Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer Modesty


On the Beach at Trouville, 1870
by Claude Monet



Beach Scene, by John Chapman 1808-1889 (American)


This message is only to those who want to find out more about being modest, and to those who are sincerely concerned about the amount of immodesty around us.  If you basically do not believe that modesty is beautiful and that it goes hand in hand with dignity and protection, you need not read further. This article may not be what you are looking for.  It is not addressed to those who are not concerned about modesty. It is not addressed to anyone who is not a member of the blood-bought church of our dear Lord.  It is more precisely aimed at the faithful members of the Lord's church, who claim to have the truth in doctrine and in practice.
Stroll on the Beach, by Bastida,  1826-1923  (Spain)

The pictures here will show you a something about the way people dressed on the public beaches just a hundred years ago. There does not seem to be anything to blush about in these pictures, and it gives you an idea of the kind of manners that people used to have. They thought it was rude to expose nakedness or private parts of the body. Only the circus women would have been brazen enough to wear bras showing straps and tattoos.  What was considered a bizarre, crude way of dressing a hundred years ago, is now paraded as normal. I feel sorry for the children growing up today, who see people looking the way only clowns looked in the past. Clowns these days have a lot to compete with, in order to be identified as clowns.
The Beach Umbrella, by Edward Henry Potthast

The popular summer style for women seems to be: two sets of straps showing on each shoulder (one set being the bra strap), one black and one white or green or whatever they have,  tattoos in the blank spaces of the arms, back and chest, short-shorts, flip-flops, naked bellies  and exposed chests. What little fabric they have on is drab and dull,  and no one dares wear the the array of shades that nature has to offer.

This sounds like women just having fun on a vacation, but it is also blatantly displayed in church.  An elderly woman once described a church she had been attending as the "cleavage congregation," because so many of the women  always displayed  cleavage. She was asked, as an older woman, to speak to the ladies about this, but when she did, the younger women accused her of being a snob, extreme, Victorian, and legalistic. Instead of soberly considering their ways, they attacked this gracious woman and chased her away. These elderly women in the church have been commanded in scripture to teach the younger women to be modest. They are just doing their job. Today, however, immodesty reigns in a sinister militant form, threatening and accusing, arguing and seeking vengeance on anyone who dares touch this subject.
Peasant Girl
(Peasants of the 18th century wore more fabric and were better covered than women in the 21st century)

 Christian women now are dressing as bad as the world. Many people who want to leave the way of the world, seek out churches and then find the cleavage, bare skin, bra-straps, shorts, and tattoos sported at church are worse than the world. What a let-down that must be for someone seeking the message that Christians are supposed to be different from the world.



Women Walking on the Beach in Sri Lanka

This is a contemporary photograph of poorer women in Sri Lanka. I have always insisted that modest dress is not a matter of wealth. It is a matter of politeness, belief,  and personal dignity. Many women grew up much poorer than people are today, and still managed to keep their clothes on, keep their flesh covered, and be modest even in hot climates.


Painted Photograph of bathing costumes in the late 1800's.


One woman has written, "I am always hopeful that someone will be converted, so I take a friend to church once in awhile. They always make a comment about the blatant amount of immodesty in the worship assembly, from bare legs, to bare backs, bare chests, bare shoulders and bare midriffs. The astonishing amount of piercings and tattoos make me think that people are going back to primitive ways, rather than progressing on to the high mark of the high calling. One friend asked me, 'Shouldn't some of the older women teach those young women about modesty?'  You see, they have been reading the Bible, searching for truth. They come to assemble with believers and find out that the believers do not follow the great book they claim to believe."

  It is this problem I would like to address today, and I would like to remind readers once again, that it is for members of the Lord's church.  Invariably, someone will tell me that it is only what is in their heart that "counts" with God, but there are several scriptures which reveal that God cares not just about your intentions or your heart, but about your actions and your appearance. Your actions and appearance speak volumes about your heart.  Many members believe that once they are baptised, they are under grace alone, and that God over-looks the sin of immodesty.  They think it is okay to be saved, but they do not believe God really requires any changes in their lifestyle.


Picnic on the River, by Henry John Yeend King 1855-1924 British

Paintings of a previous century show women dressed modestly in outdoor activities. Not only are they covered, the clothing is beautiful.

We get our authority for modesty in God's Word, as in these passages:

First 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;


Titus 2:4-6  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.   Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.
  
If  women in the church want to help men overcome sin, and help them keep their minds on the worship, they can begin by dressing modestly, no matter what others are wearing, no matter what is the "in" thing or the trend, no matter what society around you is doing.  When you do what God says to do, you will find that you receive a lot of compensation for it. You will not be attracting unwanted attention and you will not be as unsure of yourself. You can also be at peace with yourself and with others, knowing that you are not offending or causing someone to sin. Just think, if you dress modestly, you become the teacher, for your actions speak louder than words, and your mode of dress speaks volumes about what you believe about modesty. No older woman will be asked to speak to you about modesty.  There are many disadvantages to immodest clothing. One is expense. You pay a lot for a lot less. The minimalist look might be the trend, but you will be getting less and less for more and more of your money.


Hartford Couple and Their Children, by Alexander Rossi 1870-1903  British

In the 1960's it was popular to be on the beaches in the hot summer in the garb of the day: small pieces of cloth barely covering private areas, called "bathers."  One day, a young woman wearing a blue and white gingham peasant style dress with a hat trimmed in a matching ribbon, was seen walking barefoot on the shore.  Although there were many perfect figures and sun-tanned young people on that beach, all eyes were upon this woman. Her beautiful dress was a perfect compliment to the ocean and the blue sky in the background.  She wore this kind of thing to the beach because she burned so easily, but she did not let it get in the way of enjoying the elements. Although people were looking at this young lady, it was not for the wrong reasons. They were not admiring her sexiness or the size of her bust.  They were admiring her romantic sweetness.  We have lost our sweetness and our innocence in America today. It is up to the Christian women, the members of the church, those who have been washed in the blood of the lamb by obeying the gospel, to show a good example to the next generation.  


"Shamefacedness" in the scripture above, is not a popular word today. It denotes a little bashfulness, a little embarrassment. If women in the church are supposed to be shamefaced, they will not be anxious for anyone to see their nakedness. They will cover up appropriately, covering their privacy. 






Feeding the Ducks, by Alfred Augustus Glendenning 1840-1910 British


Modesty and good manners used to be practiced strictly, in the home. Family members were taught not insult, whine, complain, talk back rudely, accuse, swear or disrespect the home, each other, or the parents. Dressing respectfully was practiced daily, not just on religious days. Modesty was considered a part of good character and a part of respect for others.


I address the ladies in the church because they are supposed to be a light and a guide in the world. The way they dress has a great influence on others.   The guide for women's clothing  is written in scripture for us. All we have to do is apply it. No, there will not be specific instructions about how high the collar is or how far the hem is, but there is a guiding principle to be modest. The Bible was written for the ages. It was written for every generation that has ever lived. Its standards can be applied no matter what century it is. There were immodest people in Victorian times, too, but Christian women who followed the Bible were different.  God's standards of dress are the highest you can find. Let us not dumb ourselves down to the lowest standards of the prevailing culture. 




You may also be interested in Modesty Matters

116 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a topic that has caused many confrontations in my church and also with my personal friends.

I believe in modesty. I believe in following The Word and when we, as women, choose to ignore the Gospel, then we are changing The Word of God to suit our sin!

Last weekend, I visited a lake with several friends and it was just too much in the little clothes that women were wearing. The men had more clothes on than them!

It is amazing that this issue is so ignored in our Christian churches. I think most pastors do not want to deal with this issue because then they will see membership decline.

Thank you for sharing. As always, your words are exactly what we, as women, need to hear.

Blessings,

simply, maria.

LadyLydia said...

Dressing modestly is also obedience to God. It is proof of what is in the heart, and he does look on the heart! He detects rebellion: no one can fool God.

Anonymous said...

The Lord said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." If ladies could only realize that they can show their love for the Lord and respect for others by dressing modestly! Thank you for pointing out about shamefacedness; we need to be reminded of that scripture.

Anonymous said...

I've always tried to dress nicely when attending church because I feel I am going to the Lord's house to worship him and want to honor him.

Dressing nicely does not mean frumpy, fancy or expensively. I do most of my clothes shopping at thrift stores.
Nicely dressed means clean, pressed and in good repair. Dressing nicely also means modest-no cleavage, midriff, shoulders, backs or above the knee bare legs exposed, and appropriately fitted- not too tight, or baggy.

A person can go a long way to stretch the clothes buying dollar by learning to sew their own clothes and one can learn that on the Internet, lots of tutorials out there.

In the past several men, women and teens in the church have secretly come to me and complimented my dress, or asked where I purchased my clothes because they like them.

When we moved to another state and cooler climate, I started wearing longer skirts and dresses because the weather was colder. I liked the style so much I now shop for or make skirts and dresses for the summer in the longer styles. Again people are coming up to me and saying how they like the way I dress.

I don't think it is the expense of fabric because I use plain low budget fabrics, I believe it is the modesty factor(appropriately fitted, covered areas)people feel safe talking to and getting to know someone who is covered as apposed to a half naked or seductively dress person.

What you wear and how you wear it speaks volumes about the intent of your heart.

Anonymous said...

One of your best posts, Lydia. Ha-ha, yes, many of us today look like clowns -- like people in the sideshow of a circus. Sad.

I once asked some younger ladies in a church that my husband pastored if they could possibly wear jeans on the platform when they ministered in music, instead of shorts, and was accused of being "formal." Jeans are formal?

From that time on, those young ladies were out to get me. One showed up the next week in an even more immodest outfit, and the other in an evening gown, which looked incongruous in our storefront church. And one was a Sunday School teacher/deacon's wife; the other was a youth pastor's wife.

We eventually had to leave that church. I feel sad for the older lady you mentioned who was chased away.

Naturally, I don't expect that there be guards at the door of every church as the modesty-patrol, for some people are just visitors and may not know any better, but the worst offenders on the modesty front are church members who ought to know better.

Anonymous said...

Amen x 18. I believe women of all ages want to look like ladies and hunger to know how. This is why Peter told women to teach the younger women. And the influence we have on both young females and males is immeasurable.

I am presently at work on a modest bridal gown, and what a joy I feel, even pride, knowing my daughter will be talked about by little girls for how beautiful she'll look and by older ladies for her modesty and dignity. I am also thrilled that she will be a glorious reflection on her upbringing (parents) and her new husband (and his parents). How can God not be ultimately pleased? He is the reason we go to great lengths to cover up because we're not "open for business" for the world's pleasure. We are Jesus' bride, washed, robed in spotless garment, wearing His name.

