What we allow IN rather than what we put ON

Two women sit chatting in a small booth.  One is demurely dressed in a flowing skirt and a neatly pressed high-necked blouse.  Her hair is pulled back gently, while soft bangs frame her pretty face.  She is the picture of beauty and perceived modesty…and she knows it.  Her eyes flit from here to there, taking in every person who walks through the door.  A few well-dressed men pass by and her lovely eyes bat just a bit as she smiles coyly at them.  When the waiter returns to collect the remains of the meal, she giggles and swats at his hand with her still clean napkin, teasing.  Flirting.

Her friend sits across the table, quiet and self-controlled.  Her clothing is much less notable and clearly isn’t the object of her thoughts.  Her plain, long-sleeved shirt paired with crisp blue jeans stand out in stark contrast to her pristine companion.  With her hair neatly gathered into a ponytail and barely a trace of makeup, she can’t quite understand why it is her the waiter keeps noticing.  Keeping her eyes averted and making only polite replies when spoken to, she gracefully refutes the unwanted attention.  They are, after all, two married women simply sharing a lunch together.

 

These ladies are mere symbols of the confusion among Christian women today.  We hear the message God has for us, but so often we fail to process it, and it never reaches the depths of our souls.  And so we make the right purchases, gathering clothing that befits a reputable woman of the church.  We wear the look on our outward selves, but it fails to transform us.  Because true femininity begins in the heart, not at the clothing rack.

We read and study and apply.  We’re earnest in our desire to do right, but we forget to allow God to imprint His word on our heart.  And so the changes we make are surface and our testimony lacks depth.  He first wants to be granted entrance into the secret places of our beings.  The inner most corners where insecurity and indecision dwell, cluttering the soul.

You’ve seen people who get on a kick to get rid of “stuff”.  They work themselves into a frenzy when they can no longer stand the accumulation of things.  Boxes are donated, bags are trashed, shelves are emptied and organized.  But no sooner than they finish, they haul home new finds to take the place of what was removed.  And so the cycle continues and the stash is replenished.  So very much like what we unknowingly do in our spiritual lives.

How different the experience would be if we didn’t hurry to make change, but waited on the Lord to fill us.  If rather than reading something and scuttling off to make it ours, we allowed it to penetrate the heart and mind.  If rather than exerting so much energy trying to work reformation in our lives, we simply permitted God to reform us.  We want what is good.  We desire what is better.  But God knows what is best.  We can trust him to adorn us modestly and femininely, from the inside out.

****Note~Please understand that I am in NO WAY indicating I think modesty is not important!  I most certainly do!  But I believe we so often run a few strides ahead of the Lord, failing to soak in the redemption that truly delivers us from our former selves.  No change in clothing or dress can trump the importance of allowing Him to wash us with the grace that transforms us from the heart.

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Comments

  1. I spend most of my time in yoga pants (and no makeup), so I love this post ;-)

    People can definitely put too much into fashion and the newest thing.

  2. It is true that the heart is the core of all issues in transformation. However, because there are women who are hypocrites, it still doesn't change the message of modest femininity. We can't allow a bad representation of a so-called “believing” woman to distract us from what God has already made clear. So many people don't want to join churches because they meet a Christian who falls short in their eyes. Are they justified? We are still called to do our part in being the light God has called us to be, but not to use excuses of poor representation to justify the choices we make…

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly, JES! My concern is when we find security in an outward representation of modesty or femininity. I truly believe we should live up to the knowledge we have been given, but I also feel strongly that it's effect is lost when it doesn't reach beyond the surface. My point with the ladies in my example was not to point out hypocrisy, but to show how we can make choices that profess Christ, while inside we remain unchanged. I am certainly not advocating immodesty!! Thank you for speaking up and giving me the opportunity to clarify myself!

    • Yes, I understand Kasey, I think we are speaking of being a modern-day Pharisee!

      Matthew 23:28 – “In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

      There is a lot going on in our church right now which brought me to my point but I do understand yours. Keep up the encouragement :)

  3. So many issues start with the heart. A woman can be dressed in sackcloth, but if her heart is not clothed in modesty, she (as well as the rest of us) have the potential to play the part of a harlot. Anyone can 'put on' the appearance of being a Christ follower. It's the heart that truly matters. When we allow Christ to transform our lives, the other things should soon follow. What a great reminder, Kasey, that my life is more than my outward appearance. :)

  4. Amen! Modesty is *much* more than clothing. Our heart has to desire to please the Lord in all things. If that is our goal then our clothing and attitude will match. I have known women who would not have exactly fit someone's picture of modesty or femininity in their clothing, but their spirit was very modest. I look at modesty as anything that draws undue attention to yourself. I've seen ladies make a point to look *so* modest that they actually draw more attention to themselves by trying to appear overly modest and plain…
    Getting the heart right with the Lord really does fix a number of outward standards.
    Great post!

    • Thank you so much! I was concerned that people would read this and think I was saying modesty should not be an issue…which isn't what I meant at all. I just think it is so important that we allow our hearts to be adorned with Christ and have that reflected in our choice of clothing!

  5. Great post Kasey! Thanks for sharing from the heart. :)

  6. Well said!! Modesty is more than what is on the outside. :)

  7. I like your thoughts! I believe, too, that what is in the heart will come out, no matter how one is dressed. I like the thought someone posted though that we can't use those hypocrites as our excuse to do away with modesty.

  8. Kasey – your writing is lovely and your family is beautiful! As my grandmother always says, “beauty is as beauty does.” I look forward to looking around your site some more when I have some time. God bless you and yours…especially those precious baby boys!

  9. I love how you think! Beautiful.

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