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Author Topic: Modesty in the rest of life, as well as in church  (Read 997 times) Average Rating: 0
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Cassiel
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« on: March 24, 2008, 10:40:33 PM »

I'm a total newbie, and I hope I don't raise dead horses here, but I did a search and didn't see this question addressed (if I missed it, I apologize).  I cover my head in church.  I wear a skirt.  I believe in being modest.  But I'm also an athlete, and when I run I wear shorts that are pretty short (longer ones chafe or get heavy if it's raining and they become wet), and when I cycle I wear spandex (again, a measure against chafing: skimpy athletic clothes are, in my experience, not about sexiness but about practicality).  It seems hypocritically immodest to me, though, to wear these things out in the world when I am so careful to dress for church.  I'm faced with kind of a practical dilemma now, too - I'm a regular attendee of matins services, and I am a cycle commuter.  Next week school begins and I'll be cycling to get there (driving in the city is highly impractical for me as well as expensive), and I want to continue going to matins.  So I'll ride to church, change, then change again and ride to school, I suppose.  That means being on church grounds wearing spandex.  This makes me very nervous.

So how do we navigate this discrepancy between how we dress in church, and how we are the rest of the time?  Or should I become like the bruderhoff women and even cover my head constantly (between a scarf in church and a bike helmet on the commute it's nearly always covered anyhow!)?
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livefreeordie
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« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2008, 12:05:56 AM »

I don't know if this is any help, being that I'm a man, but my wife is one of the most modest people I know and she is an athlete.  She is currently training for a mini-marathon in April.  There is plenty of work out material now-a-days that can go over spandex and is very breathable, etc. and that is what she does if she might be somewhere where straight spandex might not be appropriate.  As time has gone on, dressing like this has become natural, although early on it was a pain.  The reward now though is that our two little girls and three little boys have grown up with the image of a modest Christian women and I for one can see the results.  Speaking for her, she would say the effort is worth it.  Our girls are bombarded with sexual images wherever they go. Almost every woman on the cover of a magazine in even a grocery is made to look some plastic barbie doll.  Doing what you can to be a different example is admirable and commendable.  But don't get too freaked out about it, modesty and puritanism are not the same thing! And strong woman rock! Wink

I'm a total newbie, and I hope I don't raise dead horses here, but I did a search and didn't see this question addressed (if I missed it, I apologize).  I cover my head in church.  I wear a skirt.  I believe in being modest.  But I'm also an athlete, and when I run I wear shorts that are pretty short (longer ones chafe or get heavy if it's raining and they become wet), and when I cycle I wear spandex (again, a measure against chafing: skimpy athletic clothes are, in my experience, not about sexiness but about practicality).  It seems hypocritically immodest to me, though, to wear these things out in the world when I am so careful to dress for church.  I'm faced with kind of a practical dilemma now, too - I'm a regular attendee of matins services, and I am a cycle commuter.  Next week school begins and I'll be cycling to get there (driving in the city is highly impractical for me as well as expensive), and I want to continue going to matins.  So I'll ride to church, change, then change again and ride to school, I suppose.  That means being on church grounds wearing spandex.  This makes me very nervous.

So how do we navigate this discrepancy between how we dress in church, and how we are the rest of the time?  Or should I become like the bruderhoff women and even cover my head constantly (between a scarf in church and a bike helmet on the commute it's nearly always covered anyhow!)?
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 12:06:31 AM by livefreeordie » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2008, 12:11:02 AM »

  Modesty in dress period is a good thing.  But I wouldn't go riding your bike in full Amish garb.  You like to wear the spandex to ride the bike in, riding the bike is good for you, you aren't going to Matins in spandex shorts, so it's all good.  Modesty in dress would be to me, not wasting huge amounts of money on designer clothes, not wearing like suggestive stuff but at the same time not dressing like you live on the tv show "little house on the prairie."  You know just dress respectable and beautiful. 
I don't miss the old days when I'd be at church and the girls would wear those low cut jeans...  remember that fashion, the one where the girls all needed suspenders but didn't know it?
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 12:13:41 AM by username! » Logged

TinaG
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2008, 09:15:29 AM »

  ...  remember that fashion, the one where the girls all needed suspenders but didn't know it?

Remember it, it's going full strength still.  You ought to see the show in my neighborhood.  17 yo cheerleader across the street in low rise everthing (I'm suprised she can hold anything up with how skinny she is, but it's all there for God and creation to see).  And my newest neighbor (37 yo divorcee with the 20 yo live-in boyfriend who gardens in mini sundresses - she's real popular with the garage dwelling retired old guys across the street.  She is Catholic so I wonder how she dresses for church.)  My judgmental streak is showing though (or as my husband says, I'm just jealous 'cause I don't have "it" anymore).   When I was in my teens and 20's, I lifeguarded and wore bikinis that were small enough to make me wonder if they'd stay up if I dove in the pool. 

I tend to think we get more modest with age, as well as living our faith more appropriately.  Especially with us converts though, there is a desire to do everything hyper-correct.  It's always a balancing act.  I absolutely feel right covering my head in church, but I think if I did that outside of church it would be for self-glory rather than God's glory. 

Cassiel - when you go to Matins, I have a practical solution that would take less time maybe and be less of a hassle.   What about some simple wrap around skirts that don't even require you to remove your spandex shorts?  Throw a blousy top over your cycling shirt and keep your tennies on and you won't even have to change your shoes.  You could do any of this covering up without having to go into the bathroom to change since you're just wrapping, not doing the complete change thing.  What do you think?  If you sew, wrap skirts are very simple to make (or so I've heard, and if modesty is a problem with the flap opening, just add a button in the front.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2008, 09:16:25 AM by TinaG » Logged

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Cassiel
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2008, 06:44:16 PM »

Thanks.  It's hard not to react against the very trends you're describing - I'm 27, and many of my peers think nothing of going around dressed that way.  In fact, in my drawer I have some jeans that are pretty darned tight, and better still - in a more ignorant time - I wore them for an appointment with my spiritual father (granted, this was probably just the second time I met with him, before I was a catechumen or anything!).  I suppose because I know I come from this culture that doesn't even seem to know what modesty is, I feel a little tone-deaf when it comes to Christian ideas of modesty.  There's a lot in Orthodoxy that I feel the need to take on faith, because my thinking has been so warped by this culture.  Anyway, I will take your suggestions under advisement. 
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