Thoughts on modesty- Christian mamas - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Spirituality > Thoughts on modesty- Christian mamas
lilyka's Avatar lilyka 06:34 PM 08-08-2006
its not so much about blame. if someone can't swim is it my fault if they drown? no they should stay away from water. but i can swim. shouldn't I help them?

and it is about much more than sexual thoughts. its about living lifein a way such that we are working together towards being holy and supporting each other on that journey.

Pynki's Avatar Pynki 06:51 PM 08-08-2006
I am all about supporting people where they are at. I wouldn't give an addict drugs. BUT because I need pain relief I would still have them in my house.

The bible has a lot to say about being covetous, which I think is the main issue with modest dress. You don't want to be coveted by another man. However, the bible says

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"Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you' " (Hebrews 13:5).
and
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"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's" (Exodus 20:17).
I mean reading the verses about modesty in the bible it's considered immodest to braid your hair for goodness sake! If everything that is contextual to the culture at the time is taken as literal TODAY well, I have a hard time believing that God wants us going around looking tired and old. It's not immodest IMO to try to keep up with what God gave you to begin with.

It's not immodest to look and be a woman and a whole lot of people who are selling "modest" clothing seems to want to make everything female = sinful. It's all very creepy and Duggar-esque to me.
DebraBaker's Avatar DebraBaker 07:16 PM 08-08-2006
It's always blame the victim, blame the woman.

Sounds like the rape defense that she dressed in a slutty way.

Men need to be socialized not to view women like pices of meat.
Calm's Avatar Calm 07:21 PM 08-08-2006
Doctors give addicts drugs all the time. And the methodone program gives addicts drugs everyday so they can live an ethical life while weaning from drugs. Taking that analogy into the subject, it is not my responsibility to keep another from temptation. In fact, putting a temptation in front of ourselves is often the only way for us to know we CAN conquer it; and if we can't, then dealing directly with the temptation is better than avoiding it or denying it. Men can learn to see women as equals and appreciate them for more than their sexuality. My father taught all four of my brothers this skill, and all five of those men could walk through a harem of naked women undistracted (and a couple of them have).

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its not so much about blame. if someone can't swim is it my fault if they drown? no they should stay away from water. but i can swim. shouldn't I help them?
More effective suggestion? They could learn to swim.

You won't always be there to help, and you are also more free that way - both of you. Avoiding the water is not as pious as learning it and conquering it. Teach them to swim.
spero's Avatar spero 07:51 PM 08-08-2006
DebraBaker and Mama G!!!!!!

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Originally Posted by Leilalu
I for one, don't like frumpy dresses. God gave me a nice shape. I try not to show alot of cleavage, I prefer knee length A-line skirts anyway. I wear fitted tops, I show legs. I will wear a bathing suit of weather and situation permits. I wear nice jeans. etc etc I don't TRY to cover, I just wear what I like.
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When I was seeing a Christian counselor, I was encouraged to dress to flatter my shape and not hide it. I'm short-waisted, tiny-shouldered, and generously boobied - so anything baggy, long, or loose just makes me look squat and fat (which I'm not). I don't present myself well when I know that I look frumpy. When I'm dressed comfortably, appropriately, & well, I feel good; and I can project that onto others.

When I started teaching religious ed years ago, I wore the most hideous schoolmarm dresses (handed down from my SIL, a teacher), thinking it was the "right" thing to do. Ew, so not me - and DH said so loudly, every week! Now I'm a youth group leader, and I dress more like a teenager around them (minus the peeping belly - after four babies NOBODY needs to see that!).

When I minister at the county jail, I dress down. Sweater, jeans, sneakers. No need to go in there looking like a million bucks and try to minister to women who are wearing forest green scrubs and no makeup, KWIM?

When I minister at the hospital, I wear nice pants with pockets (because I carry Eucharist) and a shirt that won't show much when I bend over a hospital bed. (I was advised by my coordinator to wear "a loose jumper with patch pockets" and said, um - NO WAY. So not my style.)

