One of my good longtime friends, Ben Phillips, is my guest for this post. He recently penned this excellent piece on modesty. Ben is currently serving as the Family Ministry Team Leader at the Arkansas Baptist Convention.
Modest Choices by Ben Phillips
Gaze at the TV, view a hit music video, examine a magazine, saunter through the mall, (dare I say enter a sanctuary?) and it’s easy to observe that modesty is not the fashion trend in today’s American culture. A 2007 report by the American Psychological Association on the sexualization of girls reveals the negative consequences of this pervasive societal drift.
As a father of a teenage daughter and two sons, I’ve wrestled with this issue from a biblical perspective. One writer quotes, “modesty is more about the heart than the hemline.” In order to apprehend modesty correctly, one must inform the heart with Scripture.
As a young girl, my daughter desired to get her ears pierced because “everyone else had theirs pierced.” One of the ways we guided our daughter was requiring her to memorize verses related to modesty, engaging her to think biblically in her approach to outward appearance. We provided a series of verses and asked her to choose at least two passages to memorize. Some of the verses related to modesty that we considered were Proverbs 11:22, 31:30; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:3-4. One of the verses she memorized, Proverbs 11:22 “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion,” has a blunt way of stating a truth she has not forgotten. After she memorized her verses and adequately explained what they meant, she got her ears pierced and new earrings.
However, with the sexualization onslaught in our culture, we realized that we also needed to interact frequently with our children, guiding them to prayerfully make wise modesty decisions from a biblical worldview. One CNN opinion piece titled, “Parents, don’t dress your girls like tramps,” highlights the importance of parents making wise decisions on dressing their children. Parents, just because it is in the store does not mean that it’s appropriate to wear. Make wise choices for your younger children and guide your older children to make wise choices. You also need to be good models in what you wear, read, and watch. “Modesty is always beautiful.”
Looking for some practical wisdom to help you and your daughter make modest decisions related to clothing, then here’s a handout to help:http://purefreedom.org/documents/TruthOrBare_FashionChallenges.pdf