Thursday, March 20, 2014

Modest Dress: The Heart of the Issue Surrounding Clothing, Sexuality & Biblical Femininity

Our family had always tried to dressed as modestly as we could in our pants, however I wondered why some Christian families had all of their ladies wear dresses or skirts.  I couldn’t find a scripture that said, “Thou shall always wear dresses or skirts”, and yet we continually saw beautiful, conservative families dressing this way exclusively and intentionally.  We’ve watched clothing trends moved towards less and less material especially for women and even worse, less and less clothing for young women and girls – and disappointingly, the church is less and less a haven of refuge from these trends. 

I'll share with you,
  • How and why we began wearing skirts exclusively
  • My 4 Original Objections to Exclusive Skirts
  • Creating My New Look
  • Changes of the Heart 
  • Online Resources
 (A sweat pants skirt and sweatshirt - one of my favorite outfits *smile*)
Finding pants for our girls that were even moderately conservative was becoming nearly impossible.  Then in 2007 some dear friends of ours suddenly made the change themselves to wearing only dresses and skirts – and I had the opportunity to inquire as to the reasoning behind this. 

How and Why We Began Wearing Skirts Exclusively
This friend loaned me a book she had recently read that changed not only the clothing they chose to wear but also their hearts in many ways.  The book, Dressing with Dignity, by Colleen Hammond (written from a Catholic perspective, which we do not endorse, but there’s little reference to this in the book), gives an abundance of practical how’s and why’s of truly dressing and behaving modestly.  There is a link to this book on our “Recommended Books” list.  It is a smaller book, concise, persuasive, very informative in practical information.  This was an opportunity for us to tie what we had been doing casually to some great Biblical principles, physical realities, and emotional needs of our girls while at the same time setting a great example for our boys, and protecting the eyes of men around us.  

We do not want to stir up inappropriate thoughts or behaviors on the part of men or boys, or provoke emotional or physical actions towards our girls.  There is a difference between dressing attractively and dressing to attract (not that dressing to attract her husband is a bad thing when a girl is married!).  We are preserving our girls’ innocence while they are learning to accentuate their grace and beauty.  (Dressing modestly does not mean frumpy!)  Our family has also been so pleased to discover several other invaluable blessings after our transition to modest clothing!  *smile!*

Before learning some reasoning for wearing only dresses and skirts we were trying to find pants that weren’t too tight in the bottom, too low on the hips, or shorts that weren’t “short-short”.  One of the reasons for wearing dresses or skirts exclusively is that when a woman is wearing pants a man’s eyes fall to a woman’s crotch.  This isn’t necessarily intentional; it’s just the nature of men “to look”.

“Advertising agencies quickly prepared marketing research to find out the reaction of men to a woman wearing pants.  Do you know what they found?  Using newly developed technology, they tracked the path that a man’s eyes take when looking at a woman in pants.  They found that when a man looked at a woman in pants form the back, he looked directly at her bottom.  When he looked at a woman wearing pants from the front, advertisers found that his eyes dropped directly to a woman’s most private and intimate area.  Not her face!  Not her chest! (DWD, p. 49)”

And when we’re talking about wearing dresses and skirts I mean long ones, not mini ones.   When women wear slacks, short dresses or skirts, or ones with a long slit, men’s eyes follow the lines he sees right up her legs and complete the picture in their imagination.  (Women’s eyes do the same thing, but since women don’t have the same type of temptation their imaginations don’t complete the picture like men’s do.)

And yet,
“…when a woman dresses with dignity, men tell me that this appeals to their chivalrous nature.  Her femininity helps them to elevate their thoughts (not to mention their eyes).  It allows them to uphold a woman’s honor, to respect truth and beauty, and to grow in their role as a ‘gallant knight’ (DWD, p.14).”

God’s Word speaks very clearly about our responsibility towards one another, and on being above reproach. 

“You have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Thou shall not commit adultery.’  But I say to you that anyone who so much as looks with lust at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  - Matthew 5:27-29.

 “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”  - 1 Cor. 8:9.  (also Rom. 14:13b; 1 Cor. 10:23, 24, 27-32.)

“I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”  - 1 Cor. 7:35.

“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching…”  - John 14:23.

God’s Word is not to be taken lightly.  We cannot say that we have made Him Lord of our life, and yet keep certain areas of life for our own pleasure.  You may have heard it said, “He is lord of all, or He isn’t lord at all.”  Christians belong to Him, we are purchased with the price of His Son’s life.  We show Him love through our obedience, and we are held accountable to what we have learned.  God was bringing revelation to my spirit, and initially I didn’t like it, and I didn’t want to “sacrifice” my clothing style likes for obedience.  But God surprised me.  *smile* 


My 4 Original Objections to Exclusive Skirts
As I contemplated the reality of making this change in lifestyle, I shared with my friend four of my main concerns,
  1.     “Isn’t it uncomfortable; don’t you feel dressed-up all the time?”  According to her testimony initially, and now from what I’ve found - not at all!  Wearing dresses or skirts doesn’t necessarily mean dressed up formally.  We girls in the family began searching out a style of dresses and skirts that was “us” – pretty but casual, comfortable, feminine, and attractive – not frumpy.  We buy all of our clothes used, so we began frequenting our favorite used-clothing stores every week looking for dresses, skirts, and shoes for all our ladies.  Initially we found 1-3 items at a time for one of us.  We couldn’t afford to just go out and replace my and our 3 daughter’s wardrobes suddenly; it took a year or two to really grow a new wardrobe and find what types of dresses & skirts we were comfortable in.  The Lord so blessed our decision towards modesty this way!  We have found plenty of real nice clothes for each of us, and doing it used was very affordable.  *smile*  We are more comfortable now than we ever were in pants, and we feel much more feminine (more on this down below). 
  2.     “How do you clean a bathroom in a dress?”  My friend replied with a smile and in her practical way that I love, “The same way our grandmothers did.”  And she was right.  With comfortable skirts or dresses it’s just as easy as it is in pants.  With the right skirt or dress on (not too full or too long), it’s no big deal, actually.
  3.     “How do you stay warm in the fall and winter?”  We wear what we refer to as “dress pants” and/or warm knee-high socks or tights.  Our littlest girls wear cute bloomers, or white stretch pants/shorts (because white goes with all of their dresses), or Capri sweat pants or stretch pants.  The older girls also have white stretch pants or shorts, or other thin cotton Capri pants, like brown ones to wear under their brown skirt, grey ones for under denim if they’d like.  I wear either a pants slip that goes to my knees, or white Capri or long stretch pants.  We all have tights, and we have knee-high boots, and warm under tops that also help, and sweaters & sweatshirts.  We’re very warm! 
  4.     “How do little girls play easily and modestly?”  They always have some sort of “dress pants” on.  We do keep one pair of jeans and one pair of shorts for each of the girls for when they ride bikes in the yard and when they go boating in Puget Sound in the summer.  They can’t climb in and out of the boat into waist-high salt water wearing a dress.  Swimming shorts are pretty modest, and wet suits are worn when they’re swimming, plus life jackets.  It’s not exactly “skimpy” attire when we go boating in Puget Sound!  *LOL*  No matter how hot of a summer day it is, Puget Sound is C-O-L-D.  And boating is almost exclusively with just our extended family, so we’re not too concerned about it right now.  We start our baby girls into full time dresses when they learn to walk around age 1 because dresses don’t seem very conducive to crawling.

Creating My New Look
When starting out on our search for a whole new style, I really had no idea what to look for!  So I’ll give you an idea of what my favorite wardrobe includes now.  For every day wear I love cotton, stretchy fabrics best.  I’m also comfortable in soft cotton, corduroy, and twill fabrics.  I love an Eddie Bauer, J. Crew, or Gap look, fairly tailored but not confining, sometimes a little sporty, yet still very feminine.  Skirts need to have some room to move around in but I still prefer them to look slimming (too full makes me look like a tent), so I choose strait skirts with a slit to enable movement.  But never a slit in the front for obvious reasons.  I love tiny floral patterns for tops or solid colors, beige and denim skirts that go with most any top.  

We had to find a new shoe style, too, and I had no idea what that would look like at first.  We began patiently shopping at the used clothing stores so that buying several pairs of nice shoes for each of us wasn’t expensive at all.  I learned that a Merry Jane style shoe goes with any dress or skirt (not black patent leather necessarily, but the style of a Merry Jane), slip on flats, smaller, dainty tennis shoes, sandals, or a nice tailored boot.  I wear cotton knee high socks mostly as they go with Merry Jane style shoes or tall boots for warmth, sometimes I’ll wear tights or footless tights but I don’t prefer them, or cotton legging stretch pants, and ankle socks with tennis shoes.  Our girls dress very similarly to me in clothes and shoes. 

For Church I wear very similar clothes but not the sporty look, and I try not to wear denim as it just feels too casual.  I’ll wear a more fitted strait skirt because I’m not taking care of daily tasks and activities, or dressier fabrics like rayon for dresses.  I sometimes wear heals, although for me it’s harder to carry babies and toddlers wearing these right now, not to mention balancing when I’m expecting a baby *chuckle* , so I usually stick with low heals if any.


Changes of the Heart
There were a number of very pleasant unexpected heart changes for us ladies as well when we made this transition.  Women move and act differently when wearing a dress; I think all women would acknowledge this.  We began to feel and act more feminine, prettier, and even more submissive to the head of our home, my husband and the children’s daddy.  I always knew that my husband enjoyed seeing me in a dress every Sunday, but it never occurred to me to wear a dress all the time as a blessing to him.  This alone would have been worth the change!  *smile!*  After all, I’m the only wife he’s ever going to have – I desire to dress to please him.  

It’s good for a woman to fill her husband’s eyes and thoughts with pleasing sights to help him never be tempted to look else where.  Bob was thrilled with our new style, and was happy to fund our wardrobe change!  Now, I wasn’t neglected by him at all when wearing pants, but now I receive extra special attention and flirtations from the man of my life!  How fun is that to feel like my appearance is so pleasing to him, like when we were first courting!  

When I’m wearing a dress, I do not feel like trying to be the head of the home, either.  I didn’t realize that I had that tendency before we changed our clothing style, but I really did behave that way – and Bob felt it.  This may seem like an over exaggeration, but our marriage has really been blessed by changing over to dresses and skirts, and most all of the friends we’ve met  who have made this change in their own families (hundreds of families we’ve met now) have said the same thing!  It’s truly a deeper heart issue, the way we dress.  And Bob and I are so pleased to introduce these feelings, behaviors, and protective innocence in our girls at a young age.

Once learning of the Biblical importance and moral responsibility behind protecting men and boy’s eyes and thoughts, and our girls’ hearts, we did make the change pretty much “cold turkey”.  Once we found a couple of dresses or skirts for each of us to wear to start with, we wore those only, and we continued to shop for nice used clothing every week until we each had a complete wardrobe for each season.  Thankfully we began this process in the spring season of Washington so we did not need a bunch of warmer items immediately, just some basic summer dresses.  We gave away all of our pants, shorts, women’s Spedof brand one-piece bathing suits, and even desired to give away our pajama pants.  We eventually found very pretty night gowns, cool ones for summer and warm flannel ones for winter that are just as warm as pajama pants were – and we feel so pretty!  

My parents purchased for our girls’ new bathing wear from the only place we knew of at the time, J Crew, who makes darling shorts and tee shirt outfits out of stretchy, quick-drying swim fabric.  Yes, swim pants, not the most modest but far more so than the more common bathing suits today!  It was a start.  Since then we’ve learned of a couple of places that sell very cute dress-style bathing wear and we hope to buy those some time in the future.  These swim items are not inexpensive, but it is the one thing that we’ve chosen to save for and invest in new for the children as we feel it’s important for them to have this option, and we do all go boating all summer long with the grandparents.  However, once the girls all have swim wear that first year the younger girls have items to grow in to and we no longer need to buy for them all, only for the oldest daughter who then passes the items down.

We were so pleased that all of our girls eagerly embraced the change to wearing dresses.  Girls seem to generally have a natural delight in dresses; it’s like their hearts just resonate with this femininity.  So it’s nice to run with that natural feeling beginning when they’re young ladies or younger; before the masculinity of the culture gets a grip on them.


Online Resources
Finally, I would love to share with you some of the websites where we’ve found great dresses, skirts, night gowns, dress pants, knee high socks, and maternity clothes online!  We’ve actually rarely needed to buy anything new because the Lord has provided abundantly through the used clothing stores and hand-me-downs, but once in a while there’s the need to purchase a specific item new.  For example, nightgowns for our girls, as women’s night gowns for our older girls do not fit them right.  Below is a list of places where we’ve found very nice clothing items.  A couple of which we’ve purchased from, and friends of ours have purchased from some of the other sites.  The web sites vary in price and style, so I encourage you to look through several of the sites if you’re shopping.

New Creation Apparel – long skirts, and maternity long skirts!

Meant To Be Modest – skirts ($10-17), bathing attire ($40-70).

DeborahAndCo.com - Women's apparel including skirts, and maternity! (custom-made, but there are some ready-made ones available, and some clearance).

Katies Mercantilelots of things.

Ringger Clothingdresses & jumpers ($50 average).

Practically Pretty Design – Nice quality, girls’ dresses $45.

Jumpin Bloomers -- ($12-16 each); nightgowns ($15-21 each); FREE shipping!

Works Of The Heart -- This appears to have great quality, too (seems finished with overlock serger) and has cute styles ($35/dress or so).

Hannah Lise -- Jumpers ($21), Dresses ($52-64) pretty & long.

April Cornell -- Dresses $54 each, but modest and pretty (I've heard a rumor that they're going out of business?)

Targetleggings ($6.99).

Laina Line -- Bloomers ($16-$22), and a few dresses.

Hanna Andersson -- Bloomers ($18); other dresses $42+ each.

