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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bondage

So often us sisters are accused of being in bondage because we cover our heads and dress modestly. If I had a dollar for every time I have heard the phrase "You're in BONDAGE!" or something similar, I'd have a pretty decent sized pile of cash. In this post I will be taking a closer look at this bondage I am accused of being in ... but I'd like to start with the other side (of which I used to be a part of).

One that conforms to the ways of this world must get up earlier in the morning in order get ready for their day. It would look something like this. Shower (or maybe it's done the night before). Decide which outfit to wear, being sure to have everything coordinating. Sometimes this involves trying more than one outfit on before one is chosen. Sometimes this also involves leaving the closet, drawer and/or room a bit untidy, especially if pressed for time ... only to have to come back at a later time in the day to put things back in order (or just leave a perpetual mess). Who cares about comfort? Looking good is at the top of the list. Tight waist-lines that feel worse and worse as the day goes on, tight pant legs that restrict the normal flow of blood and sometimes cause the legs to ache. No matter as long as we look good. Fix hair (which could involve various gadgets that plug into the wall ... blow dryer, curling iron, straightening iron, etc. and styling products chemicals such as hairspray or gel). Check eyebrows and pluck what does not belong. Put on makeup (foundation, powder, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, blush, lipstick/gloss ... maybe even line the lips and curl the lashes). Top it all off with coordinating jewelry - earrings, necklace, bracelet(s). And let's not forget the shoes. Which ones match today's outfit? And a purse - if the current one looks off we might have to take all the contents out and swap with a purse that better matches the flow of today's outfit.

How much TIME does this all take? An hour? An hour and a half? And what is it all for anyway?

Now even further - all of these things need a place to live. Dressers, drawers, cabinets, hooks, boxes, etc. Space is needed. Of course all of these things cost money; not only the items themselves but the storage containers too. LOTS of money when all is said and done (but it will never be done). A lot of time must be spent shopping for said items. Sometimes it's easier to pay extra money for premier items rather than rummaging around through bargain bins, clearance racks and other such promotions.

Now for my side of it. It takes me less than 5 minutes to get dressed, put my hair back, put on a covering and socks and shoes. My selection is limited (on purpose ... it's so much easier that way) and my colours are few. I do not have to think about what I am going to wear. Yes, it takes a little time to make a jumper or tunic, however once it's done it's done, and they last a long time. A quick run through the thrift shop might reveal something modest enough to wear ... for $1 an item. No chemicals on my face, body or in my hair. I don't need a mirror to put my hair up and go for days on end without even looking in to one. My clothing is comfortable, loose and flowing.

Now I ask, who is in bondage here?

The inspiration for this post came from something that the brothers said the other day. A group of us went to fellowship with another group in Indiana. The brothers went preaching in Cincinnati, OH and the next day were sharing some observations and stories. Bars had special areas outside (in front) to stand in and socialize but you had to go through the bar first to get out to the special fenced area. The fence was not really a fence but a small barrier which was easy to move and easy to step over if one wanted to. These little outdoor areas were crammed with people, elbow to elbow in such a small space. From within that came a voice saying "You guys are in BONDAGE!" talking to the brothers on the sidewalk ... who had plenty of space.

Again, who is in bondage here? I know the answer because I have been on both sides - not in hypocrisy either. (because there are plenty that say "I tried being a christian but ...." that's just hypocrisy)


11 comments:

anon said...

sister-thank you so much for the posts and knowledge you share- it's so needed and inspiring to me living in a spiritually darkened area of the country --please know your words of truth are of tremendous value to me and my family and so many others --I noticed going through some back logs that certain more grouchier followers seem to have gone away -thank God-I never really understood why some people follow another if they are so at odds with what is being said--anyway thank you again and please keep them coming-amy

yolanda said...

What a Great post! Thank you so much. Blessings.

Martina said...

While I am a not head covering Christian, it does not take me more than 5 minutes to get ready in the morning. Yes I am dressed modest (surprise!). But there is one thing I wanted to say... STOP POINTING OUT HOW RIGHTEOUS YOU THINK YOU ARE... you are acting no better than the women that accuse you of being in bondage. I have no problem with women teaching other women what modesty should be like.. BUT bashing them, and point out how more righteous you are ,defeats the point of Christian modesty, as this is not only seen on the outside but also comes from the heart.

barbara winfree said...

Hi, I liked this post. We women often don't see how influenced we are by the worlds standards. Over the years I have struggled with what exactly is proper clothing for the Christian woman? It never seems to be preached about, because no one wants to step on the females toes. Might make her angry! We need women to be teaching the younger ones struggling with this same issue. I studied a lot of the Mennonite material and that helped me tremendously to come to the place I am now. And no, I'm not Mennonite, just Christian. Barbara

Joanne said...

Barbara: I believe some go overboard by forcing the women in their congregation to comply to a certain dress code. First, it is the husband's responsibility to govern his home, not the church's. Second, Christ never forced anyone to do what was pleasing to him.

So what exactly IS proper clothing for a christian woman? If you are married, ask your husband. If you are not married, I can share my personal guideline with you. I imagine myself standing before the Lord. Would he be ashamed of what I was wearing? And what about my heart? Why am I wearing what I am wearing? When others look at me, what do they see? Will I cause a man to stumble?

Yolanda, praise the Lord.

Amy - is this Amy 'up north'? If so, I pray you are all doing well. Thank you for the encouragement.

Martina - I encourage you to wear a covering (unless it is your husband that does not want you to?).

Lord bless you all.

Martina said...

My husband does encourage me to act upon my convictions, I do not feel convicted to wear a head covering at this point.

Sorry if my comment came across as a little harsh, and I do hope you can forgive me.

Joanne said...

Martina, no harm done. God bless you.

Ami said...

You hit that one on the head! I can't tell you how free feel now that I don't try to keep up with fashion. ( I wouldn't wear it any ways, it has gotten so ridiculously ugly and stupid looking, like a 4 year old who never was taught how to dress) I often shake my head when I see women in the store and think "such bondage, such worthless chasing of things that don't matter". Thanks for expressing my thoughts.
Ami (the way up north one:)

The Don Family said...

I was just listening to a teaching on this, and I think it goes well with your post.

Here is a link:
http://www.followers-of-the-way.org/messages/20140706_fotw.mp3

Joanne said...

Ami - you are right, today's fashion has gotten so ridiculous and 'way out there' ... but ... I still shake my head when I see photos of myself as a teenager. If I could get hold of them all I would burn them.

Don Family: Thank you for the comment. I have not listened to the message you posted so I cannot say whether I agree or disagree.

God bless you both!

The Don Family said...

I saw the link didn't work. I'll try again. : )

http://www.followers-of-the-way.org/messages/20140706_fotw.mp3