If you listened to the FamilyLife Today broadcast today, you heard us talking about modesty, and in particular, three reasons a girl chooses to dress immodestly. Here's a brief excerpt from my book, Season of Change: Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose.
My daughter and I went to hear the popular Christian abstinence speaker, Marilyn Morris, a few years ago. Marilyn was speaking to parents about many issues related to purity, and then she segued into a challenging talk on modesty. She said there are three reasons why a girl chooses to dress immodestly.Check out Season of Change by clicking here, and my audio CD, Modesty: Straight Talk to Girls by clicking here. Plus, to learn more about my daughter Danya click here.
She’s uninformed. It’s possible no one has taken the time to educate her about what goes on in a young man’s mind when he sees a girl dressed immodestly.
She’s a tease. Some girls are fully aware of what they are doing. They enjoy the power trip they get from teasing the boys around them. This is cruel, manipulative, and sinful.
She’s easy. Some girls dress immodestly because they are inviting boys to think of them as available for a sexual relationship. They are advertising with their appearance that they are up for grabs.
How is a young man supposed to know which of these categories a girl falls into? According to Marilyn, a typical guy will put a girl in the category that best suits his desires. This is exactly how many girls have found themselves in dangerous situations. Girls need to understand that the way they dress makes a strong statement to the opposite sex about who they are, and it can quickly brand their reputation.
It was at this point that a thirty-something woman in the audience raised her hand. She was wearing a thin, wispy sundress with a scooping neckline. When Marilyn acknowledged her, she stood up and began to debate the modesty issue. “What if none of those reasons are true?” she asked belligerently. “What if you dress that way because it makes you feel pretty?”
Calmly, Marilyn explained that she believed if it made a woman feel pretty to flaunt her body, then it must be that she was uninformed (category one) and that no one had ever explained to her how her clothing choices were affecting the men around her. It would mean the woman was putting her need to feel pretty over her responsibility to not encourage another to sin.
The pull of prettiness, veiled in sensuality, still held a lure for this mom. I think it does for many moms, and that is why so many of our young girls dress immodestly. Assuming that your daughter does not fall into the latter two categories, by the time she is in middle school, you need to have a talk about modesty.
Excerpted from Season of Change: Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose. Copyright © 2008 by Rebecca Ingram Powell. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed for capital gain.