Lands End -- Girls' Cap-Sleeve knit Jersey Dresses ($19.50)



God has so blessed our family, our marriage, and He has renewed mine and the girls’ attitudes towards modesty and femininity.  I am completely confident that He will do the same for you if you ask Him to!  *smile!*  It’s been so nice, surprisingly comfortable – I so much more prefer skirts now than pants any day, and we have peace knowing that we’re following the Lord’s instructions in dressing modestly.  We asked the Lord to change us to fit His will, and He was so faithful to do so!  What a blessing!

Blessings on your efforts,



141 comments:

  1. I would love to wear skirts all the time, but my husband is opposed to the idea. Did your husband always want you to wear skirts?

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  2. Loved the post! Could I please link it to my blog www.thesolbergseries.blogspot.com? I did a small post on modesty in girls, nothing like yours which is so much better! I would also like to ask what you wear for exercising? Or what you would wear especially for running? Thanks!!

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  3. STACY - My husband did always love to see me in dresses/skirts, so that wasn't a hurdle for me (but every family has some sort of hurdles =). I would encourage you to ask him if he'd mind telling you why he's opposed. If he's not wanting to pay for new clothes, then maybe ask if the Lord sent the money would it be okay to use it to purchase skirts? Then pray that the Lord would bless you that way. If your husband feels afraid of what other people may think or assume, then I would just pray that the Lord would move in his heart; keep praying diligently and be patient. God knows your husband better than you do or even he does, and He can move on your behalf. Don't ask your hustand repeatedly or bring it up a lot; it's so easy for us ladies to slip in to nagging, even if it's with a smile on - I know from past experience disappointingly. Just pray. =) Follow your husband's leadership and desires. That will speak loudly to him.

    LAUREE - Thanks for your sweet words! =) I'm so pleased you were blessed; and I'm glad that you're posting on the same concept, as it's so good to get that out to people, hm? Oh sure, I'd be honored if you would link to my post, I would just ask that you use the words "Large Families On Purpose" for the link (rather than the title of the post). Thanks for asking! And for exercising I haven't found a great plan yet. We've had pregnancies back-to-back for the last several pregnancies (like babies 10 mo. apart in age) so there hasn't been too much opportunity for exercising lately. ;) But when I have been exercising it's on the elliptical in our own home so I'm not too concerned about it. I've been wearing shorts and a tank top, mainly just because that's what I have from years ago. But I've known other families who wear cu-lots (sp?) when going exercising walking outside. I think that's what I'd do for running. It's one of those things where we decided already that pants weren't an option, so we then consider what's the best alternate way to dress. Whether or not to wear pants isn't the issue, it's how to best obey God's Word and wear skirts or dresses, while getting the exercise we need; what's the most comfortable way to not wear pants, and go from there. =) And I encourage you to ask the Lord what His plan is for you! Because He does have one, and He will be faithful to show you.

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  4. Love the post, Erika. I made the switch to skirts/dresses exclusively about a year and a half ago. You are so right about it being a heart issue and I've also found that in doing it more heart issues have been brought up and dealt with. God is good!
    I've recently created my on blog and have now included your badge on my page as a source of "where I get my inspiration". Thanks for the encouragement!

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  6. BECKY - Praise the Lord! It thrills me to hear when women surrender something in their life and discover even more blessing than they had anticipated. =) And thanks for sharing our blog with others! I'm honored. And I look forward to reading your blog as well.

    DOVE - Ohhh, thank you for sharing your new adventure, courage, determination, and joy in modesty despite what the world is doing! May the Lord richly bless you and your family! =) *hugs* I would love to hear more about your journey as you go along. Blessings to you.

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  7. What a wonderful, informative post - thank you for sharing. I've been wondering about wearing skirts all the time (well except for sheep work where it would be impossible :) ) I found your post very interesting.
    I found your blog through the link from Raising Arrows.
    Hope you have a wonderful day
    Renata:)

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  8. RENATA - Oh you're welcome! I'm so pleased you found my post, and that it was informative for you. Any additional time we spend in skirts we think is beneficial, even if it's not with the sheep (so cool, by the way, wish we could visit you!) Blessings to you!

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  9. Hi Erika..I just found your wonderful blog..you have a beautiful family :)
    I feel God has put it in my heart to address modesty--what advice would you give as I am in the corporate world by day, my kids are grown. I am married to a wonderful Christian Man, who thinks im beatuful no matter what i look like ;). The ladies at church do not wear skirts-its very contemporary "come as you are".
    Im having a struggle making the transition--and how to explain it? I have not asked my husband..but dont think he would mind--he loves me in skirts...(maybe thats a hint?)
    Hope this makes sense...look forward to hearing from you.
    Kim

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  10. KIM - Nice to meet you! =) Well we always say, If the Spirit leads you in a direction then figure out the best way to obey and run with it! =)! And work out responses and your plan of action as you go.

    So for work I'm sure you could find a comfortable and attractive style that you would like which included skirts and dresses, maybe more taylored-looking and dressier than you might choose for at home or the weekends? I can give you ideas if you'd like, but you probably already have in mind what look you'd like to have for the office as you're already dressing up probably for it.

    And you know, I always knew that my husband loved to see me in dresses, but he didn't say he'd like to see me in them all the time, and it just didn't occur to me until I read the book! He wouldn't have wanted to impose an expectation on me to completely change my wardrobe, but when I asked him if he'd like it he was really excited.

    For church I would encourage you to maybe choose a style that wasn't necessarily dressy so that you don't feel like you stick out. We can dress up or down skirts. When I want to be more casual I wear small earrings, ankle socks or knee-highs or no socks, maybe not even a necklace, and cotton fabric. If I desire to look a little more dressy than I'll wear dangley earrings, a small necklace (or a larger one to dress up more), and maybe nylons, and dressier shoes.

    One of the things I like about shopping at the larger used clothing stores like Value Village or Good Will is that there are so many different kinds of styles to see all in one place. It actually helped me find my style for skirts/dresses. But it did take a year or two of shopping every week and patiently waiting until I found clothing items I really liked (not just buying something because it's there, but holding out for the really nice items that are "you"). If you'd like to purchase new a few staple items to wear in the interim you could do that, say a beige skirt or two that would go with a variety of shirts; a denim skirt, also accompanying varying shirt styles; and then look for more fun colors or patterns or seasonally specific clothes.

    For an explanation I would just say, "The Lord has recently taught me through some great resources [the Dressing with Dignity book, my blog, and perhaps other blogs?] about the value of dressing modestly and why that's important." *smile* And I would leave it at that. If they desire more information they'll ask, if not then that's fine. They will see through your example over time that "modest dress" does not mean frumpy or overly dressy. =) And if they ask what you mean then have a second more in depth answer ready. Most people do not know that the crotch area is what women should be concealing; you could also talk about how advertisements use the crotch area draws in business (I encourage you to buy the book I recommended!) You could mention how we as Christians are called to protect men's eyes and not cause them to have to work on maintaining innocence, and how wearing skirts does this. You could talk about how the Lord has lead you to be dressing more femininely. It's good to use "I messages", speaking from the first person of what YOU are learning; not telling others what they ought to do. Not talking in a way that says, "Well scripture means to ME..." because scripture has one meaning for all people; but everyone is in different levels of maturity in their Christian walk, and what the Lord convicts people of is always in His perfect timing and in His perfect way. So you don't need to feel like you have to convert anyone. Just set an example, and do the right thing yourself. Your testimony is powerful. And you can share about the fun new things that blossom in your marriage with skirt-wearing! That is enticing! =)

    Hope that's helpful,
    Erika

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  11. This is very close to my own journey to wearing skirts and dresses. Thank you for sharing. I very much enjoyed reading your post.

    Shalom,
    Julie ~http://atthewateringhole.blogspot.com/

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  12. most of the links above for the clothing don't work. :/

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  13. Oh thank you! My husband looked right in to that and made notes on the post of which ones aren't working; then asap he'll go through and see if those links changed and need to be updated or if they're gone for some reason. =)

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  14. Hi Erika,

    I'm new to your blog and enjoy it so far - we live across the water from you in Bremerton!

    I haven't dug very deep, so if you've addressed this already, I do apologize...

    What about hair? I notice your hair is very short. How do you line that up with scripture and the idea of femininity? I don't ask to be difficult or provocative, rather out of sincere interest.

    (I've bounced in and out of "dresses only" many times over the years and, as I type this, I'm sitting at the computer with stretchy pants and bobbed hair!)

    Jen

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  15. JEN - Oh hello, neighbor! =) No problem with your question, or any question; I'm happy to answer. There is no where in scripture that says a woman's hair needs to be long. If you're thinking of the 1 Corinthians 11 passage, here are two great links to answers to that question (I have only read these passages on this web sites, so I'm recommending the entire site necessarily). Those passages of scripture address issues of respect for authority, and for masculinity and femininity - not the actual length of a person's hair. Women should look feminine, which I do, and my husband thinks so, too. My hair is always styled in a soft, whispy, feminine style, I always wear make up and jewelry to accent that look even more; not to mention skirts, of course. *smile*

    http://www.actseighteen.com/articles/uncuthair.htm

    http://www.gotquestions.org/hair-length.html

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  16. JEN - Also, if you've bounced in and out of "skirts only" thinking, then perhaps you need some more reasoning and scripture behind your choice. =) If you have no motivation to stick with it, that's probably why you've not. But there is good reasoning and scripture behind making a modest dress choice. I hope my posts have been helpful. =)

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  17. Hi Erika,

    I will print and read the articles later today and get back with you!

    I've gone back and forth on "skirts only" but I've *never* stopped dressing modestly. I've simply struggled with what that actually means on a day to day basis. I skimmed over the first link and the author uses the "it was a cultural thing" argument for the scripture from 1 Cor., and I've seen the same argument used to justify women wearing pants being okay/acceptable. Actually, I've seen the argument used for just about everything!

    Thanks for getting back to me and I appreciate you not taking offense at my question.

    Jen

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  18. JEN - =) Well, the wearing pants as a "cultural thing" today doesn't play out with wearing skirts for modesty, because the reason for wearing skirts isn't "because they wore them in Biblical times." The reason is very specific, to avoid the exposure of a woman's crotch area (and many other things for some people). And the argument for hair length has to do with recognizing authority and with looking feminine as God intended, rather than masculine; commentaries on this scripture speak specifically to this.

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  19. hi,
    i'm a new reader to your blog, i appreciate the detailedness of all your posts and your friendly writing style, thanks for putting it out there!

    i was thinking about this issue just the other day myself and the rapid conclusion that I came to for the moment, is that because where we live, wearing pants is an accepted cultural norm for women - there shouldn't be anything wrong with it, as long as we choose modest outfits (ie no low cut, too tight etc) also, and that counts for skirts as well, I think no colors too flashy or wierd patterns etc so as to not draw attention to ourselves, which I think is the heart of the matter in fact, staying modest=discreet... anyway, I still prefer the skirts&dress option, but I can see the practical side to pants for certain things (my dd mentioned tree climbing as one of them *smile*) so here's what I was thinking: what about pants with a long sort of tunika-style blouse over them? this is the option I'm considering for my dd (and possibly myself). this conceals crotch while keeping the practical side of pants *smile*

    oh, and the reason I talk about accepted cultural norm, is that the first verse that springs to mind wrt pants/dress is the one about "a woman shouldn't wear a man's apparel..." and I think it's because what counts is that we appear as our proper gender which in biblical times might mean wear a dress if you were a woman. Today though and in our part of the world, pants are as normal for women as for men, so I reckon we don't necessarily count as wearing a man's apparel because we're in pants...I think the appearance as a whole has to be taken into account PLUS and not the least, like you mention, the hearts attitude; are we or not trying to play a man's role?

    just sharing some thoughts, as I actually do wear skirts only myself and so do my dds - but oldest dd has been requesting pants lately, and I've been searching out what the most modest and godly way to accomodate this would be (seeing that I don't think wearing pants is in itself contrary to God's word)

    cheers from another homeschooling mama (though to a much smaller family, just 6 of us!)

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  20. MAMABEAR - Thank you. =) Well the thing about a long blouse over pants is that the lines of the legs leading up to the crotch are still followed by a man's eye. It's better than pants; but still doesn't protect our brothers hearts like we should. And, protecting your daughter's as well. Do you want men being tempted by them when they're older, or ogling at them, or coming on to them, or even when they're still young (which happens as we all know). You make the best decision for your family of course. This is just from what I've read, from what I've heard men testify to, what I've observed in my own experience and from what I see. Girls can learn to do things in skirts. =) Our girls play just as normally in skirts. If climbing trees gets dangerous wearing a skirt (high trees) then instead of compromising their modesty we'd just say, "Find a low tree, dear daughter." *smile* However, bike riding has stumped us for skirt wearing, as well as salt-water boating when the family needs to get in and out of a boat up to their waist and wade in to shore. =/ We have bathing suits that are tee shirts and shorts, but still that's not a skirt, obviously. So - we all do the best we can. =)

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  21. yes I can see your point about the lines of the legs...we'll have to see how it all works out.

    May I ask what it is you find difficult with bicycling? I ask because funny enough I don't find that difficult at all. Maybe it depends on the type of bicycle? We have what's known as "grandma bikes" where I live - they have the bars of the frame very low so easy to pass the legs...we just need to replace the skirt from time to time so that it doesn't "fly around"...

    anyhow, I'm glad to have found a place to discuss these matters, where we live noone (not even Christians) cares about these things...

    blessings,

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  22. MAMA BEAR - For bikes, we have the low center bar, too, for girls; but the long skirts can get caught in the bicycle chain. I guess wearing a shorter skirt would be better than wearing jeans! We may need to get some "bicycle skirts" for summer. =) Hmm. I'm glad you have this place to discuss things, too. *smile* And you know, I've heard testimonies of men who are relieved to be around women who protect the men's eyes, making just being around those girls so relaxing. Even if Christians in your circle there aren't thinking modestly about clothes, you could not only have a profound impact when you can tell them the value in dressing modestly, but you could have young men really enjoying your family all the more, and the company of your young ladies when they're older.

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    1. Culottes for biking and tree climbing.

