2.16.2015

My Modesty Journey


my journal is chalk full of modesty thoughts, comments and observations.

i've been writing it all down and reflecting from year to year. and honestly it has changed so drastically. i've never had the courage to blog about it because it is a personal story, my personal story and i respect and value others personal journeys with modesty. i acknowledge that other people who love Jesus with everything they are have different convictions when it comes to modesty. i get that. and i guess i haven't blogged about it yet because it isn't one of the fundamental beliefs that determine ones acceptance into heaven on judgement day. what i mean is that even though two Christian women (or men) may have complete opposite views on modesty that doesn't change that they are going to heaven and will live glorifying God eternally.

so why now? why did i get the courage to type this out rather than continue to write it in my journal.

veronica partridge. 

she wrote a blog post declaring that she wasn't going to wear leggings anymore because it can encourage men to lust. (read it hereit went viral. crazy viral. she even appeared on good morning america. people have supported her but on the whole veronica has gotten horrible comments. she had no idea that her personal blog post would go viral. but what makes me type out some of my journey is not the fact that she posted her conviction on leggings but the negative response she got because of it.

it made me angry that she can't post her personal convictions on her personal blog without being bullied. i hurt for her as she got slandered because i support her taking a stand when she felt convicted. oh how i wish more Christians would change when they feel convicted of something.

veronicas story gave me the courage to write out my own. so after that lengthly intro here i go!

where i am now (with what i wear):
i will not wear a bikini at the beach (one piece please!). i will not wear leggings in public ever - unless a shirt is covering up my bum. crop tops freak me out and when i tried wearing one i just couldn't. if i ever think a top is to low i just don't wear it/purchase it. to me, when striving for godliness - there is no point going as close to my modesty line - if i question it for one second i don't do it because it is not worth it to me.

where i was at sixteen-ninteen(ish): 
the jean mini skirt was still in and i was obsessed with fashion. my mom requested i wear black leggings underneath because the skirt was way to short. as soon as i got dropped off at school i took them off in the bathroom. its the guys fault if he wants to look and lust; not mine. i wore a bikini proudly. i was a junior national track athlete - i had an incredible body and showing it off at the beach was a way i was proud of my body and hard work. i followed modesty rules at a camp i worked at (no leggings, one pieces, and shorts that didn't show my butt-cheeks) but when camp was over i just wore them again (but not the butt-cheek shorts.. those never appealed to me thankfully!)

what has changed for me:

- i stopped being so selfish. writing my "where i was at sixteen-eighteen" it is so clear that modesty was all about me. me looking good. me feeling sexy in a bikini. me wearing what i wanted because it is fashionable. me wear leggings because it is comfortable for me. me me me me - gah. Jesus, i am so thankful that you called me to pursue you when it comes to modesty - not me!

- i had open conversation with Christian and non- Christian guys. one quote that stuck with me when this guy said "he loved flying because so many women when they fly wear yoga pants and he gets to check out so many women at once." - obviously wasn't a God-fearing man saying this - but it woke me up. i asked very open hard questions with my boyfriend/fiance/husband and i am so thankful for his honesty in his struggles. these modesty conversations really opened my eyes to the struggle men have with lust and what i can do to help & not make it worse.

- when i stopped thinking about me and my "comfort" i started thinking about how i could best respect and love my brothers in Christ. this was a huge thought change in my journey on modesty. it wasn't an obligation to dress differently for them or a rule i had to follow at camp… it was a desire. a genuine desire to do my absolute best in my wardrobe to not cause my fellow brothers to stumble. its a desire the Holy Spirit gave me and i am so thankful for that.

- leggings. i realized that yes they are different then tight jeans and non christian guys will check out my butt when i walk by every time - and i so DO NOT want that! gross! ….and christian guys… well its a huge temptation for them to look & i so don't want them looking- that is for me and my husband. this quote says my thoughts to a tee:
"For the uninitiated, leggings are those skin tight spandex pants that were originally designed to be worn under other pieces of clothing, but which have now become popular as regular attire for some women. They are tailored to accentuate every curve, and as the saying goes, they leave little to the imagination. In other words, if worn on their own and not underneath something else, they’re immodest. Of course they’re immodest. If spandex butt-huggers aren’t immodest, then what is? Do you have to actually walk into the grocery store wearing nothing but socks and a sign that says “HEY LOOK AT ME” before we can accuse you of being a bit too forward?" (Matt Walsh)

- i want to be known as a woman of virtue. so so bad. when Jesus looks at my life i want so desperately for him to say that i am a woman of virtue. that i respected my brothers enough to not walk even close to the modesty line. that i respected myself. i even want people when they hear my name to think - "that is a young woman who is striving for godliness" & with that God has called me to be holy (1 Peter 1:16) and as i am learning what being holy means i am learning that means dressing modestly.

- "its not his job to look" - your right. its not. but being married for a year i know that my sweet husband tries so incredibly hard not to look at other women at all. he doesn't want to and doesn't have any desire too. but when women wear yoga pants, or their boobs are falling out, or they are at the beach in their bra and underwear….opps..bikini… it is hard for him not to glance. and because this can be a struggle i want to tell those women to cover up - to please put something else on. i can't do that but it makes me sad. i do not want what i wear to cause anyones 13 year old son to lust after me or some women's husband. i feel like us women should stick together on this one and fight for women to dress more modestly for our husbands, brothers, future sons…yet most of the time i just see division.

- how much of my body am i willing to expose? if i want to be a women of virtue and seek godliness how much skin am i willing to show off? these questions have been so helpful with my modesty journey. i now feel (i was different on this even 2 years ago) that i can honour myself or dishonour myself but what i wear. i want to honour myself in every aspect of my life including how i dress.

- & one last quote from Matt Walsh that has changed for me:
"So if your Christian brothers are saying that you are making it more difficult for them to remain on the pure and chaste path when you go out in public wearing something that very explicitly highlights the private regions of your body, if you know that your brothers in Christ struggle in this way, if you have heard them say it, then you better have very good reason to ignore them. I don’t think the reason exists. I haven’t heard it yet. “I like it, it’s comfortable, it makes me feel good, it’s convenient” — these aren’t moral defenses. They’re excuses, yes, but not morally positive reasons to act a certain way or do a certain thing."

thanks for reading all of this and hearing my personal thoughts on modesty. obviously i could write so much more but if you've made this this far that is an accomplishment.

i know so many people have different views on this stuff & if you feel led to share your thoughts with me you can in the comment section…or just start a blog and send me the link ahha! but seriously, i know different Christian men and women have different thoughts on this topic..trust me. i get that. this is just my perspective on it and my journey.

this is a hot topic, but one i felt led to share because of veronica. i am inspired by her boldness to stand up for modesty. this world is only dressing more provocatively and showing more and more skin. i desire to be a woman who isn't afraid to share that she is fighting for modesty and striving for a higher standard.



2 comments:

  1. Hello Madeline. I did write you and Mark an email and hope you will get time to read and respond to it. Earlier also last year by August I had writeen you an email but no response came from you. I am the Lord has purpose in bringing me to your profile and blog post on the blogger. Looking forward to hear from you. Pastor Diwakar Wankhede from Mumbai, India

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Madeline. I did write you and Mark an email and hope you will get time to read and respond to it. Earlier also last year by August I had writeen you an email but no response came from you. I am the Lord has purpose in bringing me to your profile and blog post on the blogger. Looking forward to hear from you. Pastor Diwakar Wankhede from Mumbai, India

    ReplyDelete


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