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Monday, October 29, 2007

Speaking From a Wound

1 Samuel 16:7
7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

(I am a little nervous over this post because I want it to come out right)...
I have thought about something all afternoon and all while I worked tonight. So of course, I will blog about it. I was reading a Christian speakers blog today and I read something that really bothered me that was addressed to the way women dress. It was her blog and she is free to say what she wants but as I read it I felt sorry that I had thought or said some of the same things about other women in the past. I taught in the singles ministry for a long time and I can remember seeing girls that would come in my class that were dressed very inappropriately and I would comment to myself at times and sometimes speak about how we as women can cause others to stumble by the way we dress (and I specifically meant that just for them...just so you will know the condition of my heart). I spoke those words not so much because I cared about them or even how they could cause another to stumble... but in some way they made me feel insecure so it would cut me to the core. Yes, as Christians we should care about how we dress and should care about not causing another to lust after us and etc. But as I read this woman's post I thought about how we tend to address (and she was speaking of a complete stranger) what someone should not be wearing when really it is an issue of the what's in their heart and not what is on the outside. It reminds me of the verses on our speech...it is not the word's we say but the condition of our heart where our words come from.

Matthew 15:18-20
18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' "

That reminds me of the self-help trend where we focus on fixing the externals instead of having much needed heart surgery and getting to the core issue of our problems. Take an alcoholic for example. Yes, that is an addiction but usually at the root of the problem can be loneliness that needs to be filled by Christ, or maybe pain management...just drinking until you can't feel instead of dealing with your pain head on.

Women know that dressing in a seductive manner will draw attention and they will feel powerful. That is why they do it. I would say that when we dress to gain the attention of another man (that is not our husband...if you are married) that we are struggling with insecurity. Plain and simple we will use our body as a way to validate. Someone who is dressing to gain attention is seeking to be validated by the attention they get. But let me ask you this? Have you ever felt that same way? We are all tempted to yet we will so brutally look down on others. I am not agreeing with the immodest dress that is out there by any means. I am also not saying that you shouldn't be cute. There will always be someone thinner than us, prettier than us, younger looking than we are and that is just a fact. This is getting personal but one night there was a famous girl on television posing in a commercial and it was very much a commercial that was sexual in nature. I immediately shouted at the TV so Rod could hear me "She's a piece of trash!" Rod stopped me and said "Jenny, listen to yourself...she is made in the image of God whether she is living that way or not...you shouldn't call her a piece of trash." I immediately got defensive and felt like he was taking up for her. Do you know why I lashed out at the TV and her ad...it was because I felt like she could gain the attention of my man and that I was not good enough (I am not saying he was giving her attention either) so I wanted to lash out at the wrong she was doing and degrade her as a person because in some way it made me feel small and insecure. That is the truth. The Lord knows the condition of every heart and it is His kindness that leads us to repentance. Instead of picking up stones and casting them at people we need to pray for others that may not be in the same place that we are. And in the church we should teach in love regarding the way that a Christian woman should dress, because not everyone is in the same place that we are. We don't come out and throw stones of condemnation especially when we don't even know where someone is at with the Lord. How quick we are to label people instead of praying for them. I am so guilty of this. Especially as women how many times have we judged someone else based on appearance when we've never even had the first conversation with them.
I pray that the Lord will make you and I secure enough in our relationship with Him that we can love others and find our worth in Him. Also, I hope that we can pray for others instead of looking down on them. Don't you think that deep down when we lash out about another woman that in some way we really just want to cut her down to make ourselves feel better? These are just my opinions. I have dealt with insecurity so much and I have been hurt and betrayed in this life to...but I truly want to love and pray for people who do not treat their temple as holy instead of letting it shake me and make me feel insecure. Let's face it we will all have this problem until Christ comes to call us home. We can honor the Lord with our beauty, teach our children to dress modestly, and speak the truth in love but we can't control the rest.

1 Peter 3:2-4
when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.

Psalm 45:11
11 The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.

14 comments:

willblogforshoes said...

Wonderful point! I think we use His word to mask our insecurities more than we'd like to admit (or maybe it's just me!)

I, too, am a firm believer that God wants us to be cute! :-)

steph said...

I agree! In my church, I see a sense of judgemnet passed on non believers who do not exhibit Christ like behavior. Think about it- Why would you expect someone who's father is Satan to act like a child of God? Yet we get extremely judgemental, and many times it stem directly from our own insecurity! We can surely reach these women if we pursue them out of love!
Great post! It reminds me to evaluate my motives and heart attitude

He Knows My Name said...

jenny i remember beth saying in some talk these girls are really saying "who will love me". i remind myself of that each time i see girls and WOMEN dress suggestively it is a cry for attention but rooted in the need for love.

~janel

Ang baylis said...

Hey Jenny!
What a great post! I want this part to be etched in my mind everyday, especially today!

Psalm 45:11
11 The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.

