Teaching Modesty to Our Daughters

by June Fuentes on September 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

We have a special guest post from The Modest Mom today…

 

As mothers, we have an awesome and exciting responsibility to teach our daughters what being a lady is all about. The best way we can teach them is to show them what it looks like by living it in our own lives.

One thing I am working on passing on to my young daughters is how to look like a lady. I want to show my daughters the attitude of modesty by the spirit I carry and by what I wear.

I was blessed to have a mother who taught me from a young age how to conduct myself as a lady. She saw the importance of raising her daughters to look feminine and modest. Having gone through experiences in life she regretted, she didn’t want us susceptible to the crude comments and gawks and stares of young men visually enjoying a young lady displaying her body for all to see.

At times I did not understand why my mother was so strict. Necklines had to be high, hemlines had to be low. But as a mother of young daughters now, I get it.

I want my daughters to grow up and earn respect from the men around them by how they act and dress.

So how do I show them what modesty looks like?

By being modest myself. You will notice I said by being modest. This, of course, includes looking modest as well as so much more.

By looking modest, I decided the easiest way to do this was to wear dresses and skirts most of the time. I actually have done this since I was 9, but made the decision as an adult to continue it. There are times where I feel pants are actually more modest because of the activity I’m doing, but for the most part I have found almost everything can be done in a skirt. I by no means think I’m extra holy or godly because I do this, it’s just the easiest solution I found in how to look modest. Plus, when I put a pair of jeans on, my children tell me I look like daddy, which is not how I want to look every day. 🙂

Concerning the looking part, here are a few check list points that I stop and consider when I am shopping and trying on clothes.

* When I bend over, does my shirt gape where everyone can see my undergarments?

* Can a baby/toddler easily pull my shirt down when they are on my lap?

* Even though a skirt might be long, is it skin tight in the back where every curve is shown and undergarment lines easily seen?

* When I sit down on the floor to play with my children, can I be covered up or will I be tugging at my skirt constantly to keep it down below my knees?

* How would I feel running into someone I know wearing this outfit?

It gets discouraging to go to the thrift store or department store and shop when it seems I have to put back 80% of what I try on. But I know it’s worth it. I don’t want to be the type of woman that makes men stop and gawk, and I definitely don’t want that happening with my young daughter present.

A recent solution I have found for the ever present problem of low cut shirts is this modest layering shell. Since it only goes below your bust line, I have been able to wear it while I’m pregnant, and can wear some really cute tops and dresses that I normally would not have been able to wear!

With winter time coming, the common problem I hear ladies say is they can’t wear dresses during the cold winter months. When I was a girl growing up in the 90’s, we took advantage of the popular stirrup leggings look, but wore them under our dresses. Now I wear knee highs and Cuddle Duds (which are so soft and warm) under my dresses, and can still look cute and fashionable, but modest! With young daughters it is very easy to find leggings to put under their dresses to keep them warm.

Now what about the other part of modesty? Outward appearance is so easy to focus on, but inward modesty is just as important. We can don the most conservative of outfits, and yet be proud and haughty towards others.

The Websters 1828 dictionary has an excellent definition of modesty.

“In females, modesty has the like character as in males; but the word is used also as synonymous with chastity, or purity of manners. In this sense, modesty results from purity of mind, or from the fear of disgrace and ignominy fortified by education and principle. Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of their honor.”

We are to be chaste, pure, and sweet. I would add, not lifted up in pride, not being loud, boastful, or trying to be the life of the party. These attitudes reflect those who have a modest spirit.

As females, let us rejoice in being ladies. Don’t be embarrassed by your femininity, rather embrace it and pass it on to your lovely daughters by your words, conduct, and appearance.

 

Caroline Allen is blessed to be the wife of her first and only love, and mother to four (soon to be five!) children seven and under. Thanks to the wonderful influence of her godly mother who went to be with the Lord last year, she is a homemaker and homeschooler. She has a business called The Modest Mom, where she offers feminine and fashionable maternity and women’s clothes. Caroline is also a consultant for Lilla Rose, where you can find beautiful hair clips and more. She blogs at The Modest Mom Blog, in between homeschooling little ones, doing dishes, and shipping orders for her business.

 

Thank you so much for sharing with us, Caroline!

 

June Fuentes

June Fuentes is the happy wife to Steve and blessed homeschooling mother to eight beautiful children that they are raising for the Lord. She has a heart to see mothers all around the world grasp the vision of biblical motherhood and to see this noble role restored in the 21st century to the glory of God. June strongly believes that weak homes equate a weak nation and therefore blogs at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home to minister to Christian women on how to build up strong Christian homes. She is also the owner of Raising Homemakers, and is the author of the encouraging eBooks, True Christian Motherhood and How to Build a Strong Christian Home. She is the founder of Wise Woman Consulting, her service to teach women how to successfully make money blogging at home and a consultant for Lilla Rose, where you can find unique and beautiful hair products. She would love for you to join her on the journey to biblical womanhood on Facebook and Twitter at @wisewomanbuilds.

