Modesty. What does that mean?

I think if you have the opportunity to talk to a young person today and you ask the question, “what is modesty?” You’d get a lot of blank stares.

It’s a difficult thing in this day and age to teach your daughter to be modest. Shorts are shorter, dresses are more and more see through and neck lines dip to deeper V’s. We expect our male counter parts to look but don’t touch. Our society works at great lengths to sexualize everything from deodorant commercials to Victoria Secret ads. There is an under current of sexuality everywhere you turn. Not to mention the recently released book Fifty Shades of Grey.

I have always been, for lack of a better word, a prude. When I take a hard-line regarding behavior, what we say, and how we dress I’m often accused of being just that. To my surprise,  I’ve never really minded. I used to think I grew up in the wrong era and maybe so but my conviction has been something my mother instilled many years ago.

In our home it’s a priority for me to teach my daughter modesty, for dress especially. Not only in public but more importantly in church. It hasn’t always been easy but I stress this with my daughter often; church should be a place of least distractions. We have all experienced being in a church service where someones loud apparel, low-cut blouse, or short skirt caught your eye for more than just a second. No, it’s not a rule that we need to cover up or dress in a simple manner in church but I think about it in context of a marriage ceremony. Only the bride wears white. Why? Not because white becomes her complexion. The purpose behind “only the bride wears white” is to make her the focus. So that every eye in the room is on her.

My choice to dress modestly and teach my daughter modesty is so that we are not the focus. I want my  attention to be on Christ and I don’t want my actions to be a distraction for others in their worship. You may say “it’s not my problem that so and so can’t keep their eyes/attention on God”. Galatians clears that up for us. “Bear ye one another burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ”. If we truly love our brothers and sisters their issues become my issues.

Since the feminist movement I’ve been encouraged to be heard. I’ve been applauded if I can “hang with the guys” and I’m not offended at their speech or jokes. I’ve received a pat on the back if my behavior pushed sexual boundaries and decency. I remember growing up hearing the term “talks like a sailor” and it wasn’t a good thing. Today we are encouraged to be colorful in our speech. Hey, if it’s how you feel say it! Do it! We have lost regard for our neighbor.

I’m saddened to read the rave reviews and attention given to the book Fifty Shades of Grey for “helping woman explore their sexuality”. Why aren’t we giving rave reviews for those who stand up for sexual purity? I am personally disgusted at the story line and the fantasy world portrayed to young woman and men for that matter. Sorry guys! It really doesn’t work that way. If you’re a Christian and your gearing up to watch that movie or read that book I would ask you to reconsider.

As a Christian my speech, actions and how I carry myself is a direct reflection of who Christ is. I am a visual representative of Him, an icon. I love the verse in Proverbs that says “Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised”. I want to be honored because of my heart and spirit not for what I wear or don’t wear; not for how far I push the envelope.

“Let your light so shine before men , that they may see your good works (not your clothes, actions, or racy speech) and glorify your Father in heaven”.

That’s the legacy I want to leave my daughter. That’s my prayer.


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