MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Please Pick Up Your Clothes

May 23rd, 2011 Viewed 831 times, 2 so far today

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Slinky Clothing Provokes Rape?

March 3rd, 2010 Viewed 2840 times, 2 so far today

Running a website on modesty, I have heard all sorts of reasons of why a woman should wear modest clothing.  Most of the reasons center around what different clothing does to guys that look at it, and a desire not to cause men to lust after a woman.

The problem with this logic is that this takes away the personal responsibility of the man to avoid looking at things that cause them to be tempted—and to resist temptation when it comes upon them.

Do the Muslims Have a Point?

April 18th, 2008 Viewed 1298 times, 1 so far today

hijab for dummies Around the time of 9/11 many people started saying that instead of using force we should try to understand why the East does not like the West.  One of the things that came back was our immorality.  Sending Barbie over to the East with her cutoffs and halter tops (as well as our pop princesses) did not sit well with those who wear burkas and punish those that engage in premarital sex with death.

Now hear me out, I’m not recommending either of these two things for American law or even to be implemented in the church.  Now that I’ve said it, let’s move on.

Have You No Shame?

April 17th, 2008 Viewed 1598 times, 1 so far today

fashion-girl 3 I think that the first time that I actually realized how much the culture had changed as far as what was normal in dating relationships was when I had conversations with my friend in college who was a Hall Leader (RA) on the girl’s side of campus.  She told me of announcements that had been made to the girls about how some of the girls had been taking pictures of themselves in their under-things to send over to the boy’s side of campus, and the effect it had on the boys and on those that developed the film.

On the Front-lines of Modest Fashion

April 10th, 2008 Viewed 4865 times, 1 so far today

pcanvasbibWhen the big stores refused to make clothing that was modest in fit and form, some protested, some wrote letters, and some decided that they could make their own clothing to sell.  Christa Taylor is one such company.

In a recent interview with Mrs. Wilt at The Sparrow’s Nest, Christa herself talked about why she started her company:

In reality, Christa-Taylor.com grew out of frustration. After searching endlessly for a swimsuit that just didn’t exist, we designed our own. Under the direction and guidance of my Dad and brothers we started to experiment with different ideas, and eventually the possibility of opening our own Christa Taylor line. With much counsel and much perseverance we launched Christa-Taylor.com on January 15th, 2007, with just 1 swimsuit and 2 skirts. Since then, we have continued to refine and perfect our service and selection. It’s still very much a work in progress, but what an adventure!

What Does It Mean to Look Pretty?

March 17th, 2008 Viewed 4748 times, 2 so far today

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Shortly after God made clothes out of sheep skin for Adam and Eve, the very next thing Eve did was turn to Adam and ask, “Does this make me look fat?”  Or at least we can imagine that she did.

As far back as the Song of Solomon we know that women were judging themselves, their attractiveness and their worth by how they looked– their physical features.  They compare themselves to each other.  They long to have things that others have.  They believe that their worth is tied to how they look, and they project this onto men (who already look at women for the outside too much) creating a vicious cycle.

What the Media Wants You To Think

March 11th, 2008 Viewed 2545 times, 1 so far today

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Not that you were aware, but Barbie celebrated her 49th birthday last week (thanks, Lydia).  My first encounter with Barbie was not a pleasant one since it dealt with a mischievous boy on our bus.  You see, Barbie isn’t bad in and of herself.  She could be just about anything, and that allowed little girls to imagine what could be.  However, she was also caught up in a society that was marketing women as objects rather than people.

For a society that prides itself in the rights that it gives women, we seem to also seem to enslave them the most.  We simply replace one form of enslavement for another and then expect them to be happy.

