Monday, April 20, 2015

Modesty Is Not Legalism, and De-Bunking Four Other Modesty Myths

"Let all things be done decently and in order."
I Corinthians 14:40
(KJV)


I have shared a small glimpse into some of the journey my little family and I 
have traveled in and through and out of legalism and its bondage.
Looking back, I see our deliverance as a sort of "Red Sea" in our lives.
When I say I understand the meaning of legalism because of real-life experience,
I am telling you the absolute truth.
There are many aspects and layers that I have never felt led to share,
but I have said enough here to paint a sketchy portrait of at least a portion of our experience.

For some time now, I have felt God nudging me to delve back into this subject,
but to approach it from a much different angle this time.

Warning:
This post is not "fluffy" and "feel-good".
It is raw and honest and blunt, in many ways,
but I want you to know that it is "spoken" in much love and from a heart that never intends to wound.
It comes from a long-time burden that is ever-present and very heavy upon my heart.

I walk into this and hit the publish button fully aware that I am veering into "controversial" and "politically-incorrect" territory here,
that this post may provoke contradictory, even ugly, comments,
and it may cost me some followers and/or subscribers....even friends.
I hope not.
Because I truly love every one of you.
You are precious to my heart.
This is one of the reasons I speak truth here.
.
Truth cannot be sugar-coated and should never be watered down.
Any alteration to the truth makes it less than 100% truth.
It diminishes its purity.
It taints and mars its virtue.

I have hesitated to write this post for so long.
It is one of those that God brings to mind and ignites passion about,
then I sort of slyly and sheepishly shove it on the back burner,
hoping He will overlook my disobedience to write and post it.
Because I do not ever want to come across as being judgmental or critical.
Ever.
I wish I could speak this to you face to face, so you would see the concern in my eyes and hear the love in my tone.
If I could add body language to these words, you would know, deep down in your heart,
that I carry a heavy burden for the Body of Christ, that I would never intentionally hurt you or any of its members, and that I am only the messenger.

"Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?"
Galatians 4:16
I trust not.

As much as I would like to continue dragging my feet in discussing this, 
God let me know today that I have waited long enough.
I know how it feels to disobey Him.
I have learned, through painful, repeated experience, that no matter how hard something is that He is asking me to do, it is always, always easier than the consequences of disobedience.

So, here goes....we delve, dear friends, into the controversial subject of modesty of dress.
And we endeavor, by God's grace, to debunk a few of the myths that surround it.
I humbly ask you to please hear me out.

Myth #1:  
Modesty of dress is legalistic.

Oh, my friends, this is trickery right out of satan's play book.
This is a tactic and ploy of the enemy of our souls.
This ploy is so sly and cunning and clever, that we have fallen flat into its clutches,
and played right into his conniving hands, without even realizing what was happening.
He has used this to convince us that many God-given mandates contained in His Holy Word are unnecessary and that these mandates are, in reality, man-made, man-contrived, and man-originated demands of a legalistic nature.
Satan has managed to dupe us into believing that we don't have to "do" certain things,
because they fall under the category of legalism, when, in truth, they have nothing in the world to do with anything man-made or contrived, but are, in actuality, vital components of God's law.

In our current generation, there is is a rush to steer clear of legalism.
Rightfully, so.
I get that.
Believe me.
So many of us have felt the sting of legalism's whip for so many years of our lives,
that we are only now beginning to understand the real meaning of God's amazing grace,
as we fearfully and timidly emerge from our beaten-down spiritual places of "hiding".
But, we need to keep in mind that freedom from legalism does not give us a free pass to overlook and rebel against Biblical commands.

God's Word demands that we live a holy life.
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord..."
Hebrews 12:14

Living a holy life requires a certain standard of modesty of dress.
It has nothing in the world to do with man-made legalism.
Modesty of dress is not legalistic,
as we have been so craftily tricked into believing.
Modesty is a Biblical doctrine.
I am not speaking of anything man-dictated that is without Biblical foundation,
but of the Scriptural instruction concerning the sufficient covering of our physical bodies.

