No, this isn't an Onion article
Christian Femininity: Are We Resigned or Excited?
By Elissa Kroeger
Aug 9, 2005, 21:40
One day my husband and I were talking about women's clothing. I asked him what he likes and does not like about the way conservative women dress. His answer shocked me.
He said that women dressed in denim skirts and jumpers all the time reminded him of Fidel Castro. What!?! What could Christian homeschooling moms concerned with modesty have to do with an evil communist dictator from South America? My brain was doing gymnastics trying to see how this fit.
He went on to explain. Castro and his minions wore army fatigues all the time; it was their uniform. They did not look happy, they did not look pleasant; they looked angry and militant. He thought it was the same with many "jumper moms."
I thought about this and realized he was right. Often our jumper-wearing is just a slightly feminized version of wearing sweatpants around the house. Our jumpers are often unattractive and do not make us more beautiful. Sometimes they are stained or faded and would be better used cut up as rags.
Once upon a time denim was considered a fabric for work clothes. Cowboys, miners, and railroad workers wore denim jeans. I do not recall seeing pictures of people wearing denim in everyday life until the 1950's. (I was not born then, I have seen pictures)
I confess that I wear denim skirts and jumpers a lot. My mom made me my very first one when I was pregnant with my oldest child 21 years ago! I like them; they are comfortable. I can put layers of warm things under them in the winter. They go with every color of blouse. I can clean the kitchen in them and not worry about ruining my clothes. There is a lot to be said for this kind of clothing.
What we have to ask ourselves is this: Are we dressing to glorify God, to please our husbands, and to make the world a more beautiful place; or are we trying to make a political statement with our clothing? Is there anything wrong with making a statement with our clothing?
The answer, I believe, is no, in moderation. Our outward appearance is part of our testimony. When we appear in public wearing beautiful, yet modest clothing that is, of course, within our budget and in keeping with who we are as Christians, we tell people that being a feminine woman is good. When we add a joyful countenance and a sense of humor, it looks even better. We are saleswomen promoting God's order of things.
Some of us unfortunately have sold the wrong information. When a woman appears in public wearing soiled or wrinkled clothing, looking stressed and harried, she is promoting the wrongheaded idea that staying home with children is bondage to be avoided. Is it better to appear so before our husbands? What message would we be telling him?
A few years ago, I met an older woman. She wore beautiful, modest clothing. Her son and daughter-in-law and their children lived with her. I loved to watch their family. Soon after our meeting she began only wearing denim and neutral colors. The same dress code applied for the rest of their family. They got stricter and stricter until they began to look more like Arab women than Christians. They got involved in a fringe political movement. Their joy went out the proverbial window. This is where my husband got his Fidel Castro illustration.
posted by Steve @ 12:30:00 PM