Modesty. It’s not exactly a popular subject, is it? For most, the word elicits thoughts of Amish women covered from head to toe, Muslim women hidden behind their burkas, or frumpy, formless dresses. That’s not how I see it, however. I see it as a beautiful, feminine, even (gasp!) fashionable solution to a big problem facing our daughters today.
Yes, I said problem. I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to discussing that our culture has a major problem in the modesty department. When I walk past the baby aisle and see little outfits like this, it’s clear to me that we have a pretty big problem on our hands. Sure, it may seem cute and innocent to some, but let’s think for a moment about what this is really doing in the long run. Bathing suits like that on babies leads to bathing suits like this on little girls. And bathing suits like that on little girls leads to bathing suits like this on teens. And bathing suits like that on teens leads to bathing suits like this on young women. I think you get the idea. When we begin instilling these sorts of values in the minds of growing girls, we are ingraining in them the idea that this is an acceptable and desirable way of presenting themselves to the world. We are sending subtle messages to their young, impressionable minds that their bodies are objects to be displayed, and that their worth is measured by how much skin they show and how sexy they can be. Do not be deceived – there is nothing innocent or sweet about instilling thoughts of sex-appeal in a toddler. Trust me, I know firsthand that it’s easier to teach a child self worth from a young age than it is to un-teach those sorts of ideas when it really begins to matter.
When I look at my daughters and think of their future, I do not wish to see them with men who devalue them. Honestly, I see red when I consider the idea of a teenage boy lusting after one of my daughters. (And I’m just the mom! You do not even want to know the murderous thoughts that go through my husband’s head when thinks of boys having impure thoughts about his little girls!) There’s no denying that sex sells – but girls should not be selling themselves. Our daughters are worth so much more. When the world looks at my girls, my hope is that the world will see who they really are: their love for others, their generous spirits, their wonderful personalities. As their mother, it is my God-given responsibility to teach them how to clothe themselves in a way that allows the world to see their countenance and not their sex appeal. The Lord has given me four beautiful little girls – but their real beauty is in their love for the Lord and the fact that they are daughters of the King of Kings. THAT is true beauty that will never fade with age, and it is the beauty that shines above anything the fashion industry can offer.
Mothers, fathers, caregivers, it’s time for a change. Let’s teach our daughters to value modesty. Let’s teach our sons to value women who value themselves. Let’s raise our children to know that there is more to life than the fleeting pleasures of the flesh. Let’s teach them what TRUE worth looks like, and let’s begin my modeling it ourselves.