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Thursday, June 20, 2013

God Changed My Mind About Modesty


I was recently sitting in a mall food court with my fifteen month old daughter, as my husband waited in line for the carousel with our older two. As the ride came to a stop, there was a group of young girls riding on horses directly in front of me. I noticed that the one little girl (who was maybe 8 or 9) was wearing very short shorts - as in you could not even tell she was wearing anything when she was sitting on the horse. To make matters worse, when she raised herself up off the horse, her entire bottom was exposed! I cringed and felt sick to my stomach as I peered around at the hundreds of people in the busy mall food court who may have just witnessed it as well. The little girl adjusted her shorts and went on her way, but I couldn't shake the sick feeling I had - the thought that someone in the mall could have enjoyed seeing that little girl like that...

I know that "wardrobe malfunctions" may happen sometimes. Even when dressed modestly, the wind can blow up a skirt or a hungry baby can pull down a mothers top (been there!). You can not always protect against these things happening. But what happened to that little girl on the carousel could have been prevented. Should have been prevented.

There was a time when I would not have thought much about a young girl wearing short shorts. It wasn't that long ago that I dressed my own (then 2 year old) daughter in a bikini. I have also dressed her in short shorts, halter tops, etc. in the name of fashion. Interestingly, I thought that I was dressing her modestly. And even by the church's "standard" - I was! But God has begun a work of transformation in my heart about modesty.



Most importantly - modesty is a heart issue - and something that God desires of us. The best way to raise modest daughters is for us to model modesty for them. But, I have also considered that we live in a sinful, fallen world - and there is evil. There are men that desire young girls and prey on them. Disgusting as it is - these men find little girls' bodies attractive - they like that little girls do not have hair on their bodies and are not developed. There is this idea that clothing considered immodest for a teenager - is okay on a young girl because they are not "developed" yet. It is even considered adorable to see a little girl dressed in a very "grown-up" outfit. The truth is, it is not acceptable or "adorable". We need to protect the innocence of our young girls. As a mom, how could I ever put my daughter in a position in which she might be desired by men because of the clothing she is wearing?

Another problem with this line of thinking is - what do you do when your daughter hits puberty? If you have been dressing her in skimpy bathing suits, short shorts and backless dresses - how do you explain to your twelve year old that it is suddenly not okay? There will come a moment when you will see your little girl in the same clothes she has been wearing for years - but you will see her and those clothes in a very different light. You will see her curves being accented in those short shorts or her bra straps hanging out of her tank top - and think, that is not appropriate! But why was it appropriate a year ago? It will be easier if you begin teaching your daughter to have a heart for modesty from a very young age. If she has never been permitted to wear certain clothing, it will not become as much of a battle during those hormonal teenage years.



I truly think that many (not all!) moms of young girls in the church today may not even realize how immodestly they are dressing their daughters. We have become so desensitized to women's bodies that it is normal to see a lot of skin and form fitting clothing. It becomes more about wearing certain styles and any thoughts of modesty fly out the window. And it is not only about the clothing itself, but the attitudes behind it. You see it everyday on facebook - young girls posting out their "selfies", wearing tight, short and revealing clothing while posing provocatively. And many of these young girls are professing Christ!

But I want to go even deeper than that...maybe you are not wearing revealing clothing on your daughters...but again, I say - modesty is a heart issue. What is the purpose of the clothing you are choosing for your daughter?

- Are you choosing it to so that she will "fit in" (popular styles)?
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2

- Are you choosing it to feel good about yourself (living vicariously through her)? 
"For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world." 1 John 2:16

- Are you excusing it based on activities (dance/sports)?
"Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover up for evil, but living as servants of God." 1 Peter 2:16

"Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious."
1 Peter 3:3-4




I encourage you to seek God on the matter of modesty. Pray. Seek His wisdom and guidance. He will show you what he desires of you. As it was for me, you may not be dressing your daughter in clothing that meets the world's standard of inappropriate - but what is the intention behind the clothing you wear on her? Don't get me wrong - I really love fashion. I enjoy shopping, I love dressing my daughters in cute clothes and accessorizing with beautiful things. My five year old daughter does too. She absolutely loves clothes, purses, shoes, necklaces, etc. God created us as women to enjoy beautiful things. But, I want to challenge you to take a hard look at and seek God on the matter of your daughter's wardrobe.

