Yes, I am back at it again. I note, again, I am far from perfect and will remain far from perfect until I meet The One that is Perfect. I write, not to preach from on high, but what I need to read most of the time; I write what is on my mind, what I am think about regarding my life. I am on a “rabbit trial” of reading about modesty again. I admit, freely, I am trying to challenge myself to a better relationship with God and myself.
We, as believers, are called to set ourselves apart from the world, to be in it as a shining light, but not to be of it.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-3 how much more clearly can it be stated. God wants you to minister to the lady next door, but not necessarily to be like the lady next door.
We are challenged to set ourselves apart and shine as a light to the world around us in ever aspect of our lives; not just our Sunday morning activities. We all know the old saying “who you are speaks so loud I can not hear what you are saying” this is frequently applied to parents, but I believe it applies even more strongly to our Christian Walk. It is not what you preach, it is how you live. How you live in the quick and simple moments like running back to the store again for the 3rd thing you forgot. As a Christian woman, you and I are showing the watching world a bit of who Jesus is. We show who we are in Christ, we show Christ though us.
Our bodies are precious because they are a gift from God. They are attractive because God made us in His image for His pleasure (and if we are married, to please our mates as well). However, God never intended us to flaunt ourselves or exhibit our bodies in an immodest way. He wants our bodies consecrated to him. “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” (Rom. 12:1)
Worldly dress is quite revealing. It revels much more than skin and shape: first and foremost it reveals a worldly heart. It clearly shows to who you are looking for guidance, God or the latest red carpet appearances. It also reveals wrong priorities and areas that are not yielded to God. What you wear, or don’t wear clearly reveals who you are dressing for; who’s opinion you value. It is evidence of what you think of your self, what you value about yourself. Our speech, vocation, dress must be submitted to what God’s will is for us in this life. If you worry more about your makeup than your heart, that shows. More than showing to the public we have to enter into it; it shows to our children.
Reading more about a call to modesty I found this (it is written by and regarding Orthodox Jewish women, but the fundamental concept I feel applies to all believes; and that is our relationship with God and how our lives demonstrate that relationship). I should note that the Jewish faith seems to address questions of personal accountably to God and modesty in a much more honest and simply manner. Jewish reading doesn’t seem to be wrought with this same conflict and is able to address modest, head covering, and dress without the weight and baggage about gender abuse inherent in most Christian writings (be it author or critic).
A mitzvah (commandment) is a communication between the ‘Metzvave,’ the Commander (God), and the person who has wisely chosen to observe His expressed will, thereby forging a personal relationship with the Master of the universe. Society and the people around us are merely incidental and peripheral to the process…Bottom line, the concept of Tzniut cautions us that to get seduced by a culture that is obsessed with externalities is to abandon our very core and essence…..The hair, which is a woman’s ‘crowning beauty,’ is covered when a woman leaves the confines of her home. In a sense, her full beauty is reserved exclusively for her husband. The foreign object, be it a hat or wig, no matter how attractive, is foreign, nonetheless, and constantly reminds a woman to focus on the inner beauty inside of her.
http://www.aish.com/f/rf/48944771.html (an amazing read that I wish I had written)
and this comment … The first note of clarification needs to be that the objective of God’s commandments is not the betterment of society as a whole or how we might appear to others, but rather how the mitzvot (commandments) speak to us personally, and how they enhance and promote the requisite spiritual growth of the individual who observes them. … is a very apt one as well. …… We are not called or challenged to compare ourselves to others on this earth merely to His Call on our lives. Not everyone is a preacher, or a teacher; but that doesn’t mean God has not ordained Bankers and Police. Our accountability and relationship are with Our Father.
Like I have said before a covered or modestly dressed woman reminds herself of God and her relationship with, and accountability to Him, constantly. She shows the people she meets that she is not looking to the check-out-stand tabloids to order her life, but to God Himself. If she stops and stands still for a moment she can feel God holding her. She speaks this to those around her in her action and her deed, leaving words unnecessary. This commentary portrays living a modest life as evidence of a personal connection to God; an aspect of your self, a reflection of your heart and your personal relationship with God. It reflects what is of matter to you, God and your relationship with Him; not what is of matter to the world.
On the level of theory few seek to argue these faccts. Philosophically, we all acknowledge a fundamental struggle between focusing on the external things in life or the internal dimensions. Day to day life vs God. We have to live in the world, but we do not have to judge ourselves by its standards.
Too often we make small compromises; in the books we read, in the TV we allow the kids to see, in the playmates we permit, in the clothing we wear, in our actions and activities. It is too much of a fight to NOT allow our child to play a certain game; it is all too easy to go to the store in a pair of jean intended for house cleaning. But little choices because big habits.
It is a simple fact: compromise in beliefs in one area leads to compromise in other areas of Scriptural commands as well. Maybe that strikes you as unnecessarily harsh; does letting your kids play ONE game, or wearing that holes pair of jeans one time, really matter? It does. Our life is made up of small choices. Each choice matters. Each choice sets us on a path. It human nature; human as lazy; we are sinful creatures programmed to seek the easy route. We are programmed to look for the easy, for the mostly pleasing to our physical body. Sin is real, evil is real, and human nature is flawed. Think about this: you skip the gym today because of a late meeting at work; what happens tomorrow, do you site “extra tired of that late meeting last night?” and skip the gym again? Then what: we both know, the more you skip the gym, the easier it gets to skip the gym. Ah yes; human nature.
God doesn’t call you to compromise; God calls you to stand; to fight and to run the good race. 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (Not I have picked my battles, I have mode it most of the race and I have kept the faith in the important issues). Only perseverance will please God. Glations 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
What is God calling you to today; what are you sowing in the choices you make today?