I wasn’t planning on continuing the Bikini talk, but I had a bathing suit run in that I couldn’t shake.
Reason 1: The experience did not match my firm beliefs about modesty.
Reason 2: I found character growth in an area I did not expect to find it.
My husband and I threw a lake party with the teens in our youth ministry. In usual circumstances I would have taken time in advance to talk to the girls about bathing suits, yadda yadda yadda. Well I have two toddlers and an infant and “usual circumstances” have pretty much gone out the window. We unpreparedly crashed into the day of the party.
On the ride there I had two teen girls riding with me. I love car rides. They are prime time for real life discussions. The conversation went something like this:
I am going to call her D for short.
D says, “I can’t believe it. I actually FINALLY did it. I am SO proud of myself.”
To this I say, “Wow! That sounds awesome. Tell me about it.”
D, “I bought a bikini for the first time in my life.”
Friend #2 in the back seat says, “I jumped up and down when she told me! I am so happy for her!”
To this I think, “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! This does not fit neatly into the modesty box I store somewhere up in this brain of mine! What do I DO with this??”
So I took a while to step back and reflect on what this all means. I also got wonderful responses from women who are sick of the cookie cutter modesty debate. These two things together lead me to believe that there is room for error.
Here they are, my short, sweet, and flexible determinations about the bikini debate.
#1 Above all else, search the heart. The big questions”why” I feel is the most important thing to determine here. Not all of our attentions are pure. Some where bikinis for attention. Some where bikinis for compliments. Some where bikinis to make the other girls/women around them jealous. At the end of the day, my heart and the person’s heart next to me should matter more than an article of clothing.
#2 There is both a time and place. You could not have paid me enough money to wear a bikini to that lake party with the teens. I am there mentor, leader, and confidant and nothing in the world is more important to me than that. There is no reward greater to me than ministering to those teens the love of God that has been given to me through Christ and if there is even the slightest risk of a wayward look from a male student or envious glance from a girl then it is never worth it to do anything but cover up. On the other hand, when me and my hubby rock a vaca…there is an itty bitty purple one that I know is his favorite.
#3 To those whom much has been given, much is expected. I wrote a post awhile pack Proverbs 11:22, “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion” and I believe its truth applies in this instance. The bikini debate will always continue…dancing confusingly around being so confident in your body that you should rock that ‘kini and giving heed to the fact that your body truly is a gift that is to be protected and cherished. If I have been given a certain gift of bodily beauty then I want to protect it, cherish it, adore it and give it to whom it rightfully belongs to. There will always be a part of us that wants to show the world what we have. We want that approval and satisfaction that comes with the “Dang girl! You look amazing in that bathing suit!” But at the end of the day this life is about so much more than that, and yes I feel good about wearing a bikini but I feel even BETTER not feeling like I need to in order to feel good about my body.
What about you? Will you rock a bikini this summer??