Here is an awesome video about modesty in swimwear from Rey Swimwear

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment & share :)
What are your thoughts on modesty?

37 comments:

  1. A wonderful post!
    Thanks for sharing,

    Blessings,
    Amy Jo

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Have a blessed day :)

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  2. I too came to the same realization. I think once you have a little girl you view the world differently.

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    1. I agree, Monique - it definitely makes you think :) Blessings to you!

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  3. Even though I was raised to dress modestly, having a daughter has made me reconsider modesty. Mostly it has made me even more convinced that dressing in a modest way is very important.

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    1. I was raised to dress modestly as well - it may sound silly, but I thought modesty just applied to teenagers and adults! So thankful that God opened my eyes. I appreciate your feedback!

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  4. I just stumbled upon your blog from pinterest. I really love what you shared about modesty. My heart was changed about modesty as well after years of dressing my older children (and myself)immodestly. You are so right.... modesty is really an issue of the heart. Thank you for writing this post!

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    1. Thanks, Janelle! I am so glad you stopped by and shared :) Blessings!

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  5. Thank you for sharing. This has always been a very important issue and I am happy to see someone point out that it begins when they are little darlings! My three daughters are in their twenties and thirties now, and they have been trained from toddlerhood to dress appropriately. The hardest clothing that we had to deal with was tight jeans. There is no reason to wear pants tight and we need to teach our daughters and sons that too tight isn't right! ☺ There are so many cute clothes out there, that there is no reason to dress your little darlings like sultry Hollywood actresses! Your article was very encouraging! ☺

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing - it is nice to hear from a mom with grown children :)

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  6. I am with you...I was raised strictly, in a Christian home. Once out, I had exploration time in my twenties, but slowly came back to where I'd always been, concealing what was not anyone else's to see.
    I clung to flashy jewelry and hairdos for a while, but as my brood grew from one to three, they kind of flew the coop, except for gifts of love from hubby, and a very rare updo.
    Now that I have found a church, modesty takes on a new light, but it was there, under the surface all along. skin and jewelry and just so hair will never a beautiful heart reveal, it is the comeliness of soul that shines, broadcast by the love of God.

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    1. Thanks for your insight! I love that last line :) Blessings to you.

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  7. I love this! Thank you so much for sharing! I will be sharing this on my facebook! :)

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    1. Thank you, Ashley! I appreciate you sharing :)

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  8. My parents raised us this way and it is no biggy to me that if we ever have a daughter she will be raised the same. I have sons however. Thank you for sharing your heart on this (not always popular) topic. As much as I try to teach my sons to view women appropriately, other parents dressing their daughter's modestly goes a long way. Thank you!

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    1. That is a really great point. I have a son as well, and we definitely need more dialogue on this topic to help protect our sons as much as our daughters! Thank you for stopping by!

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  9. I wasn't raised to be modest. It wasn't even having a daughter that changed my opinion...it was my boys...and their wandering eyes.... My daughter is naturally modest thankfully

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    1. Yes, it is definitely something to consider as moms of boys as well! Thanks for stopping by! Blessings to you :)

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  10. I have been coming to the same conclusions. Really great article!

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    1. Thanks, Sharla! I appreciate your feedback :)

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  11. You're absolutely right! I don't want to give anybody who might get some enjoyment out of young girls any reason to stare at my girls. I posted about something similar if you're interested. :)
    http://www.oliveplantsandcornerstones.com/time-for-swimsuits/

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Jillian! I really love the website you shared and your creativity in finding a modest swimsuit! I have been thinking about sewing my own for my daughters - so I really like to see what other people are doing :)Blessings to you!