"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, 
with shamefacedness and sobriety."
I Timothy 2:9

I know I am old-fashioned.
I am definitely from the old school.
But, I think somewhere down the line, we have lost our "shamefacedness".
We don't feel so careful about keeping the body parts that God ordained to be preserved for intimacy
covered and out of sight while in public and around mixed company anymore.
We have become so desensitized by the bombardment of nudity around us
that we are no longer shamefaced, nor do we seem to feel the need to blush.
Even when surrounded by pastors and Christian circles,
we seem to feel no sense of conscience while dressed inappropriately.
It is hard to make anyone blush anymore.
This astounds me and burdens my heart.
It reminds me of the heaviness upon Jeremiah's heart when he said,
"Are they ashamed because they have done such shameful things?
No, they are not at all ashamed.
They do not even know how to blush!"
Jeremiah 6:15
(NET Bible)

I do not feel led to debate the never-ending spectrum of people's individual definitions of the word modest.
There are as many varying opinions on this subject as there are on every other spiritual subject, and I do not claim to possess the authority, by any means.
Oh, I could lay out a play-by-play rule book that would explain my personal God-given convictions of how He requires me to dress.
I could elaborate on how He has dealt with me, on a personal level, through the years,
and I could tell you certain items of clothing that I feel I should and should not wear,
not because of man-made legalistic "rules",
but solely based upon how the Holy Spirit has led and instructed me.
We could go into clothing types, lengths, styles, and all sorts of details.
I can tell you right now, I will NOT do this.
You will never find such a list here.
Because, I am human, fallible, hopelessly flawed, and I fall short of the glory of God,
just like, probably more than, everyone else.
I don't have, nor do I claim to have, all of the answers.
My convictions are not your convictions.
Mine are between God and me and what He requires of me,
and yours are between God and you and what He requires of you.

But, this one thing I know.
As people professing Christianity,
as people claiming to be filled with God's Spirit,
as those who say they are disciples and followers of Jesus Christ,
 we should dress in a way that we would feel comfortable should Jesus Himself walk up to us on the street.
As women professing Godliness, (I Timothy 2:10), we should cover those parts of our bodies that were given to us for intimate and maternal reasons.

Common sense tells us so, does it not?

Humor me...for just a moment...if you will.
If Jesus, Who is holiness personified, should pass you...or me....on the street....
would we feel ashamed of the way we are clothed or not-so-clothed?
Would we feel an urge to run and grab something to put on over our scant attire, 
or would be feel no shame because our "pertinent" body parts are completely and modestly covered?

If He were to sit across the table from us,
would we feel at ease
OR
would we wish a thousand wishes we had a sweater or jacket to wrap around us
or zip over our exposed breasts?
Sorry if I am being too graphic, dear friends,
but it just really bothers me to see how comfortable we have become...
how lackadaisical, and how "sanctioned" it is for us to expose ourselves
and still maintain our Christian testimony.
What distinguishes us from the world around us when we are exposing as much flesh as they are? 
How is our standard any higher to maintain?
When did exposing cleavage become so acceptable in Christian circles?
When did it reach the point that we can walk into church services wearing clothing that would have made my Papaw's generation blush if they had seen it in a pub down the street?

Is it because the "watchmen on the wall" (Ezekiel 33) have dropped the ball and failed to sound the alarm?
The more I move in and around Christian and church circles, the more I am appalled at the looseness of standards and the lack of preaching on "issues" like modesty.
I have often felt sorry for pastors as they stand in front of congregations and look out over the crowd
trying to keep their composure and concentration in tact and their eyes above the exposed flesh in front of them.
Frankly, I don't know how they manage to keep their minds on wholesome things,
when temptation stares back at them every direction they look.
Surely, they are aware of the immodesty.
It is blatant and as much in-their-face as it is in the rest of ours.
So, why the failure to address it?
Have they become so fixated on high attendance numbers that they have convinced themselves they dare not rock the boat by preaching on "things"?
Have they forgotten that certain "things" that are mentioned in God's Word must be preached?
Are they so afraid of sounding "legalistic" that they dismiss certain passages of Scripture?

Why don't we preach about covering our bodies anymore?

Myth #2:  
God only looks on the heart; so, He doesn't care what I wear on the outside.

