Gwen Shorter's Testimony (Used by permission. Taken from her book "Jewelry, Ornaments, Personal Decoration and More... - the Spiritualism Connection."
The streets of New York City with its hustle, bustle, bright lights and millions of people was the place to be. "How exciting!" I would think to myself as I hurried from one appointment to another, swinging my portfolio. "You can look, but don't touch!" That was my motto. As a model in the fashion capital of the world, dressing up or down was highly competitive.
In those days I wore micro mini-skirts, pants and form-fitting sweaters, low-cuts, shorts, and anything else I wanted. I knew the power of a fashionable and well-dressed woman, and I wanted to use that power to help me climb the show-business ladder.
Models set the standard for what most women call "beauty." On TV, in magazines, newspapers, shows, etc., they are used to set the styles. Anyone can put clothes on, but models must put it all together to impress, attract, and alarm the senses. They must sell clothes and themselves, and there I was, right in the middle of it all.
And I loved my shoes! Every time I bought a new dress I had to buy a new pair of shoes. My heart would actually speed up with excitement from just looking at a pair of fancy shoes. I just knew they were made for me—just my style! I would deny myself food, if necessary, to buy what I wanted to dress up or down.
My manicure and pedicure was always done to perfection. In order to keep up with my "beauty," I had jars, bottles, and tubes of all sorts of concoctions. Between facial masques, moisturizers, toners, foundations, eye-shadow, pencil liner and brush, lipstick and lip gloss, body powder and face powder, perfume, polish for nails, polish remover, files, expensive hairdos, false eyelashes, leg shaving paraphernalia, etc., etc., I spent hundreds of dollars just to keep myself "together."
"Make-up" was an extremely important factor in my "so- called" beauty. I really loved the way make-up made me look. It was supposed to make me feel secure and good about myself. But it made my feeling of insecurity worse. Do you think I would be caught without it? No way! I never even took off my make-up at night. I didn't want to face the naked truth of what I really looked like without it. I would wash my face in the morning and quickly re-apply "my face." How pitiful! I wasted so much time and money trying to be beautiful on the outside. The "girly-glamour" magazines had captured and distorted my view of virtuous womanhood, beauty, and femininity.
Dressing up was not complete without my jewelry. Those precious little trinkets and ornaments of gold and silver made any outfit look exquisite. My jewelry box overflowed with all kinds of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and rings. To be honest, I worshiped jewelry! I felt naked without it—and besides, it made me look good whether I dressed up or down!
Always in the mirror—checking this and checking that— everything had to be just perfect. My everyday ritual of pampering and primping took about two hours before I was ready to face the public. When I emerged to meet the public eye, I would get those whistles, cat calls and turn-around looks from men. I would appear not to hear or even see them. My motto was, "Look, but don't touch!"
You know it never once occurred to me that I might be tempting and teasing a man. Once at a dance, a perfect stranger touched me inappropriately. I was so angry! I couldn't figure out why this man would not just look, but touch!
The first argument I had with my husband, Rick (before we were married), was over the mini skirts and low cuts I wore. I flatly told him, if he didn't like it, "find someone else." And I meant it. I had no intention of changing, and he never brought up that subject again. Nobody was changing me! And besides—change to what? I only knew one way— my way of dressing up or down.
Then, I met Jesus. This was like a miracle. Everything I ever wanted in life—love, acceptance, security and peace of mind, I found in Jesus! I did not have to change for Jesus, but His love changed me! I did not know I could have a personal experience with my Savior. I did not know He loved me so much—as if I were the only one in the whole wide world. I did not know Jesus was soon coming back to this earth again.
When I learned this, no one had to tell me, "Take off your make-up, jewelry, and immodest clothes." When I looked in the mirror after I surrendered my life to Jesus, I didn't look the same. What I thought was so beautiful looked ugly, phony, pretentious and proud!
No one had to tell me jewelry was inappropriate for the humble follower of Jesus. When I read those Bible texts on jewelry, I began shedding all my little precious idols—from head to toe. What a relief! Nothing between my Savior and me.