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{ 30 comments }

kewkew September 23, 2011

Awesome post. I have been wearing dresses/dressing modestly for 16 years (though I grew up wearing skirts and dresses I insisted on wearing pants when I was in junior high to be like others). I started going to a Conservative Mennonite church with a friend about 18 years ago. I no longer go to the same church and the church we do attend doesn’t stress modesty (it is a liberal Mennonite church) which makes it harder for me to explain to my girls why they are wearing modest dresses.

I know people can’t seem to understand why I wear dresses in the winter time. “Aren’t you cold?” Seems to me being able to wear leggings or whatever underneath dresses would make it warmer as we have an extra layer. I have to mention it is hard to find the warm thick tights for little girls though. I know my friend from the old church used to order them from some Mennonite place or something. I would love to be able to find them again.

Katie September 23, 2011

Just had to laugh at “stop and gawk”? Not sure that’s quite what men do when a women walks by them in pants. 🙂 Great post, but I don’t think I’ve ever read a post that doesn’t sound condescending in some way on this topic. I’m extremely modest, but thankfully my kids don’t have a stereotype of pants equaling looking like “daddy”.

Caroline @ The Modest Mom September 23, 2011

Katie,

I worded it the way I did because that very thing happened to my older sister several times when she became a teenager and was still wearing pants. She was tall and thin, wearing tight jeans. She was innocent to it, but my parents saw it happening and that’s when the convictions really started coming for them in how we dressed.

Mom's Heart September 23, 2011

Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful! We are working on this very thing right now. God is truly convicting me in how I should be raising my daughters. It’s so refreshing to hear other moms speak on this topic in a time when it’s hardly “popular”.

Megan September 23, 2011

Men have told me that they LIKE it when women wear dresses. Apparently, there is a lot more visible than when women are wearing pants. Even with longer skirts–they get a better “view.” Interesting perspective.

Kelly September 23, 2011

I’m sure it all depends on the dress you are wearing. A tight short dress would definitely draw attention. I think that the main point about wearing modest dresses is that it is the best alternative to what society’s fashions are today. Women wear practically nothing! It is a matter of the heart. The Lord does the convicting and we can share with others in hopes that it may bless someone. I am starting to feel convicted about dressing more feminine. I love wearing long flowing skirts. Not because I think they make me more holy, but because I feel more like a woman and I know that as much as I can help it I am not stumbling another man. The men have to work out there own heart issues, but I want to do all that I can to assist with their purity.

Mrs. P September 24, 2011

I have to wonder if it’s one of the two common problems that I’ve seen with some long skirts: too tight around the hips/fanny area (i.e. a size or so too small) or not wearing a slip. Beyond those two problems (or a long skirt with a high slit) I can’t see how the men you’ve talked to can say that they see more/get a better “view.”

Megan September 24, 2011

In a skirt, a lot more gets shown when a person is riding a bike, or a horse, or even climbing the stairs.

Skirts worn at the knee or calf show a lot of legs, that pants would’ve covered up.

I guess that’s why men say this. I’m just sharing the male point of view.

Robin September 24, 2011

I beg to differ but when I ride my bike in my blue jean skirt less is shown then if I were to wear a pair of shorts. All you see is my ankles. Of course my bike is an older model not a mountain bike where the bar is pretty much right by the seat.

Leah September 27, 2011

It all depends on the dress you are wearing. There are many dresses available that are much more revealing then some pants, but those are not the ones that were meant when talking about dressing modestly. Yes tight or short dresses or skirts with splits are more revealing then a lot of pants are. But you can wear nice long full skirts with modest tops and look pretty and not be leaving a “veiw” for guys. I have 5 teenage daughters and it can be done as they do dress well covered and modest yet very nicely. And yes they do use jeans depending on what they are doing. Climbing a ladder with a dress is not good at all.I am not opposed to women wearing pants but again some are modest and some are very revealing. So pants or dresses being worn isn’t as much of an issue as it is a matter of the heart. Coming from a very conservative background I have seen well covered yet very imodest young women. Again it’s a heart issue. It is very important to teach our daughters how to dress but when they are grown they will have to make thier own choices.

Faye September 23, 2011

June, what a terrific goal to honor our Lord by showing modesty! I, too, was taught to be modest by my mother. I tried to teach the same to my daughter. God will bless you for the desire and the accomplishment!

Erica September 23, 2011

Modesty has really been on my heart this last few years, watching my girls get older. I see all these young women in the body of Christ and am mind-boggled how their parents could let them dress like this. I worry that it’s just inevitable, but that is NOT how I want my girls to be like.

