Being a Minister’s Wife

My Beautiful Mother-in-Law and Our Son

I started something new on my Peacefulwife Blog Facebook page yesterday!  For those of you who prefer to learn by listening – I have posted a few of my first VIDEOS!  Now you can be in “my class” – even though you’re not at my church. 🙂  Let me know if you like that medium and if you find it helpful.  Thank you!

 

I have not been a minister’s wife myself.  But I have been a pastor’s daughter-in-law for 18 years, and although I was not quite as much under the spotlight and scrutiny that my mother-in-law was – I definitely was close enough to see how wonderful and how difficult it can be to be in the “glass fish bowl” – as my husband likes to say.

A number of ministers’ wives have written to me.  I know that being in this position of influence and pressure is a DIFFICULT and CHALLENGING place to be.  There is nowhere to go to hide when things aren’t going well.  Those who are in a pastor’s/minister’s family, but especially his wife – will be held to MUCH higher standards by those in the church, those outside of the church and also by God Himself.  So it is REALLY critical that the ministers’ wives out there become as godly, holy, mature and Spirit-filled as possible.

OTHER PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS WATCHING

A pastor’s wife is under a great deal more scrutiny about everything than almost anyone else in the church (except maybe the pastor): her attitude, speech, tone of voice, behavior, habits, spending, parenting, modesty, cooking, eating, clothing – EVERYTHING is monitored.  She is constantly watched.  If she makes a mistake – everyone will know about it. Some may follow her ungodly example, or they may talk about her behind her back, confront her or the pastor about it or her husband may lose his job.  If she does something godly and sets a beautiful example, people will model after her, too – especially the women in the congregation.

THE POWER OF A PASTOR’S WIFE TO DESTROY

I have seen pastors’ wives (not my mother-in-law!) use their position of influence and exposure to completely and utterly destroy their marriages, their husbands’ ministries and entire churches.  One woman in the position of a minister’s wife can do all an incalculable amount of damage.  All wives can cause complete devastation and damage in their husbands’ lives on some level.  But for a pastor – his wife’s sins, rebellion, idolatry, discord, hatred, unforgiveness, etc… carry much more weight than they would in most marriages.

How could a minister’s wife destroy her husband and his ministry?

  • showing blatant and/or subtle disrespect for her husband in front of church members or other leaders in the church
  • gossipping about her husband or other church members
  • slandering someone in the church
  • using her words to tear down her husband in public and in private
  • calling people in the church and trying to handle personality disputes or leadership disputes herself
  • being very critical of her husband’s abilities as a pastor, demeaning his abilities, calling him lazy or a hypocrite (even if only in private – that is incredibly demoralizing)
  • correcting her husband in front of others
  • having hatred, resentment, contempt, animosity, anger, bitterness and unforgiveness in her heart towards people in the church or her husband
  • cherishing sin in her own life
  • wearing immodest clothing
  • flirting with other men
  • questioning her husband’s decisions constantly – especially in front of others
  • refusing to cooperate with her husband’s spiritual authority in church or in the marriage
  • trying to control the church herself or control her husband as a puppet for her own agenda and desires
  • having an emotional or sexual affair
  • undermining her husband’s spiritual authority at church, in the marriage or as a father
  • not having the love of Christ in her heart
  • having a critical, judgmental, condemning spirit
  • embezzling money or being involved in a scandal
  • refusing to go to the church service
  • arguing with her husband in front of church members
  • bad mouthing her husband to others

This is not an exhaustive list, but hopefully wives can see the idea.  This stuff applies to ALL wives – but ministers’ wives must ESPECIALLY be on guard against this kind of disrespect and any attempts to usurp their husbands’ God-given authority in the church, the marriage and the home.

THE POWER OF A PASTOR’S WIFE TO BUILD UP

There are wise pastors’ and ministers’ wives in the church who understand the enormity of their responsibility before God to obey Him and to show respect for their husbands and to cooperate with their husbands’ leadership.  They understand God will judge them more strictly.  They understand the eyes of the congregation and community are on them all the time.  They know that they are co-laborers with their husbands – they are teammates – to minister for the gospel together.  They know that their husbands’ ability to do his job depends on their wives’ ability to behave themselves in a Christlike way.