No one had to tell me to get rid of my mini-skirts, pants, and low cuts. One day I packed them all up and took them to the local thrift store. Why? Because I knew Jesus would not like them, and I wanted to do everything to please the One who saved me from death and self-destruction. I had to ask the Lord to forgive me, because I knew I had caused many a man to sin in his heart because of the way I dressed.
And no more nakedness for me in the name of water, sun and fun! That "colored underwear" that I used to wear to the beach, all of a sudden became "strange apparel." No longer could I hide behind the excuse of getting exercise and recreation.
Now I know God made man with a completely different sexual nature from that of a woman. Unconverted man's sexual nature is so sensitive that it can be ignited into a fire by just the sight of a half-dressed or seductively dressed female. Provocative clothing such as the peek-a-boo dress, the short, slit, or tight skirt, the low-cut blouse, stocking legs, form fitting sweaters, pants or jeans—all distract the minds of most men to unholy thoughts. The indulgent apparel could mean the loss of eternal life to not just one man—but a whole host of them.
Before, I was dressing to bring attention to myself. Now, I only want to hide behind Jesus. Before, I wasted hundreds of dollars and hours of precious probationary time trying to make myself beautiful by the world's standard. Now, I spend those hours in the study of God's word and in prayer. I realize now that beauty is a Christ-like character.
Before, I loved dressing up or down—or showing off fine clothes from my already overflowing closet. Before, I kept pace with the ever-changing fashions. Now, I measure my wardrobe by God's Word. Before, I was insecure; I wouldn't let anyone see me without my "make-up." Now, I am plain, placid, and pleased to be a child of the King. Now, I feel secure because I know Jesus loves me just the way I am, and this gives me courage to share this message of truth to all who will listen.
With my burdens lifted and my idols torn down, what peace—sweet peace I enjoy! That was over twenty-five years ago. I still like to dress up—only in Christ's beautiful robe of righteousness—and down—with everything that displeases Him.
Your friend, Gwen
Testimony by Linda Driver Kirk (Originator of this Web Site)
I was born in 1953, into a moderate Seventh-day Adventist family, the 4 th of 5 girls. Since this is a story of my experience regarding my dress, I'm including aspects of my life that exerted a strong influence on my lifestyle choices.
During the years I was growing up, the Seventh-day Adventist church family seemed homogeneous regarding standards and lifestyle. I don't recall the liberal/conservative tension that is more apparent today. For the most part, we all ate the same, dressed the same, enjoyed the same “wholesome” entertainment—Laodicean unity! I attended Seventh-day Adventist schools all the way through high school.
Read more: My Story, and How This Web Site Started
Testimony by Yolanda Palmer (Ullanda Innocent)
My Brothers and Sisters In Christ,
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you the revival and reformation that has taken place in my life. I am so happy in Jesus that I am compelled to share what He has done. This is my re-conversion experience in which I have been recently blessed with a new found love for Jesus Christ. I feel like there is a fire shut up in my bones and I can't stop testifying daily what the Lord has done in and for me. The Lord has had me fasting and praying for the outpouring of His Holy Spirit so that His power can have full sway in my life.
Beginning in August 2004, I took a spiritual inventory and I had to admit that I'd lost my “first love.” My joy in the Lord was drowning in the sea of Laodicean lukewarmness. I felt spiritually dead. Something was wrong. I know that feelings, in and of themselves, are an unreliable gauge of a person's spirituality, but I knew deep down that something was missing. And so the Holy Spirit started me into a consistent, daily study of the Scriptures and also led me to the messages of counsel through Testimonies to the Church, and Last Day Events. Today I can testify that the Holy Spirit's power to transform our nature into a Christ-like character is real! Praise His mighty name!
He has truly changed my life also in the way I dress now. I was living in spiritual adultery with my gods of fashion. With the amazing revival and reformation that God has wrought in my life, now I no longer wear what I desire to wear but, rather, I prayerfully look to Him.
I just can't stop praising the Lord! He has totally and completely convicted me about the health message as being the right arm of the Three Angels' Message, and shown me the relationship of dress reform as it pertains to health, both physical and spiritual. No wonder EGW received her visions of health and dress reform at the same time. The Lord blessed me to REPENT! AND BUY OF HIM GOLD TRIED IN THE FIRE. Now I see more clearly my role as an SDA Christian to put into practice these truths from the Bible and the Testimonies. What a blessing it is to truly dress modestly, removing my robe of worldliness and putting on Christ's robe of righteousness.
