Modesty is such a struggle for me (don’t worry, I’m not judging you)

I want to apologize to those who have been reading my blog and are feeling overwhelmed at the amount of material I am publishing a day. Honestly, if you ever wondered what my mind looks like, this is only a fraction of what I am thinking about in a day. So, if I ever look star-dazed and confused, I’m probably pondering one of ten or so different topics in my head at any given time, plus trying to pay attention to the task at hand. I consider it to be a love/hate relationship. I love it when I keep typing because I have to get it out, but hate it when I really need to stop typing because I’m tired, or when I’m attempting to sleep and all the lights turn on my head and I can’t just hit the pause button. I really shouldn’t be complaining, I really am blessed like crazy to have such a creative mind. 

A topic that has been floating around in my mind off and on for years has been modesty. Now let me get this straight. I try my very hardest to not judge others for their clothing choices. If they choose to wear something a little more revealing, that is their choice, and it does not matter if they do not feel convicted in the way I do. I really do not want this post to come off as self-righteous or holier-than-thou. As a matter of fact, I have been so afraid that I will come off this way that I have been avoiding writing this blog post for a while in fear I might make others think I’m just like those other Christians out there, who are quicker to judge than they are to love. And I don’t want to be placed in one of those horrible categories. I only want to share on this topic because it happens to be such a struggle for me. 

I am a very fashion-conscience person. I like to have my own look, my own confidence, and to show my artistry in my outfits. I enjoy color, patterns, polka-dots, and shoes. Dear god, way too many shoes. My husband can attest to that. So when I go shopping for something I really need, I can become easily discouraged and confused. 

I was raised to be modest. When I moved out, I thought I would change my mind about that, but I didn’t really. I had a few moments were I thought I would, and bought some clothes I got rid of pretty quickly after that period of time, but I have remained modest for most of my life. 

First of all, I believe that the body is a temple. Unfortunately my eating choices as of late have not proven that, but moving on. If the Holy Spirit dwells within me as a Christian, I think I should respect this deity. I also believe that the way I dress and the amount of skin I am showing shows the level of respect I have for myself to others. If someone else is comfortable and confident wearing less than me, I usually do not think they lack respect for themselves unless their actions prove that. Okay, that sounded kind of wrong, but I hope the true intent of that post came across properly. 

Maybe I should explain? If you come to the club in a cute dress and heels and are hanging with your girls, or even hanging with a guy and having a drink, go you! But someone who comes to a party alone with a dress that reveals everything and then begins hanging on everyone in the room isn’t necessarily wearing that dress because they are confident (at least in my head it reads that way), but maybe because they want attention and they aren’t sure how else to do it. Ugh, that still sounds harsh. 

I guess what I’m trying to say is: personality. Modesty allows me to make friends based off of my personality and not my body. I don’t have to worry if people are asking to be my friend because I’m hot (which my body is not), or because I’m a cool person. I don’t want this to sound like all guys are hungry for every woman’s body and they better cover up or a man is going to get the wrong idea. I say, dress how you want and let your personality shine through. 

But for me, personally, where I am in my walk, I feel called to this “higher living” standard. It’s not that any Christian that isn’t afraid to show some skin is wrong, but I’m married, too. For me, if I’m dressing like a trophy, I’m not winning for the right things, I’m only showing off to a list of people who can’t have me. And then I’m getting attention in ways I don’t want it. What is covered up is for my husband, for his delight, and for his eyes. I feel like when I made my vows, I owed him this respect. I owed myself this respect. And most importantly, when I took my vows as a Christian, I owed my bridegroom, the Lord this respect. 

Yeah, I like looking attractive, But I also like feeling confident in my own skin in my own way. And this is why shopping can be such a nightmare. I am so thankful I have learned my own style. I have found that lots of layering covers things up in ways unimaginable so that I can still look fashionable without looking like a twenty something who stepped in a potato sack. 

Why do I have to spend hours searching for a dress I can wear by itself without having to find accompanying tights, tank top, and slip to go under it? I recently went on vacation and was mocked because I chose to wear surfer shorts and a t-shirt as my swimsuit. If I don’t wear my underwear out for the world to see on a daily basis, why would I put it on to go to the pool or the beach? It’s just not me. And maybe it’s you, and that’s okay, but I don’t feel comfortable in that. 

But sometimes, being laughed at for my clothing choices, for being afraid to wear a top that has no sleeves or straps makes it tough. I want to be cute, I want to be my own person, but when this world doesn’t understand the modest person anymore, it can be enough to make you want to give in so that you don’t feel that scornful eye. I almost wanted to give in and wear a swimsuit like normal people, but was then reminded who I am and laughed at that idea. Yet somehow, some days it is still tantalizing, and then I remember I am not like the world, I cannot dress like it.

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