Sunday, April 4, 2010

My Struggle with Modesty

The trend while I was in high school was always, "If you've got it, flaunt it." Once I became a Christian and started walking with the Lord, I realized that this was one area which I struggled with and wasn't willing to give control to God so easily. I enjoyed making a statement with my outfits and was certain that my best features needed to be accentuated and exhibited for all to see. Needless to say, I would wear mini-skirts and tops that revealed a bit too much cleavage. I was used to getting "that" type of attention from men and in my naiveté had no idea the effect it had on how others viewed me and the impure thoughts I triggered in them.

Today, even as a pastor's wife I struggle with modesty. This battle is not over and I realize that it never will be. In Ephesians 4:22-24 we are explicitly told, "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." You see once I was saved, I didn't immediately leave my old life in the past. I carried some of my bad habits into church and subconsciously welcomed them in my new found relationship with the Lord. Every day I had to make a conscious choice to honor Him and not be enticed by my own selfish desires (i.e. the desire to look good and inadvertently call the wrong type of attention). I remember daily who I am today. I am the daughter of the living God, a woman who fears the Lord, a wife who wants to respect her husband and lead a life that would honor Him. A want to be a woman who makes a kingdom difference, bringing women to the Lord's feet and helping them find the restoration I found in Him alone.

I don't take the privilege I have of being a pastor's wife lightly. I consider it a blessing that comes with many responsibilities. And one of those is that others are looking up to me to set the example. When I look around, I see so many that are in that stage that I found myself in when I first came to Christ. They are struggling with letting go of their own desires to please the Lord. My empathy for them allows me to be patient as others were with me.

One of my favorite verses is found in 1 Corinthians 10:23-24 and it says, "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive. 2Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. I try to measure my choices in life be it a very simple decision such as the movie I watch or the t.v. show I tune in to to the bigger decisions, who will I allow into my inner circle of friends. Believe it or not, honoring God starts with the little things. If I can't be faithful to Him with the little, I cannot be trusted with the big things.

I don't know where your struggle is. Perhaps it is your lack of faith or maybe you are involved in a relationship you know God does not approve of. May I encourage you to be honest with yourself and with God. Is there anything in your heart that needs to be turned over to him today? I don't see a better time to come before His presence with a broken heart in complete surrender than on this beautiful resurrection Sunday. Remember that He conquered the grave for you and me.


Melody said...

These are great words, Indy. Thank you for being so honest. You have given me a deeper understanding and a little more graceousness into understanding why this might be more of a struggle for some women. This can be a problem in churches and I believe people are shocked back by that. I know I have been at times. In addressing this issue with a young single Mom where the issue was brought up that other men/husbands in the church are drawn to the way she dresses and attention brought to her body she replied "Yes, that's exactly what I want." It's such a personal issue and a difficult one to deal with. I'm so very curious if someone helped you recognize this or if the Holy Spirit in time worked inside you regarding this.....or both? There is a very godly woman I know that dresses extremely immodest. So much so that I never wanted my son to be in her small group at VBS where she would be falling out of her blouse as she sat on the floor teaching the young boys about Jesus. She wasn't in our church and I never felt I knew her well enough to say anything. Maybe it was more of an issues of not knowing what to say or how do address it properly. You have brought up a great discussion here. Thank you for being real and sharing your struggle. Keep pressing on my friend!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog off of Melody's page. I agree that modesty can be such an issue. We are in Southern California and I see it here more than ever. I so appreciate how you have been open and honest about this common struggle!

Ivett said...

You are a terrific leader and example... it's funny that I read this post today, because my "motivation for mommy quote" for today is "Set standards for your children as you teach them the importance of modest dress. They should represent themselves as holy and acceptable unto God." Amen.