10 Sites to Find Modest Clothing

August 16th, 2007 Viewed 37620 times, 1 so far today
This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Modesty

Pants on Hangers

And so we’ve come to the end to our current series on Modesty.  To wrap up this discussion, I’d like to leave you with a few places that you can find Modest Clothing on the web:

  1. Christa Taylor – Pioneering a Modest Clothing Revolution
  2. Funky Frum – Modest Clothing for Modern Women
  3. Kathleen’s Bridal – Modest, Unique, Exclusive
  4. Dress Modestly – Looking for a Jewel Topped Shirt?
  5. Stylish Modest Clothing – A list of stores based on size
  6. Trendy Modest Clothing – A list of stores based on size
  7. Modest Swimwear for the Entire Family – Four sites that even have modest men’s swimwear!
  8. Classic Modest Clothing – Four sites with modest clothing.
  9. All Modest Clothing for Girls – Another great list.
  10. Modest Formal Dresses – Can’t get enough of these.

And if I haven’t listed it, check out the list at A Christian Home!

Is Modesty Only About Clothing?

August 9th, 2007 Viewed 7047 times, 1 so far today
This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Modesty

Well, is it?  Something that I’ve had to come to the realization of every time I approach this topic is that modesty has to come from the inside before it can be manifest on the outside.  If it’s not in the heart, if it’s not the true desire of the person, then they can dress in whatever they want and still be immodest.

Frankly, it’s not so much the clothing as it is the attitude and the desire to bend the rules.  The teenage girl that goes out to the store and buys an appropriate length skirt but does not have it in her to be modest will find herself rolling up the waistband once she’s out of site of her parents.

You see, as we’ve said before, what manner of person you are on the inside reflects on the outside.  Now, modesty and chastity are linked in many ways, and there is a difference.  I like the way Cindy explained it in comments on my last post when she quoted C.S. Lewis:

The Christian rule of chastity must not be confused with the social rule of “modesty” (in one sense of that word); i.e., propriety, or decency. The social rule of propriety lays down how much of the human body should be displayed and what subjects can be referred to, and in what words, according to the customs of a certain social circle. Thus, while the rule of chastity is the same for all Christians at all times, the rule of propriety changes. A girl in the Pacific islands wearing hardly any clothes and a Victorian lady completely covered in clothes might both be equally “modest,” proper or decent, according to the standards of their own societies: and both, for all we could tell by their dress, might be equally chaste (or unchaste).

We’re all told to live chaste lives– lives that are pure and holy before God.  We’re also under obligation not to attract attention to our bodies.  The exhortations of 1 Peter would seem foolish if the context of the times were taken out of them.  For example, the braiding of hair, wearing of gold, or putting on of fine apparel can easily be linked to those women who had a less than virtuous profession.  Peter’s not arguing here that you should not take care of yourself, but that your inside is more important than your outside.

MonicaAnd that’s exactly the point.  We should be people (women AND men) that are chaste people, a people concerned about the inner man more so than we are the outer.

In my mind, modesty and chastity are in a threefold band with humility.  All three travel together and they all influence each other.  Humility does not seek to exalt itself.  It will evidence itself by modest clothing and modest speech.  Chastity will see out purity, and so will try to hold itself to a higher standard– which will also result in clean living and modest attire.

Because it’s more than modest clothes– I mean, if you read that survey you’ll see that it’s not just clothing!  It’s movement, how you sit, how you walk, how you bend over, when you stretch, how you step over something and how you run!  It almost would seem that you could do absolutely nothing without possibly causing a brother to stumble!

Which is precisely why I think that the emphasis needs to be on the heart.  The heart attitude to seek after God.  The heart to do the best that you can to help your brother.  The heart that desires to edify one another.  And it also means that you have a heart that does not look for opportunities to lust.  A heart that remains focused on things above.  It really does go both ways.

What is Modest?

August 2nd, 2007 Viewed 18537 times, 1 so far today
This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Modesty

We’ve talked a lot about modesty.  The problem is that finding a hard and fast definition of exactly what is modest is a hard thing to do.  Depending on who you are, what you are, and where you were raised makes a big difference in how you interpret what you see and what you think is modest.

Lauren, at Chastity Online, had this initial reaction when she thought about modesty and the Christian life:

I remember hearing this term used for the first time and thinking “Oh no. Now i have to dress like an Amish farm girl with a skirt down to my ankles and long sleeves.”

