Sunday, April 8, 2012

Determining What is Truly Modest


Well, here is my first article!

    I wrote this about a month ago & have been anxious to post it! I am sure all those who follow Christ wish to please him in every area of their lives - and the area of modesty is no exception.
     Though I could have written more in-depth about this important subject, I believe that most of us young lady followers of Messiah are well aware of what modesty is and how to be modest.
     Enjoy!


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        “Oh, you can't wear that, honey: it's immodest.” I'm sure that those of us who have Believers in the Messiah as our parents have all heard that from one or both of our parents. And how many of us thought in our minds, “ What's immodest about it? ”, but didn't utter a word? I have, and I presume many of you have as well.
       So, what is modest? How do we, as Believers in Messiah, define that peculiar word?

       Today, I would like to speak on the topic of what it means for something to be modest – what makes something modest or immodest.

       Here are some dictionary meanings of modest (taken from dictionary.com):
1 – having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one's merits, importance, etc.; free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions.
2 – free from ostentation or showy extravagance a modest house.
3 - having or showing regard for the decencies of behavior, speech, dress, etc.; decent: a modest neckline on a dress.

       As you can see, the word modest applies to many areas in our lives – dress, speech, & behavior. I would like to go into some detail and explain the conclusions I've reached concerning this matter. Now, I do not profess to fully know the exact meaning of what it is to be modest in behavior, speech, and dress – no – I am learning just as we all are. So all that I write is purely from what I have learned – mainly from the past year.

Modest Speech:

       It is a rare thing for someone to advise us to 'speak modestly' – but – I believe that we all have a pretty good idea as to what that means, thus, my explanation is quite short.
       To speak modestly means to speak humbly, respectfully, and decently - not boasting or showing no regard for others by talking in obnoxiously loud voices. I tend to lean most toward the understanding that speaking modestly would equal (in many ways) speaking humbly. If we have a modest opinion of ourselves (in other words a humble opinion) we will speak modestly of ourselves – never boasting of our qualities.
(How was this for short? ;)

Modest Behavior:

       In a group of girls, lets say that one is boisterous, and very extravagantly expressive in her movements. Is she not attracting attention to herself ? I would say she is! Now, in case you are thinking, “Well, many people are expressive with their motions and movements when they speak – its just who they are.” While I do agree wholeheartedly with that statement (at times even I use expressive hand motions when I speak) I must emphasize that those who are expressive with their movements while speaking do not have to do so with over expressiveness.
       There are other more serious ways to behave immodestly, but I do not wish to explain all the improper, immodest, immoral ways that I am referring to – I assume you already know them. I will say this though; girls who flirt and behave all silly around young men are not behaving modestly – at all! Flirting, whether in actions or words, is wrong, shameful, and dangerous! It is not something in which the daughters, or sons for that matter, of Adonai (the Lord) should take part.

Modest Dress:

       Now this one's a bit more complicated, and deserves a more in-depth description.. First, at a more simple level of defining what is modest to wear - ask yourself, “Would I wear this in the presence of my Lord and Savior, the Messiah? Or would I be ashamed to have my Lord and Savior see me in this?” Wow, if that doesn't make a Follower of Messiah stop cold turkey and think a moment – what will?
       Secondly, when Adoneinu (our Lord) gave the command to dress modestly – what kind of clothes were the people wearing? Well, in our modern society, we would deem them as robes – long robe like clothes most likely secured in the middle with belts, they were very long – perhaps close to touching the ground!
       Thirdly, when Adam and Chava (Eve) sinned, they sewed fig leaves together for make-shift coverings. But El Shaddai (God Almighty) clothed them with animal skins – for much more coverage than fig leaves! So, what man considers modest and what our holy God considers modest are two completely different things! We must strive to think as our God does about what is and is not modest.
       
       Adonai (the Lord) has led our family to hold to certain 'Modesty Principles' that we live by. Allow me to share them with you.
1 – Shirts must never be tight or more that 3 finger-widths below the collarbone.
2 – Skirts and dresses must never come above the knee.
3 – Shirts must have sleeves – no sleeveless, halter or tube tops, or cap sleeves.
4 - Jeans & Capri's must NEVER be tight
EDIT: We, the girls in our family, do not wear pants anymore, and I have not worn them for some time.
       Think again about what was worn in Bible times – specifically Old Testament times. Compared that to my family's list. If our list seemed daunting to you before – does it now? Actually, our list seems almost bottom line compared to what was worn back then.
       My point is that the Lord of heaven and earth wants us covered. He doesn't want other people to be able to see every curve we have. Adam and Chava (Eve) thought they had taken care of their nakedness – but clearly our Elohim (God) didn't.
I challenge you to compare your ideas of what is and isn't modest to what our holy God says about it.


