#yesIwanttotalkaboutleggings

My blog is fairly new. The original goal for this site was to keep my family and friends informed about our lives and happenings. Overall I really wanted to keep my blog lighthearted and family focused, but there is just something that has been on my heart that is causing heaviness, and I just have to share it with you all. I have noticed that with so many blog posts, articles and stories going viral over social media lately, that readers’ comments and view points have gone viral as well. In this country we have numerous rights and freedoms that many countries do not. We have freedom of speech, which encourages many people to say whatever they want to say, whenever they want to say it, to whomever they want to say it to. And I think many of us don’t stop to think that just because we CAN say something, doesn’t necessarily mean that we SHOULD.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding a woman named Veronica Partridge and her blog post, stating why she would no longer choose to wear leggings or yoga pants. She got instant backlash and intense criticism from people, both Christians and non-Christians alike, for her personal stance and viewpoints. One Christian blogger even went as far to write a counter-post in which she talks about how there are much more important topics in the world to be concerned about. She even encouraged people to tweet or post major world issues and problems with the hashtag #butyouwanttotalkaboutleggings. This gets my blood boiling for a number of reasons. Yes, there are major problems out there in the world. Horrible things happening to innocent people every single day. And as Christians, we should be concerned about them. We should talk about them. And we should speak and act against the injustice being done in our world. But we should also be equally concerned with things happening right here, in our own country, to our own family members, friends and neighbors. This includes having a discussion about leggings because it goes SO much deeper than leggings. So. Much. Deeper.

There is an epidemic in our country. It is a disease of the mind, body and soul. It is called lust, and it destroys the men we love from the inside-out. If we think that this is any less important than anything else going on in the world, then we are choosing to be blind to it. We need to stop trying to pretend that this isn’t a major problem in our culture. Yes, I can be saddened about starving children in Africa. And I can be infuriated with terrorists who are burning innocent people alive. And I can be devastated over the thousands of children in our country who are orphans and trapped in the foster care system. I can also be passionate about our husbands, brothers, fathers, sons and friends who feel overtaken by lust and sexual addiction. And whether we want to acknowledge it or not, what we wear and how we act as women either feed or fight that addiction.

If anyone actually took the time to read Ms. Partridge’s original blog post, they would see that she made her decision because she felt convicted that wearing leggings out in public could possibly be a stumbling block for men, particularly men who struggled with lust. She is not insisting that everyone else follow her lead. She is simply stating how she began to feel convicted in this area of her life. She spoke with her husband about his opinion on the matter, and he admitted that it was challenging to look away when he saw women wearing leggings out in public, because they accentuate a woman’s body. And Ms. Partridge didn’t say that she was going to stop wearing leggings completely; she said she would only wear leggings as long as she had a shirt long enough to cover her backside. Speaking as a woman with a husband that struggles with lust, I am thankful that there is at least one other woman in our country that cares about him enough to dress modestly. Yes, men have the choice of whether or not to look at a woman in form-fitting clothing. And yes, we can wear whatever the heck we want to wear. But here is my point… just because we can, doesn’t necessarily mean that we should. After you read this, you can decide whether or not to wear leggings as pants. You live in a free country and are able to make your own choices. But let’s stop crucifying someone over social media because she made a personal choice regarding a personal conviction.

There are a lot of “cans” and “shoulds” in life. Can I let my babies watch Elmo all day? Yes. Should I? Probably not. Can I eat an entire bowl of brownie batter by myself? Yes. Should I? I guess not… But it would be yummy. Can I trash-talk someone on the internet? Yes. Should I? No, although it is okay to respectfully disagree. Can I go see 50 Shades of Grey with my friends for a girls’ movie night and learn more about S&M? Actually, no. My husband says no. Can I publish a cartoon that I know would be incredibly offensive to a particular religion? Yes. Should I? I would argue that it might not be the best idea to blatantly disrespect others’ religious leaders. Can I make a satirical movie about assassinating the President of another country? Yes. Should I? Well, we would be pretty mad if they made a movie about assassinating our President. Can I wear leggings that hug every curve of my body without a longer top to cover up my lady parts? Yes. Should I? …

Last Sunday my Pastor gave a message regarding Honor. It was very convicting to me, as was the “leggings post,” and I took away some great applications that I hope will make a difference in my own life. Ultimately, honor is about love. And I think if we took a little more time to speak value into people and support those who we are walking through life with (especially fellow Christian brothers and sisters), there would be an outbreak of love, which I think our world needs quite a bit more of. Even Jesus showed dignity to the undignified and honor to the dishonorable. So whether you agree or disagree with this post, or the leggings post, or the counter-leggings post, or anything else that anyone else says, let’s show each other a little more honor, a little more grace and little more love. That is something we all can and should do.

