Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dressing With Selfless Style Part 1

That's not a word we hear used very often in our society today.
Mystique simply means keeping the sacred things sacred.
When a woman carelessly exposes her body, her heart and her most intimate secrets to just anyone, she strips herself of all mystery, intrigue and fascination.
Feminine mystique is something that is severely lacking in our world today and in most Christian circles. But our King is stirring many to reclaim what was once dragged through the mud and raise it to heavenly heights.

I'm talking about much more than just being "modest".
Some think that being modest means you have to wear baggy, frumpy clothes that cover up any feminine beauty that is there.
A woman who exudes true feminine beauty dresses to reflect the joy and radiance that is overflowing from her heart.
She dresses to honor the men around her.
Her outward beauty is an expression of the transformation that has taken place inside of her.
Her goal is to point people's eyes to Jesus, not herself.

Here is the key principle to dressing selflessly-to dress as a daughter of the King rather than a product of pop culture. To lay down the pursuit of gaining the applause and approval of the world and to live for His smile alone.

I know that I have definitely struggled through the many practicalities of what is pleasing to Him and what is not but before you get into the logistics of it, here are some questions to prayerfully ask yourself.

-Does the way I dress place value on the status symbols and materialism of the world?
-Am I so consumed with keeping my look up to date that I spend a large amount of time and energy shopping for the latest trends? Am I insecure and uncomfortable if I'm not wearing the latest fads?
-Do I secretly look down on people that are not wearing the current styles?
-Is there anything in my appearance that is sending the wrong message to the world about what my true priorities are?

Remember, it is more than possible to dress stylishly without being enslaved to the world's trends and status symbols. However, it's important to recognize thatit is not a woman's clothing or sense of style that gives her grace and dignity-but the Christlike radiance that exudes from her inner being.

The true gentleman of yesteryear were not enticed by sensual outfits but were captivated by true feminine beauty and grace. When a lady walked into the room, he noticed the sparkle of her eyes and the radiance of her smile, not the outline of her body. You can encourage this outlook in our generation by dressing with selfless dignity.

Showing Skin. Here is the most helpful standard I have found when it comes to showing skin: any area of your body that can be associated with sensuality is not to be touched or seen by anyone except your husband or future husband. For example, there's nothing sensual about touching someone's elbow. Many times a gentleman may take a woman by the arm if he is escorting her. However, places like upper thighs or stomach are associated with sensuality therefore are not appropriate places for touch or to be seen. Upper chest, thighs, stomach-these might seem like harmless areas to show off but if you were married and wanted to stay that way, you wouldn't allow another guy to touch you in any of those places? So why would you allow another guy to have the privilege of loooking at what was meant for your husband alone?

Tight and Form-Fitting. Clothes that are worn tightly can be just as sensual as clothes that reveal alot of skin. It's really the same rule of thumb. A turtleneck might not show any skin whatsoever, but if it is extrememly tight in the chest area, you are leaving very little to the imagination for any guy who happens to look your way. The same goes with skirts and pants. They might cover every inch of skin, but if they cling too snugly to your figure, you are allowing guys to view what is only meant for your husband.

"Make it your goal that when a guy looks at you, he will notice the light of Christ in your eyes and the radiance of your smile rather than being distracted by the outline of your body." ~Leslie Ludy

While we don't want to get carried away with a whole list of rules, as representatives of King Jesus, we must be held to higher standards than what this world might call "normal".

When our chief aim is to bring glory to Christ; when we are far more consumed with Him than the trivial things of the world; and when we learn to put others above ourselves-we will excel at the lost art of social grace and dressing with dignity.

What are some helpful tips or standards that have assisted you in dressing for your King and not for the world?

To go a little deeper and find some helpful resources, here are some great websites to check out.


Strawberry said...

Great post, Angela! As parents, we worked very hard to help our daughter understand the importance of how she dressed. We also tried to help our son understand the same about the girls he might consider for friends or future mate.

You are a precious example of a daughter of the King of Kings!