Living Modestly in an Immodest World

Living Modestly in an Immodest World

I was walking through the local grocery store the other day, and my jaw dropped to the floor. The woman in front of me in line at the deli counter seemed to be visiting from a local nudist colony, because, honey, she sure didn’t have any clothes on. Well, let me rephrase that: She had clothes on, but they certainly weren’t covering anything at all.

It was at that moment I was thankful I had left the kids at home while I ran to the grocery store. I did not want to have to explain to my 4 year old why you could see the woman’s bottom hanging out of her shorts. Nor did I want my 8 and 9 year old boys subjected to her very blatant form of living pornography. And in the next moment, I got angry. My husband works at a grocery store. I don’t want some woman dressed like that prancing around in front of my husband, no matter how close to God he is.

Anyone who is a frequent visitor of this blog knows that I believe in modesty. I believe we are commanded to keep ourselves covered and that our bodies are meant only for the eyes of our husbands only. ONLY. (And, yes, this even includes when breastfeeding in public, though the world is very angry that I said my peace about that issue. It also includes going to the beach, lounging by the pool, going to the grocery store, and most importantly: any time you enter the House of God {aka your local church}.)

Over the past few months, the Lord keeps bringing the issue of modesty to the forefront of my mind. I’ve sort of pushed it aside, because, frankly, it’s a very touchy subject in today’s world. My last post on modesty didn’t go so well, and I’ve been hesitant to talk about the subject again.

But, then I remember 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I shouldn’t fear what others have to say if I am simply following Christ.

So, here goes…

Why is Modesty Important?

We all know that men and women think differently. God made us that way on purpose. Men are visual creatures. Most women are not turned on by the sight of a scantily clad man, however, a man is easily turned on at a glance of a woman in a bikini. That’s why there are so many magazines and websites that cater to men, and only a handful of them for women. (Although I will say that I’ve noticed a major change in this over the years. There are now more movies and books that are catering to women and getting them to think impure thoughts and lusting after men. It makes me sad, sick, and angry all at the same time. The worst part is that women are falling into this trap that has so obviously been set by Satan himself.)

I will never understand the way a man’s mind works. Ever. And it’s ok, because that’s how God designed it. But after talking to my husband at length about this, I can start to understand that the way we dress can and most likely will affect the thoughts that go through a man’s mind.

Now, before you get angry and start typing the nastiest comment you can come up with, I am not putting all of the blame on women here. Yes, a man is responsible for his own thoughts. Yes, he should be so in love with Jesus that a completely naked supermodel could walk by him and he wouldn’t even bat an eye. Unfortunately, we (even men!), are all human, and we fall into sin daily.

What I am saying, though, is that we as women should not be a stumbling block for any man, especially through the clothes we are wearing.

(And let me just interject here – just because you are wearing a long skirt does *not* make you modest. Modesty comes with keeping all of your parts covered. You can wear pants and be modest. You can wear shorts and be modest. And you can wear a long skirt and a t-shirt and still be immodest. If your clothes are so tight that every curve is showing, or if your cleavage is hanging out of your top, you are not being modest.)

Also, have you ever really thought about the verse, Matthew 5:28? It clearly states, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

Did you notice that the man has committed adultery with her? YOU are being brought into this – whether you want to be or not.

And, yes, I have heard time and time again that there are some men that can look at a woman that is completely covered and still lust after her. It is sad, but that is between those men and God. They will have to answer for that one day. But as women, we must be careful not to cause any man to stumble.

What does the Bible Say About Modesty?

Let’s look at several key passages about Modesty: First, 1 Samuel 16:7 states, “for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”  In today’s world, so much attention is placed on the outward appearance, yet that’s not at all what God is focusing on. He wants your heart to be fully surrendered to Him. Does this mean you have to go out and buy the frumpiest clothes you can find and not spend any time at all on your appearance? Absolutely not. But I truly believe that if our insides are beautiful and centered on Christ, that beauty will shine from within and bring a special glow to your countenance. You can still dress nicely and spend time on your appearance, but when worrying about what we look like on the outside becomes more important than how close we are to God on the inside, there’s a problem.

