Thoughts on modesty- Christian mamas - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-06-2006, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering if the other Christian moms here could share their thoughts on modesty and any resources they can point me to. I've been feeling convicted lately to do a better job dressing modestly and want to do it without looking frumpy.

I was also wondering if there are any Christians here who cover their heads and what your thoughts are on that.

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Old 08-06-2006, 06:12 PM
 
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there was a whole thread on this a while back.

you have to realize re head coverings that in the NT culture that the apostle paul spoke about head coverings to, there were certain characteristics of prostitutes. i believe one of them was an uncovered head or short hair. been a while since i have studied it - but something for you to look into

Personally, if my private parts are covered i feel ok. i prefer not to show cleavage but kinda difficult when my boobs are enlarged from BF unless i wear only shirts that come up to my neck
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Old 08-07-2006, 02:10 PM
 
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I am also convicted to modesty - and would cover if my dh weren't so uncomfortable with it.... I do on occasion when I'm feeling particularly lost....

Here's some links I have found helpful - it's been awhile since I've visited a lot of them, so sorry in advance if they aren't much of anything

briceandbensa.com/thebiblicalpracticeofheadcovering.htm

expage.com/headcoveringtoday

kingshouse.org/headcovering.htm

montanasat.net/rickv/headcovering2.html

montanasat.net/rickv/headcovering.html

achristianhome.org (they have info on modesty)

plainlydressed.bravepages.com/headcoveringfile.htm

tldm.org/news6/veils.htm

momof9splace.com (she also has fabulous links to other modesty sites)


That's all I can remember for the time being ~ many blessings on your journey!

and to address PP comment on *your* interpretation of Paul's admonishments... that is how the Word speaks to you... not to me, and a lot of other people. So for you to say "you have to realize" is quite rude and condescending....
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Old 08-07-2006, 02:36 PM
 
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I believe in modesty. But I also believe that the normal, non-provocative clothes most adult women in our society wear are sufficiently modest. Unless you've got a totally hot, youthful bod and have been consciously dressing to super-accentuate it, I doubt you have a problem. I don't think it's immodest for a woman to wear normal-fitting pants, or a sleeveless t-shirt on a hot summer day. Et cetera. Ask yourself, "is this the kind of outfit that most men in our society would honestly consider provocative or overtly sexual?"

On the other hand I do think it is immodest to dress in a way that draws attention to one's religiosity. I believe that this kind of exaggerated "modesty" is the modern day equivalent of when Jesus condemned the Pharisees for wearing large phylacteries and tassles in order to show how religious they were.

I also believe this applies to headcoverings. The reality is, we do not live in a society where a woman's uncovered hair is considered immodest, nor does it symbolize whether you have the correct social role of devout/submissive wife vs. prostitute or whatever. We DO live in a society where most forms of headcoverings announce: "look at me! I'm really conservative! I follow the Bible strictly!" The chapter in Corinthians where headcoverings is discussed is one of the hardest and most controversial in the Bible to interpret, so you have to weigh the probability that one certain interpretation may be correct against the certainty that the Lord calls us not to blow our own horn in religious matters. Also, he says "don't worry about what you're going to wear" and in the book of James there are some comments against judging people on clothes. Also to the fact that we are no longer under the Law. God is not going to judge us by outward gestures and rules about the physical aspects of daily life: "do not touch, do not eat, do not handle." Finally, bear in mind that toward the end of the passage on coverings, Paul says: "but if anyone wishes to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God." What is the practice of women in the church you attend? If you started to cover would it be like saying they were bad for not doing it? How would this affect your unity with them? I recommend you ask your pastor about it.
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Old 08-07-2006, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Galatea, I think you have a lot of good points.

The headcovering issue aside, can people share their thoughts on modesty as it applies to them?

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Old 08-07-2006, 09:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by WannaBeFarmin
and to address PP comment on *your* interpretation of Paul's admonishments... that is how the Word speaks to you... not to me, and a lot of other people. So for you to say "you have to realize" is quite rude and condescending....
Welcome to mdc, new member.

You might want to look around a bit before posting on this board. Just a friendly suggestion.
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Old 08-08-2006, 02:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by DaryLLL
Welcome to mdc, new member.

