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Thursday, January 8, 2009

10 Days To Modest! Day Three - To Guard & Keep

"You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace...You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain." Song of Songs 4:9,12

Men are captivated by a woman's body. God made it so.

Song of Solomon is a beautiful and poetic piece of scripture that details the enticement that a woman's body brings to man. We women have something very special, created by God that can be used for good or destruction.

"Purity is one of the greatest ways we give life to men."

Barbara Mouser, Five Aspects of Woman, Lifegiver

Do you know the power you have to build up or tear down? This gal does:

"My sinful, selfish nature like that, so my clothing became more revealing and if flirtation had been an Olympic sport, I'd have earned a gold medal. I spent years causing men to sin in their hearts, and often in their actions, too. I didn't understand the implications of causing others to sin; I didn't know how badly I was hurting myself; I didn't realize all that I was taking away from my future husband. And I had no idea how badly I was breaking God's heart... I tearfully apologized to my husband a few days ago because I suddenly realized just how much should have been his, but I took those things from him. I don't plan to stifle my God-given enthusiastic personality and I still like to look attractive--partly for myself, but also so that my husband finds me attractive and is proud to have me by his side. However, I never want to cause another man to stumble, so now I consider what I wear and how I act, and I have a fresh appreciation and understanding of why modesty is so very important." From Jamie's post, Thoughts About Modesty

Here's the deal, we women have a sacred trust to keep for God. We are to guard and keep our bodies for our husbands (or if single, for the Lord). Modesty in dress is a reflection of the heart, and we must be vigilant in keeping watch over how we present ourselves. I sometimes wonder if women aren't aware of the power they carry in how they dress, or if perhaps they just don't care. Maybe their hearts are hardened by hurts they've encountered so they ignore or even fight against their responsibility to be modest.

But our bodies are not our own.

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19,20

I challenge you to take a "modesty inventory." Go before the Lord and ask Him where you have fallen short in how you dress. Be honest with yourself. Ask a good friend if there are areas in how you dress that could be more modest.

Most importantly, ask Jesus who you are to Him. Let Him give you your identity.

We are His bride, and we are for Him and His glory.

Tomorrow we will tackle some tough questions/arguments when it comes to modesty. I hope you will continue to join me as we go deeper into this journey of becoming modest women.

Day One - Legalism and Audience

Day Two - What is Modesty?

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Homesteader in Training said...

Awesome my friend. I wear long shorts most of the year because I live in Florida. Being 6 foot tall I know that I am automatically going to show more "leg" then the next gal but I make sure that my shorts are VERY modest in length. I have never been a skirt wearer as I can't stand my legs touching lol. But since my growing in the Lord the things I do wear have changed and are now modest in nature. Living at the beach the swimsuit issue comes up a lot but I have chosen to wear men's swim shorts over a one piece bathing suit which is usually covered by a tank top lol. I'm very busty and a little embarrassed by them sometimes. Okay I"m writing another book.
Love you sister.

Sarah said...

I can't tell you how much I am enjoying your blog. As I was reading this morning, I kept thinking to myself that these are the truths that I desire to instill in my daughter as she grows up.
Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

Soo true. I didn't always dress modest. In fact, the process of dressing modest was just that...a process. It came on so slowly that I didn't recognize it until it was on top of me. Until I realized I actually felt uncomfortable wearing a shirt that *might* reveal something if I bent over in it. One summer, I just didn't feel comfortable wearing shorts - at all. That's when I fell in love with capris. I didn't like that when I sat down, my shorts suddenly became shorter, with more potential to reveal something. As my heart grew closer to God, I suddenly started caring about the things He cares about - without even trying. This may not happen for everyone the same way. I didn't make dressing immodestly something I did purposefully...with it in the front of my mind, but rather in the back. Not that I have any excuse, because there is none. I was conscience of it all.
The point is, as I drew closer to God, the change was automatic. :)

Friend Chick said...

This has been on my heart so strongly, that I brought it up at our Women's Ministries meeting last night. The room fell silent, of course, but I feel like we skate over other's dress because that is a personal decision. I mentioned to our committee that our men have enough struggles Monday - Saturday. Church should be their safe haven where they can "get right" with God, confess their sins, and attempt to move away for their temptations. Are they able to do that with temptation staring them right in the face?

I addressed this as tactfully as I could. I didn't point fingers or name names. I'm sure I stepped on a few toes, but I hope they know my heart wasn't critical or judgmental.

{ jamie } said...

I'm really enjoying this series of posts! Like "FriendChick" said, it's an issue we often skate over. I know some women wear immodest clothes on purpose, but I believe many are just clueless. I have a few dear Christian friends who wear "stylish" clothing that probably is distracting to the men they come in contact with.

(And thanks for the link, too ♥)

{ jamie } said...

