Cover up!!

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by TaterTot, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. TaterTot

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    Yesterday, as I turned around to lead the first congregational hymn in church, the first thing I noticed was a woman's cleavage. I decided to look around the room and try to see how a man might view the congregation. We have a small church. There were 7 ladies with this same problem. It makes me mad, because if I, a woman, notice this and have to look away, then I can imagine what it does to the pastor (my husband) and other men in the church.

    There is one woman that has even nursed her baby right there in church, and we have a cry room for that!!

    Is this something that any of you have addressed?
     
  2. exscentric

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    Back in the mini skirt days (same problem different level :) I decided there were three people having a problem. The woman for not wanting to dress properly, the man looking not looking away and the husband not seeing to his wife's dress.

    Of course I'm just an old fuddy duddy that thinks modesty has a place in the world :laugh:

    I wasn't a pastor at the time but spoke in a lot of churches and yes I mentioned these things from the pulpit as I stared at the ceiling.
     
  3. Salty

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    As far as nursing, some women have actually went to court, to have the "right" to do so. Link to court case
    I would not be in favor of this. I suppose this is one case where the pastors wife should take the responsibility to make correction.

    Salty

    ps, but what if it is the pastors wife who needs correction?
    (not referring to you Tater!)
     
  4. webdog

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    Was it a "wardrobe malfuntion" or deliberate dress?
     
  5. annsni

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    I've nursed in church and I think that's fine - even with nursing and cry rooms. To me, it's much less distracting for everyone for me to just take a blanket, cover up and feed my baby than to grab the diaper bag, hold a crying baby and try to get out of the sanctuary quietly. Trust me, no one saw my boobs.

    But for boobs hanging out of tops, some women have a high cleavage but the majority of women just need to learn to cover them up. Even in all my years of nursing, no one saw that much of my boob. LOL

    I guess maybe the pastor should speak to them or maybe even you go over and say something like "I just wanted to say that when I looked out, your cleavage was very obvious and made me have to avert my eyes. I know you're not wanting to hurt the men here so maybe you can think about a different style top - one that's more flattering to you?" or something like that.
     
  6. queenbee

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    Well, I guess I'd have to agree with exscentric on this one - better to be modest than possibly offend. It can be a problem.

    I don't have a hard and fast answer. I do know that in several churches (& workplaces I've attended), this situation has occurred. Several women have taken the offenders quietly to the side and tried to as politely as possible, state their concerns and minister to them. Perhaps several ladies in your congregation could try this approach. Also, it would probably be helpful to have some scriptural backup with them to point out God's reasoning. Sometimes just stating to a person that you realize they are not deliberately trying to offend, softens the blow, but they might be astonished to learn that both scripturally and etiquette wise, they are unintentionally offending people. If this approach doesn't work, perhaps the elder board could in some low-key way stress to the men of the church that they need to be thinking of others and asking their wives to be better examples.
     
    #6 queenbee, Apr 14, 2008
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  7. just-want-peace

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    In this day & time, a great part of the problem, AND this method of correction (OK,any method of correction), would depend on how much into "WOMEN'S LIB" the particular woman is involved; mentally.

    Good, bad, or indifferent, the mind-set of the offender is going to play a key role in the outcome.

    GOOD LUCK!!!

    PS: Cleavage is certainly not the only dress problem in the church. Modesty and good taste are being stretched and re-defined to an alarming degree by many females; some who are totally naive about their visual appearence, but others who know exactly what they are doing.
     
    #7 just-want-peace, Apr 14, 2008
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  8. givengrace

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    I would like to introduce you to a couple of books (if you don't already know of them) I would recommend doing studies based on these books with people with this issue (or at least maybe giving them a copy)

    One is "Every Mans Battle" and "Every Woman's Battle"

    You can find these on Amazon

    And while you may not think this would help your issue just read you might be surprised.
     
