I decided to write a second part to my last post in response to some comments that were left. I understand the heart of the woman who wrote the response and I am in no way being critical of her comment. I just want to share my heart in a more deeper way. Here it goes:
By far am I thinking and promoting people to walk in gray areas or sin. I am just simply sharing that we are all on this journey of walking with the Lord and sometimes we as Christian women can put yokes of bondage out of Law and not allow the Lord to change us by His Spirit.
I am wanting to share how the Grace of God has taught me that by His Spirit I can be changed, not by doctrines or teachings of religion. Yes, the bible clearly says that women should wear modest apparel. Does this mean skirts? Yes, it says that having long hair is a covering for the woman? But will Jesus still love me if I do cut my hair? And how long is long enough? Some women cut their hair to help a good cause such as wigs for cancer children. Maybe God is using them to serve a purpose? We don't know? Or maybe they just like short hair? Does it really matter? How about eating pork? God did say it was an abomination in the old testament? Then why do some still eat pork? Where do we draw the line?
We can fall into looking to much on how we need to do these acts or works, than focusing our efforts in changing our heart of bitterness, lust, judgment, anger, covetousness, etc... Where Jesus wants us to have a relationship with Him and come to Him in our nastiness and allow Him to change us through His unconditional love, grace, and everything in between.
Jesus came to call the religious Jews of His day hypocrites and white washed tombs where they were so consumed with the outward and doing the "right" thing that they were willing to overlook love. Jesus hung out with the low lifes, the rebellious, the ones who were rejected by the "religious". He tells the adulterous samaritan woman at the well...."God is Spirit and those who worship God must worship in spirit and in truth."
Christians can be quick to love the sinner, embrace them, and once he/she accepts Christ start putting yokes of bondage around his/her neck. They want to preach the do and donts of Christianity instead of teaching them to seek God with all their hearts, souls, and mind and allow Him to change them. Don't look around to find answers, but truly allow the Lord to teach you all things and change you.
Picture this: Find a young mother who is tattooed to her neck, she smokes, drinks, partys, uses profanity, works at the local coffee shop and really wants the Lord in her life. Her husband is a construction worker and also wants to be saved. The church leads them to the Lord and they get saved. What now? Well, they give them a big book of church doctrine and the beliefs and take them through the 10 steps of living holy.
This young mother is genuinely wanting God to do great things in her life so she starts to change her outward appearance. Everyone around her is dressed with dresses or living a very modest lifestyle. The women stay home with their children and she feels like she now has to quit her job. Her husband wants her to keep working, but this goes against what the bible teaches and what people are doing around them. She begins to feel awful because of her tattoos, she is trying so hard to quit smoking, she cuts out drinking, and has minimized her use of profanity but sometimes slips up around sister so and so. She walks in serious condemnation because she doesn't know how to live this holy life. Her husband would like her to wear jeans but she feels like skirts is the only way to live really holy unto the Lord. She is now so focused on doing the right thing that she totally misses out on the love relationship with the Lord.
What about her cussing and smoking....she still struggles and starts heading for depression because she feels like such a failure in her walk with God. She feels like life was easier to deal with when she wasn't saved. Yeah, she understands that she will go to heaven but what if she gets cast into hell if she is still cussing or desires to wear jeans? Oh Lord....she says....why is this so tough!! Why does God want so much from her? How could she ever, ever measure up to Him and be accepted. How? She is close to walking away entirely from Him!
Do you see how this young lady put laws and bondages of the church to influence her life. It was never the Lords intention. She never came to Him with a surrendered heart to have a true relationship of love. She didn't realize He was there the whole time waiting to fellowship as she was at the beginning of her walk, in her drinking, smoking, cussing, and jean wearing. He was going to change her in His timing. He was going to start by ministering to her heart. Teaching her how to love and not judge. Teaching to talk quietly and not yell. Teaching her to be joyful in the midst of disagreements with her husband. Teaching her how to show her tattooed friends how she had truly found her BEST FRIEND and how He's showing her how He has great plans for her life. Because of this new love relationship with the Lord, she will want to stop all sins she once struggled with everyday. Most of her sins were of depressions, condemnations, anger, yelling, etc... The smoking, drinking, and cussing would stop supernaturally because a true Love relationship breaks all bondage.
Only by the Spirit of the Lord must we be changed, not by traditions of man or doctrines. Allowing the Lord to teach us His Holy Word, not following any person because they seem "godly" in their works or outward appearance. There is a freedom in Christ when you find how loving, longsuffering, merciful, and kind He is. If we mess up He doesn't break fellowship with us. IF we mess up He is there to comfort us. If we aren't doing the entire bible to the "T" then He still loves us because GOD IS LOVE!!
