Thursday, January 23, 2014

God Looketh on the Heart

Many posts on Face book I skip; especially if they're more than two sentences long! Unless, it's my life-time friend, DeeDee Hansen Lambert. She gets my thoughts reeling. I've had to examine my beliefs more than once or twice. Her latest post was about dressing modestly. She voiced her concern that her girls were being judged for wearing something that was not regarded as "modest". Here is my response to my friend:

"OK- I don't know if you read my responses to your thought provoking comments and questions, but I want to thank you, because your questions get me thinking...So, concerning the modesty thing. I've been thinking a little bit more about the Mormon culture of modesty. And here is what I think... the "black and white" of dressing appropriately to be modest is the "law of Moses"--meaning the lesser law: the law to protect. The higher law is our virtue and only God can be the judge of that. The Pharisees lived the law of Moses to the fullest; only taking a certain amount of steps on the Sabbath etc. But the higher law was to honor God on that day and only God could see their devotion to Him. Let me explain; I have been shamed by boys, etc. because how I have dressed. And I will never forget what my sweet 4 or 5 year old Anna said when she pulled out an old college formal I had that was sleeveless. She said: "Dad is a man of God, Mom...she's made some mistakes." Funny, right? But that is how she saw the world; sleeveless=not modest/not good, if it had sleeves= good and modest. My girls also used to gasp when they saw photos of me in a bikini--which is all of my (young)swimsuit photos! Now, they don't. Because they have matured in their understanding- God is the judge of my heart. It's like when we teach our kids not to smoke and they see someone smoking and say; "Ewwwwwww" so loud that we want to die!! But as they get older and more mature, they know not to judge a smoker. They understand the principle not to smoke is for protection and not a license to judge someones character. Now my girls understand that the Lord just wants to protect us and dressing modestly can help. But judging if someone is virtuous is His judgement only! What someone looks like on the outside does not always reflect the soul. My sister had a boyfriend that made her walk out of his house backward because he didn't want his parents to see her backless dress. That was shaming to her. Not the right choice for him. But that is all he knew. He didn't understand the higher law was to love my sister. And dressing modestly was a way to protect us and not a license for a boy or his parents to judge her goodness or virtue. Also- now, as a parent and as a wife, I understand how visual men can be. Therefore, I understand dressing modestly is a form of protection and not a declaration of virtue. God is the judge of our virtue. "...for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 love you. Suze