Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Woman's Honour: The Beauty of Modesty

Funny how you can see Christian girls walking the boardwalk with every inch of their body available for eye perusal except for a few places barely covered with a strap of fabric.  Interesting how the pictures we share on our social pages or hang on our walls state our belief that we have the right to showcase ourselves if we wish.  Ironic how our heroes tell us that the body is art and meant to be uncovered- like hello- why would you veil
the bewitching body contour, the ravishing skin shades, the enticing symmetry of movement?
Maybe this is all a trick to satisfy
us with a fading allure so that we completely miss the real essence of beauty.
Oh, the very delicate issue of modesty.  Perhaps we have heard so much about it that we no longer respect it.  Perhaps we have started to base our standards on the ones around us.  Perhaps we do not understand the true beauty of modesty and have agreed that beauty is bareness.
Growing up, I used to become upset at the way my old-fashioned parents made me dress.  It was so hard to be different.  Don't think that a sixteen year-old girl does not see the way that the other girls look at her because she is not dressed like them.  At that time, I could not see that the guardians of my life were trying to teach me principles so that I would be able to know how to keep my heart and body. 
I'm twenty-three now, my wardrobe is pretty much up to me now.  The decisions are mine.  But when I was finally old enough to make my own choices, I could not bring myself to showcase my body for public display.  Do people still look at me strangely?  Oh yes.  Are family and friends sometimes embarrassed to be seen with me?  Definitely.  Am I saving myself for my King and maybe one-day Prince Charming?  Without a doubt. 
I have heard the old argument that modesty should not matter.  It is the man's fault if he thinks inappropriate thoughts.  Well, yes, the man is responsible- according to what I read in the Bible.  Men however have been taught by today's society to lust after women on the premise of what they can gain for themselves.  To find a man who is fighting for the purity of his mind is a rare thing indeed.  I wish there were more men stepping up to the responsibility of being Knights of the Kingdom.  If our men would step up, the women would undoubtedly follow.  But let's face it, if the men are not going to do that; then we as women can show an example of how modesty is breath-taking.  Just because the world has lowered the standard does not mean that we have to accept it!
I have a nineteen year-old brother and an almost fifty
year-old father that both claim that a woman who covers herself holds a charm and mysterious beauty which is more attractive than when a woman shares everything with the world.
But back to blaming the issue of modesty all on men.  Men and women are different.  Men are attracted by sight; women by emotion. 
So if you as a young lady are falling for a man who is bringing you flowers, sending chocolates, walking on a moonlit beach with you, and taking you to the most romantic restaurants, how will you respond if he then says he is not responsible at all for your attraction towards him, it is completely your fault, you should have controlled yourself? Obviously, you would not agree with him.  I mean he was the one sending the flowers and trying to woo your affection.  However, as a young lady, you are doing the same thing when you unveil your modesty. 
Am I going to tell you the exact blueprints of modesty?  No, that's something between you and God.  You know, that is the first place to start.  If your modesty is only dependent on church or family regulations, it will be a drudgery to maintain.  But if your modesty is based on your love for a King Who is wanting the very best for you, your idea of modesty will suddenly become a freedom instead of a cage.  I love Leslie Ludy's guideline for modesty.  Cover the areas of your body that you would not feel comfortable with a man (that is not your husband) touching. 
Modesty is not just about dress though.  I have seen young ladies with wonderful external modesty, but yet they are undressed in spirit and action.  My brother once was in a group of young people when he noticed something strange.  One of the most modestly-clothed girls there was the most immodest.  She was the one that instantly drew all male attention because of her actions and spirit.    
Is the level of modesty dependant on time or location?  Why would it be?  You are still the same person, serving the same King.
I think the biggest thing to grasp is that modesty is a beautiful thing.  The more a valuable coin or gem is handled, the quicker it loses its value.  The more your body and heart is given away whether physically or through display, the quicker you sell away its worth.  Modesty is one of the key ingredients of purity.  When modesty is not a safeguard wall around the castle of purity, the castle is more likely to be chipped away, entered, and defiled.  When the King comes, I want to invite him into a castle that has been guarded, even though it cost me friends and tears and easy love.  How ashamed would I be if all I had to show Him was a crumbly ruin?  Many men may approach the bulwark that I have guarded.  They want to come and go as they please, each time taking a little bit of the castle.  But if I have the wall of modesty, they will be more quickly held back.  Only the Prince that has received the Key to my castle from the King himself and has slain his the dragons in his own life will be allowed to enter the fortress that I have guarded with all of my heart, soul, and mind.   
I embrace the fact that I can make the choice to fight for my body and to guard my purity.  When the battle of peer pressure breaks loose, I wield my sword and firmly protect the most valuable treasure the King ever gave me.  May we as young women never sacrifice our walls and castle to gawking eyes and bandits, plunderers, and swindlers who will leave us with nothing but brokenness and ashes.