Modest Is REALLY Hottest In Hell (Christians & Bikinis)

 

modest is hottest

Modest is Hottest; it’s also true in hell.

What will you be wearing on the day of judgment? Scantily-clad or not, we could be in for a surprise. The Bible tells us that on the last day there will be many seemingly good people, who in all likelihood dressed quite modestly, to whom Jesus will say, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23).

These individuals will be DEVESTATED because they thought they were GOOD. After all, they were covered in good deeds.

They were covered in humble dress: one-piece bathing suits, tankinis, and shorts to their knees,

They were fully-clothed in church attendance, giving to the poor, and a near flawless morality.

Wearing a one-piece or not, these individuals may soon find themselves swimming in the wrath of God for all of eternity.

How shockingly scary. This verse ought to shake our souls out of slumber and compel us to cry out for those trusting in their own goodness for salvation.  We must examine our own fragile estate and make sure we are resting on the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ and not our own triumphs.

To the religious crowd who was trusting in their own morality for salvation, Jesus said, “For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and uncleanness.” (Matthew 23:27)

Looks can be deceiving. We can look wholesome and clean on the outside, and yet our hearts can be a million miles from God.

Heaven is not a place for good girls – prudes properly celebrating each other’s goodness for all of eternity.  On the contrary, heaven is a place for those who have realized they are completely jacked up and in desperate need of being saved from their own goodness. Jesus looked through the swimsuit we were wearing and saw deep into a soul that was plagued with sin. He didn’t come for the healthy and the modest, He came for the sick and vile.

Christianity is not about wearing a bikini or one-piece.   Our hope is only found in wearing the righteousness of Christ – a garment none of us deserve or have merited.

If you have not read part one of The Swimsuit Edition: God Loves The Hoochie Mama, click here to jump in the conversation.

Let’s continue to walk through the process of deciding what to wear this summer.

 

Does it cause another to stumble?

More specifically, does wearing a Bikini cause others to stumble.  Yes, of course it does. Victoria’s Secret created an empire off of lust. Frankly, it’s difficult to see how some bathing suits are that much different from panties and  push-up bras. One might say, “It’s okay because we are at a beach.” But does lust go on a vacation at the beach? Umm . . . no. I would argue lust is very much hot and heavy on the shorelines and at the local pools. Lust has no regard for context or culture. Men and women are sinful at beaches, pools, kitchens, shopping centers, America, Spain, France (in nudist colonies), strip clubs, and church pews.

What causes us to lust? Is it leggings, cleavage, short skirts, bathing suits, smoldering Latin accents, handle bar mustaches or chiseled abs?

handlebar-moustache

Sin causes us to lust. We are all sinners who lust, and we are all in need of Jesus.

We would find a way to lust even if everyone was covered in burlap from head to toe. All of a sudden necks and earlobes would be the new sexy.

As Christian women, sometimes we simply say, “It’s my body. I can do what I want.” But again, it’s actually not our body; it’s His body.   Our bodies were purchased with a price – the price of the Son of God (1 Cor. 6:20).

Other times we’ll say, “Well, men are going to lust no matter what I wear, so why does it matter? It’s not my problem, it’s their problem.” Well, maybe that’s true, but does that mean it would be wise to dangle a crack-pipe in front of a drug addict, and just tell them to “man up” and gain some self-control? Of course not. Sometimes we make decisions not based upon what we have the freedom to do, but based upon what is in the best and most loving interest of those around us. Jesus calls us to love our neighbor as our self. If what we are wearing will in a unique and obvious kind of way likely cause our neighbor to stumble into sin, are we loving them (as Jesus commanded)?

Side note:  I am  convinced that many times women are choosing what outfit to wear in order to impress other women.    We are just as bad as men when it comes to checking each other out…I’ve seen it and I am sure you have too…A woman walks into a room and she is devoured from head to toe by other women!  We can cause one another to struggle with lust(non-sexually) by stirring up insecurities of the soul.  I wonder how many eating disorders, depression, anxiety, anger, and fear are birthed from seeing other women half dressed.

 

Can we help one another lust less?

What it really comes down to is that when we become Christians, it is no longer about our body, it becomes about being a part of HIS body – the church.

It is no longer about good tan lines and getting attention. Our lives becomes one in which we die to ourselves, considering others in the body of Christ. We exists for one another.

Our brothers and sisters have told us that dressing immodestly causes them to lust, and when our family is hurting (or struggling), we should be hurting. To love a brother in Christ isn’t to tell him just to get a grip on his lust. To love a brother in Christ is to sacrificially and selflessly go out of our ways to guard and protect him the sin that so easily besets him. They struggle enough as it is; let’s not do anything to complicate the matter. Are guys going to struggle with lust regardless? Yes, probably. Yet God forbid that we be the reason for them to fall into sin.  Jesus said in such a case, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”

The bikini was named after an atomic bomb. I wonder if it sets off an explosion of lust in the souls of others.