Secondly, we are flat-out told in the Bible that we should dress modestly: 1 Timothy 2:9 – “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;” As Christian women, our desire should not be to put our bodies on display, but instead, our outward appearance should reflect our Christian values. Basically, we shouldn’t put something on to say, “Look at me! Don’t I look good? Don’t you wish you looked like me?” In fact, they should say something that is just the opposite: “I have Jesus in my heart, and His love has transformed me from the inside out!” If you have truly experienced that change, there should no longer be that desire to draw the wrong kind of attention to your outward appearance.

Thirdly, we are to be in the world, but not of the world. People should be able to look at us and see an obvious difference.  (Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.) When we ask Jesus into our heart, it should transform us. We should no longer desire the things we once desired. And we should want to please Jesus in all things – even in what we wear.

How Can I Live Modestly in Today’s World?

I am not saying that no woman should ever leave her house covered from head to toe. How each of us are convicted about modesty is between us and God. Personally, I have been convicted to wear skirts whenever I leave the house. (There are times when this does not apply, such as taking the kids to the lake, or if I know I will be doing something where a skirt is not the most modest option. – Obviously riding a roller coaster that goes upside down is not the best place to wear a skirt.) No matter what I am doing, though, I need to be modest while doing it.

There are many, many sites that are dedicated to modest clothing and even modest swimsuits. Here are links to a few of my favorites:

I know what you’re thinking: “Dressing modestly is expensive!” And, I know it seems that way. There are so many websites catering to dressing modestly, yet their prices are so outrageous that the average person can’t afford them. Believe me, I feel your pain.

This is where you have to get creative. Look in stores and places that you wouldn’t normally think of. Walmart often has cute maxi dresses and skirts. Maxi dresses are super cute when you throw a jean jacket or a coverup over them. I’ve also found super cute maxi skirts at Family Dollar for just $10 each. Cato is another favorite place to shop. Their prices are more than reasonable, and their items are usually quite modest.

If you have a top that you just love, but it comes down too low, throw a tank top or camisole underneath it. I’ve read several other websites that have said to buy a pack of men’s ribbed tank tops in a smaller size, and turn them around backwards. While I think that’s taking it a little far, I do often raid my husband’s t-shirt drawer and wear his tanks under my shirts (the right way – not backward). They’re comfortable, and provide complete coverage.

And, if you’re feeling really creative, make your own clothes! I have a pinterest board called “Modest is Hottest.” (Because, well, it is!) It’s got quite a few tutorials for super cute modest clothing choices.

Will it Be Easy to Live Modestly?

Absolutely not. John 15:19 says, “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” Did you catch that? If we live like we are supposed to live, the world will hate us. They will despise us. They will make fun of us. It will not be easy.

But, some day, when we cross into Heaven, it will be worth it all. To see our Savior face to face and to hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Again, please remember – I am not placing all of the blame on women here, especially when it comes to what men think. But I do believe we should all strive to please Jesus, and one easy way women can do that is by what we put on.

You can be beautiful and be modest, and it will be worth it all in the end.

What’s Wrong with Staying Covered while Breastfeeding?

Before I begin this post, let me state that I am a breastfeeding mom. I have breastfed 6 of my 7 children, and several of them made it past the one year mark. (One didn’t even wean until he was 19 months old.)

That being said, I support breastfeeding moms.

Except when it comes to whipping your breast out in public and not putting a blanket or cover over yourself.

I do not have a problem with breastfeeding. I have a problem with how “today’s woman” is so determined that it’s ok to flash an entire restaurant because she is feeding her baby.

Now, I realize I may be in the minority when it comes to this issue. After all, Luvs has a commercial out showing a second time mom that has no problem being uncovered. And don’t even get me started about the post over on The Leaky Boob about Fear and Breastfeeding. It has nothing to do with fear. Ok, well maybe it does, but not the kind of fear she is insinuating in her article. I fear the Lord, and I do not want to do anything that will cause Him shame. I fully believe that even how I present myself while breastfeeding in public can either bring Him glory or cause Him shame.