You might want to look around a bit before posting on this board. Just a friendly suggestion.
Um, thanks for the *welcome* ~ I've been looking around for over a year
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Old 08-08-2006, 02:49 AM
 
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there have been several threads on this. My big modesty chat is that it isn't just hat you wear but how you wear it and how you move in it.

things to consider -

when you bend forward does your shirt gap? does your butt stick out? is there a more modest way to get things off the floor (yes- bend at the knee, this is also better for your back).

dressing/moving in a way to attract sexual attention isn't the only way to be immodest. but wearing clothes in an attempt to attract attention for any reason culd be considered immodest. I am sure this could be interpreted any number of ways but i am thinking about people who dress in certain brands ect to prove they have "arrived". that is an attitude of pride and boastfulness which has no place in a heart that seeks to have pure motives and desires.

also how do you walk, talk and what activites are you engaging in? do they contribute to a modest demeanor?

Just because it was modest yesterday doesn't meanit is modest today. weight fluctuations etc. can efect the way our clothes fit. I have lost a bit of weight and lost my skirt in church on easter sunday. it doesn't matter how long it is if it is around your ankles also a shirt that was modest right after you nursed may no longer be modest when your breasts are engorged or your milk is leaking.

and if you are inclined to worship by dancing, lifting hands, bowing or being slain in the spirit, (no judgments on any of those by the way) you will want to do all these things in your outfit before leaving the house. Just to make sure you are covered again in church I looked down while raising my hands and realized my shirt rose up over my bely roll and gapped at the bra. how owuld I know. my eyes are generally closed. So give it a good "praise the Lord" check before leaving the house.

and I do not think frump= modest or vice versa. there is nothing paticularly holy about the 80s. I think it is more modest to dress in style so as not to call too much attention to yourself. its hard to verbalize what I am getting at. anyway there is plenty of options for dressing modestly and stylishly. You just have to be creative and look around. Lands End is good. Old navy usually has some good inexpensive selections. and I have had good luck at kohls. Think about the stores you would usually shop at and they generally have a least a couple options available. if you aren't looking to go dresses only your options expand quite a bit.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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Old 08-08-2006, 09:50 AM
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I also think the same person can dress differently for different occasions and still be considered modest.

I, for example, wear a bikini(!!) but with a cover up. All five of my dd's wear a bikini swimming and out on the boat and I don't think they're doing anything wrong because, in that environment, wearing a bikini is appropriate.

If I'm in church, I'll wear something else. Our church is relaxed and the pastor has been known to preach in shorts and tivos. Um, thankfully, never a speedo.

I think a short skirt is cute and doesn't show anything that ought not to be shown.

I have 38 D boobs, and I'm sensitive not to have my cleavage spilling and attracting attntion. I think it's a bit harder for well endowed women to dress as not to attract attention. Lately, I have been wearing button up blouses because they're comfey and I know where the sisters are at all times.

I really think modesty is about keeping the private parts private and not drawing attention to the self.
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:22 AM
 
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you are inclined to worship by dancing, lifting hands, bowing or being slain in the spirit, (no judgments on any of those by the way) you will want to do all these things in your outfit before leaving the house. Just to make sure you are covered again in church I looked down while raising my hands and realized my shirt rose up over my bely roll and gapped at the bra. how owuld I know. my eyes are generally closed. So give it a good "praise the Lord" check before leaving the house.
I don't get the need to "posture" before the lord. I mean. If you feel "modest" dress is required, and you believe you are modesty attired, you are covered by God's grace on that one aren't you?

If you DO feel moved by the spirit in your praise your interest shouldn't be diverted to what you are wearing. Doesn't that sort of miss the point with the modesty you've tried to approach?

I don't understand why during a worship and praise service anyone would be worrying about a bit of your belly roll when their eyes should be on God. To worry about your belly roll or a bit of butt jiggle or a shirt pucker that isn't there otherwise seems contrived to me, and not neccessarily honest in the spirit.

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Old 08-08-2006, 11:31 AM
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If you are being moved by the Spirit, the Spirit isn't going to blow your skirt over your head, Marilyn Monroe style or anything.
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:38 AM
 
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but that is the point of thinking about these things before you are actually moved thusly. Because I for one wasn't thinking about modesty or even dignity. but the person sitting next to me may not have been moved by the spirit and was siting there thinking "ew yuck" or "ah! booby!"

hence the reason I brought it up. people just don't think about it in the moment. better to think about it before hand.

