“You have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Thou shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that anyone who so much as looks with lust at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” - Matthew 5:27-29.
I have a huge pile of jeans and assorted pants, both mine and my daughter's, waiting to be converted to skirts. Why do all us religious zealots wear skirts?? Jesus never once said "though shalt wear skirts." He also may have said to separate yourself from men, but they make women's jeans. So what is it about the skirt that seems to lure in all the crazy christian ladies and their daughters?
I remember when I first became a part of a church, I began to wear skirts because someone told me to. And no, it was not Jesus.
The women in the church made it very clear - women must wear skirts and must not cut their hair. I'm assuming there is a rule about men not wearing skirts, but I think that one goes without saying. Showing up in a pair of jeans meant you were obviously a backslider or something. An outsider, at the very least.
I never had any sort of conviction on my heart that told me to cut it out with the jeans. I just started wearing skirts, refused to take part in P.E, and that was that. After a while, I grew tired of it - and I don't even remember when. But I realized that wearing skirts is not a rule or part of a significant doctrine. I know many women, now, who wear only skirts; none of them, however, perpetuate this practice as a rule. They do it for themselves, which, I believe, is the right reason to do it. But why, just all of a sudden, does a woman decide that, for herself, she wants to wear skirts?
I think the biggest factor is that the modern world opposes the wearing of skirts and dresses. Ultimately, the only dress that should be worn should show most of your legs, the most erotic sections of your back, and maybe even a little stomach. It should also be worn with huge sexy heels, and your breasts should peep out the top of it.
|Now THAT'S a dress! Okay.. that's.. um... *part* of a dress. I know the rest of it is around here somewhere......|
Somehow, styles have changed so much over the years that a dress often shows more skin than some swimsuits. Obviously, you will be inclined to argue. "There are some modest dresses! You just posted a terrible one...." When you truly think about it though, aren't almost ALL fashionable dresses at least sleeveless? Cut far above the knee? Extremely low-cut?
Dresses that cover the whole body are not even remotely trendy anymore. There is a stigma that a long denim skirt or modest dress is frumpy. Women who wear skirts past their knees also wear blouses and have poofy hair!
|Oh my Yahweh.|
Modest apparel does not exactly evoke warm fuzzy feelings for most people. This girl looks like a "dork". She looks "weird". She looks "religious." She looks naive. Somehow the first picture is much preferred. That Snooki-look alike may look trashy, but at least she fits in!
Anyways, back to skirts vs. jeans. I don't look at people in jeans and think "look at that trollop... I can see that she has two legs!" I don't think jeans or pants are inherently immodest. Obviously, there are some that would be better off in a burn pile. but it's not like it's black and white.
For me, personally, my battle with dressing with conviction began a long time ago. Way before I knew Jesus for real, before I ever stepped foot in a church, I dressed like the whore of Babylon. If I could walk around in a bikini top and short shorts, I would. I actually did that several times. The saddest part was probably that I was a pre-teen at the time, and did it up until after I was married.
My best justification was that I was not actually a whore - I had never even kissed anyone. Somehow, dressing like I was promiscuous was okay as long as I wasn't *actually* promiscuous. I don't know where I got that from, but like all sinners, I tried not to think too hard about my justifications lest I see through them.
Even after I was married, I still struggled with how I dressed. The style changed somewhat, but I still paid little to no attention to how much of my body was covered and what was hanging out.
It wasn't until after we gave our fertility up to God that I began to feel convicted about how I dressed.
This whole blog post could turn into my inner spiritual struggle and how I fought the Lord on the issue for YEARS. Unfortunately, for you readers, that is not what happened. This is one issue where I obeyed first and asked questions later, so I immediately began transitioning to more modest apparel.
For me, this didn't simply mean throwing on a skirt and calling it good. There was virtually nothing in my wardrobe that was appropriate by my new standards. I no longer wanted any tank tops, anything low-cut, anything especially tight.... I spent weeks wearing different outfits and slowly choosing that they should not have been worn and consequently putting them away. The reason I needed a total overhaul was that my conviction was not about specific garments that I found ungodly, like jeans or tank tops. The problem was that I had always worn them with an ungodly intention, and revealing too much "body" was continuing to invoke that intention.
It's been several months and I am still trying to completely weed out the crap. My biggest struggle is that as I get more and more pregnant, things tend to become less and less modest or more and more ... garbage-bag-like. I don't want to walk around in a giant T-shirt, and I have several tank tops that fit over my belly. But since I have conviction about showing that much chest and arm (it doesn't take much of a low-cut shirt for me to be completely revealing my goods, unfortunately), I have found myself constantly struggling to find a comfortable cardigan to remedy the situation.