I often hear women say, “Well my husband is ok with what I am wearing.”

Husband, I am sure you love seeing your wife naked (you should and I hope you do often) but encourage her to save that sexiness for your eyes only. Don’t allow other men to take visuals of your wife into the bedroom with them at night to play in the rolodex of their minds.

To be honest, my passion for helping our brothers has grown tremendously since having sons. OH. MY.

I did not have any brothers growing up so I was in shocked to discover how entirely different boys are from girls. Fixated on anatomy…just saying.

I want my boys to be great lovers one day when they are married. I want them to be naked and unashamed with their wives. I want my kids to have fantastic sex lives.  This comes through understanding who God has created them to be and the boundaries that He lovingly sets up for his children.

Yes, I want their eyes on Christ, but this is so hard because there are so many shiny things everywhere begging for their attention.

One of those things is beautiful women. High schoolers running in bra-tops, virtually every commercial they see on television, and even their sister’s Barbie dolls . . . they are all asking my boys to glance their way and stay awhile. So we tell them to “bounce” their heads when they see something inappropriate, but sometimes you can just about get whiplash trying to avoid sin.

I want to fight for their eyes, but I realize that the battle is not for the eyes; it is for the heart.

Women are to be treasured, respected, honored, and valued. Yet the media tells them women are for sex and merely objects to be used.

Women also can make this exact same statement with their clothing.

What should our take away be?

This posts asks the question, “What should Christian women be wearing at the beach this summer?”

modest is hottest 6

Freedom

“It is for freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Gal 5:1)

“But He rescued us to be free, so why are you trying to put the heavy yoke of a modest swimsuit on me?”

(I have a friend who compared a one piece bathing suit to a cocoon, in which a beautiful butterfly was trapped inside of.)

Do we say, “Let freedom ring, lets put on a string?”

We are free from the slavery of sin, not free to do whatever we want. We are free to love God and to love others. We are free to be loved by God.

A woman who is covered by love is going to look different from the world.

Following Christ changes our talk, dress, eating . . . it changes everything!!!!

Sometimes loving looks more like dying. Before Christ we were white-knuckling our life – afraid to let go. Christ took our lives, and now it is not our own.

Christ set the example for love when He laid down His life for us. We are free to lay down our life for others. We are free to be servants laying down our lives for others and for the glory of God. We are free to be extend peace to parched eyes, but how can we show the peace of Christ when we are waging war on the eyes of others and fighting for their attention, groveling for their applause?

Finally, we are free to take it all off!

Let’s take it all off this summer! Take off all of our pride. Take off all of our selfishness. Less is more. Let’s clothe ourselves in humility, love, and respect. Let’s be a people that bear each others burdens, instead of baring it all.

Let’ bare our souls before the eyes of God, instead of our bodies for the praise of men and women.

We don’t dress modestly because we are ashamed of the bodies God has given us. We cover because of love.

How can we make this summer a selfless summer? Just remember you are choosing more than a swimsuit this summer.

There is no doubt this post will offend people that why it has taken me so long to write about this topic. My hope is that this will start a conversation that will challenge our thinking, making us hunger to love Christ and others more.

Christian, we should not be rolling our eyes at cleavage hanging out and huffing and puffing over short skirts. We should run to these women and welcome them into our homes because they are no different from us – just different struggles.

Let us clothe ourselves in humility summer.

Stop Hatin’

Remember this ancient saying…… “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

Love covers a multitude of sins (I Peter 4:8).

 

 

 

Love is Slow

They say, “Love is slow.”

Really? Slow?! How does “slow” operate in the fast-paced world we live in? Let’s be real – there are things that need to get done (now, not later).

Jesus came to show us how to love. He was able to love slow even while He was in the middle of rescuing the entire world: healing the lepers, giving sight to the blind, casting demons out of two scantily dressed men in the cemetery, etc. Consider the leper. I can’t picture Jesus saying to the leper, “Sorry bro, I just don’t have time; I’ve got another meeting that starts in fifteen minutes” (as He’s checking his text messages).

Jesus never seemed to be in a rush. After a full day of taking care of business (and yes, he would have been physically and emotionally exhausted) Jesus sits down and takes the time to hang out with a bunch of little kids. You think your 5 year old asks a lot of questions? “Why this; why that?” Imagine being the Man that has just walked on water and raised a dead man back to life; you think the kids had a long-list of questions for Jesus? You think he had to say a lot of extra prayers for all of their little individual “boo boos?” Of course, and yet He takes time for them.