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        Thank you so much for reading what I have had to share today! May Avinu (our Father) bless you as you seek to follow him wholeheartedly.


Query of the Day:
    What are the 'Modesty Principles that the Lord has led you to keep?

8 comments:

  1. Mandie~

    You did an awesome job on your article! I think that modesty is a subject that is often over looked. I have been led to wear skirts full time and to cover my head as much as possible. I enjoyed reading this! Modesty is something that is very important to our family as well! Thanks for sharing!

    Shalom,
    ~Victoria~

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    1. Thank you so much, Victoria!
      I am actually working on a follow up to this post ~ and will hopefully post it soon!

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    2. I agree with you there! The subject of modesty is SO important, yet so overlooked!
      I just published a follow up article to this one :)
      Please tell me what you think one you read it.

      Shabbat Shalom,
      ~ Mandie ~

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  2. Hi Mandie,

    I appreciate you following my blog, I have a ?,

    What do you have against make-up? I'm 12 and not allowed to wear it yet, but I just wanted to know why your family thinks it's wrong, if you already have a post on it, please just tell me were it is. :D This is just an honest question of mine, not ment in any offense of your family or their standards. Your blog is such a lovely blog and I enjoy reading it! THanks again, Love, Summer

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    1. Summer,
      I am so happy you enjoy my blog & would be happy to answer your question! (I am never adverse to honest questions)

      First, my family and I have nothing really against make-up per-se and definitely nothing against those who choose to wear it. (As I stated in the post 'My Modesty Journey', I do wear some make-up.) But rather, what we are against is the spirit behind make-up; the reason that make-up exisist.

      So, what is make-up for & what does it do? It enhances, and changes, one's appearance. What do we see on magazine covers, down all the make-up isles, and who knows where else? Pictures of people (mainly women) wearing all sorts of make-up in order to better their appearances.

      Many people are just not satisfied with the way our God made them, and use make-up to help change that. This is sad because God made each of us the way we are, how He wants us to be; and He doesn't make mistakes.

      Not everyone wears make-up for this reason, as I have a very godly friend of mine who does wear some make-up. Really, it is just what your convictions are before God.

      No, I do not think that make-up is sinful. No, I do not look down upon those who wear it. But I do think that we should all be careful when approaching make-up and be honest with ourselves as to what our true reasons are for wanting to wear it. We need to make sure that our reasons don't go along the lines of, "I want to wear make-up because I am just not pretty enough", "Everybody else is doing it" or worse, "I want to wear it because I want more attention", etc.
      Satan knows how easily we can be lead down that road. He want us to be discontent with our looks, and thus fall easy prey to these types of temptations.

      So, you see, make-up is just designed to change and enhance our appearance, and that is the vey reason we must be careful with our use of it. Did you know that some people use it so much that they cannot fathom a day without it? I would venture to say that this would be overuse & overemphasis on make-up; which could potentially be dangerous.

      Well, I hope that answered your question. Please comment to let me know;-)
      I think I may do a post on this sometime that would go into more detail than this little (lol) reply. If you have any other questions about this, feel free to comment or e-mail me.

      On a side note:

      Funny, I am actually working an allegorical book about accepting yourself, so it was good for me to be able to write along those lines as a reason to be cautious with make-up.
      I have had to learn the hard way (and am still learning) to see myself as God sees me, and am writting the book in hopes it will help those who struggle with that.

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    2. Oh my goodness!!!!!! I didn't know my reply was to be that long! I should have done a post! Lol.

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    3. Thanks Bunches! :D And I don't mind that it was long. :D Sorry it took so long for me to reply back! :D I really understand were your coming from now, I never really thought of make-up as you explained, thank you for taking the time to reply.

      Summer~ <3

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    4. That's okay, Summer! I'm glad my reply helped you to see where I am coming from & that it gave you some food for thought ;-)

      You're welcome! If you ever have any other questions, just feel free to ask!

      ~ Mandie

      p.s. Thanks for following me!

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