Wednesday, April 27, 2011

She Wears Skirts-A Guest Post On Modesty Written By My Husband

I asked my husband Sean to write something on modesty for our series. I had no idea that he was going to write about me, and his experience of learning about the concept of dressing modestly! Mingled in the story is a little bit of how we met! He will finish up this post next Wednesday.

Sean and I about to go on a date!

Let me start by saying that I feel, somehow, honored to have been invited by the Modest Mom (Caroline to me) to guest post on her blog. I also have some sensation in the pit of my stomach akin to a feeling I get when I accompany my wife to a midwife appointment; something like, "You are welcome here, though you have the right to remain silent..." or "You're not from around these parts, are you?" I'll try to post confidently, after all, Caroline, I mean, the Modest Mom officially requested that I do this.

I wanted to rehearse for you how I first became acquainted with the principle of modesty, how it radically altered my perspective concerning women in general, and how it has continued to shape my interaction with them.

To be brief, my first exposure to modesty (not sure those two words are comfortable in the same sentence) was upon seeing my future wife and her sister sitting across the room at a scripture study at college. I was 20 years old and I believe I can honestly say that the issue of modesty had never crossed my mind - ever. I hadn't, up to that moment, paused to consider if there was a right and a wrong when it came to dress, much less the behavior which endues our appearance with a particular spirit. So, there they were, meekly seated across the room from me, completely separate in their attire from every other young lady in the room, very nearly glowing in their probity, and I had the thought come to me, "Those girls are just plain WEIRD."
Perhaps not the epiphany you were expecting. Something significant, though, had happened to me, something which set the stage for the cluster of revelations which were to come regarding this issue - I had actually seen modesty, and everything it implies, with my own eyes. Strange as it was to my carnal mind at the time, it was undeniable in its distinctiveness - that is, there were definite, purposeful motivations driving the young ladies to dress as they did, and in the nearly abandoned, certainly neglected center of my heart, I knew it. It would take me another year or so to acknowledge this and summon the courage to ask at least one of the young ladies - WHY?

If I shared all of what transpired on this little journey of my mine, it would make for lengthy reading. Suffice it to say that only God could have arranged matters in such a way that a year later, I found myself the head of a small group study with a certain young lady assigned as one of my "students." I expect it is rare when a teacher learns more from his student than she from him, but such was my experience over the course of the next few months. I am not ashamed to admit this, but I sat at my future wife's feet that semester and was schooled in the ways purity. She never would have done this had I not been so inquisitive. By this time, the thought in my heart concerning her appearance had greatly matured from "strange" to "I absolutely must know why this lovely young lady dresses, no, more than dresses, IS the way she is! What scriptural exegetic is she tapping that drives her to live thus?!" I was transfixed by her "way of life" and I absolutely had to get to the "why" and "what for" behind it. Her answer came with a gentle and quiet confidence, "It's really quite simple..."

And it is, and always will be.

You see, as I scheduled a curious number of group "discussions" that semester, I took the opportunity to probe Caroline concerning the decisions she had made concerning her walk with God. Nearly all of her decisions could be viewed as accessory to her decision for modesty. In other words, her decision for modesty governed her decisions in many other areas of Christian import. Having said that, modesty itself is an appendage to femininity and femininity to godliness. Caroline never came right out and said this, (would never have even thought it) but what I kept hearing throughout our discussions was, "I am a woman, made in the image of God, and if you were a true man of God, you would treat me, with all dignity and honor, according to the rights and privileges afforded to me by my Creator." This was completely new to me. I just thought that, well, I'm not sure what I thought about women. With a few notable exceptions (my mother, grandmother, precious few church women) seeing women aspire to and attain unto every role men traditionally displaced was all that I had ever known. Even most of the dwindling number of housewives in my experience looked and acted like feminine men with slightly longer hair. Yet here I was was talking with a woman who hadn't the slightest desire to look, act, or compete with, me. And bless God, it affected her appearance (for the better I might say ; ). Now, hear me, I have no desire to disparage any of the other young ladies that I attended the scripture study with for I believed, and still believe them to be sincere in their devotion to Christ and they blessed me in many ways. When I think of my wife, however, in chastity, virtue, and yes, modesty, my heart can only borrow the words of King Lemuel's mother, "...but thou excellest them all." It was on account of these undeniable qualities which my eventual wife exhibited that completely captivated my heart, and I, with much trembling, resolved to win her.