I guess if I am going to bother being modest I am going to bother at all times. its just not that hard for me to t hink "oh this is something I might wear to church. hands up, ok, passes the test" and besides, it isn't like church is the only place we are likely to raise our hands or kneel or fall over for whatever reason. I know the church I grew up in had modestly covering for ladies who "went out" it was a half a sheet thrown over her so she could have her moment with God and not worry and not cause anyone to stumble etc. but not all churches consider this.

its just something to consider.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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Old 08-08-2006, 11:50 AM
 
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My PIL's church does that as well, and I have to wonder who are the pervs looking up the moved by the spirit woman's skirt or shirt KWIM? I mean if you are there for God, be THERE for GOD! Not the opportunistic voyeuristic moment.

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Old 08-08-2006, 11:59 AM
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I think working toward a society where women are't objectified or treated as lower forms of human life would be a good start, too.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:13 PM
 
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I suppose that would cut down on the pervs looking up women who are moved by the spirits skirts. WWJD? I think he would just be happy she was so in tuned with her God. Panties be damned.

It's lonely being the only XX in a house of XYs.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:14 PM
 
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i find it amazing, and not in a good way, that people can think that god is remotely concerned with what they wear, given the state of the world. War, poverty, disease-and God's big worry is wether a woman bends over in a short skirt??? it seems so arrogant to me.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:43 PM
 
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:45 PM
 
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i find it amazing, and not in a good way, that people can think that god is remotely concerned with what they wear, given the state of the world. War, poverty, disease-and God's big worry is wether a woman bends over in a short skirt??? it seems so arrogant to me.
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?

B/c that's an awfully inflammatory post in response to someone's sincere question...
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:51 PM
 
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i'm not sure what my spiritual path is, but i am on one and was raised in a Christian home, and am allowed to have an opinion. There's so little mention of modest dress in the bible, especially compared to say, helping the poor, and loving they neighbor, that I am truly confused as to how it has become such a looming issue for so many.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:52 PM
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As a Christian, I think mg is making a valid point.

With all the Israeli and Lebonese children suffering and being killed, I don't think we need to micromanage one another's wardrobes.

Keep th nipples and labia covered and I think we're all in business.

And the nips aren't even in trouble if they're lactating nips.
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:08 PM
 
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I just have to say that I think Christian women should dress modestly.BUT I don't think that means I sould have to wear a head cover, or clothes up to my neck, and down to my ankles. i think women should dress in a stylish fashion. I don't do a "praise the Lord" check before I leave though. ALL MY CLOTHES ARE TESTED TO FIT WELL BEFORE I BUY .

In my church we do alot of dancing during worship.

I also attended Oral Roberts University. I was there when Oral Roberts and his wife Evelyn ran alot of things. The joke was(a sick twisted joke, mind you, and only a joke. Not meant for real)) Was that "when Evelyn died we could wear pants to class" Because Richard ROberts(Oral's son) and his wife Lindsay were not oldschool penacostle and into women only wearing skirts to class. So all us girls had to wear skirts to class, jeans after a certain time at night. It was mainly to look professional, but it was kind of oppressive.

So, when Lindsay took over, girls were allowed pants, even courdoroys!

But my point is, it taught me to be respectful of my own self. That I wouldn't just wear a tight , short, immodest skirt just because I could. That I had learned a bit of respect for myself in that way. Sure, I may show some cleavage now and then, but as Debra said, large-chested women can't often help it. I have a short distance from my shoulders to my cleavage and though I could wear a large bra top(tank top) sometimes, the medium seems to cover up the girls more.Sometimes even the medium is too low.I often have to wear something over my nursing tank tops.

So i think women should dress nicely, but not as to over-accentuate in all the wrong places.And I also don't think there is anything overtly spiritual about wearing a head covering to be spiritual or dressing frumpy with no makeup. I think it is a matter of personal style but should not be confused with a higher level of spirituality.

I don't know what verse an PP was reffering to about Paul, but there is a verse in the bible where he refers to a head covering and it is talking about authority. Having a covering of spiritual authrority over you.Whether you are married, or maybe a leader in the church.

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Old 08-08-2006, 01:38 PM
 
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I guess for me dressing modestly is about helping my brother from stumbling (and I would hope he would pay me he same respect).

it is also about refining my heart and cultivating pure motives. if I am not willing to scarifice my cute short skirt and low cut tops and the attention they bring me am i realy willing to sacrifice anything?

