Last week the ladies in our church did a study on pride. As I was going over my notes, I looked up the definition of pride, along with a list of synonyms and antonyms.
Pride?! Yikes – that really struck a chord for me. As a 16-year-old girl, I made all my own clothes, along with my mother and sister’s clothes. I had a reputation in town as a seamstress and would alter most anything at a moment’s notice. One day I appeared at a neighbor’s house wearing a pair of jeans (which I had deemed appropriate for the activity) and the whole family was in shock. I was completely embarrassed – not because I did not feel modest in jeans – because my reputation had taken a blow! I discovered that while I was modest in dress, I was far from being modest in heart. I had a mental check – list of things I had done (and done well) in a dress – swimming, hiking, water skiing, ice skating, sledding, downhill skiing. I was not wearing a dress on top of my ski pants because I felt immodest without it. It was my status symbol.
Don’t get me wrong – I am not saying that I think it is wrong to have a reputation for wearing skirts! I don’t! It is good to have a reputation for modest dress, whether it be skirts or whatever your standard is. But that is not where our heart should be. I want to desire to be known for my actions and for a life that glorifies God, not for what shape of fabric covers my legs!
Here are a few things to think about when determining your standards of modesty:
- Discuss your families standards of modesty with your husband. I’ve seen so many times where ladies go to their peers or their friends or somewhere on the internet to ask other ladies their opinion or standards of modesty (or lots of other topics, for that matter). God has given you the best advisor right in your own home! Don’t worry about what everyone else thinks. Find out what his preferences are and what he is/is not comfortable with as far as particular styles are concerned. Let him know that you WANT him to tell you if you’re wearing something that he isn’t comfortable with so that you can be confidently modest every day. Not proud. Confident. Big difference!
- Realize that your family’s standards are just that – your family’s! Other people will have their own opinions about what is right for them. You will only ruin friendships by trying to enforce your guidelines on them or even discussing them in detail. I’ve seen so many times where ladies go to their peers or their friends or somewhere on the internet to ask other ladies to justify their standards of modesty. Concentrate on encouraging and building each other up in the Lord instead!
- Seek to glorify God above all. I love choosing outfits and picking out clothes! I enjoy wearing things that are feminine and attractive. There does need to be a balance in not overdoing it with being gaudy or the opposite extreme in allowing yourself to look sloppy.
- Be a good example to the younger members of your household. Now that my own daughters are getting older, I think about this more and more. Would I be comfortable with a teenage daughter wearing the clothes in my closet? That day is coming rather quickly! (I have to admit that I am really looking forward to it!)
I love how Jesus concludes His admonishment about being worried about clothing and food, etc. with this :
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:33 – 34
May that be our goal in everything we do – and wear!