Now, when I'm singing at church - I do the "praise the Lord check" beforehand. If I'm gonna be on the altar in full view, clapping and lifting/holding my DD (she joins us for the recessional song ), I need to know that everything is in place, front and back. But I don't feel the need to cover myself, head to toe (Heck, I could wear a choir robe for that!). I dress fun, and I make sure the appropriate areas are covered.
phathui5's Avatar phathui5 09:56 PM 08-08-2006
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And are men visually motivated creatures? Or are they equally visually motivated like women.
Well, I do know that dh is more visually stimulated than I am. As are a lot of the guys that I know. This isn't to excuse them when they sin, but it sure makes it easier if there is more left to the imagination than them being able to see a woman's cleavage or butt.
Pynki's Avatar Pynki 10:05 PM 08-08-2006
I don't think that anyone here is saying that cleavage and butt is what they are showing though.

ETA:

Or at least not excess cleavage, but some people take modest dress to mean if you can tell the woman has a chest swell it isn't very modest.
Leilalu's Avatar Leilalu 10:21 PM 08-08-2006
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Originally Posted by Pynki
I don't think that anyone here is saying that cleavage and butt is what they are showing though.

ETA:

Or at least not excess cleavage, but some people take modest dress to mean if you can tell the woman has a chest swell it isn't very modest.
I agree, and I for one do not think a woman has to wear dresses like a potato sack to be holy!. I think that is simply ridiculous. I mean, if that kind of thing is your style, sure. I think as long as you aren't wearing hotpants to church on Sunday, you're okay
spero's Avatar spero 10:44 PM 08-08-2006
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Originally Posted by monkeys4mama
Just out of curiosity, are you here as a Christian woman to offer insight into this subject or as a non-Christian here to bash Christians?
Now I happen to know that Mama G would never bash me (a Christian)!

Aside from that, I think she has a valid point.
lilyka's Avatar lilyka 11:25 PM 08-08-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leilalu
I agree, and I for one do not think a woman has to wear dresses like a potato sack to be holy!.
no one is saying they do.

I don't hang out with anyone who wears denim jumpers and turtle necks. We shop at normal stores (gap, Old navy, kohls, target) and wear normal clothes. we just pick the more modest offerings and perhaps spend too much time in the fitting room jumping twisting, bending and shouting "hallelujah!" just kidding. I don't really shout in the dressing room.
spero's Avatar spero 11:34 PM 08-08-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka
and perhaps spend too much time in the fitting room jumping twisting, bending and shouting "hallelujah!"
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mother nurture's Avatar mother nurture 12:23 AM 08-09-2006
When I get dressed on a daily basis, I don't really think about how I look in it. My purpose is comfort. I dress the same no matter where I am. I praise the Lord everywhere, so I make no distinction in and out of church. I don't show cleavage, don't wear short skirts. However, I don't wear a bra~comfort, but I also don't usually wear tops where you could even tell the difference (lots of flowy things). But, I don't cover and I do wear sleeveless tops.

Along the lines of what lilyka said-I don't want to wear things that are going to cause a brother or sister to stumble. I don't want to cause others to sin. I want to love them as myself, which goes way beyond just being kind to them, but actually extending myself outward so that we are one. And since I want to be pure, I want them to be pure in their thoughts. Anyone get that?

Another though along the lines of men and sin and clothes that women wear, etc. Our culture puts a lot of pressure on women to dress and feel good about themselves. To feel beautiful. Unfortunately that is distorted to being beautiful means to be sexy. There is a big difference there.

Just some thoughts.

Many blessings, mamas.
lilyka's Avatar lilyka 12:36 AM 08-09-2006
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Originally Posted by mother nurture
I want to love them as myself, which goes way beyond just being kind to them, but actually extending myself outward so that we are one. And since I want to be pure, I want them to be pure in their thoughts. Anyone get that?
thank you. that is what I felt but couldn't wrap words around.

I generally wear the same things on a daily basis as i do for church so I am familiar with how it fits and moves. but church is about the only occaision I have to wear my "pretties" so sometimes, when I roll out of bed on time, I actually make an effort. but since I wear them oh so rarely they merrit a quick check before I go out the door.
Leilalu's Avatar Leilalu 02:22 PM 08-09-2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mother nurture
When I get dressed on a daily basis, I don't really think about how I look in it. My purpose is comfort. I dress the same no matter where I am. I praise the Lord everywhere, so I make no distinction in and out of church. I don't show cleavage, don't wear short skirts. However, I don't wear a bra~comfort, but I also don't usually wear tops where you could even tell the difference (lots of flowy things). But, I don't cover and I do wear sleeveless tops.