  9. queenbee

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    Agreed JWP - but still worth the effort to try and quietly speak to the parties involved. I’ve been in a supervisory work situation where I had to speak to the person in question and remind them that it was a professional office, not the local niteclub scene and that some decorum was called for. I can recall not too long ago, a friend of mine (in a Christian office setting) having to do exactly the same thing and just recently I had call to visit my father in his nursing home. There was no question but that the young, cute, 20-something who was wearing little more than capri pants, a push-up bra and open safari-type jacket (one large button only, between boobs & navel) was making a lot of people uncomfortable (funny overhearing the comments; the old geezers were waking up from the dead so to speak and their wives were kvetching! :D :D :D). I spoke to management because I was embarrassed, not only for me, but for her - you have to, otherwise, nothing gets said or done. You are right though JWP; there are some people who either just don’t get it, or they don’t particularly care, so TaterTot gage the situation carefully before going in with all guns blazing.
     
  10. TLB

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    ok...if a bottle fed baby wouldn't be exiled to a cry room why should a breastfeeding baby be treated that way? would Mary have had to take Jesus to a "cry room"? no...cause they didn't have them and back then men knew boobs were for babies not something to be flaunted at hooters:BangHead:

    ok...getting off my soap box...

    edited for spelling...but i think i still missed something....ugh
     
  11. Joe

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    Maybe part of a sermon could be on the issue of modesty, then he could challenge the congregation to cover up a little more. Just a thought....

    It would weird me out to sit next to someone nursing their baby. I would move asap :eek: but I guess everyone is different.
     
  12. annsni

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    I could bet that there are those of us who could nurse with out you even knowing we were. I have a friend who is SO weirded out by nursing and he'd RUN anytime I had to nurse the baby (so I'd leave the room). One time we were at a huge fair we have here on Long Island (the Oyster Festival in Oyster Bay) and my baby was hungry. We were there for hours and still had a few more hours to go so we all went to the food tent, sat down to listen to the band and eat (of course there's LOTS of food at festivals). Well, about 10 minutes after the baby started nursing I stopped to nurse and my friend, who was talking to me the whole time right across the table, suddenly got wide-eyed and said "Were you.....FEEDING the baby????" I just said "Yup. For the last 10 minutes." LOL I have to say, I got really good at public nursing without anyone knowing (good clothing helps a lot in this case).

    So I bet you someone could nurse right next to you and you'd never know. ;)
     
  13. queenbee

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    Don't get your nursing bra in a knot :laugh: I'm referring to people who should know better, not babies who only know they're hungry. I breastfed both my boys (often in public) without others being aware. Here's the thing. If you can do your nursing without anyone being the wiser and being discreet - go ahead. There are some wonderful products out on the market now and frankly, no one would no the difference as Ann as pointed out. On the other hand, if you sense that you might be making others uncomfortable, please go to the cry room and have some special bonding time with your little one. It's just being respectful of others as you would have them do unto you.
     
  14. TaterTot

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    I nursed my babies too. I would not be on a soap box if it werent for the fact that this woman on more than one occasion has plopped them out and dh actually saw BOOB while preaching.
     
  15. Joe

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    Since you asked, I hope you can take my reply but I'll try to tone it down. Probably shouldn't even respond.
    Why would you do this to anyone, especially a friend? Why not have enough courtesy to go somewhere private? That should be automatic. Or at the very least, you should have asked if he minded you involve him in such an intimate act. And even then, how do you know you are not enticing him (unless he is a really close friend you trust to tell you the truth, then maybe) though that is probably rare. But why place someone in such a compromising position? It makes no sense.
    At the very least, you may have left him with a feeling that he violated something sacred in his marriage (if he is married) with your immodesty. Glad to hear one of the guys ran away, that is what they should do.
    Those places are dirty, smelly, loud and people can get wild-especially near a band where alcohol is often served. No place for a baby imo.
    Yes, it freaks people out. Everyone knows this. I know sometimes, it can't be helped. And that's fine but even then, the mother can face another direction while involved in such an intimate act god created to be shared between a man and woman.
    Why would you laugh about it? :confused: there is nothing funny about making your friend uncomfortable. At least have the courtesy to say you need to breastfeed and let him have an out. Maybe he will stay and converse with you, maybe not.
    I imagine it has happened, and therefore, didn't hurt me....:)
     
