Sunday, December 23, 2012
Have I mentioned that I really liked the Rachel Held Evans book A Year of Biblical Womanhood? Here is something she said about modesty after she'd spent some time with Amish women. Your thoughts?
"As Janet had observed, there's no typical Amish woman. As in any culture, there are some women who wrestle with the rules, some who uncritically accept the rules, and some who thrive within the rules. There are those who flourish under the creative constraints of tradition, and those who struggle to find their voice. There are women for whom the bonnets and aprons foster humility and women for whom the same things foster pride.
That's because true modesty has little to do with clothing or jewelry or makeup. The virtue that is celebrated in Scripture is so elusive we struggle to find words to capture its spirit - humility, self-control, plainness, tznuit, Gelassenheit.
And so we codify. We legislate. We pull little girls to the front of the class and slap rulers against their bare legs and try to measure modesty in inches. Then we grow so attached to our rules that they long outlive their purpose....We cling to the letter because the spirit is so much harder to master.
More often than not, this backfires, and our attempts to be different results in uniformity, our attempts to be plain draw attention to ourselves, our attempts to temper sexuality inadvertently exploit it, and our attempts to avoid offense accidentally create it.
Perhaps this is why Paul encouraged women to 'adorn themselves' with good deeds, why he instructed all Christians, 'Clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ,' and why the valorous woman of Proverbs 31 is praised because she 'clothes herself in strength and dignity.'
It's not what we wear but how we wear it. And like clothing, modesty fits each woman a little differently." (pg. 140)