Modesty… Oh Where Have You Gone?

Let me begin by saying I don’t consider  myself a legalist in the area of modesty but I am conservative and probably somewhat “old-fashioned.” I am not of the mindset that we should all grow our hair down to our ankles nor do I believe all women should wear frumpy skirts. If one chooses to have long hair and wear dresses that is fine of course… but it is not a requirement to be holy or modest. I am a jeans-and-t’shirt kind of girl. I would be content to wear flip-flops every day of my life. I occasionally get to play dress-up. I like big, shiny jewelry, make-up and curling irons. I don’t believe I should be allowed to leave home without concealer and mascara (only 1/2 kidding). If the truth be told, I don’t even like skirts and only own 4 dresses… 6 if you include my wedding dress (that I couldn’t squeeze my left leg in) and a old bride’s maid dress. My kids and I spend half our summer in the pool wearing swimsuits (will dive into that topic later on). I could be wrong, but if you saw my daughters or me in public, I don’t think you would see anything that would make you think I was an extremest. I am not seeking to make my kids look like “odd-balls.” I am seeking to teach them that they can be both modest and wear fashions that they like. Maybe that gives you an idea of where I’m coming from.

Why are Christian women today dressing like the world? I’m not talking about “fashion” or this spring’s trend. I wonder why have we bought into the mindset that we have the right to dress our bodies the way we want to. I am not talking about those who have given the church the right to dictate their wardrobe or hairstyle. I am suggesting that believers should “look” different from the world. How have we allowed ourselves to wear short skirts and see-through blouses to church!??! Should the church NEED or HAVE to make wardrobe “suggestions” for us?! Really, ladies. Let’s get real!  If your minister has to make “suggestions”… might we be making poor choices? As a minister’s wife, I can assure you that the majority of theses “suggestions” are not because you like to wear exotic prints, bright colors or big jewelry. And while uniformity is aesthetically pleasing, the majority of the “suggestions” are not because they want you to look boring or bland…

THEY ARE BECAUSE WE COULD BE, AND OFTEN ARE, HINDERING WORSHIP!

Sorry, I had to hop on my soapbox… I’ll try to get off now. 🙂

I found the following quote from Dr. Joe McKeever quite curious:

” [I was] Watching a teenage girl walk out of Wal-Mart just now and [I was] thinking, ‘I almost feel sorry for the streetwalkers these days because they no longer are able to identify their profession by the clothes they wear.'”

— Joe McKeever

Obviously, Dr. McKeever was speaking in hyperbole… but honestly, is he very far off? Have the lines been so blurred that we can no longer be identified (both young women and older) as being the Lord’s? But we have our RIGHTS! I am not under the LAW, I have the FREEDOM to do as I please. Is that so?

19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (New International Version, ©2011)

If we take God at His word, our bodies do not belong to us, but to Him. If we belong to Him we are to honor Him with our bodies. If we are to honor God with our bodies how can we dress in a manner dishonoring to our bodies… therefore dishonoring to Christ?  If we agree up to this point, I suggest that just as your words, attitudes and actions should reflect Christ that your wardrobe should as well.

I will celebrate 16 years of marriage to my sweetheart this June. When I married Gregory, we became one. I belong to him and he to me…. I am his and he is mine. I have willingly (and happily) placed myself under his authority. When I have the opportunity to go somewhere with him, especially in a professional setting, I want him to be pleased (proud even) to carry me on his arm. I want my attire to honor our marriage and my husband. How much more should I seek to honor my Heavenly Groom and seek His approval in my appearance.

My sweetie...

