Testament or Ego Trip?

I love muscle.  My muscles.  I found them again in the past couple of years, beneath the layers of fast food dining, blended mochas, and emotional eating.  The first visible realization of my success came when I could see my triceps.  Sometimes I flex my arm and trace the cut of muscle with my fingers.

And this year; after six months with a personal trainer, carb cycling, and four evenings a week in the weight room, my calves are crazy, my hamstrings and quads strong and sleek, my delts and back showing promise. And now that the cold rain has left the Pacific Northwest, I’m getting urges. 

Urges to slide on a snug pencil skirt and heels.  Urges to wear shorts to the gym rather than long workout pants.  Urges to wear my sun dress a little shorter than usual.

But wait!  A little voice nags at my joy.  You’re a Christian.  Proper Christian women don’t wear clothing that might tempt their Christian brothers!

But…I argue back in my mind. I am healthier now than I was when I was overweight. That means I am diligently caring for this temple of God that is my body, right?  Look how lovely the sculpted muscles mirror that of an artists’ handiwork.  Does it not compare to classical architecture, scenes painted in honor of the words of Jesus, stonework depicting His followers?  Would you dare drape clothes over Michelangelo’s David? 

I wouldn’t, but some would.  Perhaps God would.

As it says in 1 Timothy 2:9, I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety…

So, is it pure vanity luring me to let a little extra skin show now that I’ve worked hard and became strong and healthy? 

Vanity is defined as: Excessive pride in one’s appearance or accomplishments.

I am proud of my body, I admit it, but am I excessively proud?  I do not write of my success so that others honor me, I speak of my accomplishments because I hope to help those who are struggling with feeling as though they are lost, buried beneath layers of bad food choices, caught up in taking care of everyone around them and thus neglecting themselves, people whose confidence withers every time they look in a mirror.

It is the confidence I have gained since I committed to becoming fit that I want to share.  I feel the same exhilaration of those who have crossed the finish line in a race, who have climbed a mountain, who have finished something hard.  I feel I have emerged from a cocoon into the person God created me to become.  It is this authenticity I want to portray.  And I couldn’t have done it alone. I know that.   

God has been with me the entire way, nudging me in that last rep, propelling me to lace my running shoes, giving me hope that with His strength I could rediscover myself and let His light shine through my life.

So, does that inner confidence, that desire to help others, the knowledge – and testimony – that God has given me the strength I have needed to succeed, give me the right to show a little skin? Or is it just vanity?

How much should a Christian woman let her faith influence her attire?

Have you ever NOT purchased an item of clothing that looked really good on, but that revealed too much skin for your comfort?


P.S.- Do you know about the “100 Dresses- Let’s Bring Classy Back!” Campaign? If not, click here!

After Melinda Patton’s daughter moved away to college, she decided she had no more excuses keeping her from being in shape.  Three years and 55 pounds ago she began a journey to become spiritually and physically strong and in the process discovered her passion and purpose in forging faith and fitness.  She is now studying for her Personal Training certification and manages a facebook page called Strength for the Journey; Forging Faith and Fitness. Through her page, she encourages and empowers others to create strong and healthy bodies for Christ.

© 2011, Shalena D.I.V.A. – Personal Branding| Content Marketing| Product Creation. All rights reserved.


  1. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 11:56 am

    She got me on this one I try to dress modestly mening no booty hanging out and nothing too short. I have nice sized boobs so no matter what I wear they will be there. I try not to have them hanging all out and looking trifling.

  2. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Now, did anyone see Erica (I think) from Mary Mary’s pants from the BET awards? Those fire engine red pants were soooooooooo tight! All you saw was booty. I think she crossed the line in them. Did nayone else see them? What’s your take on it?

  3. Ebony Fletcher via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 11:59 am

    well i saw her n i think she looked amazing! I realize the more weight i lose i just wanna b naked all the time hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha #imjustsayin

  4. Karin Eades via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    I lost a lot of weight last year i worked out at the Powerhouse faithfully i thought i was the Stuff inmy summer dresses etc…but never trashy i love being a lady i get respected better!!

  5. Iassic Crenshaw via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I think women can dress sexy azzzz hell in flattering cloths without looking hoochie and having all there business out. The show single ladies is a good example of that. Those three dress very sexy but it’s not inappropriate in my opinion….

  6. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    @#Ebony– you didn’t think her pants were too tight for a gospel artist?

  7. Ebony Fletcher via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    ummmm a little tight but she has a beautiful shape. No matter what she wears it’s gonna show her butt is huge lol

  8. Myss Dymond via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    This sounds JUST like my case. I got in shape and wanted the entire world to see it. But the more I grew in faith, the more I felt uncomfortable in certain clothes. I believe your wardrobe should indeed reflect your faith. Even though HE was a man, I still go by W.W.J.D (what would Jesus do). A woman can be beautiful, appealing, attractive, and confidant in clothing that expresses such. To me, a business suit, summer dress, or clothing that doesn’t “give away” the assets could definitely show off the hard work of going to the gym .