I'm no better than one who is ignorant of biblical teaching, but I am responsible to be an example. They'll know me by my love, not a haughty spirit or conceited arrogance. Thank you for the sweetness and love for God and future generations with which you post.

Anonymous said...

I wish people would quit blaming pastors for this -- insinuating that they will not deal with the clothing issue because attendance will go down. Usually ministers who address this are accused of having dirty minds.

Anonymous said...

Readers,

the shed blood of Jesus Christ is no excuse to continue living without personal responsibility to the Teachings of Christ. Even at its most basic, modesty is love in action; love of God and love of Neighbour, practiced in the act of thus dressing, for we are all bought with a price, our members of an Holy Priesthood, whose bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit.

Remember, outward action is a reflection of inward transformation. This is the heart of sacramentality.

even those who interpret the NT through the most liberal of eyes cannot ignore paul's statement that although all things may be 'permissable' they are by no means advisable or wise, so, treat yourselves with the God given dignity that is yours, that is mine, and practice mindful modesty.

And, younger women, when you are approached by the older ladies of your congregations, take such constructive advice with good grace and actually listen. its all about respect, respect of self, respect of others and respect of god.

Anonymous said...

We've got a problem with teens in our church wearing next to nothing or "club wear". These children are always in church and involved with the ministries, but somewhere along the line someone forgot to tell them how to dress for church! Nice teens, but I don't think they have a clue that it's inappropriate...not sure what their parents are thinking.

~Alexandra

Anonymous said...

so true. Just last week my husband and I were commenting how the woman in front of us had a dress on that I would have considered a swim suit cover-up (with a slit just a few inches from her hip line) and her teen daughter was wearing a skirt that was shorter than many shirts.
Our old church had a huge problem with teens dressing very inappropriate.
I too don't like the trend of skimpy strap showing tops.

Anonymous said...

Alexandra,

This is something I would be willing to spend a little time discussing. There is a scripture that talks about those who have "a form of godliness" but deny the power thereof. It means that they go through the motions of godliness but do not have the commitment to God. They somehow deny the very power of God from which the godliness comes. I have seen preachers and elders daughters so scantily clad at every church event that it is a big distraction. Their fathers are prominent in the church and teach Bible classes, but someone missed the modesty scripture.

I have seen the most faithful people, not missing one single church service, yet they do not take God seriously in personal living in things like modesty, drinking, divisiveness, etc. As long as they are there, they feel saved and they do not get real with God regarding the modesty issue (which truly is divisive)... They find it easy to obey the scripture about assembling but they fail to obey the scriptures to be modest.

It is a bad example to parade in skimpy clothing, and the girls are the worst. Perhaps that is why the Bible seems to strongly address the female when it comes to modesty. In the Old Testament times, the men that were employed as priests were given strict instructions not to let their thighs show or any nakedness. The Hebrew people were to be different from the cultures around them. We all know what the ancient world was like, with their nakedness. Well, the child of God was told not to be the same way. He was to be different than the world. You are right: no matter what time in history a person lived, there was immodesty displayed around them by the people who did not honor the Lord. The true followers of God were modest in spite of the fashion around them, and they will be that way to day if they are taking the modesty commands seriously.

LadyLydia said...

Regarding the ministers: It is true that when they do their duty to teach about modesty, they are boycotted, threatened, shunned, and even dismissed.

MarkyMark said...

Ma'am,

This has been an interesting discussion. A similar discussion took place @ Terry's blog, Breathing Grace, a couple of weeks ago. Here's what I had to say on how our clothing influences others' impressions and opinions of us...



Terry,

Let me tell you a story about how attire influences others’ view and treatment of us.

When I used to live in South Jersey, I’d often go to the shore. At times, I’d go at night to watch the people; it’s cheap, but very good entertainment!

To do this, I’d take my mountain bike down there. When I’d go riding amongst the throngs of people down there, I’d don a helmet and a bright, orange safety vest with reflective, electric green stripes. Do you know that I often got mistaken for a cop?!

Why was that? One, I was riding a mountain bike, the vehicle of choice for bike cops everywhere. Two, I had a helmet on, something few other cyclists wear. Three, I had the safety vest on; the only others who wear them are police, construction, and utility workers. These workers are usually in a position of authority WRT us by directing traffic, providing assistance, etc.

Please keep in mind that I did not have a badge, radio, or a vest marked ‘Police’ on it. I merely had some of the major accoutrements that they wear while performing their duties. Because of that, people assumed that I must be a cop. BTW, when I don’t wear the vest, I NEVER get mistaken for a cop.

The moral of the story is that our clothing does indeed affect others’ view and perception of us. I know that has been the case with me. Thank you.

MarkyMark

Anonymous said...

Point well taken. When women dress like prostitutes, even if they were not actually prostitutes, their clothing suggests it and makes others perceive them as such.

Anonymous said...

Lydia also makes a good point about Christians being modest in every generation. The Bible is our standard and guide, not the culture of our times. Just because people were half naked in ancient times in certain cities, or just because they were temple prostitutes, does not give us an excuse. It is the Bible we follow, and it is God we give our lives for, not the culture.

Also, some people never understand sacrifice. To sacrifice something means that it will cost something. Women value their trendy threads more than they value their life with God.

MarkyMark said...

Women value their trendy threads more than they value their life with God.

Ka-ka-kaboom! Anonymous NAILS it! Women, by nature, are herd creatures; they'd rather DIE than go against what their friends do...

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for addressing this problem. if I as a women are embarassed to be around other women dressed as they are at church I can only imagine how the men feel. Sometimes I sit waiting for my husband and watch women parade by. Do they realize what they look like, how much of their body is exposed and moving as they walk? I feel sorry for the men in our lives having to live among all this. Sarah

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add and so I will now,.. that this article made me cry remembering sweeter times and innocence like you mentioned...because there WERE such times and it was natural and ordinary. We didn't give it a second thought to dress and act lady like. It was something we were taught and it was a natural part of us since we were tiny. Just like our brothers were taught to be gentlemen. It was who we were. We knew to expect our neighbors and people on the street to have manners and decorum. You have written about this before saying it much better than I can. I could never have imagined that our world would be so turned around so fast in such a harsh way. When I hear young people saying they think the world and people have always been as it is now, I cringe....NO it wasen't!! I wish I could transport them back to what seems like just a short time ago when it was so much sweeter. I miss it so!! Sarah

Anonymous said...

A very good sermon. And this is not being said sarcastically. You come across like our Mennonite preachers. Immodesty is one of the reasons we came to a Mennonite church. Many others, usually 'Christian women' say we are legalistic because our church standard is to wear cape dresses. But we do not believe cape dresses save you, they just serve to help us stay modest on our journey to heaven. We don't have those problems that you list in your article in our church assembly. Even visitors come dressed modestly when they worship with us. They treat our church service respectfully and we can appreciate that. I believe our modest dress standards initiate this respectfulness.

Plus, I love wearing dresses. I feel so feminine and it's nice having most of my friends dress like me too.
Keep it up, you WILL get it across to some people
Laura

Anonymous said...

I saw a sad sight the other day. It was an adorable, chubby little girl of about 4 with the sweetest little face. What she was wearing was pathetic. It was a very immodest, strappy, sleeveless sundress with a low-cut,criss-cross front. It ended far above her little knees. But the worst part of it was the fake tatoos her mother had covered her in. All over her little arms and legs, there were dark black fake tatoos. Her six year old brother was dressed in a black t-shirt with skulls on it and similiar tatoos. It looked just awful.

The child's overweight mother dresses as you describe, right down the the exposed bra strap and real tatoos. She also dyes her hair dark black, another dreadful trend I see pretty often. It is bad enough that mothers choose to look this way, but to see them impose such awful styles on their innocent little children is sad beyond words.

Anonymous said...

I have two questions you might be able to help me with.

Number one, what if your husband request that you not wear modest clothing, and that you wear the sexy clothing of the world, in public?

Number two, what about the cultures of the past that wore immodest clothing? You are always referring to the Victorian clothing, because I suppose they were more modest, but what about other cultures that wore less clothing, in history?

LadyLydia said...

Since I will not be able to spare the time to really answer the questions thoughtfully today, so I would very much appreciate other people's input here. I would also be interested in the view of the Mennonite woman who posted, on these two questions. In regard to a husband who requires his wife wear immodest clothing around other people, as I have stated before, on the problem of husbands sending wives to work outside the home: where the scriptures give a command, an example, or a "necessary inference" no one has a right to over-ride or usurp, not even a husband. The apostle Paul said, "We must obey God, rather than man" and he was talking about a God-appointed authority. I believe that a man who truly loves his wife and wants to please the Lord will not insist that she disobey the scriptures. Other answers and deeper insights are welcome.

Regarding pagan nakedness of other cultures, I would say it has always existed, and that is why God told the Jews to avoid nakedness. The nations around them were not following the Law, and the Jews were told not even to look at nakedness. They had to turn away whenever they saw it. It is no different today. God's people must always be different.

A question you might consider is this: Do people, even Christians, try to change the meaning of modesty and shamefacedness, in order to allow certain types of immodesty? Some people think modesty is just by personal interpretation, and that there is no real standard.

MarkyMark said...

Ma'am,

WRT your husband wanting you to dress immodestly in public, here's my take: if he's a Christian, POLITELY & RESPECTFULLY point out the Bible's commands on women wearing modest apparel. If he's a saved man, then he should appreciate the importance of Christians obeying Biblical commandments such as this one.

If that doesn't work, or if your husband isn't saved, then make an earnest, yet humble appeal to him. Tell him that wearing such clothing makes you feel very uncomfortable; tell him that you feel awkward showing too much skin; tell him that you feel better and happier wearing clothes YOU like (i.e. modest garments). Even if he's not a Christian, if he's a decent guy (that's key), he'll want to see you happy; he'll want to do things for you. Men, unfortunately, are wired that way. I say unfortunately, because feminists use our chivalrous tendencies against us all too often. However, that's another subject...

If he's not a saved man, and if he's not even a decent man, then I don't know what to say...

MarkyMark

Anonymous said...

My answer regarding husbands asking wives not to wear modesty clothing: the husbands were one of God's agencies, delegated to carry out His will on this earth. His Will is contained in the Bible. He is only obligated to reinforce that which was written, not make up his own rules. Like the government, the family, the church, and the parents, each has a role to fill but it is for the purpose of carrying out God's commands, not for arbitrarily making decisions that do not please God. If you got a believing husband telling you not to attend worship, wear immodest clothes, praticipate in sinful things, you have the obligation, according to God's word, to teach him by your conduct. See First Peter 3:1. This is NOT defiance or disobedience. This is deferring to the head of the man, who is Christ, and who is man's authority. See: First Corinthians ll:3 where it says the head of the man is Christ. That means among other things that Christs word rules the man. So if he tells you something wrong to do, you go over his head to the authority over him, which is Christ. That means you go to the Word to decide what to do. In doing so, do not have an unloving attitude. Just obey God cheerfully and dont look down on your husband.

