How do you handle issues of modest dress in your house? We tried to establish standards early in our kids lives–mostly for our girls. They didn’t always like what we established…just ask them. For shorts and skirts we set up the “extended arm” length. With arms dropped at their sides, the shorts or skirts couldn’t be above their middle finger. I can’t remember where we got that but seemed like a reasonable measurement to me.
Swimming aparatus (is aparati the plural or singular ??) was always a struggle and I guess it still is. We were insistent on one piece suits for most of their growing years. Certainly not because they had anything to reveal at 7 or 8 years of age but as a model for the future when they would. We still encourage them to think twice about bikini’s and what message they are trying to convey.
Well, it’s prom time. So, our youngest came home with a borrowed dress that looked very nice on her but we just felt it was a bit too low cut. So, we asked her to figure out a way to reduce the “V” to maybe a “U” or a dash “-“. She wasn’t happy but she did figure out a way to close the gap a little and she seemed OK with the adjustment.
We’re not trying to be prudish or anything. And, we aren’t legalistic. It is so hard to raise young girls and women in this society. Especially when most of their friends who come from similiarly parented homes (beliefs, backgrounds, church, etc) don’t necessarily adhere to the same standards.
Why am I sharing this. I don’t know. Maybe it’s cathartic. Maybe I’m just trying to justify our years of “kicking against the goads” on this issue. Or, maybe I’m just trying to encourage some of you that wrestle with the same thing that I think it makes a difference. Our girls seem to consider modesty on their own now. They might want to try something a little more risque in rebellion but as far as I can tell, they shop for appropriate clothing.
If you’ve put modest standards in place for your kids, stick with it. It’s a very difficult battle, in the world AND, unfortunately, even in the church crowd. But, I think it’s worth it. I don’t want my girls advertising too much of their bodies before a young man gets a chance to see their beautiful interior qualities of spiritual and mental maturity. Physical attraction is a given in any relationship that develops. But the body doesn’t need to scream out. It can gently whisper “I’m more than how I look”. Amen?