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    2. I've been skirts only all my life and it is possible to safely ride a bike in a skirt. It doesn't need to be too full (but not extremely straight either). Mid-calf is a good length.

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  23. I just had a really long comment typed up and it got deleted before I got a chance to post! I guess that means I should limit my words this time! LOL

    I went to a "conservative" church in my formative years and the teenagers there all wore skirts, but were NOT modest. They found the tightest and shortest (to the knee!) clothes they were *allowed* to wear. I still struggle with many issues because of this. I feel modesty is in the heart and it does not matter what one wears because modesty will show through.

    However, after reading this post I can feel rebellion inside, which I have come to find out usually means I am wrong about something, but am too proud to admit it! I only worry because my husband sure does love me in some of my pants and tells me every time I wear them! Won't he look elsewhere if I am not wearing something pleasing to him? He has said before that woman who wear skirts all the time just want to be *unique* and it is actually LESS modest because people notice them more since it is unusual in this culture to wear skirts everyday. The only style of skirt that I have found that doesn't make me feel frumpy is what is referred to as a peasant skirt. So I may be looking around for some of those for Christmas because I currently own 0 skirts!

    This was not any shorter of a comment! LOL I would just like to end with saying thank you so much for having such a thought-provoking blog! I have been reading blogs on Large Families for a few months now because we have just given God control of our family size and I am hoping that he blesses us with a large family. We only have two boys right now, 7 and 2 and I just got through my second miscarriage (blighted ovum) which made me question a lot of things about how I am raising my children. I have a long way to go and am praying everyday that I can become the mother that I need to for my boys and any future children God may see fit to bestow upon me.

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  24. MAMA TURTLE - I admire your willingness to consider your heart's attitude. Well, in my opinion, being noticed by men because of wearing skirts isn't immodesty at all. Causing men to think provocatively means one is being immodest. I doubt women in skirts are being provocative. And it sounds that your husband is not yet used to seeing his own loving wife in skirts, so he may not know how pleasing it can be! Right? =) I feel confident that he'll be drawn even more to your femininity seeing you dressed so prettily (not that you're not pretty already, I'm sure, but there's just something about skirts that draws a man's heart). And when he sees that you can still "be you" and still be functional around the house, I be he'll be "on board." =) I'm so pleased you're enjoying our blog! I'll say a little prayer for you right now that the Lord will bless you with more chilren. *hugs*

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  25. Hi,

    Regarding cycling, I cycle to my part-time job and I frequently do so in a skirt. I ride an old-fashioned, 'Cruiser' bike with a low bar and I often wear a long, black skirt with black tights and sometimes black bike shorts underneath (depending on the Australian heat). I ride in sneakers but change to heels when I arrive at my destination. With cycling, longer skirts really are better as they don't 'ride' up like shorter ones do.

    Kate

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  26. Since being saved at 18, I was in the boat, and out of the boat in regards to dresses/skirts. I felt conscience when I wasnt wearing a skirt, and I would ask about the Godly standards set for a woman, and really received that we could wear whatever as long as we were not usurping men. But I still felt out of place. When my daughter was born, I instantly felt like even if I was going radical, or peculiar, I would stick to my gut and teach my daughter to be feminine both inside and out, and to appreciate she was made special and different to be a woman. She has on occasion wore jeans or shorts for soccer or things, but they are very loose and a skirt over the jeans, or long shorts. I couldnt dress differently if I wanted to teach her she needed to be modest and to understand that she needed to be feminine. I hike and ride bikes with skirts and leggings underneath. I do find it hard to wear tennis shoes with skirts, and my husband cant stand me running/walking in sandals. So I have to work with that still. I just saw a running skort that is still rather short than I would prefer but under the skort I would wear running pants under, then tennis shoes would work!

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  27. Hi, I have discovered your blog via Modest Mom. My 4 daughters and I wear skirts and dresses pretty much all the time. I wanted to share a tip with you. I buy dresses that are a bit too short or ones with pencil straps and I cut the top off just under the arms and sew a channel and thread in some elastic and you have a lovely sensible length skirt!!
    I am really enjoying browsing your blog. I often feel alone in our counter-cultural lifestyle so it is always nice to find like-minded people online.

    Amy (in the UK)

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  28. AMY - Welcome! =) Great idea for skirts, thanks! Glad for all the more like-minded fellowship here online. Blessings to your family.

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  29. Hi Erika!!! I just love your blog. Thank you so much for starting it! I can imagine that it is time consuming, and perhaps sometimes difficult to find the time to do, but it is such a blessing to so many!
    My family and I have been on a very similar journey to your own. We have recently "let go" of birth control, a scary thing since I have a two month old and two other boys. And we homeschool, and I've been very convicted lately to wear only skirts. The Lord has also led us to get rid of the television... because we love it tooo much and our oldest son is already "addicted". Anyway, we have made many difficult but good changes. But I struggle with feeling oppressed. Especially when I see all of my friends and church family NOT doing the things we are doing...I just feel like Im doing everything the hard way. I guess its a struggle with my flesh.Sometimes I would really like to be in control of my reproduction, and I would like to send my children away to school for the day... and I love pants and the television.... I respect many of the women we go to church with who don't hold these same convictions... I just don't know how to deal with it. I don't want to become resentful or bitter... or judgemental. How do I deal with every other woman in my small group wearing pants... and my husband being able to look at them but not me? I feel like a lot of them have an even better relationship with the Lord than I do which then makes me feel like it's pointless... and that I'm just making up more rules to follow. When I go shopping now, I am constantly looking to see what women and little girls are wearing. I don't want to judge. Do you have any suggestions for me?? I should also say that my extended family thinks I'm absolutely crazy...and that's hard too. Thank you for being an encouragement to me. Blessings to you.... Natalie

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  30. NATALIE - =) I have to split my response, as it's too long for one "comment" section...

    You're so cute. The Holy Spirit prompted our drastic life changes...reproduction, skirts, TV, etc. I have a thought for you on each of your thoughts. I'll just list responses since that should be thorough but quick.
    - Remember you're not letting go of control to no one, but to the Lord, who's far better at those decisions than we are.
    - I'll post on TV some time soon, there's so much scripture behind that decision to not let that in to your home. And when there's scripture behind it, then it's not just a preference decision, it's a scriptural one, which for us makes it more "cut and dry." Yes, we had too much of an appetite for it, too.
    - Oppression: Remember that the enemy of your soul is bound to attack as he doesn't want any of these blessings for you. Put on His "armor". =)
    - Friends - you will be blessed for your own decisions. Don't let the enemy tell you that these choices are the "hard" way, because there will be GREAT rewards and 'FRUIT' within your own family for these good choices. I'm tempted to list all of the blessings for each choice but I don't have that time, and I think I would have listed the blessings in some of those posts already...
    - reproduction - of course you like to be in control. =) We all do. But that's also trusting in your self instead of the Lord, which may seem easier, but since none of us can "do it all" and always be wise in every decision, and we're bound by time and unable to understand the whole future and past for every person as God does, we cannot make decisions for ourselves as He can. Remember, it's not that no one's in charge, but it's God instead of you.
    - Just because we love TV doesn't mean it's good, wholesome, true, a valuable use of time, exposure to good things or accurate things, pleasing to the Lord, etc. We need to choose to please the Lord no matter how we feel about it, hm? And you'll develop other great uses of time, and see good fruit within your children, and a growing relationship with your husband instead of wasting that time - it'll be worth it. The appetite for TV can be eliminated.
    - Friends and respect - sure you can respect them. Remember that everyone is not in the same place spiritually as other Christians. It never occured to Bob and I do make these kinds of choices because we didn't know the value or the scripture behind them. We thought, Why would anyone ever do that?? And then someone explained it to us when we asked...Perhaps you'll pave the way for others to further think through their own decisions. But that is between them and the Lord.
    - You won't become those things, resentful or bitter or judgmental if you guard against it and pray that down, forming new habits of how youthink. Then it's not an issue for you for others... (continued below...)

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  31. (continued)
    - You don't have to deal with other women in your group wearing pants. =) It's not your concern at all. That's between them and the Lord.
    - Your husband will likely consider you "his" special gift that no one else gets to "open" but him. It's special, and only for him. I remember being first married and asking Bob if he'd like it if I word a bikini, and he said No way. *chuckle* I was for him, not for every guy that walked down the street. Your husband knows "secrets" and has images of you that no one else has; that is a great thing to fill his mind with. And I encourage you to fill his mind with yourself (in private). *wink*
    - Relationship maturity takes time. You can't get "ahead" really, you just grow closer as you go along, if you choose to. Just focus on the LOrd, not on others at all. =)
    - Pointless? That's a lie from the enemy. He does not desire you get closer to the Lord, or to have any positive influence on anyone around you. Remember you'll influence every one in your immediate family, and everyone else in your world. The enemy will try to dissuade you for SURE. Focus on truth.
    - It doesn't matter what other ladies/girls are wearing, because you're not dressing to please them; you're dressing to please the Lord and your husband, and to be a blessing to all of the men in your world. Remember, they are all relieved to not be tempted to sin constantly. Focus your eyes on the Lord, all the time. =) Look to others for maybe ideas for "looks" that you'd like for yourself, but not to determine whether or not they're dressing as you think they should. Teach your daughters who question others dress to have good judgement, but not be judgmental. Read everything you can on these subjects; there are some great recommendations on our blog, in the books list on the home page, and in the posts. Educate yourself on all of these subjects. =) drink it up. God will lead the way.
    - Your family may not understand yet - apparently not. You can inform them of your reasoning as you learn, and as THEY bring up the subject. Always have an answer ready.

    Blessings!
    - (this should have been a post. LOL)

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  32. Erika, I just love reading these posts because it is so encouraging to see that there are like-minded women and families out there. My children obviously see my daughter and I in skirts/dresses everyday, but "out there," they don't see it much, not even in church! :-( I wish I could pass out copies of "Dressing With Dignity" to everyone! I do wish, however, that there would be others, so that it wouldn't just be something that Mom does, you know? :-) Thanks so much for all of these posts. You are a blessing to your readers!

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    1. Check out this site... Olivia occasionally publishes an outfit with pants, but most of them feature skirts. Www.freshmodesty.blogspot.com

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  33. Yes, it is really priceless to be with like-minded Believers, isn't it. =) Not that I don't value people who think differently; but to be with those who are like-minded, it's just relaxing...

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  34. What are your thoughts on Maxi Dresses? Like this one: http://store.alloy.com/item.do?itemID=55087&cmpid=22490S406571690&cseid=22490S406571690

    or this

    http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=49426&vid=1&pid=569307&scid=569307032

    I am really not a fan of skirts, but I do like dresses like that... Id love your opinion.

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    1. I love Maxi dresses!! They can easily be made modest with a layering tank/tee and a cardigan, jacket, or blazer. Check out these links:
      http://modern1modesty.blogspot.com/2014/03/25-weeks-church-pajamas.html?m=1

      http://dressingformysavior.blogspot.com/2014/03/pink-and-orange-maxi.html?m=1

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  35. I'm late to this post, but I was wondering what you wear to work out in? We are in the process of switching over to skirts, but I don't know how to replace my "yoga" pants for working out. P.S. I'm loving your blog!

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    1. Joy, good question, which I've answered at least once or twice in these comments already - would you mind just skimming these posts to find your answer? =) Thanks.

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    2. Sorry Erika! I read over the comments after I commented and meant to delete my question, but I think I got sidetracked by an internet rabbit trail and I totally forgot! Thanks :)

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  36. I am pretty new to the only wearing skirts and dresses life style. It's been about 6-9 months but I've definitely had a few days of sweats and yoga pants. I just had my 1st baby girl and I've recently started thinking about dressing her as she gets older. I have 4 boys already and this never really played a part in my thoughts. Now it is so different with a girl. At what age do you put them in all dresses and skirts. Right now she is only a couple of months old and spends most of her days in comfy sleepers. Since I'm new to being a mother to a beautiful daughter, I need help :) How do you dress a baby and toddler for modesty, or at what age do you transition?
    Thank you

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    1. We always preferred to dress them in dresses as soon as they were wearing bigger girl clothes, about when they were crawling and on. I had them in little one piece outfits for warmth (they were born just before winter), but when they became mobile and it was spring I did dresses with little pantaloons. Comfy cotton dresses, not church-style ones. =) But if I had a really cute pants outfit then I'd let them wear that once-in-a-while. They're so little, and they're wearing bulky diapers anyway. But generally we wanted them to be used to dresses, and for our other girls to enjoy the babies in dresses like themselves. And the babies have always been able to roll around the floor and then crawl totally fine even in dresses. =)

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  37. Hi Erika! I'm not sure if you remember, but I messaged you about a week ago about skirts-only dress. My husband brought it to my attention that he desired for me to wear skirts and dresses exclusively. I already wore dresses fairly regularly, but not skirts. I was, and am, happy to submit to his leading. We had determined that I would start wearing my dresses immediately and if God blessed is with the money, we would buy some skirts for me to wear since almost all of my tops will go with skirts. The very next day, I unexpectedly received a card and a $100 bill from my grandmother. God is so good!! I have bought 2 denim skirts, 1 black skirt, 1 brown skirt, 1 white skirt, and a pretty pair of beautiful flats....and we still have money left over! I just wanted to let b you b know about how wonderfully God has blessed us with our conviction. I did have a question: could you recommend a fabric type for a church skirt? I want something I can wear all year (not too cold here in Texas!) and will not wrinkle! Thank b you!

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    1. Praise the Lord! =D He's honored your submission and modesty.

      For fabric, I personally wear, like you do, something I can wear all year. I think any fabric is fine. I wear corduroy or cotton most of our year here (heavier, like denim, but not denim and a beige color), and rayon in the summer because it's cool. It's the style & cut that's most important from I've observed (not too tight or short).