The Holy Spirit took me into my dressing closet and showed me what was acceptable and what needed to be discarded. From my closet God removed all my knee-length skirts, my pants (in keeping with the Bible instruction for a woman not to wear “that which pertaineth to a man.” Deut 22.5; Testimonies vol. 1, pp. 421, 457-9). Also, He showed me to put away all my sleeveless sweaters and dresses, and my high, high-heel shoes, all of which are unhealthy and immodest for me to wear as an SDA woman who professes godliness.
My closet was left almost bare. But if that is what it takes to save me, then praise the Lord! The fashion industry can no longer entice me according to its dictates. It was Christ who suffered and shed His precious blood for my sins and He desires full reign over my entire being. I must decrease and Christ must increase… I thank God for the blood! The process of true sanctification has begun anew as with fasting and watching unto prayer I wait by faith for the outpouring of the early and latter rain.
Praise the name of the Lord! Come Thou Lord Jesus!
To read Yolanda's entire testimony, please click here.
Testimony by Marie
I became a Seventh-day Adventist in 1993 and wanted the truth. A dear brother told me that if I wanted to know what was sin in God's eyes and not do things sinful, to read the testimonies of the Spirit of Prophecy, that they were powerful, straight truth. So, I did. I read all that was written on the dress question, including make-up and jewelry. What an eye opener! I looked in my closet at all the worldly clothes, i.e. sleeveless, low-cut, bosom-revealing dresses and blouses; mini skirts; tight-fitting pants; halter tops; bikinis; clothes that were not modest for a Christian woman or man. I stood there and cried because in my heart I did not want "self" between me and the Lord, nor cause any man to sin in his mind or heart. I got rid of everything that was definitely against principles of the scriptures. The Lord helped me to get clothes that were in harmony with our faith. I was a Mary Kay Cosmetics representative; I quit wearing my "mask" and all jewelry, because I did not want to be a Jezebel. Yes, I took a lot of ridicule from family, friends, and church members.
I had become friends with a police officer who was a Christian. One day, after being around me for several months, he asked me right out of the blue, "Why do you wear dresses and jumpers all the time? Is it a religious thing?" I shot a quick prayer to Heaven, claiming James 1:5.
This is what the Lord gave me to say: "No, it's not a 'religious thing', it's biblical. I learned from studying the scriptures: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” When I was in the world, I wore things that were very revealing of my anatomy that now I know only a husband should have the privilege of seeing. Only my husband, if I had one, should know what I look like naked under my clothes. I am not to have a man look at me in a way that causes him to commit adultery, sin, in his mind against the Lord, whether he knows the Lord or not. That is what it means to love Jesus with all our heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves. I don't want to hurt Jesus or others and that's why I wear dresses."
The police officer just stood there listening the whole time, then smiled and said he had never been told anything like that before. He was a dear man and I hope to see him on the sea of glass as he died a few of years later. At first, I was not going to go to the funeral but then I was impressed to go. At the funeral, a pastor friend of his was sharing something the officer had said to him. He repeated an exact conversation that my friend and I had had about getting right with Jesus because He was coming soon and there would be no sin nor practicing sinners in Heaven. The officer had told this pastor that he wanted all of his friends and loved ones to get right with the Lord, to stop doing sinful things. Tears came to my eyes and I praised the Lord. We never know what impact we have on someone when we stand for the Lord in love and truth.
"When I look back at pictures of my self during my late teens and early twenties, I am embarrassed to see that the lack of self respect and vulgarity that sent out loud and clear messages about the type of girl I was in the way I dressed.
I purposely selected an outfit because I knew the desired effect it would have on men. I bought into the mainstream propaganda of, "if you have it, flaunt it" or "if I look good, then I feel good", along with many other false mantras. And why did I do this? It was because I was lost, hurt, and rebelling against society because of the wrong doings of others in my life.
