Tuesday, March 5, 2013

on modesty in the community.

one of the biggest push backs i received on my first posts about modesty was when i wrote about the effects immodest dress has on our brothers (and sisters).

basically, i said that while dressing sexy is a heart issue for us in finding approval in others instead of God, immodest dress lacks caring to show concern for those who struggle immensely with sexual addiction and sin.

boy did i get the comments.
i'm not responsible for someone else's heart!
you're objectifying women and shaming them for body parts God made!
go live in the middle east! (ha. yes, that was said)

perhaps i'm opening the can of worms right back up. but it needs to be said.

when we dress immodestly, especially on purpose, it shows an intense lack of concern for others in which we are called to live in community with. while this can happen in many aspects in the church...like not using your gifts and talents to serve the church, not caring for those who are suffering around us, looking the other way at blatant sin in one another and even justifying it...and so on and so on, i am only tackling how immodest dress in the community of believers is harmful.

when we dress sexy, that points us to a greater set of heart issues happening in us. one being, pride. i work hard at the gym for this bod and i want to show it off.
i love my legs. i want others to love them too!
if others like my body, i will like myself!
the fact that we want to show off our body is self centered and self praising. it also garners attention and approval from others which we need to be finding in Christ alone. again, we can garner attention in a lot of show-off ways that even seem good...serving so others might see us, sharing talents and gifts so others might praise us, showing off our money so that others might lift us up, and perhaps in dressing so that others will say, WOW! look at her!
all are prideful and self-praising.

the other fruit of self praise and self centeredness is blatant disconcern for others in the community. when we say, on purpose especially, i know this is sexy and those guys and gals will just have to deal with this amazing cleavage, we are not mirroring the self sacrifice that the gospel displays for us. while we may think we have the right to show off our stuff, the gospel compels us to seek the good of others out before our own good.
i.e. protecting you, brother, is more important than a cute tight skirt. even though i have the figure for it. even though i'm not responsible for your choice to sin, i submit to others and say, i care for you and i will die to my own desires.

paul says, hey...this is how you live in community:

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. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, ... philippians 2:1-30

so HUGE. it's not blaming you for making others sin. there's no condemnation here. it's saying, if you know Jesus. if His spirit lives inside of you, then it will compel us to look at others and say, you are more important that me. i know that is a struggle for you and i will submit.

and Jesus would know all about this too. having rights to display all sorts of power and choosing to die to himself instead to proclaim something greater than himself. his Father. literally dying to himself, humbling and submitting himself, so that others would see God.

that is hard to swallow, i get it. there are so many cute things out there. it's fun to get that rush of approval and it's easy to get sucked into letting our bodies and what people think about our bodies determine who we are.
dressing immodestly is "dressed up" as harmless and fun, but that desire to know who you is a really gigantic heart issue that needs to be dealt with.
your identity can only be found in one place, God. what Jesus did for you on the cross should radically change us and compel us to seek His glory and the good of others first, before our desires.

dressing modestly is just one practical way the transforming power of the gospel displays itself. one tiny way. there are a million other ways, of course. we're looking at a facet of a modest heart that portrays itself in modest clothing.

but let's pray for a heart like that. the dying to self heart. the heart that proclaims the Gospel and not our bodies. i need that kind of a heart.






84 comments:

  1. Good thoughts. I think we aren't responsible for another's heart, or even sin. But, we are responsible for our actions towards a brother or sister-including dress. This is very balanced. Thanks for stepping out there.

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  2. Amen, sister! We talked a lot about this in college at the campus ministry that I was a part of. Dressing in a way that showed off cleavage, or midriffs, or whatever, could be a serious stumbling block for the guys. You don't know what they are struggling with, and we didn't want to be a cause for temptation. And the same goes the other way. Don't tell me that girls don't check out muscles in a tight t-shirt or a nice tush in a pair of well-fitting jeans. Dressing modestly is not about being prude - it's about respecting God's creation and encouraging our brothers and sisters, not causing them to stumble. It's about pointing to God, not to ourselves.

    I am so glad that you shared this. And I big puffy <3 turtlenecks of the heart :)

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    1. it's true. it's on both sides of gender for sure.

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  3. Paul also teaches us that causing a brother (or sister) to stumble is it's own sin...
    Preach it, Sister!

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  4. Yes. Yes. Thank you. My heart currently wears one of those zippered turtle necks. Granted, it is usually pretty zipped, but sometimes its a little bit not. I need to upgrade to the real deal and make a heart change. Thank you for your convicting words.