This is the justification I hear most often used when anything is ever brought up about modest dress.
We have convinced ourselves that God is not concerned with what we put on the outside of our bodies, because all He is interested in is what is on the inside.
The Scripture I hear most often used to justify this is I Samuel 16:7, which says,
"But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature;
because I have refused him:
for the Lord seeth not as man seeth;
for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

What we need to do is to "rightly divide the Word of truth."  
(2 Timothy 2:15)

In I Samuel 16:7, God was not, in any way, shape, or form speaking of Eliab's clothing when he spoke these words to Samuel.
Samuel was searching for the man who would replace the errant King Saul as the next king of Israel.
God had shown Samuel that the next king would be found among Jesses' sons.
As Samuel sat waiting for Jesse's sons to come before him, he looked at the first son, named Eliab, and he falsely assumed, based on on his outward appearance, that he surely must be the man God had chosen to be the next king.
Evidently Eliab was tall and handsome, and it appeared that he would make the perfect political figure head.
So, based upon the assumption of his good looks and height, 
Samuel thought he had found God's man.
"And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab,
and said, surely the Lord's anointed is before Him."
I Samuel 16:6
This is when God told him, "Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature:
because I have refused him:
for the Lord seeth not as man seeth:  for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh upon the heart."
God knew what was in Eliab's heart, and evidently He saw something there that would not be fitting to the king he had in mind to lead His chosen people.
The person He had chosen was actually a young, humble, unassuming shepherd boy named David,
who was out in the fields, tending Jesse's sheep.
David was worlds apart different from his older brother, Eliab.
In Acts 13:22, the Lord says,
"I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after Mine Own heart,
which shall fulfill all My will."
Outwardly, Eliab was a much more likely candidate for God to choose, but since God looks upon the heart, He, in His infinite wisdom, saw what He needed inside of David.
Therefore, David was God's choice.

So, you see, this passage of Scripture truly has nothing in the world to do with how we adorn our bodies, nor should it ever be used to justify our insistence upon dressing inappropriately.

God DOES look upon the heart, but, at the same time,
He DOES indeed care about the adequate covering of our outward bodies.
Nowhere in Scripture is this more evident than in Genesis 3.
When Adam and Eve realized they had sinned in the garden of Eden, they felt ashamed.
Their feeling of this convicion and subsequent actions are explained in Genesis 3:7.
"Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked;
so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves."
They felt the need to cover themselves...to hide the shame they felt from their disobedience...to hide the nakedness they had only then discovered.
You can imagine how scant a garment would be were it to be comprised of only sewn-together fig leaves like the ones shown in the picture below.

Photo Source

There would be gaps and holes and see-through spots, leaving little to the imagination.
When God came searching for them, He did not find their scant attire of sewn-together fig leaves adequate to cover their nakedness.
So, in Genesis 3:21, we read,
"The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them."
These were solid garments, thick enough to cover the body and keep it warm,
loose enough to allow for movement,
 and adequately modest.

If God didn't care how we clothe our outward bodies, 
He would have deemed the fig leaf attire sufficient and satisfactory.



Myth #3:  
Modest = frumpy.

Does dressing modestly mean I have to go out and buy the exact same clothes my Great-Granny wears?
Does my closet have to replicate hers in order for me to cover my body?
Do I have to dress like a 90 year old woman in order to please God's requirement of modesty?
Seriously?
I think this may be the most absurd myth in need of debunkment.  (Is that a word???)
Modesty is a thing of beauty.
It automatically paints a rare and lovely picture of true femininity and gracious womanhood.
Modesty is attractive and, because of its near obscurity in our society,
it is a breath of refreshing air to come across and discover.
Believe it or not, there are still men in our world who find a modestly-dressed woman very appealing.
There are still men who seek after a woman who is adequately covered.
There are still men who respond with great respect for a woman who will dress like a true lady,
and they are more than happy to treat her like one when she does.
There are still men who regard intimacy as sacred,
who recognize a woman as precious,
and who long to find one who values herself enough to preserve her own purity.
There are still men who do not feel the need for a woman to expose her body in public,
leaving very little to the imagination of the men she encounters.
Thank God, there are still men who prefer to not be bombarded with indecency,
and who prefer to maintain the significance and blessedness of private communion.
Now, before I go farther, I will admit that it can be difficult to find modest clothes that are age-appropriate.
No one ever said it would be easy to live Godly.
Unfortunately, clothing designers purposely create clothes that are revealing, that draw attention to intimate body parts, that are way too form-fitting and tight,
that accentuate curves, and that elicit certain response mechanisms.
Often times, even when necklines are designed to be high enough, they are cut so widely,
that they become very revealing and immodest when the person wearing them bends over.
Let's be honest.
We live in a fallen world in which immorality "sells".
It sickens me to acknowledge it, but that's just the way it is.
As hard as it is though, with a little creativity, a little extra effort, and a strong sense of determination,
we can present ourselves in an attractive, even fashionable way, that is God-pleasing modest,
AND anything but frumpy.
Again, I do not intend to lay down my personal opinions on what comprises modest apparel.
I have to follow my own God-given convictions, and you must follow yours.
According to this link, modest means this:
"having or showing regard for the decencies of behavior, speech, dress, etc.; decent".
What is decent?
The Holy Spirit is our only sure Guide.
If we seek Him earnestly and diligently, with an open heart, He will make the path to holiness plain to us, not only along the lines of modesty of dress, but in every other aspect of our lives.

