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Modesty, Conviction vs. OCD, God Speaking

Discussion in 'Obsessive Compulsive Disorder' started by tuliplane, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. tuliplane

    tuliplane Newbie

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    Hi all,

    So, my OCD takes so many different forms; there always seems to be something new to stress over.

    Lately, one of my latest obsessions is clothing, namely jeans. I have jeans that I have felt fine to wear and then I read things on Christian sites saying that jeans show the outline of a woman's body...basically saying it can cause men to think of a woman without clothes on.

    I tried mine on, spending hours or so staring at them and scrutinizing them to see if they were lust-inducing. I was having a hard time finding anything wrong with most of them, but I still was unsure, so kept spending so much time checking to see if there really was something. I had this other voice of doubt in my head saying maybe my jeans were bad, maybe my curves were too visible, etc., etc.

    Now, I do not go out of my way to buy rear enhancing jeans and my goal in dressing is not to cause men to look at me. However, I prefer to wear flattering styles that yes, show my curves - I'm not trying to show off my curves, but I don't exactly hide them. I have a rather petite frame and my legs are not super curvy, so even wearing really tight jeans doesn't show much and wearing loose jeans just doesn't look very nice on me and makes me feel sloppy. I am pretty reserved in how I dress, not wearing things that will make a guy think "Look at that body" or a woman think "How inappropriate" and I don't think my jeans scream, "Look at me". Yet...

    From reading certain websites, some Christians would call my choice of jeans immodest, a stumbling block to men, or revealing nakedness since the shape of the body can be seen.

    As those who understand OCD know, one can get very obsessive over just about anything, harping on small details others wouldn't even think about - which is what I feel like I am doing now: trying really hard to find and see something immodest, obsessing over if I will be causing lust or revealing nakedness.

    Does this seem like my OCD flaring up or is God convicting me? That is the difficult thing about OCD! Many of of us feel our consciences at work for so many different things, so its hard to know if its typical OCD doubt/guilt or the Holy Spirit convicting. A big reason why I'm wondering if it's the Holy Spirit is because in one night I saw people saying the same things online on two different websites:

    This one girl has a modesty blog and posted pictures of herself wearing jeans that she thought was modest. It was actually disheartening for me because the pictures she showed, in my opinion, were so unflattering and shapeless...like trying to mask the God-given body. It was beyond just trying to stay modest...it was excessive. In the one picture she wore lose boyish-looking jeans, and in another, I think they were fairly loose but it was hard to see because she wore layers of tent-like tops and a very bulky grandmotherly cardigan over them to above knee length (think tops a woman might wear when she wants to conceal being overweight or just had a baby). She said, "It’s tempting to show your hard work off to the world. After all, your legs are covered. This was a misconception I had. An ignorance really." While I was reading her post that did stick out to me because recently I was wondering about that...if you can be covered, but still show your shape, and if that's wrong.

    A commenter wrote:
    "I love this post! I was very convicted reading this. Thank you for writing what the Lord put on your heart to say. I am a young woman and I am trying to dress modestly and purposefully in a way that honors God. I could totally relate to what you said, “It’s tempting to show your hard work off to the world. After all, your legs are covered.” "

    It stuck out to the commenter too, saying that she was convicted. I then wondered if God was trying to convict me because of these coincidences. Later I was reading a lust article and a woman commenter wrote:

    "One thing that I notice women saying is, “well I’m covered!”. But what some don’t realize, is that their clothes are so tight (even though everything is “covered”), it’s like the jeans are painted on. It leaves nothing to the imagination."

    I saw this theme in more than one place around the same time, so I'm wondering if God is trying to convict me by telling me that covering my legs isn't enough and that I need to wear them looser or if it's OCD again... I really don't want to be hardhearted and choose to go my own way and ignore God, but I also don't believe I have immodest intentions, that my jeans are drawing attention specifically to certain areas, or that my clothes are really noticed much...I think I'm thinking about this way more than any random guy would be thinking about me at the supermarket. I also may be overthinking it...which is what I do about SO many things, thanks to OCD. But yeah, the coincidences are leaving me wondering if God is telling me that.

    If anyone has struggled with this same thing or has insight, let me know!
     
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  2. Galatea

    Galatea Well-Known Member

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    If you are really thin, with a boyish shape, then you can get away with wearing things that women with curvy shapes cannot. Take shorts, for example. The same pair of shorts would look very different on a super thin woman like Kate Moss than on a woman like Scarlet Johannsen. Kate Moss would look like a child, while Scarlet Johannsen might be too sexy.

