Of course I just wrote a very RAW blog post. It took a lot of courage for me to write those words. I did get some really encouraging feedback and I also knew that I would open myself also up to those that would judge me. And what do you do in those situations? I know! I have to give you a little back story before I give you the answer to that question.I am going to be REAL with you again. Satan comes as an angel of light. And if your button is that of trying to be more righteous, well, let's just say, he can lead you straight to hell in your pursuit to be unworldly. He is crafty. It is his job to get God's people to focus on everything else but Jesus. Do not be fooled.
About 3 months ago, I was on top of the world. I met a family that was so like minded. They were very conservative and they were like my life boat even though they lived 8 hours from our home. I saw that family as my way to keep my kids conservative. Their kids were amazingly fun and my kids really enjoyed their company. When I told the family about our struggles living in a very main stream community where people were caught up in the fashions of the world, music, etc…
They took us under their wing. They seemed so "normal" and we could see they were so committed to Christ! My husband allowed me to even travel away from home to spend time with them after they fasted for our family, and we knew they truly cared for our family. We trusted them. My friend took my girls and lovingly encouraged them to wear long modest skirts and loose shirts. How they were causing a stumbling block to other boys if they would dress like the world. It seemed like we found a river of life. One that would feed into our kids of all the things we had brought them up with.
Because of that friendship our kids were more willing to look into their hearts, examine their own standards. It was turning out to be a very beautiful situation. I was praising God for bringing these people into our lives even though I had a fear that they would reject us just like other conservative families have in the past. I expressed my fears to them after my husband and I read all the standards of their small church. We understand that people who have such strict standards have to be so careful who they are around. Bad company corrupts good morals. As hard as it was, I was willing to let them go!
Over the years we have been through many situations that taught us about our place in the battle against the world and sin. We went from plain groups, and even ones that required the silliest things. When we did not agree, the leaders would talk to us and eventually cast us out. Mark and I and our little flock of babies, were evil doers, and we were even told we were wolves in sheep's clothing! I had this same cult leader call me on the phone and tell me I was going to Hell and if I wanted to escape hell, all I needed to do was leave my husband!!! My husband, thankfully, has a gift of discernment. He is able to see the RED FLAGS when they come. He sees the traps and snares of the devil, EVEN when they come in a cloak of pure white that is undefiled from the world. There is a real danger, and I feel we need to share this from our heart...Here is the thing we had noticed over the years of our experience…
The standards are so different across the board. In our plain community most people would not measure up to the standards of the 99% of conservative Christians, and yet they will tell you they are NOT a works based religion. They teach Jesus and His blood that covers sin. They won't even SELL to me! Even when I was dressed in my most drab, plain dresses, my hair slicked back in a bun, apron pinned around my long drab dress, with no make-up, no outward form of with world's pride. They said, "We won't sell to your people!" My people?! What was I, a sinner? I said, "If we are saved we are all IN CHRIST, therefore we are a part of one body!" And she said, "NO, you are of the world!" She pointed to my head and because it was not covered, she told me also to leave my husband if he would not adhere to the scriptures pertaining to the head covering. I was told I needed to listen to GOD, not my husband.
Most conservative Christians would be very immodest in the light of another groups idea of modesty, I have seen it! To wear your head uncovered, and when you cover your head you must wear it to cover all the way around your head and neck too, anything else would be seductive. Some wear just a little bonnet, well, I have seen groups that say that is not sufficient to cover the head and to prove modesty. To show your neck at all would be seductive. Then your arms, your elbows, that is a very seductive way to dress. You can’t wear fancy colors, you have to wear them drab and plain. Because it is worldly to do otherwise, and very prideful. It is very wrong to bear arms. that is sinful to take up arms and guns, and you may NEVER protect your family under any circumstance. Your home must be plain, you must not have decorations, because that is just like adorning your body with tattoos and piercings. You must leave them bare with only white colors. You must not drive vehicles because that is worldly and you could drive to the bar. See what that leads to! And no musical instruments because that will lead to rock and roll music. Oh, and did I forget, you need to double cover! You can’t just wear your shirt and skirt, you need to wear a full body apron, in plain colors, of course, to cover your nakedness. If you just wear a loose fitted shirt that covers your collar bone, that is still extremely scantily dressed in their standards. Religion is never satisfied, but Christ satisfied the law. You never satisfy religion because it will always want that bar higher and higher. And one group will think the other group is too worldly or that they do not fit their standard just right. And they STAY AWAY from them!
Here is the thing, we will never, NEVER satisfy the law. We will always fall short. We just can’t play that game any longer—we can’t. We believe in Jesus Christ, His shed blood and His righteousness that has been applied to our account. We can’t go back to keeping this and that law. We fear it leads to false conversions, leads to people thinking they are saved because they KEEP the standards, and then later to wind up in Hell because Christ does not require any of it to start with. He sees our hearts and he is bigger than systems and principles. He is much bigger than doctrines and rules. He sees right into a man’s heart and no matter what, God is not man, and does not have human thoughts. We on the other hand judge wrongly many times because we can’t see one’s heart. People love systems, love rules, because it makes them feel more secure. But we have seen, because we have seen a lot and heard a lot, many families that really went strict on their standards and still lost their kids to the world because they did not give their children free will. God gives us free will so that we will freely follow him. We really want our kids to have their own convictions and live with their choices.