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  5. thankful for the truth of the Gospel, that it changes us and compels us to die to self. thanks for this encouragement today.

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  6. its funny, because in the posts that "you might also like" was your post from 2010 about this little black dress you wore that shows a lot of cleavage... just thought that was a little ironic.

    i'm a christian and am a leader in the church i attend. when i'm at church, i always make sure to dress modestly and appropriately. but when i'm going out at night with my girlfriends and want to wear a low cut shirt, i'm going to. I cannot be responsible for every man's flaws. I think it is totally understandable that you feel this way, especially with what your marriage has been through, but i think we are all responsible for ourselves and we are our first accountability partner.

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    1. like i said before in my other posts, it is something that was happening in my closet too. and praise God that he is constantly changing me!

      i think one thing to think about is the idea of being two different people, one inside church and one outside. i'm grateful that you don't wear it to church. but if you wouldn't wear it to church, why would you wear it out? "the church" is everywhere not just in a building.

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    2. No one is perfect. God loves all the sinners too. Let's not compete with one another and instead show love to one another despite our differences in opinion.

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    3. christina, you are absolutely right. God loves us whether we dress immodest or modest. he loves us the same whether we read our bible or don't. if we do drugs or if we are mean to our kids.
      however, he does speak to our sin and ask us to change for our own good and for his glory. it's very kind of him to do that. in the same way, this is not a competing conversation and it's not an unloving blogpost. it's a real issue we all deal with in our lives and it needs to be discussed in a loving non-condeming way that asks us to change but only if we rely on christ to change our hearts and choose him over ourselves and our "rights".

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  7. A to the MEN. thank you for speaking truth in such a gracious, insightful, and convicting way.

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  8. Jami, I want to say one giant THANK YOU. Your words speak the TRUTH. And yes, it's hard to swallow. But there is just no denying that our identity should come from Christ and Christ alone. And I for one can admit that when I put on a cute/sexy outfit, I am just waiting for the first person to compliment me so that I feel good about MYSELF. That is not how Christ wants me to live.

    You are the second person to mention this to me this past week, and I don't think that's coincidence. I think God is speaking some major truth into my life. Thank you for your boldness.

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  9. LOVE LOVE LOVE this! So wish more people lived (and dressed) with this perspective! THANK YOU for sharing. And please don't move to the Middle East. :)

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  10. I'm in the middle east right now and let me tell you, there are all sorts of boobs hanging out. leggings like you wouldn't believe. so the whole "go live in the middle east" thing just isn't valid.

    love this. love you. love turtlenecks.

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  11. This is a bold statement. I like it. Even though it's hard to hear and makes me want to justify those low cut Victoria Secret shirts I have. Thanks for putting it out there Jami.

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  12. This is a bold statement. And it's true. Even though it's hard to hear and makes me want to justify those low-cut, skin tight Victoria Secret shirts I have. Thanks for the reminder Jami.

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  13. yep. love this. thanks for the challenge and reminder.

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  14. 'your identity can only be found in one place, God. what Jesus did for you on the cross should radically change us and compel us to seek the His good and the good of others first, before our desires.'

    yes. times infinity. lord, transform me!
    love you, jami.

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  15. I agree with your sentiment, but have a hard time with your use of the word "sexy". I'm married to a wonderful Godly man for several years now. I was raised in the church and was actually an abstinence educator for many years, I'm also chubby and have been my whole life. My husband is the only man I've ever been with and I've spent my life walking a fine line to look and dress modest. Part of being chubby means I'm bigger chested which means clothes that may look fine one other girls still look sexed up on me. Because of a lifelong struggle for modesty it took me a really long time to feel sexy to my husband, to believe it was okay when he said it and to revel in our intimacy (something the Lord definitely desires for us). I would cover up if he walked in the room while I was changing, totally instinctively, because modesty was so ingrained in my behavior, but it wasn't just modesty, it was ANTISEXY. The idea of being sexy was synonymous with immodesty and sin. I was cheating my husband and myself out of an aspect of intimacy because I couldn't get comfortable being sexy just for him. My husband sat me down one day and told me he appreciate that I had waited for him, that I was careful with how I dressed and presented myself, but that he wanted me to work on this aspect of our relationship because what it came off to him as was a wall, an invulnerability, a part of me I was withholding. After some time and prayer and working it through, I feel sexy when my husband admires how I look or appreciates my body and I know that feeling that way isn't sinful. All that being said I agree whole heartedly with your sentiment and applaud your stand despite being given grief for it, too often the worldly view of immodesty makes its way into or mind and parades as confidence and oh testimony gets muddled for it, thank you for being a voice against that. I do wonder though if a caveat isn't in order, fine print about the time and place for sexiness, the understanding that sexiness isn't sinful within the bounds of marriage, and that while that little black cleavage baring dress mentioned by a commenter above may not be appropriate for our on the town, but there's nothing wrong with wearing it at a candlelit dinner at home with your husband (someday if not yet - forgive my ignorance I'm new to your blog). We teach our girls in the church that immodesty is sinful, and so often the word sexy gets added to the equation, but just like sex itself, feeling and being and looking sexy isn't sinful, as long as it stays within the bounds of marriage.