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  38. What a blessing it was to find this! I have two beautiful daughters. My oldest daughter is 9 and by nature prefers to be modest. I did not grow up dressing modestly-but not purposefully provocative either. I was married once before in an abusive and overall bad marriage. God brought a wonderful man into my daughters life and mine.I am coming from being a single mother, being very free to make my own decisions, choose how I dress, ect. God has been working on my heart and in my life and I am learning what it means to submit to God and to my husband. It really isn't what I grew up thinking and is so wonderful! The area of how to dress as been on my heart awhile, especially with growing daughters, and one who already willing and insists on dressing modestly. Even children can teach us! While my husband does not push for me to stop wearing pants, we are slowly changed our clothing style to a more biblical and modest style. My favorite outfit was a pair of jeans and a t shirt. I have been struggling with several things that have been addressed in the pages I have read on here. Funny how God sometimes gives us an answer sometimes. It is difficult to dress a certain way when you let the outside world affect you and I have been wrong to let it do that! What I really appreciated is pointing out how you were able to do so while saving money. As the provider that is a big area of concern for my husband. I am going to share what I read on here with him. And especially the bible verses that really spoke to where my own fears are.

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  39. Hi Erika! - I stumbled on your blog just the other day and have been enjoying reading your archives. I will admit that I do not share your lifestyle and many of your beliefs, but I find them fascinating. I very much enjoy reading about the perspectives of others, as I think it makes me a more sensitive and accepting person. With that said, I have a few questions for you that come from genuine curiosity. First, I guess I have to ask why you think,

    'Women’s eyes do the same thing, but since women don’t have the same type of temptation their imaginations don’t complete the picture like men’s do."

    Is this statement based or derived from scripture somehow? I guess I don't agree with the statement and I wonder where it came from. I've always thought that by denying the existence or strength of female's wants and desires (specifically by failing to address them in teaching morality) is doing them a disservice. Then if/when a female has feelings or desires, she has no moral training for how to deal with them. I personally believe that temptations for women can be just as strong as for men (especially adolescent teenage ladies).

    I am a married female professional, and I pretty much exclusively wear pants to work (I work in the VERY male dominated field of engineering). I guess I am curious how you would handle dress if you were in my situation. You mention in your post how wearing dresses/skirts makes you a more submissive woman (or maybe just a more submissive wife? I'm not sure which). Would your beliefs suggest that I should be submissive to the other gentlemen at my workplace- or do you believe that a woman's submission is only to her husband? I guess I am wondering if my position presents a contradiction in your belief system in terms of dress/submissiveness. It is my view that being a submissive female in the workplace is not right, but maybe my view differs from yours! I know that I would lose respect and my thoughts and opinions would lose value if I wore dresses every day. I see this as detrimental to my career and my value as a person, but maybe you see it as the order of things as directed by the Lord?

    I am just SUPER curious- I hope this comment didn't come off rude. I truly just enjoy conversation with those who live different lifestyles from my own. Thanks!

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    1. k.,
      I believe the "women's eyes doing the same thing" referred to a person's eyes following the lines of legs to a completion point but with a different result; a non-sexual result. Mostly. Of course if a woman does think this way she should be instructed in what to do with her mind and her eyes to avoid it. It's not a matter of denial, simply a matter of only having so much space and time to be so thorough here in my post. I thought that would be common sense and assumed.

      If I were needing to work in a professional environment as you do then I would dress femininely while still trying to be in style. There's no sense in sticking out like a sore thumb in a situation I don't think personally. Everyone likes to be in style and fit in as much as is good, right, and practical. And this helps create good relationships with co-workers so that one can have a witness for Christ to them. If one is "weird" it's harder to be heard it seems to me. Like you said, your intellect is questioned and your level of respect hindered if you look odd.

      I would wear fitted, strait skirts like I like to wear already because they are attractive on me and slimming-looking and because I, too, like to be in style, with a slit in the skirt in a modest spot (not up the front crotch area like some skirts do) for ease in mobility. I'd wear nice nylons and stylish shoes, and probably a fitted but not too tight or revealing top (no cleavage showing or sides of the breasts) because again it's attractive and in style; not frumpy or baggy. And I'd strive for stretchy fabrics as much as possible not because they look or should be tight but because they are so comfortable. Does that answer your question?

      Biblically a woman is called to submit to her husband - not all men in general. But she should be respectful to all men of course, although not necessarily submissive to him. HOwever working for a man as a boss does put a woman in a difficult position because she cannot completely do as her husband desires her to as she has agreed to also do what her boss requires her to time wise, or in dress, in in being gone traveling, or whatever. If her husband desires her to spend time with him on an evening or weekend and she can't because she has to work, or can't go to her husband's dinner appointment, or take care of his home or meals or anything - then she's submitting to her boss rather than to her husband. That's a problem and is against God's design for a successful life and marriage.

      I'm glad you asked your questions. That's what i do this for. To help other genuinely-interested people think things through and hold their thoughts and questions up to scripture. =) Questions are not rude, just judgements and mud-flinging is rude and not tolerated here. And I enjoy conversation with you as well. Blessings to you. I hope I've helped you understand a bit about God's Word the Bible and what He's like.

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  40. Hi Erika! I've been back and forth on this topic. Last year I wore skirts exclusively for about a month. Quite honestly, I felt frumpy, my young children (then 1 and 2) would come up behind me and pull my skirt up, play in it, etc.
    I didn't feel feminine. I felt like I was trying to follow some prescribed action. I felt awkward out in public... especially on date night one night when I was wearing a skirt and all the other women were wearing jeans.
    I'm just struggling with this. I understand being modest for the sake of our brothers in Christ and so that we won't attract unnecessary attention to parts that only our husbands should be seeing. But where do we draw the lines? I've known several women who check men out based on what they are wearing. I don't think there is much difference between the way a man's eyes work and the way a woman's do. I just don't see it.

    Honestly, I would love to wear skirts all the time. I wish I could. I bought one today and I love the way it looks on me. It is stylish yet modest (well, I need a slip underneath it). However, I feel there is a line somewhere. A friend of mine wears skirts exclusively and her husband told her that even though women wear skirts, men's eyes will STILL instinctively go *there*, either in the front or back. It's just part of their make-up and I don't think this is the same as "looking at a woman with lust and committing adultery with her in your heart." There are certain physiological responses programmed into men and women that they just can't help - it's just nature and the way God created us.
    Lastly, just because a man might see the crotch/buttocks area does not mean he is looking at our "nakedness".
    I am just having a hard time trying to see how modest pants could be inappropriate. Obviously if you are wearing skin tight jeans with sparkles all over your booty and were "washed" in a way to draw attention to your front side... then that's a big problem. But wearing pants shouldn't be seen as "inappropriate". If that were the case then men need to start wearing robes again or something because women CAN and DO have the same problems with "vision" and "being visual" and "Filling in the blanks" in their minds. We cannot just tell women to "put up with it and train yourselves to look away" and not expect men to do nothing about their appearance. Why does all the blame and responsibility fall on the woman?

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    1. I need to put some current photos of us in skirts on this post; I've been meaning to do that so give you a visual of how it can look. Not frumpy at all. Find what's attractive for your figure. I choose strait skirts with short slits so I can move easily because that's what's slimming on me.

      And children need to be trained and get used to not playing under your skirt or pulling on it.

      You're not responsible for how others check people out - men or women - only yourself. Choose attractive but not frumpy. It may take a few or even several months to find your style, through a variety of seasons, to be warm, and cool enough, and comfortable yet attractive. It probably took me several months, and then after a few years I was really settling in to my new look that I felt comfortable in. But we don't choose to obey the Lord just when it's comfortable or easy - we determine to obey no matter what, and THEN wait for the understanding and direction to follow. But whether or not to be modest and obey is not the question. Just the HOW is the question.

      Men's eyes may still go "there", but at least you've done your best to enable him to remain more pure than if your crotch area was exposed. That's your only responsibility.

      The responsibility falls on the women because men are created to be visually stimulated. But it falls on the men just as much to not defraud women by toying with their emotions (mostly before marriage) or by touching them a lot knowing that will win a girl's heart when he has really no intention of keeping that heart. Men still need to guard their mouth, and their actions, to keep their distance emotionally and physically from women.

      I think you can tell the difference in why pants are more immodest in the crotch area than skirts. =) You may not WANT to see the difference, though, which is different. I encourage you to dress as modestly as you can with skirts, and then allow the Lord to show you how to enjoy yourself and find your style. Give it time. And I still have times when I feel out of place. But I don't compromise my standard, and do my best to fit in with whatever the situation is and I usually do fine, and even receive compliments. A denim skirt that's in style and nicely fitting with a sporty top or fitted shirt can look darling and in style and still look like you totally fit in. There's nothing wrong with that. =) *hugs*

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    2. Thank you for your very wise and informative response. I enjoyed the new pictures you put up! This has been such a hard one for me for some reason. I just have so many pants that I love to wear! But you are absolutely right about choosing to obey THEN the understanding may come later.
      I also think you are right about not wanting to see the difference because that would mean I would *gasp* actually have to change something!
      In praying about this I can clearly feel the need pressing on my heart. Almost as if the Holy Spirit were saying "Jesus was tortured and died so you can live and be forgiven... You can't decide to put a skirt on instead of pants for His sake and for His glory?" Sigh... My flesh is so weak sometimes!
      I have to admit though, it's a bit of an influx over here! 13 months ago my kids were still in school, my husband was 6 months out from his vasectomy, and I saw no problem with wearing even tight fitted and low cut jeans and tops that weren't nearly modest enough *blush*. Now we homeschool, are on the waiting list for vasectomy reversal as we know we should allow God to have Lordship in that area, and I'm trying to dress my body in a way that glorifies Him but goes against everything I was raised to believe about being attractive and cute by wearing immodest clothing.
      Thank you for your mentorship! One thing I did do the past 2 days was put on some longer shorts under my skirt. So even when my 23 month old tried to play in my skirt, I didn't feel exposed. But I am training her to not do that :) Thank you again! I am learning slowly :)

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  41. Oh, I also wanted to add that I only have one daughter (so far) and I definitely want her to dress modestly and have her heart right in it as well but I think there is a point where modest dress can become one of those things that are "lawful", do you know what I mean? Right now and until she starts developing, she will be able to wear pants and shorts (not short shorts) if she wants. She is a child and should be playing and not worrying about stuff like that. I saw you mentioned earlier about making sure men don't ogle our daughters even when they are young and while I agree I would never want that - if there is really nothing there to "ogle" then it is not my responsibility to make sure she is wearing something to hide things that aren't even there yet! The sin would be on that man's head. I see your girls wearing sundresses and sleeveless tops and I like to dress my daughter similarly. She also wears jeans, cords, and long dress-length shirts with leggings. She's 2. She's not "defrauding" anyone and if someone actually thinks that... SHAME on THEM!
    I guess this also plays into the fact of the "lines". Where are they?
    I certainly don't want to "defraud" a brother in Christ, but if I am doing my best to be modest then at some point the blame falls on their hearts not being right with God and not what type of clothes I have on my body.

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    1. You need to set the example for your daughter. =) Protect her and sacrifice your own comfort until you find your style that you're comfortable with. It IS your responsibility no matter how much you may not want it to be, sorry. So embrace it and do your best. The rest is up to the men.

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    2. You are right and also I love what you have said about protecting a girl's heart! I can totally get behind that.
      It's not just for the men we may be around but for her (and me) as well. Showing her by example that our bodies are not something to be ogled and stared at, but they belong to the Lord and when she gets married her body will also be her husbands. This will help her see her body as a treasure and something she should want to protect, not flaunt.
      I guess I didn't really put that into the equation before. All I could think was "How could a little girl in pants be defrauding a grown man." I just get the creeps even thinking about that. At her age though I'm more concerned about protecting her rather than "defrauding" some creep!! I appreciate your wisdom and guidance in this.

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  42. Just a quick comment from the other side. We're a Christian home school family as well (classical education). I read this article with my husband and here are some of his comments: 'I wouldn't be happy if you dressed this way, to me, the sweaters/long denim skirts scream 'homeschool mom' and you're so much more then just that. The clothes they wear seem very old fashioned, and I wouldn't see why that's necessary. Also, when a woman wears pants it doesn't draw my eye to the crotch area, I have never noticed myself looking in that direction even though I always make sure to keep my eyes pure'.

    He also said he does like more modern dresses on me...specifically a few I own from Lilly Pulitzer...but likes me just as much in cute pants. He also thinks that wearing a regular bathing suit would attract far less attention from men at the beach 'then those weird suits with skirts attached'.

    Just our thoughts on the subject:) I guess my hubby just doesn't appreciate the traditional look you guys are going for...and to be honest, it seems out of this world to me too. I do respect your thoughts on this, and love your blog, but I honestly don't see why you would want such a stamp on you. I immediately recognize the 'old fashioned churchy woman' usually wearing long hair as well...it's not something to respect for me, I tend to frown upon them. How are you going to share the gospel if people don't even want to come up to you because you look like you came straight out of some sort of Christian cult?

    I'm not saying we should join the culture in dress, we would never wear any exposing clothes, but you can push it too far as well. Besides, outfits like yours scream 'mommy' to me. I'm not just a mom, I'm also a wife...and I want to dress attractively as a wife....Just some thoughts!

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    1. Artquest, my husband and I would agree with you here as well. I do believe that as Christians, the Bible does instruct us to dress modestly. But it does not pigeonhole us into only one application of how that should look. You are right though, we can push it too far, and that is where we run into legalism (i.e., calling something a sin that the Bible does not, or saying that a Biblical principle must always be lived out by using a specific application, even though the Bible does not command us to only that application). And there are many places in the New Testament where we are warned against legalism.

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    2. Artquest and Beth,
      You ladies have hit the nail on the head. I came from a very legalistic church. {UPC}. There you are not allowed to be used of God until you stop cutting your hair and wear dresses down to your ankles. I beleive in Modesty. But not to the point of telling someone they cant do any ministry in the church until they look a certain way. That is very wrong. This type of attitude has lead to others looking at outsiders and judging them unfairly. These types of churches attract VERY controlling men. Trust me. I was married to one. It lead to abuse of me and disgusting behaviors and abuse in the church. I wont go any farther into it. I live among Mennonites as well. They are very judemental of us who dont wear coverings and dress like them. I would never go up to one of them for "Christian direction". Same with a girl from the UPC church, Amish, etc. I'm not saying they are all that way. But with what i experienced in the church for 15 years and the fact that my Ex husband tells our 3 girls that Mommy is going to hell for cutting her hair. I cant even make my girls look nice. If I cut their hair THEY get yelled at by him. You have to be very careful with how you come across with Modesty. Teach it yes. Lovingly.

