Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Modesty, Character, and Thongs

What's the best way to convey to our teenage girls that modesty is OK? That it is not a bad word? That it's perfectly alright to not bare your "ta-ta's"(using this phrase from a breast cancer awareness magnet!) in public while wearing a deep v-neck dress or shirt. That no one wants to see what color your thong strap is. That the cute skirt from that cool store in the mall is too short and too tight. Can you guess what our topic of discussion was at our Bible Study last night?

I came home simply overwhelmed at the comments and stories that the high school girls shared. These are precious girls that I have known since they were itty bitty...and most of their parents are friends of mine. The way of the world has a huge vice grip on our children, chickadees! Romans 12:1-2 simply does not resonate in the hearts of some kids and especially not in the hearts of clothes designers! One of the girls shared that she saw an 80 year old lady (in all actuality, the woman was probably a lot younger!) at a gas station bending over, and her thong strap was exposed while wearing low cut jeans. Just because they fit doesn't mean that you have to wear them!

Our attractiveness comes from within, not what's on our bodies--or not on our bods! It's that spirit of the Lord that shines from us. It's our character. It's how we act when we are around others and when we are at home alone with our family--when others don't see us all cutesified and sweet!

I would simply love to have your thoughts, stories, scriptures, and advice as this topic will be revisited! As I heard what the girls see and hear at school, I am silently thinking, " Oh, my word! I am old and getting older by the minute! Things have really changed...I mean REALLY changed since I was in school!!" I have got to be equipped with the Word and godly wisdom if the Lord wants me to continue to work with these girls and be involved in their spiritual walk.

Many Blessings!

19 comments:

Yolanda said...

Susan,

I love how Beth Moore really brought this out in the Esther video.

I am in need of some spring/summer clothes (honeslty a need...braces have caused some pounds to be shed and nothing fits) anyway...I'm coming home empty handed because everything is low cut or clingy.

I am so thankful that you are discussing this with the teens. GO Susan and GO GOD!

Lovingly,
Yolanda

Chatty Kelly said...

Well, a rule of thumb I heard is that if you push down on your shirt in the middle of your chest (in between your breasts) and it springs back, your shirt is too tight. Also with all the cutie tank tops out now, I make my daughter double tank. That is, she wears one "wife beater" tank top (that is really what they are called, I don't know why), and then the cutie tank top over it. All is covered. (She's only 9, but start with the rules, before they argue over them !)

The world says you have to be thin, beautiful, provocative...I don't know how we fight it. We just keep training. Good luck. I look forward to reading the comments here and learning myself!

Gotta Run said...

You have to be in shock every day in car pool line. I know I am!!! It all comes down to respecting yourself enough to not dress like trash. I am FLOORED that all of these parents allow their children to walk around half dressed to begin with.

I can get on my "soap box" when it comes to this subject for sure.

Pat said...

Susan, I love this post! I have a partially completed book project called "Are Pantylines a Sign of Godliness?--Should Christian Women Wear Things?".
I was just talking to my husband about the amount of "TaTa's" that we were privileged to be confronted with at church this past Easter Sunday!!
Thank you for the great WORD!!
Bless you,
pat

Pat said...

That word would be "Thongs---not Things!!". We should definitely wear THINGS!!! Things that COVER!!

Joy in The Truth said...

I heard some of these great "dressing modestly" points at Camp of the Woods last summer:

Palm Pilot - put your palm horizontal at the base of your neck. Your shirt should touch the other side of your hand.

Raise and Praise -- when you put on a shirt, raise your hands and praise the Lord. Your belly should still be covered.

Short check -- put your arms down at your sides. Shorts should be no shorter than your fingertips.

Dressing in a way that honors God and does not draw attention to our flesh.

Carol said...

I think this is truly a confidence issue. If you feel good about yourself, you don't have the need to flaunt it.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Reminds me of my recents posts on purity...

It's a ferocious battle, to keep vigilant and to be the purity police for our children ... and ourselves! Vicky Courtney has some wonderful books/resources on the topic. Her blog is listed on my sidebar.

Thanks for being willing to invest in the lives of these girls. Keep to it.

peace~elaine

On Purpose said...

Susan I am SO excited that you are working with these young women. Continue to seek Him...read His word and He will give you all you need to help lead these girls to His heart. It is His job to reveal to them their worth, their beauty...only He has the right words that make us truly know our worth. I am praying for you, these wonderful girls and knowing God is working in some great and amazing ways!

Wendy Blight said...

As the mother of a fifeen year old daughter, I see what you are talking about every day!!! It is unbelievable. I feel the same way...do these girls not have parents that stop them at the door and tell them to change???

It can also make for awkward moments for dads at times. What makes me really sad is that some of the girls who bare the most are girls that faithfully attend Young Life and worship. Somewhere along the way, a very important message is being lost, and I am so thankful for women like you who are on the front lines, teaching godliness, modesty, and purity!!!