    Sorry that got long....

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    1. right. sexy in the bedroom is welcomed and God-ordained. when sex or the like gets outside of marriage, it gets destructive. i.e. pornography, molestation, rape, premarital sex, STD's, affairs, etc. because God planned it for a safe place.
      so we are talking about clothing that everyone will see, not what you're husband will see behind closed doors. :)

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    2. Abbey, I think this is such an interesting perspective. I found, as I became a Christian, when I was 24...how scared people in my age group were of intimacy and sexuality. I am NOT going against what Jami has written..but as you've stated there's so much discussed and engrained about cloaking everything ... to which is completely uncloaked in one afternoon at one's wedding. I think that discussing the importance and beauty and OK-ness with being 'sexy, intimate, body aware, loving' in a relationship is essential even with young kids. My family did that, although they were not Christians, and while girls/boys were out having sex in high school and early days of college I didn't find the need to at.all, because I had had conversations about all the above with my parents, in an appropriate manner, which took the mystery out of it for me. I realised it was special, a different dimension and something that commitment was given. Not talking about it, or maybe it's just my church experience, was so damaging for both men and women I was around..and I felt as though an open discussion about it would have eased the intense anxiety surrounding wedded intimacy and dating and lines to be drawn when dating...that oftentimes they didn't date because they felt that if they did the wouldn't be able to control themselves.

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    3. Jami, thanks for this post! I am so inspired by such heart felt and honest dialogue! SO I'm totally bunny trailing but I almost feel like this thread of sifting through "appropriate and biblical sexiness" opens up an entirely new can of worms- women coming into their own sexuality and how they deal with the idea and the temptations of sex before they get married Does it not? It's not all about how we appear to men and seeking others approval (of course that plays the bulk of the role)...we've got sexual temptations of our own that come into play, no? Is that even worth mentioning? I just think about how in the heck I am going to raise my girls when they are teenagers someday. I fear giving them the message that their role in sexual maturity is only to cover up and protect the boys they associate with from temptation. There's so much more about women's sexuality that gets swept under the rug and covered up if you will...are these two different issues? Modesty and female sexual purity?

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  16. amen sister. love this... there is so much grace in your writing. much love!

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  17. YES! Thank you for not backing down. Modesty is so important! So many girls today think dressing sexy is empowering, but they don't understand that it's more empowering to cover it up, still be beautiful, and actually be heard for what we have to say and who we are. It also helps weed out the people who aren't interested in our spirits. Thanks for voicing this! May turtlenecks soon be on all hearts. :)

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  18. Amen. I need these reminders. Matthew 16:24

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  19. I know most people consider cleavage and midriff as immodest. What about skinny jeans? I think skinny jeans can become just as much about showing off your body while still being covered up. I dont know...you are right about the heart attitude!

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    1. every person has to decide in their heart and with God is calling them to do. that's why you'll never see a list of what to wear and what not to wear on this blog. but i agree, you can show off in all sorts of ways.

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    2. I applaud this reply as much as the original blog post! I grew up with dictates about modesty. Wear this. Don't wear that. Never, ever put on this. It was so frustrating! But I don't at all want to throw it all out. I believe it. I appreciate your perspective. And as I converse about it with my daughter, particularly in light of what other girls are wearing, I have to admit that modesty is different to different people. What I find culturally modest someone else does, or does not, find to be so. I'll be contemplating it this weekend as I spend time with extended family who has a more strict sense of modesty. I might even wear a few more layers for the, just to be kind. Why not???

