Holiness, Sin, and Tapered-Leg Jeans

I suspect God had to chuckle at himself a bit when he gave me two daughters right off the bat.  Payback would be sweet.

My mother especially deserves a good stern handshake for surviving my teen years. Clothing was a major issue. In my 14-year-old brilliance, I was certain that those high-waisted pants and tapered-leg jeans she wore would never, ever in a thousand-bazillion years be in style, and therefore she was not be trusted to know anything about fashion.

Meanwhile, I looked like this:

The Shorts!

It was modesty that was the real issue. Midriff baring tops were in (or at least I thought they were in) and my mom most certainly thought they were out.

Again, not to be trusted.

~

(She has not heard the following story, but I am too old to punish. Heh.)

To my delight, when I was in about the 8th grade, she went on a work trip during the week, leaving us at home with Dad. I pulled on a slightly tummy-revealing top that I had acquired somewhere without her knowledge and slipped out the front door unnoticed. (This is one of the rare instances when having terrible posture comes in handy.  By slouching I could almost completely hide that my stomach was showing. It was brilliant.  Scoliosis-1, Parents-0.)

But it was also miserable.

I had never been so uncomfortable in my whole life. Not only because approximately one inch of my stomach was exposed the entire day, but also because I knew I was in the wrong. Whether or not I agreed with Mom, the rules had been set and I had blatantly disobeyed.

I learned at least one thing that day: I wasn’t cut out for a life of crime.

~

A few years back—when I was big ol’ pregnant with Hattie—Josh and I took a little trip up north and spent a fast and exhausting day in New York City.  I don’t remember much about it, honestly, outside of how much my feet hurt and this sign:

Sin will find pic

It says, “Sin will find you out.”

(I had to pull this picture off the Internet because I couldn’t find our copy, but I wasn’t surprised that it was there. Someone else had seen this and found it note-worthy.)

I had seen it and found it sad.

~

It’s not that it isn’t true. It is, and it’s scriptural. In Numbers 32, Moses warned the Israelites that choosing to do things their own way and not as the Lord had commanded them would have consequences.  The Bible also says it this way, “Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them” (Prov.  26:27).

God takes sin seriously, and so should we. The things we do or don’t do have consequences, both on earth and in eternity.

And God takes sin so seriously because God is holy. So very holy that our disobedience in any matter—as small as a cropped shirt even—is enough to separate us from him.

It sounds harsh, but it isn’t. It is holiness.

And that’s why Jesus is such an incredibly big deal.

~

So that sign wasn’t so much wrong as it was incomplete.  

I wish it would have said: Your sin will find you out, but

Jesus came so that we could have life, and have it in abundance (John 10:10).

And

“God shows his great love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

And

“For God did not send his son to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17).

But that would’ve been a really big sign.

~

I don’t know who’s reading this. I don’t know what you believe about God.

Maybe this is old news for you—you’ve already trusted in Jesus as your savior, or maybe you consider yourself a Christian but your life doesn’t necessarily reflect it, or maybe you don’t believe a word of the whole darn thing.

But know this:

The message of the Bible is Hope, not condemnation.

Sin separates us from a God who desperately wants us to draw near. So God’s holiness may seem harsh, but it’s not. It’s a sign pointing us to our need for Jesus and his beautiful, redemptive, life-changing, purpose-filled grace.

That’s a sign worth hanging, friends.

(But again. Too long.)

 

*What about you? (Someone agree with me about the high-waisted jeans, please…) Or maybe, more importantly, someone rebelled (like me) and God’s incredible love drew them back (like me.) Oh, do share, please. 

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10 Comments:


  1. Kendra said:

    I love reading your blog Hannah! You are not alone! I never did anything with my clothes, but I tried defying my mother with my hair once….I grew up with curls, natural curls and ALOT of them. I wanted to straighten them SO bad, but my mom said it would damage my hair. I went for a sleepover when I was about 13 at a friends house down the road and she had some crazy hair do-dab that would straighten my curls (at least until I washed my hair again!)…..needless to say, she got the contraption stuck in my curls, literally stuck- so bad that we were scared to death and had to call her to come down and help get it out of my hair…..her anger alone kept me on the straight and narrow. It taught me the lesson that God gave each of us a special look for a reason. He wants us to all be different and he’ll love us for that no matter what. Why do we try to let worldly things change us? God loves us, we should love us too!

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      And a great many of us have damaged our straight hair trying to get it to be curly too. Like me. Just the other day. :/

      Thanks for sharing, Kendra. Good stuff.

      Reply

  2. Judy said:

    Amen Sister-high waisted jeans and all:) Love You!

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Glad you’re not mad at me. 🙂

      Reply

  3. Tara said:

    High-waisted pants are not flattering. At all. Maybe on a tall toothpick of a woman, but not on this short, plain frame of mine for sure! I was quite the nerd and was extremely comfortable with my parents’ rules. They weren’t Jesus followers, but protectively strict-mostly due to their traumatic childhoods. My mom actually encouraged us(4 girls) to wear pretty much whatever we wanted. The “if you’ve got the body for it” mentality. But, I was always self conscious about showing much skin-I’ve always hated shorts even when the style wasn’t about them being tight and super short. That’s a lot of thigh out and about

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Thank you for agreeing with me about the pants, Tara. It’s important that we’re on the same page about that. 😉

      And isn’t it interesting how–even in a household that’s not necessarily pushing modesty–God still gave you a sense about what to show and what not to show? He’s a good, good father, always looking out for his children. Thanks so much, as always, for reading. 🙂

      Reply

  4. Sally Apokedak said:

    My rebellion was a bit worse than yours. Much worse than yours. And God is merciful.

    But I’m glad you were a fast learner.

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Well, I won’t say that was my worst (or my last) rebellion by any means, but it was definitely the first time that I can remember feeling very heavy conviction. That school day couldn’t be over soon enough. So, yeah, that lesson stuck with me for sure–at least in the cropped shirt department, anyway.

      Reply

  5. Tara Abshier said:

    I REALLY wanted to wear my moms high school class ring…I don’t know why. Probably because she forbid me to wear it:-) then one day, I was brilliant and snuck it out of her jewelry box before bedtime when she was busy (doing dishes and cleaning up after us I’m sure) and I put it in my room to wear. The next morning I put it on, wore it to school, bragged to all my friends, then put my hand on the door frame of my classroom and swung around the entrance of the door and my ring got caught in the metal part where the door lock goes in and the ring cut into my finger and it nearly ripped my ring finger off (honestly). And worse than that, I had to go to the school nurse to get her to help me and the school nurse was my mother! She was SO mad and wasn’t sympathetic to my profusely bleeding finger in the least and put Vaseline all over it and ripped that ring off my finger! I will NEVER forget it!!

    Reply

    1. Hannah Post author said:

      Yikes. And to have to see your own mother to get it fixed…that hurts. Good story though. I’m glad to know I wasn’t the only one committing these kinds of foolish crimes in my youth. 🙂

      Reply

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