Bikini Bod and Freedom
28 Jun 2016
By: Charmaine Porter
Y’all modesty is frustrating!
This is the one TRUTH that everyone seems to skip over when they talk about how great modesty is and why we should strive for it. I work for a purity ministry and we believe in modesty because it’s important to God, but very rarely will anyone say this – modesty ain’t no joke! It’s tough! And it’s frustrating-ness has nothing to do with the ability to find clothes that are cute yet don’t show too much of the girls or badonkadonk.
Modesty, I have found, is frustrating because it has everything to do with my heart and actually very little to do with my clothes. And let me just tell y’all – my heart? – uh yikes! I would say I’m like a low-key Christian feminist aka ‘men are awesome and I won’t bash them, and girls are just as capable so no, I don’t need you to back my huge Ford e-350 van up, sir! I got this!’ My heart is stubborn and selfish, I like to push the mute button on people very often, and I have a will that’s like Arnold Schwarzenegger strong.
So modesty for someone like me is sometimes hard for me to wrap my head around.
Sitting down to write this blog about modest swimwear was a little bit of a challenge for me [and it had little do with my scattered brain… okay, that’s a lie]. But seriously, I’m someone who thinks that within the right setting, showing a little skin in a tasteful way can be super cute! Wearing leggings is one of my all-time favorite things to do. And to be honest, if were socially acceptable, I’d be naked way more often than not! Which is one reason why I’m totes digging all the “love your body the way it is” messages that are going on in our culture today!
See, I struggled with liking, let alone loving who God created me to be for Y E A R S! I’ve never been a small girl and my “baby” fat decided it wasn’t going anywhere until I was well into high school, and even then it still made its presence very known. I was in the 90th percentile for kids my age all while growing up so I was always the tallest, the heaviest, the first girl to get boobs and her period (ah, fourth grade memories). Because my body grew so fast, my skin couldn’t keep up, so I have stretch marks just about everywhere you could imagine, which made things even tougher. I didn’t like me for a long, long, long time!
But as I grew closer to Jesus – and I don’t just say that because it’s the Christian thing to say. No, seriously getting closer to Jesus WILL change how you see EVERYTHING! And if it isn’t/hasn’t, just scootch a little bitter closer to Him and give it time. Anyway, as He and I got closer, my perception of me started to change. Plus all my Zumba-ing and Jillian Michaels kicking my butt was starting to pay off, so I was ready to SHAKE WHAT MY MOMMA GAVE ME!!! Yo, I was seriously ready to let it all out; I was ready to strut my stuff!
In Jesus, I’d found that FREEDOM that we love to talk about from pulpits. Whoo!
Only I couldn’t. Not in good conscious anyway. I couldn’t just go out and wear what I wanted to wear, say what I wanted to say, go where I wanted to go. And it was FRUSTRATING! I knew God was healing my view of myself. He was giving me confidence. So why couldn’t I wear what I wanted to wear? If I’m proud of my body now and thankful for what He’s done in it and with it, what’s the big deal with wearing certain things? Can you relate? Frustrating freedom is what I felt. I didn’t understand and God and I had a good long talk one night after I’d returned home from Target with a super cute bikini top that I was so excited to wear on my upcoming cruise vacation with my sister. I huffed and puffed and He listened to me. And in His oh so sweet and gentle yet firm way, He invited me to look at my heart with His mirror.
As I peered in, I saw that on the surface it sounded like I wanted to give God a shout-out as I chose certain clothes, but beneath, I wanted to be seen. I wanted to show off my hard work. I wanted to show how much I had grown. I looked in that mirror long enough to be smacked in the head with something – God does things in and through my body not for me but for Him. Always! He’s concerned about His glory and His name. And the only way to truly please Him is to get on board with His agenda. Girls, let’s be honest – our desire to be seen, noticed, and found attractive, that’s all normal. But those desires left to their own devices become dangerous. Our wills have to bend to His because even down to what we wear, it’s never about us
As you do your summer shopping, as you plan outfits for your weekend trips, as you head to weddings and concerts, as you just do YOU like no one else can, keep in mind – better yet, just as you check your makeup in your phone (don’t lie, you know you do! Me too, girl!) get with Jesus and ask Him to take out His mirror for you to check out your heart ever so often.
Finding modest swimwear, to me, is all about your heart. Ask yourself, who or what are you trying to show off with what you wear?
I’m not going to tell you the do’s and don’t’s of what to wear because if modesty is a heart issue, then what you put on or leave off your body is between you and Jesus. I will say these 2 things though: 1. We aren’t supposed to be selfish with our freedom in Christ (Galatians 5:13) so be you big, small, tall, short, black, white, yellow, or purple, your bod does have an affect on others. Keep that in mind. 2. You can wear high neck and long-sleeved shirt paired with flowy skirts that come down to your ankles and STILL be immodest in the eyes of God.
Maybe this summer, do yourself a favor and give yourself a break! Forget the “rules” ugh, they’re so restricting! Don’t settle for being the “good” girl who wears the “right” thing, says the “right” things, goes to the “right” places – yeah it all looks great on the outside – but good girls are boring. Yeah, I said it. Being good for goodness sake or so others will think you are a good Christian means nothing to the Lord. He’s not looking for good girls. He’s looking for holy girls because that’s who He sent Jesus to die and rise again for you to be. Be a holy girl – they are far more interesting! Holy girls know that it’s about the heart and a person’s motivations so they always takes things a bit further than the good girls aka they live more! And let me tell you, any frustration that comes along pursing holiness and with living with His glory in mind (because it does come!) is totally worth the gifts of joy, freedom, and intimacy with Him; He gives as blessings for obeying Him.
So talk to Him about your bathing suit choices. He’s LOVE to be included in your shopping trip. Enjoy His freedom by LIVING IT UP this summer, holy girl! You do you LOUD and PROUD – All for His glory!
…to Him be ETERNAL praise!!!!! Psalm 111:10
Charmaine Porter has worked with girls and women of all ages for 10 years. Her degree in Communications and her credits in Bible and Psychology have prepared her for the work she does at Pure Freedom based out of Pennsylvania. Her heart’s passion is to see people of all ages be introduced to the Jesus of the Bible – not the Sunday School version – and enjoys having discussions about spiritually complicated things where there are no easy, cookie-cutter answers and every leaves with their brains hurting but thinking. She recently discovered Snapchat, loves Instagram, wastes way too much time on Facebook, and hopes to start a blog of her own soon so be on the lookout!