It proved only to be the beginning.

To be continued....

Make sure you go over to Raising Arrow's Blog, as we have blogged about how to dress when pregnant and nursing.

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She Wears Skirts

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At April 27, 2011 at 11:37 AM , Blogger Angi said...

What a wonderful post! It is rare a man who is intrigued in a women's character. Your wife is very lucky!

At April 27, 2011 at 1:18 PM , Blogger MamaAnt said...

Thank you for sharing!

At April 27, 2011 at 1:26 PM , Anonymous Emily said...

Thank you for this great insight to man's views of modesty. Always a good thing to hear.

I don't have Facebook, but I still wanted to comment on a topic i would like to see written about.

I am very new to the only skirt lifestyle. In fact I only wear skirts in public; at home I still wear pants. I go to a secular college where I get comments on my skirts fairly often. How do you handle the comments from non-Christians and Christians alike who don't understand your choices? Its not happened yet, but I could guarantee you that no one outside of my parents will understand why I choose to wear only skirts; when they ask.

I can't stand legalism where they say its a sin to wear pants. Our family has been tortured by people like that in the past. So I don't want to look "holier than thou" or very pious about wearing only skirts. But I still want others to understand where I am coming from and that this is a personal conviction for me straight from God. No one told me to dress like this; and I don't believe its holier.

I would appreciate any insight into how to handle situations like this when they arise.

Also, how do you stay warm in the winter? LIke I said, this is all new to me; its only been 7 weeks that I've been wearing only skirts; so I'm still learning how to do this. Normally in the winter, I just avoided all skirts and dresses even to church because I hate being cold.

At April 28, 2011 at 1:34 AM , Blogger Jo said...

It was lovely to hear this from a male perspective.

I was one of those "weird" girls and guess what, unlike your wonderful wife, I hated it, hated standing out being different - so I did that terrible thing and joined the world so I didn't stand out - I stopped wearing skirts and just wanted to be "modern". It took me a long time to get back on track and a lot of heart ache. Now I wear skirts all the time (Emily I do wear track pants at home in winter) and learning that it is ok to be different and that journey of "being different" is not one taken alone, but with God. Now I feel strange if I put on pants, I feel like a boy rather than a feminine woman.

PS (to your wife) it would be good if you could answer Emily's questions as I know many girls struggle with keeping warm in skirts - I wear tights all the time in winter and find that I am warmer than I am in trousers.

In Christ

At April 28, 2011 at 5:41 AM , Blogger Caroline said...

We plan on covering that very topic in just a few weeks! It seems to be a very common question.

At April 28, 2011 at 6:52 AM , Blogger Colleen said...

This is a beautiful post. I also am intrigued to read a man's view on the topic. Modesty in general fascinates me. Modesty in clothing and in character...both are so at odds with our world. I also struggle with how to explain the importance of modesty simply. Also how to teach children, both sons and daughters (although I don't have daughters yet:) about why being modest is so important. I would love to read more on this topic.

At April 28, 2011 at 4:33 PM , Blogger Mary Joy said...

Thank you so much for this post! My husband is actually thrilled that I felt convicted to show modesty by beginning to wear only modest skirts and dresses. It is a joy to see his eyes light up when he sees me. He says he loves it! He said I've always looked pretty and modest in pants or skirts but he loves that I am beginning to share my faith more by living out the convictions that God has placed on my heart to show my feminity by wearing skirts only. Thank you so much for this series...and for sharing your husband's honest experience and thoughts on the topic. :D

You are such a blessing!

Building home with Him,

Mary JOy

At May 1, 2011 at 2:57 PM , Anonymous Emily said...

Jo, thank you for your comments to mine. I appreciate hearing from women who have walked this path for many years. I also feel strange in pants and love when I can put a skirt on in place of the pants that are sometimes necessary right now for different reasons.

I look forward to reading about the warmth factor of skirts; that will be much help.

Thank you for all the work you put into this blog; it is such a blessing to me and I check it daily for updates!


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