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  20. You-are-awesome! I will be reading this OUT LOUD to my 14 year old daughter who cries and begs to wear a bikini. Perfect timing with swim suit season coming up. THANK YOU!

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    1. here is a video entitled promoting modesty with our teenage daughters.
      http://thegospelcoalition.org/resources/a/promoting_modesty_in_our_teenage_daughterso

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    2. I think it's important to teach daughters (and sons too) to respect themselves, otherwise no one else will. This is just coming from someone whose father told her, "no. no. no" at 14 and in return I loved to say, "yes. yes. yes". I will not by any means tell anyone how to parent, but from experience with my own life, and in teaching, if you just demand them to obey instead of discussing sexuality and respect for themselves and others openly...could go the other way.

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    3. right, hayley, it's a conversation! and it starts very very young and it starts in mommy's closet first. also i think even when parents say no, it's not their fault entirely that the kiddos choose to be rebellious. that's rolling around in all of our hearts and gets pushed on when we hear no regardless.

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  21. I think it is so essential to understand that our bodies are gifts from God, and with that gift comes responsibility.

    The Apostle Paul wrote "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." [1 Cor. 3:16-17]

    Temples are sacred places of worship. Not everyone can just waltz into it and behold all its secrets. Those privileges are reserved for those that are worthy and whom God has ordained. This is directly applicable to how accessible our bodies are to others, and how we reserve it for marriage. You wouldn't see the curtains of a temple drawn back even slightly to give a curious on-looker a glimpse of what might be inside; likewise we shouldn't flash our cleavage our shorten our skirts to even hint at what lies beyond. (Men aren't exempt either-they need to pull up their pants and keep their shirts on!)

    Our bodies have special purposes as well. Not only should they be instruments of the Lord in doing His work, they have a special purpose of bringing children into the world. Sorry to be crass for a moment, but how are we supposed to do fulfill the call to be parents if we aren't sexually attracted to each other?

    C.S. Lewis once wrote "You don't have a soul. You are a soul; you have a body."
    Our bodies are beautiful and wonderful, and how we present them to others is a direct manifestation of the desires of our soul.

    Thanks for this eloquent post. I'm currently attending a Christian university and I'm actually writing a big research paper on modesty, and how it is a principle of character, not just having to do to with our bodies.

    Much love and God bless!

    Jamey

    www.wearesimplyanimated.com

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    1. right, if we come at as just a rule...like wear skirts to your knee...we miss the heart of God. and we miss that it is a heart issue and not a behavior modification. he asks us to be modest for a reason and believing in that and submitting to that takes a hammer to "our rights" and our pride. but he is kind to make it know that even our clothes aren't about us. it's for his Glory.

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    2. I love this conversation!

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  22. I'm not a very modest dresser. Just in the past year or so, I've finally started feeling good about myself without having to wear inappropriate clothes.

    My daughter is 11, and looks many years older. I was supposed to meet with my supervisor today for my yearly evaluation, and dressed a little nicer than usual. My daughter said "Why are you wearing church clothes today? Big meeting?" I was embarrassed that the example I've set for her is "Dress modestly for church; the rest of the time, not so much…"

    This post came at a great time for me, personally. God must be trying to drive this message home today, since I'm hearing it at home, on your blog, at work, and who knows where else by day's end. I've slowly adjusted my look to better represent what I want her to view as appropriate. I wish I'd done so sooner, but it's never too late!

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    1. he's kind to show us little bits of Himself through the words of our kids. i've been convicted a ton through my children...it's always an ouch at first but then i see it as God's kindness. and you're right, it's never to late to respond to what God calls us to do.

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  23. thank you so much for being bold and gracious in sharing Christ's heart on modesty here.
    it is such wonderful and MUCH needed Truth in this crazy world of having to cover my boys eyes constantly, turning over EVERY magazine at the checkout, seeking out modest attire for my teenager, etc. etc. etc.
    whats even cooler is today, God showed me other areas where i seek attention that is sinful. ew.

    we have sat down as a family and listened to some great preaching by S.M. Davis about purity and how it goes so much deeper than dress, and even relationships. good stuff.
    thank you.
    xo

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  24. AhhhhhhMazing!
    Love this. You have such a gift for laying things out there. Honesty without condemnation. You amaze me!

