Mission: Modesty (part 3)
I think the reason I had the most problem with the whole “skirts vs. pants” issue was because it was my mom and dad’s standard… but not mine. The whole “because I said so,” the “because it’s the right thing to do,” and the “because it’s a good testimony” reasons weren’t good enough for me. It wasn’t personal to me. It wasn’t MY standard or something the Lord had convicted me about personally.
I believe this is the problem with a lot of Christian girls today who were raised with the “skirt only” standard. Once the Lord began dealing with me about this area of my life (and many other areas) it became my personal standard. I couldn’t fight it anymore. I could no longer argue with the One who spoke the worlds into existence and hung on a cross for my sin. He told me He wanted better for my life; it became common sense for me once He convicted me about the way I was dressing.
Let’s go back to the three girls I mentioned in part 1 of this series: Kristina, Kirstyn, and Jessica. Remember I said that we all began to have a discussion about this topic at the church one Tuesday afternoon? It was interesting to me that the Lord was working in all of our hearts regarding this issue at the same time. I believe the Lord worked it that way so we could all be an encouragement and share our different thoughts about the matter with each other.
As we talked we shared our struggles, our reasons, our hopes, our fears, and the lessons the Lord was teaching us. For a few of us, we had been raised in skirts our whole lives. Skirts were all we had ever known until the past couple of years. They were the old way for us – it had been a long, enduring process of applying the “children, obey your parents” law set forth by God in His Word. However, now that us four girls are older and now that the Lord has dealt with each of us personally, we can look back and see the reasons why. We can see the bigger picture. It’s not a “clothes” issue; it’s a testimony issue – it’s a heart issue.
Kirstyn shared what the clincher was for her about this matter. She had read the following verses during her devotions:
(16) Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
(24) But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. (25) Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them: (26) Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
She was so excited, yet so convicted she didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. So she cried. We all cried.
I can’t tell you how many times my mother has used the old “give an inch, take a mile” analogy when trying to discuss the issue of dress with me. “Heather, if we slip in one area, how long will it be until we say that halter tops and mini skirts are okay? How long before we allow shorts and low-cut shirts? If you want to raise your kids in pants, fine – that’s your decision. But right now you’re under my authority – you’re the child and I’m the parent, so for now what I say goes.” She tried so many times to explain to me that the best way to avoid the fall is to stay clear of the cliff’s edge. Ugh. I just didn’t get it. Mom would explain the downward spiral affect dressing like the world would have not only on me, but on the future generations that may follow behind. If she gave me an inch (pants), and I raised my children wearing pants, then what would the “inch” be that I would allow my children? Something else would be compromised. And compromise always leads to more compromise. In the end, the generations to follow will be dressing completely opposite of what a Christian should dress like – all because it started with that one “inch.”
Read those verses again. Isn’t that exactly what they’re saying? Indeed, it is. In tears, Kirstyn said: “I don’t want to raise my daughter wearing pants… I’m scared to death to allow her to wear pants!” Kirstyn wants a higher standard for her family; she wants to raise the bar a little higher and err on the side of caution. She proceeded to say that she didn’t want her child to be raised with a double-standard. Telling her daughter that it’s okay to wear pants around the house, at work, or out-and-about, but telling her she has to wear skirts whenever church rolls around or some other church-affiliated activity comes up. If you wouldn’t wear it to church, why would you wear it at all?
Jessica spoke next and said something along the lines of this: “I want the black and white areas to be distinct. I want there to be no question. I don’t want the colors to run and create fuzzy gray areas.”
Now… let me just clarify: I do not believe it’s a sin to wear pants. *GASP! oh no she didn’t…* Just wait. Keep reading, I’m not done yet. 😉
Nowhere in the Bible does it pointblank say, “Pants are a wicked sin… avoid them like the bubonic plague!” However, the Bible does tell us to “come out from among them” and be separate from the world (II Cor. 6:17). The Bible does say that we are IN the world, but not OF it. The point is this, just because something isn’t necessarily “wrong” doesn’t mean it’s necessarily “good.” There is a higher standard that you could set; there is a more holy conviction that you could have for your life. Why would you choose to be anything less than the holiest, most separated (unto God) individual you could possibly be?
I want to be the best Christian that I can be. I want to be as separated from the world as I can be; but I don’t want to just be separated “from” something, I want to be separated “unto” Someone. That Someone is God. There’s a better way. There’s a higher stand. I choose to take the high road. I want to raise my daughters on a more narrow path than the world lets their daughters run on. I want to please the Lord with my life; and I believe that this is just one more issue that He is calling me to separate myself unto Him in.
If you’re a girl, consider what you’ve just read. Please don’t send me hate mail. If you disagree, fine; that’s your prerogative. If you’re a guy and you’re actually still reading this, maybe you could leave a comment with thoughts from your perspective. After all, you are the ones who have to look at us. It would be interesting to get your point of view on this matter of modesty. Please, feel free to either leave a comment under this post, or e-mail me at email@example.com.