I understand the remark, “Everyone wants to see your boobs – unless you are feeding a baby,” and in today’s culture, that does seem to be true. BUT, there are many of us who DON’T want to see your breasts – whether you are in a bikini on the beach, wearing a “black tie” dress for your walk down the red carpet, or even if you are feeding your baby.

I do not wear bikinis. In fact, I cannot even remember the last time I put on a bathing suit and didn’t at least have a pair of long shorts or capris over it.

I do not wear low cut tops. If I do, I wear a camisole or tank top underneath it.

And when I breastfeed – even if I am at home with just the youngest 3 kids, I still throw a blanket over myself.

Why?

Photo Credit: Bebe au Lait. Click the picture to be taken to the website.

Photo Credit: Bebe au Lait. Click the picture to be taken to the website.

Because I believe in modesty, and I believe that as a woman striving to be like Christ, it is my duty to keep “private” parts covered and for my husband’s eyes only.

Like it or not, breasts are sexual as well as functional. Yes, God gave them to us so that we can feed our children. I can give you verse after verse in the Bible that references breastfeeding. But I can also give you many verses that refer to the breasts as pleasure for sex.

What about the man that struggles with a pornography addiction? And there you sit, right next to him, fully exposing your chest. You are causing that man’s mind to wander. Yes, he is responsible for his own thoughts, but as a woman, YOU are responsible for what you cause others to think. (Titus 2:5 – “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”)

The entire topic of exposing yourself while breastfeeding makes me think of Proverbs 11:22 – “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.”

My husband and I have discussed this topic many times over the years. I know firsthand that he appreciates the lengths I go to in order to stay covered up. I know he doesn’t want my breasts exposed for the world to see. He has always been my biggest breastfeeding supporter, and I truly believe it’s because I choose to do it in a modest and tactful way.

Now, I can hear you through the computer: “But, my baby doesn’t like being covered up.” … “But my baby will get too hot.” … “But I cannot bond with my baby if I cannot look at her.” … “But, but, but….”

To all those buts, I say, “Baloney.”

Please scroll back up and read the second sentence of this post. I have breastfed 6 children. Through summer and winter, with blankets, cover-ups, or whatever I could find to throw over me at any given time.

Yes, we did go through stages where baby didn’t like to be covered. But, my baby isn’t the boss. From an early age, they will come to understand that sometimes they will just have to deal with what they are given. If they continue to pull the cover off, they are taken off the breast and are allowed to nurse again after a few minutes. Not one of my babies has ever starved or suffocated from being covered up while nursing. I promise.

Nursing covers are fantastic when baby wants to try to pull a blanket off. Because the cover goes around your neck, baby can’t pull it off. And most nursing covers now offer a curved neckline that allows you to see baby (and vice versa) while shielding your chest from the world.

So, please, ladies. The next time you are out and need to feed your baby, take a moment to cover yourself – or even just pull your shirt down and keep yourself covered. I’m asking this on behalf of my husband, and many many other men out there that are trying to keep their minds and hearts focused on Christ and don’t want to see what you have to offer.

I’d love to see some women who are willing to take a stand with me and cover up while nursing. What do you say? Let’s show the world that there are still discreet, respectable, God-honoring women who want to please the Lord out there.

Edited to add: Thanks to the comments on this post, I realize that you can be discreet without using a cover. My problem is not covered vs. uncovered, my problem is with those that refuse to show any form of discretion and feel the need to be vocal about their opinion. This post is simply my way of voicing MY opinion about the topic. This blog is based on my thoughts, opinions, and convictions, and should be respected as such. 

Also edited to add: I am no longer going to take the time to reply to comments on this thread. Those comments that do not use foul language or outright attack my character as a person or a mother will be still be approved whether you agree with me or not. I have stated my opinion in this post and do not have time to reiterate the same opinions over and over. If you see this as you having “won” or having the last word, so be it. I know where I stand: Firmly planted on the Bible, and that’s where I plan to stay.