    So, some of dressing depends on your individual body. When you look at yourself in the jeans, do you think you look too sexy? I mean, if you saw them on another woman, would you think "That's not very modest."

    Look at yourself as if you were looking at a different woman. If you can look at yourself and think "I don't look like a lady." You might need to change.

    I don't think it is an OCD thing, it sounds like you are convicted. I don't think you have to be out of style to be modest, though.

    The most modest role model nowadays is Duchess Kate- what a lady! She's also stylish and not a frump, by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe you can try the Duchess Kate test. After you put something on, ask yourself "Would Kate wear this?" If the answer is "no" it may be immodest.
     
  3. archer75

    archer75 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I am not an expert on women's fashion or OCD, but I would suggest you try not to focus on this so much.

    Especially since men can easily "see through" clothes if they want to, or refrain from doing so. Your jeans don't "cause" lust.
     
  4. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    Hi there! I don't want to comment directly on whether you supposedly "ought" or "ought not" to wear jeans; it's not my place to make such a determination. (My wife happens to wear jeans nearly every day; this would probably also go for many - even most - women in North America, from time to time.)

    On another thread you yourself commented about a preacher who said that one earring in each ear was supposedly "okay" but not 2 or 3: you yourself said this was a rather arbitrary thing to say; none of his business to make such a determination.

    There are actually Scriptures against 'busybodying' in other people's matters.
     
  5. tuliplane

    tuliplane Newbie

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    I am a huge fan of Duchess Kate! Such a classy woman! I would say my jeans look similar to her's. Though some modesty advocates would call her's immodest...
    It is also about the way someone wears something too. Kate Middleton or Lauren Conrad could wear a pair of tight jeans and make them look very classy...pairing them with feminine and graceful pieces that speaks they're not wearing things to incite lust. Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, or Kim Kardashian could wear the same jeans though and do so in a way to bring the wrong kind of attention.
     
  6. tuliplane

    tuliplane Newbie

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    And if you noticed...I was struggling with legalism toward ear piercing at the time, and I am not right now; just something new to focus on.

    Earrings though, don't cause lust, while clothing can.
     
  7. tuliplane

    tuliplane Newbie

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    Thanks! It's actually really insightful to think about what you said that jeans don't "cause" lust and if a man wants to think about that, he will. I guess for both the wearer and the viewer, it's a topic of a matter of the heart.
     
  8. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    All I can say is that I hardly think anyone would somehow be able to say that my wife's jeans are inappropriate; this is simply a personal refection.

    Romans 14 is Paul's great treatise on Christian liberty.

    And re. earrings, it's been customary for many women to wear double pairs of earrings since about the late 70s: which means that if a teen (and her mom) became accustomed to wearing this style in 1979, if they were aged 19 and 49 respectively then, they would now be 57 and 87: it really is very widespread and it doesn't 'prove' anything, does it?
     
  9. miknik5

    miknik5 "Let not your heart be troubled"

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    Can't every body control themselves!
    Why oh why do we have to worry about men not being grown up or human enough to control themselves

    I like clothes
    I like to wear whatever I want to wear

    Here's the thing

    If one is an attractive woman what do you do?

    You'll get looks
    It just happens

    Does that mean we have to wear a potato sack!
     
  10. tuliplane

    tuliplane Newbie

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    You know...I was just thinking about this today...how some styles of clothing look "immodest" on a very slim woman, but a plus size woman it doesn't look as "immodest" even though it should since she is the curvier one. That's because maybe it isn't about modest or immodest, maybe it's the body types deemed more attractive in society are considered "immodest" simply for being attractive.

    I also went for a walk down the street the other day and encountered a very sweet elderly woman on her walk. She was wearing tight workout pants! Did it look "lustful" or "immodest"? Nope, not at all. If a young woman were wearing it, many Christians would jump in and say she is being indecent. Again, this is about attraction because of the age of the wearer. Youthful or slim women might get more in trouble for outfits simply because they have appealing-looking bodies to many.

    This also brings me to another point. Just because a woman has an attractive body and a man sees that, does not equate sin if he finds her attractive. Lust comes after attraction and it is a conscious choice to fantasize unwholesome thoughts. Also, if a single man desires a single woman that is not sin either. I think there is a difference between sexual attraction and lust. Sexual attraction happens naturally through the workings of the body's chemistry while lust is the choice to keep on having pornographic thoughts of someone and disrespect their bodies with your mind.
     
  11. tuliplane

    tuliplane Newbie

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    Yeah, I'm not against earrings...I see it like adding a hair accessory to the hair or placing a button on a shirt. It's a decoration. Why, how many piercings/tattoos do you have?
     