MarkyMark said...

Anon1046,

While the points you raise may be correct, the ATTITUDE with which obedience is carried out is everything. By being disrespectful and/or condescending, she'll destroy her marriage.

MarkyMark

Anonymous said...

I agree, Mark. You cant tell him he is going to Hell if he doesnt obey the scripture, you cant read the verses to him, and you cant act like you are flippant or better than he is. You have to quietly do what is right and trust God to work with the husband.

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia,

You asked for my response on one of your posters questions about obeying your husband and I would gladly do that except that yourself, MarkyMark and another anonymous poster have already said everything there is to say. All y'all are spot on on your answers to her 2 questions.
Keep writing, some people never realized that the things you write about are actually possible to do

Laura

Anonymous said...

Mat 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

Mat 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Mar 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.



I understand that this post is addressed to those who want to be more modest.

If you want to, and really want to, and it is a strong desire in you, there is a scripture addressed to this:

Psa 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart

If a person is really wanting to be more modest, she can apply all these verses. People will say it is not possible, but with God, all things are possible. And if you ask anything, he will do it. And, if you want to do His will, He will provide a way to do it.

Remember the decandent 1920's and even the 1950s when women's fashions became immodest...and then the 1960's mini skirts. Even then, women could find the modest clothes, if they tried.

We are not helplessly at the mercy of the clothes being sold. There are many alternatives. No one HAS to wear immodest clothing.

Anonymous said...

The tattoo for the little children, is pathetic and sad. The mother is teaching them to desire this kind of fashion.

anonymous said...

In the large European city where I live, it is Muslim women who are upholding the standards. They dress modestly in attractive clothes and are wholesome and feminine.

I admire them wholeheartedly while also being ashamed and saddened by my own culture's failures in this area.

It's a sad day for us and our western civilization when it is Muslim women who are upholding traditional feminine ideals and not Christian women.

Anonymous said...

I read an article about dressing modestly and how it affects the way people treat you. While I was, at first, doubtful of this idea, I decided to try a week of modest dress challenge. I wore only dresses, at least tea length, with at least short sleeves and if the neckline showed cleavage, I wore a higher necked tank top underneath it. Much to my surprise, I was treated differently. I received better service when I was out; my students behaved better in class, and their grades even started going up, probably because they were paying attention to my lessons, and not my clothes; and best of all, my husband started treating me more tenderly, we just seemed to be able to find more "us" time. I think that aside from the Biblical reasons for modest dress, the practical realities of it make it seem like a logical and even pleasant life choice.

Emmarinda said...

An old friend of mine, a Mennonite (Beachy Amish) lady, was in town the other day for a funeral. Her two married daughters were also with her with their little children. I was able to meet up with them for a couple of hours at the beach where they had made themselves a picnic supper, and we had a lovely time. The mother and one of the daughters were wearing long white cape dresses and white veils. The other daughter was wearing light blue. My friend remarked to me that all that day, men had been fairly bowing in her presence and greeting her in respectful hushed tones as they passed by, with phrases like, "Good day, ma'am", and the like! She was quite amused!
And I was quite taken with the fact that her appearance effected a change in THEIR demeanor. A lot to ponder there.

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't know that it is the pastor's job to address the subject of immodest dress. I can understand why a pastor would feel it is not appropriate for him to do so. It is the job of the older women in the congregation to get involved and do their job of getting to know the younger ladies, showing them love, friendship, and also being given the authority to teach what is good to the younger women.

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

Even though I cannot see the vast majority of what is before me (a blessing in many ways), doesn't preclude me from knowing its there; all one has to do is try to find clothing in the significantly greater portion of retailers to know the schlock that is on offer.

In an interview with the late Blind Australian poet, Barbara Blackmann, a few years ago on television here, the interviewer asked why she had beautiful artwork upon her walls. Her straight to the point response was, that just because she couldn't see them, didn't mean she didn't gain pleasure from knowing they were there. This extends out to an appreciation that though I cannot fully gain a sense of things, I do know, that, living in a world where 97% of persons possess good eyesight, they are seeing what I look like and how I attire myself. I strongly and passionately believe in the concept of modesty as expressed by Magdalena Perks (Anglican Plain) and Francis Fischer (Quaker jane). This dovetails into the concept of mindfulness - a mindfulness of the sensibility of others and respect for what they themselves see.

Anonymous said...

Contd.

Even though folk may well not care, I owe it to myself and those with whom I interact to present myself respectfully, tidily, cleanly, neatly, and modestly. Society today is dangerously sexualized, as women especially believe the lie that to be individual, expressive, liberated etc, they need to be exposed, thereby displaying themselves to force the issue as it were, on others (and men especially, where women involved with sports' education drum into the players that provocative clothing is not licence for activity and it is the womens' right to dress provocatively)... This is a load of garbage, my friend, and hurts women, hurts men and hurts society. Women are creatures of the word, whereas men are creatures of the eye; we are wired differently. Heck, if my philosophy lecturer from a few years ago now was bold enough to come out and freely discuss the fact the female brain differs from the male (we have twice as many connections between hemispheres for one thing), mor supposed mainstream believers and even secularists should take a long hard look at themselves...

Its also about politeness; not being rude. I think I've shared with you a striking sentiment echoed by a deeply respected Christian ethics teacher I've had; When he started, 40 years ago now, as a journalist in the mainstream media, the words he could still here in that workplace were 'excuse me', 'I'm sorry' and 'Thank you'; exemplifying mindfulness/politeness/valuing others instead of fixating upon self, committment to personal responsibility (for good and ill), and thankfulness. he could no longer stay when, after a few short years, people dispenced with these civilities. He is deeply saddened by the fact that

Anonymous said...

our society is grievously lacking 'Excuse me, I'm sorry, and Thank you'.

These sentiments express civility and modesty in behaviour, and are mirrored by civility and modesty in dress, which is the physical manifestation of mindfulness, personal responsibility for our carriage and how this impacts upon others, men and women alike, and thankfulness,

As Christians we are an holy priesthood, we are bought with a price, we are the temples of the holy spirit, and, we are exhorted to dress respectfully. We are also in desperate need of not losing sight of the feminine; through the feminine, is god-given responsibility and even power; it is enabling and affirming. We now resemble the Maoist masses in their boiler-suits, with horridly cut masculinised female clothing or hookerwear that reveals far more than it covers. Only a few labels (Margaret caine, Annie Lants etc) dare to produce lovely clothing, along with the various internet retailers.

For those of the Christian faith who believe action, behaviour and outward physical manifestations of this faith are irrelevant, or worse, legalistic/judgemental/holier than thou, they need to remember that Outward Actions/behaviours reflect inward reality. this is the heart of Christian sacramentality, regardless of one's denomination.

This is why modesty is important to me, and why modesty and decency should be important to every man and woman, (magdalena and 'the Quaker Ranter' also address men's modesty, just as essential, in need of discussion, but with far less literature of encouragement out there)

Marky Mark, as a rare gentleman contributer to this blog, your thoughts are valued and viewpoint refreshingly honest.

Modesty transcends time and culture. From China, to India, the Middle East, many African communities to beautiful examples within indigenous North and south American culture, disperate populations down through the ages have developped beautiful modest dress. Even in those few tropical societies where clothing was largely unknown, distinct ways of sitting, bearing of carriage and societal order kept alive a type of modesty in its own after a fashion...

Anybody familliar with world clothing/historical dress will be familliar. Even the Maori of New Zealand produced (and still do) beautiful woven garments of flax and indigenous Australian populations made coats of possom skin, added to as a child grew, theirs for life, with detailed etched and stained motiffs on the coat's inner surface - a pictorial representation of that person's family, place and history.

Modesty is important, and as Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Bhudists, it is traditionally important.

Anonymous said...

our society is grievously lacking 'Excuse me, I'm sorry, and Thank you'.

These sentiments express civility and modesty in behaviour, and are mirrored by civility and modesty in dress, which is the physical manifestation of mindfulness, personal responsibility for our carriage and how this impacts upon others, men and women alike, and thankfulness,

As Christians we are an holy priesthood, we are bought with a price, we are the temples of the holy spirit, and, we are exhorted to dress respectfully. We are also in desperate need of not losing sight of the feminine; through the feminine, is god-given responsibility and even power; it is enabling and affirming. We now resemble the Maoist masses in their boiler-suits, with horridly cut masculinised female clothing or hookerwear that reveals far more than it covers. Only a few labels (Margaret caine, Annie Lants etc) dare to produce lovely clothing, along with the various internet retailers.

For those of the Christian faith who believe action, behaviour and outward physical manifestations of this faith are irrelevant, or worse, legalistic/judgemental/holier than thou, they need to remember that Outward Actions/behaviours reflect inward reality. this is the heart of Christian sacramentality, regardless of one's denomination.

This is why modesty is important to me, and why modesty and decency should be important to every man and woman, (magdalena and 'the Quaker Ranter' also address men's modesty, just as essential, in need of discussion, but with far less literature of encouragement out there)

Marky Mark, as a rare gentleman contributer to this blog, your thoughts are valued and viewpoint refreshingly honest.

Modesty transcends time and culture. From China, to India, the Middle East, many African communities to beautiful examples within indigenous North and south American culture, disperate populations down through the ages have developped beautiful modest dress. Even in those few tropical societies where clothing was largely unknown, distinct ways of sitting, bearing of carriage and societal order kept alive a type of modesty in its own after a fashion...

Anybody familliar with world clothing/historical dress will be familliar. Even the Maori of New Zealand produced (and still do) beautiful woven garments of flax and indigenous Australian populations made coats of possom skin, added to as a child grew, theirs for life, with detailed etched and stained motiffs on the coat's inner surface - a pictorial representation of that person's family, place and history.

Modesty is important, and as Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Bhudists, it is traditionally important.

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

A few months ago you had a post about a homemaker's basket to give as gifts to young homemakers. I was trying to find the post today but I can't seem to. Could you post a link to it?

Homemakers Cottage said...

This is such a good article, Lydia! As a pastor's wife, I am SO thankful to have a church full of ladies who support and LIVE modesty.

In this culture of twisted "femininity", it's easy for young women (including myself) to feel like a wall-flower because we aren't "showing it all off". Thank you for the affirmation and reminder that modesty and dignity ARE beautiful.

