Sunday, August 28, 2011


I know this topic might sound strange, but it's on my heart. It's the topic of modesty. I understand I probably just lost half of my readers' attention, but I feel moved to write about it. I'll admit it; I'm not the most modest person. Clothing is a struggle of mine... not risky clothing, but the materialistic "I want everything/ online shopping/ can't wear anything twice to church or a ball game/ I have to match going to bed/ etc." I grew up with 3 girls - why wouldn't I like to shop? But it doesn't matter if you have the cheap clothes, the expensive clothes, the appropriate seasoned clothes, as long as you're glorifying the Lord and not causing anyone (mostly boys) to stumble (sin). We automatically think about leading our brothers in Christ away by risky clothes, but it also affects sisters in Christ- jealousy forms then the pressure to fit in. You're right, we're all guilty. It's a fallen world and we're all sinners (saved by grace). 

I want to share this article with you by Mary A. Kassian called, "What and What Not to Wear". My aunt, Nicki sent it to me before starting my job at First Pres this summer. She thought it would be a good resource for mentoring girls. I read it then and simply forgot where I packed it. Tuesday night I ran across the article and reread it. I started thinking I needed to share it, but who wanted to read about modesty? After seeing Boy's Bid Day pictures yesterday, it motivated me to share my thoughts about modesty. I know I'm many seasons passed BBD, but I do have a Facebook. I genuinely do not care about statistics on my blog (if this subject bores you), just that it will (hopefully) further God's kingdom through our beautiful situation. Make sense? With all that to say, here's the article. The link is: if you would rather read it there. I highlighted my favorite parts. 

What and What Not to Wear

Mary A. Kassian

Is It Becoming or Unbecoming?

Kosmio is the descriptive form of the Greek noun kosmos (to put in order, trim, adorn, or decorate), which is related to our English word cosmos—the universe. The Greeks regarded the universe to be an ordered, integrated, harmonious whole. Kosmos is the opposite of chaos. So when Paul told women that their adornment should be kosmio, he meant that like the universe, all the parts should be harmoniously arranged with the other parts. It should be “becoming”—that is, appropriate or fitting. Given the context, I believe Paul was implying that our adornment ought to be becoming on a number of different levels.

First and foremost, your clothing ought to be becoming, fitting to, and consistent with your character as a child of GodBut it also ought to be becoming to your body type, becoming to your femininity, becoming to your husband, becoming to the other clothes you are wearing, and becoming to the occasion and place you intend to wear it. There’s a tremendous amount of guidance in that small word, becoming. It challenges you to evaluate your clothes, shoes, purses, makeup, and hair from multiple angles as part of the harmonious, integrated whole of your life—to line up the seen with the unseen and the temporal with the eternal. It challenges you to bring a cosmic perspective to bear on your everyday decisions.
I like the word Paul chose. It has enormous implications. Kosmio means that a Christian woman’s “look” ought to be consistently put together, inside and out. This challenges those who put an undue emphasis on external appearance as well as those who neglect their personal appearance. It’s a corrective to women who dress extravagantly. It’s a corrective to those who dress seductively. But it’s also a corrective to those who think that “holy” means frumpy, ugly, unfeminine, and out of style. Becoming indicates that running around in baggy jeans and T-shirts all the time is just as inappropriate as being obsessed with stylish clothing. It means that a woman’s appearance ought to be put together nicely. It ought to be pleasant and attractive—on the inside and the outside.

Is It Decent or Indecent?

The second word, aidous, is based on the Greek term for shame and disgrace. The word is a blend of modesty and humility. When I think about a word picture that personifies this concept, I think of approaching God with eyes that are downcast.

