Thursday, October 1, 2009

Strappy Top Season

Strappy-top Season

Thankfully, summer, along with its various ways of undress, is almost over.

I started consciously paying attention to modesty when Amy was in the girls’ sizes and the styles for that group were very “adult” looking. Somewhere in there those tops with the teeny straps came into fashion. I call them strappy tops, others call them camisoles or camis for short.

Also during that time we were in a “seeker-friendly” church, so the levels of modesty were varied, but leaning toward more immodesty than the opposite. It was difficult to go to church during the summer, because I didn’t want my husband forced to have to look at all the scantily clad women. Times of worship should not include such hindrances.

In that church setting I figured the “unchurched” just hadn’t learned how to dress appropriately. Now I’m discovering that even the “churched” are dressing that way.

What is “that way?”

--Short skirts (above the knee)

--Strappy tops (plenty of bare shoulder and often cleavage showing)

--Short shirts in combination with low-rise pants (plenty of belly showing)

--Tight fitting clothing of all types (showing all the curves everywhere)

--Plunging neck lines, either scoop neck or v-neck (showing cleavage and the chest area)

As Amy got older it became more and more difficult to find appropriate clothes, but not only that, those around her were wearing inappropriate clothes. I want my daughter covered up and happy about it. I think she just wanted to fit in.

Because I’ve had to teach Amy about this issue I’ve thought about it quite a bit. Here are some things I’d like you to consider:

  1. Does the way you dress reflect Christ? Or do you look indistinguishable from the world?
  2. Could the way you dress cause men including your brother in Christ to lust after you?
  3. Does the way you dress cause your sister to stumble by wanting to be like you?

The following questions/statements are from Raising Maidens of Virtue by Stacy McDonald.

  1. Have you ever thought about what you look like from behind—how tight or sheer your clothing is?
  2. When you walk up a flight of stairs what do men behind you see?
  3. Do you wear skirts that have slits that are cut higher than you would wear your skirt?
  4. Is your clothing modest to the people who are sitting behind you?
  5. Raise your hands high about your head. Does your tummy show?
  6. How low is your neckline? Look in the mirror while holding onto your knees. Do you see cleavage?
  7. Be aware of where others’ eyes may be drawn. You want them to look at your face, not other parts of your body, while they are talking to you.

What does God’s word say about this?

1 Timothy 2:9-10…in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing…

1 Peter 3:3-4 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Matthew 5:28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery in his heart.

1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. (See entire chapter for context.)

Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

While all of the above do not directly speak to modesty issues they do tell us how to conduct ourselves.

One more thing I’d like to mention is the Modesty Survey. The following is from their website.

Dear Friends, has launched the results of their massive Modesty Survey! Over 1,600 Christian guys have answered questions on everything from glitter lotion and lip gloss to swimsuits and skirt slits! It's everything girls have ever wanted to ask guys about modesty, but were afraid to ask! For guys, it's really interesting to see what other Christian guys think!

Most importantly, the survey is presented as a resource to help Christian girls (and guys), not a list of legalistic rules, and it is accompanied by the Modesty Survey Petition (which tons of guys have signed) which encourage young women to focus on the heart, not the hemline, to honor their parents, etc.

The results were released on St. Valentine's Day as a gift from 1,600 Christian guys to all Christian girls -- and I can't think of a better one! Now the survey is being endorsed by people like Shaunti Feldhahn ("For Women Only") Nancy Leigh DeMoss (Revive Our Hearts), CJ Mahaney (Sovereign Grace Ministries) and Shannon Ethridge ("Every Woman's Battle")!

Go check it out:


Mom said...

A very well written article. I couldn't access the web site for some reason.

Christine said...

Good article. Well said and well stated.

By the way, I love the new blog background.