Welcome and Blessings!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I have named this blog "Running to the Cross" because that is what I often find myself doing...running to be with my Lord Jesus! I often cover many aspects of life on my blog, as it is my journal. I used to write things down in all sorts of notebooks, but my writings would soon be lost. So I decided that it was time to start a blog and share my thoughts and ideas with others. Many topics you will find here are prayers, homemaking and organization, children and pregnancy, funny stories, and the challenges of parenting and motherhood. If you enjoy my blog and leave me a comment, you are likely to have me visit! I love meeting others and gleaning from the lives of others. May you be blessed! Your friend in Christ, Heather

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dressing Modestly

A few years back, six to be exact, I was convicted to do away with my shorts, my sleeveless tops, and pants. Instead, I planned to wear skirts, modest blouses & shirts, jumpers, and dresses.

I was brought up in a family that pretty much dressed for comfort. If it fit, you wore it. If it was hot outside you wore shorts, sandals, and a tank shirt or short sleeved shirt. If it was cold outside you wore a sweater or long sleeved shirt and jeans. You wore what was in style and what was comfortable (or so you thought it was because that was all you knew).

There were a few girls in the public school that I attended that wore skirts all the time and they never cut their hair. We all knew that they did this because of their family's religious beliefs, but we never even gave it a second thought that they were also teaching modesty in dress. Life went on, I continued to dress as I pleased, although I was careful of my choices by not choosing the low cut blouse or the very short skirt. Still, when I look back at those days I cringe at the thought of wearing those too tight jeans.

When I began going to church with my husband (then future husband), things were still the same. The church never questioned my choices of clothing, in fact they (all the women) wore jeans also. They, too, dressed for comfort and were oblivious to the way that jeans and slacks show almost every detail of a woman's shape.

It wasn't until I visited a dear family from the classical Christian school my husband taught at that my eyes were opened to the way I dress. We had moved 1100 miles away from the school my husband taught at (and my old stomping grounds) 3 years earlier and this was our first visit back "home". We were visiting friends and family on this trip and we were invited over to the home of a family that had attended the classical Christian school (the one that my husband taught at).

Upon arriving at the family's house, the lady of the house approached me and pulled me aside. She then said to me, "I am glad that my husband is not able to make it for your visit because you are wearing shorts. I would not feel comfortable with him here because he might be tempted to look where he ought not look (mostly at my legs for they were bare)." I then apologized and told her that I had planned on wearing a dress, but I wasn't able to change in time. (The comment hit me square in the eyes, I had never thought of it that way, and I wasn't offended, rather embarrassed of my clothing choices that day.)

As we ventured inside the house our conversation continued and I learned why she wore dresses. I also learned about the magazine Above Rubies and how they were in support of large families. She also gave me a sermon on The Purity in Clothing that I listened to on the way home from our trip. It spoke to the very depths of my heart. From there, I was convicted to no longer wear jeans and shorts. In fact, I began cutting all of my jeans and jean shorts into little squares for a patchwork quilt (that still has to be made). ;o)

Clothing has taken a whole new perspective for me. Now I dress to cover my body so that other husband's eyes are not tempted to look where they shouldn't. Now I don't wear shapeless bags of dresses that hide my feminine figure completely. That's no better than wearing a pair of baggy sweat pants and an over sized T-shirt! I wear long dresses that define the waist, but not the bust. They are modest in the neckline and are not too short (that is, between my mid-calf & ankles). I wear dresses that look feminine and provide adequate coverage in all areas that might attract attention. Some of my favorites have a pretty floral pattern on them and when I put them on they change my whole attitude for the day.

On one occasion, I was 8 months pregnant and feeling really down. A friend of mine at church had loaned me a few of her maternity dresses (since I had so few at the time). As I was trying on dresses, I got to this one that I wasn't sure about. It was very feminine and it had blue roses all over it. I wasn't sure if I would like it, but when I tried it on, I didn't want to take it off!!! I felt so pretty and feminine in it that I made a pattern off of it and made my own!!! My whole countenence changed by this one act of putting on a pretty and feminine dress.

Wearing dresses only is a conviction that has changed my life. I see things in a different light now. However, I don't go around telling other people who are NOT dressed as I am that they need to change. I simply tell them my story of why I wear dresses. If they don't change from my story, then so be it. I am not going to stop being their friend just because they don't have my same convictions. I may encourage them to consider wearing dresses, but if they don't change they will at least be more aware of how they have choosen to dress. If God wants them to change, then ONLY God can change them.

So, why did I choose to wear dresses only?
1) I was convicted to do so. God changed my heart on the matter of dress.
2) I view clothing now as a covering not a trend.
3) I don't want to tempt anybody else's husband to look where they shouldn't, as jeans define the figure showing every nook & cranny.
4) I want my husband, and him only, to see my shape, my whole shape.

There are many scriptures that support my convictions, but I will get to them in a later post.

May you have a Blessed and Fruitful Day!
Heather

7 comments:

LeadingThemToHim said...

What a blessing!

I was raised to dress modestly...us girls were never allowed to wear anything but long dresses/skirts. I am very thankful to my parents for instilling that in me.

Thanks for sharing!
~Chelsie

runningtothecross said...

Chelsie,
I am thankful for my dear friend who was bold enough to tell me of her convictions, it really opened my eyes.

My mom had a hard time with it at first because she didn't raise me that way. I had to reassure her that I wasn't rebelling against the way she raised me, I was just following my convictions.

Thankfully now we attend a church that holds to the same convictions about dress as I do (at least most of the members). Many of the women make their own dresses. The young ladies, who have been raised wearing dresses, have also been a blessing to me.

Since then, I have designed & made many maternity & nursing dresses for myself.

Blessings!
Heather

Cajunchic said...

Like you I was raised in a family that hardly ever wore dresses. I was taught a more of a "if it looks good, flaunt it" mentality. I always have a problem explaining to people why I feel the way I do about dressing modestly. I know it in my head and can explain it to my kids but have a problem putting into words when I explain it to someone else. Thanks for the post.

motherofmany said...

I think it is very common for us to do something (or not do it) because we never question it. I regret to say I used to poke fun at my cousins who wore only dresses and had long hair. But as I realized as an adult, people knew who they were (meaning Christians) just by looking. Instant witness.

Like you, I have trouble getting my hair to grow very long because it is so curly. It gets frizzy. So shoulder length is about where I can get before it just frizzes out. But that's better than the 'wedge' cut I used to wear.

Ashley said...

I don't want to criticize you and in fact I just wrote a comment thanking you for inspiring me but I do have one question. You wrote that you wear dresses so that husbands won't be tempted to look at you but shouldn't the husbands be at fault and not you? It shouldn't be your fault if they can't keep their eyes where they should be. That's just my opinion and I'm sorry if I offend you. I did really enjoy reading other posts that you have written though.

-Ashley

runningtothecross said...

Ashley,

I'm not offended at all, you brought up a very good point. I am NOT responsible for other husbands actions, but I don't want to draw attention to parts of my body that would cause them to stumble. If I am dressing to cover my shape, then I am less likely to draw attention to those places.

In a survey I read once, it may have been the Rebelution (www.therebelution.com), someone was asked what was the first place they looked when they saw a woman wearing jeans, & they gave a honest answer, the crotch.

And as unfortunate as that might be, it's true. They were created to be physically attracted to the woman's body, therefore I have opted to cover mine, and keep it only for my husband.

I hope that I didn't offend you!
I tend to be very blunt and matter of fact, at times.

Blessings!
Heather

Ashley said...

Nope, you didn't offend me at all and I do understand your reasoning behind wearing the dresses.