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    3. As a fellow Christian, Artquest, I urge you to view your identity in CHRIST. Not as a mother or a wife or both but as a child of God. He does call us to dress modestly and be holy.
      I'm happy to hear that your husband has trained his eyes to be pure but that is just *not* the case for *most* men, even the Christian ones!!
      Erika and her daughters look beautiful to me. They don't look "old fashioned" in my opinion but if it were between looking "old fashioned" and like what women are wearing these days, I'd choose the former. Certainly there is balance and I think Erika has struck it. She certainly doesn't look Amish or Mennonite who equate "plainness" and the mid-18th century look with "godliness". The fact that she looks like a Mommy isn't disturbing to me at all, she is one and she wears clothing that is appropriate to her calling. She is just dressing practically but not ugly or old fashioned. If you think so, I hope you can get to a point where you look further than people's clothes. Her and her daughters' eyes and smiles are what I see when I look at these pictures right off the bat. We shouldn't be trying to make sure people notice the assets of our bodies (breasts, curves, bottom, etc) before they see our faces.

      About people being turned away because of a "cultish" look... this is once again judging from the OUTSIDE which Jesus warns us not to do. God says he is close to the humble yet resists the proud. What do your clothes say about you? Or rather, your judgement of what other people wear? They say that you judge on appearances and not the heart which is not godly and we should run from judgments like that, not embrace them as right. God sees the heart of men and women.

      Another thing that is striking to me is the use of the word "cult." God tells us that we are a peculiar people, he calls us to be set apart from the world. We don't stoop to the world's level so they may hear the gospel... that is placing far too much emphasis on US leading people to Christ and practically NONE on the Holy Spirit. The truth is, if we are really seeking and searching and willing to apply Scripture to our lives as it was intended to be - we WILL look different from the world. We should embrace that, not run from it! We are His prized possession, we should honor our bodies as they are HIS even if that means looking slightly different from our neighbors.

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    4. I am curious as to why YOUR husbands oppinion on Erika's style has any bearing on the issue? IF that is not something that he desires for you I don't know why that warrented such a critical response to Erika who was explaining, as I understood why SHE chose this direction and was not condeming everyone else. I enjoy fashion,I like to think of myself as pretty current (including days where I wear pants..) and I like to look nice for my husband....and my personal oppinion is that Erkia and her daughters look really cute. I am also a lot of other roles in my life but if I scream out "mom" some days with my tied up hair, yoga pants and hoodie...then...oh well?! I found your post offensive and critical to read and I wonder to what end? Do you want Erika to stop dressing like she does? Do you even really care? Are you defending your position becuase you may have other biases that are playing an influancing role?Do you alternativly find your appoach one that calls people to you in an endearing and accepting way? Maybe some things to think about before you post so harshly and inappropriatly.

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    5. The thing is - you totally can look pretty while covering. I love wearing my Soda Fountain Dress (I have the grape coloured one), with a pair of fun tights , and I tie it all together with a contrasting body suit . I get so many compliments and I am totally covered up! I also have some cute "skater" type skirts that I wear with printed tights and t-shirts with a long sleeved shirt underneath it.

      It takes a love of effort to figure out a new dressing style, so I would suggest you look at a website like polyvore, and look at fashion websites written by other modest women of faith (like muslim, mormon, and jewish fashion blogs). You will get lots of ideas on those sites! It is really fun to change your look, and find a new one that is more distinctly you than jeans and a t-shirt.

      Another thing - jeans and a top tend to make a horizontal cut across one's middle, an area a lot of women (especially women built like me) often don't want attention drawn to. Wearing dresses, layers, belts, scarves and high waisted skirts (to name a few) will break up that line and actually have a slimming effect.

      Good luck and have fun!

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    6. Artquest,
      Firs of all no one has to dress in my same "look" if it's not "them". I never said, "Dress like me." I'm simply giving an example of what skirts can look like since so many people can't begin to envision what this might look like.

      Secondly, as Christians we are not to dress or not dress as the world approves us to strictly but as the Lord directs. So your husband not preferring the skirts look is really being more concerned with what others think than what Scripture says. If you determined to dress in skirts I'm confident you could find a look that your husband likes for you. Just sayin'.

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  43. Thank you for the wonderful article Erika, I had one quick comment. I don't know if you or anyone on here who is looking. Cato just put their store online and they have denim/khaki skirts for about $20 each which isn't bad. I love their skirts, they fit great and seem well made. Also love the price, not high but not bad either.

    http://catofashions.com/


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  44. Thanks for this post. What irritates me is when mothers sexualize their daughters unnecessarily and I have no idea what purpose they think it serves. For example, here in Australia, all students, even those in public schools such as the one my three children attend, have to wear uniforms. At most schools, like ours, the skirt is a perfectly respectable length (typically mid-calf, but if your daughter is tall, then the bottom of the knee). BUT, about 90% of the Australian moms take the skirts to a seamstress and have them shortened to the bottom of the girls' backsides. It's truly shocking, and the poor girls are unable to bend over without being indecent. We are Americans living here until my husband gets his PhD, and I will simply not allow my girls to have their skirts shortened. We are considered prudish for this, but I don't care. It is bad enough when you see an innocent 5 or 6 yr old with a micro mini, but a 16 yr old ? So unnecessary.

    BTW, Vermont Country Store (which has a website) is sometimes a great place to find longer skirts and dresses as well.

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  45. I just love this post. I started wearing skirts a few years ago after my sister pointed out that every girl trying on jeans checks to see what her behind looks like in the jeans. That was eye-opening to me.
    Now I just feel more comfortable in a skirt. They are so much more forgiving!
    Thank you so much for all the links! That is SO helpful! I've had fun making a lot of denim skirts out of jeans for my girls. I love taking embellished jeans and making long skirts out of them. It's a lot easier than I would have imagined. And I do love having my pockets! ha

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  46. I enjoyed this post very much. We also wear skirts/dresses pretty exclusively. I do still wear pajamas in the winter and my oldest daughter takes karate so she wears a gi during karate class. But other than that it's skirts for us. lol A grandparent generously bought our girls those swim suits you mentioned. We are now in the process of looking for more because they grew! Imagine that! lol Anyway, I just wanted to also share another website that makes modest denim skirts if anyone is interested. www.denimskirts.com I love their variety of skirts and have a few of them; even a couple of their maternity skirts. But I love denim. Growing up I lived in jeans. When I started wearing skirts exclusively I wore the cotton ones a lot (I actually made them) but they wore out and faded so quickly. I switched to mostly denim and love them. Just wanted to share. :)

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  47. Great article. I'll link to it. BTW, the shoes are called "Mary Janes," not Merry Janes.

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  48. Erika, thanks for the post. I understand a lot of the points you make, having grown up wearing only skirts as a teenager. Now as a twenty something college student and working woman, I'm back to my combat boots, leather jackets and black jeans. But I still understand a lot of the points you make, and wanted to see if you were willing to understand a few of the concerns I have with it.
    First of all, my mom made our skirt change because of Dressing with Dignity also. Looking back on it, that seems rather foolish - to make a lifestyle change based on one study in one book. And if I recall, it was an outdated study that wasn't even cited correctly.
    But the heart of the issue is much deeper. Wearing only skirts to 'protect the hearts and eyes of our brothers in Christ' is a noble goal. Unfortunately however, it accomplishes the opposite. We're all lustful creatures, men and women alike. And if a man doesn't have control of his eyes when a woman is wearing jeans, he's not going to have control of his eyes when she's wearing a skirt either. Speaking from experience, men can form mental pictures regardless of what a woman's wearing - and if they're a pervert, they will.
    It's not our job as women to try and appease the sexual urge of men by dressing in a certain way for them. Men need to learn to use self control ESPECIALLY when it comes to sexual desires. Dressing in skirts only takes away the need for self control under the pretense of being charitable.
    This mindset concerns me because growing up around it, I encountered a vast amount of rape culture and slut shaming. And most of that came from this mentality - that women are somehow responsible when men view them as objects and not as people. We have a 50/50 role - of course we should dress modestly. But never is it our fault if a man's eyes stray where they shouldn't go, as I hope your girls and your boys know. Whether she be nude, scantily clad, or fully covered, it's not a woman's fault that she got raped. The same applies to skirts/pants/men's eyes,
    Now, I'm not married nor do I have children, but I do have a boyfriend and we're strongly considering marriage. With regards to your submissive argument, that's the exact opposite of how we want our marriage to work. Especially in child rearing, we both agree that it's our job to share the load, share the work, and share the responsibilities. Marriage is a partnership - not a submission agreement. It's not my job to 'obey' my husband or my boyfriend. I of course should respect him both as a person and as my partner, but we need to make decisions together. Submissiveness through wearing a skirt is the opposite of what either of us want.
    And just one more point. While I agree it's important to feel pretty and feminine, it's vital that women feel strong too. Our culture today is often incredibly sexist and demeaning towards women. Men today can often push women down. It's important to not just be feminine, but to be strong as well. Strength and power are incredibly vital for me as a young women and the women I see around me. If wearing only skirts demeans that, it ought to be reconsidered.
    Just my thoughts. Erika, if you have time, I'd love to hear your thoughts on my points, but I can completely understand if you don't want to share them. It's just fascinating for me, as an adult, to look back on the same mindset I grew up with and see the changes within myself and others. :)

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    1. I'm not Erika but your comment struck a chord in me because I grew up with a lot of girls who turned into women who think like you.
      If you don't understand submissiveness on a Biblical level then you don't understand Christ. If you don't understand Christ and what marriage is a picture of then you have totally missed the mark.
      Being a Christian doesn't mean we do what we want and we figure out relationships based on what *we* desire. Being a Christian means we turn to the Word of God and we flesh out our relationships (marriage, children, friends, extended family, even ourselves) in accordance to what God says through His word.
      I would agree that our culture is incredibly sexist but I think you have it totally backwards. Women have been in a power struggle with men for over a hundred years now or more and in an attempt to "be equal" with men they have killed what it means to be a woman. Women don't want to be equal to men, they want to BE men. They want to dress like them, act like them, look like them to a degree, or they want to BE an object for men to look at and lust over. These are awful choices for women who were created to be... WOMEN! Not objects, not men, but women who add to this world their own beauty and strength and qualities that far surpass what we *look* like or how *strong* we are physically.
      I think you've just missed the point entirely and I encourage you to start with Scripture if you truly want to know the heart of a Christian woman or rather, and more importantly, the heart of Christ and how HE sees women.

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    2. Thanks for the comment, Diane. Just fyi, I am a Christian woman, so I'm on the same page as you regarding Christ, the Scriptures, etc.
      Believe me, I've fleshed out my relationship quite a lot and have spent a lot of time in prayer and discernment. I don't believe God calls us as women to be submissive to our husbands, however. Respect them, honor them, of course. But I am my boyfriend's equal - not inferior to him. I don't find patriarchy (which is what submissiveness seems to lead to) to be rooted in Scripture at all, to be honest.
      Speaking as a woman, I find your point regarding sexism to be incredibly stereotypical. I don't want to be a man. Do I want to be viewed as on equal footing with men? Absolutely. Do I want to be an object for men to lust over? Of course not. Frankly I'm shocked that you would insinuate that. But I'm called to be strong, independent, and beautifully feminine. And believe me, I can be all of those things with a skirt on or not. Thanks again for the comment. :) I do really enjoy discussing these things.

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    3. :) I know where you are coming from because I've been there. My marriage was formed on the basic principles as you are talking about! So, I really do have a desire to share my heart with women on this subject because God has taught me so much these past 9.5 years of marriage. It truly has been an adventure!
      Husbands and wives are called to be mutually submissive to one another in areas of intimacy and sexuality:
      1 Corinthians 7:3-4
      But as we see many times in the epistles,  the marriage relationship is a picture or shadow of Christ and the church (His bride). This does not mean that husbands are at the same status as Christ in the family (from what I can tell, this a a dangerous perversion known as Patriarchy). What this means is that men/husbands/fathers are to seek out how our Lord Jesus leads His church (bride). Well, we know that Christ died for His church. That while He was on earth He faithfully served His future church (the disciples) by feeding them spiritually and physically, he led them and taught them, prayed for them, washed their feet.. then when the time came he bled for them and died for them because of His unfailing love and His willingness to fulfill the righteousness that God desired of Him.
      This is the picture that a husband should strive to paint in his marriage.
      Then we have the wife (church) who is instructed to submit to her husband. Ephesians 5:22-32 is a beautiful picture of this.
      You may not like to hear this. I didn't either when I was younger. I thought having to submit to my husband meant that I was not as good as him or that I wasn't equal to him in God's sight. Then, God gently led me to Philippians 2:3-8: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
      Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness, and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!