Myth #4:
It is my body, and I am not responsible for how others are affected by what I wear.

Is it really? 
My body?
If I am a Christian, am I really my own any longer?

"What?  Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you,
which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
for ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
I Corinthians 6:19, 20

I am not insinuating that ANY inappropriate behavior or violation of privacy is EVER excusable,
under any circumstances, nor should it ever be justified or blamed upon another,
regardless of what they were wearing or doing beforehand.
Nor am I saying that we can control what goes on in the minds of others.

"So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God."
Romans 14:12
(NIV)

What I am saying is that, as Christian women, we should be mindful.
We should dress and conduct ourselves in a way that is Jesus-honoring and God-glorifying.
To willfully expose our bodies in an immodest and indecent manner
is to open the door to lust and temptation and to elicit spiritual battles in the minds of others.

"Let us not therefore judge one another any more:
but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way."
Romans 14:13

Our husbands, sons, fathers, pastors, and Christian brothers are bombarded with undress and seduction in all other parts of the world around us....
billboards, check-out line magazine covers, television and internet commercials and programming,
never mind their daily and continual personal interactions.
They should, in us, find a reprieve and an example of holiness and purity, should they not?

Myth #5:
It is too hot and uncomfortable to dress modestly.

It amazes me how we have convinced ourselves that there is no cross involved in following Jesus.
Did He ever promise it would be an easy path to follow in His footsteps?
His actual words were these...
"If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,
and follow Me."
Luke 9:23
I am not saying that we should adopt a "poor, pitiful me", martyr-like mindset,
walking through life in misery, continually bemoaning the heaviness of our cross.
But, there are certain non-negotiables that are important in our Christian walk,
and many of them are going to involve the denying of our flesh and our own fleshly desires.
Covering our bodies sufficiently and modestly is one of those non-negotiables.
Jesus never promised that our lives would be comfortable,
nor did He tell us to do what feels good or what is easiest.
He told us to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and to follow Him.
Following Jesus' example will often require us to do the exact opposite of the world around us.
To "go with the flow" and blend in with the masses seldom involves bearing a cross,
and taking the path of least resistance rarely mimics the actions of our Lord.

Modest dress is important to God.
It should be important enough to us to do what we need to do to remain covered,
regardless of how uncomfortable and/or unpopular it causes us to be.
God always honors obedience and provides necessary grace to follow His will.
"And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee:
for My strength is made perfect in weakness.
Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

Modesty matters, my dear friends.
What we do, and yes, what we wear, matters.
I realize this has become a "hot-button" issue and topic, even among Christian circles.
It is not something people seem to want to hear or something preachers want to discuss.
Regardless of what we do or do not want to hear and/or discuss,
modesty is still a Bible command.
It is not, nor will it ever be, legalism.
It is still a vital part of God's perfect plan for morality and decency.
God's rulebook for holiness will always remain the same,
no matter how the world around us diminishes or adjusts its ethical gauge and criterion.
The decline in the moral standards of our nation is appalling.
I can't help but believe that the relaxation of modesty guidelines and principles
is at least, in part, responsible for that downturn.
How refreshing it would be to see a modesty revival among Christian ranks!
How blessed it would be for each of us to seek the Lord's face diligently and sincerely,
asking Him to lead us in this area, then for us to show the way to others.

"Ye are the light of the world.
A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid."
Matthew 5:14

We are to lead and be strong, not to follow and go along.

How wonderful to know that if we have erred,
we have an Advocate and a God Who is ready to forgive!

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.
And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous:
and He is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours only
but also for the sins of the whole world."
I John 2:1,2

"For Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive;
and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon Thee."
Psalm 86:5

Thank you so much for hearing me out, for reading all the way to the end of this very heavy,
long-winded post, and for your prayerful consideration of the burden God has laid upon my heart.

Written with much love from my heart to yours,
Cheryl

48 comments:

  1. I can hear the love and sincerity in your message. Thank you for being bold enough to share it. <3

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    1. Oh, bless your heart! I cannot thank you enough for your kind comment and support. I am so thankful you felt my heart as you read it. God bless you!

