Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Our Everyday Modesty Standards ~ Part 1

First of all, I want to thank each of you that has left your sweet comments concerning our upcoming move.  We now have about two weeks before move time.  I appreciate all your payers and thoughts for us during this time.  We are doing a partial move ourselves and then we will have packers/movers coming to finish the job.  I look forward to hopefully getting back to blogging more regularly after the move and visiting once again the lovely blogs of friends.  But, I did want to at least continue my posts on modesty, as I have gotten some questions from several of you that wish to know our family's standards on this issue.  Once again, I want to make this clear that this in OUR family's standard and I am in no way saying that ours must be yours.  You must determine that after prayer and discussion with your spouse.  Having said that, there are things I do feel are inappropriate for any Christian.  So, our family began our modesty standards with what we felt were positively inappropriate.  From there, we expanded it to include areas we felt would be most glorifying to the Lord and would not be something that would cause a brother to stumble.

We do not feel it is appropriate for a woman to show any part of her body that should remain private.  Therefore, shirts or dresses that show cleavage of any kind are not allowed.  We personally do not allow any tank tops, spaghetti straps, halter tops, or anything similar.  We have found that clothes that do not have much fabric on top, often show parts of a woman's body even when she doesn't realize it.  To remain modest at all times one must think about particular types of clothes as one moves.  If you are wearing these types of tops and you raise your arms, or you bend over, it is easy to show the breast area along with your undergarments.  We do not think it is ever appropriate for a young lady to show any of her undergarments, even the straps, so our shirt standards reflect this.  We do not wear sleeveless tops either.  Not because we think it is a sin to do so, but we have found that if a sleeveless top does not fit snugly around the arm, it would be easy to expose oneself.  To check these shirts for modesty, have your daughters put them on and then stoop down, reach up, over, etc. to see if they pass your modesty test.  We also have decided to wear shirts that fit closely to the neck.  Once again, we have found scoop neck shirts, even though they may not show cleavage, tend to fit looser and a woman could easily become immodest by simply reaching over and picking up a child.  Now, you could always reach down and hold your shirt while bending over, but we were concerned about that one time we may forget.  And young girls may even have a harder time remembering in their play time.  If a shirt shows the outline of your undergarments, then that should be a good indication that it is too tight.  So, this is basically our standard for shirts and tops of dresses.  

So this doesn't get too long, I will post a part 2 later.  One thing I wish to stress.  Don't forget the goal of modesty.  1)  To bring honor to Christ.  2)  To not be a stumbling block for a brother.  Therefore, I would rather err on the side of too much caution than not enough.  I have heard people say that since we have liberty in Christ, we can dress any way we wish.  Our liberty is in our freedom from sin, not in our freedom to sin, and causing our brothers to stumble God causes sin.  I hope this has helped with some of your questions.  Once again, this is our standard, you must do what you feel God is leading you to do.  May we seek to glorify Him and give Him honor in every area of our lives, even in our dress.  God bless you!


Rashel said...

Great post on modesty. We have similar standards here because we agree that it is sin to cause a brother to stumble. I also agree with what you said about our liberty. Again, great post, thank you. I hope your move goes smoothly for you.

Chelle said...

Very well said. Love the post. We inforce modesty in our home too. It is getting harder and harder to find motest clothing. Most things i buy I have to change some way. I will be thinking adn praying for you with your move.

His bondservant said...

Thanks for the sweet comments and your kind wishes for a smooth move. I will be glad when it is over!

I can definitely use your prayers and I thank you so much for lifting me up to the Father. Hope you and your family are doing well my friend.

Camille said...

Another thoughtful and edifying post Jackie...thank you!

And...may the LORD bless you as you transition into your new home!

Take as long as you need to settle in...we understand!

Many blessings,

Anonymous said...

I didn't even realize that you were moving until now. I pray that you and your family will enjoy your new home.

In regards to modesty, I don't think that as Christians, we are at liberty to wear whatever we want. We always have to be cautious about what we wear around other people. We certainly don't want to be showing "parts" that should be only seen in private.

I'm looking forward to reading your next installment post on modesty when you have the time to "write" it. :)

-L. Rose

His bondservant said...

Thanks so much for the encouragement.

L. Rose,
I agree with you. Unfortunately, the term for liberty among those who call themselves Christians is often used to justify wrong behavior. I have had that said to me on more than one occasion. But, we must be careful and take the whole counsel of God. Liberty does not nullify sin. Thanks for the encouragement about my upcoming move. I will be thankful when we are all settled in to our new home. God bless!

The Adventures of a Simple Life said...

I am praying for you and your family as this move approches. So much to do, so little time, may God give you rested bodies, patience with one another, soft answers, and gentleness.

Great post on modesty. We hold to these same standards. It is hard to find decent tops these days.
One thing we do also, if we raise our hands or bend over and our back or tummy size bigger or we don't get that shirt.

I look forward to your "part 2" but you take your time...we will wait.

Sleep well tonight, friend.


His bondservant said...

It is always so good to hear from you. What an encourager you are!

Rebecca said...

Wonderful post on modesty!
I agree with all your statments :)
In Christ,

His bondservant said...

Thank you for your comment. It is so refreshing and encouraging to find young women striving to honor Christ in the way they dress. Blessings to you!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I like to dress in the latest fashions, but you are right, it is hard to find modest tops these days. One way I've been able to make a cute top modest is to put a tank top underneath. I check it when I bend over or reach up to make sure my belly and chest are covered.

Happy Mother's Day! Hope you have a blessed day :)

Anonymous said...

I am coming from a different perspective - That of an Orthodox Jew. My girls wear opaque tights year-round as well as wrist-length shirts and skirts that cover the knees even when sitting (I prefer longer). They must also have their collarbones covered. I cover my hair completely other than lately allowing up to a tefach (the biblically allowed 3-fingers-width worth) to show. I know to most Christians this seems extreme, but this is actually less extreme than what I grew up with (I grew up in a cult that believed women's faces should be veiled) so to me it does not feel restrictive. My girls have a strong sense of who they are and what G-d wants from them and I rarely hear a complaint about my strict modesty standards. The girls they hang out with are also religious Jews but mostly only wear short sleeves (under age 5) or sleeves that go just below the elbow (over age 5) and often don't wear stockings. Sometimes their skirts barely reach the knee. I have covered my hair since I was a toddler because of how I was raised (long story), but my girls don't start doing so until puberty. Unfortunately we're in a community that frowns on unmarried women covering their hair, so my husband has to reevaluate whether he can have them cover as he feels they should starting at around 10 or 12. Ultimately I find the more a girl covers the more respect she has for herself and the more respect men and boys have for her. She has a strong sense of being more than just her looks, and her worth being within. I also think it teaches her to always be aware that she must guard against becoming a stumbling block to boys and men. Have a great and easy move!