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:

Jeremiah 6:
(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.

Jeremiah 7:
(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 growup318@gmail.com.

If you haven’t yet read Part 1 and Part 2, I encourage you to do so!

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Posted on July 25, 2010, in Modesty and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Exactly! The pharisees were separated ‘from’ all day long, but they weren’t separated ‘to.’
    The rest of 2 Cor. 6:17 that you quoted says, “…and I will receive you.” We come out from among the wickedness of the world so we can be drawn closer to Christ.
    “Conformity is bondage. Separation is liberty,” Dr. Dennis Corle (The Chemistry of Separation). Conformity didn’t offer you anything lasting but separation does!

    OK, you asked so sorry if I’m rambling on your blog! I’m always impressed when a girl takes an open heart to the ‘pants issue’ and just honestly seeks God’s face; whatever her conclusion may be. (Also, emailing you a resource on the subject)

  2. cindy sharpeta

    You are one brave girl… not everyone would have put their heart out there… I have alwasy told my girls..I have to do what i believe God wantd for me to do,, not everyone believes this way, but I believe that God wants for me to dress beyond reproach, yes it is different and odd, but did God not say we are to be separate,not the same as the world, which means more than our dress, of course, the places we go , the things we do…why not strive to be above reproach. I have family and friends who wear pants, still love them the same..i have learned it is not my worry or problem to be the “Holy Spirit”..what others do in their life is for God to deal with…I must do my best to honor Him…it is a small thing to do, this matter of dress….I truly believe if i changed now,,, it would hurt my testimony, such as it is, yes, pants are more convenient, maybe more comfortable…but there is the modesty issue, and like you say, Heather, it does lead to other things that may be on the line for a christian…i truly enjoyed reading “your heart” thanks so musch…and as a mother, i can say .yours, I’m sure is sooo proud..

  3. Ok, so I try not to debate the whole pants vs skirts thing too much.
    I personally believe that my own standards are not and should not be everyone else’s standards. So, in an issue like this… I usually just say that I don’t force my personal issues on anyone else. Its when we enforce our own standards on other people (people who weren’t raised the same way or with the same belief system) is where most “christians” go wrong.

    having said that, Heather, you presented why you believe with the conviction of someone who really believes it. And that is great! We need less of this “do it because the pastor or your parents said so”
    I want to raise my kids (in the far, far, far, far future) to think for themselves. To use the tools that God has given them to find out WHY…not just WHAT.
    I know that children need some training…but I don’t want them to struggle with such issues until they are 40…I want to “train them up in the way they should go”
    that includes tackling some deep issues! and not just glossing over them with the “because I said so”

    Like I said before, I have no problem with pants. Of course… I am also a man, so I may not see the issue the same way. This may be an issue for me that I don’t truly settle till I have my own wife and children. But for now, God has given me peace on the issue, and if He chooses to deal with me on it later, then so be it.
    If my wife wants to take the high road, then I will be supportive of it.

    Good job Heather. 🙂
    If theres one thing thats wrong with 90% of Christians its that they never search these things out for themselves. If we all did that, we would be so much closer to what true Christianity is.

    Just remember…God deals with different people in different ways. Just make sure you are loving and kind to those who haven’t (and may not ever) reach your same conclusions. They can still be mightily used by God.
    And I know you will 🙂

  4. Kirstyn McClaran

    Loved reading it, Heather!!
    I was talking to some friends about this who are kind of undecided on how they want to raise their daughter and they asked me something along the lines of, “What’s going to be your answer when your daughter comes to you and asks why.” I told them, I don’t really know right now… I don’t have all the answers to why. But God has convicted me of this and impressed on my heart the importance of raising my girl(s) this way. I have a few years to figure out and understand the why’s. And I’m praying that by the time Emma’s old enough to ask that question, I’ll have a good answer for her! But for right now, I’m fine with just doing it because I feel God wants me to live above the gray areas!
    When I was talking to my mom about all of this, shortly after I made my decision, I told her, “I’m having a hard time with this because I’m a very factual, common sense kind of person. This doesn’t make sense to me… I don’t think there’s anything WRONG with pants.” My mom being the Godly, sweetheart of a mom she is, replied with a chuckle, “Well, God’s will for our lives doesn’t always make sense to us. But it doesn’t have to either!” It’s starting to make sense more and more as I live it out on a daily basis… But I had to take that first step in faith–with or without a “good reason” as to why I was doing this. After all, doing it for the Lord is reason enough!

  5. Great article, very well done, and agree with your conclusion! There are more Biblical truths that could strengthen your points, that in my opinion make it more than just a preference, but not all agree there either.

    On yeah, be careful reading John Piper. Not sure of what you believe doctrinally, but he is definetly a calvinist among other things. If you are too, no issue, but if you are not, you must be careful of buying in. Just my thoughts.

    Agian, thanks for the great artilce.

    • Sir, thank you so much for your comment! If you don’t mind, I’d love to hear what Biblical truths you have that would support this side of the issue. If you wouldn’t mind e-mailing them to me? My e-mail is heather.vires@gmail.com. I’d really appreciate it!

      Also, thank you for your concern in the doctrinal areas of my life. No, I am not a Calvinist. I am an Independant Fundamental KJV Baptist. However, the book came highly reccomended to me by many, many people. I have definitely spotted alot of things in his book that I don’t agree with – but the overall point of living your life for Jesus Christ is overwhelming in the book and quite convicting.
      I have had many discussions with Calvinists throughout the years and strongly oppose parts of their doctrine – mainly because it isn’t Biblical (though they claim it is).

      Thank you again for taking the time to visit my site and for leaving a comment! I would love to hear from you via e-mail.
      ~ Heather Joy

  6. Nicely done, Heather.

    One of the valid complaints I’ve heard about Christians is that we’re better about saying what we’re against instead of what we’re for.

    Jesus said to love God first with all you’ve got and your neighbor as yourself summed up all the commandments.

  1. Pingback: Confessions of a RIFB girl of 20-something {I wear snow pants.} « Grow Up!

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