Standards With Charity - A Swimsuit Series

The girl in the bikini.

The teller at the bank with an enormous amount of cleavage falling out of her shirt.

The woman sitting in the chair next to you in her mini skirt that is 2 inches long, legs dangling with high heels on. You see men walking by her, giving admiring looks at those legs.

You feel frustrated, perhaps irritated and you want nothing more then to get back home and away from these terribly immodest ladies.

My mother was once a person who dressed immodestly. She was far from perfect during her late teen/early twenties.

She didn’t know the Lord.

She needed a Savior to come and lead her along the path. To lift her up out the miserable pit she was in and show her a sweeter path that led to eternal life with Him. Three years ago today she found true rest and peace when she entered Heaven, and now is basking in the joys of eternity that we can only dream of.

Those ladies who might be dressed as prostitutes. They need a savior. A reason to forsake the life they are on and walk a different path.

We are the ones to show these people a better way.

You might think “well, my long skirt and modest blouse and long hair is my witness. I will lead people to Christ just by being a light to the world by how I dress.” 

I know because I have been guilty of thinking that same thing. Justifying in my mind that I don’t have to get dirty with their sin, because I have my headcovering and conservative jumper on, and they know I’m a Christian, so I’m being a good witness.

It’s not enough. Looking like a Christian woman, feminine, meek and modest will yes, encourage some. But we have to be willing to go to the cross with those who are on a different path.

There are challenges that arise with the duty we have. We want to shelter our young children as we should, and they do not need to be thrown into the midst of a beach full of bikini clad ladies, or a bar full of prostitutes. Our responsibility is to protect them.

But we teach them to sorrow, and have concern for these people. Not mock, laugh, and wrinkle their nose in disgust.

Because if Mama is doing it, they will do it.

As we continue our swimsuit series, and future discussions on modesty, please understand that I’m not saying we need to don a long skirt on and run to the hills. We need to be a bright light to the dismal world around us. But just because we need to love the lost does not mean we need to dress like the lost. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of saying we are not supposed to create a standard.

We already have a standard. Jesus Christ. The one and only way to come out of the dark world and find a new life of redemption. He gave us permission to create standards, because his whole life was a standard of truth. Jesus spoke words that were difficult to bear, to some might have sounded cruel and unfeeling. He chased the money hungry people out of the temple. But he also had compassion on the woman at the well who was a prostitute. He talked to her, and did not pass her by because of her sin.

His life was not flawed by the sin of others though. He did not stoop to going to their level, as so many churches try to do these days. Instead he sought to bring people up his level, which was to God.

Create your family standards. Teach your children why they should not wear immodest clothing. Instruct them in purity, and in keeping their hearts and minds free of lust. At the exact same time though, when they criticize that person who is different then them, remind them to pray for them. Always keep telling them that there are those who know not God, and so act accordingly.

One of the worst things that can happen is when a group of people separate themselves from the world, and forget that they were once just like those lost people out there.

We all have been lost and without a shepherd, yet Christ sought for us. Let us go after the lost sheep in love and compassion, calling them to come unto the shepherd of their souls and find redemption in him.

12 Comments on Standards With Charity – A Swimsuit Series

  1. Yes, this. Definitely want to recognize that if they don’t know Jesus, it’s an expected symptom of a much deeper problem. It’s a bit harder when it’s a Christian, but we explain that some people have never thought about it, or just do what everyone else does, or don’t believe that it matters, etc. And I tell my children that I was a teenage Christian wearing short shorts, with usually modest tops, except one top that was form-fitting and really emphasized my bust and I thought made me look *good*. Sigh. I didn’t know any better, until God by His grace opened my eyes in that area over time.

    P.S. I don’t know how much control over your ads you have. But, it’s really ironic that one on the ads in your side bar for Tynon has a cartoon woman with a very hefty and mostly bare eye-catching bust.

    • Thank you for letting me know about the ads. I put that ad up on a trial basis, and I really don’t think it’s going to work. 🙁

  2. This is a good article series. What is the saddest thing regarding modesty is when a Christian lady will defend herself and challenge you regarding her immodesty. I approached a young married lady because we were seeing her panties flashed on the platform at church. Her reply to me was not a thing was wrong with it and the pastor would not do a thing even though asked by the deacons. We switched churches. Yet I see this mindset among many younger and older woman. Justifying dressing the way they do.

  3. Dear Caroline,

    Your blog has caused me to take an inventory of my clothing. I thank you for that. When I go clothes shopping now, I look for modest and feminine clothing. I like that my mind has opened up to how I used to appear. No more, from now on I will make a concerted effort to dress modest and think about how my clothing choices impact not only me but others around me.

    Blessings!

    Sue

  4. I know you’ll delete this, because you only want to hear from people who will feed your ego, but I’m writing anyway. I don’t care if you’re wearing a bikini or a burqa, it’s not very modest to have an entire website full of glamour shots of yourself, and to hold yourself up as a paragon of virtue and imply that others should model their lives after your directions. Remember all sins are equal in the eyes of God – you are *no better a person* than that bank teller you’re judging. Indeed, maybe she volunteers at a soup kitchen in her free time, whereas you write self-righteous blog posts. You are no more justified to look down on her than she is to look down on you, because (Matthew 7:3) you are looking at the speck of sawdust in her eye. God doesn’t like judgmental attitudes either, Caroline. Let’s just keep this to what it is: you like to talk a lot about yourself. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but that’s not modest.

    • Rebecca,
      Well, first of all I didn’t delete your comment. 🙂
      Next, I do not consider the pictures of myself on the website to be “glamour shots”. Everything from the un-glamorous setting of nearly all of my photos (that would be my backyard. Its awfully difficult to avoid the telephone poles and chain link fence back there. Ugh!) to my un-glamorous poses (it’s pretty obvious I don’t know how to pose like a professional model) to what many would consider my un-glamorous clothes, my Modest Monday photos are really, well, un-glamorous. Then there’s that “paragon of virtue” charge. I’m not implying that others should model their lives after me but rather the scriptural principles I’ve tried to model my life after. Those are good for everyone. About the “all sins are equal in the sight of God” thing – that simply isn’t the case. But don’t take my word for it. For a start, these words from Jesus suggest otherwise; read John 19:11. Concerning the bank teller you reference from my post; if she does indeed volunteer at the soup kitchen I say good for her. That’s certainly a good thing. But just as she shouldn’t have her cleavage hanging out at the bank, she shouldn’t have it hanging out at the soup kitchen either. And finally, I can see why you would not think my talking a lot about myself and posting pictures of myself online to be a terribly modest exercise but to put it simply, I’m very interested in the topic of femininity and modesty and I needed someone to model these principles on my blog and though I do it quite imperfectly, I happen to know myself and be with myself quite a lot so its really more of a practical matter that you see a lot of me on the blog. Hope I’ve at least answered a few of your concerns 🙂

      • Thanks for the response, Caroline. I would only ask you to consider: could you have made the exact same point without publicly judging strangers? Had you focused on the positive, your post would have been no less well received. Their lives are not for you to judge. Our job is to love and to serve, not to snark in our thoughts or words (much less our words on a public website).

        And, your clothes are lovely :). Really!

  5. Hello!

    I was curious if there was going to be more posts for the swimsuit series? It seems like it just kind of stopped, but the entries themselves implied there was more to come. Although I don’t wear skirts exclusively or homeschool, I enjoy reading your blog and perspective. I work full time, as does my husband, and our 2 children have always gone to daycare (the oldest starts 3k this week now!), but I still find that I can relate. Your blog causes me to think and challenges me- even after growing up in what I consider a conservative Christian family!:)

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