  9. Myss Dymond via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I also noticed that both men AND women admire a woman more when her confidance is shown through her choice of clothing. Me personally, my head is help high when I am wearing clothes that express my maturity and confidance. I personally (no offense to anyone else), will hang my head rather low if I have on a mini skirt because I feel naked and as if people assume I am one way when I am not. Lawd I can go on and on about this lolol

  10. Traci Turner via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Moderation is the word.

  11. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    @Myss Dymnd–Girl, you ain’t never lied! I’ve noticed that a tastefully dressed lady gets positive attention from both men and women. And you know we women don’t give out compliments easily, but when we do we really mean it. You can still look classy, tasteful, and super hot!

  12. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    @Ebony, I agree her booty is huge and when you have certain large assets, it’s like no matter what you do, they will always be thee. But I think those pants drew more attention to what she was wearing more so than what she was sining. She has a video girl booty–LOL! Those rappers were in the crowd like— mmm…. thank you Jesus after they saw her booty–LOL!

  13. Felicia Imdoinme Konan via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    When u live in Hot~Lanta!!……I mean it’s hot as all heck right now……..u hav to dress for the weather or risk a heat stroke……… I wear what makes me feel gud, and doesn’t embarass my son when were out in public…..:) s/n ~ Mary Mary always wear what they want really in their video’s……they are more contemporary I think…..:) @ shalena ~ what about kelly roland (motivation) wow!!

  14. Myss Dymond via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    So true Shalena! Sidebar: I missed the awards. I am out of the loop lol. I watch TV maybe once a week if that. I keep my face in books alllll the time lol. How were they?

  15. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    @Myss Dymond– the awards were okay– I guess. @Felicia– I was surprised to see Kelly gyrating all like that. I was surprised. It felt unneccessary to me. But that’s my opinion…

  16. Ebony Fletcher via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    even though i say i loving being naked i’m not naked outside. I keep it simply n classy. Being sexy is not what u wear, it’s how u feel! N I FEEL GREAT!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  17. Rochelle Bacon Henriene via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    if u r REALLY living for GOD…u wud not come out anywhere dressd like that..just because u sing gospel…dont mean u r saved…or a true believer….satan can spread the word his way and make u think its JESUS’ WORD…remember he was n heaven with all the others…be careful what u watch and listen to…theres a real battle goin on and its takin over our entertainment …so be careful what u watch and sing….u think im playn….rhiannas song umbrella…listen to it under the illuminati…straight singn to the devil…be careful what u let into ur subconscious minds…its real yal and its here

  18. Alicia Williams via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Wow, my pastor kinda talked about this on sunday….basically coming to the house of the lord dressed unappropriately. He said he dont wanna see no backs, breast or short skirts….wow!!!!

  19. Great comments! Love all of your thoughts. And I agree that classy sexiness is way more powerful than trasy sexy! @Myss, love your comments! Confidence, and class seems to be the key! ~ Melinda

  20. Darcentas Hinnant via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Yes you should dress modestly, yes I have big breast, I always cover them up! If you truly are saved and not just hearing God’s word, you gonna cover up anyway. Nowadays, it’s all right to show everything and leave nothing to the imagination, sure somethings can’t be hidden, but there’s a way to display everything! If you falling up in church with mini’s and tight dresses on, then you are a distraction and (I’m going to take it one step further)in my heart, you just there just because, true women of God aren’t/shouldn’t draw attention to themselves in that manner! So put some clothes on, trust me, you get more flies with homey then sugar!!!

  21. Rochelle Bacon Henriene via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    i just happen to b an usher at my church…honestly i wanna stand there with lap skirts…a heapn pile of them…not only the fronts need to b covered…but when u walk n2 a church…UR THONG STRAPS SHUD NOT B SEEN N THE BACK..then u jumpn up and down …supposedly goin to the bathroom….WOWWWW..im not judgin…im just sayn…but we all know that satan is busy and he will send distractions when and where ever he can…..be sober and b vigilante 4 the devil thy advasery walketh about lookn for whom he can devour….1PETER 5:8

  22. Darcentas Hinnant via Facebook on June 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    @Rochelle, preach girl!!! I am head of the ushers, and I recently would not let two usher, cause they know protocol, come to USHER in short skirts, six inch heels!! I feel sometimes as if people like to play with God. That’s on them, both girls resigned and was mad at me! I don’t care, cause if you aren’t standing for something, you’ll FALL FOR ANYTHING

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