A recent pic of Amanda. I appreciate her writing this guest post for us!
LOOKS AREN’T EVERYTHING!
Ladies, if you are single and you want to be married some day, please hear what I have to say about the issue of modesty and how we appear, especially in a setting of Christian men.
When I was being drawn by the Lord to seek Him about 4 years ago, I was very much in the world. I attended a home-group setting with other believers who were around my age, and I would go every week for fellowship. All the other women there were married besides a few, and they all dressed about the same as me – tight jeans, regular tops. What I noticed was that any single men that attended the home group always stayed clear of me. No one talked to me except the married pastor, or the old married guy who hosted our group.
No single Christian man ever introduced himself, talked to me, or made a point to even say hi to me.
I figured that they were just shy. So I started talking to them. I even reached out on facebook to some of them, and tried talking to them.
No one responded to me. Ever.
I didn’t understand what was wrong with me that no one wanted to talk to me or get to know me – until later when I realized I was going about things ALL wrong.
At the time, I was still living in the mindset that “looks are everything.” I had bleach blonde hair, a fake tan, I wore make up and fake eye-lashes sometimes and I weighed about 100 pounds, and always wore tight leggings or jeans and tight shirts—no matter where I was. I didn’t think anything of it because everyone else looked like me for the most part. I didn’t stand out in any particular way, that I was aware of.
At the time, I honestly believed that my looks were going to be what attracted a godly man to me. I believed that I had the whole package (PRIDE!)— good looks, skinny body, tan skin, blonde hair.
I never once thought that the way I looked was actually the reason why no godly men talked to me or seemed interested – until I met my husband.
A pic from Amanda’s past
MY HUSBAND TOLD ME THE TRUTH FIRST
I met my husband on a Christian dating site, and I had posted some pictures of myself that were “modest” in my opinion. I still had tight jeans on, but my shirts were modest in the pictures. At that point in my life, I had let go the tan body and the blonde hair, and I had even began working out to actually gain weight/muscle because I didn’t want to be super skinny anymore, I wanted to look healthy.
The Lord had truly began to work in my heart about these things and I had decided months before I met my husband that I was not going to settle for any man unless he was a true godly, Bible-believing man who treated me respectfully and who was looking for a serious relationship/wife and who would not just try to use me sexually or otherwise.
So after “meeting” my husband on the dating site and after we had talked for about 10 days, we decided to meet in person. Deciding what I would wear was not really a big deal, and I was pretty plain dressing at that point. So I just wore what I always wore – tight skinny jeans, and a semi-tight, semi-loose gray sweater that sat just right on my hips.
In all honesty, I was trying to show off my body to my husband in that first meeting. I wanted him to want me. That is what I was used to aiming at. I believed my looks were everything.
Well, that first time we met was nice and we just talked for hours and that was all that happened. As time went by, my husband started making comments about my tight jeans. He said things like:
- I can’t believe you are going to wear those jeans to church!
- I’m glad you are wearing loose jeans today instead of those tight ones!
At first, I actually got mad within myself when he said these things! I didn’t understand what the big deal was. I was proud of my body, I worked so hard to get it to the place it was at at that time, and I believed that men were attracted to “fit” women. I thought any man would want a good looking girl!
AFTER MARRIAGE MY HUSBAND SHARED MORE WITH ME
Well, after we got married, the truth really started coming out about how I dressed and how I looked. It’s hard to remember exactly what was said now, but I know the effects it had on me, so I’ll generalize what was said to me by my husband after we got married,over time.
- I don’t think you should wear those tight jeans anymore.
- I don’t like you going to the gym with other guys around staring at you.
- When I met you, I was concerned about the tight jeans you were wearing. They turned me on and I wasn’t trying to be turned on. I wanted to get to know your heart.
- Do you have to wear the tightest possible clothes?
- I don’t want you to wear those tight gym shorts to the store.
- You look the best without any makeup on.
- I like when you pull your hair back so I can see your face better.
- I wouldn’t mind if you gained some weight.
After I got married, I tried to stick with the working out, but decided if my husband wasn’t attracted to that, then I had no reason to do that anymore and I eventually gave it up altogether. Now, I just go for walks and stay active in that way,and I still eat clean for my own personal reasons and choice but I no longer care/obsess about working out. That led me to gain some weight, and I eventually got rid of ALL my clothes from before marriage and have progressively switched over to only wearing flowy skirts and t-shirts in public. I still wear leggings and yoga pants at home and tight clothes at home because my husband likes that for HIMSELF.
He doesn’t want the whole world to see what belongs to him, and I have come to really respect that!