Kristy @ Homemaker's Cottage

Anneatheart said...

I so so agree with this. I have 4 daughters, and for a time we were dresses only. But I have allowed us to go back to wearing what's in the store because it's easier. (after the new baby!) Sitting at the sewing machine wasn't possible.

But I have really began to feel a pull to it again, not because God demands it, but because if we are truly children of God, then we're royalty, and we need to look it. I need not be worried about looking different, but be glad we do an do it for the Lord.

Any suggestions on how to do this with myself and 4 little girls? I love sewing, and have made lots of dresses for us over the years, but, fabric isn't easy to find here...I tend to like old fashioned looks- puffy sleeves, flowery fabrics, lace trims...

Anonymous said...

In a moment I will address the lady whose husband preferred less modest attire, but first of all I want to say that address why I think so many women are getting away from modest apparel.

We are a society where once a woman reaches a certain age she is basically, for all practical purposes, 'thrown away'. We've all seen it too often in the secular society and sometimes, sadly, even in Christian society; a man will leave his wife for a much younger woman. I think this attitude forces women to desperately try to hold on to their youth. Just look at how well plastic surgeons are doing in this day and age.

Yes, Marky Mark is right. Men are 'programmed' 'that way.' This is why as Christian women we need to dress as attractively (though MODESTLY) and be as sweet-temperamented as possible to help our husbands turn away from the temptation that lurks everywhere.

Why and when did modestly stop being seen as 'attractive' or 'the norm' in our society? I think it stems from the fact that so many women define their self-worth from how many looks they can get from a man.

Now to the lady whose husband prefers her in sexier attire; I see this all the time. The man is not comfortable with his own self-worth or accomplishments, or just who he is in general, so he wants his wife to be a trophy, something he can show off to his friends. "See what I have."

Until he is stonger in his faith as I hope this is the case, I see nothing wrong with wearing the sexy clothes for him in the privacy of your home. That's a good compromise. Wear the short skirts, or low cut blouses at home. Then wear your modest clothes out.

Also for the record and since this is posted anonymously I shouldn't be accused of bragging, but I have always been a very socially prominent person in my community and I have always been seen as one of the best dressed women in the area. However, I am a Christian first and foremost. My clothing has always been beautiful and ALWAYS been modest. I have ALWAYS covered up. My point is not to boast, but to let ladies know that you can be fashionable or well-dressed WITHOUT dressing provacatively.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Amen and Amen!! Yes Lydia. I am so sick and tired of seeing peoples flesh. It is really sickening to see grown men with beer bellies walking around shirtless. It seems like they have no dignity.

I am sick of seeing cleavage. I mean do I really want to see the crevices of some overweight woman in public. It is just plain nasty and gross.

How much more beautiful to observe a clean, modest woman and be able to look at her in the face and eyes.

Just last week one of my children was shocked to see a "lady" who was bending down working on a bottom shelf at a store with almost half of her buttocks exposed. Isn't this illegal?

Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia,
I am very concerned about this issue also. It is actually of the many reasons why we also left and joined the Mennonites.

Mennonites are far from perfect, but they have preserved modesty and Godly marriages with proper roles for men and women.

I am sorry, but I cannot find any other churches that practice modesty and proper roles for men and women except in the Anabaptist circles.

You will know them by their fruit. Love for the brethren is the mark of a Christian.

Why can't a woman love her brother enough to examine the Bible and cover up her body?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it isn't by concidence that the plain dressing, media-avoiding Anabaptists, such as the conservative Mennonites, have a much lower divorce rate.

Anonymous said...

This is a great article, full of truths and I agree with it wholeheartedly.
Your statement is so very sad but true: "We have lost our sweetness and our innocence in America today."
We've lost lady-like behaviour and dressing.
I'm teaching my daughters differently by how I dress and how I allow them to dress. They cannot stand to see immodestly dressed people.
When we're out and about town the majority of women are dressed in ugly attire-it is pathetic!
Thank you for taking the time to write and post this article-I appreciate you!
~Rhonda

Anonymous said...

The Holy Spirit says, in the book of James, "Show me your faith, by your works." The way we dress shows our regard or approval and our obedience of the modesty commands. These commands are not grievous. They are always for our good. When we combine modest dress with modest actions and living a sober life, we receive the blessing of peace. How many people are just innundated with stress these days? Try dressing modestly and see if some of the tension goes away. Immodesty creates tension. I have been around girls where there is usually some kind of fight or argument, and when I think back on it, at least one of them was immodestly dressed.

LadyLydia said...

Ministers and modesty: the reason that the elderly woman was asked to speak to the young women about modesty, was that the preacher wisely knew that he would not be as effective, nor be able to say some things that the woman would be able to.

Anonymous said...

To the dear lady who is looking for modest clothing there is a plethora of modest clothing that can be ordered through the internet.

Here are a few I like:

www.thekingsdaughters.com
www.liliesapparel.com
www.gehmanscountryfabrics.com

The Gehmans store has ready made dresses for girls from age 6months to size 12 for under $26.00. They are all well made with a wonderful wash and wear fabric called Tropical Breeze.

Anonymous said...

Something that I have practiced in the past few years is to compliment any woman I see who is dressed like a woman. Even if she does not dress exactly like I do I tell her it is so nice to see her in her dress. I think encouragement goes a long way.

LadyLydia said...

My only ideas about dressing your girls, is perhaps to find someone who hands down modest children's clothing.

One of the advantages of women staying home is that they are supposed to have time to sew something for their daughters. Perhaps we are just all way too busy. Staying home does not guarantee we can get our work done, if we are distracted by many other things. Try limiting your homemaking to meals and sewing and only urgent cleaning (washing dishes, keeping a clean bathroom) and spending the day sewing, at least once a week.

If you cannot get fabric, you can order it, or even ask for giveaways of people who do not want their fabric. Most sewers have more than they need and are willing to give away some of it.

An alternative for fabric is a cotton sheet. I noticed a little boutique ---the kind where you rent a space and let the store owner look after it--full of things made with the fabric of one sheet: bonnets, dresses,purses, pillows, etc. It was a white background with a small floral print. Eyelet trim had been added and it was very upscale.

We used to order clothes from catalogs and usually had good results.

Try laying a worn out dress on to folded fabric, tracing around it, leaving room for extra seams and hems, and then cutting it out and sewing it, either by hand or machine, and see if you can make something that fits.

Our grandmothers were clever at tracing a child's dress on to an adult dress, leaving the buttons and some of the other features. It seems to be a lost art.

MarkyMark said...

To the person who questioned whether or not ministers should preach about modesty, I present the following verse (Is. 58:1): Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.

That verse was instructing the prophet. Seems to me that preachers ought to bring up the modesty question...

Anonymous said...

The ones that preach on modesty once in awhile are very brave. God Bless 'em, and more power to them.

Anonymous said...

I saw a street preacher once who was preaching against many sins, one of which was immodesty, and saying that people who practiced them were going to hell, if they didn't accept salvation. This man was making the women sooo mad, but, of all things, many of them started listening intently to what he said. because he was being very clear and took a stand, and it was "smiting their hearts". He was at a beach where women were wearing bikinis, and he was doing the right thing, by "crying aloud against unrighteousness", and nakedness! I believe that some of them got saved.

In the same way, my pastor has said that immodesty and dressing like an immoral woman, is wrong - and he is correct in doing this.

However, this has not been effective in instructing the women at the church in what would actually be lovely and moral to wear, how to obtain things like these, how to ask the Holy Spirit if what you are wearing is OK, even if it is "technically" modest, or how to take the time and effort to be feminine.

If men could understand, just try to understand for a moment, what women are up against when they try to dress properly - it requires a lot of time, effort, expense, and education, and most of all - a turning of the heart, which can take time, and the constant applying of the "oil" of the Word to the heart - as well as a vision for what can be.

I believe there are a lot of women in congregations where the preacher does preach against immodesty, who feel that they are perfectly modest, and that they don't have to worry about what he is saying. It takes a woman to point specific things out, and only with a lot of confidence and love. There needs to be general instruction, so that one person does not feel singled out. I think I would worry, myself, if a preacher started going into the intimate details of an education of feminine dress. It would be an unnatural interest for them to do so, in my opinion.

I noticed, in sharing with my husband all the things I was learning about sewing, dressing right, etc., I was glad to see that he was inspired and adopted my standard, but at the same time I noticed, he was starting to criticise women who didn't dress modestly, too harshly - almost like he hated them for what they wore. He wondered why they couldn't make the effort, if I was.

When talking about it with my husband, I try my best to say something kind about the woman, even if it is just that we should pray for her heart to be changed. I try to remind my husband that I would have thought she looked cute just a few years ago, and to have mercy. Men have to be careful not to fixate on it, but many of them feel a personal responsibilty to "fix" the problem.

I cannot imagine how perplexed the new Christians must feel upon learning that they are not dressed right, and that they are going to have to make the effort to change.

You are going to have to be kind to your Christian sisters, and not bang them over the head with this. Pray for them that an older woman would help - and please, if you are a man, don't go around instructing women how to dress. I think that is different than preaching against unrighteousness.

I will still take the stand, that what is missing is the women like Lady Lydia, that should be in every congregation, ministering to the young women. For many years, I dressed in a way I never would now, but even with all sincerity, and a desire to please the Lord, I was immodest compared to what I believe is right now. It took an education - and soooo much time of working on my wardrobe.

Anonymous said...

(continued)

Because of my measurements, clothes that would be perfectly fine on one girl, would be very immodest on me. I have to go the extra mile, and it is very hard work, to stay modest.

Every church we've been in has preached against immodesty. There is only ONE church I ever visited, and it was large, where almost every single woman was dressed appropriatley. It was very obvious that something right was actively being taught there amongst the women - you could feel the dignity, and a feeling of sincere order. There was some kind of women's program going on there that was doing the right thing - I guarantee it wasn't just the preacher telling everyone to stop being immodest, someone was showing the women a better way, and it had to have been going on for years

Anonymous said...

Christians are supposed to be different than the world. See 2nd Corinthians 6:17. The modesty scriptures were directed to women in the church. If anyone in the world is supposed to be modest, it is the ones that follow Christ.

MarkyMark said...

Anon2059 has it right. Christians, including Christian women, are SUPPOSED to be different. From where I sit, when Anon2040 says that women in a congregation think that they're dressing okay, that smacks of "every man doing what's right in his own eyes". I could say more, but I'll bite my tongue; I'll save harsher criticism for my own blog.

MarkyMark said...