Depending on the weather, I also find myself wearing shorter dresses with leggings. I haven't had conviction about this, probably because my legs were never really an issue with how I dressed. While traveling through snow (we walk A LOT) I have found that long, flowing skirts become nearly impossible. Couple a long heavy skirt with a pair of snow boots and I'm seriously not going to make it down the driveway, except maybe on my bum.
I didn't go into this life-altering (hahaha life-altering! Just kidding, it's just clothing. I'm not in high school anymore) escapade with this sudden, formidable list of rules. I'm sort of just playing it by ear. If I wear something, and feel like I have "exposed" too much, I put it in the giveaway pile. I still find myself, on occasion, looking for clothing in magazines and online and thinking "well, that's not too bad..." and I have to remind myself that I am dressing for the glory of God, not the glory of fashion or settling for what is right in front of me.
So, what is dressing for the glory of God, and how does one?
Believe it or not, this entire blog post is not just here for the purpose of talking about myself. Although I have already spent a superfluous amount of time doing so.
There are many things that we can allow to be idols in our lives. To struggle with what to wear can be idolatry for many people. It's not necessarily an issue of fashion (although I suppose it could be) but rather an issue of what's in your own heart.
For me, personally, dressing to glorify God was an issue of covering up my lady lumps. I spent years showing off my midriff and breasts - on the inside, it was a mental issue that was fulfilling a lack of male attention while growing up. It sounds like an association they would try to make on an ABC family movie, but seriously - it's real. Even after I was married, the attention from my husband was not enough.
It is different for different people however.
Dressing for God's glory can mean different things to different people - for some, it may not even really pertain to clothing, but how you "clothe" yourself spiritually. I would have to say though that if you feel conviction about any part of your physical attire, you should definitely begin to pray about it openheartedly and ask the Lord if there is something you need to change.
Be ye holy, for I am holy.
Anyone with common sense can look at a person like the Snooki-look-alike and make an instant assessment as to whether or not they are "holy." Alternately, most people see others wearing flowing skirts and often can sense how they exude holiness. Is it because skirts are magical? I think not - but generally, skirts are *more* modest than jeans. Once again, I am not saying that jeans make a sinner or anything like that. This is just one question I had formed for myself about *why* skirts would be a better choice for me.
I'm sure you've all read that:
"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God" (Deut. 22:5)."
I have had several people ask me "Well, where is it defined that women wear dresses and men wear pants?"
My first argument would be, once agen)ain, that many jeans on the market for women today are inherently immodest. But besides that, I don't think this scripture is focusing solely on a particular garment. Yes, it says, " neither shall a man put on a woman's garment" but it can be [spiritually] derived when cross-referenced with other scripture that women (and m should present themselves for a purpose.
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. 6 Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 9 Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
We are told to do these things "that the word of God may not be reviled" and to "adorn the doctrine of God our Savior."
In this day, many Christians have a hard time stepping out of the World and into the Word. How many times have you witnessed a person doing or saying something Godly, and because of their lack of fruits (or their bearing of bad fruit) were completely shocked - because you had no idea they were a "christian"? Now this is not about judging people's hearts as to whether or not they are a Christian, but rather, assessing for yourself; out of the "fruits" you produce, you really do need to look at how you dress.
Again, this is not to say that obviously wearing pants is bad fruit and wearing skirts is good fruit. Alternately, however, just because the World says that women are still dressing appropriately in pants because there are pants manufactured specifically for women does not mean that is the best choice for adorning the doctrine of God in how we look. We cannot be the Lord's peculiar people and be exactly the same as everyone else.
An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself[e] with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.
For the record, I have never felt HALF as feminine in a pair of jeans (sexy, confident, yes... feminine, no) as I do in a long, flowing skirt.It makes me feel graceful and womanly.
I think that women can make this choice for themselves and I don't think that it is some sort of "deal breaker" that is going to send you to hell.
However, if you have felt any conviction about it, it is something you should definitely take seriously. I didn't really have to pray about it or question it, because my conviction was very clear to begin with. If it is something you are struggling with, you should pray and ask God to grant you clarity of the heart and mind so that you can understand better what he desires from you. And if your first reaction to this blog post was "wow, that would be the worst thing ever if God convicted me to wear only skirts," your day is probably coming - because that's how I felt at one point!
If you have any questions about how I can possibly mother all of my small children, chase after my pets, and go swimming if I only wear skirts, I am more than happy to answer these questions! Just comment, facebook me, leave and email.... whatever :)