Great post!!

Katie said...

Thanks for sharing today. Also thanks for the encouraging notes on my blog. Have a wonderfull day!

Kelley at Aroma of Joy said...

I can't even imagine how I would react to someone calling me out on the way I dress. I think I would forever be in tunics and headresses after that. But kudos to the person who had the courage to say something and double kudos to you for not only hearing him but acting upon his words and then sharing your experience here!

It is so hard to know the boundaries in this society. Our media is so prevalent and sends a very provocative message. I have told my girls, "it isn't necessarily the teenage guy who is looking at you, it is the adult men too." They are pretty creeped out at that idea and for the most part are fairly modest. Bathing suits are another issue but I am taking it one step at a time.LOL!

Thanks for the prayers, I will pray for your guys to avoid temptation and stumbling!

Love and prayers,

luvmy4sons said...

Vanity. That is my problem. It is so hard to find the balance. I don't want to look as if I am in a burlap sack but don't want to wear clothes too form fitting either. I am glad I don't have daughters, but I do have sons who are subjected to this lack of modesty in our world. I don't wear jeans any more-long story-cast no stones at those who do-personal choice- for many reasons. I try to look good but not provocative. It is just hard in this world to be in it and not of it. Thanks for your story. With four boys myself I don't have it as bad as those with daughters.