Just read a great blog about modesty. It was written by men to women, so sweet and so encouraging! Its so sweet to be reminded that men do value modesty in women and not just in our clothes. And so encouraging to be reminded that modesty is something I'm called to! It makes it a lot easier to live a life of modesty and not just wear a wardrobe of it when it has eternal significance!
Speaking of significance, let me translate my thought. As one man said modesty is deeper than our looks or clothing, its the way I carry myself, what I choose to draw attention to, how I speak, and how I choose to live life with the people around me. Externally, you can chalk a lack of modesty up to "daddy issues" or "attention seeking" but the issue is deeper than that, much deeper and deserves to be acknowledged. All women struggle with modesty and sexuality. Our natural bend is to believe our worth is based on our bodies. We evaluate our value and others based on outward appearance and an inward lie. Now whether or not that manifests itself in our wardrobe is another topic but in some form we all fall prey to it. Ladies I know every one of you can attest to this in your own life some way, internally or externally. Whether it's a woman's struggle to want to flaunt it cuz she got it or a need for some sense of intimacy. Or maybe it is a self loathing based on insecurities so we tell ourselves "at least I'm not her" or "I will loose the weight this year." Whatever it is its doing damage.
But I think there is something to be said about all that. And that something is that we have misplaced our significance. Kind of like we misplace our keys or wallet or cell phone. We know where it is for a while until one day we get careless. Slowly but surely we no longer go to the same place everyday to find it, instead we begin to treat it as if it were dispensable. We seem to forget the cost to replace it is just TOO costly. There in lies the problem. For believers we know exactly with whom and where we can find our worth but even then after time its as if we never had it to begin with. And before we know it our significance is gone and we are in a frenzy trying to find it.
But why? Why do we continue to fall prey to something we know to be as disastrous as this! One major reason is that we choose to not believe what's true of us. As women our fallen sin is to make the choice to question our significance and our identity CONSTANTLY.
One mans response was how attractive it is for him to see a woman put all her identity in Christ and look to him for it because he knows he never can be that for her. But that is EXACTLY what we do! We look to someone or something else to tell us we are worthy when we've already been proven to be! But deeper still we must go...
If we know Christ alone can give us worth and identity why are we still searching? Why do I still search? A couple things come to my mind...mostly because I don't believe it to be true. That truth hasnt shaken the very foundation I stand on! It doesn't resonate in the deepest parts of my soul. I know it in my head and yet my heart still remains numb to it. Because I'm not secure in my identity as a beloved daughter of God and beautiful bride of Christ, I look to myself or the world. Whenever one fails the other is my default not my beloved. So when "miss independent" is no longer gratifying then to the world I turn, as my nature would have it.
The world tells us women one of two things. One, we have to use our bodies to get the attention, love, and significance we desire. That if you're not putting something out a guy won't come around or he won't stick around. And if we don't fit the criteria then just move along and if we do we can measure ourselves up to another. It isnt true and only produces vanity and/or self loathing. Second, going to the opposite end of the spectrum is the self-righteous world that tells us, you're too good for putting yourself out there physically. You are a great catch and any guy would be lucky to have you. Your humor is appealing, your beauty is beyond, your intellect is superior and every guy should want you but just hold out for the perfect one. And how often do we reinforce that in each other? I'm so guilty of it. I'm so quick to tell a friend there is only one perfect male specimen for her when the truth is that's not a realistic expectation. We aren't perfect for them yet we wait for one to be perfect for us to meet our needs for value and identity. Its self serving and not love at all, not to mention that a guy never can be for me or any other woman what only Christ can be. As another man put it "when we know that Christ's blood has made us pure then we adorn ourselves in purity. And that's the most attractive dress you will ever put on". As a woman that is a tough pill to swallow- to really meet my desires for love and significance face to face for what they really are; but the reward of being brought back to a truth as sweet as those two sentences is worth it!
Because at the end of the day I am still a sinner unworthy by nature. There is nothing about me or within me that without Christ is attractive. For the first lie, my body gives me no worth without Christ indwelling it. And we are made in his image...its his image we mimic and if there is anything about mine or any ones body that makes it naturally attractive its purely because he designed us to reflect his beauty. For the second lie, there is absolutely nothing about me internally worthy of perfection from anyone else and yet Christ still chose to give me himself! My heart is decietful, selfish and stone. It doesn't desire to lay down for another and it doesn't seek the best of another. Anything good within me is nothing short of Jesus and his transformation which I cannot take credit for either. The same is true of men, they are just as human as I am. Now not to say Christ won't use a man to call us into deeper intimacy with him and that he won't use two becoming one to do HIS perfect work in us- but to long for a human to be what only Christ is just won't work.
So ladies, we have got to stop holding out and looking for Mr Right and realize He already has found us and he already chose us! He has called me his and compares my beauty to no one else! He has given me identity as His father's daughter, significance as His eternal bride, and purpose here to share His beautiful truth with the world I come in contact with. So ladies with all the grace in the heavens I say, stop searching and seek Christ alone! He has adorn you with his finest jewels and robe, he has prepared a feast in your honor and home like no other! So let's bare the weight of glory and not our mid-drifts. Let us show the world a beauty unlike anything this world can ever know and put the clevage away. Let us carry righteousness with us and not a bitter heart. And may we always know our "prince charming" found us, laid down his life for us, and before the world began he knew us!
Because as the scripture says, beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Christ is out to create that kind of beauty within us and he will not settle for anything less! You are loved, you are worthy, and you are BEAUTIFUL!