Thursday, October 20, 2005

Feminine doesn’t just mean wearing any old dress.

At the website one article mentions a girl who looked as if her clothing had been thrown on with a pitchfork. And Nancy Leigh DeMoss wrote in her defense of Christian women aspiring to modest dress, “I’ve heard women describe modesty as ‘no style’, ‘prudish’, ‘unattractive’ and ‘boring.”

What is it that we have done to make people think of this? Has our idea of modesty really been transformed to lack of style and unattractiveness? DeMoss reminds us that God in His creation displays much beauty, lavish colors and infinite variety.

Two years ago I rarely ever wore a dress. Skirts were the closest I got to dressing in feminine clothing. Although a tomboy, I was still a girl at heart and I liked pretty things, but so much of what I saw were frumpy denim dresses that resembled feedbags with sleeves sewn onto them. And in my opinion a pair of jeans and a t-shirt were much more attractive then those dresses that often did look as though they had been thrown on with a pitchfork.

Then I read articles on wearing dresses in which the author explained that when you wear a dress you will most likely feel more feminine and ladylike. You will not slouch and sprawl but try to live up to what your appearance says about you. I have been experimenting with wearing long, lovely dresses and I have discovered their transforming power. My brothers even treat me differently!

Conversely, masculine, sloppy clothes do not make me feel feminine or distinct from all the guys in our home. And I have to ask myself, is this kind of gender blurring God glorifying? Femininity is supposed to be a beautiful thing. As Caddie Woodlawn’s father tells her in the Newberry prize winning book by Carol Ryrie Brink, “ It is the sisters and wives and mothers, you know, Caddie, who keep the world sweet and beautiful. What a rough world it would be if there were only men and boys in it, doing things their rough way!”

Can we really make the world a more beautiful place when we appear to be rough like the men and boys? I do not think so. Will you give this transforming idea a chance? Put on a pretty feminine dress. If you need to cook don’t take it off, just slip on an apron. You’ll be amazed how much more you’ll want to make the make the world sweet and beautiful, when you embrace another aspect of God's purpose and design in your life.