In this day and age, “slow” does not get any pats on the back. The culture is exclaiming, “Do more. Do more! Not only is the cultural pace utterly furious, but our own insecurities drive us to compare ourselves to other moms and wives who seem to be accomplishing so much more. It’s our own productivity-driven version of keeping up with the Jones’.

Let’s be honest; nobody remembers the slowest runner in the race. Who finished last in the 800-meter dash in the winter Olympics? I have no idea; and neither do you.

No one browses through Target in search of the slowest hair dryer. The car dealers are not selling the 25 year old the slowest car of the year. The guy at the Apple Store certainly isn’t trying to see you the slowest computer. Your husband and children will rarely say to you, “Just slow down and take your time on getting dinner on the table.”

We have a need for speed. High-speed internet (remember the “dial-up” days?). My husband is on his way to Cedar Point, the largest amusement park in the world. He keeps telling me about this ride that goes 124 miles per hour! If that’s not enough, he and his friends bought a “Super Fast Pass” on top of that that lets them pass everybody else and go to the front of the line every single time!

Fast-drying nail polish, fastest route to a destination on the GPS. Our local crafts store (Hobby Lobby) had Christmas decorations out in July! You can purchase 4th of July and Christmas decorations all at the same time. We rush through seasons and can’t even enjoy them.

When it comes to the kiddos, it’s not much better. I find myself rushing my children through stages of their lives. I couldn’t wait until my babies started sleeping through the night. I rushed them out of diapers. When school was in session, I could not wait for summer. When it was summer, I could not wait for school to start.

Recently, I have been convicted over how quickly I try to put the kids to bed. I have perfected the art of skipping entire pages in books without anyone noticing (don’t act like you haven’t done it). Nobody ends up enjoying the process; it’s stinking pandemonium.

“I just do not feel like I am enjoying the kids!” I tell my husband. The truth is I am not enjoying them because I am rushing. I am viewing them as interruptions in my life. However, by God’s grace, I want to change! I want to slow down and enjoy what God has given me. After all, we only get our little ones for a few short years, and then we look up and they’re gone. The old saying is so true; the days are long, but the years are short.

It always happens; it’s 4:30pm and I am in the process of preparing a somewhat healthy meal for our family (yes, we are old people that eat and go to sleep 2-3 hours before everybody else; don’t hate). In the middle of cutting onion, I hear a scream. Now this isn’t just any scream, this is scream on steroids and sounds of utter chaos – possible toys and/or body parts flying. Now I have the choice: do I intervene, or do I let the three siblings have a “Hunger Games” type of showdown? Is this an interruption? Sadly, most of the time I view such instances as just that – annoying interruptions to my time-sensitive progress. My production is going to be slowed down, the onions will not cut themselves. If my production is slowed down, I have nothing to show for my work. If I have nothing to show for my work, I am a failure.

At the end of the day, God is sovereign and I thoroughly believe that He works all things together for my good. Why do I not believe that all of these distractions and interruptions are for my good? God has allowed this particular “inconvenience” in my life for a reason. He is interrupting me from my “productivity,” because sometimes He is more concerned with producing something in our hearts than He is seeing us produce something in the kitchen.

Have we ever thought about it this way? What if God is the one intentionally forcing us to slow down?

I know we’re after productivity (which seems like such a noble aspiration), but what if genuine and long-lasting productivity was not measured by a to-do list or a spreadsheet? What if the kind of productivity that God values the most means being present(really present) with those around us; slowing down; making eye contact. What if productivity is laughing with our children, picking flowers, reading a good book (not page skipping), another game of hide and seek, or just cuddling? All throughout the New Testament, Jesus models for us this kind of slow love. He valued the person over the project. He valued the soul over the spreadsheet, and the leper over the “list” that was 3 pages long.

Way too much of our life is merely a checklist. When we get it done, we’ve been successful. Six loads of laundry done. Check. Dinner cooked. Check. Discipled young woman. Check. Bible study. Check. Sex. Check.

Ladies, we are probably not going to get any pats on the back for building a stellar Lego castle, but the Lord sees it, and someday our kids will remember it (and be thankful).

Remember moms, our kids are watching us. By watching us, they’re learning something true, or not true, about Jesus. We are just like messy little children. We have nothing to offer Him but our messes and dirty hands, and yet He says, “Come to me.” We are not interrupting Him. He desires to cover us with His love. No, we have not loved those around us perfectly today, but we have a Savior who has loved perfectly. Jesus, please help me to slow down and to rest in the work you accomplished on a bloody tree 2,000 years ago. Jesus, even as you said, “It is finished,” and sat down at the right hand of God the Father, teach me to learn to say, “It is finished” at the end of the day, and to sit down and enjoy your unending love for me, regardless of how much I did or did not “produce” today.