A BEAUTIFUL, GODLY EXAMPLE

My mother-in-law has been an incredibly godly pastor’s wife for about 50 years now.  She was able to watch her own behavior, speech, dress, manners and respect for her husband and I have NEVER known her to cause a problem in one of her husband’s churches.  The beautiful qualities I observed in my mother-in-law that other ministers’ wives ( and really, ALL wives) may want to imitate:

  • She always takes care to dress in a feminine, conservative, modest way (beautiful long dresses or skirts with jackets and a blouse, usually).  She knows that she represents Christ, their church, her husband and their congregation when she is at church or even just out in public in town.  She makes sure she looks decent and put together because she knows she is a reflection of her husband and she wants to be sure she makes him look good.
  • She willingly plays the piano and/or teaches children’s Sunday School classes. She is always a genuine helpmeet to her husband, using her talents and abilities to contribute to the needs of the church.
  • She doesn’t complain or argue in front of others.  I am not aware of a time when she complained about the church or about her husband or someone in the church to a church member.
  • She always upholds her husband’s decisions and cooperates with him and shows a united front at church.
  • She does NOT get involved in gossip or drama.  It is difficult to have close friends when you are the pastor’s wife – you know so much about what is going on and private affairs of so many people – especially in a smaller church (100-300 people).  But she was always SO VERY careful not to create divisions, contention, gossip or spread slander.
  • She always smiles at each person at church, hugs them, is friendly to them, welcomes them and shows as much hospitality as possible in every situation.
  • She always comes to church to support her husband – unless she was sick or in pain.
  • She doesn’t begrudge him the many, many hours he spends away from her and their family (when their children were at home) visiting the sick in the hospital or going to someone’s house where there was a death or counseling people or working on the leaky faucet at the church or someone’s house.
  • She is a wonderful cook and always had a delicious lunch and supper ready for her husband each day and enjoyed the time she got to share with him.
  • She lets her husband lead the conversation about spiritual things with people.
  • She doesn’t do anything that might cause someone to stumble – no alcohol, no working on Sunday, no inappropriate behavior or questionable activities – she avoids even the appearance of evil.
  • She is very responsible and takes good care of her home and was (and still is) a great mother to her boys.
  • She never tells her husband what to preach or how to preach.
  • She trusts her husband to handle his job and calling with wisdom.
  • She knows her husband is responsible, capable, dependable, intelligent and able to do his job well and she shows faith and confidence in him.
  • She always dressed her children well and made sure they behaved well in church.  They also behaved well outside of church, too!
  • She stands by her husband when there is strife in the church.  She is quiet and doesn’t try to defend him herself.  But she is there and offers her supportive presence, showing her respect for him and her belief in him.  But she doesn’t take over in business meetings or try to control things or fix things herself.

Lord,

I lift up all wives who belong to You, but especially ministers’ wives.  Help them to choose to live by Your power to be the wives You want them to be.  Let them honor You and their husbands in their speech, attitudes, behavior, priorities and choices.  Let them point many to You by their obedience to Your Word and their willingness to follow Your design for marriage in Ephesians 5:22-33.  Bless these women richly in their walk with You.  Satan would like to destroy them.  Protect them and their husbands from evil.  Keep them close to Your heart.  Use them to gather a large harvest for Your kingdom and to teach, preach and live well with Your Spirit of power, love, courage and self-control.

In the Name and power of Christ,

Amen!

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43 Comments on “Modest Swimwear Ideas”

  1. Emma
    June 4, 2016 at 10:46 am #

    What if your husband does not like this or find these styles attractive? He doesn’t prefer me to be scandalous but when I’ve tried to dress super modest he will tell me though he thinks I look pretty in anything, he likes when I wear things that show my figure a little more.. He prefers tighter shirts than lose ones and also does not like me to wear a one piece bathing suit. We are still young, but when I see people talk about modesty and honoring other men and your husband with modesty for me it’s tough bc my husband doesn’t like me to wear things like that :/ what would you say to this?
    I’m interested and open to learn.
    Thank you

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      June 4, 2016 at 11:23 am #

      Emma,

      That can be an issue for a lot of wives – our desire for modesty vs. a husband’s desire for us to dress in a more “sexy” way in public can create conflict in our hearts. We want to honor Christ above all. We want to please our husbands. Sometimes it seems impossible to do both.

      This is something about which to pray. “Lord, You know my heart, how I long to honor You in all things. I don’t want to create a stumbling block for other men. I want to please my husband and honor You. Please provide a way for me to dress modestly and in a way that will not violate my conscious or create a stumbling block for other man and a way for me to please my husband, as well. Please give me Your wisdom and work in both of our hearts to accomplish Your glory.”

      You can share your concerns with your husband – if he is a believer in Christ, perhaps something like this, “Honey, I want to look attractive to you. I also want to honor God by dressing in a modest way when I am around other men (and women – some women struggle with visual lust over other women, too). I can’t bear to think that something I might wear could be a stumbling block for someone who is trying to keep his/her thoughts pure. I don’t want to purposely trigger lust in others. It gives me heebie-jeebies to think about another man imagining having sex with me or picturing me naked. I don’t want to encourage that at all! Would you please pray about this issue, too, that we might have God’s wisdom? Thanks!” And then give him some time to think and pray.

