I have been following your blog and absolutely loved the article that Hannah wrote about love. She had some very good thoughts about modesty (or the lack thereof) in some Christian women. I have also been greatly disturbed by the way some godly women allow their daughters to dress and feel very nervous about my husband and five-year-old son being around these “ladies” in short, mid-thigh-length dresses. My son is just about at the right height to see way too much of their legs! I would consider myself to be a middle-aged woman (just turned 40), but I usually wear dresses that come down to my ankle. I want to be a good example to my two daughters (ages 8 and 2) and try my best to dress them in extremely modest apparel. However, I don’t think that our example is enough to overcome fashion though and wish I could do more without actually having to come out and tell these “ladies” that their dresses are too short and immodest. Have you been in this situation in the past? If so, how have you handled it?
Do any of your books address this topic where I could lovingly give one of your books to these young ladies who are getting married but choose to dress immodestly? I think that one of the problems might be that their definition of what is immodest might be different than what you or I call immodest.
Thank you so much for any advice you can give me!
Love in Christ,
Yes! I think Hannah’s book GIFTS would be an excellent choice for that purpose. There is also a series that Hannah and I have done together called PURE ON PURPOSE that is for teen girls, their moms and mentors. It really addresses this topic, too, and is actually appropriate for all the ladies of a congregation to do together. It’s 6 segments on DVD and 7 chapters in a book making it the right size study for one quarter or two, depending on how quickly you go through the material. You are very wise to be careful to teach your children this early in their training. If you do end up teaching this material, just be careful that you don’t make the ladies feel you think a skirt has to be all the way to the ankle to be modest. (I don’t think you would.) Of course, if we ever go to an extreme like that, we end up taking credence from the truth we are trying to teach.
By the way, when we speak of what is immodest, I understand that the Bible does not speak in inches or centimeters about our clothing. Of course, this is because the Bible was written for all cultures of all time. But that does not negate the fact that God does tell us to dress modestly (that means there are necessarily kinds of clothing we can wear that are not modest) in I Timothy 2. He also warns us that when a man looks on a woman to lust after her, he commits adultery in his heart (Matthew 5:18), and that we can partake in the sins of other people when we become the temptation (I Tim. 5:22; Mt. 18:7). This means something practical in our wardrobe choices. It has to. Christians who are reasonable in our culture understand that we simply cannot dress like the society around us today because we live in an undressed society. I would especially recommend the quotes submitted by guys in the modesty chapter in GIFTS. These quotes were originally taken from a book called GIRL TO GIRL, of which Hannah was one of the authors. These quotes are very telling and helpful to those who are really attempting to help men keep pure hearts and harness their thoughts within the will of God. If we really want to be modest, we can ask some “mirror” questions that will help us achieve our goals, beginning with “Would I wear this if I knew I would run into Christ himself at work, school, or the mall today?” We should remember that we will do just that. He is aware of all of our choices and even the motivations behind them. The motivation should always be pleasing Him and helping others to please him. That’s agape.