I do believe that when you look at a young woman dressed in overly revealing or obscene attire, that you are looking at someone who doesn't know Jesus Christ, doesn't know that she doesn't have to seek the negative attention of men, and that her body and life do matter; that she matters. As a Christian, when you look at that young woman in disgust or with an eye brow raised in condemnation, then you are mostly affirming her belief that she doesn't matter, and so she won't care about your "look". She continues in her spiral of emotions, and her inner brick wall gets higher each time. But if you take the time to talk to her, to get to know her, to develop a friendship or connection, then you will so inspire her to change, to seek Jesus, to begin healing from the pain that opened up the path to the worldly way, that she will begin to care.
I know because this is how it was with me. Thank you Jesus for the women that you put in my life that showed care and concern for me so that I may know and seek you.
-a sister in Christ
Testimony by a sister in Christ
I was blessed to have two different women make a profound impression on me in regard to modesty and to see by example what God's ideal is for Christian ladies, at those critical times in a young lady's development.
Mrs P would have been aged in her early fifties when she and her husband transferred to our church after working in the mission field of Bangladesh for several years. Mrs P was my Sabbath School teacher and I would have been about fourteen years old.
Mrs P was ever so gentle, mild and godly. Mrs P had a lovely Christlike manner. She dressed modestly. Wore basically the same clothes from week to week per season. Her clothes matched her personality and character. All through winter she wore a tweed skirt and jacket and a soft cream colored blouse buttoned to the top. And she wore flat slip-on brown shoes.
Now, my own mother was modest and very pretty and young, but she liked to be seen as fashionable (and still does : ) I clearly remember the day I told my mother I wished she could dress like Mrs P. Now, she was not going to dress like Mrs P, but bless her heart, she said that I could dress like Mrs P if that would make me happy. And so my mother took me shopping to find a Sabbath outfit as similar as possible to that of Mrs P's. I still remember feeling thrilled when the shoe store attendant fitted me with a pair of "old ladies" shoes. The store attendant told my mother that these were not really appropriate wear for a girl of my age. But I didn't care.
Something began to change at a heart level as I began to emulate my godly role model. I should say that other ladies in those days probably would have been also dressing in a similar way to Mrs P but I did not want to be like them. And so, Mrs P's influence as far outward appearance goes, was because of her humble, modest inner spirit. And most likely, at a subconscious level, I was wanting to be like Mrs P in spirit.
Looking back, I realize that modesty - to have any real impact - has to be a whole package. It is not enough to be modest outwardly. The jewel of true Christian modesty shines out from within: it is to have a Christlike heart.
All through my teenage years I wanted to be like Mrs P, so much so that I became first a nurse and then a medical doctor all with the purpose of being a missionary like Mrs P....and I have so far had a few short-term missionary stints to Mrs P's corner of the world.
I was 18 years old and had just moved to college to live on-campus. And didn't know a single person there. First I was put in with another girl whom I knew she didn't like particularly. After the first week, and feeling incredibly homesick, I learned that she had told the dean that she wished to share a room with another girl she'd known from her home city. I was devastated and very tearful as I was moved down to a single room in the basement next to an older lady (old being the grand old age of 26! : )
But it was the hand of Providence at work. For the lady in the dormitory room next to my room was S, a godly, delightful young woman studying teaching, fresh from being a student missionary in Thailand.
S was rather plain by worldly standards. Her prominent front teeth slightly overlapped and she lisped and wore thick plastic spectacles. But like Mrs P, she had an inner beauty that few truly possess: that inner Christlike jewel that is naturally modest from the inside out. Her clothes had that simple, homemade look. She wore soft faded floral dresses and skirts, no adornment. There was nothing in her whole deportment that was impure or selfish.
When I think of S the first thing that comes straight to mind is her joyful presence. This was a lady who loved Jesus and could not contain that love and joy, it spilled over. The love of her life was Jesus, not herself: whereas most of the other young ladies at college were self-absorbed with their own appearance, dressing and making themselves up provocatively to catch the eyes of the young men. S was not enslaved to the mirror or having to agonize in front of her wardrobe deciding what to wear. True modesty is liberating.