      If he is not a believer, you may not want to mention God or prayer. But you can talk about your concerns about how you don’t want to cause other men(/women) to lust after you and how you only want him to think of you in a sexual way and ask for his thoughts about how you might be able to do that.

      Then continue to seek God’s wisdom and direction. He may change your husband’s heart. Or He may help you find swimwear that you can both agree would be appropriate.

      Like

    • Peacefulwife
      June 4, 2016 at 11:33 am #

      Emma,

      PS, if he is a believer, you can respectfully, humbly, gently appeal to God’s commands to you in Scripture, as well.

      “Honey, here is what I see God commands for women who are followers of Christ in 1 Timothy 2:9-10 “I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” I believe God will hold me accountable for how I dress around others in public. I want to honor your leadership. I know God will hold you accountable for the way you lead me, as well. What can we do to work together so that I can honor Christ, honor my body, show respect for others in public, show reverence for the gospel, and dress in a way that you would like? What are things that women wear that create the most difficulty for men who are trying to keep their minds pure? What are the biggest triggers for lust for men, in your view?”

      Again, give him time to think about this. Don’t pressure him. He may never have really thought about it before. He may need days or a week or two, even, to think.

      verses on modesty

      Like

      • HappyMom
        June 4, 2016 at 3:22 pm #

        Wow April, what a beautiful response. You are very well voicing us women that understand that we are responsible for our own choices as Christian women. Love it. God knows the intentions of our heartands; it is not to make men feel weak, it is to make God say, ” This is my daughter with whom I am very pleased.”

        Liked by 1 person

    • Cs
      June 4, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

      I very much think you can still show your figure for your husnand and be modest. How about a tankini?

      Like

    • Joseph Riani
      June 11, 2016 at 1:36 am #

      @Emma: I’m a guy and I never quite “understood” why other guys get a charge out of advertising their wife’s sexyness. To me, sexuality is a powerful attribute God gave us not to take lightly. It is sacred and we don’t parade the sacred around in the streets for a pat on the back. Christ tells us to pray and give alms without blowing trumpets before us because the act of giving is Holy and meant to glorify God, not ourselves. Likewise the nakedness of our bodies is meant to glorify God. I think a man advertising his wife is a lot like a wife telling her husband to wear a speedo to show off “his package.” Its tacky, vain, and serves no Holy purpose for any party involved.

      Honestly, I would just tell your husband “I’m honored you are fond of my beauty, but my body is for the most privileged eyes only!”

      Like

  2. insanitybytes22
    June 4, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

    Hmm, well I think I would much prefer that women find a way to cultivate a bit of modesty in our heart and spirit, and to stop worrying so much about triggering someone’s lust. It is what is in our hearts that truly matters, not the alleged dictates of fashion.

    I also think we have to find a way for men to differentiate between lust, coveting, and a perfectly normal and healthy sexual response. I think we needlessly shame men (and women too,) by acting as if the two are one and the same. We are wonderfully and fearfully made, in His image, and rather than accepting and celebrating that, we often act as if there is something wrong with us. I don’t know where that line is, men shall have to figure it out themselves, but there is a big difference between admiring the scenery and the beauty of human bodies, and coveting someone from a place of envy, objectification, and desired ownership.

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      June 4, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

      insanitybytes22,

      My favorite definition of modesty is “humility in clothing.” Yes, if we are filled up with Christ, we will want to have a modest spirit, a humble spirit – a desire to point attention to God rather than to ourselves.

      There is a difference between someone seeing and acknowledging that someone else is attractive vs. lust. I have a number of posts about that, if anyone would like the links. I am not advocating that we must all wear burkas. I am also not saying we are responsible for others if they lust after us. But we are responsible for dressing ourselves in a respectable way that is modest – according to Scripture. So we will want to watch our motives. Why do I want to wear this? Am I trying to get men to focus on certain parts of my body? Am I looking for attention for my body? Or am I seeking to honor Christ, my body, my husband, my marriage, and others?

      Someone can lust after us even if we are dressed quite modestly. We are not responsible for what others do or think, but we are responsible for presenting ourselves with dignity, honor, and respect and we are responsible for not intentionally setting a trigger in front of others.

      Ultimately, it is our motives that matter – our desire to please, honor, and reverence Christ and to bless others and to encourage and uplift them. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • insanitybytes22
        June 4, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

        My favorite definition of modesty is “humility in clothing.”

        Yes, but it’s rather sad to me that we have reduced modesty to something having to do with fashion and given it an entirely sexual and physical implication. Modesty is actually, “the quality or state of being unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one’s abilities.” So what often happens is that we wind up quite immodestly shaming people who dress differently, sending girls very confused mixed messages about their own sexuality, and leading boys to believe that they are like helpless sexual wildebeests or something.