I’m not suggesting I have this figured out. As I have already mentioned, I have 3 daughters (age 11, 3 and 1.5). I am seeking to raise them in a way that they would grow up honoring Christ in all areas of their lives including their dress… but I’m still in the learning process. Here are a few of the ways we seek to encourage them:

– Teach them early. “Belly shirts” and skimpy swimsuits may be “cute” when they are little, but when do we decide they are not modest anymore… how can I justify letting my 3 year old dress immodestly and not my 5 year old… or 10 year old. I understand their bodies are different than say a 17 year old, but I feel it is important to teach my children that we want all children of all ages to be appropriately dressed. They are to be set apart (sometimes even within the church). I was trying to teach our oldest daughter about modesty around the age of 4 or so. I had a magazine that had a photo of a woman who wasn’t super modest and was trying to explain the difference to her. We would flip through and she would give a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” modesty vote. She was really “getting” it…. I was SO proud! A few days later we were in the grocery… she was in the cart and spied out a victim… who was right beside us… “SHE’S NOT DRESSED LIKE A LADY, MOM… IIIIISSSS SHHHEEE???”… haha!. Next lesson… being discrete 🙂

– Short shorts and skirts. Frankly, I don’t want anyone (especially men/boys) being able to see too much when my daughter bends over. If we have to pull down our shorts/skirts every 15 seconds while sitting,.. our shorts might be too short. We are so blessed right now that we can put leggings under anything and it be cute/fashionable! Take advantage!

– Raise & Praise- One of my favorites! If we can’t raise our hands in worship and praise the Lord without our mid-sections showing our shirts are probably too short. One solution we’ve found so that we can still wear the trendy shirt is buying the skinny, boy, tank-top style undershirts. They can often be layered under shirts and are usually quite long making pretty much any top Raise & Praise worthy. If you have to push and pull and adjust your neckline constantly… maybe you should re-think that top. Here’s a thought: our cleavage is private… let’s keep it that way. Besides, watch girls/women who are adjusting their clothes all the time… they look awkward. I feel so much more secure when I can just “be” in my clothes.

– Swimsuits- Here’s a tough one for girls of all ages. I just love the book, “Christian Modesty and the Public Undressing of America” by Jeff Polard. You should read it today! It is a quick read that doesn’t require massive amounts of brain power. While I don’t agree with every aspect, it is a fantastic (and small) book that traces the history of the swimsuit. It will be eyeopening! I have not felt convicted to wear what is often referred to as “Dugger swimsuits”… I do respect many aspects of the Dugger family approach so I don’t intend that in a hateful way. I choose for myself and oldest daughter to wear a 2 piece tankini style suit. The reason being often 1 piece suits are more revealing than the tankini style. I prefer the skirts and shorts that we often buy through Land’s End. Their suits are high quality and although then can be a little pricey you can get some great off-season deals! When possible, order your top in a “tall” size… they are longer! Here is another site called CL Swim Designs. (Thanks Britt!) My cousin has purchased some of their suits. What about boys? I suppose that because modesty in our house is talked about so much our boys have been prone to be unusually modest for boys. I purchased them all “swim shirts” (rashgaurds) last year and the oldest 2 generally elect to wear them. Boy 3 would rather be free, haha. I won’t complain if they are “overly” modest. Here at the seminary we have somewhat of a dress code for the pool. I am thankful. We also have many families who seek to be super conservative in this area. Some have found some great solutions, especially for older, more mature girls! Some have opted to buy clothes designed for exercise activities (tanks, tennis-style skirts, shorts) and layer them with a sport’s-bra. These fabrics are designed to dry quickly and seem to work really well! If I’m transparent, I still struggle with where we Christians should stand on this topic. I welcome your insights! I pray this summer and each summer to come brings more insight for our family.

Be responsible! God made men visual creatures. Women are not (generally) as visual. We can set men/boys up for failure if we are not careful. While men are responsible for their actions, we are responsible for our actions as well. I DEPLORE the mindset that says women/girls do whatever they want, dress how they want to dress, show as much skin as they desire and the men are left to deal with it. I want you to give my husband, my sons, my brothers in the Lord the BEST chance to keep pure minds and hearts and I should give your husbands, sons and the men in your life the best chance as well. It’s only the right thing to do. It is kind, loving and Biblical.