      I have to break this in two ;)

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    4. I wept when I read this in relation to my unwillingness to submit to my husband. Here's the the thing: We are all equal to each other. Christ died just as assuredly for women as he did men and he loves women just as much as He does men.  What gets in our way of submission? Pride. Arrogance. Thinking we are "just as good" as our husbands. But guess what? If our standard is equality with husbands and mere men, we are doing ourselves a HUGE disservice!! I am not man bashing.. more like mankind bashing. There is nothing "good" in any of us. We can't compare one to another. Trying to be equal with husbands is a rather lame goal as our husbands are just mere men. We need to be aiming higher. Much higher. Our goal should be Christ.
      Ironically, however, we will never get there on our own merit which is why the Bible instructs us to die to ourselves, put our sin nature to death, allow Christ to live through us, etc, etc, etc!! And He who is able and willing will raise us up. Not because we deserve it, not for anything we did or who we are equal to in our own right but because of Who He Is. The Son will bring glory to the Father through us.
      As Christians we lay down our pride, we forfeit our rights, we claim to be owed nothing. Not human "equality" with another which is a shallow dream anyway. Not our every dream and wish be granted. We realize what we deserve. When I humble myself before the Lord, it is very evident to me what I deserve: death. Death and seperation from God for eternity. Not life, certainly not any temporal granted rights or supposed equality with other sinful humans. I don't deserve those things but through Jesus Christ I have been brought from death to life through his suffering and victory. Through his gift of Grace I am saved by the faith he also granted and made available to me. My flesh deserves death but now I live in the Spirit.
      But now, since I walk in the Spirit, am a new creature and deny my old self, dare I still claim rights? That would be like claiming rights for a corpse. Is a corpse equal to a living person? Is a skeleton granted the same human and civil rights as a living, breathing person? No. So there is where I have to put to death my pride once again.
      If I love the Lord and I love my husband, I will submit to him because that is what God says to do, for our benefit, for our protection, and for our sanctification. We will be rewarded in the end by our obedience.
      You may not understand this now but believe me..it is a beautiful "mystery" and if you implement these beliefs and follow these scriptures early in your relationship...you will be so SO blessed in the long run (and probably the short run too ;) ) because God knows what is best for each of us. He made us and loves us and wants us to be fulfilled by obedience and trust in Him!
      I will pray for you in your journey and study of these things. I could have written your comments about 8 years ago but the Lord has changed my heart so completely and opened my eyes to His precious gift of submitting to my husband and in turn my husband has loved me as Christ loves the church. It is the most fantastic thing I've ever experienced!

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    5. Oh, I also don't think we can't be strong but we have to realize what, rather Who is the source of our strength. We should be strong in the Lord, not strong in our own opinions, not strong in our pride or in our stubbornness. We should be physically strong enough to carry out our work for the Lord but here again, physical and mental human strength pale incredibly (as in don't even register on the scale) to the strength we find in Christ. So yes, be strong-in Christ! Most times however, we will find that we must become weak so that he can be strong. "And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

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    6. Diane: thanks for your thoughtful comments.
      I don't want to go too long, but I think your reading of Ephesians 5:22-32 is incorrect. You're right, it does ask wives to submit to their husbands, as to the Lord. Assumedly, that makes this argument for you. But we have to look at the definition of the word 'submit' and what it meant in the time of Paul.
      One definition of submit is, yes, to yield to authority. But more in keeping with the time frame of Ephesians is this definition: "to present or propose oneself to another." Wives ought to present themselves to their husbands, for their thoughts, their input, their advice. But their husband is not an authority over them for exactly the reason you put - we are all equal. We are all striving for the same goal, to be like Christ, men and women alike. There's no need for one to be above the other in marriage, and the Bible doesn't say there's a need either.
      One final point - the book of Ephesians was written over 2,000 years ago. There was a vast chasm between men and women back then. Gender roles weren't understood like they are now. Even if submission meant to yield oneself to one's husband, we wouldn't understand that in the same way today as we would 2,000 years ago. We have to look at the text like a Jew in Christ's time would, and then translate that into a modern understanding.
      thanks again for your kind comments!

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    7. No problem :) However, I don't think my reading is incorrect as this was the term used throughout New Testament and used when talking about us submitting to God and Christ submitting to God.
      Of course we are equal, but submitting (yielding) does not equal inferiority on our part nor construct superiority on my husband's part. I think that is what you are largely misunderstanding here.
      In Philippians 2 we see that Christ was God's equal. He essentially IS God, but even he was humble in spirit and submitted to the will of the father, to bring about righteousness.
      Also, I believe yet another misconception we moderns make (as I've done many times) is assume that God's word was only meant for the people it was written to in that particular land in that particular time. If that were the case, what should we do with 2 Timothy 3:16? Hebrews 4:12? 1 Corinthians 1:2?
      Being submissive does not mean being a doormat, it means yielding gently to the other and respecting the other.
      But I do believe the Bible tells us that there is an order in marriage, precisely because the Lord has set that order. In Genesis 3:16 God says to Eve, "Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."
      We can see this wasn't always the case, this is part of the curse, but it is qualified agsain and again in Scripture, all the way through the NT. So, we can't deny that the Bible says something that it does so that it will fit our worldview 2,000 years later. God doesn't change. We have to get back to the heart of the message.
      But I understand where you are :) I was there too and no one could convince me that the Bible (God) told me, as a woman, to yield/submit/respect my husband an my authority. I balked at anyone who believed that barbaric doctrine. But the Lord has shown me through time. Am I equal to my husband? Absolutely! But that doesn't mean we don't have separate yet complimentary roles to fill and work out in our lives. If we are truly desiring to honor God and glorify him with our lives, we will seek his way with a humble spirit. :) Thank yoy for reading my books of comments haha!

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  49. If being submissive to your male boss by working is against God's desires (as we should be submissive to our husbands) where do women fit into the workplace? This confuses me and makes me wonder how we hold down a job, serve our children, husbands and homes without being judged.

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    1. Women don't really fit into the work place. It goes against everything the Lord sets out as His plans and as being best for our husbands and children and homes.

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  50. I do love your blog and admire your organization. I am wondering why, at least twice that I have read, you feel the need to add "which we do not endorse" after things you mention written by Catholics. I think it would be less condescending to say, although we are not Catholic we like this book.

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  51. I love the idea of exclusively wearing skirts and dresses and am in the process of switching over. I have 5 daughters and have mostly switched my younger girls over (aged 4 and 7). My 11yo is naturally feminine and willingly wears dresses most of the time. I have shared my feelings on this issue with the family, and my husband is in agreement with me. Our 13 yo is naturally compliant and I've noticed she is wearing dresses in public more often. But our 17yo is more resistant to the idea and says she is more comfortable in jeans. She'll wear skirts to church (as we always have done) but that's it. We feel that at her age we don't want to force her to agree with us on this issue as we feel is personal opinion based on principle, not an actual scriptural injunction. My question is, how would you suggest that I tactfully encourage her to think more about this issue? We have already discussed how men look at certain areas but she feels that as her jeans aren't tight and she dresses modestly otherwise then that's enough.

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    1. Your daughter should read the Dressing with Dignity book for a comprehensive understanding. And regarding being "more comfortable" in jeans, that has two sources. First, it's what she wears all the time so that's natural; but she could learn to be very comfortable in skirts if she chose to. And secondly, a 17yo is VERY concerned with what the world and others think about her, so her comfort level sits there. But Christians shouldn't do just what is easy or comfortable. And we shouldn't ask ourselves whether or not we want to obey scripture; the question should be, "How can I best submit to scripture..." not whether or not I will.

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  52. You've said several times in this post that men are visually stimulated and that women are not. With all due respect, were you ever a teenage girl?? I believe this statement to be extremely untrue and also it is not Biblical. Women are to dress modestly to protect men and men are to do the same for women. But ALL of us have the responsibility to guard our own hearts in what we CHOOSE to imagine. Men are not forced to imagine a woman's crotch just because she has pants on. If he does, then HE needs to have a heart change. It isn't my intention to be rude or critical but I do respectfully disagree. I do agree that women should do their best to be modest but I also think that a woman can be just as modest and tasteful in pants as she can be in a skirt. And what of a woman's chest area? With the same reasoning I could say that the lumps in our shirts cause a man to imagine our breasts!! Lord have mercy!! At some point men have to operate in the fruit of self control. We must remember that when Paul wrote the letters there was no such thing as women wearing pants. So, obviously, men were still having lust issues, EVEN when women wore skirts. Pants are not the culprit here.

    I do agree with you on this....I really do think that this is a HEART ISSUE. A woman can have the intention of being alluring even in a long skirt. A long skirt might cover the body but it cannot hide the issues of the heart. And it is important to remember that our HEART is more important to God than whether we wear skirts or jeans.

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    1. But we shouldn't just follow our heart; we should follow scripture if we are Christians. Our heart can be very fickle. Our own human nature can be very wrong. So we shouldn't just ask ourselves or our heart what we should do; we should ask Christ, and then ask Him to change us if we aren't naturally in line with what His directions are for us. *hugs*

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    2. Erica,
      I believe that the above poster (Jennifer Gifford) meant not that we should follow our hearts, but that modesty is a heart issue and how it plays out practically will look different for different people. We can dress in the most plain, modest clothing and have immorality in our hearts. Or we can have hearts seeking to honor God with everything we do, including how we dress, and while that looks different for different people, our hearts are in the right place. "Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart."

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    3. Jessica S.
      Yes, I understand that point. But my point is that whether or not a woman *feels* in her heart that she's modest isn't how we should make decisions. There *are* points of modesty to be observed from an outside perspective. And it is women's responsibility to protect our brother's eyes - whether she wants that responsibility or not is irrelevant, and whether or not she wants to sacrifice and adjust. If she is causing a man to stumble then that's what she should consider. She shouldn't say, "Well I *feel* modest, so if he stumbles that's his problem." No, she needs to act on that step of protecting him and his heart as much as possible. To say that we should base our actions on our feelings is a cop out. We're obviously speeking bold truth here, so if you're *here" on our post then I'm assuming you'd like to hear to hear it strait. *hugs*

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    4. Sorry to comment again, but the above comment is exactly what bothers me about this skirt mentality. How are we as women in any way responsible for another man's sin - namely, lusting after someone? That's going to happen with or without a skirt on, btw. And, saying that it is somehow OUR responsibility to 'protect men's eyes' is what leads to saying, "You were raped? What were you wearing?" Which is simply awful and wrong.
      Wearing skirts doesn't protect men's eyes. Their brains will form whatever dirty pictures they want to. Of course we should be as modest as possible, but we should never hold ourselves to an impossible standard of being responsible for our sins and all men's.

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    5. 1 Thessalonians 4 says we shouldn't defraud our brother when it comes to sexual sin. The idea here is that you shouldn't create a sexual temptation or even hint at one. Although God does hold us responsible for our own sins when it comes to sexual sin we should understand he will hold us ultimately responsible for creating the temptation and not for the giving into it. Its why Paul also goes in to detail in 1 Corinthians about not being a stumbling block to others in how we choose to live. To be willing to give up something because it is something someone struggles with, even if we don't know anyone with struggle personally, and that although they may not be able to avoid it in the world we can help them by not doing it ourselves and creating a temptation that could be avoided. It may be heart issue as to what type of modesty you are called to dress under but we still have to consider the fact that God does say we that we have to take into account that what we say, do, and even dress could be openly a temptation because ultimately we are not honoring God when we do such. The world will always temp others into sin and even our own flesh but as brothers and sisters we should seek to go as far as we can to prevent being a temptation and if we become one pray as to why. God will tell you if you what you to do, whether it be changing what you are doing or doing nothing.

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    6. My main point is that there is NOWHERE in the Bible that gives ANY requirement for a woman to wear skirts whatsoever. Most of this idea came from another book and based upon a single study that may or may not have been accurate. So it is somewhat frustrating to me when people say that this is BIBLICAL. Modesty is Biblical. Wearing skirts is NOT a Biblical requirement, men using SOME MEASURE of self control IS a requirement. My point is that if a man is envisioning a woman's crotch when she wears jeans that perhaps HE needs to get ahold of himself. Now, I do understand that we are to guard one another but this DOES NOT mean that we have to wear a skirt. Basing a conviction of ONE STUDY and the fact that men are more visually stimulated than women(which also is not Biblical), to me does not make that conviction Biblical at all. As you can see I am also a STRAIGHT shooter. I am black and white and I am a BIBLE girl. I am a homeschool mama and I'm also very conscious of dressing myself and my children modestly. As much as I respect you and your opinion, I believe that modesty comes in more than one package.

      When I referred to the heart I was simply saying that I could arouse a man in a long skirt and not arouse him in a pair of capris based on how I conduct myself. How we conduct ourselves comes from our heart. I could wear a burlap sack and lead a man into sin without a word if that was the intention of my heart.

      Anyway, my intention is not to be disrespectful or ugly in any way. I respect your opinion but I do disagree with the idea that modesty=long skirts as being Biblical. Our thoughts and ideas and some author's interpretation of a single study that was done does not equal Bible to me. The idea that a man has no responsibility to not imagine a woman's very much covered crotch is also repulsive to me. Anyway, happy homeschooling and thanks for sharing your heart.

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  53. Wow, this is some really excellent discussion! I have been reading through all the comments again today, and I've noticed some common threads appearing throughout the 76 (currently) previous comments. I'll do my best to be succinct :)

    1. I think we are pretty much all in agreement that the Bible instructs Christians to dress modestly. Erika and her daughters (as have many many other girls and ladies) have decided to live this out by wearing skirts and dresses. And that's totally great.

    2. At the same time, we must be careful that we do not become legalistic about our particular choice of modest clothing. Just because a woman never wears pants does not mean she is a better Christian, or that women who do wear pants are "at a different place in their walk with the Lord." Remember, legalism occurs when we call something a sin that the Bible does not, or we say that a Biblical principle may only be lived out by using one particular application, even though the Bible does not instruct us to only use that application. Which particular application of modest clothing is chosen is between the individual and God. It is, as we have said over and over, a HEART issue. (To be clear, I really do think that Erika's post is descriptive about her choice, rather than prescriptive about what everyone should do. But we do still need to guard our hearts against legalism).

    3. Continuing the point above, we need to be very careful about "judging a book by its cover." A few commenters have described some negative experiences that they've had with certain religious groups who did have a distinctive way of dressing. It is very sad when a religious group gets a bad rap because of the actions or words of some of its members. Unfortunately this happens a lot. These cases require a need for extra understanding, discussion, love, and grace.

    4. A couple commenters have said this already but I will re-iterate it. Yes, we dress modestly because the Bible instructs us to protect the hearts and minds of others. But we must make it abundantly clear that it is NEVER a woman's fault if she is sexually assaulted. EVER!!! We need to instill that into our daughters AND our sons. And we need to instill the importance of pure thinking and self control in our sons AND our daughters just as much as we need to teach then about dressing modestly.