I know I am going to be sitting down tonight, thinking about what else I could have written in this post, knowing that I may not have gotten my point across as clearly as I wanted. But hopefully you can extend me some grace and see that I am just trying to share what is on my heart. You may still see me walking around in leggings, hopefully in a somewhat-modest fashion. And if you choose to wear leggings and/or yoga pants out in public, I will not judge you or harbor any ill will towards you. But if nothing else comes from this, I am simply thankful for Ms. Partridge’s post because it opened up conversation about a subject that I feel is important… just as important as other global issues affecting our fellow human beings.

And I leave you with this… “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:3-4

-Heather

*For more information about the post I refer to in my blog, please visit http://www.veronicapartridge.com.

4 thoughts on “#yesIwanttotalkaboutleggings

  1. I applaud you for being honest and sharing what is on your heart. I may be one of the few people who disagrees with some of this, but I 100% agree that we can do so in a respectful, and loving manner. I don’t know Veronica at all, but I do have friends who do (she is a Portland Mom and her husband has a lifestyle/coaching business). We live in an age of social media and one of the beautiful things about blogs is that they provide a platform for people to write about their lives and we can hear different perspectives and learn and grow from one another. However, if I’m being honest, I do take issue with a few parts of her blog post, and NOT because I have a problem with her sharing her personal conviction, but because of the mindset that it reveals is still present in our society as a whole. And also, to be completely frank, I find it disingenuous for a woman to talk about leggings being a figure showing issue when she is wearing one of the tightest pair of jeans I have ever seen with nothing covering her backside in her family photos on her blog. If her conviction is that the booty curve is the lust inducing problem I can respect that, but then please apply that to all tight, form fitting pants that show off that particular side. (Ps. I think her outfit is cute and am in no way implying she shouldn’t have the right to wear those jeans. I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy of stating that you feel conviction over showing off your figure because of one type of fabric material, but then show off your figure just as much in another.)
    But all of this merely brings me to what I mostly have a problem with: the implication that women are responsible for causing men to lust. That beautiful verse you posted above applies to both men and women. Do some men struggle with lust? Absolutely. Do some women? Sure do. Is our society overtly sexualizing things from a young age thus setting up many people for failure because they are unable to appreciate the beauty of the human body without viewing it only as a sexual object? You bet.
    I think it’s wrong how women are portrayed as the object and men as the object controllers. When I look at Song of Songs I see a beautiful, mutually passionate and equally life-giving, life-honoring sexual relationship that seeks to please each other.
    Lust is about taking. Love is about giving. No one is responsible for another persons sinful heart and what Christ taught on this matter is that people are responsible for submitting their hearts to Him, for putting on the full armor, and for allowing His thoughts to be our thoughts.
    Let me just phrase it this way:
    Should men stop wearing form fitting t shirts or fitted jeans because they may cause women to lust over their muscles? Most people would say no, and that’s where I have a problem (because I would agree that they shouldn’t have to stop wearing those things!) (but then let the same be true for women). Im not suggesting people go out of their way to wear something that they think will attract negative attention, nor am I suggesting we don’t have respect for our bodies. Obviously, the heart motive is incredibly important. I AM saying that men need to take responsibility for their own heart issues and women need to do the same. I think it’s harmful to place the responsibility on women’s shoulders and I think it’s also insulting to men to imply that they can’t control their thoughts and are controlled solely by their physical urges. I hope and pray there are enough honorable men out there that if I were to say, tear my shirt or spill on my pants and had to change, that they would help and not harm me because they recognize that I am a valuable human created in the image of God and not just a sexual object who is showing some skin or curves.

    I know that was a super long comment and I hope that my intent came across with the love and respect that I am writing it with…
    Ultimately, my point is that the problem of lust lies within the person’s heart who is lusting. Personal convictions are great and I think it pleases God when we are listening to His Spirit and trying to act out of love, even if we get it wrong. Whether Veronica realizes it or not, her super right jeans could be an issue of lust for many guys. So could a pair of sweat pants and a t shirt. She’s a beautiful girl. But she has to draw the line somewhere and she is responsible to God for following through on what she believes He is saying. I think Veronica absolutely has every right to post on her blog about her personal convictions and I think it’s sad when people can’t have a civil discourse over issues they find challenging. The name calling and mud slinging was off the charts with this one.

    I love you friend and I hope you know that I think you are beautiful and lovely and I so admire how you are encouraging people to ‘help each other out’. I totally believe that goes both ways and I know you will raise your sons into godly men ❤️

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