She goes on to say that she’s not currently dressing like that, but that was the thought.  So, what are some rules that men and women think of when they think modest apparel, and what can we learn from it?

The Hand Rule

Emily from the Unfurling Flower gives this advice:

Another principle I have found helpful to guide me when I’m dressing is to say that it shouldn’t really be an issue for a male friend to place a hand (in an appropriate way) on any parts of flesh that are left bare. This can be useful when deciding on whether a top is appropriate or too low or if a skirt is too short, for example. Now, I’m not suggesting you all must use this principle – as for some girls, it may not prove to be helpful at all – and I am fully aware that it doesn’t deal with other immodesty issues such as clothing being too tight/see-through/etc. I just think it’s something else interesting to consider if you are a bit unsure of whether something covers you up enough, which often works for me :).

The Modesty Survey
In a culture that promotes immodesty and promiscuity, it is our obligation to be counterculture and show the world how to be truly respected and that comes by us respecting ourselves by the way we dress and act. –Lauren

The guys over at The Rebelution did a great job at creating a survey and asking men for what they thought was modest.  Here is the overview of their results:

1.7% of the guys surveyed feel strongly that girls shouldn’t show their calves. Is it now Burkha Day for all well-meaning Christian women? Absolutely not! In reading through the survey, you might have trouble finding a single item of clothing that someone, somewhere, doesn’t have a problem with. So where do we draw the line?

Well, the fact is that 98.3% guys DO NOT feel strongly that girls shouldn’t show their calves. If you look at the survey results you will find that 99.9% of the guys take full responsibility for themselves, and don’t expect women to cover every inch of skin — they’re just asking for help.

What you will see here is that no matter the category, some man labeled it immodest:

  • Denim jackets with faded sections on the chest draw too much attention to the bust- Survey says, 31.9% agree.
  • Showing bra-straps, even unintentionally is a stumbling block- Survey says 57.4% agree.
  • Tank tops are generally immodest- Survey says 57.6% agree.
  • Sleeveless shirts or dresses (bare arms) are immodest- Survey says 21% agree.
  • V-neck shirts or dresses are a stumbling block, even if they are not revealing- Survey says 34.4% agree.
  • Shirts with messages across the front draw too much attention to the bust- Survey says 47% agree.
Modesty vs. Fashion

I don’t know how many times that I’ve heard someone express the frustration with current fashion and their desire to be modest.  No woman (or man for that manner) wants to be out of the times– in some ways that draws even more attention than wearing what the world does!  At the same time, since modesty and fashion are at odds, there seems to be less outlets to get something that is both modern and modest.

The relationship between fashion and modesty appears to be straightforward, even immutable. Fashion is the constant enemy of modesty. The former seeks to attract attention, notice, and comment. The latter, by contrast, is the rejection of such theatrics. Modesty in dress is about turning oneself out with consideration for occasion, taste, and economy.

–snip–

A piece of clothing, though, is just a piece of clothing. It does not become an expression of modesty or immodesty until it is worn. A long skirt paired with a long-sleeved shirt covers the body, but they must be worn with the intention of modesty. Consider the flowing, tiered skirts of yesteryear’s hippies, which were often worn with a loose, long-sleeved shirt in the same style. A woman in such an outfit would have most of her skin hidden, but this costume of the 1970s was intended to attract notice. Modesty was for fuddy-duddies, and even though the style wasn’t revealing, it challenged the existing culture of dress. Such outfits communicated inclusion in the youth-friendly counterculture, whose fashion message might be summed up as: “No sweater-sets and pearls for me.”

Is the Clothing the Real Problem?

It’s often not the skin that is the problem as much as the ability to see what shouldn’t be seen.  I believe that all temptation can be partially traced to the same root that tempted Eve– the forbidden.  If something is forbidden, then we want it– and when it comes to the lust of the flesh, it’s the suggestion that I may see something that I shouldn’t be seeing that’s the stumbling block.

As for the wearer, the real problem is in the heart attitude rather than what the person is wearing.  Any individual item of clothing can be worn in such a way that it is immodest or modest.  What is reflected, however, is what the wearer wants to be seen.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.