Modesty is such a passionately debated topic among Christians. I haven't always dressed modestly and I wanted to share the journey that got me to where I am now. I know that every Christian's walk with God is different, and I don't expect everyone to be the same as me. Contrary to popular belief, I am not offended in the slightest if a girl, whether she's a Christian or not, chooses to wear skirts and dresses on a daily basis. That is between her and the Lord. I became a Christian after I started going to church with Michael (who's now my husband) when I was sixteen years old. I had absolutely no clue what I was getting myself into! I quickly noticed that every woman wore a skirt or a dress to church that at least came to the knees. I wasn't bothered by it but at the same time I could never see myself wearing skirts for the rest of my life and I hoped it was something that would die with an older generation.
I want this post to be a voice for women who wear skirts -- we're not scary, we don't hate you (we love you), we don't care if you wear pants or a tank top, we don't mind talking about our way of dressing if you ask in a genuine manner! Below are a mixture of reasons that I choose to dress modestly as well as common misconceptions:
NO ONE IS FORCING ME My pastor never forces women to wear skirts. I feel like being forced to wear long skirts is a very common misconception, however at my church my pastor wanted us to get our own conviction. If you don't have an experience from the Lord it can be hard to explain to others why you choose to dress the way you do and to have the strength to keep wearing skirts during trying seasons of your life. I'm sure there are some places where the women feel like they have no option, but that's not how it is in my life.
CHANGING FROM WITHIN As the Lord began to work in my heart I slowly had the desire to cover up more of my body. I no longer wanted to wear a bikini or short shorts. For awhile I always wore pants that at least came to my knees. Around this time I was a senior in high school and the Lord was definitely dealing with me. However I was keeping Him at a distance because I didn't altogether want to hear what He had to say to me about modesty quite yet. And to be honest, I was scared to hear what He had to say. Choosing to dress modestly is a lifelong commitment and since my family did not go to church with me it was really hard to make changes in my life that they didn't necessarily agree with.
Choosing the dress modestly is a lifelong commitment...
But once I moved away to college I felt God telling me to dress modestly stronger than ever before. It was something I could no longer ignore. And I went through every excuse in the book. But eventually it came down to one question: For some reason I kept picturing myself in a group of people lined up (like when the police have a witness look at a lineup of possible criminals) and telling someone to point out the Christian in the group. Based on appearance alone, the only way they'd be able to tell is if I was dressed extremely modestly. And I know that the Lord is not calling everyone to minister to the world in that way. But this is how He worked with me individually. It really scared me to think that if I dressed of the world, people would have no way to tell that I was a Christian if they saw me walk by.
THE INSIDE REFLECTS THE OUTSIDE This kind of goes along with the previous section. But true modesty isn't simply how you dress on the outside. It's a reflection of what's on the inside. As I mentioned above, the closer I got to the Lord the more I wanted to change! I wanted people to know that I was different and I felt different in the best way possible! I didn't want to blend in with the dark world. I wanted the glory of the Lord to shine through my clothing! I also liked to think how I would feel in whatever outfit I had on for the day if Jesus walked in and saw me.
TIGHT ENOUGH TO SHOW YOU'RE A WOMAN; LOOSE ENOUGH TO SHOW YOU'RE A LADY When I first started to think about dressing modestly, all I thought about was coverage. But eventually the Lord showed me that just because I'm covered doesn't mean I'm being modest. Wearing a super tight shirt or skirt that shows every curve leaves less to the imagination than I would like. In yesterday's post I talked about the fig leaves of the world -- fig leaves are a false covering that man has made to cover and justify his or her own sin. Sometimes as women, especially when something is cute or it accentuates parts of our body that we know will bring us attention from men, we try to tell ourselves that it's fine. But we are not seeking man's (or woman's) approval! When you are getting dressed for the day don't think about pleasing man, think about pleasing the Lord!
DRESS CODES I'm not here to tell you what the dress code for Christianity is, but I am here to remind you that places with authority and dignity in the world require people to dress differently. The armed forces, police, hospitals, office buildings, and even Target all require their employees to dress a certain way. When you need help and you're at Target you just look for a red shirt. I want people to identify me as a Christian if they're looking for spiritual help! And I'm sure this isn't going to be something that happens on a regular basis, but I have heard multiple testimonies from people who knew that a girl was different based on how she dressed. And it intrigued them enough to find out why she was different. If that happened just one time in my life, it'd be worth it to me.
IT'S A SACRIFICE When I first began to wear skirts all of the time it was truly a sacrifice. I was sacrificing my pride, my comfort, my happiness, my desire to fit in, my desire for approval from peers, as well as many others I'm sure. But looking back, all of those "sacrifices" don't even seem like sacrifices anymore. Yes, it was really hard at the time, but it was all temporary! While I momentarily sacrificed my pride and happiness, I eternally gained joy. And while I temporarily sacrificed my desires to fit in and for approval from peers, I gained new Godly desires that have completely erased and replaced my previous carnal desires!
"IT'S NOT PRACTICAL" I hear this most often in the winter. Someone will see me walk by and exclaim, "Aren't you freezing?!" And I always tell them that I'm probably warmer than they are. In the winter I wear a skirt, tights or leggings, warm socks, and boots. Therefore I have at least two layers covering my legs. When people just wear jeans they only have one layer on their thighs! I can tell you that I do not suffer in the winter at all from being cold.
AVOIDING CONFUSION As the world gets more and more off-center I want to keep my eyes on Christ. Gender confusion is becoming so much more prevalent in the world today. I think that when women are feminine it brings glory to God because that is who He created us to be! As women of God I think we need to start becoming more conscious that we don't cross over too many lines and wear things meant for men. Gender neutral used to be deemed as okay, but I think that if we're going to take a stand and rise against the confusion in the world we can start by the way we dress. I realize that defining what it means to be feminine is very subjective. For me, I choose to wear skirts. However you define it, I encourage every woman to seek the Lord in this matter; thank Him for purposely creating you as a woman and ask Him to show you how to dress and act like a woman of God!
I'm sure there are many more reasons I could have listed today. But for now I will stop. Do you wear skirts? Do you not wear skirts? How has the Lord worked in your life in terms of dressing modestly? Comment below, I'd LOVE to hear from you!