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  2. Cheryl, I'm so glad that you posted this. It's so important to speak our minds when God has told us to speak out. I think you have written an extremely well thought out discussion of this most important issue. Our culture does promote immodesty, and I wince at our declining morality. It seems like nothing is *sacred* anymore. It's so sad.

    I know it took courage for you to hit that *publish* button, but I know that God will honor you for doing so. This issue may not be popular, but it is one that God calls us to address. You have done so in a most articulate way. I especially loved this line of yours: "What I am saying is that, as Christian women, we should be mindful." Mindful was such a perfect word choice. I looked it up - here's other words that define it: aware, attentive, careful, thoughtful. Yes, this is just what we are called to. To have the mind of the Spirit, and to be careful and thoughtful how we present ourselves. I was reminded of this Scripture:

    "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight." (1 Peter 3:3-4, NLT)

    What is the state of our heart? I have a feeling that the true answer to that will be reflected on the outside. And as representatives of the Lord, we should be shining forth HIS beauty. We are His temple, after all. Modesty is not just a mandate on what we wear - but also on what we say and what we do.

    GOD BLESS.

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    1. My dear, precious friend, your words are so precious to me! I totally agree with all you said. I love the verse you shared, too. The state of our heart....that is SO true. We can be proud of our modest dress and come across as "holier-than-thou" and that could be an even bigger problem! Wow, that is such a great thought. God help us all. I feel so short of His glory and all He wants me to be. So thankful for grace that covers and fills in the gaps for our discrepancies. So grateful for your sweet visit. God bless you!

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  3. This is really a complex topic if you think about it because we have different views and we can get objective. Thank you for sharing your views with us and for letting us understand and see things the way you do.

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    1. Thank you for reading what God put on my heart, Lux, and for the respect you showed in your comment. I appreciate it so much! God bless you.

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  4. Amen! This is such a well thought out and well written post. Your sincerity rings throughout it. I appreciate your each and every word.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, dear Betsy! Your encouragement and support means more than words. I am so thankful for your presence in my life and for every time you have brightened my day...both here and at your sweet blog, too. God bless you.

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  5. Hi Cheryl! I do connect with your issue about modesty in this way: our church has struggled with trying to lead people involved with worship to dress more 'church appropriate'. It's a VERY touchy subject. Some people think what they have on is respectful and tasteful, but in other's eyes, it isn't.

    As Lux said, it's a complicated subject. I appreciate reading your views, and know that it was heavy on your heart. I applaud your courage in responding to the Lord's promptings in your heart.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Oh, my...I know exactly what you mean. It is touchy indeed. I certainly don't have the answers, but praise God, we both know the Man Who does have all the answers. If each one of us looks to Him for direction, He will never lead us wrong or astray. Thank you for your sweet spirit and your gentleness. It is truly appreciated. So thankful for all God has done and brought you through this winter and hoping you are continuing to heal and be able to be more active. I am still praying for you. :) God bless you.

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  6. I have heard various arguments-It’s my body/men need to control their thoughts/I can dress as I like. The message is “It’s all about ME!” Sad. Others say… my standards are just different than yours, but I am following God. Sometimes we think we are following God when we actually only follow what we think.. or the culture says. We need to spend time in God’s Word to see what He really asks of us.

    Another argument is why would God make a woman’s body beautiful if it is just to be hidden? I think there is a deep insecurity in many of us that wants acceptance/approval. It is easy to think that as long as we dress more modestly than the world, then we are modest. Hmmm, not true… and we have become all too used to seeing immodesty. It is so important to get our security from Christ…not from others

    While looking for a church, we attended one w/ great sermons, but poor modesty. The women were classy and beautiful, but dressed like the world-low cleavage, short skirts, etc. We left to find a more wholesome atmosphere for training our children. There is enough temptation in the world without adding more.