It’s Monday and I’m already out of Apples

It was a Monday and I was out of apples.

I am a fruit hoarder.  I always keep a glass bowl of fruit on our counter; I think it looks beautiful. I go to the grocery on Thursday and fill the bowl full of ripe fruit – anticipating it will last until the following Thursday. But on this particular week, it was only Monday and the apples were gone.

Jamus walked in from work and I am sure he saw it on my face; the disappointment of the day and brokenness of spirit. If he did not see it on my face, he had a heads up from a few “Annie gone crazy” text messages I had sent him earlier in the day. Head planted deep in a tear soaked pillow, I went through the bullet list of how NOTHING had gone right that day (dirty house, misbehaved kids, had not had my quiet time, depressed). Then, after wallowing through the extensive list I did an ugly cry and exclaimed, “and if that’s not enough, it’s Monday and we are already out of apples!”

Maybe you can relate. What should we do when it’s Monday and we are already out of apples? Or, when it’s Monday and we’re already out of patience, out of love, out of enthusiasm, out of energy, out of creativity, out of toilet paper, etc.
My feet hit the floor heavy; I was tired from our two year old deciding to have a blueberry bagel party at 2am in the morning. I was tired of seeing that massive boulder of dirty clothes – didn’t I just wash those? Seriously, how did this happen? I have nothing to show for my work! I worked hard to clean the house, but it somehow looks like it vomited on itself at the end of the day. I do intense workouts and eat healthy but I cannot seem to get my rear-end to look like Jillian Michaels’ and she promised it would in any pair of jeans I put on. My children were annoying me, and to be honest, I just did not like them very much.
As a result, overwhelming guilt came over me. I should be able to keep a clean house and love my children perfectly all the time. Then there is the boredom. I’m tired of eating peanut butter sandwiches every day, watching the same Disney shows and tackling the same arguments with the kids. “No, it’s not okay to slam your brother into the wall!”
But in the midst of all of the whining, it hits me like a ton of bricks: Why am I so unthankful when God has given me so much? I have three healthy children. There are women who have lost children to death or who are barren, and here I am acting complaining. Wow, I really am an unthankful, spoiled brat. I looked at the empty glass bowl on the counter and it was as if it was mocking me, reminding me that I am empty and a fruitless Christian.
I felt broken just like the bird on our driveway yesterday. “Poor bird!” James exclaimed. “Can we help it Mommy?” he asked, as he offered up his Panera cup to the crippled Robin. The bird looked as if it had crashed into a window and broken his neck. It was probably the neighbor’s windows (they actually use Windex). The bird’s neck was stuck in a sideways/twisted position and he was frantically wobbling around between death and confusion. I wanted to put the poor thing out of his misery, but not wanting the kids to think I was a bird killer, I left it lying there broken.
We were not meant to be broken. When Adam and Eve took the fruit and ate of it, brokenness began. Children die, cancer grows in our bodies, depression attacks, marriages crumble, sex trafficking, infertility, sadness, war, hatred – are all signs of the curse and the result is brokenness.
We spend our days looking to be full, but apart from Christ, we will stand (or lie) there broken.
My feelings lie to me.

I read in Isaiah 53 that Christ “was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace and with his stripes we are healed.”
In Christ, I am healed. I am a new creation. It is no longer I that is living, but Christ that is living in Me. He was broken (literally) so that I could become beautiful to God. He covers all my ugly and broken mess from yesterday, today, and tomorrow. My nasty broken Monday is covered by his broken body. My tears are washed away in His blood.
According to Colossians, “He has delivered us (me) from the dominion of darkness and transferred us (me) to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” When I start living for my kingdom here on this earth, things start to feel broken. I start to feel broken because I am called to another kingdom. I am to live for HIS kingdom. I cannot make this earthly kingdom work for me.
I am reminded that I have this “treasure in jars of clay – to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us . . . . We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”

I complained today about everything, raised my voice at the kids, surfed the internet entirely too much and definatley will not be nominated for mother of the year award. I was a complete brat BUT the Lord does not see a brat, He sees His son Jesus Christ, in whom He is well pleased.

Some days, we must be emptied before we can be filled. Some days, our little temporary kingdoms must be shattered so that He can remind us that a greater kingdom is coming. Some days we have to come to the end of ourselves before we’ll realize we must look to Him. Some days we are reminded that we are jars made out of clay, and some days we are reminded that our weaknesses ultimately show His glory.
Whether it’s Monday or Saturday, and whether there are 7 apples or no apples, Jesus is still King, and He’s still on the throne – and He’s still enough.