I gave up tanning forever because I realized that it was seriously damaging my face (I have a lot of wrinkles and I am only 29). And I no longer dye my hair at all. I don’t wear any makeup at home, but if I go out in public, I just put on some mascara and eye-liner only on the bottom of my eye in a very light way so that it looks natural even with makeup on.
When the Lord opened my eyes to these things in the summer of 2015 after I had been married for a little over a year, I started wearing only dresses and my husband was ecstatic! He even went and told his sisters how God was changing me and how I only want to wear dresses now and he was so happy about it!
WHAT I DIDN’T SEE THEN, BUT KNOW NOW
Now that it’s been almost 3 years, I’ve had more time to talk to my husband about these things and he told me that he married me because of my heart for the Lord, not for my looks. He has always told me I am beautiful and he is definitely attracted to me physically. But for him, that was NOT everything. He wasn’t interested in marrying a woman for her looks at all. He wanted a woman who loved the Lord, who was spiritual, peaceful, gentle, quiet, and respectful. He saw all those things in me before we got married, and that is why he chose to marry me.
Now looking back, I am horrified at my total lack of self-respect in how I chose to dress around godly men in my homegroups and how much I valued vain physical appearance! I placed my everything in my looks and was counting on my looks to get me a husband. I was striving to look the way the world said was beautiful—instead of how the Lord would want me to look.
When I looked like the world, I attracted worldly men who had evil motives and intentions towards me.
Now I see that the way to attract a godly man is not primarily with how I look, but what my heart is like. Having a peaceful spirit, smiling, being respectful, covering my body in a way that says I respect myself and expect to be respected by you. This is not legalistic one bit. This is reality, sisters.
Men who are seeking to follow the Lord, the type of men that all true godly women want to marry, are not going to want to look at or be around women who are dressed immodestly, and who are disrespectful and focused on vain things in life according to the world’s ideas. They will be seeking a woman who is truly spiritual, who respects her body and who is peaceful, gentle, kind, loving, and respectful towards men. Godly men are not attracted to women who come off as a man in any sense.
I’ve heard more times than I can count from my husband, “You’re not a man, so stop acting like one”. He would say this to me because of my disrespectful, controlling, domineering heart towards him at times. (Note from Peacefulwife – not that men should act like that, either! I think he was saying she was acting like she was in competition with him.) He was also not interested in me having muscles like a man. He did not find it attractive at all. I have come to respect this so much and I am truly thankful for my husband telling me the truth! He has not tried to make me change who I am at all—he has lovingly told me the truth and I am so blessed to have him in my life!
I believe that it is very important for us as women to check our motives in how we dress around men. I know I was wrong for a long time and approached it based off of my own perception of what guys wanted. I never actually considered if how I was dressing was even attractive to men. I also was greatly influenced by the world and what the world said was beautiful. I was influenced even by the other girls at church who were close to my age. I assumed that since they were dressing like me and were married, obviously it was ok to dress like this and it had no repelling power over men. I regret that.
Now, I don’t care what anyone else is doing, I want what the Lord wants and I know now that what my husband says matters in my life, and I want to respect him and myself and our marriage and even other men out there who see me. I don’t want to even give a man the chance to look at me the wrong way ever again. I know I can’t completely control that, but I can walk in public without any conscience of evil due to how I am dressed. I don’t feel uncomfortable and worry about if a man is seeing or staring at me in the wrong ways. If anything, I get more opened doors for me now, and I am treated respectfully by male strangers.
Ironically, I have the most confidence now in my appearance than I have EVER had before! It is like a breath of fresh air now, knowing that I am not purposefully causing a stumbling block for men, and that I don’t need their attention in the wrong way.
I personally started wearing only skirts and dresses in March of 2009 because I wanted to dress femininely and modestly even though I had worn jeans almost every day (except at work) for years. It was a way for me to embrace the gift of godly femininity in my mind and a way for me to remind myself that I did not “wear the pants” in the marriage. This is not a specific command in Scripture – modesty is the command (although women didn’t wear pants in Bible times, and neither did men, from what I understand).
I am not saying all women must wear only skirts or dresses in public. There are some pants that are modest, some are even very flowing that are not skin tight that may work. This is something about which we each will want to pray and seek to honor Christ. It is primarily a heart issue. I don’t want to make it about a bunch of rules but about our desire to please Jesus and be a blessing to others.
My Journey into Femininity and Modesty – by April (Peacefulwife)
A “Heads Up” for the Ladies about Acting Respectfully and Dressing Modestly – by Lee Ann, how men will relate to you differently when you do this