To my sister in the faith getting hitched:
I am unbelievably happy for you. I can’t help but grin and squeal about things like this, but there is something I have noticed that I would like to bring to our attention.
Firstly, you need to understand that 1) I want this to be helpful, and 2) maybe we are missing the point. We have heard lesson after lesson on modest dress. We get it, we get it. No booty shorts or low shirts. We’re getting tired of people breathing down our necks. So when we make our way to our future husbands, will we wear something appropriate in the presence of GOD? Will we take to heart as Christian women what we have been taught all our lives? Unfortunately, the term “Christian” is used loosely nowadays. I don’t know about you, but “Christian” does not look like Christ to me anymore.
If we didn’t wear strapless dresses without jackets for our Prom Alternative, why would we for our wedding day? If we didn’t approve of showing our breasts, why would there be an exception for our dress? You may think I’m being “too conservative” or that there’s nothing wrong with it… and that’s where secular society has won. They have no problem with you thinking that. We have had our consciences seared, ladies. We are seeing less and less of what’s wrong. Since when did we conform and listen to our own opinions (Romans 12:2)? Though our minds change over time, one Mind has always remained constant, and His opinion is the only one that matters or holds weight (Isaiah 55:8,9). An exposed back or shoulder does not shout “different” or “reserved.” Would He approve of that? Do you think He would like seeing one of His own dressing no different from the world, exposed? Your body soon won’t be just yours—in fact, it never WAS just yours. Your body is God’s. He made it. Shouldn’t you treat it with the respect it’s due?
My purpose in posting this isn’t to berate you, but rather encourage you. Find beauty in places the world typically wouldn’t. Blaze another way of being gorgeous. Our Christian walk requires us to make sacrifices and leave what we want behind. I want to look fashionable for my wedding day. But I’m told to look Christ-like (Galatians 2:20). If I don’t, I could compromise my influence as a Christian. “Christian society” today does not show me lowly-hearted women who bring all the attention back to God. My attention is on how expensive and revealing that dress is, and it’s disappointing. We know better. And we’re reminded that this life is NOT about us and what we think is okay. What I think is alright could actually cause a well-meaning Christian brother to stumble quite a bit. It could take away from the significance of marriage, and from the One who gave it. It could take away from the image of humility I’m required to portray. I need to remind myself… from the moment I became God’s own, I denied what I wanted. I gave up being like everyone else. And now I am being asked to be selfless and protect the people around me and my own integrity. This is about protection, example, and spiritual mindedness (Colossians 3:1,2). I repeat: this is not about us.
I’m encouraging you to do the right thing and be sure you are displayed as the beautiful true Christian woman you are. You will be praised for it, and thanked for it. And more importantly, you’ll look the part of a called-out woman. And don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it!
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30
By Catherine Brumback
Catherine is a first year college student who attends the Southwest School of Bible Studies in Austin, TX. She worships with the local congregation of the Lord’s church at Southwest church of Christ.