When something is brought to my attention multiple times in a short period of time, you can pretty much count on me writing about it. I write from where I am. This is just me.
A couple of weeks ago, my friend and I were waiting to be seated in a crowded, nearby restaurant. I couldn’t help but notice the other two girls waiting across from us. There were guys talking to them, but I couldn’t tell if they had come there together or not. As I watched them interact (I couldn’t help it, they were 3 feet in front of us), I felt my cheeks getting hot from embarrassment. They were wearing tight shirts that didn’t quite cover their “girls,” if you know what I mean. Let’s just say they were falling right out of their shirts! That might be a better description! It was UN-comfortable!
I was reminded in that moment of my own depravity and weakness, which is probably partly why my cheeks got hot. Most of you know my story, and how I went through a rebellious time in my early thirties. I turned my back on God and all things church for a while. I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way, like it wasn’t a big deal. IT WAS!! I did things that I don’t dare speak of, except with a couple of accountability people God’s placed in my life. But God’s taught me His relentless love for us is an even BIGGER deal than our mess ups!!
Anyway, I remember dressing scandalous at times. Even after God had loved me back and I was in church again, I still struggled. I was serving in church, but it was as if I was still hanging on to worldliness, or maybe it was hanging on to me. My wardrobe reflected it!
During that time, a leader in my church (and one of my dear friends) had to confront me about showing too much cleavage on the platform (when leading worship). In my defense, I wasn’t exactly “falling out” of my shirt like those girls at the restaurant, BUT good grief, it was bad enough to have “the modesty talk.” I was absolutely mortified! It was one of my top ten most humiliating moments ever! I’m embarrassed to even share that.
I share it to make it clear to you that I’m not perfect. I still get this wrong sometimes. The “girls” still try to make their way to the surface on occasion. I understand wanting to be in style (maybe even sexy). I understand wanting to be noticed. I understand insecurity. I understand we’re all made in different shapes and sizes, some easier to keep covered than others. I understand this is what the world tells us to do… I REALLY DO GET IT!
But, as Jesus girls, we need to be setting example. We have the awesome privilege of showing the world what true beauty looks like, and it’s not cleavage! Honestly, when we let it all hang out, we’re sharing something sacred.
Those are really for our husband’s eyes only–or your future husband, if you’re not married. We need to keep them covered for him! Just as much as I don’t want my husband to look at another woman’s breasts, I KNOW he doesn’t want another man looking at mine! And if your husband does want you to dress in a way that’s revealing to other men…well that’s just messed up!
We can dress in style and be confident… with modesty! When we enter a room, there should be one of us saying hello, not three!
I read Beth Moore’s book, “So Long Insecurity.” It’s been a while since I’ve read it, but one thing I remember is that she asked men what they think when they think of insecure women. One man’s response was simple, “Cleavage.”
Girls, it’s true. Cleavage screams insecurity! Why can’t we resist the temptation to flaunt what we have? Why do we allow our confidence to be defined by whether or not we’re noticed by men, or women in some cases?
While we cause the men in the room to lust, we cause all the women in the room to hate us. Not because they’re jealous–well maybe–but because they become insecure too. Couldn’t we just help each other out here? By just keeping the double B’s (boobies and booties) undercover, we can help our brothers AND sisters.
And let’s not forget our girls (our real girls), our daughters, are modeling themselves after us! Do we want them letting it all hang out?
I KNOW we all have ample opportunity, while we’re up in that mirror fixing our hair and make-up, to do a quick cleavage check. There’s really no excuse, every one of us owns a mirror!
Or try this one (you won’t need a mirror). BEND OVER! An older, wiser woman taught me that. Easy, isn’t it? Then look down to see if you’re hanging out of your shirt. While you’re down there, feel behind. If you can feel your butt cheeks, then your shorts are too short. If you can feel your back or your bottom at the top of your pants, you need to change, or make sure you never bend over in that outfit.
There are a couple of other modesty measuring sticks I like to use to decide whether something is appropriate or not! Like I said I have messed this up on occasion. But I try to ask myself, if I were another woman with her husband, would this outfit bother me?
Then I think, if I were going to be riding in the car with Jesus, walking beside Him, or even sitting across the table from Him, would I be embarrassed for Him to see me dressed in this? If we’re His, we are with Him! Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and He is always with us. Are we dressing like it?
The truth is this, Jesus makes us beautiful, and He delights in us just the way He made us! We don’t need the attention of random, gawking men to feed our confidence. That’s a false sense of confidence, anyway! True confidence comes from our relationship with God. With Him we can stand tall with our ta ta’s covered!