    I was guilty of immodesty many years ago.. not on purpose.. just naïve foolishness and I didn’t even realize it. The Lord convicted me of some things…like slits which I found can have a “peek factor” and be enticing even when not much is actually showing. We no longer wear slits.. even short ones. Now, any skirt/dress w/ a slit, gets sewn up before we wear it

    Another thing I was convicted of was loose sleeveless shirts (I knew tight ones were a problem, but loose?)that had an armhole that was too large... I had no idea that my bra and body under the shirt was so visible and I was horrified to have worn such... and not just once. There were other things... and I have to say, there is such a freedom in wearing clothes that I don't have to pull down to be long enough, or fiddle with to be sure they are covering me enough. Making a choice to be modest can help in many ways. I can relax and think about others...and serving God.... not what I am wearing... Thank you for the post. :)

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    1. Thank you, dear friend, for the comment and for the way it complimented this post. I can sense that you have the same burden upon your heart, and it is so precious to enjoy the sweetness of fellowship. It IS indeed very freeing to wear what God's approval rests upon and to be liberated to live life without the constant condemnation. The dear Lord is faithful to lead and guide us when we seek Him with our whole hearts. So thankful for your visit and support and encouragement. I am praying for you. God bless you.

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  7. Hi Cheryl. You love the Lord, and it's evident in this post. I'm really proud of you for hitting that "publish" button. It's not always easy when fear looms. Visiting you today from #TellHisStory.

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    1. Oh, thank you SO much for your dear words, Kristi! They were such an uplift and encouragement to me. May the dear Lord bless you abundantly. So happy to have "met" you and thankful for your support. :)

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  8. Thank you so much for this, Cheryl! Your bravery in sharing this is something that is on my heart as well. I agree with everything you've said and it's something that has been difficult for me to raise my children believing with family members who believe these myths and don't understand my concern. I am saving this and sharing it. Thank you again! Blessings, Carrie

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    1. Thank you SO much, Carrie, for your kind, encouraging words! They blessed me more than I could ever say! I surely understand what you mean about others not understanding and buying into the myths. We have strayed so far away from Biblical standards that immodesty has just become accepted. We are so desensitized! But, it is so refreshing to know that there are dear people like you who still care about these things and who are raising their children in a Godly way, in spite of the opposition they face. May God bless you in a special way for following the path of righteousness. I am so thankful for your sweet visit! :)

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  9. I appreciate your heart on this. It comes through as kind and compassionate. I do think we are all better off when modest dressing is intact. I know I appreciate it not only for myself but also for my husband. :)

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    1. Thank you ever so much for your precious encouragement, Lisa! YES, I appreciate it for my husband...and my son. I loved the quote by Kim Doebler in the picture above. I am so thankful for your sweet visit today and am coming over to visit you now. :)

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  10. Hello, dear Cheryl, I was impressed by your blog, and agree with it wholeheartedly...I do believe that IF a person has their heart right with God , cleansed by the blood of His Son, it will show on the outside by proper dressing...which is required by God's Word.... After all, the woman who dresses to entice men to lust after them, will be held as guilty as the man who does the lusting,Not ,many consider this, but according to God's Word, I feel this is true,so keep up the good work...Surely God has a reward awaiting you, and you never know how many precious souls may get help from your faithfuness... We love you dearly, and pray God will continue to bless you and your blog.....Margaret and Elaine

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    1. Oh, dear friends! Your fitly-spoken words are like "apples of gold in pictures of silver"! Part of what you wrote here reminded me so much of some things Mom used to tell me often, and I just WEPT as I read them. I miss her so much, and you have reminded me so much of her so many times. I love you both dearly, too....much more than you know. I am so concerned about you and your health, and I am praying often for you. I know you are so worried, Elaine....please keep holding to God's unchanging hand and believe He is going to take care of this. Call me anytime day or night if you need us or need prayer. Keeping you close to our hearts always...love you so much.

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  11. Hi Cheryl, I think your points are all true and valid. I do believe in modesty and I do believe our society promotes anything BUT.... I think we need to find ways to encourage our young ones to want to be modest but its a tough one. Great post and spot on!
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. Thank you ever so much, Tracy. You are so right...we need to encourage our young ones, and our fight to do this will be all uphill and against the tide. So thankful that "greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world". We need GOD more than ever, dear friend. Thank you so very much for your sweet support and encouragement. :)

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  12. I appreciate your willingness to speak truth and do it in such a kind and gentle way. In truth all of us, male and female fight insecurities and dress and hairstyles and cars and houses, all of them can be sought and used for the wrong reasons or specifically with the wrong mindset.

    I've been in the gym my entire life. I hate to admit that I wore the gym style of clothing back in the 80's… glad there aren't many pictures of that time… About 18 years ago I started wearing long sleeved shirts in my attempt to live in humility and hide the pride that is so prevalent. I've been wearing them ever since. I know it's different for men and women, but it's still an issue of the heart played out in how we dress our soul cage.

