Thursday, February 5, 2015

Yoga Pants and Other Matters of the Heart

Recently  a young wife and mother named Veronica Partridge wrote a blog post on her decision to make some changes in how she dresses. It is interesting,  movingly personal and very well written.  The blog itself starts off with a disclaimer:

I am in NO WAY trying to tell people what they can and cannot wear. What you wear is entirely your own choice.
  Apparently a good chunk of the world didn't read that, even though it is  literally the first sentence.  Now that's  quite telling, as we will explore later. She goes on to say that she had been  unaware of how much her appearance and preferences  might affect the men around her, and out of concern for her testimony and out of a concern for others, she was going to adhere to  a more Biblical standard of modesty. I say, bravo, Mrs Partidge.
  What was fascinating to me was the hailstorm of controversy.  Part of the problem is that a lot of Christian writers, including myself, are writing about 'family matters'; to wit we are discussing things intended for saved people, but because we are using the big bad internet as our medium, the whole world gets to listen in on our family discussion.  I  don't  care what the world thinks about modesty. In fact, they prove what they think of modesty by what they wear.  But a lot of unregenerate people skipped that first sentence in her blog and claimed she was 'standing up against yoga pants'.   She wasn't doing anything of the sort.  She was accused of all sorts of dictatorial whims, when the entire discussion was about the decision she had made about herself and what she was going to do.  At no point in the blog, or any subsequent interview did she even recommend what anybody else should do.  Nevertheless, the unregenerate world flipped out.  That's isn't particularly interesting or surprising considering the Bible says they walk "in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened , being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: "
  But also weighing in were more than  a fair share of professing Christians, some of whom I know personally and some  of whom have been the  object of my prayers for  years. It is to these dear Christian folks, both those I know and those I don't know, that my remarks are addressed.
  I wont go into a discussion here on modesty. Others have done a  far better job than I can on that issue.  I wont tell you what I wear, or what my wife wears.  Besides this isn't really about modesty..  This is about your heart. The Bible says "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." and it also says "..for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh".  Whether you like it or not or whether you mean to or not, eventually whatever is  in your heart is going to fall out of your mouth, and in this modern age, your keyboard is an extension of your mouth.
  So let me ask you this; when you take the exact same position on this topic that  lost people take, what does that say about your heart?  When you make snide comments in person or online, what does that say about your heart? When your comments say things like "I'm a Christian too, but..." , what does that say about your heart? When you dig up some other blogger that tears Mrs Partridge to shreds and post that on social media with tags to  all the other  girls you know that agree with you, what does that say about your heart?  When you consider your desires and your liberty more precious  to you than the  fact that you may be  a stumbling block to your brother or sister in Christ, what does that say about your heart?
  It's obvious to everyone what you think about modesty. To whatever degree you can choose your own wardrobe tells the whole world what you think about this. But when you defend the undefendable, you say so much more about yourself than you probably want anyone to hear.  We can talk about 'legalism'  all you want, but the fact that you pitch your camp there, with the Bible-rejecting crowd, says volumes about you, and about your heart.
  As your brother in Christ, let me  plead with you to think about what you're thinking, think about what you're saying, think about why you're saying it, and if necessary repent.  The whole world is listening in.
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