Friday, October 11, 2013

Modesty, and Skirts, and Legalism, Oh My!

Legalism is defined as an over emphasis on a specific conduct or ideas. 

I am going to write this post, and I hope it is taken well. I honestly had it written once only to delete that whole idea and try again. Here is what God has laid on my heart, so know that this is for me more than you, you just get to hear what is going on in my head (I will appalogize in advance it is crazy in there). 

My family recently attended a function with many people my husband knew and grew up with. It was a celebration and everyone was happy and cordial. My husband and I were speaking with a lady he knew and as she was talking with us she seemed to be holding back a little, until she got to one point in the conversation when she stumbled through a description, at that point I said the word "legalistic". She started to open up more and the conversation continued to a point where we informed her we were in no way legalistic. She had come to the assumption that we were based solely on the fact that I and my daughters were wearing skirts. There is a group in our area that is very legalistic and if you do not fit into their "box" then you are not welcome. They are skirts only....*now let me stop right here. I am not grouping everyone who wears skirts into legalism and I am not saying everyone who wears pants is not legalistic. I am saying most people who are not skirts only have a certain view of those who are. That is what I want to discuss.*

I have shared here and there that I wear mostly skirts, but not always. It was at this particular event that made me stop and think about the message my clothing choice was sending. Let's take a look at clothing choices in today's society:

~ Scrubs- medical field, most of the time, I have also worn them working in child are
~ Uniform- the uniform itself will tell you who that person is, police officer, firefighter, army, navy, air force, repairman, football player
~ scantily clad- if she is standing on a street corner at 2am, you know what she does
~ dress suit- means a business person
Also certain elements of a normal casual dress will give you a clue:
~hard hat
~fishing boots
~paint on clothing

You get the idea, you are labeled by your outward appearance. Unfortunately the few legalists have made dressing in skirts only carry the legalism label. I can understand given recent problems with a certain Baptist church that like to protest things like military funerals, because of them Christians are now labeled haters. 

I have prayed and thought and searched my Bible these past several weeks as to whether or not how I am currently dressing is the way God would have us to go. This is what I found.

A scripture often quoted for modesty is what struck me the most. 

1 Peter 3:3-4

          3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in sight of God of great price.

This verse tells us, it is not what is on the outside. We are suppose to be about furthering the Gospel. We are not to concerned with the outward appearance. Our job, while we are here on the earth, is to serve God. We are to follow as He leads and point others to Him along the way. 

Now do not misunderstand me this is not a free pass to wear whatever we want, because it is difficult to lead someone to The Lord when they are to distracted by your body. We still have a responsibility to dress as a woman, and to dress modestly. 

The problem is when we over-emphasis things, like wearing skirts, that we become legalistic. I know too many people who have been either standoffish or completely turned off because of how they were treated by legalistic people (some where not "skirts only").

My point is I know that I have been getting too caught up in legalism. I thought once you were saved you should "look" a certain way, so that everyone you came across would look at you and say there is something different about her. I have come to realize that modesty does matter, but what matters even more is winning someone to Christ. Yes, as a daughter of the King of Kings, you should dress and carry yourself as one, but let's stop getting caught up in the legalism of it. 

Church picnic at a missionary's home

On my senior high school trip

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