I sit in my sun porch as the warm breeze caresses my face. It has been deliciously warm and sunny the last couple weeks. The birds sing their lovely melody, the trees rustle in the wind, and the smell of freshly cut grass fills the air. And life emerges once again.
As I breathe in the delightful air, I think to myself, “What could spoil this perfect spring day?” And then my teenage daughter walks in and tells me she wants to go swimsuit shopping. And it hits me. “Oh yeah . . . swimsuit season, that’s what!”
I dread swimsuit season. And not just because I am a middle age woman who has birthed 2 kids (that’s another post altogether!), but because I have teenage daughters.
I don’t need to tell you that modesty is not a culturally popular concept in this country. Anyone who walks the streets, watches tv or social media, or goes in the juniors department of a clothing store, can see it.
Much like chivalry, modesty is a lost art. Super sexy, super skimpy swimsuits and shorts fill the shelves at stores where teenagers shop. And the sexy stuff is always in the juniors departments. Is it just me, or is this totally backwards?!
Why does our culture want teenage girls to be super sexy and show as much skin as possible? It doesn’t make sense.
Most people would probably agree that we shouldn’t be encouraging teenagers to have sex. Yet, the message that we put out there says the exact opposite. Why do we market the sexiest things to teenagers?! It’s crazy!
Being a conservative Christian family, we talk about God’s model for sex in marriage. Let’s go a step further and say that “sexy” not just “sex” is for marriage too.
“Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” 1 Timothy 2:9-10
Teenagers flaunting their sexuality just invites trouble. Let’s not encourage our daughters to hang out on the cliff of temptation.
The last thing parents want to do is create an environment where teenagers are constantly thinking about sex. But, that is exactly what we are doing. Young girls in skin tight jeans, ridiculously short shorts, and yoga pants that leave nothing to the imagination are the norm. This only creates distraction for the boys and objectifies the girls.
What does God’s Word have to say about modesty?
I don’t think that any teenage girl would appreciate being compared to something in a pig’s snout! Ha!
Most teenage girls have adorable, cute bodies. Ahhh, I remember those days! Perfect time to show it off, right?! Wrong! We want our daughters to become women of character. And modesty will get them there.
Teenage girls need to learn that even though they could wear the shortest shorts or the string bikini and look sexy, it is far more valuable to be a young woman of character. “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,” the old adage says.
Wearing skimpy and provacative clothes can lead to a misguided self-worth. If girls are getting a lot of attention because of their bodies or their pretty face at a young age, they may never really learn their God-given value. And they may struggle with their identity for the rest of their lives.
This has been a huge struggle in my life. And, to this day, I have a really difficult time feeling like I have value beyond my appearance. It is sad. And I don’t want my girls to struggle like I have.
Teenage girls need to know that they don’t have to show off their bodies to be OK.
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
My daughters, however, see what the stores sell and what most of their friends wear. They wonder, “Why shouldn’t I be able to wear a bikini when everyone else is?” I wonder, “Why aren’t there modest choices?”
As a parent of teenage girls, I feel like David and Goliath when it comes to modesty. And I’m not sure the slingshot is going to do the trick.
In the midst of our sex-crazed society, how do we teach our daughters the importance of modesty?