We live in a society full of plunging necklines, short shorts, exposed bellies, and skirts that barely cover one’s undergarments. We need to be more intentional about teaching our daughters that modesty is important because society is teaching them that it’s not.
How Do I Teach Modesty to my Daughter?
Kids watch us. We all know that kids are more likely to do as we do, instead of as we say. So I think that one of the most powerful ways to teach our girls to be modest is to dress modestly ourselves.
I talk to Annie about how it’s important she she doesn’t let her underwear show when she’s sitting and wearing a skirt (this is another reason why I usually have her wear something under a skirt. She’s getting so used to it that she usually puts on a pair of leggings under a dress without being reminded.) I also explain to her that she needs to keep her belly and chest covered. If one of her skirts or dresses or shorts are getting too short, I point it out to her so that she will learn when to recognize what is too short.
As she’s getting older, I’ll also be talking to her at an age appropriate level about what the Bible has to say about the way we dress and present ourselves.
9 And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. 10 For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.
1 Timothy 2:9-10 NLT
I think my daughter is beautiful but I don’t want her growing up thinking that how she looks is the best way to attract attention. God looks at our hearts and it’s Him we need to stand in front of on Judgment Day!
19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT
I want my daughter to realize that her body is not her own. I want her to ask herself if the clothing she chooses honours God or not.
12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.
1 Peter 2:12 NLT
We live in a very judgmental society. Unfortunately, Christianity has a bad reputation of being filled with hypocrites. If we want other people to take God seriously we need to show them that we take Him seriously. Not just with our talk, but with our walk as well. Actions speak louder than words!
What Does Modesty Look Like for the Girls in My Family?
Everyone has different convictions about modesty. Some families choose for the girls to wear only skirts or dresses. Others are OK with pants but not shorts. I’m not trying to tell you “you need to do it my way.” That’s between you, your family, and God. But here are some examples of what modesty means for the girls in my family.
It means that we don’t wear revealing bathing suits. I finally found myself a modest swimsuit that was totally affordable, and I don’t buy a bikini bathing suit for Annie. She does have a regular bathing suit, but I’m keeping my eyes open for a t-shirt and shorts style bathing suit when I go shopping.
It means that Annie usually wears shorts or leggings under her skirts or dresses because well, she’s 4. She likes to run and play and roll somersaults and it’s hard to keep your underwear hidden when you’re doing these activities.
It means that I wear longer shorts and skirts. I prefer around knee level or longer. Annie does have some shorter shorts because it’s hard to find longer ones for little girls.
It means that we don’t wear shirts with low necklines unless we’re wearing a tank top or camisole underneath.
It means that I don’t wear spaghetti strap tops.
It means that I don’t wear a lot of make-up. Actually, I don’t wear any. I’m not against make-up, I’m just too cheap and lazy to bother with it. I think make-up is fine as long as one isn’t putting it on for the sole purpose of trying to attract attention from the opposite sex to her face.
Disclaimer: I do realize that it’s important to talk to boys about appropriate dress as well, but that’s a topic for another post! My boys aren’t quite as an age where we have crossed that bridge yet.
How do you teach your daughters about modesty? What does modesty look like in your home?