Monday, April 30, 2012

Why Modesty - Part 1






Most of you who read Home Joys know that I call myself a Mennonite. Although I dislike labels, I use “Mennonite” as a way to explain my lifestyle and choices. But from some of the questions I received, maybe it is time to tell you more about why I practice some of the distinctive traits that are considered “Mennonite”.


One of the questions I have been asked is why I dress the way I do and my beliefs on modesty.

To be honest, it scares me to write about modesty in a public forum like this. Christians have various opinions on how to put to practice the Biblical command for modesty. I don't expect everyone who reads this to agree with my choices and I don't want to start a debate. I hope we will each search the Bible for direction on what we choose to wear. You all have been so kind in your comments and questions, that I'll trust this is a topic we can discuss with love.

I was blessed to grow up with a mother who believed and practiced modest dress standards. Her example had a huge impact on whom I have become today. The church I have chosen to be part of also affected my clothing choices. But, whatever the tradition in my upbringing, ultimately I want to obey the Word of God concerning my clothing.

Dressing modestly is not an attempt to win favor with God or earn salvation. Christ's death on the cross was complete payment for my sin. I seek to obey God's commands, including the Biblical requirements of modest dress out of love for my Saviour.

We will continue this series to look at what the Bible says about a woman's clothing.


39 comments :

  1. I am not a Mennonite but I think your modest dress must be very liberating and it is a wonderful example to set to young girls especially who are under intense pressure in our society.
    Also it teaches boys to look further than stylish clothes and focus on the joys of shared faith and love.
    God bless you.

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  2. I am very impressed with how you have chosen to live your life and follow your beliefs. I was very touched by the wedding photos you posted recently. You are truly blessed.

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  3. I can't wait to read more! Hurry, hurry! :) Don't really, but I AM excited! Thank you!

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  4. We've learned more about labels the past 2 yrs here in the northeast...and I'm really looking forward to this series...what a need in our society for young and old alike...praying God will give you clarity and wisdom in sharing from His Word. :-)

    ~eunice b

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  5. I am with mrsg30286! I, too, dress modest, as a Pentecostal lady. I am always interested to see why others choose to dress modestly. Love your blog.

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  6. I really love the clothes you wear, Gina. They are so feminine and gentle. For me modesty has a slightly different aspect; it is a behavioural choice. I think that some people could be modest if they went shopping in a bikini, but for others even wearing a blanket they would manage to be overtly sexual in their behaviour. For example, I have no problem dashing across the landing unclothed after showering or stripping off for communal bathing in a gym but I would not deliberately flaunt my body in anyway. This is how I achieve modesty. That said, my favourite types of clothes are long flowing feminine ones. Yours are particularly lovely. The picture of you and your daughter in the garden when you are wearing a pale blue frock epitomises femininity. Lily. xxx

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  7. I look forward to reading your future posts on this. Thanks so much for sharing. God bless.

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  8. Thank you, Gina. I appreciate your willingness to address this much needed topic. I look forward to further installments. As a mother of two young ladies, it is my desire to impress upon their hearts Biblical modesty. It must be written in our hearts or it will not last or bring glory to God.
    God bless.
    Marcia

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  9. Thanks for writing on these topics :)

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  10. Looking forward to reading more! I am blessed by your willingness to write about this subject--it is dear to my heart, but I've never felt the "nudge" to address it on my blog.

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  11. I found your blog through Marcia's blog, and I"m glad I did! I also label myself as a Mennonite, in part because it is what my father was raised as, but more importantly because just saying, "I'm a Christian" today doesn't really tell people where you stand on certain biblical principals. It's far easier to say in a nutshell, "I'm a Mennonite," and most people know instantly then what my convictions are.

    I dress modestly, but I don't have a particular dress. I look forward to reading your thoughts on modesty!
    God Bless!

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  12. I practise modesty too, I dress decently, and I'm covered, I think it's unladylike to be any other way xxxx Love Froogs xx

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  13. Did you know that I bought the Queen's MOdesty bible study on Saturday????? I quickly read through it and am excited to use it with my girls. Although, I think I'll wait a year or two, just because I think they'll get more out of it when they're a bit older and actually questioning why we dress the way we do.

    :)

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  14. Yay Gina! Your humility and gentleness is the right spirit for a look at this. I'm looking forward to reading more.