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  12. Stopping by from Titus 2sday...

    I definitely agree with others who have said that a daughter will change a mama's heart about modesty. I have a son, but modesty is still such a near and dear issue to my heart. I haven't felt convicted to go "skirts-only", but I do strive to be modest, even in my jeans {cannot *stand* tight jeans around my pear-shared figure}.

    As you said, it definitely is a heart issue and we must be careful not to judge others; especially non-Christians {which, we don't really know whether that little girl or her mama were a Christian or not}, because we cannot expect non-Christians to hold to the same standard as we do. Even a Christian who dresses immodestly should be shown much grace and love.

    Thanks for sharing your story and I pray that it would encourage others to evaluate their hearts in the area of modesty.

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    1. We are not a skirts only family either - and we definitely all have to make it a matter of prayer and live by our personal convictions. Thank you for your feedback!

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  13. Thanks for taking the time to write this needed post. Girls and women do more damage than they realize! I am thankful for a godly husband who is open and honest with me about what types of clothing draws men's attention.

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    1. That is so important, Alison! We need to raise men who will be honest about modesty. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  14. What a blessing to see someone else who is actively seeking to keep little girls "little" and teaching them to dress modestly and femininely! It just makes my heart so sad to see little girls dressed up (and then acting like!) they're teenagers! Thank you for training your girls starting when they are young! May the Lord bless you with wisdom and grace!

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    1. Thank you, Sarah. I want to keep my girls little as long as I can! Blessings to you :)

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  15. Thank you for standing up for the cause. I think I heard it on Focus on the Family (some 20 years ago) when my first daughter was young to dress them as modestly as you want them to dress when they are older. Just one pieces for us. Later I gave in to the tankini if it looked modest. No strappy dresses or strapless. Baby bikinis have no way of staying in place anyway. Swim team was a challenge not because of the one-piece but the sheerness of it. See my post on swimsuit modesty and no nipple show through:
    http://www.thelostapron.com/2013/01/swim-team-swimsuit-modesty.html

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Ana. I imagine that swim team would be a challenge! I have found that sports tend to be a tricky area to keep our daughters' modest. Good for you taking matters into your own hands :)

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  16. I dressed my daughter modestly from the time she came home from the hospital. She is now a lovely, confident 21 year old woman. Thank you for taking the time to share this with everyone.

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  17. Lovely post! It's a concept that needs to be discussed more. Thanks for sharing : )

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  18. I loved this post! I am just starting my journey of modest dress for both myself and my daughter and am meeting a lot of resistance from people around me who do not understand and think it is some "wonky phase" which it isn't, for me it was a realization that I was trying to change my life but I was still showing the world a bad example of what I wanted thought of me.
    Thank you again!
    Jessica
    http://www.antibradybunch.com

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  19. There are a lot of information that shows how we ladies got the way we are today in unfeminine and immodest clothing. It is hard now because immodesty has become our culture. The only way it will change at all and indeed the only way I have seen change is when ladies had prayed and were convicted by God. http://www.modestchristian.com. Jessica I like you have had a lot of resistance for dressing feminine and modest. I will keep you in prayers

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  20. I am not going to take the time to explain how wrong this is. Google "victim blaming." Google "sexualization of young bodies." Google "IT'S HER GODDAMN CHOICE TO DRESS HOW SHE WANTS AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SHOWING SKIN." If you think like this, you should not be a parent.

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  21. Ahhh, thanks for blocking my comment about victim blaming and how clothing is not to blame for a man being pervy. Good to know your comments section is representative of what people REALLY think, and that you don't censor people who disagree with you!

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    1. I did not block your comment - I do not block any comments (other than spam), but I have been on hiatus from blogging for over a year now, so I do not check the blog very often. I apologize for not seeing your comment sooner.

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