My Fab Fam

My Fab Fam
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Where has all the modesty gone?

Ok, so here I go.  FINALLY.

Remember me saying recently that I was in a conundrum?  ...that I had written several posts over the last few weeks and not "published" them because I knew that they contained some sensitive subject matter?  Remember?  Though things may get a little crazy in here, I have finally worked up the courage to post this.  I am now prepared for whatever any of you may say, thanks to Jami Nato and her posts about "the problem with looking sexy" part one and part dos.  (Both are seriously worth the read.)  Thank you, Jami!  Moreover, believing my girls may read these posts someday lends me more confidence to speak my heart.

Those of you who read this blog are either brave or crazy; I'm not sure which.  But I'm glad to have you along!  Here we go!


I recently saw some pictures on a social network sight that made me want to cry:  a beautiful young lady had posted pictures of herself in a string bikini.  At first glance, I thought she was wearing underwear!  I couldn't help myself; I sent her a message that, in essence, said this:

You're a beautiful young lady--inside and out!  Lock that beauty up as the treasure that it is for your future husband.  I'm being bold because I didn't have anyone to tell me this when I was your age and I wish I had.  I paid far too high a price to learn that modesty is a beautiful thing and I want to keep anyone I can from experiencing that same pain.  Love you, lady.

"You are a garden locked up, my sister..."  
Song of Songs 4:12

That's the super-abbreviated paraphrased version.  (See, I can be short when I WANT to.)  Perhaps I am crazy to be so out-spoken, but I so desperately wish I could have avoided the problems I created for myself.  Maybe if people had spoken to me more frequently and honestly about the importance of modesty when I was in high school it would have helped.  Maybe.  Maybe if I'd heard it more, I would have thought twice about some of the things I bikinis, Daisy Duke shorts, and--I hate to admit this--one of my prom dresses was even from Victoria's Secret and made of spandex!  Okay?  Although I was well aware of why I was doing it (to attract boys, of course!) I really had no idea WHAT I was doing (flaunting my God-given treasure around for all to see, tempting them to take it).  Moreover, I was on a slippery slope.  By wearing those things in high school, I was taking steps towards even more provocative and immodest clothing in college.  

It is so easy in our culture to do things without realizing their implications.  Especially when it comes to dressing ourselves.  Our culture is obsessed with seeing and showing skin and curves.  It is so common to see scantily-dressed women that I think we are becoming numb to it.  Bikinis are normal...short shorts and clothes...shirts that are cut so low we are constantly having to adjust ourselves so we don't fall out.  We forget that our bodies are treasures.  And, in our ignorance, we are unwittingly flaunting our treasure before far too many people.  What we should only be disclosing in the intimacy of our own homes we have begun exposing to the entire world.  What should be a treat for our spouses has become a common sight for all humanity.

I'm so disturbed by the common culture when it comes to our lack of modesty that I sometimes want to swing the opposite way.  I once saw an Amish family at a water park, getting into the water with their dresses on and I was enamored.  I felt convicted about the amount of skin I was willing to show.  I have continued to hold their extreme modesty in high regard as I've learned more about their culture.  Their women wear long dresses to cover their legs and long sleeves to hide their arms.  They wear their hair tucked under a prayer cap because they believe that even the sight of it can cause a man to lust.  Their dress reminds me of the styles worn in the 1700's.  Women at that time could not show their ankles or wrists.  No wonder there was so much poetry written about women's necks!  Necks and hands were all that men were allowed to see until marriage.  And I can actually appreciate that.

Okay, I'm not saying we have to go to that extreme.  Though I'm certainly not opposed to swimming fully covered, I do own a bathing suit.  But think about this:  If we were all dressing modestly, then men would not see very much of a women before marriage.  Then a man would have nothing to compare his wife too.  To him, she would be the most beautiful woman on earth, because she would be the only woman he had ever really seen!  Isn't that a wonderful thought?  (You can flip that analogy for women.  If we were more careful about what we let our eyes see, then our own man would be the most handsome thing to us because he would be the ONLY thing to us!)

Why do we expose all the secrets of our garden?  Our "pomegranates, choice fruits, and all our finest spices" (Song of Songs 4) are unique to us and are designed to be experienced by only one man.  And I'm not just talking about sex.  I think that's part of the problem--it seems that many of us think if we abstain from sex then we've done our part in reserving ourselves for our husbands.  But I'm becoming more and more convinced that it runs far deeper than that.  I think we are to be reserving even the sight of our bodies for our husbands only.  That should be part of our gift to him.  We are a garden.  And may we be gardens, LOCKED UP, holding tightly to our key so that when we get married, we can hand the one, solitary key to our God-given man.

But, if you, like me, were not a locked up garden before marriage, it is not too late to lock the gate.  Perhaps some of us have even left the gate open since marriage, allowing other men to see things in our gardens that they shouldn't see (a little too much cleavage, a few too many curves hugged by tight-fitting clothes).  But we can certainly lock up at any time.  Your man already has the key.  So, let's just close the gate and not let anyone else in.  Not even for a peek!  Join me in throwing out the short shorts, short skirts, and low-cut shirts.  Turn in the string bikini for a more modest choice.  And give your man permission to stop you at the door.  I beg my man to tell me if I ever wear something that is the least bit revealing.  If it looks too good to him, chances are it will look too good to someone else...if you know what I mean.  And I am a bit ashamed to admit (though very grateful to him) that he has made me aware of some items that needed reconsideration.  So, see, I do not say this with judgment!  I say this as a sister that's in the trenches with you.

But just so we are clear, let me leave you with this one last thought:  inside your home, all things go, sister!  ALL. THINGS.  Unlock the gate and swing it wide open for your man; God had him in mind when He designed you!  Your beauty is a treasure for him to behold.


Song of Songs 4


1  How beautiful you are, my darling!
    Oh, how beautiful...

You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; 
    you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain. 
13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates 
    with choice fruits,
    with henna and nard,
14     nard and saffron,
    calamus and cinnamon, 
    with every kind of incense tree,
    with myrrh and aloes 
    and all the finest spices. 
15 You are[b] a garden fountain, 
    a well of flowing water
    streaming down from Lebanon.


16 Awake, north wind,
    and come, south wind!
Blow on my garden, 
    that its fragrance may spread everywhere.
Let my beloved come into his garden
    and taste its choice fruits.

1 comment:

  1. i know we've had these convo's before but i think one reader's comment on jami nato's blog says it all:

    Dressing immodestly is like rolling around in manure. Yes you'll get attention, but mostly from pigs.

    love it!


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