It’s time for another installment of the web series, A Believer’s Character. On Mondays, Joyice Harris of Raising Boys Homeschool and I share posts about the Godly character we hope our children will portray. Meekness is the topic of Joyice’s post, while I’m covering modesty for girls. If you wish to see the list of character traits I’ve already shared, please visit this page, The ABCs of Christian Character.
What is the definition of the word modest?
Modesty is defined as having propriety in dress, speech, and conduct.
What does the Bible say about being modest?
- Modest dress: She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. (Proverbs 31:25)
- Modest speech: But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile a person (Matthew 15:18-20a)
- Modest conduct: Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (I Peter 3:3-4)
Raising modest daughters
How our daughters dress, what they say, and what they do speaks volumes about their personal beliefs. My husband and I hope that our daughters’ clothing, words, and actions will bring glory to God, so we’re teaching them about the importance of modesty now.
We are not emphasizing modesty in an attempt to stifle our daughters’ creativity or personality. We are not stressing modesty in an effort to create silent, subservient beings. But in the midst of society defined by heavily photo-filtered and scantily-clad selfies, crass conversation, and outrageous attention-seeking behavior, we are teaching modesty so that our girls will remember that they are to be different, set apart from the world.
Here are three areas of modesty we focus upon and how we address them:
- Modest dress: When shopping for clothes, we do not purchase pants/shorts/skirts with words emblazoned across the backside, midriff bearing tops, and tight and revealing clothing. Does this mean that our daughters are doomed to a life of turtle necks and ankle length skirts? Certainly not. However, we are selective shoppers seeking clothes that ensure adequate coverage, feature an appropriate fit, and minimize the amount of attention drawn to certain body parts.
- Modest speech: The words our daughters use are important to us as well. We teach them not to belittle others with their words and we remind them of the dangers of using foolish talk just to fit in with others. We teach our daughters that maintaining modest speech also includes forsaking foul language, failing to repeat and/or laugh at dirty jokes, ditching crass conversation, and refusing to engage in gossip. Though other people might find such words necessary, funny, witty, or interesting, we remind them that God does not.
- Modest conduct: Our teachings on modesty also include a focus on using our bodies in a God glorifying manner. This means we teach our daughters to refrain from behaving in certain ways just to gain attention.We also teach them not to use products that can be harmful to them.
Do some people think we’re strange, overbearing, and silly? Of course! Do my husband and I worry about opposition to our stance on modesty? Not one bit.
A prayer for modesty:
Dear Lord, thank you for reminding us of the importance of modesty. Help us to dress, speak, and act in a way that pleases You. When people are drawn to us, let it not be for shallow reasons such as our outward appearance or our smooth way with words. Let people want to get to know us better because we know You. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
© 2014, Andrea Thorpe. All rights reserved.