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Modesty Then and Modesty Now

Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary

MOD’ESTY, n. [L. modestia.] That lowly temper which accompanies a moderate estimate of one’s own worth and importance. This temper when natural, springs in some measure from timidity, and in young and inexperienced persons, is allied to bashfulness and diffidence. In persons who have seen the world, and lost their natural timidity, modesty springs no less from principle than from feeling, and is manifested by retiring, unobtrusive manners, assuming less to itself than others are willing to yield, and conceding to others all due honor and respect, or even more than they expect or require.

2. Modesty, as an act or series of acts, consists in humble, unobtrusive deportment, as opposed to extreme boldness, forwardness, arrogance, presumption, audacity or impudence. Thus we say, the petitioner urged his claims with modesty; the speaker addressed the audience with modesty.

3. Moderation; decency.

4. In females, modesty has the like character as in males; but the word is used also as synonymous with chastity, or purity of manners. In this sense, modesty results from purity of mind, or from the fear of disgrace and ignominy fortified by education and principle. Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of their honor.

Main Entry: mod·es·ty
Pronunciation: \ˈmä-də-stē\
Function: noun
Date: 1531

1 : freedom from conceit or vanity
2 : propriety in dress, speech, or conduct

Is it any wonder why there is no real understanding of modesty any longer?

 


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Swimming Modesty

When anyone discusses modesty invariably the conversation eventually goes to swimming. Why? Because most feel that it is impossible to swim modestly. I agree and disagree.

I agree that it is practically impossible to swim modestly because if you are in any kind of public area be it the beach or a pool you tend to have any number of immodest people around exposing themselves with abandon. No matter how modestly you or your family are dressed, very rarely are the other swimmers dressed modestly.

But it is possible for families to dress modestly themselves for swimming. I am surprised at the women who think they would never be immodest but yet when swimming they choose what is deemed by the world as a “modest” swimsuit. By the world’s definition of modest, this means a one-piece swimsuit that is not high on the thighs, low in the chest area or open in the belly or back. That is what most would deem a modest swimsuit today.

But think about it, it is that really modest?

Does modesty change according to location?

Why do we excuse certain attire for the beach when we would never, ever want to walk around in public like that?

Why is it acceptable to wear “colored underwear” in public?

My family strives to be modest and yet enjoy swimming at the beach and pool.

There are two portions to our modesty.

We strive to be modest with our eyes.

What this means is we avoid as much as possible environments where there will be large amounts of immodest people. That means we won’t be swimming at European beaches since topless swimming is still practiced in some areas. We also would not be swimming in public pools in France since tight swimsuits and swim briefs (think Speedos) are required for public swimming.

Since my family is very fair skinned and skin cancer is thus always a risk, we use lots of sunscreen. Nevertheless, I have also learned that if I take the kids out very early in the morning we can swim for a few hours without so much of a risk of sunburn. So we tend to swim until 10:00 or 11:00 AM, still with sunscreen on. Then we might head to an indoor pool for a while, if available, or head inside. Then later that day we will head out again around four to five PM and swim until dark or later.

It turns out this schedule has an added benefit. Seems the more immodestly you dress the more likely you are to be out at noon until around four. Sleeping late and a late breakfast delays many from being out early and then by four or five everyone starts heading in to dress for supper. I guess also the more immodestly you dress the more you want others to see you, thus you aim for the peak crowd time.

We strive to be modest ourselves.

Since we must worry about sun burning, my children have always worn a t-shirt or some type shirt when swimming. It saves on sunscreen costs and time (lathering up seven people takes a while!). So the boys wear long swim shorts (board shorts) that are thankfully in style and easier to find now. They also wear a t-shirt, either a regular t-shirt or the newer types that the material doesn’t hold water. An added benefit is to have them all in bright colors (orange, green) so that I can easily spot them. 🙂

The girls when young wear regular one-piece swimsuits with shorts and a t-shirt. My oldest daughter and I wear regular swimsuits and beach cover-up like pants and shirts. My daughter actually made her own swim pants from a tight mesh material in royal blue and cut from a Capri pants pattern. They have lasted her a couple of years already. My pants are bought beach cover pants from white heavy lace type material. Both of us wear three quarter length sleeved shirts made from lightweight gauzy material. I have had total strangers come up and ask where I got my shirt from. One was handmade but should have been slightly heavier material thus less clingy when wet and the other was just a bought ladies white summery shirt.