        Like

        • Peacefulwife
          June 4, 2016 at 12:56 pm #

          insanitybytes,

          I believe we are talking about different definitions and uses of the word modesty. Here, I am speaking about modesty as it relates to our wardrobe – as described in 2 Tim. 2:9-10 which was also relating to women and how they dressed.

          Would you like to share an example of a post on modesty – using the definition you are using – that you believe would not shame others and that would be a more godly approach?

          Like

          • insanitybytes22
            June 4, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

            Not at the moment, April. I apologize if I’ve implied you’re doing something wrong in your post, that is not my intent. I am simply trying to understand how these modesty messages often get so distorted and misused.

            Like

            • Peacefulwife
              June 4, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

              insanitybytes22,

              To me, the message of dressing modestly is empowering and beautiful. 🙂 I know there will be different definitions of exactly what is “modest” – and I can certainly allow for people to have different convictions. Ultimately, we all answer to Christ.

              And to me, the message of having a modest, humble attitude is also empowering and beautiful. If there is a way I can modify or clarify things to be sure that people are not mishearing – because none of God’s message to us is about shame, it is about freedom in Christ to walk in holiness and blessing – I am all ears.

              Like

          • Peacefulwife
            June 4, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

            From Merriam Webster’s dictionary…

            Simple Definition of modesty
            : the quality of not being too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities
            : the quality of behaving and especially dressing in ways that do not attract sexual attention

            You are using the first definition, I believe. I am using the second definition in this post because that is the kind of modesty that was being described in the passage on how women are to dress.

            Like

    • Joseph Riani
      June 11, 2016 at 1:58 am #

      @Insanitybytes22: “I also think we have to find a way for men to differentiate between lust, coveting, and a perfectly normal and healthy sexual response…..”

      Thank you for not just being another one of those “I’ll wear what I want men bedeviled” individuals. The fact of the matter lust creeps in in cultures (Middle East) even where women are mostly covered. It’s unfortunately a fact of life and until Jesus comes again it isn’t going anywhere. I think our culture does exacerbate it on two accounts:

      1) its in your face everywhere. These days nearly every TV show has some illicit sex affair that plays out into a drama with all sorts of wild details. I was watching my favorite series Agents of Shield about 1-2 years ago and there was a brief scene (8PM-9PM) where they showed the main character in very seductive lacy black lingerie. Honestly, it added nothing to the show and I’m glad they haven’t done that again. Needless to say, Chloe Bennet is also VERY attractive. I’m not sure there is much we can do about cultural bombardment unless we “unplug” the Internet, TV, and social media.

      2) The worldview of men. Masculinity (and femininity) have changed a lot in the last 100 years. We have the worst parts of liberalism and the worst parts of conservatism defining masculinity at the moment which is fostering a generation of men eschew being a men. On the left, you have a constant bombardment that men are evil patriarchates out to enslave and oppress women. The feminist crusades on sexuality are really starting to get nasty as if they weren’t already. Men are loosing rights to due process on college campuses because feminists have the ear of the DOE and have all but labeled every man a potential rapist. The constant message we get is that “all men are guilty because patriarchy.” You’ve got men who just acquiesce because they will do anything just not to upset women. They feed off of female praise because society has preached for generations that a man is only successful if he has an harem of women who admire him.

      If you want men to move past the lust issue, we need to advocate that men have value even in the absence of a woman. We also need to advocate that men don’t have to DO anything to “obtain value.” At every turn, due to old tradition, a man always need to earn the right to be called a man whereas a woman seems to become a woman the day her period shows up. I think a man becomes a man the day he realizes that the spirit that makes up his soul is what gives him value. It is not something he can touch, but it is something he can experience. When men no longer feel like women are of more value than them they will no longer pang with a self-centered desire to “possess” the woman. Instead they will be secure in themselves leaving them to focus on more heavenly things.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Peacefulwife
        June 11, 2016 at 7:20 am #

        Joseph Riani,

        How it breaks my heart that this is the environment my brothers (and our sons) have to experience. Thank you for sharing a masculine perspective about the prevalence of immodesty and sensuality and the destructive view our culture seems to have toward masculinity and femininity. I long for every man and woman to know they have value because they are made in the image of God and made by God and because Jesus died for them and loves them dearly. I pray for God to heal our men and women and the chasm between us – that in the church, we might have the beautiful unity and oneness Jesus prayed for us to have.

        Like

      • insanitybytes22
        June 11, 2016 at 11:13 am #

        What a great comment. I totally agree with you. This is so true, “If you want men to move past the lust issue, we need to advocate that men have value even in the absence of a woman. We also need to advocate that men don’t have to DO anything to “obtain value.”

