Heart Reflections Live
Sunday, August 06, 2006
How We Teach Modesty to Our Daughters
It can be scary raising girls in today's society where dress standards have dropped so dramatically. I feel blessed to have grown up with a mother who always set a good example for me in that area. I was born in 1967 & throughout my childhood I can always remember my Mum wearing modest dresses & dressing them up with stockings & nice shoes whenever we went to town. She only wore slacks when it was very cold. There may have been a pair of jeans hiding in her wardrobe, but I can hardly remember them seeing the light of day. She followed in the footsteps of her mother who was always a picture of modest elegance.
My! How standards have dropped in the last 40 years! Most clothing now is either hardly there, downright ugly, ripped or torn, or so androgenous you can't tell if one is male or female.
The saddest thing of all is how dress standards have dropped in the Church. I can understand an unbeliever coming to Church dressed immodestly. We need to accept them & love them into the kingdom of God, but why isn't anyone preaching modesty to the believers anymore? It's part of the practical side of basic New Testament teaching: 1Tim 2:9-10, 1 Peter3:3-4. I rarely hear these books preached on from the pulpit these days.
So much of the world has seeped into the Church, it's hard to tell the difference between the two.
Does not the Bible say in Titus 2:11-15,
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness & worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;Who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."
The main reason is so that we don't stumble our brothers in Christ. Men have been designed to be stimulated by the visual. Life can be full of temptations for them in the work or marketplace-why make life hard for them when they're trying to worship God?
So how do you train your daughters to embrace modesty & femininity in a world that screams otherwise?
We haven't figured it out fully, but here are some of the things we do:
1. Set a good example yourself as a Mother.(Think modest, feminine & tidy- not sloppy)
2. Our 2 little girls are too little at 4 & 2 to understand the stumbling block principle, so we teach them that they are set apart to God & precious, so they must keep their bodies covered & be happy they are girls.
3.Be careful what examples you set before their eyes: We have a lot of old-fashioned prints in our home& vintage children's picture books on the shelves. I like these not only for the good moral stories, but the images of purity & innocence.
4. Our girls don't play with Bratz or Barbie dolls. As an alternative we bought Talitha a very pretty Queen Esther doll & taught her the story too. She also has a modestly dressed Singapore Airlines attendant. Zara has a Disney Jane doll from Tarzan in a very old fashioned yellow dress.
Of course they love their baby & little girl dolls too.
5. We find pretty modest dresses for them usually secondhand. We also have family & friends on the lookout for us too. When they swim they wear a "rash T shirt" & pretty board shorts.
These are just a few things besides prayer that we do with our girls. We will be building on these as they get older. Already Talitha will tell us if she notices that someone is not modestly dressed. We make sure she knows how blessed she is to be taught these things & that other people may not have been taught the whys & hows of modesty. Being modest with a proud heart is pure legalism-that is not what we're aiming for. Still we are pleased that she is discerning modesty from immodesty at such a young age.
We hope to find some like-minded families so we can provide a positive peer influence for the girls as they grow older.
Has anyone else any ideas to share on bringing up little girls to be modest?