March 19, 2013

An Article on Modesty

This is a subject that has been on my mind and heart a lot recently. I'm working on a couple of posts with my own thoughts about it  and other things that go along with it but in the mean time I ran across this article and wanted to share. I feel like it does a very good job of scripturally explaining what God has to say about nakedness and modesty. When we go back to the Bible and really look at what His word says, it's a little hard to argue against it regardless of what our own opinions might want to be! Hopefully this will be an encouragement for someone reading, to seek the Holy Spirit over what is truly Godly modesty in these days and make changes in our attire if it doesn't line up with His standards.
                                                           Nakedness and Modesty
As taxes and death come to us with proverbial certainty, so too does immodesty with the summer season. As the temperature heats up, the world strips down; and all too often the church follows the world in its scantily-clad ways. Though the Bible demands we clothe ourselves in "modest apparel" (I Tim. 2:9), some view the issue from a subjective view which relegates "modesty" to the way one "feels" about the subject. This sentiment destroys any real meaning to the term and makes God nothing but a babbler.

To come to any real understanding on any biblical subject, one must study the passages of the Bible which deal with that specific subject. Modesty should likewise be studied in all of the passages in which God reveals His will on the subject. Modesty, which means "orderly," is closely related to the term "naked." If one is naked and in public view, one certainly is not modest. To be naked is obviously to be improperly clothed and hence, immodest (Rev. 3:18). However, nakedness not only refers to total nudity, but sometimes refers to one who simply is not clothed properly. This definition is utilized in James 2:15, where a brother was "naked," though certainly not nude. John 21:7 records Peter girding his fisher's coat and casting himself into the Sea of Galilee because he was "naked." The word "naked" translated from the Greek gumnos can mean "clad in the undergarment only (the outer garment or the cloak being laid aside)." Peter had taken his outer garment off to fish, which left Peter only with his undergarment. This was fine in the presence of other men, but in coming to shore and meeting the Lord, Peter clothed himself. Peter was naked because certain parts of his body were exposed that were considered naked by the Jews and God himself.

Nakedness, clearly condemned in both Testaments, is spoken about first in the garden of Eden. There Adam and Eve became aware of their nakedness after the eating of the forbidden tree and fashioned themselves aprons of fig leaves to cover themselves. It was after this that they heard the Lord's voice call to Adam in the cool of the day. Recorded in Genesis 3:10 is Adam's response: "And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked: and I hid myself." It must be noted that after Adam made his covering, he still considered himself naked. The Lord confirmed Adam's words in the next verse, saying "Who told thee that thou wast naked?" (Gen. 3:11). Adam had covered the bare essentials and still needed to be properly clothed, as the Lord made for them "coats of skins, and clothed them" (Gen. 3:21). The aprons, from the Hebrew chagora were loin cloths or hip clothing that covered what the modern swim suit would cover. God then clothed them with "coats of skins" which implies they were not adequately or decently clothed with only their aprons. This garment, according to the Hebrew word kethoneth, was a long shirt-like garment that covered from their shoulders to the knee. This was God's definition of being clothed.

To corroborate this standard, the Bible reveals to us that when the thigh was left uncovered, God considered one's nakedness exposed. In Exodus 28:42, the priests, while serving above the people, were told to "make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs shall they reach." "From...even unto..." is a common Hebrew idiom in the Old Testament. It is from the Hebrew words min. . .veh ad. It means that both classes of objects and all that lies between them are included in the pronouncement. In the King James Version, this expression is sometimes translated literally ("from...even unto") as in Exodus 28:42, while in other passages it is translated idiomatically ("both...and") as in Genesis 19:4. In spite of this difference, the idea of inclusion is the same. Similarly, "from the least of them even unto the greatest of them" and "from the prophet even unto the priest" (Jer. 6:13) clearly cover both classes. Thus, "from the loins even unto the thighs" means that both parts are to be clothed. God instructed that in addition to the outer "coat" (Exod. 28:40), undergarments that went from the loins (hips) to the thighs (literally, to the rounding of the thigh) were also to be worn. God viewed the non-compliance of this act very seriously because in the next verse He said, "that they bear not iniquity and die" (Exod. 28:43). The outward coat of the priest normally covered the thigh, but God was also concerned with the different positions the priests might find themselves in while serving.