And so at the tender age of 18 when young ladies, even, no, especially in the church setting, are making major life-changing decisions, God sent S into my life for a short period of six months to profoundly influence me to make good decisions and to desire and pursue and value the full package of Christian modesty, including the way young Christian ladies should relate to the opposite sex, but also the way we should dress. S's simplicity of dress made me realize that simple is attractive, and taught me to appreciate the homemade clothes that my mother would lovingly send me for the next few years in packages. S showed me that there is nothing more attractive than a beautiful Christlike character and that it translates from the inside to the exterior. That true modesty in dress, by removing external distractions, allows true inner beauty to shine out.
It was S who really introduced me to Jesus as my personal Friend. She shared with me the Desire of Ages and Great Controversy and taught me to pray. As soon as I had the chance, I too was off to be a student missionary to follow in the steps of S and Mrs P.
I have close ties with a country in Asia. Even when there is a language barrier, the Hindu ladies are intrigued by my lack of jewelry...they check my ears for earrings, touch my hands and wrists and wonder about the lack of rings and bangles. One elderly lady who has seen me on a number of occasions has always been one such intrigued lady. The last time she saw me she had another lady translate to me that it must feel nice and free not to have to wear all the jewelry like they do. She also made the comment that it is nice to see a lady wearing skirts and not jeans like other Western women visiting her country. Modesty does indeed transcend cultures.
Almost all of my life I have worn longish dresses and skirts. I have not worn pants for about 12 years now, and can do everything I need to do in a skirt, including walking in the snow, gardening, and putting air into a car tire.
Testimony by Caroline Ward
It's interesting to look back and see how the Lord leads, but I am grateful He takes us one step at a time. A few years ago a dear friend told me of her conviction to wear skirts. I didn't want to get left behind so I joined her in the endeavor. Unfortunately it wasn't in my heart and I didn't understand everything as I do today. I couldn't stand myself trying to dress in a way that my heart didn't really want and having a character that was far from the goal. That lasted about 3 months.
Just this past summer my children set off for a summer camp that required the girls to wear skirts. We had to work at finding them but we succeeded and had to have them altered to fit. I thought, maybe I should buy a couple of skirts so I would not break the rules when I went to visit.
The evening speaker was Hector Torres, and in one of his sermons he read a quote from the Spirit of Prophecy called The Two Ways. As I listened to the quote I was shocked that the people in the broad road thought they were on the narrow road. They talked, acted and dressed like the world. The dressing part really made an impression on me and I wondered, are the people of God to stand out and be distinctive?
When we got back from our trip we went to the County Fair. I was surprised to see the degree of worldliness there. When we got home my husband asked a question that made a huge impact on me. He asked “Did you see anyone today that stood out for Jesus?” It was a painful question and we all answered no, including ourselves. Ouch! We did not stand out for Jesus. The thought churned in my mind that if we had seen a woman in a modest skirt she would have stood out.
I cried out to God for His leading and direction, even though it was contrary to what my flesh wanted.
Then I went on a walk and while I was praying about this, six girls dressed in long skirts met me. They looked like a flock of angels. They shouted of God's beauty. God clearly spoke to me that this was what He was asking me to wear.
It was difficult to wear skirts at first. But what has really given me peace is studying all the overwhelming information Spirit of Prophecy has to say about it. It has really helped me to understand the glaring differences between how men and women think, and that women need to take responsibility too. Now I realize we are just as responsible for their thoughts because of what we choose to put on.
When family comes around that have not realized my commitment to this I waiver and find myself pleading to God for me to be able to stand for Him and Him alone.
I heard a sermon by David Asscherick called Thermostat or Thermometer, that talked about everything we do should be for God alone and not according to what the majority are doing. I want to be among those who make it to the end of the narrow road and I know there are a lot of things that we need to be getting rid of. Oh, that others might see Jesus in me, is my prayer.
I rejoice now to wear skirts because I am obeying His will. It is not grievous or burdensome anymore. Praise the Lord!
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. 1 John 5:4,5
Testimony by Thandi Nkomo
I grew up in an Adventist home. But the only time pants were frowned upon was at church. When I met my future husband, he told me that he would never marry someone who wears trousers. Of course, being a teenager at the time, the thought of giving up my clingy jeans was taboo to me!
