Puritan Board Sophomore
It is very important what people think of us. In the morning, before I get out, I contemplate that I am a son of the the one true God. Is it not going to influence how I dress? Of course it is. I did not wear suits before, but I am a born again, blood washed follower of Jesus Christ, I have outmost respect for my brothers and sisters in Christ and I am a representative of our High Lord to the lost world around. So I wear a suit and a tie. And when I buy a suit, I choose one that looks good enough and does not cost more than it should.We do have stewardship over our own bodies, and we decorate them constantly. I assume you get haircuts. Is this not public and vainglorious? If you care nothing for what people think, then why not grab a pair of scissors and just hack it off that way? If you spend money on a nice suit for church, is that not prideful? Do you have the right to do as you please that way with your money, which ultimately belongs to the Lord? I say this tongue-in-cheek obviously, but you get my point. Walk into any church and you will see people who spent money to look what they perceive to be better. You will see girls in decorative high heels and guys wearing ties (what exactly is the point of a tie? what function does it serve beyond decoration?)
I know I will one day be stoned to death by a group of ladies, but I do not see wearing high heels as coming out of respect for others or out of representation of the Lord's people. They promote the frame of a woman's body. Pants also do that, by the way.
What this boils down to, though, is, "My body decorations are sanctified, and those of others are not." There is nothing in the Bible that says men should wear ties. Jesus did not. Some women consider wearing heels to be respectful. In fact, if you look at pictures of church camps in the 1930's and 1940's here in the USA, all women wore heels even while hiking because that was considered appropriate and respectful for church events of all kinds, including camps.
I used to be in a church that claimed that pants on a woman made men lust and should not be allowed. In practice, I wondered whether some of the men in the church actually preferred skirts on women because they allowed more immodesty. They really seemed to enjoy work days when the women in their skirts had to be up on ladders cleaning the windows. There were also lots of displays on windy days when skirts blew over women's heads at the Sunday school picnic.
My point here is that arguments can be made both ways. I always encourage my daughters to wear pants in order to be more modest. Ever since I stopped wearing skirts, I stopped accidentally flashing people, and I prefer it that way.
But I don't judge women who wear skirts or think that they are intentionally causing men to lust.
These kinds of arguments about what is "respectful" can go on forever. My husband is a painting and wallpaper contractor. He'd look pretty silly doing that in a suit. There's a lot of context to things. I don't know how it is in Russia, but here in the USA, tattoos are pretty well main-streamed in a lot of places. Nobody thinks twice about a tattoo or thinks it means much of anything unless it is in some way extreme.
Caroline, are you sure that your insistence upon your daughters wearing pants over skirts and you marking your body with ink under the umbrella of Christian liberty is not in some way psychologically connected to your past history of legalism? There is a tendency for someone like yourself to go to the other end of the pendulum in rebellion against their spiritual bondage, which in your case was a legalistic church. Sometimes, we have to bring ourselves back after we have stepped across the edge from both extremes. If this is true, you would not be the only one. However, if you can honestly say that this is not true, and can justify your actions by God's Word and sound reason then just ignore what I just said.