It were well for him if a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, rather than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble. Luke 17:2

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10: 31-33

We as women and girls long to be beautiful. We long to be pretty… to be attractive. I bought a couple new dresses for my two small girls the other day. They came in the mail and of course they had to put them on asap. A couple hours later I heard my sweetie girl #3 (age 22 months) “singing” and looked over. She was looking at me while, with a smile on her face, stroking her dress, swaying and singing (in descending major thirds- for you music nuts out there), “Pret-ty… pret-ty… pret-ty.” Even at the age of 37 find myself waiting for Greg’s approval when I take the time to “dress up”. We can’t help it!  The Lord made us lovely… He made us beautiful and that is a good thing.

Mother/Daughter Tea with my oldest and youngest girls...

As with many things, we must be aware of our motives. Is my desire to cause someone to stray… to seek selfish gratification from others. Where is the line? Some of us are blessed to have parents, friends or husbands who can lovingly nudge us in the right direction… who can lovingly say, “I don’t think that outfit is saying what you would like it to say.” Give someone that authority in your life. I’m here to tell you, there are some ladies who think they are doing well in this area and the truth is they aren’t “getting” it. Let’s give someone that place in our lives and listen to them share the truth with us in love. Here is a tool I use. I was searching this topic out a few years ago I feel the Spirit impressed this thought on my mind, look in the mirror and as yourself, “Would you want a woman looking like you look, wearing what you are wearing around your husband?” If my answer was, “No” then I should go change.

The Lord made women beautiful and He made men handsome. He is the consummate artist! He made women beautiful for their husbands and men handsome for their wives. Ultimately, we are all beautiful creations of our Father who made us for His pleasure. What a gift to have a loving Lord!

“Beauty is God’s handwriting. Welcome it in every fair face, every fair day, every fair flower.”

– Charles Kingsley

 

Advertisements

37 thoughts on “Modesty… Oh Where Have You Gone?

  1. Wow! Michelle I wholeheartedly agree. Thank you for posting this! Praying that many lives will be impacted through this posting on Modesty.

  2. and leggings under skirts and tanks under see-through or short shirts work for us too. don’t get me started on cleavage you see as acceptable nowadays – it is part of the private area of your body – when did it become acceptablt to flaunt cleavage??

  3. Great thoughts as usual! I’ve struggled with this in children’s ministry with both volunteers and kids who come to the church. As a leader, my rule is that if a toddler call pull it and cause embarressment, I probably don’t need to wear it to work (when I’m around the kids)! I’ve had a few outfits that were perfectly modest until the little ones started pulling, then ooops. Thanks again!

    • GREAT THOUGHT, JENN! This is SO true! I have thought about that in regard to holding my babies… if they start pulling and pushing and wiggling… what will I look like THEN? Thank you so much for your thoughts!

  4. Thanks for posting! As a former minister’s wife who did not say something about the dress(or lack there of), I vowed never again to let it pass when someone was not dressed appropriately in worship. It really is sad that older women are not instructing younger women in this. Bravo!

    • Thankyou for your thoughts, Jill! It is hard. We need to accept and welcome but there should some sort of accountability as well… I think we need to really be accountability partners with our friends… and pending everyone has a friend :)… we should all be “covered”…. thanks!

  5. I agree as well! There have been times when I’ve really, really wanted to say something to different girls and ladies at church. I’ve seen the men’s eyes nearly pop out of their heads when they walk by and I know (hope) that is not the message those women are wanting to communicate. Personally, I LOVE skirts and dresses and frilly girly things and have found it really hard lately to find flattering clothes that are also modest. Even when I layer shirts I don’t always feel right. I am not at all pleased with my swimsuit from last year and have been wanting one from swimmodest.com (a bit Duggar-ish but still cute and protects you from the sun more!) but I haven’t invested in one yet.

    I love the would-you-want-your-husband-around-someone-dressed-like-you test! I always know if my hubby starts making bedroom eyes at me at the sight of what I’m wearing, then I’ve gone over the edge. = )

    • I agree… it is nearly impossible to find modest clothing these days. I personally don’t like wearing 42 layers in the summer time. I’ll checkout your website for suits! Thanks for the recommendation!