The same standard is applied to women in Isaiah 47:2-3. There the prophet declared that the Babylonians would flee as a daughter would flee the land and cross the rivers in exile. Isaiah said, "uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen." Isaiah speaks about the leg being bare and the thigh uncovered. Since the foot and lower part of the leg were exposed with common dress, the woman's nakedness was shown in the revealing of her thigh. In picking up her dress to "pass over the rivers" her thigh would be shown, and consequently, her nakedness would be uncovered.
The upper torso was also included in God's standard of modesty. John 21:7 depicts Peter without an outer garment. As Adam was naked with only his loins covered, so too Peter is also labeled naked, having on only his undergarment. Moulton's Greek Lexicon has the following comment on the Greek word gumnos which is translated "naked" in the New Testament: "...without clothing (Mark 14:51-52); without the upper garment and clad only with an inner garment or tunic (John 21:7); poorly or meanly clad." Thayer's lexicon in commenting on John 21:7 says, "clad in the undergarment only." When the upper torso of a man was fully exposed the word "naked" describes how the Scriptures view him. Incidentally, outside of natural revelation, there is no substantive difference between how much a man's body should be covered and that of a woman. Both sexes need to be "clothed." The word "clothed" means literally "to be thrown around." Since the garden of Eden, God willed both sexes to be clothed, which included the upper torso and the hip and thigh area as well.

This standard might seem too conservative for some, yet God has always been radically more conservative than the world's sentiments. It has only been over the last generation that the standards of the world have become so lax that even the most immodest clothing is now viewed as acceptable and even normal. If the standard of modesty is only relative, then the ultimate determination of what is modest and what is not modest resides totally within one's own heart and nowhere else. Yet, Jeremiah said, "Oh Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jer. 10:23). God did not leave the subject of modesty in the subjective arena of whims and preferences, but it is to be found in the objective venue of the authoritative word of God, "which hath given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness" (II Pet. 1:3).

—Holger W. Neubauer

(linked to the Modest Monday post. Click here to read it and other blogs on similiar subjects) 


March 18, 2013

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made ~words for my babies~

Having children is one of the most wonderful things imaginable. I'm so grateful for the 4 little blessings God has given us in our lives. This is just a little something I wrote after being pregnant with our first. Such an awesome experience and really one that is difficult to explain! Hope you enjoy.......

"I'd always known that God could do amazing things;He had shown me in so many different ways.But then He created you inside of me; and now I know I'll never ceased to be amazed!

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Oh, His thoughts are very precious unto me.
Marvelous are all His works, He should be praised.
And He gave me you so I could always see.

I remember the first time I felt you move; how all at
once it became real that you were there.
I stood in awe of how He'd blessed me with this gift.
I'm so honored He'd entrust you to my care!

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Oh, His thoughts are very precious unto me.
Marvelous are all His works, He should be praised.
And He gave me you so I could always see.

Marvelous are all His works and I'm amazed;
for you are fearfully and wonderfully made!"

(based on Psalm 139:14: I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.)

March 17, 2013

Meeting Me {a getting to know you post & link-up}

Thought it would be fun to share a few things about myself here on the blog AND then let you write and link up your own posts so we can get to know each other better! The linky and instructions will be at the bottom of this post but for now sit back and enjoy learning a little more about me! These are just some random facts in no apparent order:

~ I'm in my 30's now.....which still feels weird to say.

~ Been married almost 11 years (this month) and have 4 kids.

~ Was homeschooled all my life and now get to homeschool my own kiddos. Wouldn't trade either experience for anything!

~ Preacher's wife, daughter, and granddaughter. I guess it must be in my blood or something! :-)

~ Struggle with chronic health problems that often make every day tasks seem impossible and overwhelming.

~ Started reading when I was 4 and have loved it ever since! Books are a huge weakness/strength of mine.

~ We are a family with crazy, weird, multiple allergies and sensitivities. It's always a challenge trying to keep up with it all, as well as just deal with how it makes us feel.

~ Love just about any and all things natural whether it be food, medicines, cleaning supplies or whatever!

~ I have changed my last name twice since getting married. To the same man. (loooong story!)

~ I play the piano. Would like to learn violin but just haven't gotten around to it. Yet.

~ Had 1 medicated birth and 3 all natural  births and would definitely prefer the pain over the reactions to the meds any day.

~ Music and singing is one of my favorite things in life. God has used songs so many times to speak to my heart and also allow me to worship/praise Him. Thankful it's something I can share with my family as well.

~ Before I met Blake I prayed specifically for God to send me a husband with dark hair. (among lots of other things, of course) And He did! :-)

~ On our wedding day I was really sick and had to take medicine which made me sleepy. When the video zooms in on my face I look like a zombie with a dry mouth. Ha! The upside? I was so out of it I didn't even feel nervous or cry. The worst downside? Trying to sing with that dry medicine mouth. Fun times.

