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Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sister to Sister: Q & A–What to Wear with a Brand New Ring?

Question: This one seems to always surface in June….Some seem to have convictions about modesty, but then when it comes time for a wedding, the attire that would be inappropriate in their minds for most occasions, seems to be perfectly acceptable. What gives?

Response: Well, this does seem to be a bit of a rhetorical question. I would be surprised if the one who asked the question doesn’t already have a fairly strong opinion about situational modesty. But, nevertheless, let me just take the time and space today to say that, of course, what’s too skimpy, tight, short, low-cut or revealing under other circumstances is certainly so at a wedding. It has always blown my mind that some women who are big on dressing modestly throughout the teen years have been willing to show cleavage, bare shoulders and/or naked backs when they are the center of attention as the bride in front of so many men just a little while before they are to give themselves to their husbands in the most intimate and holy relationship between two mortal people. I think if I’d had the discretion to cover myself in other situations when the world was undressing, I would want to stay covered just a little while more, till I could present my body to the man who would own it for the rest of our lives together (I Cor. 7:4). I would want to show that man this respect during the wedding ceremony.

And then it also seems that some in the audience at a wedding are comfortable wearing, on that Saturday evening, outfits that are skimpier than anything they would wear the next morning to worship services. I believe that we sadly give the nod to what is culturally correct rather than what is chaste and discreet as commanded in Titus 2.

I think I get more mail about immodest clothing than any other subject I ever address. Two observations come to mind when I think about the interest in this subject. One is that we seem to be constantly asking “How close to immodesty can I get without actually crossing the line into disobedience to the injunction in I Timothy 2?” The other is that as our culture moves more and more toward culturally accepted nakedness, we, as God’s people seem to be comfortable following so long as we stay a little behind the world in our movement into immodesty. Both of these observations make me want to shout the words of Romans 12:2.

I’m glad for some faithful sisters I know who regret what they wore on their wedding night. I’m glad they have sweet and penitent hearts. While I’m sad they’ve had to remove their wedding photos from Facebook or Instagram because they now know the clothing was surely not in conformity to I Timothy 2:9; that it was not taking into account the seriousness of Matthew 5:28, I am still happy for their conviction and the way they have decided to teach their own children about this subject. Their daughters will have fewer regrets.

I am saddest of all for those who have no embarrassment (or “ability to blush” as the Greek word for modesty or shamefacedness, taken literally, puts it in I Timothy 2:9). I am sad for the lack of concern for brothers who, while trying to control their thoughts, will continue to have to battle the temptations that are put in front of them, even in the family of God. In a world where the devil is having a heyday with pornography and fornication, surely God’s daughters could take some responsibility for making the atmosphere in the family of God a safety zone from the temptations caused by immodesty. The fact that the whole world is doing something should have nothing to do with our choices about morality. In fact, I can think of no better way to glorify Him than in this very visible and noticeable distinction of dress.

Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

A Destination Wedding

10380276_10153167780351384_1610195395567955643_nI’ve never been the mother of the groom before and I’ve never attempted to do a rehearsal dinner at all, much less a dinner at a “destination wedding”. I cooked in an unfamiliar kitchen at a church building during pajama day at the large preschool housed in that building. Mermaids, super-heroes and puppy dogs were in and out of the kitchen all day. The staff members at the Hilldale church in Clarksville, TN were all very hospitable and kind. Still though, there are a few things about destination weddings , for which I had failed to prepare. I learned some lessons:

  1. You can make a lot of lists and think you have everything but the kitchen sink before you leave and still need to go to Sam’s, Walmart, Belk, Dollar General and Hobby Lobby all during the day of the dinner for things you forgot.
  2. The shoes that felt comfortable at 9 a.m. feel like torture chamber equipment at 9 p.m.
  3. When your car is loaded like a Jenga puzzle, it’s going to be the container with the most little pieces that comes crashing down from the top  and scatters its contents in all the crevices you’ve never even seen before because you have never had every single seat in the SUV down for luggage room. (…And it will probably be something like…say thyroid medication…something you need very much, that you will never see again).
  4. Somebody IS going to fall down on a trip like this…it just WILL happen.
  5. You can leave home in your short sleeves because it’s 68 degrees outside and feel snow in your face before the day is over.
  6. Your GPS will mostly be accurate, but the one time Siri makes a blunder, there could be lots of mud in the recovery process.

But let me just say this: None of these little incidental things could even dampen the spirit of this mother of the groom. Nothing that stresses or panics about  a destination wedding is even as much as a real hiccup IF the FINAL wedding destination is heaven. Our son is the best example and teacher of Christianity to his parents that we could have ever imagined or for which we could have ever prayed. He touches our hearts daily with his dedication to the work of our Lord as he serves the church at Macland Road and in his personal relationships. I believe he wants to do the right thing more than just about anyone I have ever known. I do not deserve to get to be his mother and I certainly am not responsible for the goodness in Him. But I am thankful to God for it every day. He has always intended to please the Father and there has never been a day in His life when he purposefully rebelled against Him in any decision. (I know that’s a big statement, but I’m convinced of and humbled by it’s truth.) I have lived in amazement at this reality; amazement, shame—when I think of my own failures,—and thankfulness. One of the groomsmen shared a little detail with me on the day after the wedding. The last message Caleb delivered before getting married was delivered by a groomsman to one of his elders who was in attendance at the wedding. The message? A check for his contribution for the Sunday he would be away on his honeymoon. I love that heart.

Rebekah Meinsen Colley (that is so fun to type and say) is a treasure that we surely could not have anticipated or merited. A few days ago on a Sunday, Rebekah sent Glenn and me a text message: “Today we studied Jethro in Bible class. I just want you to know that I am so thankful I am getting the blessing of great and wise in-laws like you.”  Now tell me, who gets a daughter-in-law  who knows how to make you feel that good?! She called Glenn and me into the little private dressing room where she was getting ready to marry Caleb last Friday night and gave us each a little red bag. My gift was a necklace and Glenn’s was a key chain. The inscription simply said “Thank you for raising the man of my dreams.” I will treasure that necklace for the rest of my life because it’s a little symbol of a huge and rare blessing. If I had to pick one thing that I love most about her, (Well, first…it would be so hard to pick…) I’d say it’s a genuine love for lost souls.  I have watched her agonize over those around her who are unprepared for the judgment day.  Glenn and I can learn much from this handmaiden of the Lord. We bask in relationship blessings from our faithful Father and we are especially thankful at this juncture in life for Rebekah’s parents. We will forever owe a debt to Jim and Debbie Meinsen for the things they put deeply in Bekah’s heart.

Destination weddings are wonderful. Destination marriages are the best ever…and ever…and ever! I pray that Caleb and Rebekah will never lose sight of the goal. I pray they will keep the directions handy (This GPS never makes an error.) and study every detail of the route. I’m going to the same place to meet the same Bridegroom, who is already there. It’s a destination that’s already prepared (John 14:2)…and that’s a very calming reality for this mother.