  6. Michelle, great post and I see that our beliefs, as we see scripture teaches, are similar. I will warn you though, the world continually and perpetually knocks on modesty’s doors-NON STOP! It will be a battle that you will face-sometimes it may be a raging battle other times you will feel victorious only to have to battle all over again

    . You know my oldest and she dresses modestly-but even she struggles because she has that lean long body that can pull off any style (and she knows it) so she tries to ask herself would what she is about to purchase/wear please God. She also asks herself when she looks in the mirror “what are my eyes drawn to?” If it is her chest, then that is what the men’s eye’s will be drawn to…the cute, and even the old ugly and dirty old men. Now most 18 year olds love the attention of the young handsome men, but get a little grossed out by the thought of an older man “gwaking” at them. 🙂 But I have also said that what attracks one bee will attrack them all. 🙂

    Once a young man told her (you know this young man)…He said, “Tawanda, you will probably not go to your wedding day and say “Man I wish I would have uncovered more of myself/dressed a little more scantly, but many young women go into marriage and wish they had been more modest in their younger years.” He also told her that the “covering” of her body is like a package that is wrapped with beautiful paper and a nice bow and each time a man undresses her because of the way she is “un” dressed that a little bit of the paper is torn off the package and will she walk down the aisle with a package completely covered with the beautiful bow or will her package be torn and tattered and the bow left scraggling behind in the wind? This gave her great pause.

    I will say again…the world will bang on the door of modesty demanding that you open it up and leave modesty behind. So I leave you with this encouragement…”wear it well” !

    LOVE YA!

  7. Thanks for this post Michelle; I’ve been disheartened by this subject for years and have tried to encourage young women to not fall into this temptation. That’s what it is- temptation. We see what everyone else does and we feel we won’t be as beautiful/fashionable/accepted if we don’t comply.
    Truth is, many upstanding men, believe the opposite. They have more admiration and respect for a woman when the woman respects herself.
    A few other thoughts that have transformed my thinking:
    1. While my husband and I were dating, we went to the beach by ourselves one day. I wore a two piece, unsure if I should or not. A couple years later (after marriage) he told me that was the most uncomfortable he’s ever been and it was a constant struggle for him that day to remain pure. How sad! Like you said- this was not his fault- it was mine! I was responsible for the amount of flesh I revealed and I caused a brother to stumble.
    2. Upon marriage and seeing other couples struggle w/ insecurity, I began to think- “Wow. Wearing bikinis to the pool is like walking out of our homes in our underwear! Or, it’s like sitting around your backyard w/ tons of random people all in their underwear!” Like you said, When did this become acceptable?! Just because it’s a cultural norm does not mean it should be normal for a believer. We ARE to be set apart- not crazy- but definitely- different.
    3. Lastly, my husband has gone overseas multiple times to different countries. In seeing how modest women are all over the world even when living in more extreme heat than we do, I get so disappointed in Christian women’s lack of respect for others. If we are truly to be a light unto others and not cause others to stumble and ALWAYS pointing others to the Father- how can we walk around in our underwear and expect those things to happen?!
    Many people tell me, well- that’s their country or their culture. However, when were Christians supposed to just conform to our own country and culture? It’s a sin.
    With the internet as expanded as it is, the choices we make affect/offend/uplift people all over the world. What we wear/say/do could either encourage and uplift those that see pictures/info about us or tempt/bring them down. We have so many friends all over the world that would be shocked to see me in a bikini and post it all over fb- it completely contradicts everything else we try to live by.
    Sorry- that was longer than I thought- but those are things we try to consider on the subject. Other people matter! 🙂

  8. One more site for swim suits. limericki.com. We haven’t ordered from here, but I am considering it this year. You can mix and match tops and bottoms.

    I agree with the post and comments. We have a responsibility to our brothers in Christ.

    Wear clothes tight enough to show you’re a woman, and loose enough to show you’re a lady.

    • Just went to limericki actually… ha! They had some good options… the one I wanted was on sale… but out of my size :(…

      thanks for your insight!