        In faith we would call that knowing your worth and value to Christ, He laid down His life for you. And than grace comes into play, there is nothing you can do to earn it, it is simply great love, unmerited favor.

        In the world, women do get idolized, put in a position where we are perceived as fulfilling spiritual, emotional, sexual needs, in ways that aren’t healthy for anyone.

        Like

        • Peacefulwife
          June 11, 2016 at 12:24 pm #

          insanitybytes22,

          Love this discussion. In our culture, men and women are idolized. Romance, sex, marriage, children, all of it is idolized. That is not how we are to think as God’s children. So thankful there is freedom in Christ from worldly ways! Having a girlfriend/boyfriend, being married, having sex, having families – none of those things can ever truly satisfy. Only Jesus can meet our deepest needs. Only He gives us our deepest value. This is a message that is so desperately needed today!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Joseph Riani
          June 12, 2016 at 12:09 am #

          @insanitybytes22: Nice to see someone “gets it.” I just finished a week long debate over at a traditional Catholic forum about a recent news article in which a 24 year old teacher was charged with having sex with a 13 yo old boy everyday for a couple years. It left me completely drained and disappointed. I had a “higher up” (female poster) make the claim that if the boy was “less harmed” than a 13 yo girl would be in the same situation because males are all rah rah sex and other guys call that “winning the lotto.” I explained to her that other guys “envy” such a kid because they are likely porn addicted and think sexual activity is something that you can just “X” out of after you are done. Also, there is a big difference between a man of 25+ and a 13 yo boy. The 13 yo old boy is NOT “lucky” because a 24 yo attractive woman took advantage of him.

          I think this worldview that men should be ready for sex from a woman at a seconds notice has created a disorder in Godly masculinity where by which every man is afraid to say “no” because someone might question his sexuality. When you have a society of men that have been drilled to be ready for sex on demand then its not hard to see why going to the beach is a temptation. I am very much a traditional guy that believes in different roles for men and women but some of the “traditional” views on men are very messed up and often create an environment that enables men to commit the atrocities we hear about in the news too often. When traditionalist invoke the word “purity” its almost seen as exclusively a feminine thing hence the reason a woman wears a white wedding dress. The groom however is stuck usually in a black tux. Why black at an occasion that’s supposed to be Holy and uplifting? I think the masculine version of purity is having the discipline to reject unholy influence. A man will be pure if his heart is guarded from women looking to use it for their own unholy purposes. A man is never going to discover that though as long as traditionalists are infatuated with the pedestalized woman. I think women could neutralize the pedestalization to some degree by being a bit more forthcoming with their desire for sex and what tempts them in this area. There is/was a blog by a woman who called herself “Beggars Daughter.” Really sad story. She was addicted to porn but no one really believed her. The addiction made her question her sexuality and really drove her bananas. I’m not sure that all women have an issue as bad as she does, but where did that “50 Shades of Grey” (mommy porn as they called) thing come from? I don’t thing women need to get raunchy with details, but there does need to be some more discussion on this topic.

          On the modern liberal side of things, we have a constant berating of men for just about everything except breathing (for the moment). Today’s dominant feminist narrative is that men do all the wrong and women have no responsibility in any of it. Feminism is at its core a spiritual rejection of all things male. If a guy smiles at a woman these days or just tries to be friendly while waiting for the bus, he better have a good lawyer waiting. If a guy holds a door for a woman, he better be prepared to get a lecture on “the strong independent woman.” If a guy DARES to mention he would prefer his wife to take care of the kids instead of day care, feminist mouths explode with MISOGYNIST bombs all over the place!!!! Ok, I’m sorry I think a mother is more trustworthy with her children’s growth and development than a stranger. If a man sits on the subway with his legs “too far apart” for feminist liking, male privilege?!?! Seriously, feminism would be the most puke-inducing drama series if people weren’t so hooked on its koolaid. Your 3rd-wave feminists use sexuality because they realized it can lorded over men without much effort. Take a good look at Lena Dunham (nothing to lust at there but she advocates a laissez-faire sexual ethic), Taylor Swift (just broke up with boyfriend #???? expect another CD soon), and a good deal of your average college age women too. You’ve also got a recent book by Andrea Tantaros (socially liberal but a Republican) whereby she publishes a provocative cover, and basically advocates for patronizing men by “letting them” do piddly traditional stuff (i.e. opening doors, paying for dates, etc) so their boyfriends feel like they have a purpose and stick around. It is entirely manipulative and very unlike what April does here. April would probably encourage a guy to do those thing and encourage women to let men do that, but April reminds women that a sacrifice is needed on their part too. Ms. Tantaros’ book is entirely about the edification of woman and man is again just a tool in that box. Theses “sex-positive” women are anything but positive as it mostly revolves around how to burn a guys brains out and enjoy watching him melt down at a distant so they can “feel powerful.” As I’ve learned, once men catch onto their game of pride and vanity it makes it a LOT easier to brush their antics off.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. just me
    June 4, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

