I Won’t Apologize for My Stance on Modesty

A few days ago I was featured on the website For Every Mom. I was truly flattered when they requested to share my piece “Are Breasts the New Shoulders“, but I was also nervous. When you have more of a platform you end up with more opposing views, which is fine. I was ready for some pushback to my post about cleavage. I even got a couple harsh responses when I wrote about my family living in a small space and was published on The Humbled Homemaker. That subject isn’t even controversial! So this time when the topic was modesty I knew I would have to put my big girl panties on and brave the negative comments. And by big girl panties I mean like 19th century knickers that go down to my knees, because that’s just how incredibly modest I am (read sarcastically).

Let me start by saying I HATE sexual crimes with every fiber of my being. I have been extremely outspoken about my stand against sex trafficking, pedophelia, the objectification of women, sexual abuse and rape. A long time ago a friend of mine used the word “rape” as a description casually in conversation. Not in the literal sense, but just like “Man this phone company is such a rip off. They are raping everybody with these charges”. My blood pressure rose and I had to speak out. We had a long talk about how wicked and atrocious rape is and why I don’t appreciate the word being tossed around lightly. I would be far less offended by a curse word than something so vulgar and disgusting as the concept of rape.

When a movie shows a rape scene I am completely repulsed by the movie itself and refuse to watch stuff with that kind of vulgarity. This is a non negotiable black and white issue for me. I don’t care if it’s a historical movie. I have said it before “When a story line includes a young child being molested  that horrendous act can be implied without it having to be reenacted and displayed for all to see on the big screen and the same respect should be shown to women when it comes to rape”.

So you can see why I would get heated when people start throwing around the phrase “rape culture” anytime someone talks about modesty. 

For example, I recently read an article about a girl who used to think wearing a one piece meant she had to be ashamed of her body, but she had a revelation of how veiling her beauty could be such a powerful freeing thing. I made a bet with myself about how many comments I would have to read before inevitably someone accuses the author of perpetuating a “rape culture”. Sure enough, I’m just a few  comments down and BINGO they pull the rape culture card.  There were several comments attacking this girls faith, opinions, and beliefs. People are telling her that because she believes that the way she dresses could possibly have an affect on a man’s thoughts, she is inadvertently stating that women are responsible for what men think/do and is condoning what rape is.

Sorry. But no. I refuse to accept that.

Not to sound like an old lady, but back in my day (like in the 90’s) you could choose to dress modestly/quote scripture and it might make you a nerd, or self righteous, or prudish… whatever. However it did not make you an advocate of rape! What is wrong with people!? The way a woman presents herself in no way means she deserves to be abused, ever. Say what you want about my beliefs, but DO NOT even think about accusing me of being a proponent of rape.

Modesty is about being whole spiritually. It’s about respect for yourself and for those around you. It’s about honor, value, and love. It is placing a HIGH value on sexuality, seeing it as a sacred thing to be cherished. In it’s purest form modesty is the OPPOSITE of rape. Okay? Because rape degrades people.  It steals power. It rips the soul out of all that is lovely and good about sex. Rape is full of pride, lust, greed and is from the pit of Hell. That’s an understatement.

Have women ever been oppressed in the name of religion? Yes. Has modesty ever been used to shame someone and make them feel less valued? Yes. But on the other side of the spectrum I feel like these days the women that are choosing modesty are like the modern day Joan of Arc. Watch out because you are about to be burned at the stake. Okay that’s an exaggeration, but you can certainly be bullied and wrongfully accused. Which is why I have decided that this is a choice I will not apologize for.

This modesty thing is an extremely complicated multileveled issue. I am certainly not trying to throw stones or make it a bigger issue than it is, but if a woman feels convicted about wearing leggings that shouldn’t warrant an angry backlash, and if a woman wants to vocalize her PERSONAL beliefs about the type of swimsuit she wears or if a school has a dress code  for crying out loud, it should not be thrown into a stigma of RAPE CULTURE. Sorry, if the all caps looks angry. I am a little bit angry, because I hate rape SO SO SO much.

I will continue to defend my belief in modesty all the while fighting for justice on behalf of the victims of hanious sexual crimes. I can do both simultaneously showing honor to God and women everywhere.

I have chosen to embrace the Biblical approach to sexuality in the way that I feel the Lord has led me even when the world rages against it, and for that I make no apologies.

By | August 13th, 2015|Lifestyle|6 Comments

I Fell In Love and Married Too Young.

I was engaged 15 years ago (so I was barely 18) and I got married 3 months later.

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Statistically speaking people married under the age of 25 are at a much higher risk for divorce. Low income families are too. Short engagements make your chances of success even lower.

We were all of the above and then some. Some would call our marriage a recipe for disaster, yet we’ve already beaten the odds just getting past the 10 year mark.

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So how is it that we have a  strong healthy marriage after 15 years even while undergoing so much struggle?

First of all it’s because we have a redeeming Savior that we rely on to get us through the hard times. “There but for the grace of God go I” is one of my all time favorite sayings.

I don’t want anything I say to be hurtful or judgmental. Marriage is SO COMPLICATED and each situation is completely different. We’ve seen many dear friends and family members walk through the pain and difficulty of seperation so I am not trying to sum up the key to marital success in under a thousand words.

What I do want to say is that I see a trend in our culture that I think is misleading. I call it the calculated marriage.