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  15. I appreciate your willingness to write on this sensitive subject Gina! I was overhearing my wife Anne tell our 6 year old daughter (Abby) about how important it is to dress modestly. (Abby was wanting to continue wearing a dress that had a hem on the skirt that was now to short). She told Abby that she has God's beauty in her heart and that shines through in who she is and how she acts and dresses.

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  16. great post and very important too. It is awesome to be able to share these view and know that even thoug some of us may not dress as you we can still respect and cnourage each othert. we need to be convicted ourselves.

    Thanks Gine

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  17. ...and I've just spent the morning scouring the internet for modest church dresses....glad to know I'm not the only one out there. :)

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  18. How do you and your daughters wear your hair?

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    1. I wear my hair up in a bun with a head covering over it. My daughters usually braid their hair. This keeps it neat and less tangled since their hair is long.
      Gina

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    2. Do you allow your daughters to cut their hair? If not, how long is it?

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    3. We do not cut their hair. We prefer our girls to have long un-cut hair. None of my girls' hair has been super fast growing. My oldest daughter's hair is waist length.
      Ginia

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    4. Is your hair waist length also?

      This is really interesting, I'd love to hear more about this. I never knew that Mennonites didn't cut their hair, only that they wore a covering. Would you mind writing an article on it? I'd love to see e.g how you style your hair and get it underneath the covering.

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    5. My hair used to be much longer, but I guess I'm getting old - or something with mothering. My hair is now waist length.

      I'm not saying that no Mennonites cut their hair, though I know many don't. We take 1 Corinthians 11 literally when it says that women should have long hair.
      Gina

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    6. Okay, that's really neat. I find it really interesting to learn about other beliefs and practices. I really do hope you'll write an article about the long hair & covering, I'm curious about it.

      So, do your daughters wear a covering? Will they be required to at any point?

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    7. My daughters do not wear a head covering now but we hope they will choose to when they get older.
      Gina

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    8. At what age do they typically start? What sort of covering does your church do?

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    9. It varies - often somewhere between 12 and 14.

      You can see my type of covering in various picture on this blog such as here.http://homejoys.blogspot.com/p/about.html
      Gina

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    10. Are there any circumstances where you don't cover your hair or wear a cape dress?

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    11. I do neither when in bed or showering!
      Gina

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    12. So the dress is on and your hair is covered at all times during the day, even at home when no one is around?

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    13. That is right. I won't say you couldn't ever catch me in my bathrobe, but it would be rare.
      Gina

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  19. Hi there. I'm working on writing a school paper on Mennonite communities in the US and I'm hoping that you can answer some questions for me.

    1) what makes a dress or outfit "plain"?

    2) what does the dress symbolize?

    3) is plain dress intended to assist in domestic roles like cooking or cleaning or is it entirely for religious reasons?

    And finally

    4) who decides what is acceptable on a Mennonite woman's dress?

    Thanks so much!! - Jake Hoskins

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    1. I don't mind answering questions, but it is difficult in the comment section of this blog. If you don't mind, could you send me an email so I could communicate that way?
      Gina

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    2. My parents don't want me to email people I don't know. Sorry. :(

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  20. Hi Gina! Love your blog and I've been reading it for several months now. I just love your family. It seems that your oldest daughter is at that age now where she'll be deciding on whether to join the church. Has she talked at all with you about it? I know my daughter talked about it constantly when she was approaching that age. :)

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  21. HI Gina - I so appreciate this series on modesty. Something you did not talk about was your head covering. What types are acceptable, where you purchase them or do you make them. This is something that I have been praying about since I presently do not cover my head but have studied the bible and it does specifically say we should. Thank you for helping me further my obedience to God by understanding the scriptures clearly.

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    1. Thanks for writing. There are various types/styles of head coverings. I consider anything acceptable that does the job of covering the majority of the hair. Our church has chosen a traditional Mennonite cap-style covering, but you may prefer a veil or scarf style. I make my own coverings. There are sites online that sell various style of head coverings.

      Blessings as you seek to obey God's Word.
      Gina

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  22. Hi Gina.

    Is it okay not to want long hair? I do not cut or trim, and I wear a covering, but I also do not want my hair below my shoulders. Unfortunately, my family has all long hair (hip length and longer) so it is likely to grow long. Is it selfish to keep your short? My guy friend says that he thinks it is since the ability to grow long hair is a blessing from the Lord and I don’t want to be vain and worldly and reject it.

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    1. Tina -
      I'm not sure. I suppose that depending on why you want short hair, it could be selfishness. There are many women who would love to have long hair. Just keep talking to God about it and I'm sure He will lead you.
      Gina

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