  9. Hey girl,
    We have discussed this before. A great web sight for bathing suits is limericki.com. We bought Haili’s there last year and she got alot of compliments on it from other teens girls. I really beleave that more is gained by dressing modestly within the current styles than to dress modestly according to the style of twenty years ago (obviousely within budget limits). It goes to the being in the world but not of it. Who would want to know what makes us different if the difference is going to cause them to go back 20 years. Haili and I would have those discussions when she was younger and it has so helped her to make wardrobe decisions.
    We as moms truly need to set the example to our daughters buuuut our daughters have the greatest impact . The teens (male and female) NOTICE. She was described by her peers as a disciple of Christ and when ask why by the speaker, they said that one of the reasons was because she dresses modestly. One said, “A girl with Haili’s, lets say attributes, would not usually dress as modestly as she does,” She has been asked why she dresses so modestly by others. People notice the difference.
    Our sons define modesty by the example of the women in their lives. Their choice for a wife will be based on what they SEE in us and their sisters. The spiritual maturity and security of who they are in Christ can be defined easily by our sons using that alone.
    It amazes me that our sons, and husbands for that matter,are being tought about the sins of lust and the girl beside them is in speghetti straps, a mini skirt or in low riders that show their undies and muffin top.
    I know that this is not what you were saying but,
    I want to caution though and you touched on it. We can never take the place of the Holy Spirit in anyones life. If a woman consistantly dresses immodestly, it is probably because of a deeper issue. She has not yet come to the place that she sees herself as beautiful to God. She may be insecure in her worth. We all have our strongholds and the enemy plagues women with this one. “We are only woth what the opposite sex thinks we are worth.” It is so easy to get cought in it.
    ANY woman in a leadership position within the church should be held accountble, however…that should be a prerequisite to becoming a teacher, helper, etc., not after.
    Instead of speaking about her, we should speak to her, BUT we should go to God asking for the correct opportunity and we should pray for her and that God would one, bring her to a place of knowing his love and her worth to Him and two, that our hearts are in the right place, but never modesty police duty.
    I can honestly say that I have been on all sides of this issue in the past.
    We as women need to come along side those women and lift them up. If we go around talking about other women’s clothing choices and feeling like we should speak our minds to them we risk causing a wall to go up and we lose an opportulity to EARN the right to speak truth later.
    I know you and that you are far from legalistic. I am not exusing immodesty. It saddens me though that there are women in churches that have no compassion for other women cought in the lie of the enemy.

  10. Hey girl,
    We have discussed this before. A great web sight for bathing suits is limericki.com. We bought Haili’s there last year and she got alot of compliments on it from other teens girls. I really believe that more is gained by dressing modestly within the current styles than to dress modestly according to the style of twenty years ago (obviousely within budget limits). It goes to the being in the world but not of it. Who would want to know what makes us different if the difference is going to cause them to go back 20 years. Haili and I would have those discussions when she was younger and it has so helped her to make wardrobe decisions.
    We as moms truly need to set the example to our daughters buuuut our daughters have the greatest impact . The teens (male and female) NOTICE. She was described by her peers as a disciple of Christ and when ask why by the speaker, they said that one of the reasons was because she dresses modestly. One said, “A girl with Haili’s, lets say attributes, would not usually dress as modestly as she does,” She has been asked why she dresses so modestly by others. People notice the difference.
    Our sons define modesty by the example of the women in their lives. Their choice for a wife will be based on what they SEE in us and their sisters. The spiritual maturity and security of who they are in Christ can be defined easily by our sons using that alone.
    It amazes me that our sons, and husbands for that matter,are being tought about the sins of lust and the girl beside them is in speghetti straps, a mini skirt or in low riders that show their undies and muffin top.
    I know that this is not what you were saying but,
    I want to caution though and you touched on it. We can never take the place of the Holy Spirit in anyones life. If a woman consistantly dresses immodestly, it is probably because of a deeper issue. She has not yet come to the place that she sees herself as beautiful to God. She may be insecure in her worth. We all have our strongholds and the enemy plagues women with this one. “We are only woth what the opposite sex thinks we are worth.” It is so easy to get cought in it.
    ANY woman in a leadership position within the church should be held accountble, however…that should be a prerequisite to becoming a teacher, helper, etc., not after.
    Instead of speaking about her, we should speak to her, BUT we should go to God asking for the correct opportunity and we should pray for her and that God would one, bring her to a place of knowing his love and her worth to Him and two, that our hearts are in the right place, but never modesty police duty.
    I can honestly say that I have been on all sides of this issue in the past.
    We as women need to come along side those women and lift them up. If we go around talking about other women’s clothing choices and feeling like we should speak our minds to them we risk causing a wall to go up and we lose an opportulity to EARN the right to speak truth later.
    I know you and that you are far from legalistic. I am not exusing immodesty. It saddens me though that there are women in churches that have no compassion for other women cought in the lie of the enemy.