I don't care what other people do with thier own bodies. but I am responsible for mine and will not allow it to be a stumbling block for others a path to sin for me. it is a fairly personal thing to me.

and I don't think just becuase I guy sees something and is turned on by he is is a perv. men are very visually stimulated. that doesn't make them bad. if we just all cared for each other, supported and protected each other a little bit more it would be so much easier to live holy lives. not to mention the first step to world peace is to be kind to the person sitting next to you. the first step to making concessions and compromise on a global scale is to do so for the person sitting nest to you. it is easy to think "go help yoursef. I like to dress this way and if you sin over it it is your problem" true it is thier probelm to an extent. But I love my brothers and sisters, i have compassion for thier struggles, and will do my best to be a source of strength rather than another source of battlefield for them. I truely believe the condition of our hearts and our attitudes in the little things dictate how things play out on the biggest levels. it all starts in the individual hearts and minds of humanity. Am I willing to sacrifice comfort or style for the guy sitting next to me? if not will I be willing to sacrifice something bigger for something bigger? probably not.

like I said modesty goes further for me than making sure my privates stay private. it is being mindful of the way my clothing choices (all my choices) affect others and being careful that I am someone who can support my brothers and sisters in fighting back what ever areas of sin they struggle with (we all have those things that trip us up be it lust, greed, laziness, covtness, selfishness, wanting to be the center of attention etc what we wear can create mroe than lust. it can cause someone to covet, cause them discontent, cause them to hate the acces of Christians while they go without, it can cause low self esteem and lack of self worth in others). it is my goal to be an encouragement to my brothers and sisters wherever they are and however they need it. not judge thier efforts or failures. what we wear says so much about us. dressing modestly wouldn't be controversial if it weren't true. we dress a certain way for very specific reasons. it is a reflection of who we are and can be a reflection of what we think of others.

but all of this is just my personal opinions and I am babeling.

my point was if your goal is to be modest here are just a few things I didn't think about right away and one may want to consider. YMMV :

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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Old 08-08-2006, 01:44 PM
 
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and as for head covering. I am certainly not opposed to it. I see the benifits on a personal as well as a spiritual level. Do you go to a church where they cover? then by all means do so. what is stoping you? are you just being rebellious? want something differnt from everyone else? then why go to a church that covers? Does your husband want you to cover?

again whats stopping you? I don't consider it a modesty issue though. i do think it is very becoming and I do respond differently (in a positive to way) to most people who cover regardles of what faith they are. to me is signifies a level of devotion (that I do not have) and submission and regardless of who or what you are worshiping I really respect devotion and submission to that. I find it very admirable.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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Old 08-08-2006, 01:44 PM
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Lilyka,

I sense your motives are pure, but I also believe you seem too willing to sacrifice for men, in general.
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:47 PM
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Again, I have a natural negative reaction to covered women because I think it represents sexist and patriarchal oppression.

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.
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Old 08-08-2006, 02:24 PM
 
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Lilyka,

I sense your motives are pure, but I also believe you seem too willing to sacrifice for men, in general.
modesty is not just about women causing men to sin. there are plenty of areas immodest dress by women can cause a woman to sin.

also I expect men to dress modestly also and believbe they will be held accountable if they don't. they need to be protecting thier sisters. we are just as prone to lust and envy and all manners of unattractive thinking. and they are just as responsible for us as we are for them.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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Old 08-08-2006, 02:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lilyka
modesty is not just about women causing men to sin. there are plenty of areas immodest dress by women can cause a woman to sin.

also I expect men to dress modestly also and believbe they will be held accountable if they don't. they need to be protecting thier sisters. we are just as prone to lust and envy and all manners of unattractive thinking. and they are just as responsible for us as we are for them.
First off, I think some women dress to be enticing, others are just beautiful no matter how they dress and will get a man's attention. YES, women should be thoughtful of how men veiw the world, but should notbe in BONDAGE because of it!People need to take responsibility for their own actions and sins.If my husband were to see some scantily clad woman in church and then sin because of it-I hope he would not blame it on her! And vice versa. Our home group leaders-the wife wears tube top dresses to church and is about as spiritual as they come.

I think if too much emphasis is on what people wear , as in determining their spirituality, alot of people are going to be turned off of Christianity.
What about all the people who come in to church from the clubs and all they have are short little dresses? Should they be excluded from worship?
Should older , more "advanced" Christian women not take them in and teach them? Should they judge and criticize and try to exclude her?

To the OP, don't let it put you in bondage. Dress modestly, but don't sacrifice your personal style or fashion over it. There are many acceptable thigns to wear nowadays that don't show alot.