Anon0851,

FYI, it's WOMEN who file a majority of divorces; it's women who leave and break up their families, not men. If you check out this articleon the Discovery Health Channel's website and view Myth #10, you'll see that women initiate 2/3 of all divorces. Sadly, this is even MORE true in Christian circles, which is why I'm sceptical of finding a marriageable woman.

What your comment shows is that even Christian women, like those who frequent this blog, have absorbed feminist memes. Why? Because it's feminists who are always saying that men trade in their old wives for a younger, newer model; it's feminists who perpetuate the myth that it's men who always leave. This is proof positive of how deeply rooted feminism is in the church. This is also why, just because a woman SAYS she's Christian, doesn't mean she's a good candidate for marriage. The question begging to be asked is this: how many OTHER feminist memes has she absorbed?

If anything, because the divorce laws and courts are so slanted against men; because men stand to lose so much in a divorce; that prompts me to ask the following question when a man does pull the trigger: just how bad was it that he was willing to risk losing everything just to leave his wife? That's how a lot of guys look at this issue.

I have to close out now, because it's coming up on time to leave for work. Someone's got to pay for all the illegals and freeloaders...

MarkyMark

Anonymous said...

I've been attending at my church for over a year and a half. My priest gives fantastic homilies that can really make people squirm. He's talked against fornication, abortion, contraception, divorce, and the evils of big government, yet I've never heard a homily on modest dress or the importance of mothers being at home. Maybe he doesn't see these as being important issues or maybe he's afraid of what will happen afterward. I don't know.

It seems to me that while other behaviors can be condemned, what one wears and the fact that precious life is handed off to day care providers around six months are forbidden topics.

Several years back, I attended my "home" church (where I went as a child) and the preacher on Christmas Day spoke on how important it was to be a mother at home with your children. How it was awful that so many women who needn't work do. I was shocked (and pleased at such daring!)! I wasn't shocked when a month or so later, I was informed by family members that there was a new preacher at the church.

LadyLydia said...

Women at Home, Modest Dress, Home Discipling(Home Schooling), Dangers of Divorce, : these and other topics are taboo in our society, because everyone knows someone who is violating the scriptures and they take up for them, instead of for what is right. The preachers are replaced with those who will "speak unto us smooth things" and who will "tickle their ears." These are the change agents that come into the churches, the men, even in conservative churches, who have been educated by the Christian colleges, who think the old ways wer too harsh, too strict. I on the other hand think we have to give the next generation of children a fighting chance in life, by warning them of the problems they will have in life. While "everyone" may be divorced, for example, and "everyone" may be on their 3rd or 4th husband, it does not mean we should make it normal and allow the next genertion of children to be so messed up. Christ forgives, for certain, but there are consequences that can never be erased, that a person will have to deal with forever, and that even our children's children will have to live with, even if they did not participate in it: broken homes affect people for generations, even if they are not involved. A permanent tattoo or many piercings on the face can leave scars, long after a person has changed their minds about it and sought a better way. Too often, I think, parents are afraid to teach a better way because they are accused of being hypocritical. It is never hypocritical to warn someone of the danger of doing something permanent to your life that will affect yourself and others adversely in the future. Just look at the old albums of our forefathers before the 20th century, and rarely will you see anyone who has as messed up a life as you do today. I say rarely, but of course, in every generation, there were the drinkers and the rioters and the worldly people. That lifestyle was not celebrated as it is today. Today we live in a backwards world that calls good clean living "scary" and calls rebellion "cool."

Anonymous said...

"I am sick of seeing cleavage. I mean do I really want to see the crevices of some overweight woman in public. It is just plain nasty and gross."

I agree whole-heartedly with this as I saw this very thing at Wal-mart today. I too am sick of it. They don't care how they look and more importantly have no respect for those who have to look at them.

Mrs. B. said...

Thank you! This post should be read in all the pulpits come Sunday.

From the time my children were tots, we have used the key word "eyes" to indicate that they need to look at their feet to protect their "eyes" from seeing something inappropriate. I was particularly concerned with my son, since men develop an appetite concerning lust. My daughters have taken up the raising of the alarm in order to protect their and their brother's "eyes" (i.e. heart). It is a sad state of affairs that we have to practice this at the gathering of the saints as well.

LadyLydia said...

Yes the saints are the called out. They are called to be different than the world. Why would we sing "Be Careful Little Eyes What You See" when children are little, in Bible classes or assemblies, and then excuse them when they are older, to look at any gross thing? We protect them when they are little, and then open the flood gates when they are older. It does not make sense. We ALL need to be careful what we see, and hear. The music and the fashions are an assault on the spirit God has given us when we obey the gospel. When we allow those things in our eyes and ears, we make the home of the holy spirit, our bodies, a hostile environment. That is why so many youmg people leave the church. They fill their minds with worldliness and it crowds out the holiness.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed that the immodest look is a poor look. I don't think most women who dress this way intend to look as though they cannot afford anything but a $4 tank top and $2 flip-flops. However, women should realize they look cheap when they wear cheap things.

Husbands would not see immodestly dressed women as a trophy if modestly dressed women presented themselves in the best possible light. We should wear nice colors and fabrics, clothes that fit well and so on. We should pay attention to our figures. If we throw on any dumpy old thing or allow ourselves to get out of shape because our clothes are not form-fitting, we may be modest, but no husband could be blamed for not liking it.

candy ♥ said...

These are beautiful photos.
I couldnt agree more Lydia! I see immodestly dressed Christian women all the time and especially in church and it honestly breaks my heart... I can only imagine how it must sadden our Lord God.

candy

LadyLydia said...

you can hand sew anything. All clothes used to be hand sewn. The Victorian outfits that were much more complicated than our simple patterns were hand sewn up until the sewing machines were available. I will try to post a skirt or doll skirt, to show the possibilities.

Anneatheart said...

I just wanted to say that I've been buying the $3 twin flat sheets from walmart to use for sewing projects. (ours got rid of the fabric department) When I can look at thrift stores I always look for sheets or old tablecloths. However, I am plus sized, and it generally takes more fabric to make something suitable. I did recently learn how to make skirts out of just strips of fabric and some elastic, yet again, time is the issue :)
Thanks for the ideas Lydia!

Jane said...

My 14 year old daughter just recently finished making 2 ankle length skirts from sheets we found at the thrift shop for about $1 each. They had a pretty floral pattern she liked. She also made a slip from white sheeting to wear under them. Very easy with an elastic waist band.

She also made an apron out of an old tablecloth we found for about $2. We also made some potholders and hanging dishtowels out of the same tablecloth. You can dress yourself and your house very cheaply by shopping thrift stores.

With this blog Lady Lydia has also inspired us with many decorating ideas. Thank you Lydia!

MarkyMark said...

Thank you! This post should be read in all the pulpits come Sunday.

Mrs. B,

I agree; this post SHOULD be read in all pulpits. However, if that were to happen, our unemployment rate would go well past 10%. Why? Because there'd be THOUSANDS of newly unemployed preachers.

As I stated earlier, feminism and worldliness have infiltrated the church more than we realize. When we have a sizable number of churches offering day care, you know that something is wrong...

MarkyMark

Anonymous said...

I went to a swap meet not very long ago. They had many of the pictures you have shown on this blog to use in our homes. I was happy to see them. While the prices were great I don't think I will go back because of all the other things I saw! :( It wasa a hot summer day and there were lots of people...need I say more...? As you said, Be careful little eyes what you see... Once you see something it is in your brain forever. I think going to a regular store or buying from the sorces you have on this blog are now worth the difference in price. In so many ways you have enlightened and improved our families lives. Thank you Lady Lydia and all the beautiful commenters to your blog. Beth

MarkyMark said...

Beth,

I used to hit yard sales, albeit for different items (old radios and stuff like that). If you go out EARLY, you won't see as many people, nor will they be as poorly (un)dressed...

MarkyMark

MarkyMark said...

I have another question: why is it so hard to find modest, women's clothing? Why is there such a demand for the trashy stuff?

MarkyMark said...

I have a question pertaining to a previous comment: what ARE the challenges faced by women who wish to dress modestly?

Anonymous said...

Marky Mark,

I am happy to chime in here and go at least part of the way to ansering your questions.

Firstly, the challenges to adopting modest dress boil down to these

scarcity of modest attire within the mainstream clothing retail industry

Considerable expense of the rare new articles available from said retailers

the costs of purchasing on line (many on-line modest clothierres are out of reach of many who choose to dress modestly, even though some of them are cost effective)

Perception that said modest clothing retailers offer only 'prairie-wear' which will stand out and even be considered 'cultish' by some circles.

reluctance to purchase from modest clothierres on line who might well sell lovely items but of non Christian sources - these are often a bit pricy also)

Fear of Ostracism by family, church, husband etc; and yes, the most horrid to bear is the greatly disproportional unacceptable treatment modest dressers receive within the body of Christ from their fellow sisters, even if one's witness is reserved to that of being a living example with genuine, sunny disposition etc.

Inability to sew (I, for instance, cannot sew due to vision impairment (see www.humanware.com www.freedomscientific.com and www.satogo.com to see how VI folk achieve computer access).

TBC

Anonymous said...

Contd.

Marky Mark,

To many, the thought of change is a daunting one, and, costly. I wore my last wardrobe into the ground, quite literally, and only gave it up when holes and fading were no longer mendable; shabby makes a mockery of modesty. So, over the past three years, I have completely replaced summer and winter wardrobe from www.thekingsdaughters.com and am most satisfied with their workmanship. Nonetheless, this was still a costly exercise and I am thankful to be in a position to have done this (now I am in a 'second phase' with some of the very serviceable yet older items, giving them to a dear Christian sister of very limited means as I replace my own items) as with my husband's support, who took a while to adjust to the look, but, now, as it has become commonplace for him, it is just a part of the furnature, so to speak, though he does bauk at the eubiquitous capedress (not for everybody and certainly not in australia, as we have no herritage modest community here such as Anabaptist or the like. When mixing with non Christian family, I have spent $$$ on a few Margaret Caine and annie Lantz pieces that are feminine and modest, and will not distract too greatly from my witness to them, though they do not embrace feminine modesty themselves... but they are also non-believers, and, my husband's OK trumps their's every time; also, when one reaches 40, they do not have to answer to anybody for their adoption of modesty in obedience to the word of God, civility and decency except god (and Spouce; to be won over 'without a word being spoken - 1 Peter 3).

Re the clothing industry's propencity toward garbage; both poor design and poor construction, this comes down to an ideology that has all but swept universally throughout the 'fashion' industry since the mid-late '90's. Dresses that were fashionable in the early 90's are now considered 'cult-wear'. Fashion commentators put down a revival and persistance of feminine modesty to women such as Princess Diana, who, if nothing else, championed this look; many feminists accuse her even now of setting back the de-femininising of womens' clothing 20 years...

