Friday, April 9, 2010

A Journey of the Heart..Part 3

I asked my Mother to write an article on Modesty, and she choose to write about the joy she has discovered in dressing modestly. I am grateful she took the time to write this for our series, as she is on Hospice battling a severe case of Lupus. Thanks Mom!

My daughter Caroline asked if I would write my testimony of how I came to learn about the importance of modesty. I began the journey of homeschooling in 1986. The early days of homeschooling were so different than they are now that describing it could be an article in itself! The Spirit of God was moving in the hearts of Fathers and Mothers in this country and the primary reason you would discover that another family was homeschooling, matched your own. The public schools, in the parents’ minds, were failing to provide an environment that would instill the necessary teachings for raising godly children. As the decisions across the country were made to home school, one family at a time, the need to communicate to other families began in the way of grass roots magazines. It was this avenue that I began to learn so very much about practical issues that I had never given much thought about to this point.

I had subscribed to several magazines but one in particular was written just for women. I had a hunger for learning about topics that covered a wide range of teachings that gave definitions to me of the verses found in Titus 2. Over time, the phrase, “A Titus 2 Woman,” became widely accepted – in a growing number of like-minded believers.

Stepping back, I need to provide my own experiences growing up. I was a product of a generation of women taught how to dress to gain the attentive eye of a man. Mostly, these were teachings from the culture around me, but it was not subtle! So when I began the new paths to teach my children, I did not waste any time implementing what I knew was truth. It was a passionate time for me. Some parents would discuss that they left the decisions for their children to choose. Whether I was right or not, I didn’t accept that approach, as I already felt a lot of time had been lost with my oldest daughter turning 16. I knew what was in my old heart and I didn’t want us to be a stumbling block in any way. Therefore, “Modesty,” had moved into our home.

My husband was indifferent to these changes in the beginning and I had his approval to proceed. It is interesting to me that over time, he actually favored my choice of dress and encouraged me to “stay the course.”

The suggestions of several patterns came my way and since I could barely sew, there was one jumper pattern that I could “pull off.” Although the topic of modesty is serious, I would love for you to be able to hear my daughters and I laugh, in hindsight, at me! To think we dressed for a good long time in one jumper pattern because that was all I could sew! But I believe God blessed me to sew those jumpers as I tried to dress each of us modestly.

My old heart would have never accepted such an idea as to dress in one style. Fashion was quite important to me, and with fashion always comes variety which actually breeds a lack of contentment. I was always on the hunt for something new and different. The blessings were growing in my endeavors to be modest because those old desires went to the grave!

My daughters and I enjoyed many times, getting matching fabrics. This is not a common practice with your teenage daughters but we have fond memories of this.

There had been enough time passed that articles began appearing about the “homeschooling look.” We were questioned about the choice of those jumpers! I don’t believe any of us chose a pattern to give a message, “I am a homeschooler.” The reality was the time homeschooling Mothers had to sew on top of running a home was limited! Over time, the call to modesty seemed to become more muted but the positive side is that there were many more options available in patterns.

Our wardrobe changed when my oldest daughter began to sew. She was taught by a dear friend who was an excellent seamstress, and Jennifer absorbed those lessons in one weeks time and she became our very own seamstress! Whew! I do want to say here that I yearned to sew with all my heart. I have tried and tried but I have never accomplished much more than that one jumper pattern, unless curtains count. My daughters can vouch that I did acquire a great fondness for fabrics and I implemented this whenever I could in home décor!

Modesty was taught in our home as another area of character building – not just for our daughters, but for our son as well. Modesty was taught that appearances were important so as to not convey messages of conforming to this world’s passions, anywhere from sports mania to irreverent slogans or drawings. I hope and pray that legalism isn’t something others saw in our family as I tried hard to instill in our children what was best for “us” and if choices of what others were wearing were truly offensive and ungodly, then, as much as possible, to turn your eyes and look away.

The teachings of modesty in our home extended to our manner of speech and all areas that would help us on our walk with our Lord. I am very grateful for the teachings of modesty to have entered in the doorposts of our home. Not only do we have many fond memories in regards to this, but modesty is now a part of my children’s children and their lives. With four grandchildren, seeing them dressed in ways that are extensions of the teachings of my daughter’s childhood bring great joy to me and gratefulness to my Heavenly Father for the blessings of learning what it means to be a modest woman. As with the principles of all scripture, when you die to self for the Lord’s purposes, there are rewards granted unto you.


It is my testimony that the changes that were made have brought a lot of contentment as well as discovering new things about myself. I learned how much I like pink and floral patterns and so much more! I can say it has actually been fun and I encourage any woman reading this to not only take the scriptures in regards to modesty seriously, but to realize that you just might find yourself having a whole new “out”look with the clothes you wear!

Written by Deborah Dean

Part four will talk about modesty while pregnant and nursing!

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1 Comments:

At April 12, 2010 at 11:31 PM , Blogger Katie said...

Wonderful article! Great thoughts. Thanks to your Mom!

 

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