It involves a sense of deficiency, inferiority, or unworthiness. It suggests shame, but also a corresponding sense of reverence and honor toward rightful authority. It’s the opposite of insolence, imprudence, disrespect, or audacity. Downcast eyes are the opposite of defiant eyes.
So does dressing with your eyes downcast mean that you are self-conscious? No. It means that your clothing tells the truth about the gospel. Your clothing shows the world that Jesus covers your shame and makes you decent. Your clothes cover your nakedness as the clothing of Christ covers your sin.
Dressing “with eyes downcast” means that you choose clothes that are decent in His eyes . . . not clothes that are provocative, seductive, and that honor nakedness. When you dress decently, you recognize that God ordained clothes to cover, and not draw attention to, your naked skin. You cover up out of respect for Him, the gospel, your Christian brothers—and out of respect for who He made you to be. Decency means you agree with the Lord about the true purpose of clothing and set aside your self-interest to dress in a way that exalts Christ.
So in that dressing room trying on that skirt, take time to sit, bend, and stretch in front of that mirror, and ask yourself, Is this skirt decent? Does it do what it should do? Does it properly cover me up? Does it showcase my underlying nakedness—or exalt the gospel of Christ?

Is It Moderate or Excessive?

The final thing to ask yourself about clothing is whether it is moderate or excessive. Paul uses the Greek word sophrosunes. It means “of a sound mind; curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate.” The word indicates that our adornment should be reasonable and not crazy. We ought to rein in our impulses and avoid extremes in fashion, hairstyles, and makeup. We also ought to avoid spending crazy amounts of money or stuffing our closets full of crazy quantities of clothing (CONVICTED -mkks). We ought to govern our wardrobe choices with a sense of moderation, simplicity, and self-control. If the outfit is crazy extreme, crazy expensive, or if it’s crazy for you to be buying another one, then you ought to pass it up.
Understanding the purpose of clothing and asking yourself the three questions, Is it becoming? Is it decent? and Is it moderate? will help you figure out how to dress. And don’t forget to include your “Helper” in the process. The Holy Spirit is an invaluable source of assistance when it comes to figuring out whether or not your appearance glorifies God. If your heart is right and you seek His guidance, He will be your personal wardrobe consultant and teach you what and what not to wear.

Um, convicted. This article is for me. I have so much to learn in this department. I can see my mom reading this and saying, "Well the next time you need a dress to wear, I'm going to tell you to shop at Wal-Mart." I will probably not take that very well, but that's my own struggle (and I’m married). I want the nice things. I feel like I'm entitled to the nice dresses. My mom has done a FABULOUS job dressing us, from when we were firstborn to.... now. Yes, she has much better taste than I do! I trust her to pick out any dress for any occasion. I am convicted when it's my own money, but not anyone else's. Again, it's a struggle. I'm glad I'm not alone in this battle of clothing. It's hard in this culture to find something modest and attractive. The world pushes you to buy things you can't afford or things you honestly can't fit into. 

From a brother in Christ's perspective (my husband), he would kill me (not really) if I left the house with a lot of skin showing (I wouldn’t do it anyway). He doesn't want to sin or lead another believer to. Sisters in Christ, we are responsible for what we wear. We are responsible for not causing brothers to sin. Think about that before you get dressed. Just to get this straight, I’M SPEAKING TO MYSELF - just helps to get it out on "paper" :) After writing this I took an hour to think about the subject. Who am I to be talking about clothes when I have a full closet and sometimes wear the wrong clothes? I’m typing it to encourage you and also me. I obviously struggle with this issue and want to join in yours.
modest looks but EXPENSIVE

my favorite look

On another note, Xavier (as Crawford calls it - terrrrible) is now a sweet potato! That change occurred on Tuesday, I think. We're awaiting September 8th to see the doctor! Keep all 3 of us in your prayers. 
Just a'growin

Lastly, WEDDING PROOFS ARE ONLINE! They are GREAT, in my opinion. If you would like to view them, click this link. Jeannie Frey Rhodes is AMAZING. By the way, after looking at these pictures I remembered hoe hot and tired I was. Oops! 
Try this first...
Guests/ Username: Kennedy/ Password: 25684-kennedy

1 comment:

  1. I loved this post Mary Kathleen! I've always thought "modesty" only meant how much skin you're showing/not showing but I've never thought about the "excessive" and "extreme" and even "frumpy" issues too. So eye-opening {and convicting, I confess}... Thank you for sharing!