    5. I have not read "Dressing with Dignity" so I can't comment on the validity of that particular book, although I think kateverdeen commented on her family being brought up on its principles. We need to remember that getting a book published does not require the same rigorous review process as getting a piece of scholarly literature published. If you're ever in question about a book that prescribes something based off Scripture and you're not sure of the author's interpretation, I'd suggest seeking the advice of a Pastor or other qualified church staff member.

    6. And lastly, there has been some recent back and forth about the concept of submission in marriage (Diane did a very thorough job explaining this). Remember that submission does not equal obedience (Paul reserves that for parent-child and employer-employee relationships). My husband and I are different yes, but it does not mean that I am lesser.

    Did I forget anything *laugh*? :)

    Seriously though, this has been great to talk about these issues. Thanks for letting me take up space!

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  54. First I would like to THANK YOU for your amazing Blog. It really helps me with making decisions. I have been back and forth with the "skirts only" but only because I was introduced to it by the Duggar family. Not really know the scripture behind the decision. I was raised in a southern home where Jeans and boots were the norm and dresses or skirts were only worn for Christmas and Easter. So now im really digging into scripture and finding the true purpose for this decision. Anyways....

    Where did you find your "sweat pant skirt"? Im a casual kinda person and that skirt really appealed to me. Thank you in advance and keep up the great work!

    God's many blessings to you and your fam-bam =)

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    1. Well, that skirt is made by Vintage Studio, but I got it from Value Village. ;)

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  55. The comments section of this post are just as intereting as the original blog post!

    For people looking to freshen or otherwise change their manner of dress, I suggest that you look into the trend of "refashioning". To "refashion" is to take your old clothes and change them into something else. On refashion blogs you can learn how to make short skirts longer, turn pants into skirts (this is my favorite tricks), tailor clothes and alter them in a variety of ways. It's a great, fun way to redo your wardrobe without having to spend a bunch of money.

    There is not one website in particular that I recommend, just google "refashion" or something specific like "turn pants into skirt."

    I live in an area where there are many conservative religious people who dress beautifully and fashionably (mostly muslims and jews). It can certainly be done.

    Finally, a disclaimer (maybe I should have put this at the beginning of this post) I am not a christian and don't endorse some of the tenants of that particular faith path. At the same time I honor and respect the desire of any person who wishes to live in harmony with God as they understand God.

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  56. Hi Erica!

    I'm currently transitioning as well and this post was extremely helpful. Thank you for taking the time out to write it! God Bless!

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  57. Hi Erica

    I was brought up as a skirts/dresses only wearer and am now in my 30s. With two of my friends, we have transitioned the other way and have started to wear pants (trousers as we are from the UK).

    It took a lot of thought and prayer before I finally bought my first pair of trousers and I am very careful to wear them modestly when in public.

    Now that I am used to them I find them very comfortable and in a way I wish I started to wear them years ago. In no way do I think we are going against the teachings of our Lord as I make sure that my trousers are specially cut for women and my friends have done the same.

    I have started a blog on my experiencies
    Http://rebeccatriestrousers.blogspot.com

    Rebecca

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  58. I was just speaking to one of my friends about this. She only wears skirts and dresses. I've recently been doing bible studies on being a Proverbs 31 woman. I have been feeling like I want to dress more modestly. I haven't wore a skirt or dress since I was a young child. So, my wardrobe only consists of jeans right now. I hope to find a style that works for me so I can feel comfortable wearing skirts. Thanks for this Post!

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  59. You should add Deborah and Co. to that list. She makes wonderful, custom-made skirts with a few ready-made pieces in stock.

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    1. Oh great, thanks! I did add it! Very cute items. A bit pricy, but always good to have resources; especially when you need a few staples for maternity!! =)

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  60. I was wondering if you could post the citation for the study in dressing with dignity that found men focused on the crotch area when women wore pants. I haven't been able to find it- and the eye tracking studies I did see found women spent longer looking at breasts and buttocks of alluring advertisements, and men spent longer looking at eyes and hip to waist ratio.

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    1. This isn't the particular study I quote in my book (I'm the author of Dressing with Dignity), but there are a number of studies out there that say the same thing. Here's one: http://kottke.org/07/03/men-look-at-crotches

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    2. Colleen,
      Well hello! =) What an honor to have you here! Thank you for offering up even more information on this topic. Blessings on your efforts today.

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  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  62. The blog has offered the great knowledge I really enjoyed a lot by reading this.
    is bubblegum casting legitimate

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  63. Erika,

    What is the standard for tops in your house. By that I mean what qualifies as modest? You've outlined a lot about skirts and bottoms but what if any, guidelines exist for tops?

    I noticed in the school pix that a couple of the girls are sleeveless. It there a particular standard or rule?

    Thanks

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    1. We generally don't feel it's modest to show anywhere near the chest area, beside the arms or on top; no cleavage for sure. So we very rarely do a tank top type shirt.

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  64. Your editing skills are really poor. It is sad that you will pass these on to your homeschooling children. Straight skirt, low heels, Mary Jane shoes. I don't have a problem with your message. I just think it's undermined in your terrible grammar!

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    1. Ok, so here's the thing; No linguistic genius will be found in this blog. There may be grammar problem, syntax problems and more. Trust me when I tell you that it used to bug me to death. At the end of the day though, Erika's just a regular woman trying to share her views. She has some good tips/resources around organization, etc. As for the rest, well I think it's best to take what you can use and leave the rest alone.

      Truth is NDmomma you're not wrong. I, personally, have yet to meet/read the homeschooler that I'd allow to teach my children. At the same time, I don't think her goal is to [necessarily] be a model for education. If I read this blog correctly the goal is to be a model of spirituality. Frankly put I think this family is more concerned about "heaven" than Harvard. I don't share the views of this blogger but appreciate her willingness to expose and explain her family and lifestyle.

      Finally, I'll tell you what I tell my kids: When you have the option to be right or to be kind, choose kind.

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    2. Thank you KL. I so appreciate your heart and grace in this; and in allowing me to offer what I can and not refuse to offer anything because I can't do it perfectly. I am a perfectionist by nature, so that would be easy for me to do - refuse to do anything because it can't be done perfectly. I have never been good with spelling or grammar (and as a side note, because I went to a liberal arts grade school which taught creativity instead of spelling and grammar - lots of pros in that, and lots of con's). And I don't have time in my life at this time to take a course in grammar. So - I am where I am. And in all of eternity I have a BA degree and plenty of education and am fine with that wherever it landed me.

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    3. Gosh, people are so rude. Why was that necessary? You are truly finding criticism with home schooling because you fear that poor grammar is the issue? You realize that world wide Americans are held up as a joke in terms of education? In my country we even have a show that talks to (publicly educated) adults on "prestigious" campus' to talk about very simple subjects or introduce ludicrous facts to lure in the ignorant (professors included) for a laugh. Basically the point of the show is how embarrassingly uninformed Americans can be and how dismal the education system is in too many areas. This is an extreme example of course but most of our international news coverage is about incidents in American schools from shootings, stabbings, teachers sexually and physically assaulting their students, school boards declaring bankruptcy, drugs, bullying, suicides and failing test scores. What DO you propose the correct course of action would be? Erika's children should be submitted to this because YOU fear they may learn too many run on sentences? Please. Certainly children of educated and caring parents shouldn't be allowed to interfere with education if they can't correctly use a semi-colon! (according to your snide comment...) Or maybe..just maybe...you have missed the point entirely through your judgement clouded lens. I studied English among other things in University, I have 19 years of public, private and second language school education and I assure you that if there was no spell check available on this posting you would probably have fainted from grammatical insult. Home schooling is not the issue. Trust me. Mean, rude and critical people on the other hand...continue to be a problem everywhere. One useful thing I learned in all those years of schooling was to ask this before you speak: " Is it true?, Is it kind? Is it necessary?" on all accounts then you should have simply...said nothing. your comment was rude, ignorant and critical.

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    4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXa8cO9mXFk&feature=share&app=desktop

      An entertaining look at the English language and how very hard it is to keep all the rules and..exceptions straight (strait, strate..)

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  65. There's no need to be harsh. Erika has pointed out previously that this blog is produced, updated, and maintained in what little spare time she and her husband have, and do so as a personal ministry. What exactly offends you so, as a writer?

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  66. Hey Erika, just thought I should drop a message with a big Thank You!! I came across your blog "by mistake" and the information you wrote there about the advertising company has caught my attention so I decided to buy the book. Personally, I am not a catholic but that doesn't matter really. God has really opened my eyes and my heart to see that it's not really about me and my desires but about my love for others. At the moment I am trying to switch to skirts/dresses only. My husband and I are on a very tight budget so we bought one skirt for church and the rest I plan on making myself. I'm a beginner at sewing but am hoping that with some patterns, I'll get there. My husband is supporting this 100% and has read the book with me. I'm so happy that he's behind me on this. Thank you so much for the post, I am forever grateful.

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  67. Thank you so much for this post! We are catholic and had been totally unaware of the church's teachings until reading the book you recommended. We were also reading another book that really spoke to us called "Men, women, and the mystery of love" this book has one of the most beautiful arguments presented for remaining chaste.

    I want to also thank you for your writing. It has helped me grow immensely in faith. Also, I found your blog when we were expecting twins (which we lost) but your blog really helped me see how we could have 4 kids under 4 in a small 2 br apartment. It was a huge encouragement!! Thank you so much it has been a blessing.

    And FYI... I thought those comments about grammer were just horrible... I've seen more grammer errors in mainstream newspapers... where they have several editors and a professional staff of writers all being paid to catch grammer errors. Thank you for volunteering what I'm sure is a substantial amount of free time to enrich the lives of so many families.

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  68. Hi Erika:
    I didn't see this mentioned in the article so I thought I would ask what your thoughts are on head coverings in church? Do you and your girls wear them? I ask this here because I think it pertains to modesty. I don't wear head coverings but I was recently led to the website headcoveringmovement.com by another mom who was blogging about modesty and they have some good points. Anyways, just wondering your thoughts. Thanks for your blog and all your helpful posts and resources!
    Julie

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    1. No head coverings. We do not see that as a scriptural mandate anywhere. =)

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    2. http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1-Corinthians-Chapter-11/
      You uncut hair is given to you for a covering. :) This is the scripture we use in our teachings that a woman is not to cut her hair because it is a sign that she is under subjection to her husband and also, that is is her glory.

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    3. It's also mentioned in the book, Dressing with Dignity, about the great privilege women are afforded by God to veil. It's a distinction of honor... a privilege. I am friends with a Baptist woman who covers her head always. She said she was convicted after reading the Corinthians passage mentioned above. She says the Bible says women should cover their heads when they pray and we should pray unceasingly. So, she covers her head unceasingly as all her work is prayer. I am Catholic, and I veil in church. I do it out of respect for God (obedience, submission), as a crown (I am a daughter of God and, therefore, a princess in a sense), and as a sign that this is holy ground and something very holy is happening here (special garment worn in the Presence of God). My veil has been specially blessed and is considered a sacramental. The first time I wore it to Mass, it was a little distracting, but now I absolutely LOVE it! It keeps me focused during the liturgy, allows me to pray without distraction, and gives me privacy if I should be a little tearful while praying. I can pull it close and bow my head. Most all the women in our church wear them and dress very modestly, so attention is not drawn to what others are wearing, what they're doing, or wondering if others are approving of my attire. The focus is kept on God, where it belongs. In my experience, head coverings are such a wonderful blessing. -Emily =)

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  69. I am currently pregnant with our third child and I have already at 7 weeks out grown my clothes I got out my pregnancy clothes. It discovered that although most of them I can wear the shorts and capris I cannot. So I decided to start wearing my skirts, I have several sporty and two dressy, until I could get shorts to wear during this transition period. But upon reading your blog I actually think I will stick with my skirts. I also love tights and long boots to wear when its cold outside. I wear my tights under my pants for added warmth because I do get cold a lot. So as I read your blog I realized I don't think that wearing skirts in the winter would be bad at all and give me an excuse to buy more tights! I also have been dressing both of my daughters in leggings and skirts and they love more than pants. The oldest especially as she is potty training and they are easy for her to pull up and down by herself. I think I will also start praying about talking to my husband about doing this. Interestingly he is very open to my ideas about such things when I mention us praying about them. He also knows I love the 1950's style of dresses and skirts, the modest ones,like my grandmother wore to raise her 5 kids. Thanks for you thoughts and reasons on this. Going to be praying for sure!

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  70. One other thing, I don't intend to read dressing with dignity to understand the need to wear skirts and dresses. We lived in Kuwait for almost a year and were very close, in fact considered family with, a muslim family. They dress in such a fashion as we in the US would see it as oppression and yet when I got to the heart of why they do it, They told me they want to honor their husbands and fathers. They know that men have a struggle to be pure and they want to do everything they can to avoid that struggle even in their own homes. I thought, wow! We have missed it. We once again are focusing on ourselves and why we dress the way we do and that it creates freedom. I think its more right to say, what about them? If their is anyway I can help them in their struggle I will do it no matter what the world thinks. Funny, what brought me here was less a study of a book and actually a study of the world.

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  71. We recently had the discussion of dressing in all skirts/dresses. We already dress modestly. But it's becoming harder and harder to find appropriate bottoms for my girls. We made the choice to switch over more out of need. But the subject had been heavy on our hearts for some time.
    Also, my oldest child is 9 and he recently started to notice women. And he vocalized his discomfort around women who show to much of there body. He said girls at school wear clothes that are to tight and he can see there bottoms when they bend over. We feel like this is setting him up for failure.
    I enjoyed when you mentioned the cold. Because that was our main concern being in the Midwest. I suppose when you are strarting something new you can see all the negative things clearly. But the positive things seem so far away.

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    1. This was interesting for me to read. I have also had trouble finding pants for my girls that are appropriate and they are little. I hate the idea of them growing up thinking its ok and hearing that your oldest boy is uncomfortable with it makes me glad we are transitioning. I really do appreciate this.

