Friday, September 30, 2011

She Dressed HOW??

I had an experience yesterday.  One that allowed initial reactions to surface, which led me to tweet about it. Then a response caused me to look deeper.  Then it just made me sad.

What happened??

I walked Moira to the bus stop yesterday morning.  While we were there, a couple young teenage girls arrived to wait for the bus to their high school.  One look at one of the girls caused me to shudder.  "Seriously??  Did her mother let her out of the house like that???" was my initial reaction.

I tweeted this:

 Sarah Fontenot 

My daughter will NEVER dress the way the teenager at the bus stop is dressed!! Seroiously! Have some self respect child!

(yes, I see my typo!!)

 Sarah Fontenot 

Question: should a young teenage girl be showing lots of cleavage when dressed for school??

 Sarah Fontenot 

Wondering how many teenage boys will be totally distracted from their school work today as a result of this child's attire.

I was shocked that a child (maybe 15ish...but still a child) could wear something like what she had on to school.  First of all, that it would be acceptable dress code at school.  Second, that she'd be let out of the house wearing what she had on.  She had on a mini skirt - so mini that it just covered her behind.  It was also very tight.  Then she had on a top that was sleeveless with thin straps.  It was lacy.  It was very tight.  It had a low neck line.  It showed off a lot of this girl's cleavage.  It also sported a zipper at the top of the front of her top which, theoretically, could be lowered to reveal even more cleavage.  Anyway, the whole ensemble made me gasp inside.  It made me fear for the future of my now-7-year-old daughter.

I had a response to my "rant" on Twitter.  I was gently reminded that perhaps there was more going on in this girl's "heart than on her chest."  I was also encouraged to "be Christ for her if you can."  Wow.  That was a powerful statement.  Perhaps I rushed to judge.  Don't we all do that from time to time...and even get stopped in our tracks because we rushed to tweet about it??  Though I still would never let my daughter out of the house like that, I stopped.  Yes, the response was so convicting and correct.

What if there was more going on in her head than I know?  Why would she dress like this?  Does she know how it appears?  What is her home situation?  Is she from a great home with fantastic loving parents or is she from a broken home?  Do her parents love her enough?  Do they respect her?  Do they give her a sense of self-worth that she outwardly seems to be lacking herself by the way she was dressed?  What are her friends like?  Are they really true friends who have her best interests at heart?  Is she hanging with a good crowd?  Has she been lured into a group that will ultimately destroy her self-respect and cause her to stray down a path that will only end in destruction of her self-worth?  Where is she seeking to find acceptance?  Who is this girl?  Does she know Christ?

Now that I've had a chance to step back from the situation and get over my own initial judgement and reaction, I'm sad.  I am actually seeking forgiveness here.  I confess to my God that I have sinned by my rush to judgement.  Also to you as my readers because this is not who I strive to be.  I don't want to be a person who judges or "casts stones".  In all honesty, I wasn't thinking of it as "judging" her at the time - it was more of a commentary of what our society has become.  Let's call it what it is, though.  Judging.  I need to pin that on the cross and seek help for myself - wisdom and understanding.

Stepping back from the situation, it really seems to me that this is a call to prayer for this girl - and for others like her.  She may come from a wonderful home with loving, supportive parents.  Or her parents may not be fully present in her life.  Maybe she's on her own to make choices that she should be receiving guidance from her parents on.  Perhaps something is going on in her heart that is causing her to rebel against anyone who seeks to help her because she's going after something else in her life which is not ultimately life-giving.

God wants us to love one another - regardless of how they're dressed.  HE loves her no matter how much cleavage she's displaying.  This girl may desperately need someone in her life who can show her who Christ is and who he can be in her life.  I don't know.  All I know is that I can pray for her.  Be an example.  I don't often see this girl, but I can pray about how I can be Christ for her somehow.  Maybe it's in the example I set with my young daughter.  Maybe I strike up a conversation with her one day.  I don't know.  I just pray that she will know that she can be true to herself without having to bare more than she should at such a young tender age.  I pray that she will know personal value, self-worth and self-respect do not come from displaying an image that invites others to see her as less than who God made her to be.  I pray that she may be surrounded by positive, life-giving experiences and people who seek to build her up in the truth.

John 8:7 (NIV)

7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Deuteronomy 33:12 (NIV)

12 “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him,

 for he shields him all day long,
and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.”

Proverbs 31:25-26 (NLT)
 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. 26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.

*Side Note
At the end of each service, our church has what they call "Response Time".  It's a time to reflect on the message and on what God has spoken to you through the message.  It's an opportunity to go to the candles and light one to represent a person or a prayer that you might have.  It's an opportunity to be prayed for by one of the prayer teams in the church.  It's an opportunity to receive communion. It's also an opportunity to go to the cross ~ you can write down a sin, perhaps, or a way in which God moved you ~ you pin the paper on the cross, signifying that you are giving this over to God.

Today (10/02/11), I wrote down my rush to judgment on a slip of paper and pinned it to this cross.  I am thankful for a merciful and loving God who graces me with His forgiveness.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this Sarah. It is so easy to quickly judge, and not so easy to admit when we may have spoken too soon.
    We are reading Beth Moore's Book "So Long Insecurity" and it has been so helpful to reveal why women (including myself) do the things they do- and dressing like that usually is a sign of it.
    Thanks again!


I love hearing from you! I welcome your comments.