    okay I’m game, I’ll jump in the pool 🙂 wink smile. I think what is tough about the modesty thing is that in dealing with it, there are two ditches to fall into. One, its all the woman’s fault. Two, a woman is never at fault in any way. Often the purity problem was in the dude’s heart before it had anything to do with a gal’s clothing. But modest is also about motives, behaviour, non verbal cues, spiritual purity and love, not just clothing as April says.

    Be great to have more links to modest clothing. I can’t see myself wearing neck to ankle swim suits; i’d feel as if I stuck out by being TOO covered. But neither would I feel comfy in a one piece, even most one pieces make me feel like i am out in public in my underwear. Tankinis are a decent option for coverage that isn’t too revealing and some of them have bottoms that look more like shorts than like underwear bottoms.

    For me, I won’t wear a bikini on a public beach anymore, just in the privacy of my backyard for working on my tan; and I keep a towel or robe handy in case I get a surprise visit from someone of the opposite gender. I agree that there is a difference between a healthy response that is entirely normal and part of how God made us; I think there’s a difference between that kind of acknowledgement where a man takes note that we are attractive and appreciates our beauty, but its only a passing glance, not a prolonged and total focus, and he keeps his distance without feeling drawn to “come hither”.

    We would hardly be normal alive sexual beings if we didn’t notice attractive persons. But we ought not to make it hard for someone to keep their focus where it should be by dressing for raw sex appeal or slightly sexy teasing either. Some ladies feel it is a feather in their cap if they can catch the eye of another woman’s beau or husband. That is stealing in my opinion and very dirty pool too since once can indulge in this wrong form of behaviour just under the radar. God knows our hearts.

    One last thought; dowdiness is not next to godliness and we needn’t dress in dull browns, navys, blacks and grays in neck to ankle coverage in order to be modest. There’s nothing godly about dressing like we just raided the mark down bin at the thrift store, anymore than we ought to dress wildly flamboyant with jewels and costly fashionista outfits. I went to a church once where it was more like a fashion show and you couldn’t see past the outlandish and extreme fashion hats! I know a few folks who attend very strict churches, who think that dressing as dull and dowdy as possible is what its all about. Their drab appearance and sombre repressed looking faces, as well as their severe hairstyles aren’t a good witness despite the fact that they are convinced otherwise. When that becomes sysnomymous with godliness one is practicing works based religion not faith based righteousness. Daughters of a king are valued and precious and well cared for. Treating ourselves severely has no value towards righetousness as Paul said, and it is not a reflection of the love of God.

    April I’d love to see some more sharing of links to places to get modest well tailored clothing at decent prices. Thanks for the opportunity to throw my two cents in to the discussion. 🙂

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      June 4, 2016 at 11:27 pm #

      Just Me,

      Ha! Thanks for jumping in the pool with us! 🙂

      We can go to sinful extremes on this, and any other, issue. So true. We can make everything a woman’s fault. That is not right. We could make everything a man’s fault – that is not right either (the parades where women literally go naked and picket their right to wear nothing and say that men should have no problem with that, for example). We each have responsibilities for our own motives, words, actions, and behavior before God.

      We can go too strict and become legalistic about modesty – as some cults and even some sects of Christianity do. Or we could be too lax and say that anything is fine even though some things we might choose to wear really could cause legitimate issues for others. So there is always balance and the power of the Holy Spirit that is necessary.

      I shared the things I did with a number of swimwear options that have greater coverage than you can usually find in stores because I found these things as I had to find options for me because of my sun allergy that has been an issue for the past 6 years. I actually do have a neck to ankle swimsuit because I break out in the sun. Does everyone have to resort to that? No – certainly not. My hope was to share some options that maybe some women weren’t aware of that have greater coverage if someone believes that is what would most honor Christ in their lives.

      There are many different “levels” of coverage for modesty and preferences. One may search online for “modest swimwear,” “modest clothing,” “modest shorts,” “modest pants,” “modest skirts,” “modest dresses,” and there are countless options and price ranges available.

      Much love to you! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

      Like

      • Peacefulwife
        June 4, 2016 at 11:32 pm #

        All,

        Anyone is welcome to share links to places with modest swimwear or clothing. 🙂

        Like

        • Eliza
          June 8, 2016 at 6:02 am #

          I know that QVC (www.qvc.com) sells some good options for swimwear. I have also purchased a lot of very modest clothing from them at reasonable prices. They sell maxi skirts and dresses that are quite pretty. I purchase the majority of my clothing there, and I have even purchased a very modest swimsuit from them.