Sweet blessings to you,

Wendy

Kimberly said...

Oh, Susan!
What an important topic! I will be praying that God will give you wisdom...cutting edge wisdom :) straight from the Lord that will resonate with these precious young women. :)

This is an area I am already having to discuss with my daughters...and so I hope you will share what you are learning and sharing with all of us. I can use all the help I can get! ;)

Love to you!
K

Susan said...

Susan,

If only you could of heard me shouting AMEN-AMEN-AMEN!!!!!

I'm so blessed to know these young girls have you to mentor them and teach them the TRUTH.

There is a really great article on modesty by Melody Green. Great to pass out to the girls.

Praying for you as you teach them.

Some adults need some teaching as well, sad to say!

Blessings!

Jason and Brook said...

Probably the best compliment I have ever gotten I recieved from a 17 year old girl and her mom. We have been going through many things in our lives which could have made me be angry, depressed, what have you. But I have been so at peace because of God's presence in my life. Anyhow, I digress. Lisa, the mom, told me that she and Rachel had been talking and wanted me to know that when they think of
1 Peter 3:3-4, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, 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"
that they think of me. I WAS FLOORED!

Teenage girls and moms of teenage girls,
I pray that you too will be beautiful not from natural beauty or adornment, but from the radiance that shines through you because you are a child of the King and you seek His face more than anything else.

Prayerfully yours,
Brook

KelliGirl said...

Susan,
God bless you for jumping right into it with those girls...to guide them in a godly way and help them navigate this very confusing world. Lord, knows our teenagers (especially girls) need it!

I wish I could offer some clever, insightful advice, but I, too am taking it day by day as a parent. Yes, girls want to be fashionable, but they need to know where the line is and when they've crossed it. As one of your commenters said, a lot of it comes down to self-confidence.

Hugs and blessings,
Kelli

Keep up the good work!

Becky said...

Oh my goodness! Amen, Susan! I have a 9 year old and I have strived to instill some modesty in her. So far, we haven't had any conflicts...of course, she's only nine and has not hit the tween mark yet. I don't think it's cute or lady-like for any woman, regardless how wonderfully in shape her body is, to let anything hang out. I believe God meant for a woman's body to hold mystery. There's no mystery if the whole world is gawking at it on a daily basis.

Looking forward to how this talk pans out...Keep us updated!

:) Becky

Renee Swope said...

What an amazing investment you are making in these girls' lives. I wish I had a "Suan" in my life when I was a teenager! I have two boys and I am praying God will bring them a wife who values modesty and Godliness. I also pray for their eyes, their hearts and their minds to be protected.

Shari Braendel has a powerful video she shows teen girls of her interviewing boys about their perception and perspective of how girls dress at school and church. Wonder if she could post it for you to use.

What you are teaching and instilling is so important - keep running your race with endurance!!

Renee

PS. I've been meaning to pop by to say hi and tell you that I heard about your run in with the coyote! I was praying for your recovery. I think about you often when I run! Blessings!

Melanie said...

I am all for modesty but also for looking up to date and modern.
The problem I encounter is that #1 I am short. #2 I am a DD on top...just keepin' it real. So If I wear a top that is loose fitting, then I look like a "thumb." I do not want to look like a "thumb." So to find a top that is fitted through the torso thereby avoiding looking "thumb-y" sometimes it is snugger than I would like in the bust. I try to wear lightweight cardigans to help with that but again, I live in Florida. So it is all a struggle and I do my best to find the balance. I just feel we should all be sensitive to varying body types because if you are not curvy then you may not have an issue with flattering clothes that fit well. But I am all for modesty and don't even wear a bathing suit on our beautiful beaches. I wear running clothes instead.
Camisoles with adjustable straps (when you can find them) help hide the cleavage under a cute top that may be a tad too low cut.
'Just my 2 cents worth!
Melanie@Bella~Mella

Melanie said...

I wanted to add that I realize your post was about teenage girls and modest dressing, but teenage girls grow up into women.

Sandy at God Speaks Today said...

I just stopped by to thank you for your comment on my "Holly Day" last week...but then I got sidetracked by your topic and all the comments! My daughter is 10 and we are just now getting into this issue. Fortunately, she wears a uniform to school and her friends all dress modestly (at present). She mostly wants to dress like me...she calls me her "fashion icon."

I'm not that fashionable, but it makes me really watch what I wear. Can't tell you how many times I get dressed to go out, and my daughter comes down the stairs 10 minutes later looking exacly like me....right down to the flip flops.

I'll be interested in this subject as she grows, for sure!

All that to say...thanks for leaving such a sweet comment on my blog! ha ha

Blessings,
Sandy