I don't know if any of you remember the series I have been working on about training daughters...it has been so long since I have written, I would not blame you if you had. The packing, moving and setting up house has kept me from pressing on in this area, but today I am back with my second installment concerning modesty. If you missed part one, you may find it here.
First and foremost, modesty begins with the heart. I cannot stress this enough. It is possible for a woman to be dressed modestly on the outside, but yet not have a heart for modesty and purity. God is the one who judges the heart. So, we set standards for our daughters and let them continually know that even though we are setting up these standards outwardly, the standards they have before God on the inside is what matters most. I do not, however, believe a woman can dress immodestly on the outside and still be modest on the inside.
Once again, I want to stress that these are our family standards…through prayer and with guidance from your husband, your family must adopt what you believe the Lord is telling you. Here are some more guidelines we have set up for our family.
1) We have chosen not to wear shorts. If we did wear shorts, they would be the longer kind that comes to the knee. I don't know if women and young girls really understand the temptation it is for our brothers in Christ when most of the leg is exposed. Unfortunately, with the short shorts and daisy duke style, our brothers have to combat this from every turn. We decided as a family that we would rather travel further on the side of modesty than the other way.
2) We make sure our tops are long enough to cover our midriffs even when we stretch up our arms. That is always an easy test to do.
3) Our skirts that we wear are quite long…coming midway down the shin or close to the ankle. They are free flowing and not figure hugging. Just because you wear skirts does not mean you can't look fashionable. It is harder and harder to find skirts that are modest, but they are out there. I hope to share with you soon some of the places that we shop and how we find modest clothing for decent prices.
4) Although it is a personal decision of our family to wear dresses and skirts mainly, we do not believe it is a matter of sin if you do not. We do not break fellowship with others who wear pants. That has never been an issue with us. We like the idea that our girls look feminine. When they are wearing dresses or skirts, there is no denying that they are girls. They sit more feminine and it does not inhibit them in anyway from playing or anything else. We do, however, have them wear leggings under their skirts/dresses when climbing trees, swinging, etc. so they will remain modest. There are rare times when it is more modest, in my opinion, to wear some type of pants. For instance, my daughter and I frequent the chiropractic office for care. We have to lay down on the table and the doctor has to move our legs up and down often to check for misalignment. We have found capri pants to be much more suitable in this circumstance to keep us modest.
I never really thought that what I wore would be a huge statement about myself to others. But, there have been several occasions where men have commented on my attire. When I was in a restaurant one day that I frequented quite a bit, the manager approached me one day and said, "Your husband must be very proud of the way you dress." There was nothing fancy about what I had on; it was just that there were so many women bombarding the eye gates of the men in this place that someone who was modest was a welcome to them. Another time when I was leaving a store, an older man stopped me and said, "It is so nice to actually see a woman dressing like a woman." Once again, nothing flashy at all about what I had on…just a clean skirt and blouse. What you wear matters. It is a statement to those around you. Pray about what you would like your daughters to "say" through their clothing to those around them. Remember…we are raising the King's daughters. Make sure they are bringing honor to their Heavenly Father in this area.