This may be tough for some of you to understand, but I would be happier to have a child who was a prodigal, who made bad choices, and it made them fall on their face and truly get saved verses a child that lived a so-called righteous life in every way, they looked the part, acted the part, and did so many wonderful things in the name of God, BUT wound up in hell because they were just playing the religion game. I can’t force my husband to get back into the mold. He is free in Christ, loves Jesus with all his heart and soul, and I am so thankful for that. I have a husband that entirely is saved, totally trusts in Jesus and loves his neighbor as himself. Mark may not be a religious man practicing the letter of the law, but he will alw
ays be there for someone who is in need, he will always give his heart fully to serving others and his family. He lets the girls wear pants, or shorter skirts (knee length, not mini—to those of you that would love to quickly assume!), not because he likes it, he does it because he wants them to exercise their own convictions. He leads them in truth, tells them what the bible says but lets them make the decisions. I would rather have rules but I see my husband’s desire to TRAIN the kids to handle the modern world that they live in. He also allows more music and videos than what most conservatives would ever allow. I can’t justify it. I can’t sugar coat that. I can’t make it better, either. Like I told you before, a house divided against itself will not stand, so I have to stand with my man, I love him that much. My tendency is to go all out on standards, I love them. I have cleaved to standards because they feel so good, so right, but when you have a very practical and wise husband that sees through all of the vices religion has, well, you have to keep yourself from stumbling into that vice again. I actually stay away from the plain people because of that. Because they try to convert me, they try to convince me about head coverings or my worldly attire, to leave my husband so I can fully worship the Lord, and I sometimes get a feeling like I wish I could dress that way and live like they do and it is WRONG! I covet so much the things of God, but women are different than men, we have to have that security in our lifestyle. Men are different, they see things as they are, or anyhow my husband does, he sees through people’s outward adornment of religious practices. He is not impressed by it. In fact, some of the nastiest people, weirdest people we have ever met have hid behind religion.
I actually wrote the family a letter letting them go because I was afraid we were too liberal for them. They assured us that they would not reject us, so we let our guard down again. And because I did something that they felt was an inappropriate action, which is super easy to happen because I am impulsive and I do things sometimes without thinking. I am always learning and growing in that area. My husband really does help me censor and filter most things, but he was not there that weekend! They quickly cut off all ties with our family. And it hurt us deeply. They burned the bridge, with no chance of redemption. I did not have any way to make it right, it was over!!! It happened just as we had feared. And fear is the opposite of faith. And others opinions should not hurt us, what others do should not shake us. But it did. I became bitter and angry over it. I was bitter because I knew I lost the battle. I knew there was no one else HERE in our community to influence my kids as far as conservative dress values. And my anger was pushing my kids away. And there in lies the problem, I was depending on People and people will always disappoint us! Eventually, I had to wave my white flag of surrender and say, I need Jesus!
It is very embarrassing to me to realize how I fell in that trap, even though I knew better! Even though I have so much to be thankful for! I became very ungrateful and I started to hate who I had become! But I wanted my WAY! Wearing long skirts was the safe zone. The modern world was FINE with it, and the conservatives were not offended. I was safe there! I could please everyone that way! I wanted people to like us! I am a public figure and I realize that comes with a responsibility because people follow people! And that is just how it goes. They get super disappointed when someone they look up to, someone they felt was not a stumbling block changes. Look at the Duggar situation, or Vision Forum. So many conservatives followed these people—did you hear me?—People! That is the first mistake! Don't follow people! People can put on a show! Especially in front of a camera! I filmed all of the Homestead Videos, and do you think I filmed when I was crabby or unthankful, or heaven forbid, when I snapped at my kids or snarled at my husband—NO! Why, that would be ugly! And why would I want to show people my ugliness?!
Here is the answer to my first question of what to do if you were offended by my dress...If you are disappointed, you don't need to waste any more of your time reading anything that I write, just move on! Follow Jesus for your example. Don't follow me! Don't be disappointed when you watch me. Please don't try to be like me! I am sure not perfect! Some people think they can look to me for an example, they read something that they felt helped them, but I am a Not a great example! Christ is the REAL HERO! He is the only one that is for sure, the only one who is unspotted from the world, the only one that understands your heart and can judge justly each choice you make— And He is the only one that can save you!
There is freedom in letting go. I release you! I don't have any strings attached to you. I never went the route other bloggers do to make money on my blog, I have no selfish reason to try to keep my numbers up. If you are disappointed, just go! You are FREE!
To those that are ready for growing, stick around, I am about to share some amazing truths that I have been learning about healing our minds! I just went to a conference about the mind just a couple days ago, and it literally changed my life! I can't wait to pay forward those beautiful truths onto those that really need it!