So I just ignored him, and he ignored my pants. Then one day at church, we had 'International Sabbath' where everyone was meant to come in their national dress. The whole concept seemed like a fashion show to me and the whole dress question came to the fore. I decided I'd dress like an Israelite because I'm a spiritual descendant of Abraham. SO I ensured my dress was of a suitable length. This was in the days when I wore lovely tailored suits that were always above the knees when I sat down. After that day, when I saw slits and tube tops, I decided that the dress question was important after all. I researched the whole pants-on-women issue, and was convicted.
Sadly, it took me some time to completely let go of the trousers. For a year I wore them 'because I have to' (I worked at a warehouse and had to climb ladders) But then I quit the job and quit the pants fulltime.
It's been almost 8 years now, my little 3 year old doesn't wear trousers or short skirts, etc, either and I've never felt so close to God. Knowing that He approves of the way I look means so much to me. There are so very few ways for me to show Him how much I love Him, that the dress reform isn't even a sacrifice. I love Him so much and can't wait to see Him. Heaven is cheap enough. Changing my wardrobe was nothing in comparison to what He did for me!
Testimony by Carolyn Sanchez
About six years ago I met a wonderful man at the place where we worked. He had an Adventist background, but had left the church. Though he did not wholly profess Adventism I could see something very different about him. We married one year later.
One day, after we got home from work, I heard my husband say, "I got a video from a friend at work today." I said, “Oh…what kind of video?” He told me it was a religious video. “OH NO!” I reacted, “All those preachers think they know it all! Besides, I already know the truth. I don't need some preacher telling me what he thinks is truth!” But my husband insisted, so I threw my self on the sofa, slumped way down and told myself, “I will be asleep in five minuets.” He put in the video, and I watched the fastest talking pastor I ever heard in my life! His name is Leo Scriven. And in five minuets, instead of falling asleep, I was convinced there was a wonderful God in heaven that loved us and made us so intelligent that He wanted us to understand His Word! He was preaching on Daniel Chapter 2. I could hardly wait to watch the next tape. There were 24 lessons in all. God changed my life completely after watching the entire series.
I remember Pastor Scriven taught us about doing all things to the glory of God, concerning what we eat, drink and do, such as watching TV and the music we listen to. The Holy Spirit convicted me strongly! As soon as my husband got home I told him, “Honey, we have got to throw out all the junk food, all the movies, all the worldly music, and we must get rid of the TV also.” He said, “But if we get rid of the TV how are we going to watch the rest of the lessons?” “Ah,” I said, “you are right. What should we do?” We decided to cut off the cable. From that day until now the only things that come through my TV is heavenly music and sermons. Praise the Lord!
We were introduced to the health message, which was a true blessing since my husband was having some health issues. As God revealed truth to us, we were eager to change. Then one day my husband said, “Honey, I want to talk to you about something… I think it's very important.” As I was wondering what it could be, he said, “I would like for you to wear dresses instead of pants.” “WHAT? Wear dresses? All the time? Are you crazy? God doesn't care what I wear as long as I'm covered!” I was adamant! I think my husband realized he better not press the issue. I determined to prove my own case that God really didn't care what we wore as long as we were covered. So I went to work right away searching the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy reading whatever I could find that pertained to the subject. I found a book called “Thy Nakedness; Lord, What Shall I Wear.” After reading the book, I realized that God really does care what we wear. That book changed my life.
The Bible says, “ Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock , and it shall be opened unto you: ” Matthew 7:7 I have proved this verse over and over again. Every time I ask God for the truth He gives it to me in bundles. When I search for the truth and I truly want to find it, God has lead me every step of the way. He has opened doors that I thought would be impossible. I have not had the privilege of going to an Adventist school, but God has been a faithful guide. I've been sitting at the feet of Jesus! What a Teacher! There is none better, not even at Andrews University. My desire is that my life will be living testimony for my Jesus because only by His strength and cleansing blood may He present me faultless before His glory with exceeding joy. (See Carolyn's video presentation)
Testimony by Cynthia Dyke
Shortly after I got baptized I could sense the Holy Spirit working on my heart. He showed me that I needed to let go of the materialistic things of this world.