~ Have had depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and other emotional issues off and on for years. And it. is. hard. BUT I've learned that God's grace truly is sufficient. Even if I can't see it in the middle of the darkness, I can always look back and realize just how much it was there.

~ Took horse riding lessons at a local equestrian center when I was a teenager and now my 7 yr old just started taking there as well. With the same teacher and horses I had! So neat.

~ We went to an "out of the way" resort in Jamaica for our honeymoon. And there were honestly a couple of times I didn't think we would make it out alive! Privacy is great, but a little too much local culture for our taste. (think marijuana and machetes. ah!)

~ I always wear skirts or dresses of some kind. (except for my pjs/lounge pants around the house:) Trying to teach our girls that being feminine and modest, while still dressing cute, is way more important and pleasing to God than fitting in with worldly styles.

~ I love the beach and would probably choose to live there if I could. (an added bonus is it's always great for my allergies!)

~ I believe that God exists, created everything including man in 6 days, that first man sinned thereby condemning us all to death, then God's Son, Jesus, came to the earth to live a sinless life, died a cruel death on the cross in our place, miraculously rose from the grave in 3 days, and is now in Heaven making intercession to the Father for us.

~ I also KNOW that the Holy Spirit showed me as a 10 year old girl that I was a sinner and that I needed to ask His forgiveness and trust Him to save me. I'll never forget the relief I felt after bowing in that alter to pray! I'm more thankful than I can say for God's grace in my life. Every. single. day.

Well, I could go on and on but I think I'll just leave it at that for now! If you want to know anything else feel free to ask in the comments. :-)

Now for the link-up fun! Just write your own blog post with a little something about yourself in it and enter the info in the linky below. Easy-peasy, right?! (oh, and if you could link back to this post  on the blog that would be great too!) If you don't have a blog you can just leave a fun fact about you in the comments so we can still get to know each other better. Can't wait to "meet" you all!!


March 3, 2013

6 Month Old Update!

It is absolutely unbelievable that our little man is half a year old already!! The past 6 months have just flown by. We've had good days, bad days, crazy days, easy days, and I guess about every other kind in between. But they have all been absolutely positively blessed with him as a part of our family! It's amazing how looking back after adding another baby in our lives we can't even imagine not having them now. And we definitely feel that way about Daxton Judah! Here's a picture of this cutie pie who is growing up way too fast, then I'll share some of what he's been up to lately....

~ He loves to be talked to and is always ready with a big smile and laugh.
~ Every time he laughs hard he gets the hiccups. Every. time.
~He can roll over but hates being on his stomach so hardly ever does. If we put him on his stomach he ends up getting mad and crying so I don't very much. (all 4 of our kids have been like that so maybe it's a pain thing?) 
~ Manages to scoot on his back all over the place when I put him under his toy on the floor. It may be a little while before he tries crawling since he doesn't like tummy time but it doesn't look like that's going to stop him from getting around!
~ Pretty sure he's ready to eat solids but I'm putting off giving them to him because it is so challenging with allergies and stomach issues and I'm already overwhelmed with health stuff right now.
~ He takes a 5-6 oz bottle (of $10 per can Nutramigen formula with probiotics, fermented cod liver oil, olive oil, and occasional coconut oil added in) every 2&1/2 to 3 hours. It still bothers me that I can't breastfeed (for both emotional and health reasons) but he's worth every single dollar we spend on trying to give him what's best for him right now.
~ He tries to sit up but doesn't have great control yet and ends up falling over pretty quickly.
~ He's wearing 6-9 months clothes already, although I still squeeze him in a couple smaller things sometimes because I'm still in denial that he's getting this big! lol
~ He's the best sleeper of all 4 kids so far but still isn't very consistent with his naps or night time sleep yet. But we aren't really surprised by that fact and are grateful for how good he actually does compared to some of our other experiences. (you'd have to understand how extremely bad sleepers our babies/kids are to know what that means really) Let's just say if you have a baby who sleeps well it is not something to be taken for granted!
~ He already has obvious allergies to things and has reactions to various triggers pretty often. Once again, not totally surprising but definitely disappointing and more than a little discouraging.
~ Loves to bounce on the exercise ball and it's our go-to way of getting him to sleep or settle down from a crying spell. Could be worse things I guess.....I manage to get my daily work out in at the same time this way. Ha!
~ Is a total sweetheart who never fails to make me smile even on my worst days!  
Happy 6 month old day to our baby boy. We are more thankful than I can say for the gift he has been to us!
(linked up with My Joy-Filled Life)