Monday, April 28, 2014

New Glasses & Nudists

My style is something I have been building over the last couple of years. And I have been putting it off for months, but I finally started trudging through store after store in search of a new pair of glasses. It was an experience that stretched me, and got me thinking about style.

No, in case you’re worried, this is not just a girl’s post about fashion, but I do want my clothes to reflect me as a person and not one particular style. Ultimately I want a wardrobe that is unique to me and my lifestyle, and is not defined by trends or what’s popular.

I want the flexibility to be more than one kind of person
 when it comes to clothes.

I probably tried on a hundred pair of glasses before I settled on these, but I was worried-- they were different and new-- even though I had been ogling over this cat eye meets hipster librarian style for months. Most people liked the frames I had before, and by getting new ones I knew I would risk positive and negative feedback. I had a fiance, family, and really close friends who I would much rather like my glasses than tolerate them. My relationships are not grounded in my looks, but I was still worried.

It’s hard, especially when we all can find things we don’t like about ourselves. Clothes are something we have control over when it comes to our image and who we want to be stylistically. I have had a lot of ups and downs since I made the decision to dress how I really wanted to dress a few years ago, including the style of glasses I wore, and have had to battle the embarrassment and insecurities of not fitting in or not looking good to others...

Even when I wear something that could be deemed “stylish” or trendy.

Actually, I wanted to fall in love with the way I looked. Not in a self-absorbed, vein desire for beauty in myself, but an appreciation and delight in the beautiful, wonderful, and mysterious way God created me.

Let’s face it, God created man and woman to be naked. That’s something I fully believe. Our original adornment was our bodies. The uniqueness of shape, size, color, hair, smell, and whatever else you can think of was God’s spoken masterpiece. Until we sought to open our eyes, and ate the fruit God had forbidden us to eat. We fell and spoiled the experience, beauty, and unashamedness of being able to see and even enjoy each other’s bodies without it being something deemed wrong, dirty, lustful, and sinful outside of marriage. I’m not talking about having sex with any and everyone here, or lust, I’m talking about enjoying aesthetic beauty: things that are pleasing to the eye. 

God was not hiding from us something we rightfully deserved to know, I think He was saving us from ourselves and was planning to give us a better life we could enjoy

I am no pervert when I say I would love to be in a world where it is okay to be completely naked, and we could go through life in a way where that was not such a shameful, wrong thing to do.

Do I think it’s possible to change our thinking? Should we all become nudists?

No, unfortunately, I think that is a mistake we will have to bear for the rest of our lives. It’s a touchy subject that I do not know much about, but I do know that God covered Adam and Eve. Whether He did it for their own well-being because they were embarrassed by what He created, or because they had cheated themselves of a wonderful existence that could have been theirs… I am not sure.

Maybe that is something that can be restored, I do not want to doubt the power of the Holy Spirit to change our way of thinking and living. However, that has not been a particular subject that God talks about restoring in this world from what I have read in Scripture.

What on earth does this all boil down to?

My desire is to enjoy and flatter the body that God has given me, rather than try to change my appearance. I am not saying that clothes are bad, or make-up is bad, or getting a new hair cut is bad, or that shaving is bad, or anything like that. I am saying that for a long time I have been stumbling along in a discovery of finding my beauty and worth in something more grounded than anything I could try to manage and control (like my looks).

I still brush my hair, enjoy styling it, wear makeup sometimes, and prefer clothes that make me look and feel “better”. There’s a different mindset I have to constantly choose to live by though in order to enjoy my appearance and still honor God. I have to be in sync with Him, and understand His way of perceiving beauty.

I have to know that God doesn’t want me to despise and shamefully hide the way I was made. He also is guiding me in how I dress so that I point others to Him and not fall easily into the pit of being admired and complemented by others (both of which I think are acceptable things, but they’re a problem when they get to our head).

I think He wants you to live that way too: free to express your true beauty and style preferences. Not so you can seek to offend or harm anyone, but in a way that frees you from conformity and allows you to enjoy being you (even if… *looks around nervously* you’re a Christian!).

God sure thinks you look good: Genesis 1:31.

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