I remember when I was about 10 years old, I sat inside of a Sunday School class and the teacher made a comment about how she always thought that people were staring at her when she walked across the room.
“But they weren’t,” she followed.
My ten-year-old sensibilities were heightened and confused. What the heck is she talking about? I don’t think I had an answer for that question until I was well into my twenties.
I was reminded of this odd anecdote when I read a recent blog by Christian blogger Veronica Partridge about why she’s decided not to wear leggings anymore. Unlike many who have devoured her article, I’m not here to make Veronica Partridge into a villain. I am not going to try to convince you that she encourages the rape culture suggesting that women “ask for it” with their hot and sexy…yoga pants. I think girlfriend was simply trying to weigh in on her personal convictions on modesty, and I respect her for that; honestly. She took a bold stance on an article of clothing that I choose to wear more often than I’d like to admit. Unlike Nathan Graziano asserts, I do not wear leggings, running tights, or yoga pants because I think they’re sexy. Quite the contrary, actually. On a daily basis, I find myself chasing after my infant son and looking at the clock that reads 4:45 in a panic; I try to rush to change out of my leggings so I can look nice for my husband…and so that he doesn’t think I did absolutely nothing all day. The fact that I’m wearing running tights as I write this is purely coincidental…
This article isn’t about yoga pants, leggings, or running tights; however. This article is about how Veronica Partridge has been marginalized into the Elsa of modesty. If you were to peruse her blog, it is obvious that she has a heart for saving flailing marriages and even people who struggle with mental disorders. While I’m sure she is happy to have had an article go viral (isn’t that what all bloggers are waiting for?), in my heart, I know that she doesn’t want to enter the history books as a champion for lust prevention. No, no, no. I know the God that Veronica worships, and I am certain that she would like to be known for much, much more than that.
Andy Stanley is in the middle of a series called Re:solution, and he said something so ridiculously profound on Sunday that I just can’t seem to shake it.
“Christians are far more content with making a point than making a difference.”
If I were Andy, I would’ve dropped the mic and walked away.
Why is it that the general public is more concerned with individual convictions rather than focused on our heart for others? My hunch makes all of us Christians uncomfortable. I have a feeling it is because we are more concerned with our personal convictions and whole-hearted devotion to God rather than our action for others. Why are people hyper-focused on Veronica’s legging article? It’s not because she truly cares about leggings. It is simply because her conviction for modesty seems to have proved non-believers right.
“There’s another crazy Christian clanging on about something really petty,” most commenters said in not so many words.
One of my favorite comments came from nunyabeesknees (seriously)
“…But, I also don’t feel like.. insulted or shamed because someone else decided on their own, for their own choices, to not wear that kind of clothes.. unless they start telling me that I’m bad for wearing them. That’s when I say, Mind your own! If it doesn’t affect me personally, do whatever you want.
I still believe that “God” (or whatever, whoever.. if there’s anyone) loves me.”
Nunya, you’re right. God still loves you even though you wear leggings. If he doesn’t–I’m in deep trouble. Leggings are not the issue. It is our reputation that precedes us. Veronica herself put a disclaimer at the top of her article insisting that her choice was simply that…her choice. Not a damnation for legging enthusiasts everywhere. (Phew!)
Christ himself said that we should be known as his disciples if we “love one another,” not that we choose not to wear leggings or spend fifteen minutes a day in the word or never curse in traffic. If that’s the case then I am really in trouble.
My Sunday school teacher wasn’t providing an anecdote of false modesty; she was trying to encourage us to concern ourselves with something bigger than ourselves. People are far less concerned with what you’re wearing and far more worried about how you change the room for the better once you leave it.
So, yoga-n never have my yoga pants because, truthfully, they’re too comfortable to give up. But in all seriousness, I’m going to worry about what I do more than what I wear. I want to be known as a disciple of Christ by the way I love my neighbors and my friends and my co-workers. And…give Veronica a break. She wants to be known that way too.