Monday, May 18, 2009

Growing Up - Learning Modesty in Dress

Modesty by W.A. Bouguereau

"In like manner women also in decent apparel: adorning themselves with modesty and sobriety, not with plaited hair or gold, or pearls or costly attire, but as it becometh women professing godliness, with good words." 1 Timothy 2:9-10 Douey Rheims Version

Because God made us in His image, we are fundamentally attractive to him and to each other...

Immodest attire is attractive, and the more immodest the attire, the more powerful the attraction. They way you dress sends powerful signals. It is important to be aware of the message you are sending and who you are attracting.

As a check, ask yourself, "How would my choice of clothing be perceived by my Heavenly my earthly someone with unchecked lustful thoughts."
From as far back as I can remember, my mother would teach us about modesty in dress. She would often mention that when she was growing up in Peru, any woman who went up to Holy Communion wearing a sleeveless dress would be denied Holy Communion by the priest.

My mother only started wearing pants after a few years of living in the United States. Prior to that time, she only wear skirts and dresses. The length of the dress and skirt were always at a comfortable and decent level below the knee. To this day she only wears skirts and dresses to Mass; never pants.

Gradually, she became accustomed to the comfortable feel of jeans. They were never tight-fitting though. They were the above the waist, relaxed fit jeans.

One item of clothing never worn by my mother was a bathing suit, no matter how modest we tried to tell her it was she told us it was out of the question to even think about wearing one. She simply thought it scandalous to show that much of her skin. Yet she did understand our youthful need to wear two piece bathing suits.

She taught us by example though.

Now that we are all married women with children of our own, we still dress modestly. As far as I can remember, cleavage was never shown, tight-fitting dresses and pants just didn't appeal to us.

We wear what would look like something out of a LL Bean catalog. Classic look in clothing fashionable yet modest in appearance.. This is what my mom favored in apparel and this is what her daughters favor as well.

My mother wasn't the only parent who taught us modesty in dress and the girls in the family weren't the only ones who were taught modesty. My father would not hesitate to direct us to change a certain piece of clothing he found unsuitable to him. My brothers could not and would not be permitted to come to the dinner table without a shirt. T-shirts were permitted but just barely and they had to be clean. Bare feet was also taboo in the family. We listened to my dad but it wasn't without a lot of verbal protest first. But after all, we knew who was the boss.
As Christians, we have a responsibility for the souls of others, and we are obligated not to place others in the near occasion of sin. Charity requires that we pay particular attention to this grave responsibility in a matter as serious as sexual attraction. Sexual sin often begins with an unchecked lustful thought. Lustful thoughts often lead to more serious sin...

...In this world which is increasingly filled with immodesty leading to serious sin and the loss of salvation for many poor souls, we are all called upon to exercise prudence and charity, beginning with ourselves, whether we refrain from being a means of temptation or whether we take steps to control our eyes and imagination. As we have shown, what the world considers proper clothing is many times far short of what a modest Christian should want to wear. It is up to each of us to consider prayerfully our standard of dress.

Where souls are concerned, it is always better to err or n the side of charity and modesty.
Quoted excerpts from World Apostolate of Fatima Spiritual Guide for the Salvation of Souls and World Peace.

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Colleen said...

Well said! And what a great example your mother gave :)

Adrienne said...

When I see little girls dressed worse than street walkers my first question is, "Where are the fathers?"

Not only do the children and young people today dress immodestly the girls in particular, look just plain ugly and unkempt.

No young lady when I was growing up would show up at Sunday Mass (or anywhere else except the beach) with wet hair, sloppy jeans, and T shirts that reveal everything.

And now tho be really, really catty. What's with all these fat teenage girls wearing those reveling outfits? Don't they look in the mirror and see the rolls of fat? Ugh and meow!!

EC Gefroh said...

She did Colleen. TY. What I forgot to mention is that one way we made sure we were modestly dressed was by wearing the Brown Scapular. If we showed to much skin, the Brown Scapular would be peeking out.

Adrienne, I really wish parents weren't afraid to tell their kids how to dress.

Jess said...

speaking of modesty, this is a modest towel!! i thought of it when i saw the first picture.
great for women!

its called the, "wearable towel"

Sally said...

Laughing about the brown scapular. I found that helps me also. I wore one as a child but hadn't in many years. A few years ago, when I began wearing one again, I started selecting shirts with higher necklines just because I didn't want to deal with alot of comments. My daughter on the other hand, has no problem wearing her's on the outside of her shirts! lol She is naturally very modest though and never shows cleavage or tummy--even in bathing suits.

Sally said...

oh and as for cattiness--I don't want to see anyone's clevage, tummy, or underpants no matter how fit they are. So pudgy tummies or washboards--keep it covered up!!

EC Gefroh said...

Sally, LOL. My teen son feels undressed without his brown scapular :-)