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April 15, 2008

Chapter 19 Chaste

Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Chaste- Pure in all thought, word, and act and to be modest and honorable in all things. This chapter really hits home for me. Maybe because we have 1 teenage son and 3 teenage daughters. Modesty is something that I feel is always having to be evaluated around here. I get frustrated with the clothing that is out there for young ladies. My girls want to look feminine and yet ‘feminine’ by the worlds standards is ‘the lower & the tighter the better’ in both shirts and pants. And bathing suits are another whole different story. Last year a couple of our girls needed swim suits. After searching high and low….we found nothing that was modest. In the young teens size almost everything was a bikini or very low cut (high cut on the legs). So they just ended up wearing a tank top and shorts over their bathing suits to cover what wasn’t covered. And for our son, I feel bad that he can’t even go shopping without seeing ‘ungodly images’ on the magazines at the checkout stand…never mind the images when going to the beach. A while back the girls and I read a book called “Dear Princess” In it there is a chapter about modest & outward beauty. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7) Something that they said in the book that has challenged me over and over was…When you look into the mirror instead of asking yourself if you look ‘good’, ask yourself if you are brining glory to God by the way you are dressing. Dress as if you were dressing for Him. As Debi put it “A woman’s clothes, hair, and adornments-not just her mouth-make a loud profession to all who see her that she is modest and godly, or that she is immodest and ungodly. I appreciate the way Debi addressed the whole ‘women dressing in men’s apparel’ issue. Please understand that I am not attacking any one person here. But I do think that this whole dress vs. pants issue can so easily become a ‘law’. As I talked about before, ‘God looks at the heart’. I have seen some girls and women who were against wearing pants and only wore dresses whose ‘heart appearance’ was nothing to be desired. It doesn’t matter to me if people choose to dress different than I do, but it does matter to me if it becomes law above real heart issues. We do wear pants in our home. A few years ago as I was reading and meditating on Deut. 2:5 I approached my husband and asked him if this meant that I should start wearing dresses. We came up to the same conclusion as was mentioned in this chapter, this verse is referring to cross dressing to look like the opposite gender. In reading scriptures and seeing how men and woman both wore robes and men wore skirts, the whole ‘wearing pants is dressing like a man’ thing didn’t make sense to us. In fact my husband would prefer me not to wear a dress. He likes me as his ‘farm girl’ and so he prefers me in jeans and a sweat shirt. So I have barely any dresses in my closet. And you know what, I don’t feel guilty about it! So ask your husband as the leader of your home what he would like. All this to say, ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover’. Just because someone does or doesn’t wear a skirt does not indictate her walk with God. So when you see someone who wears pants while you only wear dresses or visa versa, don’t get this ‘more righteous than thou’ attitude. Get to know that person, get to know their heart and then make your conclusions. I have to say I found the story of Bob a little to the extreme. I don’t think this would happen to the average ‘Bob’. I do believe though that we as ladies have to think seriously about the way we dress and that we can very easily be an unknowing participant in visual adultery. My daughters and I routinely check with my husband to ask if a certain thing we are wearing is ‘modest’. Why, because he is a man, and something that we may think nothing of, he may see differently. So all this to say: fashion is not the most important thing. Dressing to the glory of God is. So next time you get dressed look in the mirror and ask yourself this question, “Does what I am wearing bring glory to God? Would my Heavenly Father be pleased with me?” And please teach this to your daughters. Start when they are young. Even a baby can be modest. Why would you want to back track. Remember that your daughters happiness is not more important than her holiness. When I was a teenager and my dad stepped in and gave his opinion on my clothing I wasn't too impressed at the time. But now I look back and realize that was one of the most loving things my dad could have done for me. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 1 Timothy 2:9-10

1 comment:

Mrs.Mike said...

I loved what you said here! very well put.