Monday, July 2, 2012
the problem with looking sexy part DOS, players.
ok so find part 1 here.
you're like part 2? what, i thought you were sick of being called a misogynist? no, not me.
but here's the deal, there are some remarks that deserve attention as they probably highlight thoughts that are running around out there and i think we should talk about them. here, come sit on my couch. don't sit there, i think that might by poop.
can i first say, that i love that we're having some pretty honest words with one another? some of you agree with me. some of you completely disagree, and some of you are in between. it is good that we are thinking about this and talking about it...keeping our hearts in check is a good thing. we are all in this together...it is hard for me too and awkward to even bring it up. so i say this with a non-judgy heart and from the perspective that i'm working through this too and it's not easy.
so anyway, i read everyone's comments and i have thought about them. prayed about them. even the kind of mean ones, i really let it rattle around in my head. it is good for us all to be questioned and to know what we believe. it is good to take your ideas and beliefs and work through them in front of the Lord. so what hurt my feelings for a little bit, actually turned out to be a gift. i am more confident in those words i wrote earlier.
i'll be straight up and say, i didn't come up with the idea of modesty. neither did your mom when she told you to march right back up those stairs and find something else to wear, young lady! neither did the muslim religion or any culture that dictates dress harshly and innapropriately.
God actually came up with the idea. in fact, he made the first outfits.
that made me laugh.
so when you fuss with me and say, everyone should be able to wear whatever they want, when they want around whomever they want! don't put your rules on me! i love God AND i wear sexy clothes. bam.
your beef is actually not with me. it is with Him.
1 peter 3:3-7
3 Do not let your adorning be external--the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear-- 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.
this is not saying, literally don't braid your hair and put on gold jewelry. the context is that the women of the time were using their outfits to seduce. prostitutes especially. and God said, hey...quit dressing like that. in my kindness, i'm saying, it's better for your adornment to come from the inside. from me. not from your suggestive clothing. people are thinking you're apart of the wrong crowd.
1 timothy 2:9-10
9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness--with good works.
God says, hey ladies, you have it wrong. if you are calling yourselves Godly and wearing those outfits, there's a disconnect. if you want to put something nice on, put on good works instead of your deep V.
(again, jami interpretation)
now why would God give us instructions like this?
because he is the maker of humans and we live in a broken and fallen world that is not perfection. because he cares for our souls and knows we are running towards something terrible.
he knows what our hearts gravitate towards as men and as women. you are hiding nothing from him when you put on that dress and say, i do this to feel good about myself, not to get attention.
if this were the case, you would put on that mini skirt and do the dishes, with no one around. and that would do the trick. but no, let us be honest...for most of us, we wear the sexy clothes OUT. to be seen. to be affirmed. we love approval of others.
now as far as our part in helping others stumble. boy did that get ya'll riled up!
we can't be blamed for other's stumbling!
it's their problem, their heart, their deal...not mine!!
i'm not changing my life because i guy can't control his thoughts!
you absolutely can't be blamed for choices that other people make. however, as a christian and as a participant in a community of believers, that does not give you license to live as you please. paul said that if he is at a table and he knows something he is eating is offending someone, he won't eat it. he lays down his life for the other even though he enjoys eating meat. but is his love for meat greater than causing someone to stumble. no way! i'll never eat meat again if that's the case!, paul says. (1 corinthians 8)
and there are countless verses in the bible calling us not to be selfish in the way that we live.
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. ( philippians 2)
likewise, we should mirror the Gospel to others in laying down our life for each other. it is laughable that Christ died for us, and gave up so much, and yet our hearts are so hard that we can't literally lay down our dress.
i love how the message version puts this:
philippians 2: 5-8Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.
when our brothers come to us and say, this is difficult, this is what most men struggle with...and you look them in the eye and say, too bad, buddy. my clothes are more important than your struggle. not my problem. you're heart sucks. deal with it...
it's much like, if my best friend came to me and said, hey, i'm struggling with alcohol. you bring out the drinks every time i come over and it's hard for me.
in general, your response (if you're not a robot) would be, oh gosh...i had no idea. thanks for telling me. we don't need drinks! no big deal. your health means more to me than something i like to do.
then why are our hearts so hard towards our brothers when they tell us the same thing on a different subject?
on that same note, when we say that our clothing does not effect others, we are essentially denying that we are human. humans are influenced constantly. it's why advertising works so well. it's why words have power to cause movements. it is undeniable.
you have to power to influence others with your clothing. that's why it's called "suggestive" clothing. it talks! it yells!
it is why pornography is a gazillion dollar industry.
your outfit and lack thereof. sells.
i will not back down from that, ladies and gentlemen. it's not popular because it's not easy and worldliness is mixed into christianity all the time. but God calls us to something different. living in a way that adorns ourselves with the Love of Christ and not our love of the world, or fashion, or approval, or my culture, or comparison.
where is your treasure, friends?
clinging to idols of approval and affirmation from others will destroy you. read the old testament if you don't believe me. well, the new testament too.
it is a hard word to swallow, friends. we live in a crazy world where even christianity looks the same as worldliness. i implore you to check your heart and bring your heart to him. repent and turn away from those things which Christ says will harm you.
in other news, i am not a misogynist. i am perhaps a feminist by saying, you're worth is not found in your body!
nor do i believe telling people to cover up their butt cheeks and breast-a-siz are furthering objectification of women.
is God objectifying women when He tells them not to wear sexy clothes? is he not sparing women from objectification when He tells her the truth about her clothing and helps her make a better choice to find their hope in him? likewise when i tell a young woman or any woman to dress modestly, i too am sparing them from objectification. i do want my daughter to think about her body rightly. and that doesn't mean that she should never think about how her body influences others. i do want her to think about the elephant in the room.
we live in a fallen world. people want to look at her body! to deny that is a disservice to any woman. it is not her worth. but it is a reality.
anyway, i could go on and on about this, but i won't.
i only ask that we prayerfully consider our clothing and our motivations knowing that in reality, our clothing choices can effect others and that our hope should be found in Christ and not the approval and affirmation of others. everyone's wardrobe will be different. that's why i don't have a list of what you should and shouldn't wear. decide for yourself. i'm not against tank tops or shorts or bikini's, i am simply asking us all to use discretion and to examine our motives for dress. and to say, that if i live in a community of believers that is all moving towards the same purpose, to glorify Christ, that means our clothes need to glorify Him too.
to my non-christian friend who was so bold to comment, i commend you for your commitment to modesty regardless of your religious affiliation. i wasn't saying that non-christians have no morals. i was simply saying, God wants your heart more than he wants your outfit.
p.s.s. i can't address all the comments for lack of time. but if you want more reading on this, check out CJ MAHANEY's series on modesty. if i would have known this was out there, i would have perhaps sent you there instead of writing my own post. :)
thanks for sticking around. even when you don't agree. this will be my last post on modesty because, c'mon... this isn't my favorite thing to do. LOL. i promise a more light hearted post next.
woo! good night.