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  25. I do agree with this message and I think it's brave of you to call it out when so many women do not agree. However, I'm just wondering how far it goes? I mean, is it wrong to wear things that flatter our bodies? As women, most of us love to shop and look cute and wear clothes that highlight our best features and our personalities. Does this count as taking the attention from God too, even if it's modest---is it "self-centered" as you said? Genuinely trying to understand a bit more here. Thanks :)

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    1. I think there's a difference between flattering our bodies and showing them off. I like to wear clothing that fits me well and looks nice on me. However, I prefer not to dress immodestly because I don't feel comfortable revealing a lot of skin, and I want to respect others that I am around. I truly think that it comes down to what's in your heart and the motivation of why you're dressing the way you do. I think this is a question that only God (and yourself) can figure out the answer to. It's definitely one that I am still discovering the answer to.

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    2. good word caitlin. it comes down to obedience to Christ and even just bringing it to Him is showing submission.

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  26. I love the use of Scripture besides the churchy "do not be adorned with gold and braids" ones. The heart of it is evident.

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  27. you are right on here sister!!! Great message. I've been preaching it for years. While others wonder why I won't show off the figure I work so hard to get. No.. I work hard in the gym and eat well to be HEALTHY. Love ya girl! Keep fighting the good fight!

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  28. Yes. You know that whole "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45) thing? The same can be said for modesty. Out of the overflow of your heart, you live your life. If your heart is in the right place, your life reflects it. If it's not, you don't. Modesty in all places (or lack thereof in the bedroom with your husband) is overflow. We represent Christ whether we are at church or out with our girlfriends, whether we are married or single, regardless of where we go or what we do. We represent him well or poorly.

    PS- The only thing you've ever said that made me "mad" was the whole L-Cystine thing. I was newly pregnant and could hardly eat for days after that! ;-) Fortunately, all bread doesn't contain it!

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  29. You write in such a simple, truthful way and I love it! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I agree with you on every point.

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  30. Someone in the comments earlier said "honesty without condemnation." AMEN. Thank you for being an incredible example of speaking truth in love.

    I have done high school ministry for almost 10 years now. Modesty has to come up often. I so desire the girls to understand the heart change...it's not a set of rules or "how far can I go...how long do my shorts need to be"...etc. I want them to understand the seriousness of causing another to sin (Luke 17 is pretty clear!) & the way they dress at times can actually push away the guys they want to be attracting! Ok, done ranting. Just hope you feel encouraged...you're doing a great work in sharing the truth.

    p.s. Hope you're a hugger. We will hug at Hope Spoken.

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  31. WOW! I'm amazed and so encouraged by your honesty and love that you are black and white. Please keep it up! I don't have my own blog to share thoughts and opinions but I am so glad to see a Godly woman being unashamed to speak the truth! If people that call themselves Christians or even consider themselves lovers of Jesus, are harassing your thoughts or putting you down for speaking the truth then so be it. I'm proud of you and I don't even know you, other than your posts. We have a 16 year old daughter who, like most teenage girls today, thinks dressing sexy/provocative or tight fitting, is cool and in style. Sexy shouldn't be a style. It is exactly what you called it...a heart issue. I just had a conversation with our daughter this weekend about this very same issue. Our kids, as well as a lot of adults, are buying the hype that the devil is serving up in the media and it is so destructive. Our 3 boys, are all under the age of 9, see magazines in the grocery aisle at the store every week. They have become so disgusted with the pictures on Cosmo and others that they will take the magazine and flip them around backwards, because they think no one should be looking at that...and they are right. It is disgusting. How can I raise 3 Godly men in a society that puts "porn" in the grocery aisle? That is just another ploy the devil uses to get us to sear our consciences just enough that we tolerate it. If we keep it up, we will totally become Sodom and Gomorah. I praise you for your truth and lift you up in prayer and praise for your efforts on behalf of modesty. You keep it up!!!

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  32. Love this post but love your intelligent, grace filled responses to commenters even more.

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  33. Please open that can of worms, Jami! Yes, open it and pour it out where everyone can see it. Issues like this are an ugly business, but it's time to stop stepping over them like a piece of dog crap on the side walk. Let's stick our noses right down in that mess and see just how bad we really reek.
    Thank you...as always.

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  34. So funny, I read this post last night at midnight...and I have thought about it all night. My first response was "people can dress however they'd like, we live in 2013 and wearing a turtleneck in Australia is so impractical...let me tell you."

    Then I woke up this morning realising something...I've always dressed covered up. I didn't become a Christian until I was 24, but I was raised to dress with femininity, grace, and covered up tastefully. I've always chosen skirts and tops and dressed that fit my shape but don't leave me hanging out. I've never equated that decision with wanting to not make another man look at me, or with the Bible...I've always equated that with self-respect.