With women designing for men, and homosexual men designing for women, clothing has been turned upon its head with the masculinising of womens' wear and the feminising of mens' wear. there is also a push to irradicate the dress and skirt from a woman's wardrobe; the feminist talking heads here in Australia are raging against the fact in most schools, girls still wear dresses or skirt/blouse combos as part of their school uniform.

Finally, folk will easily be lulled into accepting whatever is put in front of them, pacive, not active, citing the reasons I have outlined in my first post for inaction.

I hope this helps.

Sarah.

Anonymous said...

Reading this brings to mind my late, gracious and beautifully dressed grandmother..my mother's mother. We visited her and my grandfather one summer in 1966 at the shore in New Jersey...my grandmother NEVER wore a bathing suit...you would find her sitting on a towel in her street attire ...now that is modest! She didn't look out of place then as I think other mature ladies were found to wear their street clothing on the beach from time to time. Not today! Gone are the days....
Lynn M

Clara said...

Amen. And from what I have seen from my visit to the States, it is worse here in Australia (where I live) than in the States.

Anonymous said...

Marky Mark stated that if this message was preached on a Sunday morning sermon, then there would be thousands of unemployed preachers after that.

Not so in our conservative Mennonite churches, we don't pay our ministry. They are given love gifts but they are non salaried and this is one of the reasons, so they can preach without fear of losing their jobs. They can lose their POSITION, but not their employment.
The people should not be able to control what God wants the minister to speak about.
Laura

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the Bible teaches modesty. If it is preached from the pulpit, those who are listening, should take it to heart and, if they need to be more modest, change their ways. Many people sit there thinking it is just someone's opinion, but modesty is a command from God, written in scripture. Members of the church are obligated to obey it. Some people may say, "Well, at least I am in church," but if you are in church and never leave your sin, you beccome a bad influence on others with your immodesty, and you put your own soul at risk. God knows our hearts and can detect disobedience and rebellion. It is not any trouble to obey the modesty scriptures. In spite of the decadence of the era, it is still possible to find modest clothes.

Anonymous said...

Such a good post, Mrs. Sherman....& interesting comments too. As usual, you have hit this issue squarely on the head!

To MarkyMark (answering his question...though I see that others have given their reply, I will chime in too): it boils down to the bottom line (money) with retailers, & the industry in general, that good quality, attractive & well-fitting garments can be hard for the average shopper to find. Which is one reason why Lady Lydia promotes sewing the way she does. However, this is a skill that takes some practice to become proficient at, which requires time. And given that many of the home arts are not being passed down from mother to daughter, or even taught anyplace else (except maybe as a curiosity), most women just throw up their hands & accept some version of what is in the stores.

MarkyMark's second question: "Why is there such a demand for the trashy stuff?" I have read a good many psychological analyses of this trend, & all seem to have some merit. Human beings are complex creatures. But I guess it could all be summed up by saying that we are sinful beings, wanting what we want, & not caring about anyone else. Those who wear these clothes proudly are selfish. That may lead one to ask, "Why, then, are they proud of their selfishness?" Well, because they've been spoonfed the notion that to look like that proves how comfortable they are with their own bodies, & that they have good self-esteem. Of course, that's a lot of garbage, & discerning people know this. Show me a person, especially a woman, who claims to have "high self-esteem" & I will bet good money that they are bratty, loud & brash, sometimes whiney, & often promiscuous. They are disruptive at gatherings, & will pick arguments with others. It's all very sad.

So which came first, MarkyMark? The chicken or the egg? The crummy behavior or the indecent attire? It's a movement which has its own momentum anymore, but I'd have to say it started with those who proposed, encouraged & delighted in bad behavior for its own sake. The clothes are an outward representation of what's in the heart, a marker of things unseen.

most sincerely,
Brenda

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more Lydia!!! I had to laugh when you said that some women said it was about what was in "their" hearts.Y Yes,it certainly is...and ANY WOMAN who dresses like this...I don't care WHAT SHE SAYS...dresses that way for one reason...to attract attention from men!!! And to christian ladies...the Word says "Woe to you if you cause a brother to stumble..it's better that a mill stone be tied around your neck!!!"

I don't even let my boys attend youth groups or Sunday School in church because of the way girls are allowed to dress. Spaghetti strap tops with their belly rings hanging out and jeans cut so low that you can see well....you get the idea.

When I spoke to the youth leader about it, I was told that we must show "grace" and accept these girls where they are. Yet the Bible says that we are NOT to use "grace" or "freedom" to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. And these women are lusting in their flesh in desiring the attention of men. That is SIN....plain and simple!

I don't speak as being judgmental...but as one who used to dress like this and God had to show me my sin, and I had to repent and change.

LadyLydia said...

Claiming that a Christian girl can wear whatever she wants actually is disobedience to God's laws.

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?


We are not supposed to "continue in sin" just to test God's grace.

Dressing modestly shows obedience to scripture.

The skin markings and piercings were practiced since ancient times. Even the people in the most northern climates practiced it, but those that became Christians stopped practicing it because it was of the world, not of Christ. The same goes with immodesty. What culture around us does, no matter whether it is in history or now, is not our standard. Our standard is the word of God.

Anonymous said...

Bravo for another excellent post on this topic!!! You have been such a teacher and an encouragement to me and I am forever grateful.

My husband and I love to camp and hike. We have been doing so for the past 25 years, since we first met. This past weekend, we went with his family on an outing to an area with somewhat rugged terrain. I wore my skirts/jumpers the entire time, and was so grateful to have the air circulation that they provided as the weather was very hot and humid. 100% cotton is just unbeatable for breatheability and sweat absorption, which helps cool the body.

I recently sewed matching swim dresses with leggings (from the awesome pattern at simply-modest.com) for my daughter and myself, and thoroughly enjoyed wearing and swimming in it. I was not embarrased, ashamed, nor uncomfortable of how I looked in my swimsuit and the freedom from that was such a delight! Do I get attention from being "different"? Definately, but it is always positive. No gawking, smirking or cat-calls. The comment I hear most often is, "There are a lot of women out here who need to cover up MORE!" Everyone has told me they LOVE my swim suit!

I love being at peace inside, knowing that I am LEADING instead of being a gullible, unthinking follower. I love living by principle, by choice, knowing that what I am doing is morally right and best, as opposed to my former uncertainty as to whether or not I was "fashionably appropriate" in which the world's opinion was more important than my Lord's.....

When I viewed photographs from this trip, I was struck by the fact that I actually loved the way I looked in the photos, body flaws and all, rather than feeling the usual mortification I have felt about "my looks" which were recorded for posterity on films of past. I was dressed in a brown ankle-length A-line skirt, a brown paisley print t-shirt (woman-style, not sloppy man-style!!), long hair clipped up top in a bun, and a very large-brimmed hat either on my head or hanging about my shoulders and very comfortable black mary jane's. I tromped through two state parks in one day including climbing a look-out tower above a forested area.....I was grateful that only my husband and daughter were present when I climbed the tower, as I was uncertain about how much might be exposed on climbing (I recall a Bible verse with instructions about not climbing stairs and exposing one's nakedness).....I breathed a prayer asking for guidance about this matter for future situations, and not too much later, I saw another hiker, an India-n woman, dressed in her beautiful, breathable sari, pants and all. There, that is my answer!! I will try making some under-leggings of thin, breathable cotton to wear. That will help so much in hot humid weather when thighs get sticky!!

Thank you, Lady Lydia, for being the main catalyst for this wonderful adventure of improvement in my life!!

Many Blessings!!

Anonymous said...

To the skirt-wearing hiker, pettipants are a Godsent in hot humid weather!! These are long 'shorts' with loose legs and an elasticated waist, made of soft cotton or muslin, that can be worn under slips, pettiblouses and skirts/dresses/pinafores (jumpers for Northern readers). I wouldn't be caught dead without them from September to may down here in Sydney!

www.thekingsdaughters.com sells these, as do many other modest dress sites.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I wish Sarah from Australia had a blog, I always enjoy reading her comments. (o:

Anonymous said...

The anonymous commenter who said that the modern day casual look is a poor look is right on! I never thought of it that way, but you do look poor when all you wear is beat up jeans and a saggy t-shirt and flip flops -- like you can't afford decent clothing. Same with scraggy hair. Good comment! Makes you think. My husband calls it the "alley cat" look.

Anonymous said...

To the Aussie from Sydney--thanks so much for the pettipants tip, I'll certainly check it out!!

I might add to my previous comment that this change in my values and the way I dress has gone through stages...when I first committed to "dresses only" I wore what was in my closet--straight skirts with slits in them...as time went on, I noticed they were not comfortable to work in as I have a small child and animals to care for and a garden to tend and housework to do, and I like to WALK (not with mincing steps which a straight skirt requires :)...also about that time, I became convicted that slits were not modest...

I had a black synthetic A-line skirt that I picked up at a thrift store for $4 and I noticed that every time I wore it I recieved compliments, so I got brave one day and made a pattern off of it and made the brown skirt mentioned in the previous post.....LOVE IT!!!
I have several more cut out, hope to get them made soon. I now am being convicted that I need to move away from t-shirts, even lady-style, as they are very revealing of the bust, and I noticed that even in the photos mentioned before, too many puckers and curves showing. So, I will be working on altering a beautiful shirt-waist pattern I have that will still show feminine figure but not EVERY DETAIL of it!!
I'm also yearning for time to work on altering a dress pattern Lydia mentioned last summer in her posts on sewing dresses, as I would like to make some dresses to wear for summer in order to move away from jumpers, which I think look a tidge frumpy on me...

I find I like to wear skirts and shirts and layers in the winter, the waist bands help keep heat close to my body, whereas in summer I prefer jumpers and dresses because they are looser and air can circulate up under them and I am much more comfortable in the heat/humidity!!
All things I never used to pay attention to, but now enjoy making changes as awareness comes to me!!

I share this to encourage others who feel overwhelmed by the change...start where you are, pay attention to what works for your body shape, weather, skills and budget. Thrift stores have been a godsend for me, and I'm very grateful to have learned to sew at a young age. Still learning to alter patterns though...sigh! But there are still many women out there who do know how to sew and would be delighted to teach those who want to learn. One just needs to ask. Sewing machines aren't that hard to come by, either, often dealers have good used ones from trade-ups, some women have ones they will never use and may even give to you, etc. Keep praying, listen and follow the Spirit's leading, and you will succeed in living a Godly life...modesty included!

--the skirt wearing hiker

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:56 - "I now am being convicted that I need to move away from t-shirts, even lady-style, as they are very revealing of the bust,"

Adding a vest could provide more cover.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for being practical and I found that large lacy scarves and tie on collars are a great way to disguise or cover-up a too exposed bust line.