I will leave you with these questions to ponder on:
Have you ever wondered why God would call Hosea to marry a prostitute? Knowing this was against the Law of Israel. Why would God do this? Why would God call Jeremiah to walk around naked for a year with a yoke around his neck? This seemed sort of nutty? Why would God call a young virgin to become pregnant in a place where if the "law" found out she would seriously be stoned? Why would God become Flesh and become best friends with the ungodly and not the "religious Jews" of the day? Many of these prophets (men of God) were killed for doing the works of God. Yeah, it didn't look like the "righteous" thing to do but He wanted them to, He had a purpose! And ultimately His only Son was killed by the religious of His day. Why? Because He was there preaching the kingdom of grace, love, healing, and forgiveness!
Let us as mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, and women of God look deep into our relationship with the Lord. Ask questions such as "why am I following a certain teaching? Is it truly what God wants me to do or am I doing this to "look righteous" in the eyes of the church." I encourage all of you to follow the leading of the Lord in all you do.
I am posting a reply to more comments. If you want to read the comments then click on the comments link below. If you want to join, please feel free too....like I said we are all learning :)
Thanks Morgan.... Yes, I believe that we as Godly women should be modest in our dress. I believe there are pants that can be nice and not skin tight. I do believe that ONLY through the Lord's convictions can we be changed. And this is the point of my post!
I do believe many more women should be more conscious of their clothing they wear to respect the men in the church and world. I continually instruct my daughters to dress in modest ways. If they wear a shorter skirt, I have them wear leggings under it. If I have them wear a bathing suit....They wear shorts over them. I personally don't allow them to wear bikinis, but that is me. I am not going to look down on a sister if she is wearing a two piece or think she is not following the Lord. You get my point.
To the anonymous person:
I never said that the Lord's word is of men. I said there are things in the word that men have twisted and made as traditions of men or hard core doctrinal principles. There is a balance to the word of God. Through the Spirit should we read and study the Word of God.
Dress also depends on the times we live in. When Paul wrote the modest clothing scriptures, who knows what women were wearing in that culture. They might have been wearing no clothes at all. If you think about it....Rome, corinth and those places were swamped with lusts such as orgies and the like. The culture was perverted.
Also the word "modest" comes from the Latin word meaning "moderate". In all things we should be moderate. I think the clothing that women should consider wearing should be of a lower key....not flashy to attract attention or low cut shirts....but if a sister in Christ is in the Word of the God, reading His word and seeking for His love and change, then we can allow the Lord to change this woman in His time. We don't have to constantly remind them that they need to look a certain way or even be a certain way.
We have holy spirit and He is the only one to change us and convict us. Even our adult children! In life we can be extreme in many ways. I think we should find a happy medium and not attract attention in any way. Live a modest godly lifestyle! And be spirit led. I believe that there are sects in today's society who are christian who obviously attract looks and stares....they are dressed like they belong in the quaker days. These people are stared at and attract alot of attention. But if that is how God wants them to dress then be it! But in no way am I to judge or to tell them what to do or not to do. Either way....Another point to my posting.
Paul says do not braid your hair, or wear jewelry such as gold, or pearls I have a gold wedding ring? Should I take it off and wear bronze, silver, lead? Or throw out the pearl necklace my husand gave me? I think we can take things to an extreme. I know many teachers of the word (pastors, apostles, teachers....of today) will say things in their preaching that I know might sound very extreme but knowing their heart and the heart of God...I get what they mean. Maybe Paul was frustrated by the flashy lifestyle people lived? I don't know. But we as women of God can come to Him personally and ONLY desire to look, dress, and be like He wants us to be not because a sect, movement, group of believers say we should. Remember the Lord is more concerned with the spirit of the man, not just the outer shell.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.
I know this is speaking of tithing....but you got to consider the heart of the message in context to the whole word of God. We can take the word of God with a magnifying glass and make sure we are following everything to a "T" and do things out of the flesh in a carnal way instead of allowing the Lord to teach us. But then again....everyone has sinned....daily....gossip is a sin, judging, pride, lust, outburst of wrath (do you slip and yell at your children on occasion)
My point to all of my posting is that we need to recognize the Freedom and redemption Christ came to give us through His word. I am not saying to stop obeying the word....I am stessing....SEEK HIM, KNOW HIM!!! Have a genuine relationship with your Savior. Allow Him to show us the Word. He is the Word!
To all my readers:
I am want to let you know that I am NOT telling people to break the Laws of the Lord. I hope those who follow me, and know me will understand my heart. If you have any clue about the Love of Christ you will know what I am trying to relay on my posting. There have been some misunderstandings that are accusation on my trust, love and walk with the Lord. I guess someone wants to "judge" my heart from my post. This is exactly the point of my post.
WHO ARE WE TO JUDGE ANYONE?! Skirts or no skirts!