    As a Christian woman, my dressing hasn't really changed...but I also know that as a future mother I don't want my children running around in skimpy clothes from age 1. I think that as women, there's a beautiful grace about a woman who confidently presents herself in a way that it tasteful, respectful, and modestly.

    So my intial response has been flushed out, which is a good thing.

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  35. I have to say I disagree with most of what you say here. I do applaud you for having your opinion and expressing it so well. It is part of life that not everyone will agree with everyone else. That's partly why I commented. I enjoy your blog and have found I agree with lots of your points.
    I did feel however that this post came across a little too self righteous. I don't wish to offend, nor do I wish to upset you and other readers. I am expressing how your post made me feel as many others have done above me.
    The idea that taking pride in how you look is a negative in life makes me worried about the message that entails. I have spent a long period of my life feeling ashamed of my body and dressing to hide. Now however I do dress to look good, for myself and others. I do not believe that I am being overly prideful but I am simply loving myself as I am sure my God would encourage. I dress modestly at times compared to many young women but not as modest as yourself. I would not like a daughter of mine dressing overly mature for her age this I agree with.
    Sorry this got a big long and possibly a bit confused, forgive me it is almost midnight here! I do hope you take this in the spirit it is intended though.

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    1. caroline, thanks for speaking up.
      my intention is not to get everyone to agree with me. i didn't make up the idea of modesty, God did. so your disagreement might lie more with Him and not with me. i do apologize for coming off self righteous, not my intention. i still struggle with picking and choosing appropriate outfits so i was trying to write out my struggle and encourage others to find biblical direction in this area. it's a tough subject to tackle!
      i will say "pride in how you look" is a super wordly principal and you won't find that in the bible. God asks us to take accept who he says we are IN him, not in our clothing or in how others think we look or act. that's very freeing i think.
      anyway, i'm not saying that mean spirited or argumentative but just thought i'd respond and clarify. :)

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  36. Thank you for still talking about this! We have to keep this conversation going! Not only do I appreciate this as a wife but as a mother to three boys. Raising them to be pure in this messed up world is hard work!

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  37. WOW!!! What a great post. And I whole-heartedly agree with you. I think that it is often a heart issue.
    I was involved in youth ministry for over 30 yrs. & I can not tell you how many times we have spoken to & dealt with this issue. I also raised 3 boys, who are now all married to Godly girls. But in thier teenage yrs. they would often say to me, "Mom, we don't know where to look" & I used that exact line when talking to teen girls.
    I had a rule that girls had to wear a T-shirt over thier bathing suit on trips ( & I am not conservative at all) & I heard complaints every single time... but left to thier own judgement on a modest bathing suit they would push this issue... so I would use my line, "Mom, we don't know where to look", then it usually made them laugh & it also gave the girls who were modest & embarressed by thier bodies the perfect excuse to wear the t-shirt & I was the bad guy. Then it also opened the door for the heart issues talk. It honestly makes me sick when I see Facebook pics of proms & the dresses that high school girls are wearing (@ our Chr. school?? ) What are we teaching our children when we don't address this issue, but allow & encourage that way of dressing?? If we can teach them that it is a matter of our heart & that reflecting Jesus to those around us is what we are asked to do.
    Thanks for being wise & brave & telling the truth with Grace. I am ministered to every time I stop in here....
    (& PS... after 3 boys, we now have taken in a teenage girl.... & YES this is something we talk about ALL OF THE TIME & we have a long way to go together : )

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  38. I just have to say that in a culture that is so driven by sex and what some consider sexy, your opinions and biblical perspective is refreshing. I think as Christians we need to constantly be aware of how Jesus is calling us to live. And I definitely think modesty in how we dress is as much a part of caring for others as it is about caring for ourselves. Thanks for sharing your perspective, and calling us to examine our hearts.

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  39. We ARE our brother's keeper and I thank you for speaking absolute truth. After reading a few well known blogs over the past few weeks and getting discouraged that Christian women don't feel they have any responsibility regarding the thoughts of men, it's refreshing to read your words. They ring gospel and grace to my heart. Thanks for the reminder.

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  40. Amen. Also, I appreciate your tact and boldness. =).

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  41. Amen. Also I appreciate your tact and boldness =).

