Sunday, December 19, 2010

Details on Plainness



In some cases plainness is in the eye of the beholder.

The "Quaker plain" style in my city is hemp pants in solid colors and a plain T-shirt. Not dresses, not bonnets.

Plain among the Anabaptist's is often a cape dress and kapp.

Plain for some people means no make-up.

Plain for some is removing the collars and cuffs from their dress shirts.

Plain for the Old Order Mennonites and Old Order Amish is NO buttons. Old Order Mennonite Bishops used to spend entire sermons on the anti-button topic according to a book called "Mennonites then and now."

I read in a different book a Mennonite lady who was astonished that some women buy fabric at the store and cut it up to make a quilt. I am supposing that she only used scraps of used clothing. She said this..."cutting up perfectly good fabric into shapes and then sewing them together?!!! That's just fanciness!"

She was quite clear in her opinion ... yet many Anabaptists and other plain people buy fabric to make a quilt with.

Plainness is chock full of opinion and yes I have heard of plain pride. Now, I am not saying that plainness is bad, not at all. I'm pointing out that there is not 100% blanket agreement on what it is and what it looks like.

To further clarify, plainness and modesty are not synonyms. We know that already but I thought it was worth repeating.

I lean toward plainness but I am not 100% plain. Some plain people are so against any kind of lace they do not allow it at all. I do allow for trims and lace and crocheted edgings on my clothes.

Some plain people do not allow any jewelery at all, not even a simple wedding band. That's okay, that's their opinion. I went without my wedding ring for about 3 years and the result was my husband's sadness.

I explained to him that I am not clear on how to apply the TWO New Testament passages that seem to speak out against jewelry. This did not make him feel better. I slipped my wedding ring back on and he is happy. Perhaps if I bump into a Mennonite he or she will not be happy with me, I can't know, but I do know I'm not married to a Mennonite. My husband's opinion counts more than a stranger's split second reaction to my finger.

This path to modesty and/or plainness is a matter of prayer and following the Lord Jesus. It's not a game of copy-cat or people pleasing or some kind of competition.

Covering our bodies, the skin and the shape, for the Lord is a worthy goal. Please proceed with much grace and sanity.

1 comment:

Mrs. M. said...

I am so blessed to have read this post Clevsea. After much prayer, plain clothing is where I am being led to, but not the kind that the Anabaptist, Old Brethren Amish or Mennonites wear. Instead, it is a more simple styles that cover my shape with pretty trims to show that yes, I am feminine.

I am especially grateful for your words in women not to try to be copy-cats of others. I am not married to either of the above mentioned religious groups, so dressing in that manner will make my husband very sad indeed! :-)

Thank you for your wisdom.

In His Love,

Maria