We don’t have problems swimming in the pants and shirts nor have my children even when teens thought it was strange to dress that way. The boys would never swim without shirts. Why cook your back and shoulders if you don’t have to? The girls enjoy not having to get sunscreen in all the little gaps in the typical swimsuit.

Although many public pools even in the US will require swimsuits and not street clothes, never have we had a problem with swimming as we are normally dressed to swim.

There are several companies that make modest swimsuits. I haven’t found any that I liked enough to make it worth the price and so far, our method seems to work well for us.

Two things I have learned though:

~ White tends to stain over time with sunscreen use. I prefer white myself, but it does not last as long.

~ Check the material. Don’t use heavy cottons. Sport like material is better and less clingy. I wish I could better name the type materials that work best.

History of Women’s Swimwear

Modest Clothing Directory

HydroChic Water Sportswear

SwimModest

Modest Swimwear


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Biblical Womenhood – Voddie Baucham

Below are several short audio clips of Voddie Baucham speaking about Biblical womenhood. Sorry that I could not find a full audio clip of this sermon.

Biblical Womanhood, Part 1 of 8

 

Biblical Womanhood, Part 2 of 8

Biblical Womanhood, Part 3 of 8

Biblical Womanhood, Part 4 of 8

Biblical Womanhood, Part 5 of 8

Biblical Womanhood, Part 6 of 8

Biblical Womanhood, Part 7 of 8

Biblical Womanhood, Part 8 of 8


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SBC Convention: Five Motions Involve Mark Driscoll

Motions: Messengers endorse GCR task force, criticize Driscoll’s entity influence

Two motions were referred to all SBC entities:

— that “all SBC entities should monitor” funds spent in “activities related to or cooperative efforts with Mark Driscoll and/or the Acts 29 organization” and entity heads should submit a report of expenditures to appear in the 2010 Book of Reports, submitted by Kent Cochran, a messenger from Calvary Baptist Church in Republic, Mo.

— that SBC entities avoid “inviting event speakers” who “are known for publicly exhibiting unregenerate behavior … such as cursing and sexual vulgarity, immorality, or who publicly state their support for the consumption or production of alcohol,” submitted by Ida South, a messenger from First Baptist Church in Mathiston, Miss.

On the recommendation of the Committee on Order of Business, Hunt ruled several motions “not in order.”

The committee chairman’s, Render, said three resolutions were not in order because of reflecting harshly on particular individuals.

— that author Mark Driscoll’s books be removed from LifeWay Christian Bookstores because of his “reputation for abusive and ungodly language and … promotions of sex toys on his church web site,” submitted by Jim Wilson, pastor, First Baptist Church in Seneca, Mo.”We need to live holy lives and bringing this man to our college campuses and promoting his books in the bookstore … I believe is a violation of Scripture.”

— that messengers encourage all SBC entities “to refrain from inviting event speakers” who engage in “cursing and sexual vulgarity, or who publicly state their support for the consumption or production of alcohol,” submitted by Larry Reagan, pastor, Adams Chapel Baptist Church in Dresden, Tenn.

A motion by Brian LeStourgeon, pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Camp Verde, Ariz., sought to have Mark Driscoll “address the concerns of his accusers” at the 2010 annual meeting. Render said the committee declined LeStourgeon’s motion since it could have put the Convention in the role of exercising church discipline.

At least some are seriously questioning Mark Driscoll and his language in the pulpit. It is a shame though that nothing will be done until next year. What is there to think about?  Hopefully this will serve as a wake up call to Mark Driscoll and his church.

Where are the men like this taking a stand for their Lord and their families I’ve had it with Mark Driscoll and his mouth. Now it’s personal!

If only the SBC would take a stand.

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“Immature” Believers

What should our response be to a Christian that is exhibiting behavior not in keeping with the faith?

What do we do when we find a believer in sin?

Do we ignore them and pray that eventually they will get the message?

Or do we instruct them?

Does it really matter?

We should always turn to the Scriptures to see exactly what the Lord would have us to do. Does the Lord provide instruction in such situations?