          Like

  4. Mara
    June 5, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

    Hi April,

    I love your blog. There are so many things I could write about the positive changes in me and in my marriage, I don’t really know where to start. I’ll just say that each little step in becoming a more peaceful wife and a more peaceful woman, is like a light that is turned on inside me.

    To the topic at hand – all of the previous summers of my forty odd years, I have worn a bikini, leaving nothing of my body to the imagination. This past summer (I’m in Australia) I embraced modesty and bought myself a swimdress. My cleavage, bum and crotch are all covered up. Did I feel frumpy? Far from it! I have never felt more beautiful on the beach than I did this summer.

    Love Mara.

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      June 5, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

      Mara,

      It is so great to hear from you and to hear a bit about what God is doing in your heart. I love that you feel more beautiful than ever now – that is how I feel the more I get to discover about godly femininity – it is such a treasure and an amazing blessing!

      Much love!

      Like

  5. Samantha
    June 5, 2016 at 11:25 pm #

    Jumping in the “pool” of comments 😉
    I agree with much that has been said. My husband told me about two months ago that he wasn’t really a fan of my long, floral skirts, and that I looked more like I was in a sect. Yikes! So, I’ve made some effort to wear nice pants and mid length dresses. Problem solved. He also mentioned that I don’t always have to try so hard to cover my top when we are together, and that once and a while when it’s just me and him home, that maybe I could try wearing something for him. Again, no problem there. I try very hard to dress modestly, but also in a way that says “I take care of my appearance” to my husband. What a fine line it is!

    I think it depends largely on the person and their personal relationship with God to decide what to wear to be modest. For me, I feel that I would attract too much sexual attention if I wear tops that show even the slightest and tiniest amount of cleavage. I also try to not wear things that grab my bottom in a certain way, or emphasizes anything that could be sexual. Instead, I focus on cute jewelery, curls and braids, nice shoes, and cute fashionable modest outfits. One shirt that looks perfectly fine of one friend would not look fine on me.

    One of my friends is comfortable chatting with men and women, and is genuine in sharing the gospel freely with both. I am more guarded and sensitive to how I am around other men. This may have gotten lengthy, but my point is that God directs us in how He wants us to be in our modesty, and will reveal to us what is pleasing to Him. I certainly do struggle still with wanting people to either lust after my style or body etc, so it’s a daily choice to dress in a way that I’m not intentionally coming across with the wrong message. If some man thinks of me naked, or lusts after me when I am dressed appropriately, I am still at peace because God knows my heart.

    For reference, I think bikinis are just too much in public. I usually wear either a cute one piece or tankini. Depending on the situation I made add swim shorts or a swim top for extra coverage.

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      June 6, 2016 at 8:31 am #

      Samantha,

      Thank you for sharing about the conversations you and your husband had and how you were able to compromise and find things that he liked but that didn’t violate your conscience. I love that you are going to work more on wearing things he loves when you are alone. That is awesome!

      And yes, there are different convictions about what would be appropriate to wear among different women and sometimes something that would look fine on one body type may not work on another body type.

      I used to wear bikinis, too, in public. But I have a different perspective now and am totally content with covering up a lot more. God is able to direct each of us as we seek Him. 🙂

      I appreciate your willingness to share so honestly and transparently about these issues. Thank you, my dear sister! 🙂

      Like

  6. SapphireYagami
    June 6, 2016 at 1:05 am #

    i don’t mind modesty but these items just doesn’t scream ‘let’s have fun at the beach’. the head to toe jumpsuit scream ‘scuba diving’ and the dress ones scream ‘dress’ not ‘ let’s play in the water’

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      June 6, 2016 at 8:40 am #

      SapphireYagami,

      I know that we are all totally used to girls and women wearing swimsuits that look like underwear. That is what most of us have known all of our lives. Of course, until the past century, it was not this way in our culture.

      It’s funny how I would NEVER have worn underwear in public under any circumstances, but I wore bikinis in the past. What is the real difference? Just the type of fabric, really, not the coverage. I think it can be healthy for us to question why we wear what we wear. Just because this is what everyone else wears doesn’t mean that it is the best choice for us as disciples of Christ. What would most honor Jesus? What would most bless the kingdom and the Gospel? These are questions I believe each of us must wrestle with about our clothing and even our swimsuits.

      You are certainly not required to wear any of these options. 🙂 You don’t even have to like any of them. But – for some ladies who haven’t seen that things like this with much greater coverage are available – they may be a blessing.

