In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety…
1 Timothy 2:9
The year was 1994, and I had just tried out for the 8th grade cheerleading squad. I was very excited, but looking back now, this was one of the worst decisions I ever made. To me, it marks the beginning of a falling away from my Lord, and a struggle with sin that would last almost a decade. Our skirts were short, and we rolled them up to make them even shorter. I’m not sure if this is a problem now, cheerleading skirts are so miniscule that they don’t even really look like skirts any longer. In the 9th grade our competitive cheerleading squad purchased skirts without pleats for the first time ever. I still remember the controversy today. Our coach fought tooth and nail for those skirts, and they finally were approved. We were only allowed to wear them on campus if we wore our warm up pants underneath. I wonder if the same rules apply in public schools today.
Along with the cheerleader status came attention from boys. Which in turn lead to immorality in the name of popularity. Yuck. Mommas, please be careful of worldly influences you allow your children to be exposed to, which in my case was public school. The pull of the world can and will snare your daughters, even if you bring them to church. In the 10th grade I was named Homecoming Princess for my grade level, and by the 11th grade, I was tired of it all. I stopped caring so much about being “popular,” but did still dress immodestly. Which included midriff baring tops, very short skirts, etc. If my mother did object, I always won, and wore what I wanted. After all, she had bought all these clothes for me, right? It was the norm; everyone dressed this way. I attended church, but modesty was not taught in the least. My parents had decided to move from the church of my conversion to a “full gospel” church when I was in the 8th grade as well, and my relationship with the Lord suffered.
It wasn’t until my first daughter was born when I nearing 20, that I really decided to take a look at my clothing choices. I wanted to look like a mother, and not a teenager. Everyone said that I looked young for my age to begin with, so I wanted to dress a bit more conservatively. At this point I made sure that my midriff was covered, and my skirts were at least mid thigh in length. My bathing suit choices were still very poor however. I did this for me, so that I would feel better about the way others saw me. I still did none of this for my Lord, and had not attended church since I was in high school.
I met my amazing husband when I was 23. My first husband had passed away, and I was living by myself with three young children. One of the first things that we did is begin attending his aunt’s church once we started dating, and around that time my relationship with the Lord was finally restored. I attended a local, contemporary church a handful of times in the years prior, but that church really just put a band aid on my sin. I really yearned to seek the Lord, but still was holding onto the world. I was so happy to be back in church, but the importance of modest dress still wasn’t taught however, and I dressed how I pleased to a great extent.
…to be continued.