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  42. Jami- I truly look forward to each and everyone of your posts! Thank you for always sharing your heart and speaking truth!

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  43. I recently conducted a survey on this subject for a session I did at a ladies college retreat. The survey was given to several college aged males. With modesty being one of the topics covered, I asked them, "In regards to how females dress what are the top three things that girls wear that cause you to struggle the most?" The most common number one response was leggings/yoga pants.

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    1. yoga pants? well hot damn there goes my whole wardrobe.

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    2. i think if you stopped buying the "assless chaps" yoga pants, it would be ok emily.

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    3. Y'all are killing me - I'm crying I'm laughing so hard!

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    4. but also, i agree...leggings worn as pants are not a great choice...at least on me. when i do wear leggings, i make sure a have something covering my booty.

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  44. Jami...
    Curious to know...what makes YOU feel sexy!? I think there's nothing wrong with wanting to feel sexy for yourself. sometimes, after I get out of the shower and I'm home alone I put on some nice cute undies (not my usual grandma kind) and I feel GOOD. I admire my reflection and I revel in that moment that despite my mothers body, stretch marks and all, I feel hot. when do you feel sexiest? also, what about dressing nice for your husband. I understand the post completely but is there not a side of you that says "I really like this black little number. it's our anniversary. I want to go out with my man, feel and look good, show a little leg for HIM (or whatever) and not feel immoral or unGodly" I'm just asking is there a line with the modesty, in your opinion, or is it just "when in public at all, cover up"?

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    1. chelsea, i truly feel sexiest when i'm having sex with my husband. i usually have no make up on and i'm not wearing anything special in particular. and he finds me lovely and attractive and sexy when even by the world's standards, i'm not "all sexed up" with smokey eyes and lingerie. my husband thinks i'm the best thing that ever happened. but to me, knowing that all i'm binging to the bed is just me and all he's bringing to the bed is just him. damn...that's really hot. and really honest. and i think it mirrors the gospel to each other...this is all i have to offer and he is delighted in me.

      i think we all need to remember that sex is meant for one person. when we dress sexy, even in public and even with the intention of it being for our husband, the truth is...there are a lot of people looking at you. your sexy is sexy to the guy across the table and to that guy across the room. sexy stays in private for a reason, because God said, hey...this is between one man and one woman. it's awesome and it's good but it gets ugly and awful when it's outside of these bounds.
      and truthfully, i think we live in a world where sex is everywhere so it seems like no big deal, but when we look at God's word, the boundaries are clear. the world has muddied it and makes it confusing. and no one in the christian community is talking about it all that much, so you have christians taking bits and pieces of what they think is ok and try to figure it out.

      all that to say, i think dressing sexy "for" your husband can happen in the bedroom. when i'm outside the bedroom, i dress nice. i put makeup on. i wear clothes that fit. i wear trendy things...so i'm not looking gross. ha. i mean, you can look good, have a great time with the hubbs, and then come home and be sexy all you want. my sexy is for my husband only. if i'm at a restaurant and i run into your husband while i'm looking super sexy, that could set off some things in him, or make it difficult for him to have a conversation with me because he's trying to avert his eyes, or he keeps that image in his head for later, or whatever. so again, although a totally well-intentioned thought to dress sexy for your husband in public, i think it's not really all that biblical.
      i hope that wasn't offensive in anyway, but you asked and i answered. :)

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    2. your responses are dead-on. so full of grace and truth and love.

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    3. Exactly! Your honesty is a light shining in a dark place.

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    4. Exactly! Thank you, Jami. You are a light shining for Christ in a dark world.

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  45. AMEN and THANK YOU for being bold to speak truth on this topic!!!

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  46. AMEN and THANK YOU on being bold to speak the truth on this topic!!!!

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  47. so can I just say I think I love you! haha
    no seriously though, I am so glad that you are talking about this and continuing this conversation. I commend you, for this isn't a popular subject. My husband and I talk about this issue and the lack of response from the church. I think it can become a slippery slope to legalism when talking about this especially if you start saying what you can and can't wear, but I really sense that your heart and words are coming from a place of love and grace. I really appreciate your willingness to bring this to the table and open yourself up about this. My question to all the ladies who claim that it is their right to dress the way they want or it's not their responsibility what a man thinks is "Are you married and what does your husband say? And if not, do you have a brother, friend that's a guy, or some normal man in their life and what does he say about it..." I think it wasn't until I was married and we had those conversations that I realized what a struggle it is for men. And now I have a daughter and 3 boys that my husband and I are trying to raise up in this culture and it is hard...thankfully they are still little, so we are still figuring things out.
    Anyway, this is the first time I have ever commented here...I don't remember how I found your blog, but I have been reading it for a couple months now and I really have enjoyed it.
    Thanks for speaking in truth and love!

