but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
A while back I talked a little bit about modesty. About how I am trying to figure out how to go about teaching Little A about the importance of modesty and about her body being a temple.
Thinking about all of that stuff and about how important it is, I started to try to think of ways to teach it. How to build great self esteem into my kids and how to teach them that every part of them has a purpose and was designed by God.
But then of course when my brain starts jumping a million steps forward to how things may look when my little girl is not so little anymore, I start to worry. I start to wonder if I will push things too far the other way.
I dont want to raise a child that thinks that they are better than anyone else because I am constantly trying to build their self esteem.
My goal is to have a child that sees value in themselves but also in others. That they will see Gods design in everything and will find ways to appreciate those amazing and vastly different designs.
I dont want to raise a child that feels ashamed of their body because I try to teach them to cover up and respect themselves.
I want to teach that modesty is important and that there is value in saving themselves for marriage. But that their body is prefect how God made it. That woman is designed to be appealing to men, (and vice versa). That God made us with hips and breasts and everything else, to stir desires in the hearts of man. But that wearing skimpy clothing attracts desires of most men and can cause them to stumble.
There is a time and place for everything, and someday our kids will need to be able to feel attractive and sexy in their own skin, and that is a good thing.
So whats the plan you ask...
1. Teach her biblical modesty and that we should be clothed in the righteousness of Christ.
I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes,but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
1 Timothy 2:9-10
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
1 Peter 3:3-4
I delight greatly in the Lord;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
2. Teach them that they themselves and all people were created by God and have a purpose and plan for their lives.
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
2 Timothy 1:9
3. Teach them that they should not cause others to stumble.
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
1 Corinthians 8:9-13
Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. So watch yourselves.“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.
4. Teach them to not awaken love before it is time.
This is something my dad has told me a million or more times in my life.
It always drove me crazy to hear him say it but looking back I understand.
Once you are in love there are desires and passions that awaken that it is hard to avoid and tame as a young person. The best thing to do is to not awaken love, to just wait, to be friends with the opposite sex without dating.
I had so many friends growing up that dated and broke up over and over again with more people than I could count. They got their hearts broken over and over and were left with scars that have changed them.
Because of what my parents taught me, I learned to be a friend first. I learned that I could get to know someone without dating them and easily figure out if they would be the kind of person I would want to marry. Most people I know use the reasoning of wanting to learn what they want in a spouse by dating many people, how else would you know if you could marry them. But I have been friends with many guys over the years and I have only ever dated one man, and I married him.
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you
by the gazelles and by the does of the field:
Do not arouse or awaken love
until it so desires.
Song of Songs 2:7
5. I will model modesty and righteousness to the best of my abilities.
My mom was a great example of how to behave as a God fearing woman. She dressed appropriately, spoke kindly and lovingly of everyone, and she wasn't sheepish about telling us what was appropriate or not.
I am not saying that my kids will never see my belly for fear of teaching them to be immodest. I am just saying that I will try to speak highly of myself instead of tearing myself apart. I will appreciate the way that my God made me and the plans he has for me. I will wear clothing that is not flashy or skimpy, or that costs a lot.
I will be happy in the basics because God has not blessed us with money to waste on fancy clothes, he has given us money so that we can bless others. We will not be wasteful or excessive in how we live, modesty is not just in how we dress, but how we live. We do not need a fancy house or an expensive car, there are people who live with much less than we have and they are happy.