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  72. Just wanted to say thank you for being encouraging. I wrote about how this blog post has made a change in our family on my own blog: http://thebountifulquiver.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/modesty-a-change-of-heart/

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  73. For those with the ears to hear:This is a divisive topic that tends to drive Christian ladies apart instead of unite them. It's one of those topics that it's not even necessary to discuss in "public" because it makes us a laughing stock to unbelievers. How is this going to help any Christian man or woman become a shining light in this world? What are our poor husbands doing in the work place if they can't handle a woman wearing pants as she works next to him? How are our sons going to witness if they can't handle themselves in the real world where women wear slacks? How are we women going to be a witness if we put ourselves in bondage this way? I wore only skirts for years and the whole time I was feeling the Holy Spirit's conviction that what I was doing was wrong. It leads to pride, as well, because most ladies who wear only skirts look down on their precious Christian sisters who wear pants and skirts. BEWARE, ladies, a relationship with Christ is SO MUCH more than what we wear. Move onward and upward!!

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    1. Well we don't discuss only the easy, non-controversial topics. We discuss all topics and shine God's Word upon them. If anyone doesn't like they don't have to be here. It doesn't make a laughing stock of anyone. It speaks truth. The woman can still shine a light for Christ. Especially if she's still dressing attractively and in style. One doesn't have to be frumpy to be modest. Just feminine. A person's attitude effects their witness. Not their femininity. Unless she's using it judgmentally then of course she has no good witness because of her attitude - not her skirt. And a husband is not poor or a victim because he has a weakness in his eyes - how God designed him. He can handle women in pants. But why make it harder for him at home as well? And why have his daughters doing the same thing? Modest is only relaxing and respectful to men's eyes. And sons can certainly handle themselves as well, but again, why make it harder for them and in their own home? Skirts are never intended to be bondage. That is a personal choice. It's freeing. If a woman is in bondage then she's making the wrong choices or adopting the wrong attitude of victimization. That's wrong. And apparently she's not open to the Lord changing her heart to learn to love skirts. We do not look down on anyone who chooses to wear pants. That is between them and the Lord. We love them. And we make our own choices for ourselves, according to where the Lord has brought us on our journey of maturity in Him. Of course this does not effect our salvation. Only our level of obedience and self-sacrifice and learning to love God's plans.

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    2. I would ask you why you wrote this article then, if it wasn't to try to change other ladies' minds or give them hesitation about their own freedom to wear what they want to wear? My daughters and I wear pants and it is certainly NOT hard on my five sons or my husband to have us do so. We are a Christian family and we love Jesus. Modesty is so much more than skirts vs. pants. My children go to a nice school where girls wear pants and we give NO thought about it whatsoever. Only in making this a public issue do the thoughts get into their heads that pants are a sin. God's will is that we get past the superficial and into a deeper relationship with him. A relationship with Him is much more than clothing!! He loves all of his redeemed ones, so much, more than we can even imagine. I think it's fine that you adopt this lifestyle for yourself and your family, but to write it up like this on a blog makes it seem like you're trying to get other ladies to do the same. Wearing skirts for religious reasons is NOT freeing, it's putting yourself under law once again. Modesty means a proper humble heart attitude which means (along with many other things) that we wear clothing that does not draw extra attention to yourself. I can tell you that when I wore ONLY SKIRTS, I got A LOT of attention and it made me feel rather uncomfortable! God bless you and I hope that you will continue to let Him work on your heart in this area!!!

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    3. It wasn't trying to change others minds about their clothing, it is to simply inform others what God's Word states about being loving and respectful to our brothers in Christ; shedding light on the issue and then letting them do with that what they will. It's between them and the Lord. We do not need to judge anyone.

      Of course modesty is so much more than skirts and pants. It is a heart issue. Dress is merely one aspect of it.

      Just because Christians are around other Christians who give no thought to how they dress doesn't make it right. It just makes it acceptable and popular. Not necessarily scriptural.

      I never said wearing pants is a sin. I said that knowingly causing a brother in Christ to sin in his mind is a sin and displeasing to the Lord. Again, it's a heart issue. It's a matter of considering others. We are not to let our "freedom in Christ" cause others to sin. There are large sections in the book of Romans about this.

      We do not wear skirts out of religious "works" that gain us salvation. We wear skirts because we love the Lord and choose to honor Him and listen to what he encourages us to do. It's about relationship with Him; not religion. Not law. But freedom.

      There is nothing wrong with being beautiful and drawing attention for it as long as we are not causing someone to sin in their mind. Getting attention isn't wrong, causing someone to stumble is wrong.

      Blessings to you.

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    4. Hi again, Erika, you said: "I said that knowingly causing a brother in Christ to sin in his mind is a sin and displeasing to the Lord." in other words, once a woman reads this blog post in which you enlighten them about what God's word says, if they don't heed your Scriptural warnings ..... then they are sin for putting the pants on. Because, after reading your article, they now KNOW it is wrong/sin to wear pants. So, you see, you absolutely are relaying the message that wearing pants is sinful because of your belief that God has made men weak in the eyes, causing THEM to sin when they see the "crotch area" of a woman.
      You aren't wearing long skirts because you love the Lord, you are wearing them because you read a book outside of Scripture. Your journey in this began by NOTICING other women and girls wearing only skirts, you didn't come up with this idea on your own from God's word. The whole idea of skirts-only is someone's extreme interpretation of what they believe Biblical modest dress means.
      This is what God's word says to anyone here that reads this ungracious blog post about skirts and it hurts them:
      "If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations---'Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch' (referring to things that all perish as they are used) according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.." Colossians 2:16-23

      I pray that God opens your eyes to this so that you can truly minister to unsaved and saved women alike with wisdom and seasoned grace and love. He loves his redeemed children so much no matter what they wear....you are loved and welcomed as his beloved child. In Christ we are made pure and righteous, praise Him!

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    5. PS I need to clarify something. I wouldn't expect or ask you to change your position on skirt-wearing, just the position you have put yourself in as a TEACHER of skirts here on the internet. I think that long skirts are beautiful and lovely, and I wear them often because I like them, but I don't believe it is wrong to wear pants and I wear them (and shorts) too!

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    6. Please don't shoot the messenger when you don't like the message. If the Lord says to show love to our Brothers in Christ by dressing modestly then we should do that because we love the Lord, regardless of what we think about it or whether or not we like it. I happen to read a book with very good statistical evidence that can be found anywhere if one is prompted to look, not just in that one book.

      And I don't have to come up with an idea on my own in order for it to be a valid, scriptural pursuit. I paid attention to what other Believers I knew were doing, decided to check that out to determine if there was something there I should learn and grow in my relationship with Jesus, and low-and-behold there was. I don't have to come up with an idea on my own in order for it to be valid and scriptural. We learn from one another; iron sharpens iron. And I went to scripture and found ample evidence for dressing modestly through skirts. I'm sorry if you don't like it.

      This is not a works-based salvation plan. It is simply a matter of choosing to obey the Father's request to protect His other children.

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    7. And by the way, we do not submit to the concept of situational ethics. Scripture does not just apply to us. It applies to all people, in all times, in all situations. If we find direction in scripture it is not just for our family alone - it is for everyone. And we will share that truth openly whether people like it or not, that's not our concern. And that is between them and the Lord.

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    8. Hi again, Erika, I want to tell you I am sorry for continuing this discussion when clearly it is becoming a debate. Truly, I look on you as a sister in Christ, so let's make for peace and unity here. God has His children in His loving hands and will continue to grow you and all of us in the best way possible!! We all need Him so very much. Grace and peace to you.

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    9. Thank you, good_to_be_home, of course. You're so welcome to be here. And yes, we're all growing in Christ on our individual time tables. *hugs*

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  74. Nice post, I bookmark your blog because I found very good information on your blog, Thanks for sharing more information Glamour Amour | Affordable Fashion Clothes | Online Clothing Store | Trendy Clothes For Womem

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  75. What a fabulous article! So practical. However, I would NOT recommend Works of the Heart website. I ordered my swimdress from them 6 months ago and have still not received it. I e-mailed three times and called 2 times before getting a response. Still waiting!!! Just thought I would share this information so ladies can make in informed decision and choose better options for their swim apparel. As it is, I will be missing out on the whole summer swim season.

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  76. I just discovered your website today, and have really been enjoying reading it. We have SO MUCH in common: homeschooling, from the great NW (OR), modesty standards, honoring our husbands/marriages first after God, organizing, gratitude for all God gives us (even the ability to make a small home work for us), living within our means on one income, etc. I too also love the book Dressing with Dignity. Except for the anti-Catholic remark in this post, I have really been enjoying everything you've written, and have even shared your honoring-marriage-first post with my husband tonight. You have a lot of wisdom, experience, and hope. Thank you for sharing your gifts. You are a treasure! With Honor and Love, Emily, a Catholic Fan

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    1. Praise the Lord, Emily. =) Glad you're here!

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    2. I enjoyed reading your blog. I am also a Christian and made the choice several years ago to stop wearing pants. I was curious as to what your views are on culottes and loose fitting knee length shorts?

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    3. Culottes are great as they are usually not bottom-fitting. The length of shorts isn't the problem generally it's the crotch area exposure that is the stumbling block as I understand it. =) But we are not legalistic about it, either. Our girls wear pants when riding bikes, and wet suits when swimming in the freezing cold Puget Sound with our whole extended family. And I wore loose shorts when exercising. We haven't found good solutions for those times yet.

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  77. I am so grateful to be able to find like-minded women and families that encourage the wearing of dresses instead of pants/shorts. The holy spirit has been encouraging me to wear dresses for sometime, but when I had surgery on my foot last January, it gave me a great excuse to start listening because I couldn't get my pants over the dressing on my foot without great pain--and I started to wear dresses all the time (and not just on Sundays for church). I am ashamed to say, at time, I told the Lord I would try it for a month. Then a month became 2 months, and longer. I find I really enjoy wearing dresses and my husband likes it also-- he encourages me to be true to the direction given by the Lord. Now, I need to find more dresses that are better for working around the house and outside--since some of my dresses for church are starting to show wear and tear. (I also wear dresses/skirts to fire training because we are volunteer firefighters--and if I am working on a fire or climbing up a ladder, I just change into firefighting apparel at the fire station.) I will be looking at the second-hand stores for more cotton skirts/dresses and sewing a few cotton skirts. I also bought some light knit capris to wear under my dresses when I need to be more concerned with modesty, such as going to the chiropractor, physical therapy, cleaning our office at work, working outside or it is cold outside, since my dresses just come down to half way between my knees and my ankles (tea-length). Thank you for your example and I thank the Lord for leading you in this direction.

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  78. Everyone is welcome to visit my blog at http://modestly-chic.com/. I am an Orthodox Jewish woman with a very successful fashion consultation business that caters specifically to women to dress modestly, and according to certain laws. Please sign up (it is free), read, comment and contact me. This blog is a great idea, I am so glad that a friend of mine on FB directed me here

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  79. I realize that I am a little to this party. I stumbled upon your blog yesterday. I read this particular post with interest.

    I wear pants. I wear skirts, I wear shorts. I feel feminine in whatever I wear. My husband tell me I am beautiful everyday regardless of what I am wearing. When I wear pants I do not feel like a man. I do not want to take over my husband's place as head of out house. I am able to be submissive to him wearing shorts or a skirt. He is the head of our house regardless of what I am wearing. In May we were married twenty years so something must be working out for us.

    I still do not understand why it is the women;s responsibility to make sure men are not defrauded. I will once again use my husband as an example. he looks at other women. He will tell me that so and so looked nice today did I see them. I do not think he is lusting in his heart he is noticing that someone looks nice. I notice men other than my husband. Not once did I lust after them. Women have eyes too. We can be defrauded. I guess my husband is one of the few who has self-control and knows he can not have s** with every woman he sees.

    You said that women need to stay home and not in the workplace. The Proverbs 31 woman sold the cloth that she made. Lydia was a trader of purple cloth. When my husband lost his job because his place of employment burned down my job carried us through that time.

    And finally, You said that you are not trying to change anyone minds about wearing skirts/dresses full time. Clearly you are. When someone has said that did not feel the need to wear skirts you have said they need to pray about it. A women said her husband (who we are to be submissive to) didn't want her to wear skirts you told her to pray that the Lord would change his heart. In these examples you clearly said to pray about it. If you didn't want to change their minds you would have agreed to disagree.

    That is the great thing about being a Christian. We do not have to agree on everything. I know that Jesus died on the cross for me as much as he did for you. If we have him as savior we get to spend eternity with him. Regardless of what we are wearing.

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    1. The "party" is always open, so you're welcome here. =)
      So first of all we shouldn't just wear what we feel comfortable in. We should wear what is pleasing to the Lord.

      Secondly, it is women's responsibility to do their part to not cause men to stumble in their thinking. He is responsible for his actions, but we shouldn't make it hard on them and they say, "Sorry - that's your problem.' The Lord says that we are to show love to our brothers in Christ and that means not causing them to stumble and sin in their mind intentionally. And that doesn't necessarily mean s**, but scripture says that even the briefest thought about a woman is as good as having undressed her in his mind.

      Next, if your job carried your family along temporarily that's one thing. but adopting as a life style ongoing that you'll be working outside the home is against the Lord's plans laid out for you in His Word. I'm just sayin'.

      As far as changing people's minds, I'm simply stating what scripture says about modesty. I'm shedding light on His Word for us. People are responsible then themselves as to what they do with that information. I do not judge - I don't need to - but I will spread the truth from scripture and people can take it or leave it. I'm sorry if you don't like what scripture says.

      Of course your attire doesn't affect your salvation. But if you love Him then you'd obey Him regardless of whether or not you felt like it. We shouldn't ask whether or not we want to obey - we should determine to obey, and if necessary at the beginning ask the Lord to speak to us about a subject and be open minded to it - and then determine how to do that to the best of our ability and in the way that fits us as a person. Our style, likes, budget, activity type, etc.

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