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  48. When we lived in the States this was something that was heavily taught in our church home and community. I am beyond thankful for learning so many of these truths about modesty in my early college years. So thankful! That being said, I Feel like a lot of my friends and I no longer struggle with the cleavage, bikinis, etc... praise Him!! But something a few of us were convicted of was if we were still being "modest" by definition- basically, we were wearing all the "right" things but still dressing to draw attention to ourselves and with a heart of "I want to be noticed", "I wonder who will compliment on my outfit, etc." Instead of dressing to impress the men-folk it just kind of switched to dressing to "out-do" our lady friends. So basically, although we thought our hearts were in a great place with modesty... they weren't. We were still consumed before going to church or hangouts with what we would wear and who it would impress. Even though our chest was covered, we were not being "modest" in our hearts. I am NOT saying we need to all just wear rags, ha, but like you have said- it is all about the heart! Even if all the "goods" are covered, your heart can still be an an ugly place. Just wanted to re-enforce that it's not the actions that matter or the "steps" of seeming modest, it truly needs to be a heart change! Thanks so much for getting this out there and get people thinking about something that, at least where I came from, was knocked off as "normal" and never really questioned or talked about.

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  49. This post was so full of negativity and judgement.. It made me so sad. Part of being a Christian and child of God, is not passing judgement. Treat your neighbor as you would want to be treated. I known people in situations where they cannot afford any clothing! They get hand me downs, or it's a splurge to go to a garage sale. Nope, you can't tell me that God judges what they wear if that's all they can afford. To church or in everyday life. God cares that you are THERE, worshipping him. God doesn't judge on clothing, sorry. I'm not saying you should just throw everything out there, but really, you don't know the situation. Just because someone might dress how YOU wouldn't, doesn't make them a bad person, or doesn't put the blame on them if a man can't stop staring. It's called l responsibility. If a man cheats, the clothes a woman wore didn't 'make' him do it. I just.. Disagree with so much of this. It's seems very unchristian like. .

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  50. Oh my gosh. I love you. It's so good to hear someone say this out loud. Every post you write I can relate to. Especially your latest on the social media. I'm guilty as all heck. Thanks for your example. You're amazing.

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  51. Hmm, very interesting. I respect your views, and in some ways I do agree with you. Having said that, I am not a Christian. I also don`t go super out-of-my-way to dress modestly. Though, I do base what I wear on the situation (obviously)- for instance, I might feel weird wearing a low cut top to my friends house to hang out with her & her husband/boyfriend, but I would probably feel comfortable wearing that same top to a party that her and her husband/boyfriend were attending- if that makes sense?

    I don`t consider myself to dress "inappropriately," but I also wouldn`t consider myself to be "modest" per-say. I wear shirts that a cut a certain way, that are not by any means "low-cut," however because I have a large bust, they still show a bit of cleavage. I wear them because they are flattering on my body in a way that most high cut shirt truly aren`t. I have purchased a "tight" skirt for this summer (provided I can fit into it, haha) as it was the first skirt of many, many, many that looked good/fashionable on me, and most of my clothes are "fitted," and could easily be considered tight-ishh, because though they are not too tight on me, they are a tight fitting style.

    The question this post brought up for me, I think, was wondering where to draw the line? I enjoy the style of the clothes I wear - think jeans (or skirt in summer), tee-shirt & cardigan - and I wear ones that fit me. I don`t wear them immodestly, but to some people the bits of my body they show could be offensive. Many of the modest clothing items you share are great, but on curvy bodies like mine, can still end up being perceived as "sexy" when properly fitted, which leaves a very limited choice of styles, many of which (only in my personal opinion) can be unflattering for curvier (particularly bigger chested) women who often look out of proportion/strange in higher necked shirts or bigger hipped women, again like myself, who tend to appear square-shaped or matronly in longer skirts (again not that all do, but I personally find that I do) Anyway, definitely an interesting topic worthy of discussion!

    Some Snapshots Blog
    Jess

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  52. Thank you for this post! It was not judgmental at all, but totally biblicaly sound! Love you and your writings!

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