      Much love to you! 🙂

      Like

      • SapphireYagami
        June 6, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

        i personally like the swimsuits of the 1950’s those were cute

        Like

        • Peacefulwife
          June 7, 2016 at 11:09 am #

          SapphireYagami,

          I think there are some available that are designed to look like those. 🙂

          Like

          • SapphireYagami
            June 7, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

            sweet

            Like

  7. Anna Kowalski
    June 10, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    Dear Sister your comments, article and all the counsels you give is godly. I thank the Lord for that. It is the first time I have visited. Truly, it has been a blessing. all glory to Him.

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      June 11, 2016 at 7:21 am #

      Anna Kowalski,

      It is wonderful to meet you! You are most welcome here.

      Much love to you!

      Like

  8. sarah_devereaux (@sarahinheels)
    June 18, 2016 at 10:33 pm #

    Thanks for this post! I was wondering if folks had any suggestions on how to make a current wardrobe more modest? Also, I generally dress more “trendy,” but sometimes interact with people who I feel are more likely to look at me in ways that feel uncomfortable/unsafe. Are there things I can do besides covering more to deflect unwanted sexual attention from inappropriate people (extended family, husbands and fathers of my friends, etc.)

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      June 19, 2016 at 7:25 am #

      Sarah,

      I don’t know of anything you can do to help this if you are dressing in clothing that is very revealing. For instance, if you are showing a lot of cleavage, wearing things that are skin tight, baring your midriff, or wearing short shorts/mini skirts… the way to avoid people looking at you in ways that make you feel uncomfortable would be to wear things that do cover those areas and that leave more to the imagination. When we reveal a lot of our bodies to other men, we inadvertently communicate to them, “I am (or I could be) sexually available to you” and invites them to think of us in a sexual way or to focus primarily on our bodies. That is not a message we want to send.

      Sometimes something as simple as making sure your bra straps don’t show, wearing a scarf over a low top or a camisole or t-shirt under a low top – can make a big difference. Other times, you can wear a longer skirt or a “skirt extender” under a dress or another skirt that is too short. You can also wear a tunic over pants that are very tight or over leggings.

      I will tell you that you can dress modestly and beautifully and some men may still ogle or lust. I have had that happen to me. In that case, if you are doing what you can on your end to dress in a way that honors Christ and you are making sure not to purposely create a stumbling block for others, then if there are some men who are acting inappropriately – it may be necessary to avoid them or to say something if the behavior is unacceptable/inappropriate.

      Much love to you! 🙂

      Like

      • Sarah Hardimon
        June 19, 2016 at 11:17 pm #

        Thank you:) I’m working on being more conscientious about what I wear and dressing more modestly. I think in the past, I’ve felt really resentful of suggestions to dress modestly because I’ve experienced unwanted sexual attention and violence even while being covered, and recognizing that I can’t control men’s actions. Your posts and responses have helped me to see that I’m not responsible for what men do, but that I am responsible to dress in ways that encourage good and respectful men. I’m still new to believing in God, and am working on opening my heart to Christ, and your writing has been such an encouragement!

        Like

        • Peacefulwife
          June 20, 2016 at 6:34 am #

          Sarah Hardimon,

          Oh no! You have experienced violence? 😦 That breaks my heart, my precious sister. Has this happened multiple times? Are you okay? Are you getting any help with dealing with this?

          Yes, you are responsible for what you do. But you are not responsible for men, their thoughts, or their sin.

          Do you have a godly mentoring wife or is anyone discipling you at this time? I’m so thrilled to hear you have recently come to Jesus. I’m honored to be walking beside you!

          Much love!
          April

          Like

  9. Sarah
    June 18, 2016 at 10:37 pm #

    Thanks for this post! I was wondering if folks had any suggestions on how to make a current wardrobe more modest? Also, I generally dress more “trendy,” but sometimes interact with people who I feel are more likely to look at me in ways that feel uncomfortable/unsafe. Are there things I can do besides covering more to deflect unwanted sexual attention from inappropriate people (extended family, husbands and fathers of my friends, etc.)

    Like

  10. Kate
    June 22, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

    Great post! I’m so glad that these days we have a lot of different swimming clothes. I just put on my shorts and tankini and feel comfortable. Also 80% of men wear long shorts on the beach, not underpants as swimwear.

    Like

    • Peacefulwife
      June 22, 2016 at 7:40 pm #

      Kate,

      I’m glad there are many more options today, too. So true about men mostly wearing trunks. You know what? I am not tempted to lust after other men in speedos, but I really do not like seeing them wearing those. It is more of a feeling of ickiness to me, than any kind of attraction. The only guy I want to know that much about is my own husband.

      Like

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