One day I looked into my closet and God impressed me to get rid of all my jeans. In the past I had often felt uncomfortable when men made suggestive remarks and looked at me in a lustful way when I wore jeans. So it was not a struggle to get rid of them because I knew that that was what God wanted me to do.
I'm employed by New York City Police Department School Safety, and my uniform included pants. I went to my Lieutenant and asked if I could wear a skirt instead of pants. He explained that the School Safety Division must receive a letter from my pastor stating the reason for the change.
So I called my pastor, Dwayne Turner and told him about the situation. He arranged for a letter to be prepared that explained my need to change my uniform from pants to a skirt based on my religious convictions. Praise God. I was so happy for permission to change into a skirt, because I knew that it was pleasing to God.
I faced a challenge when I went to the uniform store to purchase my skirt. To my surprise they said they were no longer selling skirts because nobody was buying them. But I didn't let that stop me. I had a seamstress custom design my skirt, and it has received many compliments.
A delivery man noticed my skirt, and complimented me, saying “Miss, I haven't seen an officer uniform skirt in years.” People have stopped me on the street because they appreciate how I am dressed. Some say they've never seen an officer wear a skirt before. One lady complimented how I looked and asked if I was wearing my skirt for religious purposes.
As we all line up for roll call, I'm the only one there with a skirt. When I am asked why I wear a skirt, I'm able to share my love for God. I feel it is a privilege to represent God by what I wear because it brings glory to His name.
I remember when I first decided to get the skirt, some asked “Officer Dyke - suppose a fight breaks out, that skirt would not be appropriate because once you're on the ground, it will come up and that would be indecent.”
But, to God be the glory, in the 12 years I've been employed by New York City Police Department School Safety, I never had any serious problems with students, faculty, visitors or parents. It's amazing that I've never had to use handcuffs or arrest anyone. Didn't God say He would give His angels charge over us? I believe that because of my obedience, the Lord has sheltered me from Satan's wicked devices.
This experience has proved to me that God is faithful when we follow what we know is right. I have learned that when we are willing to deny self in order to follow Jesus, He blesses us abundantly. The Lord says, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away; behold all things are new.” God changes our whole lives. Our little sacrifices that we make are nothing compared with what He has done for us. Let us remember it's not about “me” or “you” but it's all about the lovely Jesus.
Testimony by Constance Gravestock
Click here to read her testimony
Testimony by Andrea Kennedy
My heart ached for my daughter to grow up in this world in the midst of such wide-spread confusion and I felt impressed to go back to wearing dresses all the time. I also found an article on modesty on the internet that really convicted me. http://www.momof9splace.com/sinof.html . It was this article that convinced me I should stop wearing pants. I made changes gradually—I couldn't afford to go out and buy a new wardrobe all at once, but after the birth of my son I decided not to replace my maternity pants or skinny jeans with pants that fit. Instead, I bought skirts. (To read complete testimonial, please click here.)
Testimony by Tammy Roesch
For me, it was not easy to start wearing dresses/skirts. I'm a "tomboy" by nature, and no other woman in my family was/is into dress reform. It wasn't until my own girls were 8 & 10 years old or so, before I started to understand dress reform. I read everything I could find on the subject in the Testimonies.....and THREE times, I gave away all my pants/jeans! Thankfully, my husband was very supportive...and one day he came home from work (he was a mailman at the time) and said how that day, he had noticed a group of little girls out playing in the playground at the Jewish school where he delivered mail, and they all had dresses on...he said "how right" it seemed....shortly thereafter, I made the final switch.
At first, it was hard....I didn't know what to wear working outside, riding bikes, riding horses!, etc....but as time went on, I figured it out. I wear dresses, (always full dresses/skirts) for all my activities except for swimming. I have some long baggy shorts that I swim in... And recently, I have volunteered to coach the girls Volleyball Team at the local Baptist Academy, and during practices, when it is just us girls there, I wear the long baggy shorts.
For me, dress reform has been such a blessing! My hair is not very long, and I'm sure that years ago, when I had on my jeans and flannels, that sometimes people from a distance weren't sure if I was a he or a she! I truly believe Deuteronomy 22:5, which says--
“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.”
