Saturday, February 10, 2018

Modesty Problems are PARENTING Problems

You know when you read something and it really strikes you as, "yes! Right on!" Then you stew on it a while...and a while longer...and pretty soon you're totally fired up about the whole thing and ready to take on the world? Yeah. That's me today.

Early this morning, I read an article from my friend, Jacque at Deep Roots at Home, about modesty and raunchiness in our culture and it really struck a chord with me. Partly because the idea of requiring modesty of yourself and your daughters seems like a no brainer to me and I have a hard time understanding parents who don't. Partly because I was one of those girls who had no modesty requirements and got a lot of attention and advances, and a whole lot of other bad stuff happened because I flaunted myself like a flippin' floosie.

When Lynzie was a little girl (and the boys were young too), I felt very convicted to get rid of most of the Barbie dolls. She never owned a Bratz doll. We ditched Hannah Montana super fast. I got a lot of flak for that---lost friends over it---even family changed the way they treated us. In fact, I can't tell you the number of "friends" (and yeah, family too, actually...) who have decided to stop being "friends" because they couldn't handle my supposed "superior" attitude about the way I was raising my kids.

Of course, I wondered all the time if I was too harsh. Was my daughter going to turn out weird? Were my boys going to be nerdy---like the gross kind of nerdy? Was I going to be stuck with these kids for the rest of my life because I hadn't prepared them for the "real world"???

To sum it up, my fears were entirely unfounded and my sense of caution was from the Lord. Now that Lynzie is grown and is obviously choosing to be who she is, I don't feel so "braggy" talking about her good character. She values modesty and purity. She knows she was created to worship God and serve him, rather than to worship culture and serve herself. Her standards have always been higher than my own.

...and my boys? They're gentlemen. They are uncomfortable when the girls around them are dressed skimpy. They don't see it as sexy---they see it as someone's parent not doing a great job of protecting their daughter's innocence. They don't give attention to girls who flaunt themselves in words or in actions. ...and they're not even gross-nerdy. They're actually sort of babelicious, from what I hear.

In the early days, "well-meaning" (read: ignorant) people would warn us we were "sheltering" the kids. I started out thinking that was a bad thing. Then I got a swift kick into God's reality that showed me that's exactly the point of parenting. A shelter has windows, it has doors, it's not inescapable and it doesn't mean the rest of the world is inaccessible. A shelter merely provides a safe place of comfort from the garbage of the world. I shelter my husband, these days, way more than I do my kids, and it's come 20 years later than it should have.

If you have kids, parent them. Parent them according to God's standards---not according to the world's. If you're a Christian parent, you hear that all the time. This time, actually follow that hearing up with action. Require a change in your daughter who rebels against modesty. Don't ignore that voice in your head that tells you her clothes are too tight, too short, too revealing. Stop puffing up with pride when men ogle your underage daughter. You are not liberating her---you are setting her up for a life in bondage to what she can offer a man physically and with her outward appearance. ...and in case you're not one of the tiny minority of eternal Barbie dolls, you know outward appearances fade in time. Then what will she have to offer?

Focus on cultivating a heart of modesty, integrity, service, compassion, kindness. Yes, she might find herself at "Sweet 18 and never been kissed", but she'll also have such a full and creative life that finding a guy will be one goal out of many.

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  1. Thank you Sarah. As a mom of three young ladies I'm always concerned about modesty. We don't share the same modesty standards but I try to do my best to make sure they are not dressed in a way that will cause men to lust after them.

    If some man "drools" over any of my daughters even if they are dressed in "potato sacks" he will be very sorry, that's for sure!

  2. A very good post Sarah. My kids are all grown now but boy was it hard when my girls were in their pre-teen years to find clothes that were even remotely modest. It was such a struggle and battle 15 years ago so I can't imagine the pressures on young moms TODAY. I definitely think boys are 'easier' to deal with in this department that girls. My son never was one for 'trends' and we rarely had arguments over what he was wearing. The girls, that was another story. I think one thing that has helped is a strong relationship with their dad. Even today, my 26 year old girls will hop up on his lap and hug him and say how much they love their dad. He always took them on 'dates' and spent time with them and to this day is a better 'encourager' to them than me! Girls definitely need the influence and opinions of a godly dad!

  3. Great post, Sarah! Totally agree and was a very alert mom in my day to train my daughter in modesty and femininity. I hate most of the things being passed off as toys to children today, and was vigiliant regarding the kind of toys my kids had--not trendy and no regrets. Today, they are responsibly leading their own homes and children. My daughte delivers her first (little boy) in April and is planning to homeschool. She's designing a minimalist nursery. Modesty is taught and passed on generation to generation. Yes--Jacque writes well on this topic. Love you both!

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  5. Well written my dear! Can't wait to see you next week.
    You made the right choices.

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  8. Hear, hear. I agree. To shelter our tender plants while they are growing sounds like good parenting to me. You would think this would be common sense. How can the opposite be true? The hurt that young girls are experiencing from a simple lack of modesty and purity became apparent to my daughter (age 36) when she taught private violin lessons last year. Her students (who attended the local high school) would tell her about their day and she would cringe (on the inside.) It is actually shocking. Modesty is a guard to purity. If a person of whatever age lacks modesty he lacks true courtesy and you will see (eventually) a host of other virtues abandoned. One of my favorite examples of modesty is Anne Elliot of Persuasion. Thank you for sharing your heart and wise parenting.


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Mrs. Sarah Coller

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