You walk into church on Sunday, you're on fire for Jesus, and are feeling pretty good, and you even think you look good too. Overall it's feeling like a good day (#wakeupprayandslay).
You go in and find a seat and wait patiently for the service to begin. While you're waiting you're looking around as everyone else is coming in. They're already like a small knit family but you're feeling confident in yourself so you don't let it get to you that you're kind of an outsider right now. But as you wait you begin to realize that your Sunday best isn't quite the same as what seems to be everyone else's.
As you sit, you start to get a little squirmish pulling at your skirt, (hoping it's long enough) cause the girl who just sat next to you has on some cute skinny jeans. Suddenly you think, "why didn't i think of wearing that, I didn't even know it was OK to wear jeans to church." She looks over at you and the first thing her eyes go to is your cleavage and then she realizes you're looking right at her so she glances up and halfheartedly smiles at you and quickly looks away.
You've seen that look before. The look of silent judgment with the courtesy smile. What started off as such a good day is quickly fading behind you. As the band begins to play, you consider silently sneaking out. No one would notice you're gone. But you feel the Spirit take over you and realize that God is calling you to stay... so you do. And you keep coming back to. You tell yourself, "I don't care what they think of me, I'm not here for them anyways." And in reality you're not.
But that first taste of insecurity may also be the slightest bit of God speaking to you. Not in a judgmental way or unwelcoming way but in a way that says He has something better for you.
I was that Girl. Not only did I not know any better but I actually worked for a clothing store which encouraged it. Their motto was all about being sexy and as the dedicated employee I was I embraced their vision. I never had someone tell me honestly that there was an image of a proverbs 31 woman and I was portraying more of a Jezebel. I knew I didn't dress like the other girls who I thought were beautiful and several of them even quite fashionable, but I didn't know I could possibly even be leading men into lust and sin with their eyes. I didn't know that I could be found attractive and beautiful in a modest way. But one day the Lord spoke to me.
It was the most gentle reprimand that I've ever received from the Lord thus far in my walk. My church had a guest speaker visit and he brought his entire family. When they held an alter call at the end of the service, I went up and was consumed by the Lord's presence and began to weep. The guest pastors' 5 year old daughter came and laid hands on me to pray. She told me not to cry sad tears but that the Lord wanted me to cry only tears of joy. After the service was over, I saw her in the lobby and i went over to her to thank her for her prayers. When I was done thanking her she softly touched my arm and said, "you bare no cover." I didn't understand and she looked at me and said, "you're showing all your skin". I was wearing shorts and a v neck sleeveless shirt with an open back. After I left there, I went for a walk with some of the women from my church and I told them about what had happened. They all kind of looked at each other and finally one looked at me and said, "I don't want to hurt your feelings but you could afford to maybe dress a little more modestly." I couldn't believe no one had told me. They were all thinking it, but no one had the courage to tell me.
Maybe the Lord knew I may had taken it with a lot more hurt and offense had it come from one of them. I don't know and I can't say I wouldn't have at that time. But I know that the Lord wanted better for me. He wanted me to embrace not just the character of the Proverbs 31 woman but also her image.
He speaks to me more forcefully and directly now and used that same verse to take me further a few years later. When my now husband and I started dating, he had made some comments that were meant to be informative about my wardrobe that I didn't receive very well at first. But after a discussion on the way to church one evening about a dress that turns out really was kind of see-through, I sat smugly in the back-row just begrudgingly waiting for the service to be over when I reached over and grabbed the Bible next to me and flipped it open on "accident" right to proverbs 31. OK Lord I hear you, I thought to myself. And from that point on have been intentional about making sure that I am first and foremost not dressing in a way that would provoke lust (Rom 14:13). Second, I know that my beauty is not in my clothes or the way I dress and though I love fashion I am actually called to dress modestly (1 Peter 3:3-4) and profess my godliness in how I carry myself (1 Tim 2:9-10).
I love the book Captivating by John and Staci Eldredge. There's a part where it talks about how as women we represent all that is beauty from God. I believe that. Each and everyone of you are beautiful AS YOU ARE. You are His masterpiece (Eph 2:10). I pray that this encourages you to know that you have beauty in the Lord without those things too.
Here are some fashion forward brands that I've found carry some adorable fashion pieces and at least two of them give a portion of their profits to charity. What's better than looking cute and helping out a cause in the process.