    • Hey Lisa. You’re right. It was not my intention to judge the individual but the tribe. On many levels it is a spiritual maturity that needs some attention. It was for me as well… still learnin’ though! We do need to stand alongside our sisters in the Lord and encourage one another. Satan is a liar and has had me wrapped up in these same deceptions. Thanks for your insight! Love you!

  11. Michelle, I totally agree. I would want you or anyone else to tell me if you thought my skirt was too short. I would rather wear a t-shirt and shorts to the pool because I feel dressed! It bothers me to wear just a swimsuit because they are so skimpy now days. I know they have the whole skirt thing going on now but I just feel so naked!

    • Hey Kari! I must say, you are at a little disadvantage… being so beautifully tall (not my issue, haha) makes it even more difficult I would imagine. Thank you for your input!!! Love you all!

  12. Having reared 3 daughters, the question of modesty came up often. Two of my girls are well-endowed and we had to fight the cleavage issue–There have been times when we didn’t quite get it. Now that they are young adult women–I have been pleased with most of their choices of dress–we love layering with tanks and camisoles–I dress more tailored–and love the camis under jackets with skirts or slacks. My younger 2 also dress in layers and use camis and tanks to cover cleavage if the top is cut too low. Thanks for reminding us that we are to be Titus 2 women–being good examples and having the love for our sisters to give loving advice and correction–example–I have a top that is too low–especially for church–i used a safety pin to close the opening–didn’t quite get the job done–one of the ladies in our church pulled me aside privately and told me that it might be time to do something different or not wear the top–solution–a pretty camisole that coordinated and covered the cleavage–the point–a Titus 2 moment.

    • Great example, Tammy. Thanks for being transparent! I was talking with a friend yesterday who read this blog. We were talking about the topic of having someone tell you that you need a little tweaking. How do we get to that point? How do we approach someone… do we have to have “permission”

      • Hey,
        I re-read my comment and I did not think that you were talking about a person but rather a subject. My point was that we as women and I meant ME too, should never forget that someones dress is just as much a statement of where they are in their walk as anything else. You know how I feel about the whole modesty issue because we have discussed it in depth and I agree with every word you said. I am ashamed to say though that I have been so judgemental of women and daughters before because of their dress and how wrong I was to do it.
        We should approach a womens clothing choice with the same tender heartedness we would any other subject. It has taken a long time for God to tender my heart in this area. Please accept my appology if you tought that I was directing any of that at you. I was not. I was trying to convey that women can be so harsh with each other. I think that part of the reason is because we want to protect our sons and lets face it…I did not appreciate setting in a church knowing that my husband had to turn his head to the side to keep from looking down the womans pants in front of us to keep from seeing her thongs. Yep we get defensive. I just hope that if God allows me to speak truth into a womans life it is because my motives are pure and led by the Holy Spirit. I guess I didn’t convey that well. Sorry.