    #15 Joe, Apr 14, 2008
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  16. Joe

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    If it were me in that position, I would tell her to never come back. Flashing married men, especially the Pastor, shouldn't be tolerated. She's trouble.
     
  17. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    There ought to be common decency and thoughtfulness. My wife nursed all 6 of our children, in church, in restaurants, at the mall, at public parks, and anyplace else we went. I have the same problems with the flesh as any man,but I can honestly say that I have never been enticed by a nursing woman. It is not some "intimate, private act intended only for a man and woman." My wife was always careful and decent, but there is not need to "run off to the bathroom" if the baby is hungry.

    However, immodest, enticing dress is a whole different issue. Someone needs to lovingly instruct women who often don't have a clue what they are doing.
     
  18. annsni

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    Well, first off, if you've been to a fair like that (it's in a village - so it's on all the streets in the town), then you know what it's like. There is NO place to go where it's "private" other than those gross porta-potties which I'd never take my own food into - no less think that I should nurse my baby there. I was very discreet - fully covered - and therefore not immodest at all. He just gets eeked out by the idea of nursing (well, used to - he's now married and has had a breastfed son and is expecting his second). I had already been nursing (sorry - mistyped - I meant to say that after 10 minutes of nursing, I stopped to burp the baby - too late to fix it...) and he sat down at the corner table with me. I went to the corner, facing away from everyone so that I could be a bit more discreet and he came to sit with me. It wasn't MY fault. LOL

    Actually, they no longer allow alcohol at the festival and it's a very family friendly one. They have lots of stuff for the kids to do and I knew my then 2 year old would have loved the sights and sounds.

    Well, I think that it is not necessarily an intimate act and it's just in the last 70 years or so since formula became big that women have no longer been nursing in public. I've seen pictures of women from back at the turn of the century who had to unbutton their blouse to nurse - thus exposing their whole chest. That was the norm back then. It's just more recently that breasts have been changed to sexual toys rather than food for babies.

    Well, that would be rather indiscreet to announce to everyone that I was nursing. I laughed because he had NO clue and was fine - until he realized (after the fact) what I was doing. :) He laughed about it too (and he learned from me that nursing is not eeky but a perfectly normal, proper thing to do with babies.

    I was always discreet with my nursing and always would go someplace else to feed the baby if I had the opportunity without being disruptive. But there were times where it was best to just nurse the baby right there and that's what I did. So I've nursed pretty much everywhere. As I said, no one would see a thing and my baby would be happy. :) I think if more women nursed in public, it would become more normal for everyone to see and it would not be so much of an issue.
     
  19. Mexdeaf

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    This brings back memories... of the first time I went to the backwoods of Mexico to preach. There the women, Christian and heathen alike, nurse publically- no coverups. Walking down the street, sitting on the bus, in church. It was so natural that after the shock wore off, I never noticed it, just as the men of the city did not. Some preachers have called me a liar for making that last statement but it is the truth.

    That is not to excuse those who dress immodestly or flaunt it in OUR culture- different story. Sometimes I have my wife stage a 'Fashion Show' for the ladies of our church, and other times I have a 'Wake-UP Call' for the men where we discuss these issues.
     
  20. PastorSBC1303

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    I don't think nursing babies is the issue here. I think the majority of mothers nurse their babies very discreetly and can do it without most people even realizing it.

    I also do not think that telling someone to not come back is the right way to handle the situation. You will do nothing but hurt peoples feelings without dealing with the problem.
     

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