A Call to Die (Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?)

Just after graduating high school, when I was way too cool to participate in anything meaningful and designed to point me toward maturity, my church hosted a fun evening of separate Father/Son and Mother/Daughter events.

The men were going camping, complete with a whole-pig roasting and “Dressling” matches, a clever little sport where participants put on thrift-store dresses over their clothes and wrestle, as seen here during a rather intense match several years ago:

No one can get too competitive when everyone involved is wearing a dress. It's brilliant, really. (All credit for this brilliance goes to dignified college professor and future Dr. Jeremy Greer...he's the one in top left corner.)

No one can get too competitive when everyone involved is wearing a dress. It’s brilliant, really. (All credit for this brilliance goes to dignified college professor and future Dr. Jeremy Greer…he’s the one in the top left corner.)

Believe me, it’s good, clean fun.

And then there was the itinerary for the Mother/Daughter evening:

And I quote, “Moms and daughters are going to get together at the church and talk about modesty.”

So the men were roasting a delicious, juicy ham and making fun of each other in dresses, and we ladies were going to meet in the Fellowship Hall and discuss appropriate wardrobe choices. 

Now, granted, my too-cool, 19-year-old self was not terribly clever, but I knew one thing: Someone was getting ripped off in the fun department.

(Hint: it wasn’t the guys.)

~

If my life has a theme right now, it is surrender.

God is saying, Give it up, Hannah. Die to yourself all the way. Go all in. Give me everything. Surrender and be free.

You may not want to read me anymore after this one, but I have to surrender that.

You may file me away as a stuffy old lady on a soapbox, but that’s okay too.

Because I am surrendering.

So as much as I want to be the one hosting the pig-roasting party, instead, today, I come full circle.

Today I talk about modesty.

~

Let me be clear: I hate modesty.

For me, it has been one of the greatest struggles in my walk with God. Not because I was determined to dress like a floozy, but because it’s just not fair.

It offends my flesh, and my flesh loves a good fight.

Women are encouraged to dress modestly because of verses like this: “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matt 5:28.

But so what? Why is that my problem? Shouldn’t guys just keep their eyes to themselves?

Yes, of course they should. But this is a fallen world we live in.

And adultery, by definition, requires two parties.

Harsh, I know.

~

Proverbs describes how a man seduced by an adulterous woman “followed her like an ox going to the slaughter.” Proverbs 7:22.

This was the verse that finished my fight with God.

The visual of an ox, that powerful animal, being so unknowingly lead to his own death struck me as deeply grotesque and painfully pitiful.

A man, my husband, your husband, our Christian brother being lead to his death.

How does that sit with you?

It kills me.

~

Sometimes dying to yourself is loud and everyone notices.

Sometimes it’s quiet and subdued.

Dying to ourselves over how we dress is a whisper.

It seems unfair, and probably no one but God will notice. We will not get glances from other men as we once did. We will not feel that rush of validation. And, sadly, there will still be plenty of other women out there determined to catch our husbands’ eyes.

But something greater is at stake here.

Because modesty is not so much what we wear as it is why we wear it.

Whose glory are we seeking? 

God’s? Or our own?

We must decide.

The answer is critical.

~

I went to the lake this weekend with friends who are lovely and beautiful, and who clothe themselves with dignity.

They were intentional about what they wore, and I appreciate that.

They respected me and Josh and our marriage enough to not flaunt their curves or show off more than necessary.

They were thinking of something other than themselves.

Do you have friends like this?

Find them if you don’t.

They are invaluable.

~

Choosing modesty is choosing to die.

Yeah, it stinks.

But the alternative could mean the deaths of our husbands, our marriages and our dignity.

Modesty is surrendering unto death.

And it’s hard.

But it’s the death that brings Life.

Do we believe it?

 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off the old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24.

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12 Comments:


  1. Angela said:

    Friend, you have a beautiful way with words! Thank you for writing from the heart.

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Thanks, Ang. And thanks for being lovely and beautiful and dressed with dignity. 🙂

      Reply

  2. LeAnn said:

    Thank you! This is worded so perfectly. I can’t wait to share this post with my daughters and friends.

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Thank you, LeAnn! And I’m praying that everyone we share this with can hear our heart in it, that we’re sharing it out of love and not condemnation. Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Reply

  3. Elaine L. O'Neill said:

    Thanks Hannah for this testimony. Challenge to victory. Modesty is so important and under discussed. It would be great if it was a natural subject to talk about but because it is a touchy subject we seem to have to schedule it into our maturity process. Thanks for sharing that the alternative could mean the deaths of our husbands, our marriages and our dignity. Blessings to you.

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Thank you,Elaine. I agree with you, but I don’t understand why it’s so hard to discuss. I struggled over this one though. It’s just so offensive to our sense of “rights,” I think, to not dress how we want for the good of someone else. We our selfish creatures at heart, and modesty is selfless. So I’m certain I’ll always struggle with it for that very reason!

      Reply

  4. Renee Robinson said:

    I won’t stop reading you. If anything, your honesty makes me like you more 🙂 Thank you for submitting! I’ve always felt a prude in how I dress, but I’m ok with being a prude 🙂

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      I know Renee. Thank goodness for the perspective a few more years of life can bring, right? My teen self was NOT okay with being a prude. 🙂

      Also now when I think about how I dress I have to think about my children. Both our daughters and sons will subconsciously note how we dress and think that it is “normal.” They will look for no different when it’s time to date and marry.

      Gah! Parenting is such a huge responsibility!

      Reply

  5. Leigh said:

    Hannah, I appreciate this post. I see so many women ministry leaders pushing back against modesty these days. And in a way I do understand where they’re coming from–women should never take the blame for men’s sin. But I think it’s dangerous to abandon biblical teachings about modesty and I think you’ve expressed it well here. Our love for God and love for others should impact all our choices–including what we choose to wear.

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Yes, Leigh, I agree. And it’s so hard to be balanced and not put too much of the blame in either camp.

      I read another blog this week where the writer begged other women not to flaunt their bodies because of the damage it does to her marriage and husband. It was essentially what I said, just with more personal application to her life.

      In the comments, many people were understanding, but just as many were furious for her suggesting that her husband’s struggles to be pure were somehow their responsibility.

      It was a perfect example of how the message of the cross is foolishness to those who our perishing. Despite how gently she expressed herself, many of them just couldn’t fathom why they should adjust their dress for the sake of she and her husband and their marriage.

      For once, at least, I was thankful this blog doesn’t have a very large audience. Not enough people read me for anyone to have gotten very angry. Yet. 🙂

      Reply

  6. Kendra said:

    I won’t stop reading your blogs! I appreciate your honesty! You open my eyes to many topics that I wouldn’t read much about until I saw it in your blog. I appreciate this one on modesty too! Our society needs to read this one too! Having two daughters myself, this is definitely a subject I try to teach them and be a good example for. Thank you for another great read this week!

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      For we moms with daughters, I feel like this always hits close to home. I gave my mom some grief over it as a teenager, so I know I some raising to pay for. 🙂

      I’m praying that we can raise children who desire to be modest because they love the Lord, not just because I tell them to.

      Thank you always, Kendra, for posting and commenting.

      Reply

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