      • Let me be a little more transparent–My first reaction to being told my top was not quite getting the job done was (under my breath) “If you are focused on what I have on, you are focused on the wrong thing”–somewhere in my spirit the words came back to convict me–If my congregation (I am the Music Director in my church) is focused on my clothing choices to distraction–they ARE focused on the wrong thing and my responsiblity is to make sure I am not dressed to distraction–

      • It’s so true, Tammy. Yet it is so hard to really wrap our minds around. That is one reason I just loved that sermon I posted on FB. It was so transparent and real. It is so what we need to hear and to teach our daughters. I may just post it 50 times… haha! Thanks for being transparent. I agree (although I’ve not always made the right choices). I should be directing the congregation toward the Lord and I need to be out of the way. Dress can be a hinderance… and what a terrible position we put our worship leaders in (especially if they are men) to deal with our issues. Love You!

  13. Thanks for sharing, Miss Michelle! This has been very insightful (and helpful when I went swimsuit shopping a couple of days ago). 🙂

  14. I just came across your site and I really love this post. I do agree that we need to dress ourselves modestly so we do not cause our brothers-in-Christ to stumble and sin. I do have one major issue that I have been struggling with and do not know how to deal with, so maybe you can offer some insight. For the most part, the women that come to our church dress modestly, but a few of the major offenders are from the pastor’s own family. Yesterday, being Easter sunday, they must have put on their “best” dresses, and they REALLY stood out. The pastor’s own wife was showing her cleavage. His teenage daughter was wearing a strapless dress that was at least 4 inches above her knee. (I was trying REAL HARD not to look at her because she was making me so uncomfortable showing so much). She was wearing one of those tiny bolero sweaters, but it just covered her shoulders. She is also one of the main singers in our praise and worship team, so she was on stage front and center for everyone to see. My question is, how do I even begin to adress this issue with our pastor or if I even should and maybe just find a more conservative church? I am torn because we really like the church and all of the friends we have made in the congregation, but I do not want to sound like I am “holier than thou” by adressing this issue. We are fairly new followers of Christ (2 years) and still learing. I do not want my daugher and son to think that kind of dress is ok because they see it on the pastor’s own family. I am doing my best to teach my daugher about dressing modesty, but she goes to church on Sunday and then sees the immodesty and I am sure that she is getting conflicting messages in her head (we have not talked about this specifically yet because she is only 6 and I do not want her staying things to the pastor’s daughter). Any insight you could share would be very helpful! Thank you!

    • I’ve had to sit and think on this one Stacy. My current thoughts are that you “can’t” say anything to your pastor or family. Here is my reasoning:

      It would be offensive. While I SO understand your perspective- YOU are offended- you have to think of the long-term potential repercussions. I don’t imagine you’re the only ones offended either. I had a situation once where it was nearly a “deal breaker.” My husband understood my point (and agreed) but we chose to show grace. I was SO glad I did. I would imagine that regardless of how delicate you are, it would only be perceived as judgmental. While it’s hard to understand since it seems so obvious to you, remember that many people don’t have a thorough understanding of the depth of this issue. I see this (your pastor’s daughter’s dress) EVERYWHERE- even from conservative Christians. I don’t understand.

      Pray- Ask the Lord to convict their hearts- after all, He can do it so much better than you or me :). I have also prayed that someone closer to them would gently encourage them.

      As far as your children go: Go ahead and teach them your convictions. They HAVE to learn early. It’s your best chance of letting them understand. I would flip through magazines with my daughter and explain these things. Of course, there are those “backfire” moments. Just teach them that although there are times where there is immodest wear this is not something to share out loud. I tell mine not to stare, say anything… but when we’re in the car… at home… alone… they can tell us. That works most of the time :)…. and if they mess up and say it out loud…. maybe it was a learning moment.

      Hope this helps. I may think some more and write some more.

      So glad you are a believer and that the Lord is working in your life!!! That is the greatest joy. As parents, all we can do is do our very best and pray that our children will walk in truth. He will guide you listen for His voice!

      • Thank you for your insight, Michelle. We do have a church coordinator and I was thinking of going to him to talk to him about it and leave it up to him to pass on the info so I did not have to go directly to our pastor. I am mostly sure that I would remain anonymous, but I am not absolutely sure that I should burden him with that. I do not want to be thought of as judging the pastor because I absolutely have no right to do that. I am sinful myself. I will continue to pray. I know the Lord works miracles 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s