UPDATE: The following article has been one of the most popular articles we have ever written. It is also becoming quite unpopular with some. We have decided to delete the more controversial comments in the article. Though our personal opinions have not changed on the issues discussed, The Modest Mom Blog is not intended as a forum for political or religious debate. Please accept our apology for allowing it to become so. Though much could be said in response to a number of comments which followed, The Modest Mom blog is not known as a debate forum, thus, we will refrain from responding but we will also be deleting any current or future comments on this post which would lead down that road. Thank-you 🙂
This is the sequel to the previous post my husband wrote for the She Wears Skirts series.
In my last post I described how I went from being completely oblivious to the issue of modesty to completely awestruck with how significant of a principle it is. I was “awestruck” for a number of reasons. First of all, I wondered how I could have lived 21 years of my life without once considering whether or not there was a right and wrong when it came to dress. Secondly, I was amazed by the beauty of it all. As you may recall, in my last post I recounted my first encounter with my future wife and her sister sitting across the room from me at a scripture study and what my initial reaction was to their appearance. In my ignorance, I could not conceive of any rational reason that would drive two young ladies to show up to a college scripture study in ankle length, floral pattern jumpers. Not only had I never seen anyone don such apparel, I honestly didn’t know if I ever cared to see it again – not because it was displeasing to my eye, but because it was displeasing to my heart. Why you ask? Seeing them “set apart” in their dress made me uncomfortable – more uncomfortable that I cared to admit at the time. I was used to the short shorts, the tight tops, and the form fitting everything else. I had become much too well acquainted with this sort of revealing dress and if I would have been honest with myself, I would have confessed that it had done nothing but aid in the development of many of the vile affections that then abided in my heart. Scanning the room that night, my eyes came into contact with something that absolutely shook the foundations of my pitiable understanding concerning the issue of dress. As it was, however, I quickly took shelter in counsel of my heart (not the safest place to be) and reemerged from this cellar like nothing had ever happened. To be sure, I could not deny that there had been an earthquake, but it hadn’t phased me. Strange that it even shook me at all. And so, I settled myself by allowing a single word to characterize what I had seen – weird. Case closed. Back to the real world.
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Fast forward almost a year later and I was to discover that this earthquake had aftershocks like you wouldn’t believe. Passing through the room of this same scripture study, I spotted one of these young ladies (Caroline in this instance) sitting meekly in the corner and the words came to my mind so clearly, “That is the sort of woman you ought to marry.” I had come a looooong way – from “weird” to to wedlock. Now, what I would have you to understand is that I wasn’t contemplating marriage on account of what Caroline was wearing, but how she wore it. Her clothing was modest, yes, but more importantly, she was modest. This was what I had but dimly apprehended at the first. My wife was not wearing jumpers because she liked them (she didn’t and still does not) or because she believed them to be particularly fashionable (they passed out of vogue, oh, some 30 years ago), but because she felt that they were accessory to a modest spirit (that, and they were all her mother could sew at the time, it being very difficult to find anything in the department store agreeable to modest deportment.)
After meeting Caroline and her family, I was introduced to quite a few other ladies who were careful and considerate of their appearance – not too be revealing with the clothing they wore. Not all of them were modest. The one’s that were the most modest in their dress were, in many instances, the least modest, if you follow me. I could go on and on about why I think this is, but I shan’t, for the Modest Mom says I should draw this post to a close. I hope you will not take my comments as license to dress like everyone else for they are in no way intended to encourage such a course, for although it is possible to be truly immodest while modestly dressed, it is impossible to be immodestly dressed and truly modest. No, my post is intended to encourage the cultivation of a modest spirit and all that it implies – and yes, this process involves taking a good hard look at your standards of dress and adjusting them if necessary (whether you dress modestly or not). In the end, modest clothing does not the Modest Mom make, but they are an appendage unto her. If it were merely modest clothing that adorned my wife when first I met her, I would have dismissed her taste in clothes as sadly misinformed by some obscure, puritanical interpretation of scripture. As it was, however, she wore a meek and quiet spirit which was, and is, of great price in the sight of God, and it had the blessed effect of drawing me nearer to my Savior.