I just finished listening to A Word Fitly Spoken’s 3 part series on modesty. I love the way that Amy and Michelle handled the topic, soundly and firmly, and gracefully.
Part 3 brought up some painful memories for me. They discussed being careful when discerning personal convictions (such as women should always wear dresses, etc.) and Biblical truth.
When I was 19, I was living with my mom. My dad had left the year before, and finances were awful. Mom and I had started going back to church, and I began visiting a church a little ways from my house, providing there was enough gas money to get there. I always wore jeans everywhere I went, but when I went to church, I wore my “good” jeans. I’m not sure at that point of there was much difference, because I didn’t have many pairs. If it was winter, I wore a turtleneck and sweater; summer was usually a nicer t-shirt and jeans (never ever ever wore shorts to church).
I knew the pastor and family well and when his wife asked me to come by the parsonage one day after church because she had something for me, it didn’t raise any red flags. So I went. She asked me to come upstairs. When I stepped into the bedroom, there were dresses, skirts and blouses spread out all over the bed. I was confused. Then she said it.
“I was cleaning out my closet and I thought you could use some of these things. You don’t really dress well enough for church.”
Looking back, I know I wasn’t even saved then. I had anger issues. I had built up frustration over my parent’s situation/divorce. I was mad. I was hurt.
And this didn’t help.
She was a strict “women should only wear dresses to church” follower. I wasn’t. I didn’t even know at that point if that was a personal conviction or a Biblical issue. I wore the best I had. I was covered up. I was clean. I was looking for Jesus and ended up getting judged for not wearing a dress.
I left in tears. She never apologized. I didn’t go to church there anymore. She and her husband left not long after that. But I did stay in church, and I found places where people were glad I was seeking the Lord and helped me grow. I went off to college and ended up in many debates about the subject of women only wearing dresses. I dont know if my story helped anyone, but I shared. And I still share it, especially when I sing the song I wrote “The Man On The Middle Cross”.
See, what could have happened that day was that I could have thought that was Jesus. And if I had, I could have walked away. What a time in my life for that to happen! My heart was broken from the home situation, and I turned to the church. But I didn’t think that was Him. And it wasn’t Him.
So I say all that to say this: always allow your words to be filtered through His grace.
And I encorage you to listen to Amy and Michelle at: awordfitlyspoken.life
Thanks for reading.