If a blouse or shirt is too tight or poses a problem, cover it with a soft drape, scarf, tie-on collar or a lacy collar.

There are lots of collar patterns that are pretty, modest and really stylish in the pattern books. I think I found them in the "accessory" section of the pattern books right along with the purses, bags, hats and such.
They take little fabric so they would be less expensive to make then a whole dress, they are often removable so they can be used on different blouses even sweaters.

I don't crochet, but my mom does and has made me a couple really pretty collars to go over all types of tops.

I sewed a couple collars that have very nice lines even a sailor collar that ties in the front about mid-chest and looks Edwardian in style.

Hope this helps with the cover-up problem.

Blessings to you all.

Anonymous said...

Check out Proverbs 19:14.

God is still able to find you a wife, as long as you are looking to him, and not being sceptical about every little thing about her. Sometimes even a girl in jeans and a t-shirt can have the love of God shining out through her countenance, and she can change into dresses if she is inspired and loved into doing so.

You want the pure heart, not the letter of the law.

Dressing really femininely is a process for most of us, just like earning a big income can be a very big process for most men. Maybe you can't have a perfect wife to begin with, but you could build a life together as you walk with the Lord.

The Lord can bring you the right wife, don't give up. Just work on being the right husband.

When I was a young woman, I had very high ideals for myself, in dress. I I was very old-fashioned in a modern world. I had a mind full of ideas for how I would like things to be, but no way to make them happen because of a very poor family and work situation (I mean poverty). I wore jeans all the time, and did the best I could in a few dresses for Sunday.

After I married my husband, and was able to stay home and gain some stability, is when I went to work making my clothing the way I liked it to be. It takes a huge amount of effort to collect things that look right and fit properly, especially through child-bearing years. It has been an enormous expense to learn to sew. I don't know about people who just say, "you could just whip this or that up out of a few pennies worth of material". Yes, I could do that now, after years of experimenting and shopping around for deals, but it's taken a long time to get here - 12 years to be exact, with a lot of disappointing projects that I've had to throw out along the way.

I don't know - I'm just being honest -I think dressing well takes an enormous effort, but it's worth it. It just needs to be appreciated, and again, have mercy on those who are further behind in the process, it takes work. Most women are from unstable homes these days, and don't have the stability to take care of their wardrobes properly. We might be glad they have clothes on at all, and I just really think it's that bad out there.

God knew my heart, and he really opened my husband's eyes up to see my potential, and look at my heart. It can be one of a man's finest joys to properly clothe his wife, as his gift to her.

Anonymous said...

MarkyMark said - "FYI, it's WOMEN who file a majority of divorces; it's women who leave and break up their families, not men. If you check out this articleon the Discovery Health Channel's website and view Myth #10, you'll see that women initiate 2/3 of all divorces. Sadly, this is even MORE true in Christian circles, which is why I'm sceptical of finding a marriageable woman."

Not all women are like that -

http://www.biblicalresearchreports.com/headcoveringdivorce.php

If that link doesn't work, you can find the article "The Effects of the Headcovering on Divorce" on the main page for biblicalresearchreports.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tips on collars, scarves, shawls and vests...great ideas!! Thats something else I love about this blog--the ideas and encouragement from our like-minded community. Many Thanks!!

I'm feeling rather smug today...last evening on a foray into the clothing section of Walmart, I noticed some absolutely beautiful 100% cotton white "sun dresses" that were adorned very femininely with cotton lace...I fingered them, and my 6 yo daughter drooled over them--they were simply beautiful. But, we had a discussion about modesty and how these didn't qualify as they had plunging V-necklines and 1" straps...we agreed they were not appropriate for wear in public and so we wandered on. A bit later, a thought popped into my head and I went back and put two in my cart and went to try them on. Perfect fit!! Did I mention I have been yearning for about 2 years for a beautiful 100% cotton slip to wear under my summer dresses?! I'm now the delighted owner of three (!) for a very reasonable sum! Which gave me opportunity to discuss with my daughter how clothing meant to be underwear is now marketed and worn as immodest outerwear...

(my husband was delighted with my purchases as well :)

-the happy skirt-wearing hiker

Anonymous said...

skirt-wearing hiker:
I was recently at a store where were sold "sundresses" that were stretchy smocked-top strapless and meant to come down to the knee. As I looked at them, I wondered if they could easily be worn as a skirt instead? Wear the stretchy elastic at the waist and the "skirt" would be a decent length. I was about to buy one but the thin fabric and flimsiness of the item in general made me think twice about it.

I thought I was making progress when I changed from wearing shorts to just loose jeans, but then I saw myself on a home video and could see that no matter how loose the jeans, it was still immodest when I walked. From that point on I went to long dresses. As long as there are good petticoats under a dress they are modest, even when the wind blows, and besides they look sweet and old-fashioned.

As for dressing girls/making time, I second the hand-me-downs. I understand the lack of time to sew. Sometimes "dressy" clothing can be found at goodwill (little girls only wear them for pictures nowadays), some are home made items too. They can "do" until you have the time to make a good run at sewing up some garments.

LadyLydia said...

That is a great idea to turn those sun dresses into petticoats. They make great skirts also if worn over another layer for thickness.

MarkyMark said...

@Anon0735,

When I said that divorce is worse in Christian circles, I was referring to a study done by Barna. Barna, if I'm not mistaken, looked primarily at Evangelical churches. Though these are more conservative than your liberal, NCC type churches (e.g. United Methodist Churces), they're still compromised. I meant to point that out, but due to the exigencies of time (i.e. getting ready for work one morning), I forgot to do so.

As for the head covering article, I just pulled it up. I'm reading it now, and I must say that it's VERY interesting...

MarkyMark

LadyLydia said...

If you care to look, on the Modesty Issues subject on the left side bar of this blog, I posted a link to an article called "Casual Dressing, Casual Living." The author very rightly links the casual dress to the break down in love and manners in our culture. The more casually women think they are entitled to dress, the more casual even the men feel entitled to treat others.

MarkyMark said...

Ma'am,

I'll take a look at the modesty issues on your blog. If that section is anything like the few things I've read here thus far, I expect it'll be interesting...

MarkyMark

MarkyMark said...

Ma'am,

I just downloaded the document you mentioned. I'm reading it now.

I remember back when I was in Bible college how the college president mentioned that our society's morals were reflected in our dress. This isn't the first time I've heard this. I am inclined to agree with it. I know that, when I dress up (i.e. wear shirt & tie, or better yet, a coat & tie) I get treated differently. I also act differently; I carry myself in a more serious, more dignified manner that comports with my external appearance.

Having said that, I can't dress up on my job. Though my job is a technical one, I also have to use some muscle too; for example, I have to handle heavy cables to prepare for the testing I do. Those cables would totally TRASH any good clothing I were to wear! Ergo, I normally don't dress up.

MarkyMark

Anonymous said...

Marky Mark,

The attire of workmen whose jobs involve manual labour of one variety or another is a completely different issue to that of the casualisation of attire that has swept the West over the past 60 years or so. Dressing on the job for safety and practicality when engaged in physical work is completely valid and sensible.

MarkyMark said...

My job requires both brains and brawn-brains to do the testing, and brawn to set up for it. The equipment we test runs HUGE amounts of current (occasionally in the neighborhood of 2,700 amperes!), and the only way to handle insane amounts of current is to have many sets of thick cables.

For work, I wear khaki work pants (e.g. Dickies work wear) with blue or black, pocket t-shirts; or, I wear black or blue pants with a gray pocket t-shirt. On days I take the motorcycle in, I wear blue jeans (carpenter's pants, with pockets for holding wrenches, screw drivers, etc.). The pockets on my shirts come in handy for holding a calculator, small tools, etc., which I need.

Anonymous said...

Another reason for not exposing so much skin is because of the damage UV light does to the skin. Anyone who has seen treatments for skin cancer, chemical and surgicial, knows what I'm talking about.

I know about the necessity for vitamin D but that can be supplemented.

MarkyMark said...

Another reason for not exposing so much skin is because of the damage UV light does to the skin. Anyone who has seen treatments for skin cancer, chemical and surgicial, knows what I'm talking about.

Look at how the Arabs cover up! They encounter more sun and UV rays than just about anybody, and their dress reflects that fact...

Anonymous said...

Lydia,

Australia has one of the highest skin cancer death rates in the world, closely followed by Southern USA and South Africa. Each year, the medical authorities here run educational advertising campaigns to cover up, wear a hat, protective eyewear etc, and each year the media think they are over-the-top. For anybody who has lost a loved one to malignant melanoma, they will realize that this is no trivial or laughing matter. Girls, while you are sunning yourselves on the beaches of coastal Australia, Florida, California, Southern Africa etc, remember, you are acumulating a ticking time-bomb that won't go off tomorrow, next week, or even next year, but may very well come back to haunt you in twenty or thirty years time. Vit D is easy to acquire naturally; just 10 minutes of sun exposure on forearms and head in Summer before 10 and after 4, per day, and around half an hour in winter on face and hands; just putting out the washing, doing some gardening, walking the dog etc; this will more than amply provide enough sunlight to produce adequate vit D; along with a healthy, non-processed diet. For shift workers, suppliments may be helpful.

Sarah,
Sydney,
Australia.

MarkyMark said...

Ma'am,

I checked out the link to view the Victorian era swimsuits when it hit me: a modern, one piece swimsuit is considered modest these days! That shows just how much we, as a society, declined in this area...

MarkyMark

Anonymous said...

I am 60 yrs. old and live in the Pacific Northwest now where the sunlight does not produce enough vitamin D in the body even in the summer time.

I now take suppliments of D3 in 5000 IU a day and may need more. Blood tests are the only way to show how deficient you are.

However I stay out of the sun even in the winter if I can because my brother and I were born in S. California in the 1950's and my folks thought sun tans were healthy and didn't bother to cover us up or be vigilant to protect us from the sun.

We were over exposed so much each year to the sun that we both burned to blisters every year for our entire youth until we learned of the dangers of too much sun.

To this date my brother and father have suffered skin cancer on their faces and had many spots removed so they both have deep scars from them.

I constantly examine my skin for abnormal signs because even though I am not exposed any longer the damage was done. Skin cancer is a real time bomb.

God calls us out from among the worldly, he gives us wisdom. We need to be obedient. Cover up and take your D3 suppliments.

Anonymous said...