    Thanks for you humble and always thought provoking post!

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    1. Thank you SO much for your kind, encouraging words, Floyd. I am so deeply touched by your willingness to wear long sleeves, due to your desire to keep pride at bay. That just really touched me to read that. You are so right...I love what you said, "it's still an issue of the heart played out in how we dress our soul cage". Such wise words! I can't thank you enough for your visit. Your words are always such a blessing....both here and at your blog.

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  13. I think modesty is great, and we all have our various belief systems. I raised 3 girls, who I tried to dress modestly (my version) but I think we also live in a society that promotes women as property, and as sex objects. I trust my husband as he has self control so I don't really care what other women wear around him. I have no fear of that. He also rolls his eyes when he see scantily glad women and groans, ewww. Many people follow parts of the Old testament, which views women as property. A male driven view. I work with female middle eastern children who are covered head to toe and not listened to at home. Only the males speak, girls get what food is left as they are viewed as less than. It's really sad. I don't see any problem with modesty as long as women are treated as equals, having a brain and a personal view of who they are separate from men's. Hopefully families teach their children to use slef control, as you can never remove temptation from the world. It's a good thing to teach.... Nancy @ LittleHomesteadinBoise

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    1. Oh, that is SO sad to think of how those dear girls are treated!!! You are so right, we never can remove temptation from the world. That made me think of how Jesus mentioned the phrase "and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" in the Lord's Prayer. I had never thought of it that way before, but your words enlightened me and got me to thinking!! Thank you so much for your visit here and for the nice encouragement you left behind. I just clicked over to your very nice blog...wow, I love how you have created such a nice homestead right in the city. I think sometimes we think we can't do things like that in the city, but you are proving that we can! It was so nice to "meet" you today, Nancy! You are welcome here anytime...God bless you.:)

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    1. Thank you, too, Nancy, and God bless!

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  15. Come on sister, come on...it's refreshing to read a post of someone who is not afraid to step on toes. God help us when we start being afraid to speak truth and help young women become Holy women of God. I remember our first time in California at our son church after being overseas for a few years. their sunday night service was for 18-25 years old. They worship with a loud band, and as I watched so many girl up on their chairs in their skimpy outfits, belly button showing, breast showing, cheeks of their little rear showing i wanted to tell my son get out of here. I did ask him how he could keep his mind on what the songs were about when so much flesh was flashed before him. He said they had address this issue often but not much changed. Of course i wondered why...it does take a changed heart to want to even change. what i have found is very shallow teaching on holiness and what does that look like. Good for you for being courageous and writing about this..

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    1. Oh, Betty!!! Your dear comments were such an encouragement. It is very sad to think of these girls exposing themselves in this way, especially in a place of worship. You are SO right...the teaching on holiness is very shallow these days, and this is why people feel so "comfortable". Jesus' teaching NEVER made people feel comfortable...He was always inspiring a closer walk with God and a life of self-denial. In this age, the teaching of the cross of Jesus Christ and anything that requires sacrificial living is very unpopular. Popular or not, it is a narrow way, and we are going to have to follow His example if we ever hope to make it home to Heaven. So very thankful for you, sweet friend. :)

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  16. I can tell you put a lot of thought and heart into this post. Thank you for feeling brave enough to share.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Tiffany...I so appreciate your visit. God bless you!

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  17. Hey there Cheryl, this is a great post and I am so glad that you hit the "publish" button. We need to hear this, all of us do, we need to keep evaluating our Christian walk and we need to make sure that we line up with how God wants us to live. We must not take our values and morals from the world but only from the word of God. Thank you for sharing this deep, thoughtful post at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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    1. YES, Terri! I say "amen" to all you said! I don't know how we, as Christians, have become so comfortable with "being conformed to this world". We are to be transformed and show the light of God's holiness. I loved what you said about not taking our values and morals from the world. Only God's Word will last, and His Word is the Standard by which we will be measured. God help us to be faithful! Much love to you, sweet friend. :)

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  18. God does not teach us the specifics of our legalistic pasts, but in His Word He does teach us a standard of modesty. Good myths you've exposed.

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    1. Thank God for His Word and His Spirit...the Two Witnesses! Have a good day, Pamela!

