For years, we have dealt with this problem in our church plants. It’s always difficult for a male to tell the women about modesty. My daughter Susan has done it masterfully below in today’s guest post.
My eyes! My eyes! No, this is not a line from a horror movie. It’s the words I am thinking every time I walk down a street or through a mall. Have you ever noticed that modesty has gone out of fashion? At the same time clothing seems to have gotten more and more expensive. It doesn’t make much sense to me that anyone could ask so much money for a garment that does not include a front, back or bottom.
For some reason junior (teenaged) clothing for girls is the very worst. Why is that? Why would we, as parents, choose to send our girls out every day looking as if they were walking the streets for money? The very idea is peculiar when, at the same time, we hold classes on safety and alert even our smallest children about “stranger danger.”
This overexposure is a running theme in every area of our lives, and our children are saturated in it! Actors and musicians vie for the dubious honor of wearing the fewest articles of clothing at every awards show. Commercials selling pain killers or ear wax removers are not considered complete without the requisite half naked women to sell the product. Stores in the mall advertise their clothing with larger-than-life pictures of unclothed people (which really doesn’t make any sense, if you think about it).
The unfortunate truth is that the celebrities prancing through the ubiquitous media assault on our senses are only the most outrageous caricature of what is played out on a (slightly) more subtle level in our everyday lives. Take a walk through any box store and look at the clothing for toddlers. Low-cut tops and scanty bathing suits are the norm because they are considered cute! Slightly older girls’ skirts and dresses are likewise modeled on those of adults – short, tight and skimpy. Junior clothing is just a rehash of the same clothes in a bigger size (actually not that much bigger – have you SEEN how tightly folks wear their clothing these days?)!
I am not suggesting that Christian women and girls revert back to long dresses and sunbonnets. Clothing of that style, while modest, would by definition paint us as odd in the extreme, thus preventing us from presenting a credible witness in our daily lives. What are godly Christian women to do? How do we teach our children that our bodies are “living sacrifices, wholly acceptable unto God”?
I cannot help but think that the true key to teaching modesty to our children is the model of modesty we personally present to them each day. Despite the constant bombardment of a godless culture that worships all things humanistic, we can counteract false images of propriety! Without saying a word we can best present a different standard to our children by personally dressing to demonstrate our desire to be in the image of God, not man.
I Thessalonians 1:6-7 – You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.
About Susan Minton
Susan is a graduate of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. As an accomplished musician, she has been both a children’s music director and worship leader in churches for the past 26 years as well as an elementary age Sunday school rally leader. Susan is a stay-at-home mom who writes children’s Bible story and Bible verse books as well as educational books – now numbering over one hundred. She was raised in a church planter’s home and as an adult has participated in three church plants. She lives with her husband Tim and three teen daughters in North Carolina. Susan is currently the music director at a non-denominational church. Susan blogs at: http://fullyarmoredchristianityandkids.blogspot.com/2012/09/modesty-matters.html. Contact Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org