What I’m talking about is several instances that have been discussed lately among Christians. One is a particular pastor that has been known to use a foul-mouth in his preaching and to use very graphic and explicit descriptions such that they have “under 17 warnings.” The other is a young woman that exhibits her body immodestly. Both of these I have heard others refer to as “immature Christians, that they will grow out of it sometime in the future. Who are we to judge? God will deal with them as they grow. “

There is not a fully mature Christian this side of Heaven. We are all growing and being dealt with by the Lord daily. If we are not, then maybe we are not truly a Child of the Lord. But there are levels of maturity among believers. I wouldn’t dare to say that I’m as mature of a believer as a John MacArthur or a R.C. Sproul. But I will say I am a more mature believer than my children. Because of that I do not wait around for them to mature in the faith. I instruct them, share Scripture with them, encourage and exhort them. Granted being a parent is different from the way we should treat other believers. But not that much!

Paul and John both referred to other believers as “my little children“, “my true child in the faith“, and “my beloved child.” They also instructed believers with the concern to keep their loved one from sin.

1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy, my true child in the faith: ESV

Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: ESV

1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. ESV

So we have an example given us of the more mature instructing and exhorting those believers in the faith. The mature encouraging others to not sin, should we not do likewise?

How did the disciples and early church help other believers to mature?

Apollos was teaching in the synagogue but his teaching needed some maturing. Priscilla and Aquila took him aside and instructed him in the full truth.

Acts 18:24-26
24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures.
25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.
26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
ESV

What was the result of his being pulled aside and further instructed?

Acts 18:27-28
27 And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed,
28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, showing by the Scriptures that the Christ was Jesus
.
ESV

Paul exhorted Timothy to keep those in his church from teaching a different gospel. Timothy was not to let his age hinder his defending the faith. If he found error, he was to deal with it.

1 Timothy 1:3-7
3 As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine,
4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.
5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
6 Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion,
7 desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.
ESV

How are we to address another believer?

1 Timothy 5:1-2
1 Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father. Treat younger men like brothers,
2 older women like mothers, younger women like sisters, in all purity.
ESV

We are to encourage one another.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. ESV

1 Thessalonians 5:14 And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. ESV

We are to exhort.

2 Timothy 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. ESV

Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. ESV

How should we respond to those who are encouraging and exhorting us? We should respond to our elders with humility, giving everything to the Lord in prayer and always being aware that Satan desires to devour the proud and careless.

1 Peter 5:5-8
5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
ESV

What if they continue in their sin?

1 Timothy 5:20-21
20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.
21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.
ESV

Notice the phrase without partiality.

That would also include making excuses for sin due to immaturity. If a believer persists in a sin then we are to rebuke them publicly.

But never are we to ignore the blatant sin in those who claim to believe!

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Cell Phones and Teens

This is something my parents and grandparents never had to deal with. Don’t you wish you could go back to those simpler days?

But we can’t so the next thing is to be aware and prepared. This is another good reason that my children don’t have cell phones. My older children didn’t get cell phones until they were older teens / adults and working away from home.

Does Your Child’s Cell Phone Preach Another Gospel? (This link from Russell Moore’s website desn’t work any longer.)

A pre-teen or a teenager with unrestricted cell-phone usage (or Internet or television consumption) is being placed in a very, very difficult place of temptation. The company of that young man or woman is now away from the scrutiny of parents, and is now left only to his or her discretion or conscience. Are there some young Christians who can handle such? Of course. Should you assume your child is one of them? Your Father is more careful of you than that.

Is your child a text-aholic?

One concern that I have regarding texting is the need or compulsion to immediately read an incoming message and reply. After observing my daughter’s texting habits over the holidays, I began to notice that when the phone chimed or vibrated, it seemed to produce an involuntary reflex to check the message no matter what she was doing. Think Pavlov’s dogs, here. I discussed my observation with my daughter and she assured me that she has it under control and is able to take a break from her phone and enjoy life.

The naked truth about teens and cell phones

 

Sexting involves the sending of sexual messages and pictures from cell phone to cell phone. Most of the stories I’m hearing (from moms and girls), involve a message or picture sent to a boyfriend that was intended to be private. Of course, when a break-up occurs, or the guy simply wants to show off the picture or suggestive text to his pals, the real trouble begins. It’s easy to forward the picture or message to other contacts on the recipient’s phone, upload it to the Internet, or post it to a social networking page. At that point, it becomes viral and the pictures are often accessible to the general public and most frighteningly, creepy predators who scour the web looking for “n*de c*ll phone images” of minor-aged children.

Required viewing for every cellphone-toting teen (There is a MSNBC Video about this issue.)

This death could have been prevented had the parents of all parties involved just taken the time to talk to their teens about the dangers of sexting. It is our responsibility to ensure that we have drilled home the message to our teens regarding the long-term consequences that can occur from sending, receiving, or forwarding “sext” messages.