On average most people will spend a quarter of their life single. Then they spend a few years dating and being engaged to their spouse. At this point you would have MOST of your life ahead of you.

Here’s a terribly unscientific pie chart to explain what I mean.

Marriage chart

What I see happening is that everyone (Christian or not) is putting ALL the emphasis on that tiny fraction of the pie that I have labeled courting (shown in orange).

Some suggest living together during courtship so that you really know what life is like. Others suggest a parent led courtship where the families are heavily involved. There are websites designed to match you up with your most compatible partner. I’ve seen advice that you should stay single longer, date longer, marry someone you’ve known for a long time, be financially stable, have a college degree, get plenty of counseling, own a pet first, marry someone who has never been divorced, or I saw an article shared on Facebook yesterday that talked about the stigma of having divorced parents.

The list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, these things are important to consider, but I am going to make anunpopular claim and say that we are putting the emphasis in the wrong place.

I believe that the reason J and I (and the many many other couples I know in the same boat) have defied the odds is because we put the work in before we even met each other and then really got our elbows dirty after we sealed the deal. So we may have rushed through the “orange” phase, but you see all that green and yellow? We have invested a lot into those years and hopefully the years to come.

We were taught to believe that marriage takes work and divorce is not an option. We were working on our relationships with the Lord while we were single (and therefore working on what it takes to have a successful marriage). We have had to fight for our marriage especially in those first 5 years! I’m glad we had no way out in those dark moments because now I get to see all the wonderful things we would have missed!

Let me use an analogy. Let’s say there is a young woman that dreams of having a nice car some day. She carpools and rides the bus as she diligently saves up for her dream car. Her focus and motivation is getting the perfect car. She believes that if she does all the research and gets a car that has great gas milage, high safety ratings, a history of longevity, and luxurious amenities then she knows she will be happy.

The day comes that she finds the ONE. It’s perfect. She doesn’t rush in and buy it either. She finishes saving up and pays CASH! It sounds like the epitome of self discipline and responsibility.

The problem is, she goes to get the car without a drivers license! She assumed she would be able to learn to drive once she had a car to practice with.

To make matters worse she doesn’t keep up with the maintence on the car. The car she worked so hard to get is banged up and run down fast because she doesn’t know how to drive it or take care of issues when they arise. She was completely focused on the vehicle and her checklist, but put little thought into what it really means to drive or take ownership.

The point I am trying to make is that while the vehicle and the purchase is important it’s not even the most important part. Of course there are things you can do to make wise choices while you date or are engaged. For starters the Bible talks about being equally yoked and that’s HUGE, but it’s only a part of the equation. You have to learn about commitment and choose covenant everyday in every aspect of life. Then when you are married you implement what you’ve learned. You walk it out. It takes two and that’s the hard part, but it’s so rewarding.

There are some people that operate with caution by nature and if you want to get a license, save up for the perfect car, AND take good care of it too then that’s great. My concern is for those that think the calculated marriage is going to solve the divorce epidemic.

Marriage is a big decision that should not be taken lightly, but deep down I still stubbornly believe that some of the best things in life are uncalculated.

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By | July 21st, 2015|Marriage, Uncategorized|7 Comments

Prayers to the God of Miracles

2 years ago I wrote a post called “We Need a Miracle”. It was one on the most vulnerable posts I’ve ever had to write. We were living in the basement of my brother’s house driving an hour to get SJ to school and the money was about to run out. We knew we needed to move across state lines so that she could qualify for scholarships, which meant we had 3 months to find a job and a home starting from scratch with zero connections. We truly did need a miracle and we got one! We found an apartment crazy enough to accept the pay stubs from J’s temp job he was wrapping up and we lived off of savings for a few weeks while he tried to find work. While volunteering at SJ’s school he met a guy that gave him a job! We knew he still needed a “career” in the long run, so that is why he went back to school. All that happened 2 years ago and the Lord has provided for us this whole time.

Last year I wrote another post titled “We’re Not Moving”  where I boasted about the sense of relief I felt by renewing the lease on apartment for another year. At that point we had just moved 3 times in less than 3 years, so I was thrilled to finally not be going anywhere.

However, this year is a different story. We gave the notice to the apartment management that we would NOT be renewing our lease. I am all for “Lots of Hope for the Little Home” and I don’t mind living in a small space at all, but I’ll spare you all the details and just say that we definitely need  something more accommodating for a family of six. Trust me. We also need a van because after three kids I have learned that a baby doesn’t need much. However, we can not legally fit all 4 kids in our current vehicles so this is a non negotiable upgrade. As if that weren’t enough J needs a new job. He has to have a co-op for school, so something in the field of computer programming. Do you see how I might be just a tiny bit stressed? The baby is coming in 5 months and all we need is a car, a house, and a job. No big deal.

I say no big deal sarcastically, but it truly is not a big deal for God. You’ve probably heard the songs Oceans by Hillsong United. The line that says “You’ve never failed and you won’t start now” has been resonating deep within me. We find ourselves desperate for another miracle, but thankfully I serve a God of miracles.  He is a mighty savior with infinite resources.

So here we go again. We need a house, a van, and a job. We need a miracle. Will join me in praying and believing for that?

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By | June 5th, 2015|My Life, Uncategorized|9 Comments