Just recently I took the stance that I will be selling modest sewing patterns. Modesty is something I have struggled with. Not in the fact that I feel like I am flaunting my stuff, but in the fact that I don’t know what it is. For some it means wearing skirts all the time. For others it means a comfy pair of jeans and T shirt. There are many reasons I was lost in this area, I am not going to go in to them. The point is for the last couple years I have been trying to wrap my brain around the whole modesty thing.
I have traveled through different modesty outlooks in my life. The definition I grew up with was redefined at one point in my life. Redefined as in I did things to make people happy. I am a people pleaser, and want to make everyone happy. In the process I lost my own definition in a sea of everyone else’s definition. When I finally started defining it once again for myself I began praying about it. First and foremost I want to please God. Between me and God I began forming a new definition. One that was comfortable for me and I felt God approved of. At the same time I still felt insecure. What if I made someone mad. What if I offended someone? I battled this for along time and I probably will always struggle with it. But what I came to realize is modesty comes from the heart. I believe modesty is something that should be decided on between you, your husband, and God. I am finding this true with so many things. The more I began to think about this concept, I began to realize modesty applies to all aspects of our lives, not just clothing. I think modesty is a balance. A thing that is determined between you, your spouse, and God. It is easy as humans, to look at others and think they are out of line. It is easy to judge what someone is doing because we see and tiny corner of their life. It’s not right, but its the truth. I am guilty of it, and I am guessing each one of us has been guilty of it at some point.
“That person has too fancy of a house.”
“That person spends to much time at work.”
“That person doesn’t discipline their kids enough.”
It is easy to point the finger at others and say to ourself what they are doing is wrong. It is harder to point the finger at ourself and examine our own life. This concept of modesty has helped me overcome the should be’s and how to’s and guilts associated with worrying I am not living my life up to someone else’s code. I firmly believe that if we have a heart to do what God wants us to modesty in all areas of our life will show. It’s not as simple as saying, yep I want what God wants. We actually have to put that to action by humbly kneeling down and surrendering our own desires. To truly seek and be willing to do what pleases God.
Once I got my sights properly set on what God wanted I turned my eyes to what others wanted. First and foremost my husband. We grew up in two very different lives, so we have had to mesh our upbringings together to come up with our own. There are things that I do that probably wouldn’t be on the top of my husbands “please do that list”, but he knows they don’t really matter and he is ok with it. On the flip hand, there are things I do that are not high on my “I am going to do that list”, but I do them because I respect my husband. We come to a middle ground, respecting each other in the process. I think this is the second aspect of modesty. Respecting others. There is only so far you can go with this though. Finding the battles to win and lose respectfully. Once I got to where God and my husband wanted me, I really struggled with still worrying about what others thought or expected of me. I want to be respectful, but I don’t want to lose myself in the process. I don’t think this is something that can be measured. I think it once again comes back to being on the same page as God. If you are, he will lead your heart to do, or not do, wear or not wear, the things that are important. I have learned to just really be in tune with His desires of me and to follow those leadings even if I don’t want to. I think if we start doing whatever we feel like just because it isn’t wrong, we lose focus on what God wants us to do.
Modesty is a balance. A balance that comes from your heart. God uses each on of us in a different way. He created each one of us to be our own person. We arn’t created to please everyone or do everything. We need to stop trying to. Instead we need to kneel down and ask God what he wants from us. Then we need to plead that we can carry that out.