Annonymous 6:21pm, Here in Australia, as I am sure it has been in comparible sunny climates around the world, millions who were in the prime of youth during the '50's and 60's spent their summers in the sun, no protection, no concern, with little understanding of the long-term repercussions, as did you and your family, year in, year out. From around the mid-late '20's onward. It was Koko Chanel who popularised the 'summer tan'. From my teens, I have studied her almost singular impact upon womens' clothing of the 20th century ( and knock-on effect upon mens' clothing). She, more than perhaps anybody else dramatically took the pickaxe to womens' attire, designing clothing that revealed arms, backs and legs as never before in womens' clothing in the West. Prior to Chanel, tans were considered an indicator of outdoor work in the sun (frowned upon by the chattering set); after Chanel, the road to ruin was well and truly established.

Re skin cancer, melanoma is the truly incidious variety one needs to be watchful for; this can and does kill - terribly - slowly - if not treated quickly, or of particularly aggressive nature, it will spread to the respitory system and brain. ever seen somebody lose the power of speech and communication because their brain's language centres have been overun by melanoma that has metasticised? its absolutely heartbreaking! And to think, one can go down to Bondi and Manly Beaches here in sydney any time of the year and see people who should know better holding the proverbial revolver to their heads and spinning the chamber. Our Iconic Australian lifesavers now wear long boardshorts, long-sleeved surf-shirts and wide-brimmed hats when on beach patrol.

As for vit D deficiency, here, this is most prevalent in Tasmania, due to simmilar factors re light that those in Northern Europe and North-'West USA have to contend with and has been linked to higher rates of Multiple Schlerosis within the Tasmanian population (and breast cancer in women). For most of australia, thankfully this is less pronounced.

Marky Mark,

Re your observation re swimwear, people are mounting a campaign to deal with this. Just take a look at www.hydrochic.com and www.seasecret.biz for two examples. 'Lillies Apparel', 'Wholesomewear' and two or three other on-line retailers sell modest swimwear that is very acceptable. If I were to shell out the $$$ for a costume, I would choose 'hydrochic'. Yes, people have had enough. Now, to change the myrriad of ridiculous laws that prevent the wearing of this type of costume in public pools etc; however, one may possit the understanding that public mixed bathing is undesirable in the first place. In Sydney, around Mosman and Cirius cove, some of the beautiful 19th and early 20th century houses have private enclosed salt-water baths where women could swim freely and modestly free from public gaze, without any fear of improper display. in Israel segregated bathing has been established at a selection of beaches. Our culture has not simply fallen over the past 90 years, it has plummeted! And guess who started it; the Australians!!

annette Kellerman invented the one piece bathing suit about 1910.

Here is the history of the slippery slope!

http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/articles/swimming/

Sorry people, we ruined swimwear for everybody! (and the French Chanel ruined womens' daywear in like manner!)

Anonymous said...

I would like to add this, the Dr's really aren't sure about melanoma. My mother in law just passed from it this past October. She NEVER went into the sun. She was a red head and always stayed inside. Yet she still got melanoma on the inside of her arm. She decided not to treat it after it was removed by Johns Hopkins. They only gave her a 35% chance after radiation and continuous cutting away.
After she passed, the Dr came to the funeral and told us that she had picked the right treatment as they actually couldn't help her. They admitted they really don't know why people get it.
But I still believe your skin shouldn't be exposed to the sun. My mother in law was 67 yo when she died and she still had very beautiful skin. Thankfully, her passing was brief but it wasn't painless.

Anonymous said...

Hello. I couldn't agree more with your post. I haven't read all the previous comments, so I hope this is not repeating what someone else has written - I have a question regarding the word 'modest'. Or 'shamefacedness'. Please correct me if I am wrong (I am not a native speaker of English), but I think that being modest goes a bit beyond the clothing, to the attitude and demeanor. Am I right? For instance... I see a married woman posting on the net a photo of her bare pregnant belly, with the words written with a marker on it, "He did this to me!", and an arrow pointing to her husband, who is posing next to her. (To me, this is demeaning and making vulgar something that should be precious and sacred.) I read of a young woman who tells a young man who has not proposed to her yet, 'I can't wait to give you such beautiful children!' (quotation from memory from a famous book of a lady teaching others how to be godly wives and have wonderful marriages). I read on a very 'conservative' forum on the net, a Christian lady (owner of the forum, along with her husband) constantly gushing over posts by another man and praising his insights (in a way that I, at least, found somewhat excessive and inappropriate). Are these things modest? The ladies I mentioned would not dress in an indecent way. But is this a modest attitude? Doesn't it go beyond just the clothing? This is an honest question, please share your thoughts. Thank you.

Mrs. P

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Mrs. P, blogger 4:41PM. Modesty does begin in the heart and if they are truly modest they would be careful what they thought and said. Because out of the mouth the heart speaks and actions often follow.

LadyLydia said...

I was hoping to get time to post on the subject of refinement in speech, on LAF soon. You are right: none of these things are modest. Speech is a problem, because as it deteriorates, so do manners and eventually society breaks down until everyone does what is right in their own eyes, rather than following a higher code of living. Manners hurt no one, and modesty is part of being mannerly. Manners are a way of being thoughtful of others and not offending them with what you wear or with your words.

Several posts mentioned tattoos: firstly, I never said that these markings on the body were immodest. What I was trying to show was that these images on the body are often put in places that require a person to dress immodestly in order to reveal the tattoo: at the cleavage, on parts of a lady's chest, the lower back, neckline areas, stomach, lower back, thighs, etc. Women find it necessary to wear low tops and show several sets of bra straps to the public, in order to make sure those strategically placed tattoos are shown off to their best advantage.

In the past, only men wore tattoos and they got them when in the military. No one said much about them then, but women began getting them, and what is worse, older women get them and they are expensive to remove.

God's people, the Israelites, who lived under strict laws of God, were not permitted to be like the nations around them, and were not allowed to have their skin pierced or stamped with images. Today we are supposed to show our faith by our conduct.

Tattoos are not and never have been anything that are required for Christian women to wear. Nothing in the Bible commands or infers that women should wear them.

Instead of making a statement by having your body stamped with a message or an emblem, why not make a statement by your life and your activities, your good words and your service to your family.

Think of the time it takes to get a tattoo and how the time and money could both be better spent and more beneficial to the family. They cost money, and women are always so concerned about money; always frightened that they will not have any, etc. so why waste it on something like a tatto?

A tattoo will not get you anywhere in life--it won't help you get the dishes done, it wont help you save money; its not practical at all. For the cost of one, you might buy some fabric or some needed item for your home, some good shoes, a coat or a hat.

As for it being immodest: it depends on the image and where it is placed. You could be completely modest and have a tatto, but if it is seen, it still says something about you as a woman, and is not a mark of a refined woman.

The Celtic tribe, called the Picts, in the 10th century in Scotland, were known for covering their bodies in pictures, and were so named Picts, by the Romans, who were referring to the Pictures they painted all over their bodies.

In early America, people did not normally paint pictures on their bodies unless they were going to war or were in the circus. Tattos and pictures on the body have never been considered a mark of the high calling of Christ.

Anonymous said...

One reason for it being such a downer when older women sport tattoos, is that you always think of them as being the example and teacher of younger women, especially in the church. The tattoos on their bodies just show that they are trying to display something they are proud of--a vanity of sorts--rather than showing their faith by their works, and rather than acting out their faith by their service to others. I sat in a knitting circle at a local yarn shop,and while learning to knit, had to hear all the tattoo stories of these women over 50. One pointed to one on her upper arm and said,"I got this one when I married my first husband." She began pointing out other tattos and related which husband or boyfriend she had at the time. I thought this was a terrible example to the younger women there, who had no tattoos. Tatoos by themselves are not harmful or immodest, but once they are put on the body, they send a different message about the person. No one wants to show that they are branded, like cattle, and they never think that a tatoo is glorifying the idea of being branded.

MarkyMark said...

Ladies,

I can tell you what guys think of tattoos on women: the women who have them are whores! Sorry, but that's what any decent guy will think. That's especially true when we see what we call a 'tramp stamp', the seemingly ubiquitous tattoo found on the lower backs of many young women today...

MarkyMark

Anonymous said...

Mark,

I agree.

Anonymous said...

"Tatoos by themselves are not harmful..."

Except the ink does end up in the lymph nodes.

On Search, type - tattoo ink lymph nodes - and see what comes up, like this article on tattoos and lymphedema:

http://www.lymphnotes.com/article.php/id/211/

In the US, at least in our area, when especially a teenager has a tatto, the medical community considers them more prone to at-risk behavior and a note of the tattoos is to be made in their medical records. So a tattoo "marks" a person in more ways than one.

I remember in high school a teacher talking about the effect of how students dressed on their behavior. It's why some schools have gone to uniforms.

And this is a testimony I came across recently, in which a woman said her change in clothing, particularly adding the headcovering, had a positive impact on her behavior and on her marriage.

"For starters, it reminds me that God comes first. In my previous condition, I came first and a great concern for my and other women's position in the world came first. My feminism came first. It came before God. It came before my marriage. It came before happiness. I did not know how to trust my husband, as from my viewpoint he did not have my best interest at heart. I believed I had to have a hand in every decision that was made, indeed control most everything, or it would not be the best decision, or even an okay decision.

"In a way I saw my husband as the enemy. After I began covering and submitted myself to God's will, I learned to trust my husband and to let him make decisions without my input. I can remember quite distinctly the first time I consciously let go of my need to control and left a decision to him. What he said pierces my heart to this day, 'Why are you being so nice to me?' He was suspicious, and I don't blame him. I never meant to be mean, and yet the inability to trust isolates us and, not being based in love, is not Christian."

http://www.quakerjane.com/spirit.friends/plain_dress-why_cover.html

LadyLydia said...

I meant that tattoos are not harmful if left by themselves still not put on the person's skin! The pattern is harmless until it is applied to the skin.

Anonymous said...

When I was young just out of high school I worked as a nurses aide in a geriatric hospital/home.

In caring for the elderly I saw many tattoos on older men and a few on older women.

I'm telling you, what might have been viewed as a beautiful tattoo on a young person with smooth skin was totally disgusting on older wrinkled skin and really marred the beauty of a body when aged.

The ink blends and looks smeared after a while and looks like a massive bruise. Not attractive at all on an older person already wrinkly with age.

Besides that one had to stretch the skin to understand what the picture was in the first place. Sorry to say it was really ugly and disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Good point: Christian women are supposed to be different than the rest of the world. Instead we find them trying to follow the world in style and clothing. It should be a heart felt conviction to dress modestly, but not all women will feel this conviction. I dress modestly in front of them to show the example. The rest is up to them. We expect the people outside of the Lord's church to be more worldly but it is very disappointing to see the women in the church as worldly as the ones outside.

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