Thank you so much! You are so wise for such a young girl!
Love,
Angie xoxo

Little Steps Of Faith said...

Girl, this post had your heart all about it, seriously! What made you think you didn't want to write it, was because you were uneasy about sharing you're still human?
If that is why, then you did as God asked of you, and put it out there.

More than most times lately, I don't really want to write the devotionals as transparent as I do, but God shows me how much it ministers to others, people probably can very much relate to your post today.

I surely did, coming from a non-christian home.

So, don't worry!

I have a good word I heard listening to " A Heart Like His" this morning, OMG, loud and clear as I am driving and wondering about how I am going to accomplish everything today, God speaks through Beth, - God had big plans for David, but while David was waiting, he tended to his fathers sheep. God wants us to remember our responsibilities here too, even though we want to do BIG things for HIM!

I don't know if that speaks to you, but I almost had to pull over lol.:)

I'll write about it later, but after that today, I am not sure God wants me to write the next Sister Freaks post, I started to last night, but I just don't feel I should do it if it isn't spirit led this week...does that make sense?

Tam said...

This brought a couple things to my mind. Wash the inside of the cup first. Then the outside can become clean.

I see so many women walk into our church dressed very "minimally' and then you get to know them and their journey. And if they stick around and we're fortunate enough to witness Gods amazing transformation of them you will slowly see the outside change. It's a beautiful process.

I think our insecurities speak before our hearts and better judgment get a chance to sometimes. But it's important not to lash out at those we perceive as less than, or "trash", or even superior to us when really no one is...I do this all the time but I have to remember not to shoot the wounded. We're all wounded and "act" out in our own little ways.

I hope at least a little of this makes sense. I'm tired and don't feel too good!

love you Jenny!!! I love your thoughts...as always!

Abby said...

love your heart and honesty...

and love Ps. 45:11 :)

Mr. and Mrs. D said...

Here is how you put tunes on your blog. I hope I get it right!

1. Go to www.projectplaylist.com and open an account (free) and put together your playlist. You will be able to follow their prompts.

2. When done, choose to put your playlist on a social network. Since blogger isn't listed, choose the generic one.

3. Copy the HTML code they give you.

4. Go to blogger and sign into your blog. Choose VIEW BLOG.

5. Then choose CUSTOMIZE (upper right hand corner).

6. Choose ADD A PAGE ELEMENT.

7. Choose HTML/JavaScript. That is where you copy your code.

8. That's it! It really isn't that hard. Let me know if you need more help!

Have a blessed day! I know I will because I am going to the Patriarchs class tonight.

Charity said...

Great post! The same kind of thing can happen when others look down on someone who doesn't have the same "fashion sense" or simply can't afford the same kind of clothes. You are right, we need to reach out and love people and focus on their hearts!

Don't worry...I will take lots of pictures tonight of Landon....I can't wait to see some pics of Morgan!!

Have a GREAT day!

connorcolesmom said...

Great reminder!
I know I have to check my words b/c you are right sometimes they are said in a defensive way. I also have to remind myself that everyone is made in the image of God :)
It is hard to not be judgemental.
Blessings,
Kim

Fran said...

Another good word Jenny. Thank you always for sharing your heart and how you feel. This has caused me to think about many things. Thank you for bringing me to that place. Have a great Halloween and lets see how that darling Morgan is all dressed up tonight.

Blessings and Thanks..
Fran

He Knows My Name said...

thanks for checking in jenny. i have been in quite a funk. dr. appts coming up, kind of concerned, ya right. worrying my fool head off, got a head cold to boot.

i will pray for our little morgan. she is such a cutie. i love you too. you are such a blessing to us women.

~ janel

He Knows My Name said...

i hope i didn't sound judgemental about women/girls and their dress. clarifying my thought: when we see them dressing like who will love me...we have to be there to love them open our arms to them look them in the eye and let them know we care. a story came to mind as i was typing this. our pastor told this one sunday. a mom brought her daughter to church and introduced her to our pastor and humiliated her in front of him by drawing attention to her attire. he responded by looking her in the eye, shaking her hand and saying i am so glad you came today and i hope i see you again real soon.

don't you feel we, the body, have to be on guard, our judgementalism creeps in so quick.

Honea Household said...

What a great blog! I completely agree with you. I am a mother and I do dress very modestly just because I want to be an example for my daughter and son. But I do have very close friends who dress immodestly and several times I've mentioned to them how I think their shirt is too low or their skirt or shorts are too short.

Beth Moore spoke on this in her Daniel Bible Study and I even wrote it in the front of my Bible:

"One of the ways that we allow the enemy to treat our holy vessel as unholy is through imodest dress. We have dressed our holy vessel in an unholy fashion. We are being used by the enemy to toast the world, the gods of this world, which as the Word of Gd says are as nothing." (Refer to 2 Timothy 2:20-21 and Daniel 5:1-6)

I have had the same attitude as you though, condemning those who are dressed immodestly because of my insecurities. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. We should dress like it.