Photo Credit: The photo used in this article is from BebeAuLait.com – a place that sells some of the most beautiful nursing covers you will find online. I personally own and use several of their covers. This is not an affiliate link, and I am not making any money off of this post, I’m just thankful that companies like Bebe au Lait exist and believe their website should be shared.

Regarding Comments: I am sure there will be many who disagree with this post, and that is your prerogative. However, nasty, spiteful, or unnecessary comments will not be approved. Period. You are welcome to disagree, just do it respectfully.

Modest Apparel for Women, Teens, and Girls {Review}

modest clothes for girlsI’ve posted before about how appalled I am by the clothes girls are wearing nowadays. I have no problem wanting to look nice, but looking nice doesn’t mean that you have to let it all hang out. After reading the comments on my post, I can see that many of you feel the same way I do.

I’ve made it my goal to find beautiful, affordable clothes for women, teens, and girls that are both fashionable and modest.

When Sarah of Joyfully Sewn contacted me, I knew her shop was the perfect fit for my blog.

Sarah custom made a skirt for my daughter, Lucy. Before I get to my review, here’s a little bit about Sarah and her shop Joyfully Sewn:

Here at my shop you will find carefully handmade, feminine dresses, jumpers, peasant blouses, patchwork skirts, twirl skirts, peasant skirts and more. Every item has been individually and lovingly made by me. I have been doing custom sewing for local and long distance customers for 10+ years and I love what I do. No two items will be exactly alike since I hand cut and individually sew each one. I am more than happy to create custom orders for you or your daughters, and I would love to work with you to create just what you are looking for.

“And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.” Psalm 35:9

Sarah is an absolute delight to work with. You can hear in her voice how much she loves what she does, and that love is radiated in her designs and creations. The quality of her work is second-to-none, and her fabric selection is amazing.

I mentioned above that Sarah custom made a skirt for Lucy. All I did was give her Lucy’s measurements, and mentioned that she loves the color pink. She asked about the length of the dress, and I told her “the longer, the better.” Lucy loves feeling like a princess, and long skirts and dresses are her favorite.

When we received the skirt in the mail, I was truly blown away. And Lucy couldn’t wait to put it on. Getting it off of her to wash has been the most difficult thing. She wants to wear it all the time. The skirt has bloomers sewn right in, increasing the modesty factor – and the cuteness factor! Now, Lucy can play on the playground, do flips, and have a ball, and not have to worry about her panties showing. Those little bloomers are this mom’s favorite feature!

Sarah also included 2 little matching bows in the package, perfect for pairing with pony tails. I just love them – and so does Lucy. If she wears the skirt, she *has* to wear the bows.

modest clothes for girlsWhen Lucy wore the skirt to church, she got tons and tons of compliments. Everyone loved the skirt, and several of the women of the church mentioned that they’d like a skirt just like it for themselves. Even my teenager loves Lucy’s skirt and wants one for herself. She also mentioned to me that if Lucy’s didn’t have the bloomers, she could probably just wear it. 🙂 She really loves it that much.

I am super impressed with Joyfully Sewn and will definitely be purchasing more from her in the near future. I’m already putting money aside to get skirts made for myself, Ashley, and another one for Lucy. It goes without saying that I would recommend them to anyone looking for modest girls clothing.

Thank you so much, Sarah, for the opportunity to work with you. I love your work, and am so happy to have met you. Thank you for providing families an excellent option for modest apparel.

To learn more about Sarah and Joyfully Sewn and to check out her selection of skirts and dresses for women, teens, and girls, visit her shop: Joyfully Sewn

Use the code blessed to save 10% off your order in her shop.

For a chance to win a $25 GC to Joyfully Sewn, enter the Small Biz Expo and Giveaway.

You can also find Sarah on her blog: Joyful Service

Disclaimer: I received a skirt from Joyfully Sewn in order to facilitate my review, and received no other compensation. Opinions expressed are 100% my own and have not been influenced by any outside source.