Along the lines of what lilyka said-I don't want to wear things that are going to cause a brother or sister to stumble. I don't want to cause others to sin. I want to love them as myself, which goes way beyond just being kind to them, but actually extending myself outward so that we are one. And since I want to be pure, I want them to be pure in their thoughts. Anyone get that?

Another though along the lines of men and sin and clothes that women wear, etc. Our culture puts a lot of pressure on women to dress and feel good about themselves. To feel beautiful. Unfortunately that is distorted to being beautiful means to be sexy. There is a big difference there.

Just some thoughts.

Many blessings, mamas.
I totally agree

I guess lately I haven't been as worried about what I wear, as I usually have ds strapped to me when out and about. So A sling covers most of my torso.

i can't really wear flowy dresses, unless they are skirts, my body type wouldn't allow it
lilyka's Avatar lilyka 03:11 PM 08-09-2006
I can't remember the last time I wore a dress. long torso short legs. yuck!
mandib50's Avatar mandib50 03:46 PM 08-09-2006
this is really interesting discussion. i am not comfortable with the idea of women needing to watch how they dress to keep others "pure". how do you cause others to sin? isnt' that a choice they make on their own, regardless of what is in front of them?
if i feel beautiful and sexy, and dress in a way that i feel good about, how am i responsible for someone else's sins just because of what i'm wearing? isn't the way i live my life and how i treat others around me more important than the clothes i have on my back?
Pynki's Avatar Pynki 03:55 PM 08-09-2006
See I wear long flowy skirts all the time. I make them. I think it's cheap and comfy and I like them. I don't think I'm a real modest dresser though. I do wear speghetti tanks with the skirts. I don't like showing my legs. They are always white even when I wasn't always covering them.

Of course I still drag my dh to the bars with me on occassion to go dancing and well, club attire is definately NOT church attire.
Leilalu's Avatar Leilalu 04:05 PM 08-09-2006
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Originally Posted by mandib50
this is really interesting discussion. i am not comfortable with the idea of women needing to watch how they dress to keep others "pure". how do you cause others to sin? isnt' that a choice they make on their own, regardless of what is in front of them?
if i feel beautiful and sexy, and dress in a way that i feel good about, how am i responsible for someone else's sins just because of what i'm wearing? isn't the way i live my life and how i treat others around me more important than the clothes i have on my back?
well, I don't think we are "responsible" per say, but I do think we should be somewhat considerate. I also happen to hold the veiw that my body is for my husband, not for some other man to oggle.

But I think it just comes down to a "being your brothers keeper" kind of thing. Some people take things a little too far, but I beleive it is at the heart of god to do things with a bit of discretion., I actually hadn't thought about it in a long time until this thread.As a mommy, I dress for comfort nearly ALL the time and honestly, with my little pp pooch I don't know if anybody is really looking.
But then if I were dressed up to go out somewhere fancy with dh, I may show a bit of skin, if it were appropriate attire for the situation. But not a v-neck down to my navel type thing.
BinahYeteirah's Avatar BinahYeteirah 06:12 AM 08-10-2006
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Originally Posted by DebraBaker
That being said, I have a lot more respect for Muslims covering because Muslims cover out of modesty (and most Muslim cultures have a different sense of modesty than western culture,) *and* (importantly,) Muslim men also have as strict standard of covering/modesty.
Does this mean you also "have a lot more respect" for Jewish women who cover, becasue we, too, cover out of modesty and have strict standards of modest behavior and dress for men?

Just curious.
GalateaDunkel's Avatar GalateaDunkel 06:59 AM 08-10-2006
I wonder what would happen if someone posted on a Jewish or Muslim thread slamming the very premise of the thread and then saying, "I have much more respect for Christians in this area."
DebraBaker's Avatar DebraBaker 08:58 AM 08-10-2006
Yes, any system that has similar standards for men

I think modesty, in general, is a social construct.
Kidzaplenty's Avatar Kidzaplenty 04:00 AM 08-19-2006

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