Facebook Turns Five: Thoughts on Social Networking – Al Mohler

1. Never allow social networking to replace or rival personal contact and communication. God made us to be social creatures that crave community. We cannot permit ourselves to substitute social networking for the harder work of building and maintaining personal relationships that are face to face.

2. Set clear parameters for the time devoted to social networking. These services can be seductive and time consuming. Social networking (and the Internet in general) can become obsessive and destructive of other relationships and higher priorities for the Christian.

3. Never write or post anything on a social networking site that you would not want the world to see, or anything that would compromise your Christian witness. There are plenty of young people (perhaps older persons now, too) who are ruining future job prospects and opportunities by social networking misbehavior. The cost to Christian witness is often far greater.


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Modest Fashion Week – March 9 – 13

This might be a very interesting discussion on modesty. I have enjoyed reading the posts at Stay-At-Home Missionary for quite a while. I think you ladies will enjoy the discussion also.

 

modest fashion week

Beauty, Modesty, and Femininity from Stay-At-Home Missionary

Now, I know that many people have many different ideas of what modesty is and what modesty is not. I know that some who will visit will think that the standards are too low, others will think standards are too high. Yet, we have to start somewhere. Simply not talking about the subject because someone might be offended isn’t the answer. What is the answer? Grace. My hope and prayer is that as we begin on the topic of modesty, that we will all extend one another grace. If we disagree, that’s okay, let’s discuss, while being gracious toward one another. Agreed?!

Grace also means the absence of legalism. Legalism, simply put, is trying either consciously or sub-consciously to earn or in some way add to what Christ did on the cross. There is no room for legalism in this series. This series is about joyfully seeking to honor God in the way we dress.

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Children’s Clothing and Their Character

Moore To The Point has a guest post about clothing, children and the attitudes involved. It is very thought provoking.

Clothing and the Character of the Child

The jeans that are long enough for Hannah’s ever-lengthening legs seem to have gained this extra length by trimming too many inches off the top. The sweatpants that fit her best have “PINK” emblazoned across the backside. And the messages that glitter on the chests of several otherwise-appropriate shirts lead to immediate vetoes from our household’s executive branch: “I Want What I Want Now,” one hoodie declares, while a nearby t-shirt boasts, “I Have an Attitude and I Know How to Use It.” “Sooner or Later I’ll Get What I Want,” another sweatshirt announces. Interestingly, the brand names on the tags are “Personal Identity” and “Self Esteem”—almost as if Erik Erikson and Sigmund Freud crept in during the manufacturing process and retagged the clothes to resolve adolescent girls’ supposed identity crises. To Hannah’s credit, she takes it all in good humor, knowing from past experience that, once a veto has been declared, her father will not budge.

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Maybe a Denim Skirt?

Surely, there is some middle ground between dressing our daughters as “harlots in training” and dressing them in Muslim hijab.

How about some denim skirts?

Then they can marry these homeschool musicians.

Ours is just a 12 passenger van. We have Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Mozart plus America’s 25 Favorite Hymns series in the van. I wouldn’t say we blast it though.


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What Are We Doing To Our Children?

Girls aged 5 sexualised by toys like Bratz dolls, MSPs told

Bratz dolls, which have been challenging Barbie for supremacy in the girls’ toy market, were condemned by the NSPCC as the committee opened an inquiry into increasing levels of sexual imagery in goods aimed at children.

Tom Narducci, a senior consultant for the NSPCC, criticised the way dolls were dressed in short skirts and fishnet stockings and said they were sexualising girls as young as five.

Years ago a young 11 year old girl was abducted at the school bus stop. Her body was found two years later. But the lasting impression I have is the pictures of the pink “Bratz” outfit she was wearing with the word “Bratz” written across the chest and the buttocks of the outfit when they were searching for her. I have always wondered if the choice of clothing had anything to do with the abduction.

What do we teach our little girls?

THEY toddle onto the stage like a procession of miniature pole dancers. Their cheeks glow with all the health of peach blusher and their lips pout under sticky pink lip gloss.

They are five.

Only two years ago the hips clad in electric-blue hot pants were wrapped in layers of Huggies.

High heels for babies: Cute or creepy?

Some people are getting a big kick out of an emerging fashion trend for babies — high heel crib shoes for girls too young to walk. Others are certain it’s yet another sign that the republic really is going to perdition in a handbasket.

… a little disturbing that we are trying to create mini Carrie Bradshaw just a little too early.

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