Identity Crisis: modesty!

Oh boy… here we go again! {that’s exactly what crossed your mind, isn’t it.} I mean, seriously… how many times can she beat the horse before it dies?!  🙂 Nothing says you have to read this… but something tells me you’re going to keep reading anyhow. You’re interested… you’re curious… so read on…

About two weeks ago a friend and I were e-mailing back and forth about the matter of modesty, particularly the “skirts vs. pants” issue. She gave me permission to post what she wrote in her e-mail to me, so I’m going to share a major portion of what she said:

I asked myself why I really wore pants. I knew it was because I just wanted to BELONG. I wanted to fit-in. So for me, pants weren’t even a “sin issue” per-say as I don’t think it is for 95% of girls that struggle with it. The core problem is that it is an Identity Crisis. I had to choose who I wanted to identify with. I had to come to the point where belonging to God was where I got my security and confidence and that was enough for me. I didn’t need applause or a pat on the back or anything from anyone but my Father. I started to think how ridiculous it was to search for love and acceptance from a world that really doesn’t even love themselves and could honestly care less about me. If I could choose Christ and trust Him with my ETERNAL life, then I was choosing to carry His name with me everywhere I went. The Bible says “the love of Christ constraineth us” (II Cor. 5:14). Everyone wants the love of Christ. They will take His forgiveness, they will use up all of His mercy and grace, and then they turn to Him and say, “Since you are so good to me, please understand if I don’t look anything like a person who worships Christ or if I act like the people who mock you and hate you. Oh, but thanks again for Heaven. I’m sure I will talk to you again when I have a problem.”  No one wants the constraint of loving Christ/identifying with Him. We are to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. Our bodies have been bought with the highest price – why should we dress it like the AVERAGE human? All that to say, this obviously applies to more than pants (it includes music, the way we talk, movies we see/tv we watch… and the list goes on and on), but we can’t look past the fact that the way we present ourselves to others DOES play a role in Christianity. You CAN be saved and wear pants, you can walk with God and pray while wearing pants – it would be ridiculous to say otherwise; but our lives could be so much more effectual for the cause of Christ by becoming separated from the world and to God. Once I realized that acceptance from Christ was all I needed, my life was revolutionized. SOOOO many things changed, and one of them was I never put on another pair of pants. I have never regretted that choice. I have had more opportunities to witness for Christ because people say “You are not as I am.” and I say “NO, I’M NOT!” Not because I am better than you but because I follow a HOLY but oooohhhh soooo LOVING God and He loves you too more than anyone you will ever know! And that makes every day of living rightly WORTH IT!

She said it so much better than I could have ever tried to say it! I know this was true in my own life. I wanted to “fit in.” I was tired of people looking at me funny, asking me if I was Amish, and cracking jokes. But the truth of the matter is they didn’t understand… and neither did I back then. I wanted to feel “accepted” by a world which was never going to accept me. I wanted to blend in with other Christians who didn’t share the same standards as my parents had. But God didn’t want me to merely just “blend in” – He wanted me to be different. Why? Because my life is not my own. Every breath I take is a gift from God and it’s to be used to honor and glorify Him. Every action I do, move I make, word I say, outfit I wear, place I go, thing I listen to… EVERYthing I partake of should bring Him glory! Are pants sinful? Not necessarily. But at the same time when I wear them do they identify me more with the world or with Christ?

I would rather err on the side of caution then walk along the edge and raise questions. I want to be identified with Christ. I want to steer completely clear of ever raising any doubts as to Whom I belong. Crisis over.

A special thank you to Jessica for allowing me to use her testimony in this post!

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Posted on August 11, 2010, in Modesty and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Good post, but I would like to point out that modesty has to do with more than skirts vs pants, or male vs female (even men can dress modestly or not). Modestly also has a lot to do with where you live and what you do, and what’s suitable.

    I grew up in an area where pants were worn commonly by both men and women – mostly because of the cold weather and the outdoor (ie farm) activities both sexes did. Then I lived in a series of places where most women wore dresses – and finally now we live in a place where pants are very common for both sexes. (And not just pants, but jeans – not just for young people, but many professionals. Here (in western Wyoming) I’ve seen judges judge in jeans, doctors (including ladies) doctor in jeans, investment bankers bank in jeans, and many managers manage in jeans. Etc.

    I won’t argue whether or not nicely made pants suits can be just as modest as some dresses.
    But I will give you one example of what I mean. We live in a desert area, sometimes bleak and sometimes rugged. A few years ago my daughter (who was in her 20’s) and I were standing on top of a 500-foot-high barren, rocky ridge a mile or two from the Wyoming-Colorado border. It was windy. So windy that (a) she was leaning back over the edge of the ridge, letting the wind hold her up, and (b) she had a shovel in her hand. To see how strong the wind was, she was holding the tip of the shovel handle loosely between her two fingertips, so that the shovel was like an up-and-down weathervane. And the wind was holding the shovel up away from her fingertips at close to a 45 degree angle.

    I’ve no idea what that meant in the wind’s miles per hour – but I’d guess it had to be over 60, maybe 80 or even 100.

    Now let me just ask you this. There, in that place and time, which was more modest? A skirt? Or pants?

    We do a lot of hiking and exploring in places like that, fairly often in wind like that (the first time we visited down there along the border, the wind blew one of my wife’s earrings out of her ear.) There, my wife and daughter rarely if ever wear skirts – because they would NOT be modest, nor practical.

    I suspect that in the area where you live – wherever that is – the reverse is likely true. And that’s fine.

    But please remember – modesty is your goal. Not just skirts. And there are times and places when each – skirts AND pants – are definitely more modest than the other.

    Thanks for listening. I enjoy your writing. Keep it up.

  2. I’m enjoying the different perspectives of the pleasure in wearing a dress/skirt when we give ourselves permission to do so. : )

  3. I came across this blog by looking for christians in the blogosphere to see if anyone else struggled with the same things I did and liked to write about them the way I do.. and i have to say THANK YOU! This is something I have been struggling with. When i first started being convicted over the pants vs. skirt issue i made a compromise with God (lol such a joke right…) and said I would no longer wear pants at church or for any church activity (unless it was sports related and we really HAD to wear something else) and lately HE has been tugging at my heart again to give up pants completely which i did about a week ago… It is so refreshing to see that someone else is having this same issue.

    I too have found making the switch gives me a chance to talk about my LORD with my unsaved friends. I am what my friends like to call a “fashionista” and not getting that adorable pair of pants i saw at the mall was just the first step in them truly seeing a change in me. I was able to say to them that I wanted to be more modest and christ-like and so i was doing away with pants as part of my walk with God. They thought I was crazy but I could see a couple of them really trying to understand. I am hoping that keeping up with this will help them to realize how much they NEED the Lord.

    Again thank you for helping me to see that I am not alone in this!

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

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