  12. Galatea

    Galatea Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a fan of Lauren Conrad. Her behavior is trashy, and attitude has a lot to do with modesty, too. Just use the Kate Middleton test: if it looks like something she would not wear, don't wear it! Come to think of it, I don't believe I ever saw a picture of her wearing jeans. She really is very classy.
     
  13. Grandpa2390

    Grandpa2390 The Grey

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    you can't go by what some christians say, because some christians say women should only wear dresses down to their ankles. We can discuss why they believe that, and why you should not worry about it if you want. I spent 10 years in a Oneness Pentecostal Cult and so I have first hand experience with these beliefs. I even defended them at one time.

    Anyways, to the topic. Conviction or OCD.
    Don't try to distinguish between the two. The reality is that we are not worried about whether you are convicted or obsessive and compulsive.
    Yes we are worried about your modesty, but that is a gray area. I can not tell you whether you are modest or not because that definition changes from person to person. What doesn't tempt me, may tempt someone else. Sometimes we dress certain ways depending on where we are going and who we will be around.
    I could sit down with a committee and we can create a book of laws concerning what is modest and what is immodest (like the UPC and WPF Oneness Pentecostal Cults do), but I am more interested and giving you a better way of looking at this and other issues.

    So, we are looking at conviction or OCD?
    How about we look at Conscience? It sounds to me like your conscience is bothering you about this. And if that be true, I would say that you are not dressing modestly enough. Why? because your conscience says so and we should not defy our conscience.
    This is what Paul tells us because if you ignore your conscience, eventually you will sear it, and it will not work for you when more important decisions come along.
    For example, It doesn't matter if eating pork is not a sin. If your conscience tells you that it is, you obey it. Don't eat Pork. Eating Pork becomes a sin for you if you are defying your conscience.

    They way you are dressing may be ok, I don't know, I am not there. And even if I were, my opinion probably doesn't mean much. But if there is a little voice in your head that is saying that it is not, or that it might not be... you might want to go with the little voice. Just for the sake of keeping the little voice alive.

    You already mentioned some of the other points that would apply. Such as not wanting to cause yourself or a brother to stumble.
     
  14. tuliplane

    tuliplane Newbie

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    Huh, that is interesting. I never watched a show with Lauren Conrad; I know her as a fashion icon really and she has so many beautiful and ladylike outfits...perhaps she changed her image? Because trashy was never a word I would use to describe her new line of clothes. And yes, there are lots of jean pics of Kate Middleton! She really is a great fashion icon. :)
     
  15. Galatea

    Galatea Well-Known Member

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    I didn't watch it, but years ago, there was a show called The Hills following a bunch of young people in Hollywood who bed hopped. This is what I meant by trashy. Her clothing line might be nice, at Kohl's right? I remembered seeing Kate Middleton in a pair of jeans, deck shoes and a boater sweater. Very classy, I can't remember where they were.
     
  16. tuliplane

    tuliplane Newbie

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    Well the thing with OCD is it makes you feel guilty for so so many things that are definitely not sins. I can feel confident in the Lord over an issue one day and bam, the next I am wondering if I'm being sinful. I have what I call a hypersensitive conscience; it's been like that ever since I was a child, where I would feel utter guilt over something that was not even wrong. I do happen to dress modestly, and I do think others would think I dress modestly as well, but then I find myself nitpicking and examining really close to see if maybe I'm not modest and looking at my outfits really closely to see if perhaps someone else would be looking at them and thinking lustful thoughts. I guess trying to find possible things that are wrong...like I said, I was having a hard time actually finding things that were wrong, but I guess I was looking for them anyway just to make sure.
     
  17. Grandpa2390

    Grandpa2390 The Grey

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    Ultimately it is up to you. I don't know you or how you dress. Just be mindful about what I said. Or what Paul said, to be precise. Make sure that it isn't your conscience. Your conscience may be supersensitive, and that makes it all the more easier to sear. And when that happens, there is no limiting what sins you may commit.

    Just think about it. If you decide you are not defying your conscience, that's ok :)
    Just saying that that should be a concern.
     
  18. Galatea

    Galatea Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a brother or a dad? Maybe you could get dressed, text them a picture of yourself and ask if it is modest or not. Tell them you are having a hard time deciding on your own and need another pair of eyes. This might help.
     
  19. Grandpa2390

    Grandpa2390 The Grey

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    That's a good idea. You can never grow wrong with third party perspective from people who love you (and want to protect you ;) )
    Brother, dad, pastor... :)
     
  20. tuliplane

    tuliplane Newbie

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    Even better! I have a husband, and he is fine with what I wear, and has told me what he wouldn't want me to wear out.
     
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