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Old 08-08-2006, 02:55 PM
 
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hmmm. interesting. i don't think i dress modestly according to these standards i still think i am a loving, compassionate, good person.

i don't think women *cause* men to sin based on how they dress. i don't think women should be worried about whether or not we are *causing* men to sin.

i think i'm missing the entire point here

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Old 08-08-2006, 02:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mandib50
hmmm. interesting. i don't think i dress modestly according to these standards i still think i am a loving, compassionate, good person.

i don't think women *cause* men to sin based on how they dress.

i think i'm missing the entire point here


I am kind of confused as to what people in this thread think is modest clothing

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.

Due with number 5 in August. We do all that crunchy stuff.
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lilyka
I guess for me dressing modestly is about helping my brother from stumbling (and I would hope he would pay me he same respect)

....

I don't care what other people do with thier own bodies. but I am responsible for mine and will not allow it to be a stumbling block for others a path to sin for me. it is a fairly personal thing to me.

and I don't think just becuase I guy sees something and is turned on by he is is a perv. men are very visually stimulated. that doesn't make them bad. if we just all cared for each other, supported and protected each other a little bit more it would be so much easier to live holy lives. not to mention the first step to world peace is to be kind to the person sitting next to you. the first step to making concessions and compromise on a global scale is to do so for the person sitting nest to you. it is easy to think "go help yoursef. I like to dress this way and if you sin over it it is your problem" true it is thier probelm to an extent. But I love my brothers and sisters, i have compassion for thier struggles, and will do my best to be a source of strength rather than another source of battlefield for them. I truely believe the condition of our hearts and our attitudes in the little things dictate how things play out on the biggest levels. it all starts in the individual hearts and minds of humanity. Am I willing to sacrifice comfort or style for the guy sitting next to me? if not will I be willing to sacrifice something bigger for something bigger? probably not.

like I said modesty goes further for me than making sure my privates stay private. it is being mindful of the way my clothing choices (all my choices) affect others and being careful that I am someone who can support my brothers and sisters in fighting back what ever areas of sin they struggle with (we all have those things that trip us up be it lust, greed, laziness, covtness, selfishness, wanting to be the center of attention etc what we wear can create mroe than lust. it can cause someone to covet, cause them discontent, cause them to hate the acces of Christians while they go without, it can cause low self esteem and lack of self worth in others). it is my goal to be an encouragement to my brothers and sisters wherever they are and however they need it. not judge thier efforts or failures. what we wear says so much about us. dressing modestly wouldn't be controversial if it weren't true. we dress a certain way for very specific reasons. it is a reflection of who we are and can be a reflection of what we think of others.

but all of this is just my personal opinions and I am babeling.

my point was if your goal is to be modest here are just a few things I didn't think about right away and one may want to consider. YMMV :
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka
modesty is not just about women causing men to sin. there are plenty of areas immodest dress by women can cause a woman to sin.

also I expect men to dress modestly also and believbe they will be held accountable if they don't. they need to be protecting thier sisters. we are just as prone to lust and envy and all manners of unattractive thinking. and they are just as responsible for us as we are for them.
Ok. It seems you are placing A LOT of blame for sin on other people's actions.

And are men visually motivated creatures? Or are they equally visually motivated like women.

I also don't understand how another woman's dress can be a stumbling block for another woman unless you are talking about the sin of jealousy, in which case, that is going to be a possibility with everything.

I do NOT need to protect anyone from their own impure thoughts. They are theirs alone to fight or pray about. I refuse to dress like a frump to keep men from looking at me. The truth is I'm 7 months pregnant and I still have men looking at me. It makes me roll my eyes, because hey, I'm 7 months pregnant. If I'm not thinking about "blessing" my husband I'm certainly not going to "bless" you either.

If YOU feel it helps YOU in YOUR spiritual journey good. I'm glad it makes you feel closer to God. Whatever gets you there. However, I don't think that modest dress makes anyone more pius in God's eyes than anyone else. It seems in a lot of Christian circles that the more "modest", (read shapelessly) you dress the more "holy" you are percieved to be.

I hope you don't feel like I'm attacking you personally Lilyka, I swear I'm not. It's just your words that struck me the most at the core of what I find wrong with the idea of "modest" dress. The idea that all sinning comes from women and the poor men just can't control themselves when face to face with any sort of female flesh.

It's lonely being the only XX in a house of XYs.
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