|//yeah, that was me at 12 in the die-dye shirt over my very modest swimsuit which really didn't need an extra piece of fabric over it, but i had major body confidence issues, so go figure :/|
Yes, tis' I...tis' me - and I daresay it's been so long since I last did a post on this blog that I can't even remember when that was. Ayayaya, it's been too long.
I'm thankful though that Bethany and Keturah have done such a great job in taking over the blog for me though. Thank you ladies so much! ♥
As my life gets fuller and busier, I will likely have to drop out entirely at some point just for the sake of practicality and prioritizing. *sniffle*
Anyways, just today I was browsing Facebook and I saw on my "memories", where three years ago today I had written a post here at APOC on modest swimsuits. I read it again and realized, wow, my views on some stuff have definitely changed since three years ago! Quite drastically, in some ways.
Is this bad? Well, I guess it depends on your perspective and viewpoint. To me it is a mixture of things, but definitely not bad.
As we continue on in this journey called life, we change. Our opinions usually start to bend a little over time as well on certain subjects which we allow. Sometimes we get influenced by others, and sometimes we just decide it point-blank that our past selves were a little off.
Well, before I start to ramble as I always tend to do, let me get to the point of this post.
There are a lot of reasons I just don't feel led to write much about modesty and the similar surrounding topics these days.
One huge reason being that there are so many other things which I deem more important, and more demanding of my time. For example, trying to end the abortion slaughter. The spiritual walk, growing closer to God. Bible study. Missions and evangelism. Overcoming my own sin issues. I could go on and on.
There are lots of things on my heart right now, but none of them involve carrying the banner of the 'modesty culture', if you will.
It's not that it's a bad thing, but I feel that in some ways the conservative, Christian (and typically homeschooled) community places way too much emphasis on what we wear and how "set apart" in our clothing we can be. I have to question how important this really is, in the long run. How important it is, in the scheme of eternity.
Don't get me wrong, it's a great thing to be aware of not showing too much skin or dressing so that your cleavage isn't spilling all out from your shirt. We definitely need to be conscience of how we dress and how we present ourselves as Christians. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost, after all.
Yes, we need to be aware that men are looking at us, and we don't want to place any extra room for temptation on their plates if we can help it. (that being said, some men will find ways to sexualize you even if you're wearing a gunny sack and culottes - if they really aim to, they can find a way.)
Yes, our bodies are beautiful, incredible treasures. No, they are not things to be ashamed of, that need to be hidden.
There is no shame in withholding special details about your body from the outside world. No, I see it as a sense of dignity and pride. Not everyone deserves to see your most-private places. In fact, no one really 'deserves' to see them at all, period, besides yourself. Marriage is the one area where this changes, because you are in essence agreeing to share yourself with another human being for the rest of your life.
And besides, is it really /that/ classy to have half your butt hanging out from your shorts, regardless of who is looking at it? I mean, come on. I know that everyone has a different definition of classy, but mine sure doesn't involve looking sloppy, exposed and, well, the opposite of regal.
Personally, I wish we all lived like we used to in the garden of Eden. Stark naked and without a worry in the world! Clothes can be such a hassle and waste of time. But, unfortunately, in the United States, running around skyclad just wouldn't do, would it?
So we just have to deal with the fact that clothes are a necessity.
I guess my thing here is that modesty truly is very subjective. I'll use my own life as an example.
A few years ago, I would never have dared to wear shorts. In fact, it would have been anathema. A few years before THAT, I would have shunned the thought of pants, period! I used to be so staunchly opinionated about being "skirts-only" that some people thought I was Mennonite. I had an idea that it was best to just wear plain, frumpy, shapeless clothes so that I didn't "blend in" with the world. I also had horrible self-esteem about my body, so I think that contributed to the whole thing. I used 'modesty' as an excuse so that I didn't have to show much of my curvaceous body. I even demanded on having my swimwear include ankle-length leggings so that you couldn't see my legs at all. I hated my legs.
As time as gone on, my confidence has drastically improved and now I LOVE the body God gave me! I love my legs, and everything else about me. I do not try to hide it. In fact, I like to wear clothes that tastefully compliment my curves, while still leaving "mysteries" to the eye.
I now am not ashamed to wear things like shorts, jeans, and form fitting blouses, to an extent. I do have my own personal "code" for what I won't wear out of personal preference and conviction, but I will say that my whole perspective on what is modest and immodest has really loosened up.
And I'm glad it has, because it has brought a sense of freedom.
I think that it is too easy to fall into a trap of unnecessary judgement, when we spend so much time trying to decide if one thing is modest or not. While we compare how long our jean skirts are supposed to be, I feel like we miss the point of what it means to be a Christ-follower.
As a girl in my mid-teens, I was probably comparable to a Sadducee or Pharisee at times.
I thought I was above all the other girls who went to public school/weren't homeschooled.
I thought I was above people just because I didn't show as much skin as they did.
I hid my feminine curves well and was downright proud of it, because it 'set me apart' and I looked so different than everyone else. I enjoyed the stares.
Please, y'all, I just want you to know I'm not trying to cast a stone or point fingers at anyone out there. I use my own life as the example here because, well, I can judge my own self and there's no wrong it doing that, right?
I'm just saying here, that I think modesty is useless and even harmful to our testimony when we let it control our lives, and turn us into judgmental, narrow-minded individuals who think we are better than other people. I think it can become a waste of time and effort, in some cases, as well.
Does it really matter if one's skirt is knee-length or calf-length? Does it /really/ matter if you like to wear high-necked tops and dresses but I prefer sleeveless with a lower neckline? (nothing cleavage baring, mind you)
While we read books on modesty and write blog posts and have lengthy discussions on how to make leggings or tank tops appropriate, might it be of more value to talk about how we can end abortion in our lifetimes? Or, maybe, how we can set an example to our fellow believers?
Or, perhaps, even better, how we can win souls to Christ?
If you feel led to dress a particular way, then by all means, do it.
Just remember, that we all have our own convictions, and unless something is blatantly ungodly or, in this case, blatantly immodest, we shouldn't judge one another for having a different opinion.
Ultimately, we should each consider our motives for everything we do, including what we wear.
But not to the point of creating a cult-like obsession with standing out from the world.
Because ultimately, ladies, we are defined by what is in our hearts - not by the pieces of fabric on our bodies.
P.S. I don't claim to be the ultimate authority on any of this. I am merely giving my own opinions and views, which, for all I know, could change yet again in a couple years - who knows? xD I think that as long as you focus on Christ, you will know what you are supposed to do.