Thursday, November 16, 2006

Why I Don't Wear Pants Anymore--My Testimony

First of all let me say I thank God for the opportunities He gives each of us to testify to others about what God has done for us. Not only in salvation but in other areas of our lives so as our testimony might help others in areas they are either questioning in or trying to learn about. I also want to say that I do not look down on anyone for not doing things the way I do or others do. I used to as a young Christian but God has since humbled me in that area of my life. Once you have it done to you and you know how it feels you won't be as apt to do it to someone else. This is my testimony of how God dealt with me about how I was dressing and how He brought me through t hat time in my life and gave me victory over it. My testimony is lengthy but I am writing it as God wants me to. So there must be something in it for someone who needs to hear it. I pray it helps someone.
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I was not raised in a Christian home. I was never exposed to godliness while I was growing up. I was saved by God's wonderful and amazing grace at the age of 28.

After I got saved I had such a hunger to learn and to be different. I believe this hunger is God-given. Some people after getting saved are willing to change...but not necessarily to great degree. There are some things they just refuse to give in to getting rid of. I was the kind of believer that took II Corinthians 5:17 very seriously..."Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." I was already a new creature on the inside, but I had such a desire to be different on the outside although I didn't know what this would mean for me.

God began working on my right away in the area of dress. It started with what I would wear to the House of God. You have to remember...I was not a church-goer before getting saved. So I didn't even own a dress or skirt. But I noticed that all the other ladies at church wore dresses. It wasn't long till God had a godly lady (our associate pastor's wife at the time) to befriend me and take me under her wing. Our children were close in age to one another and so we began spending much time together. When I went to her house the first few times I noticed she and her girls always had dresses or skirts on. I didn't even need to ask her why. I just naturally assumed that this was how a Christian lady was to dress. The thing with me, however, was my pride. I felt stupid asking her why they dressed that way. Afterall, how could it be wrong for a lady to wear pants when the lady that I worked with at the time who was instrumental in getting me in church and also in my getting saved wore pants?

I began to pray and ask God to show me the truth in this thing of how I should dress. It took a few months of continuing to observe other ladies at church and wanting to know the truth in this thing before what do you think happened? Our pastor preached about it. No...not an entire message about how we should dress...but he hit on it just enough for God to show me what I needed to do. He used Deuteronomy 22:5 "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God." Let me stop right here and just say that "pertaineth" means to pertain to. When we think of men we don't think of them as wearing a dress. We think of them as wearing pants. So pants pertains to a man. That is all I'll say right there because I dealt with all that in my Godly Apparel posts.

God looks at this thing of how we dress like He does the sin of lying, sodomy and making graven images just to name a few. He explained that an abomination is something that God has an extreme hatred for. Is God saying He hates the person who does these things? NO!!! But He does hate what the person is doing.

Now...I am the type of person who sees everything as either black or white. I feel there is no middle ground with God. As God began to deal with me in the way I dressed I determined that if God wanted me to dress a certain way that He did not desire for me to dress a certain way at home and a different way for church. To do that I was being a hypocrite. Now this is what God showed me...I'm not in any way calling any of you ladies that dress different for church than at home a hypocrite. Please understand that.

I had only one problem with that. I was working a job that I had worked before I got saved. What would they think if I showed up wearing a skirt or dress all the time? (There was that pride thing coming up in my life again!!!)

I had talked to my husband about what God was dealing with me about and he was very supportive and said that he didn't have a problem with me wanting to dress differently. So I had his complete support.

Well....that was one hurdle I needed to get over. The next one was that it was the winter season. I know I live in the southeast United States...but it doesn't have to get very cold at all for me to want to cover up completely to stay warm. So I had this "great idea". I'd wear my blue jeans to work, then once there, I'd change into my skirt. (This was the work of the devil in my life...I have worn long skirts since 1995 now and I'm just as warm in my long skirts as I was in my pants). Well...for the first time ever I had put my blue jeans on to get ready for work and looked int he mirror and I felt "guilty" for wearing them. I saw a fat and ugly woman looking back at me that felt dirty in what I was wearing. This ladies was not "guilt" but was CONVICTION. Well...I TRIED to look past that for the sake of my pride and went to work in my jeans anyway. I put my skirt in a bag and off to work I went. Once I got to work and got clocked in I went to the bathroom to change into my skirt. I came out and went about my morning doing my daily duties and what do you think happened next? Well...I'll tell you...I began to notice (whether it was true or not) what appeared to be my co-workers looking at me and whispering among themselves. I thought that they must think it quite funny for me to show up in my blue jeans and change into a skirt. (This was what the devil was putting in my mind...remember now...the devil doesn't want us conforming to the image of Christ...he'll tell anything but lies!!) So what do you think I did? Yep!! I went and got my blue jeans and went and changed back into them. I knew in my heart this wasn't right but it would save me from being talked about. I think it took a couple of weeks after that for God to work me over about this thing. I can tell you one thing...I was miserable!!! I know what God wanted me to do yet I just refused (the stubborn person that I am).

One day I got out of bed telling the Lord that I was tired of the fight over this issue in my life. I told Him that from that day forward I was going to dress how He wanted me to dress. So I fought the desire of the flesh to dress MY way and I began dressing how He wanted me to. I didn't have much to dress in at this point but I wore what I had and washed them over and over and it didn't take long and God had provided me with all I needed in order to wear dresses all the time.

I faced ridicule and persecution from family (which was the hardest to deal with), friends and even other brothers and sisters in Christ. I was accused of "keeping up with the Joneses" since my associate pastor's wife who was having a great godly influence on me was a Jones. But I was determined to obey God no matter what. God blessed my obedience in this area of my life and began to deal with me in other areas of my life. If I had not obeyed in this area of my Christian life I would have stunted m y Christian growth. God will reveal to us things but until we obey in that area...He will not reveal anything else. Afterall...aren't we to be consistently be conforming to the image of Christ?

There was such a peace in "giving in" and surrendering to God in this area of my life. There was no longer the battle in my spirit that I had.

I know there are those of you who are struggling with this in your own life. Why not just give in and realize that it's the "old man" wanting to hold onto those pants. God is showing you what you need to know.

I know I didn't give much about what God says on this issue. This was my personal testimony of how God dealt with me and my surrender to it.

3 comments:

Carol said...

I came across your site from Maria Toth. When I saw you had a category for godly apparel, I clicked on it out of curiousity, because I have some strong convictions concerning dress. I appreciated you sharing your testimony. God dealt with me also, concerning dress when I was 16 years old and had just received the Holy Ghost. That was 28 years ago, and I have never worn pants since that time. I'm so glad that God is loving and patient and takes the time to deal with our hearts and draw on us to become more like Him.

Blessings,

Carol in California

Sarah Joy said...

The joy God gives when we surrender our will to Him, not out of coersion or pressure, but love; that joy is unspeakable! That is what liberty in Christ is all about!
Thank you for sharing your testimony!

Lizzie said...

Sis. Julie,

Thank you for being so honest and open about your testimony here. It is such a blessing to hear how God works to perfect those that He loves. Isn't it wonderful that He's so patient with us? Keep letting your light shine for all to see!

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