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  19. I was brought up to dress modestly. Hems just so, neckline and even sleeves not cut too high. We can be modest and still in style, There is a happy medium without going into legalism. We are not to define how everyone should dress, colors they should not wear such as a red tie some churches ban for men. Without being silly, we can govern our dress and demeanor that would please God and not necessarily ourselves. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

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    1. Yes, ma'am...you are so right. I love what you said, "there is a happy medium without going into legalism". Thank you for your visit, Hazel. God bless you. :)

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  20. Cheryl, only reading now, but I applaud this article! This nation is truly lacking in the modesty department! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Jo. God bless you, sweet friend. :)

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  21. This was a wonderful post Cheryl! And we need to hear it! About 10 years ago Gods gentle conviction finally sunk into my thick head. I did not dress immodestly. I dressed in flannel and jeans and big boots. I realized that my dress might make others think that I was a lesbian and I would cause confusion as I also claimed to be a Christian. I have been dresses and skirts ever since. There is a woman in my Bible study (at a different church than the one I attend) who, along with her teen age daughter, dress in as little as possible. When her husband said he did not want his daughter dressing like that she told him that the teen needed to learn how to handle men and what they would say to her. I think she noticed my jaw drop. I had not heard anything so absurd in quite a while! Many years ago we attened a church where the women dressed as though they were stopping by on their way to the beach. Tiny little sun dresses. Skimpy little half shirts. Short shorts. I knew every woman who had a 'tramp stamp' tattoo. I was embarassed for them and worried how my husband was handling all the 'porn' he was seeing at church! I attend an Independent Baptist church and it is wonderful to see dresses and suits at each service! People actually dressing like they are coming to do business with the God of the universe!
    Society needs more women willing to speak out on their blogs and in their lives about modesty. Thank you

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    1. Oh, thank you SO much for sharing all of this with me, Desiree. I so appreciate your sensitivity to the dealings of the precious Holy Spirit in your life. I am so thankful you have such a wonderful church now that sees the importance of modesty and respect for our dear Lord. I am so very grateful for your sweet visit and trust God will continue to richly bless you in your walk with Him!

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  22. This is so timely, and so truthful. Grateful for your fearless words. Linking with you at Spiritual Sundays, and glad to have found your blog.

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    1. So thankful to have "met" you!! I can't thank you enough for your encouragement and support. God bless you!!!

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  23. Thank you dear Cheryl for sharing these beautiful Scriptural thoughts from your loving heart of concern. There is no taint of legalism in what you say here, just heartfelt truth. I really think that our lack of meditating on God's wholesome Word every day has caused so many in churches to follow their own heart and society, into shamelessness. The saddest thing is that there seems to be very little appetite for correction in order to please the Lord.
    My thoughts on issues always tend to ''Eternity' : "Is this a 'salvation issue ?" I tend to think that every matter of conscience IS a salvation issue. God is gentle and kind, but He also has holy standards. Recently I came across a website after I asked the Lord for more clarity on how I could please Him better. Eternaldestinations.info contains testimonies of people who received very clear understanding as to just what the Lord thinks of so much dress, adornment, and behavior among His professing people on Earth today. Jesus is coming for a spotless Bride. I'm so glad I found this out before He comes ! No need to apologise, beautiful sister in Christ, for meekly pointing out timeless truths from God's Word for our edification and His glory. Suzanna.

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    1. Thank you so very much, Suzanna, for your sweet words and encouragement. They are so appreciated!! I so appreciate the thoughts you shared, also. God bless you and keep you always in His care. :)

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  24. Dear Cheryl,
    Can I add more to what the previous posters have said, I think not. What a honest and wise study on modest dressing. I agree wholeheartedly with your teachings and while some may say I over state my modesty beliefs, I prefer the, "more than less" approach to dressing modestly. I prefer the Mennonite style cape dresses http://www.blogcdn.com/www.styledash.com/media/2008/07/1379135.jpg which have a "modesty" cape attached. Worn with a (slightly oversized) full bib apron http://www.plainlydressed.com/cart/prodimages/scallopedapron1.jpg gives me comfort with my everyday attire. These dresses an aprons don't have to be plain, I have many floral (and other) print dresses with matching aprons. I wish this post could be read by every woman on Gods earth to show them the Scriptural path. Dearest Cheryl, thank you again for this post.
    Blessings in His Name,
    Grace.

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    1. Oh, friend! I cannot begin to put into words how very precious your words were to me tonight! God bless you abundantly and richly for stopping by, for reading, and for leaving such dear support and encouragement behind. I am so very thankful to have "met" you, and I do hope you will come back to visit often. May the dear Lord always keep you strong and faithful to Him!!

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