Lands End has some modest, still pretty stylish clothes, and there are quite a few things in their "overstocks" section now. Just wanted to pass along a free shipping offer (I think today is the last day): Enter the Promotion code LESPORT and the PIN 00007301 in the space provided.

Renee said...

Good stuff, Sarah. And well-said too. A heart for modesty out of a heart of love for the Lord and for men around us. A heart to see them succeed instead of fail- to live a life of courage and fulfilled destiny instead of a life in slavery to sin.

This blog really touched my heart!
Much Love!

Traci said...

This series goes hand in hand with what I am reading about this week {becoming His bride} - it's being amazing to me as I read in the morning, and then check your blog later in the day, how God is speaking to me.

Thanks, as always, for sharing your heart!

HeathahLee said...

I just might have to do a post on modesty, too! You are inspiring me! : )

And I love how you prefaced this whole series with "this is for believers". I try hard not to judge someone for the way they dress or act if they're not saved, because they just don't know!

Erin said...

Hello! A friend pointed your blog out to me, and I love it already...and I've only been reading for 5 minutes so far. :-)
Modesty is an issue that is so dear to my heart...it is something that is mostly ignored in the church, which is so sad.
If you ever have a minute, feel free to stop by a blog I'm co-authoring called "Is This Modest?" We look at all the issues of modesty, and enjoy friendly banter over our views on modesty. We would love to have you stop by! We are always looking to "meet" more people who are also passionate about modesty. (www.isthismodest.com)

Erin said...

I also wanted to say...We did up a quick post about your blog series on modesty and your Christa Taylor giveaway on our blog!

momstheword said...

I think that some people prefer not to think about it. They prefer not to take responsibility for their choices or actions.

But the Bible clearly tells us that it is our responsibility and we are to take it.

It is interesting, though, that people have different comfort levels of what they consider modest (like you mentioned earlier about the Amish person and their thoughts).

MamaHenClucks said...

I know that there was a time that I did not "gaurd and keep" and I did it on purpose, with full knowledge that I was getting attention. But as I came back to the Lord and began really living a "right" life, seeking after him, I slowly began to realize that I didn't want to be the cause of someone else stumbling. It's incredibly rare now for me to be found wearing shorts, as I prefer capri's and pants. Just recently I found a few longer shortst that I'm comfortable in and I admit to loving tank tops in the summer.

But, on Sunday? At church? I want to be modest and careful about how I dress. Like Friend Chick said, every other day can be a struggle, it should be safe at church.

Pray~and~Wait said...

I actually think that a lot of women know what they are doing....I think this b/c I think as women we can strive for attention or to be pleasing. Unfortunately, this is the wrong attention...and it causes other believers to stumble. Its very sad to me that we think we need attention from others to feel good about ourselves. A lot of us may not use immodest dress to get that attention, but we use something (being the best mom, having a well-decorated house, education, etc.). While none of those things are ungodly in and of themselves (just like clothing), its how we use them or portray them in our lives. I also think that dressing immodest can be like any other stronghold. In college I was a fan of Britney Spears (I know...very dorky) and I LOVED her body! I wanted to be just as fit as her and coveted her body. I think some women can become so consumed with being in shape that they think its their right to show off all the hard work they put into it. I had to really re-train my thought life and realize what I was desiring was sinful and not how God wants His daughter to act. Modesty is a very hard thing....just like any other sin we struggle with.

Robin said...

Keep it up Sarah Mae. I am praying for your words to inspire and challenge us more everyday!

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Wonderful stuff! Great series! I am really enjoying it and hope it touches many women.

My dress has certainly changed over the years. When I was in my early twenties, I would get clothes that were cute and in style with little thought of modesty. Now modesty is always in my mind when choosing clothes.

Kyla said...

This was such an eye opener! Jaime's post was truly phenominal. I hadn't thought of things in this perspective before, but I'm so glad you shared it with us all.

As for me . . . I've always been a jeans and t-shirts gal. I rarely wear shorts . . . probably because I'm a fair-skinned redhead, and my neon white legs are a source of discomfort to me, not to mention, whomever might get the shock of seeing them. I don't believe I've EVER worn a bikini, and anytime we go to the lake, I've got my one piece suit, a pair of cut off shorts, and a t-shirt to wear over it. (Even in the water!)

Pretty drastic, but at least it makes me feel covered.

Maybe I just have issues. ;)

Dana said...

quite a few years ago our entire church actually went through a modesty series by Nancy Lee Demoss. (she has great resources for preteen and teens) the men and women were seperated, but it was a great eye opener for me. there was also some survey taken that i'll need to find the link for, it was basically a bunch of boys answers to questions like, "does a lacey shirt underneath a regular shirt effect you?". hearing their honest perspective was incredibly eye opening.

Anonymous said...

Woman of God!!! You are challenging and encouraging me with your words. Thank you!!! =)