Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Why Modesty - Part 3


In the last post, Jane shared some Scriptures that give insight on modesty. Today, we will look at a few more Scriptures that may help us choose God-honoring clothing.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

We are to glorify God, not only by our spirits, but also by our bodies. We belong to the Lord. The decision of what to wear is not dependent on our own preference, but rather on what would be suitable for the temple of the Holy Spirit. What I wear needs to bring glory to God.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

This Scripture again states that our bodies belong to God. We should not be patterning our lives, or our wardrobes, after the world around us, but by what is acceptable to God.

Romans 14:12-13 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way.

We are reminded that we are accountable to God for our actions. It is not my duty to judge another person, but to make sure my actions are in no way a stumbling block or hindrance to another. 
 
Can a Christian man who wants to keep his eyes and mind pure be in my presence without being distracted by my poor choice of clothing?

1 Corinthians 7:3-4 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
As a married woman, not only is my body the temple of God, but it also belongs to my husband. I want to protect myself as a treasured gift for my husband. I don't want my body to be pawed over (even with just eyes) because it belongs to no one but him. 

Ask your husband what he would enjoy seeing you wear – then wear it often in a private display just for him. Relish the privilege of delighting your husband with what you have protected for him.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
Some may say “God sees my heart; my heart is pure, so I can wear what I want.” While it is true that God looks at my heart, the people around me can only see my outward appearance. Does my clothing immediately indicate that I am a woman of God?

As women, we like to look attractive. But this desire becomes dangerous when we dress to attract attention to ourselves. Proverbs 1:10 tells of the harlot who dresses to attract men. Our actions, including our dress, will reveal the one we wish to glorify: ourselves or God. Maybe our modest clothing will be so different from what others are wearing that we will attract attention. Many times this gives opportunity to speak a word for the Lord.

I admit that there are times I wish I could blend in with the crowd. No one likes to stand out like a sore thumb, as if I am dressed in a strange sort of costume. But many times I have been blessed because of my modest dress and head covering. There is protection in clothing that is instantly recognized as different from the world's standard.

I could share many stories of specific times when my distinctive clothing was a blessing. I'll only share one experience. Recently, I traveled to Baltimore to visit an inmate in a large prison. The security guard asked my friend and me some questions about who we were. After sharing that we were Christians who were part of a Mennonite church, he asked if we could pray for the guards who worked in the prison. I don't know what need was on that guard’s heart that he desired prayer, but I was encouraged to know that he recognized us as women of prayer by our appearance.

Tomorrow I'll try to answer a few specific questions about Mennonite clothing.

7 comments :

  1. I offer a very quiet, humble 'wow!' Thank you!

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  2. This is great...I am once again reminded of how small the world is. I know who Jane is and she lives nearby!

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  3. thank you for speaking truth to so many women!

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  4. I loved this part, "Some may say “God sees my heart; my heart is pure, so I can wear what I want.” While it is true that God looks at my heart, the people around me can only see my outward appearance. Does my clothing immediately indicate that I am a woman of God?"

    There is no uniform or costume, but there is a sign, a fruit, of what the Lord has done in changing our hearts and minds about our bodies, and how we present this temple.
    God Bless!

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  5. Hi Gina,
    I am brand new to your site. This is my first time to visit your site. I think it is great.

    My husband and I have been attending a Mennonite Church the past two months. We love the people and the church. They are all so nice and accepting of us. I am wondering what the procedure is for becoming a member. We are considering the possibility. Also, how do they celebrate Christmas and Easter? Are there activities for women to get together?
    I appreciate any information on these questions. The church we attend I believe is conservative. There are no musical instruments. The women all wear dresses (no skirts) and black shoes. I have also adopted this form of dress. I really like it. The people are wonderful and I enjoy them very much. We feel welcome.

    Blessings.

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    1. I am so glad you wrote - and that you are feeling welcome in your new church. I don't have the answer to many of your questions since Mennonite churches vary. I'd recommend you ask someone there your questions. I'm sure they will enjoy answering your questions.

      May the Lord bless you with a church that gives you a place to grow in His Word with His people.
      Gina

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  6. What a breath of fresh air. I've seen people comment on how plain dress is immodest because it draws attention just for being different. I always thought that unfair. After all, plain people aren't trying to stand out. I've asked myself my motivation for trying to dress this way. The closer I come to God, the more I want to dress in cape dresses or jumpers (really need that extra layer) and wear a covering. I've let myself get bullied out of wearing my head covering, but I put one on again this week and the inexpressible peace that overcame me set my heart at ease. For me, dressing plain gives me an added reminder of God's love and protection throughout the day, as well as a visible reminder to mind my manners and attitude. I didn't grow up plain, and I don't attend a plain church, though I'd like to. My husband is a pastor for a Nazarene church. It's a great church with a very godly pastor and we love them, but women don't cover or see a reason to. Both sides of the argument have scholarly backing, so it's difficult when just going off of that. I sometimes wish God had not told me to wear one, but I believe he has, perhaps if just to humble me in spirit. I like how you mention that looking different and being recognizable for your convictions can be a good, godly thing. I think that's part of my desire to dress plain. I want people to know, by how I dress, what my convictions are. There are so many different variations of Christians these days, some that are hardly biblical. I want people to know what I believe, or have a general idea, when they look at me. I want people to feel that they can approach me. I don't think that's prideful, since I want God to have all the glory. Some people think that dressing differently is not Christian, that the scripture says they will know us by our love for each other. I think that love, though, extends to clothing. I can't say how many embarrassing situations I've found myself in before I started wearing jumpers. That wasn't loving of others who saw these clothing malfunctions, loving of myself, or loving of others to me that encouraged me to dress in such a way. It's also clear that the Jews dressed differently than those around them. They were recognized by their particular style of clothing, and God says nothing of it being prideful. Thanks for this wonderful series.

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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