A Graceful Maiden's Memoir

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song!" - Psalm 28:7

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dressing With Decency

Yesterday my family and I went to Whitewater water park in Atlanta Georgia. While the rides were a lot of fun, the way most of the girls were dressed was so sad. The style these days seems to "bare it all" and that's just what most women are doing. Wearing swimsuits consisting mostly of thin straps, the women leave almost nothing covered. What was especially sad was the number of young girls, who, following the example of their mothers and older sisters, begin dressing quite provocatively, even at their young age.

Proverbs 11:22 says, "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful women who shows no discretion." Most of these women were very beautiful, yet because of the way they flaunt themselves, their beauty is wasted, just like a gold ring would be wasted on a pig.

What has happened to the mystery that used to be inspired through modesty? Why don't women want to save themselves for only one man to see? If they covered themselves, they would still be beautiful, and believe it or not, men do respect you more when you don't flaunt yourself! Yes, the girls dressed in the fashion of "show so much skin" do get a lot of attention, but by what kind of guy?

Now, not all of the girls were dressed in such a way, although a majority were. My sisters and I were among those covered. I presented quite a different style, with my high-necked, high-backed swimsuit, with its skirt flowing to my knees. I was very comfortable and enjoyed the prettiness of a modest, feminine bathing suit that didn't compromise my standards. Hopefully, I was a good example to others around, that you can swim modestly! If any of you sew, I would suggest that you get the pattern (now available in girl's sizes as well) Biblical Womanhood offers. It's quite simple, once you get a little practice sewing with lycra.

So, will you join me in presenting to the world a different way of dressing? Will you dress in a way that glorifies God, or glorifies your body?

I have found that when you dress with modesty, decency, and propriety (1 Timothy 2:9-10), you are usually more respected. Dress in such a way that brings the attention off of yourself, and shows people the light of Christ shining through you. You may get a few weird looks, but most of those you come in contact with will be refreshed to see a young lady, dressed with decency.

Now, this of course doesn't mean that you should dress in shapeless burlap sacks covering neck to ankle! Although hard to find, there are occasional pretty and modest clothes in the store. Also, you could take up sewing, as I've done, and sew some of your own clothes. Sewing not only is fun to do, it produces something that can be enjoyed for years to come! Whatever you do, strive to take the effort to dress with taste and decency.

Yet, you shouldn't just focus on your outward appearance. "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. - 1 Samuel 16:7. Even if you wear modest clothes, if you have a heart full of immodest thoughts and behaviors, that is what is going to shine through for others to see. Cultivate a heart of purity, gentleness, love for others, and modest behavior, and show others Christ in you. It will only add to the loveliness of your dress and manner. How can we do this? By working on our relationship with God, and asking Him to help us. "Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God" - 2 Corinthians 3:5. Only through God can we do anything worthwhile. And don't despair for, "being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." - Philippians 1:6


  • At 11:43 AM, August 01, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good for you Anna! We recently went to a water park in our area...WOW...what a sight. If the girl was young and not an older mother...she was baring it all.
    I saw the pictures of the swimsuit that you made...very cute and feminine!
    Stay Strong in your faith and convictions.
    DeAnn P.

  • At 1:24 PM, August 01, 2006, Blogger Ella said…

    You and I have had similiar experiences of late. I am not sure if you read my blog on that subject. However, it is sad that we are always so 'different' from the world. (Yet, I wouldn't change that for anything!) I just wish we were making a difference.

    I really like your bathing suit. I must admit, mine is a little less modest than you, but I hardly go swimming. You living in Alabama is a different story! Anyway, I liked it.

    I do appreciate that there is someone who is on the same page as me. It is refreshing; it's so hard to find. I do have like-minded friends, but still, it's nice!

  • At 4:09 PM, August 01, 2006, Anonymous miriam hart said…

    What a wonderful post, Anna!
    It is sad what is happening to
    the clothing of the last couple
    of generations. The most we can
    do is dress to please Christ,
    and live to please Him.

  • At 5:06 PM, August 01, 2006, Blogger Jessica said…

    Great post, Anna! And I can entirely relate to your water park experience...though my most recent swimming excursion was at the beach...but it was full of many girls/women dressed exactly how you described...it was sad to see.

    So, will you join me in presenting to the world a different way of dressing? Will you dress in a way that glorifies God, or glorifies your body?

    Oh yes, I will indeed!

  • At 8:16 PM, August 01, 2006, Blogger Samantha C. Brooks said…

    Awesome post! It's very surprising at what girls wear nowadays. But you're right, sewing your own clothes is a good, and fun, alternative, rather than 'hunting' for modest clothes. lol

  • At 6:16 AM, August 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There is nothing wrong with young women being content and proud of their bodies. You feel differently, and that's fair, but you are judging others simply because they want to wear less and be cooler. There is nothing wrong with feeling happy with the way you look and unafraid to just be yourself.

  • At 9:41 AM, August 02, 2006, Blogger Ella said…

    Pardon my saying so, since this isn't my blog, but you don't have a problem with provocative dress that causes men and boys to stray and do rather dumb things? We are called to be different from the world, not like it! Sure we can like the way we look, but we shouldn't encourage vanity either!

    Sorry, Anna, for my outspokenness:)

  • At 2:53 PM, August 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Anna! Hello everyone! My computer is finally working so I can post! Anna, I think it's wonderful that you are taking a stand on modesty! I will stand with you!

    p.s. sorry my post is short! I don't feel well today!

  • At 3:15 PM, August 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wait, what? You're saying that its women's clothing (or type of clothing) that causes men to "stray" and "do rather dumb things?" What do you mean?

    Just because women wear clothing that may reveal more of their bodies doesn't have anything to do with men acting improperly. Men should learn not to act out on their hormones. A women should not feel the need to hide her body or who she is.

    You shouldn't be embarrassed of how you look, and its really hot out - there's nothing wrong with wearing a bathing suit or bikini if you want.

  • At 3:18 PM, August 02, 2006, Blogger Anna Naomi said…

    Thanks for all your comments everyone! It's encouraging to find others who feel the same way I do. I agree with you, Ella, and I don't mind at all your speaking out on my blog! =)

    I really don't go swimming that often... Monday was only the 3rd or 4th time this year. However, I enjoy having a swimsuit that I can feel comfortable in whenever I do go.

    Thanks again for all your encouragement, girls!

  • At 3:34 PM, August 02, 2006, Blogger Anna Naomi said…

    Anonymous, actually guys are affected by sight, and it's a big help to them if we try to dress modestly. Part of the reason I dress modestly is to help out my brothers-in-Christ. Here's what some Christian guys had to say about the helpfulness of modest dress.

  • At 4:49 PM, August 02, 2006, Blogger Samantha C. Brooks said…

    Anonymous, I do agree that guys are responsible for their behaviour, but as a favor for our brothers, we girls should dress modest, because our outside is what they see first. Just like they are gentlemen as a favor to us (carrying heavy things, opening doors, etc.) we should return the favor and be ladies.

    Anna, I read that post you linked to before, but it was nice reading it again, it's very encouraging!

  • At 6:00 PM, August 02, 2006, Blogger Anna Naomi said…

    Thanks for your comments everyone, but I really don't want this to turn into a big debate, so I'm going to go ahead and lock this post. Thanks again for everything y'all had to say.


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