--includes and mainly pertains to pants for women. There is no other visible article of clothing that men wear, that would confuse the sexes, as pants do.
I believe that worldly men are more respectful to women who wear modest dresses than they are to women who wear pants or immodest dresses, for that matter.
I believe it should be stressed that just wearing a dress instead of pants, is not following "dress reform" anymore than not eating meat is following "health reform". I know many vegetarians who are not health reformers....there are alot of vegetarian "junkies". Just as we must choose healthy foods to be real health reformers, so we must choose modest clothes, to be real dress reformers. I would rather see a woman in loose pants/top than to see her in a low cut, tight dress.
This is a personal testimony. I am looking back at myself, only a couple of years ago; certainly, there is a lot to tell, but today I would like to focus on the role modesty played in my life.
I was born to a single mother. My father never appeared or even called, let alone helped financially, so Mother had to work extra hours in order to give me a decent living. So I never missed anything – anything but the really important things, like attention and guidance, which would help me choose the right path in life.
Modesty wasn't popular in the school I attended. There were no uniforms, and, although there was some kind of a dress code, it was never strictly followed, and as I came, I could see tight jeans, mini-skirts, and tiny tops. I could see flesh, flesh, flesh. And these were the girls who were more popular and got more attention. What was the lesson I learned? Well, isn't it obvious? A girl has to show all she has in order to become popular and get attention. At that moment, I didn't think much of the true nature of the attention girls like these receive, and it didn't occur to me that by putting emphasis on their bodies, they actually said – "There is nothing more in me than this. I am my body".
It wasn't all about clothes, either; it was about conduct. Speaking loudly, flirting, cursing, walking provocatively – it was all very common. I did the same. I wore tight clothes, showed off my legs, shoulders, and midriff. I flirted, I was provocative – and I received attention and looks as I walked down the streets. Needless to say, I owned very few skirts those days, and those I had were far above the knee.
The way you dress reflects the way you think. Dressing in a certain manner will almost undoubtedly have an impact on your life. It breaks my heart to say this, but when I was still very young, I got involved in a meaningless, promiscuous relationship that was based solely on physical attraction and lust. No surprises here – if a young girl doesn't bring out her mind and soul, but shows off her flesh, she will only get the men who want her body. They will swarm around her, like flies around a jar of honey, and none of them will be interested in what she thinks or has to say.
I am not going to elaborate right now about the promiscuity I was involved in. Unsurprisingly, it ended in heartbreak. So, what happened next?
Suddenly, almost instinctively, I wrapped myself in long, loose and dark clothes – shabby, shapeless skirts and jumpers. They were mostly old and ill-fitting, but I didn't want to wear anything else. It was like trying to protect myself from anything that might hurt me again by covering every inch of my body. No one looked at me at the street anymore. My heart was bruised and bleeding for many months.
It was a time of intense, painful personal growth and change. And among many other things, I realized something very important - the feeling of protection I experienced upon covering everything that used to be revealed wasn't an illusion. Covering my body protected me from those who wanted only my body. I sent a different message to the world now.
Of course, at that point I was dressed modestly, but very unattractively. The next step, after initial healing and understanding what had happened to me, was acquiring a flattering, cheerful, feminine, and modest wardrobe. From that moment on, I intended to dress in a way that was attractive – not attracting. I wanted to dress in a manner that would say, "I respect my body and my physical attractiveness, but the most important thing about me is my soul, and it's not something I am going to reveal to just anyone."
Today, I experience a wonderful sense of being on the right track. I received an outstanding blessing, a feeling someone took me by the hand and led me from darkness to light. Modesty in both conduct and manner of dressing, as I found out, sends a message of respect to everyone around me – and as a logical outcome, I get respect in return.
If there is one thing I would like to say to other young ladies, it is this: you are lovely young women. You are more, much more than your bodies. Respect yourself and others. Showing off your bodies will only get you the wrong type of attention from the wrong men. A lovely, long, flowing skirt and a pretty, modest blouse will not only bring out your beauty – they will protect you from being used and abused. Source