Joyce September 23, 2011

While this is a wonderful article and I agree with what is said, I find that many parents do not talk to their boys about modesty. I have a 14 &12 year old who were taught not to go outside without their shirt on. As a matter of fact they do not even walk around the house with their shirts off. They also wear swim shirts when they go swimming. I know of only one church that said both the boys and girls had to wear shirts on an outing to the beach. Females can be just as tempted by a shirtless male as much as a male can be tempted by a female in a bikini.
Peace, <

Robin September 24, 2011

AMEN! That’s why me and my daugthers wait and aisle or two over for my husband when he’s shopping for undergarments and vice versa. Note: We pracitice both female (skirts/dresses only) and male (shirts on, long shorts) modesty at our house. Of course both are a heart issue and it goes to who you want to please, God or the world?

Katie September 25, 2011

So….God is pleased by skirts and dresses and shirts on for men? Have you ever, ever been overseas….ever? I’m thinking not. I wonder if you would struggle to give the love of Christ to native peoples without stumbling because of preconceived notions of sin? Modesty can become of god. I want to be known as a woman who loves the Lord….sure modesty is part of that, but devoting your whole life to modesty? I want to be known for more than that.

Caroline @ The Modest Mom September 25, 2011

Joyce,

I totally agree, I just didn’t address the issues of boys dressing modestly since this blog is devoted to raising daughters. 🙂 But not enough is said about boys being modest, not walking around with shirts off, etc. We have standards of modesty for our boys as well as our girls.

Katie September 27, 2011

Yes! I agree completely!! We have no sons (yet), but my husband and I have talked about it and decided that if we do, they will always have shirts on!! I didn’t realize that my “discomfort” at seeing men without a shirt on was because it wasn’t okay; growing up I figured I should just get used to it. Being modest is so honoring to everyone around us, as well as ourselves! =)

Rhonda September 23, 2011

A topic that we need to hear more about–thanks for sharing–I also LOVE cuddle-duds–they are so soft and warm for the winter:)

Tansy September 23, 2011

I’m nineteen and have been committed to trying to maintain a high standard of modesty since I understood the concept. I still find, however, that I get unwanted attention from young men, especially if I’m running errands by myself in town. I’m always covered and don’t wear anything too tight. I don’t like being noticed in this way at all and feel it is a safety issue. Can you offer any advice on this?

Robin September 24, 2011

My advice is (if possible) to not go anywhere alone. If it is inevitable to go alone then make sure the places you are going to are pretty crowded or at least you are in the view of a couple of people.

If you are dressed modest and men still look then examine yourself to make sure that you are modest. If your examination comes up postive (confirming that you are modest) then rest assured you are not at fault for these mens sin. That you had no part to play in their sin. That when you stand before the good Lord He won’t say, “Tansy, you could of wore something more modest that didn’t cause a brother to sin”.

BTW, as a recent turning 20yr old it is for encouraging to see that another lady around my age is striving to please God and not the world.

Caroline @ The Modest Mom September 25, 2011

I just want to add, that I have seen girls who are extremely modest, but they still can’t hide the fact that God made them very beautiful! I agree with what Robin wrote, if after examining yourself that you are truly dressing modestly, just leave it at that. You can only do so much…

Cari September 23, 2011

Great post!

Modesty certainly starts from within and the Lord knows how I have shy’d away from real modesty but I am ready to be more modest from the inside out to respect not only Him but myself and my husband.

Whitney September 24, 2011

I’m a believer but not a skirt-wearer. Your culture fascinates me. I have to say I’m intrigued by your “not being loud or life of the party” statement. I do not seek the attention of others, but God gave me a voice, a wit, and what I think is an infectious personality, and I intend to humble myself before Him and see where He wants me to be tweaked, but I don’t think it’s to be quiet when he so obviously put this spunky personality in me in the first place. I am most comfortable around women, so don’t think that I entertain men at church with my humor. I don’t. I am simply trying to figure all of this out in my 20s trying to be a servant of Him and not being legalistic. Where do you draw the line?

Katie Did September 24, 2011

Where do you draw the line? In instances like this with different cultures, communities, modes of dress, body types, variety, etc, it can drive a woman crazy! This is why it cannot be about works or following someone else’s testimony on modesty. We must individually seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our inward and outward appearance and behavior.

Your Gardening Friend September 25, 2011

Excellent, excellent post. As women we need to be very sensitive to the temptations we present to men by inmodest dress. Men [and even women] are very visually stimulated. Men have a battle of their own with thoughts, without us adding to the struggle.

Your Gardening Friend September 25, 2011

I’m not saying I agree on only wearing dresses, but definitely on modesty with whatever is worn (i.e. not tight clothing, showing cleavage, wearing low-cut blouses or short skirts, etc.). I will say though that the idea of only wearing dresses/skirts has been something I’ve been pondering.

Angela Vance September 27, 2011

LOVED this post! I love to train my girls to be ladies! I have found, like you, that there really isn’t much you can’t do in a skirt. I love to look and feel like a lady! I love to see my girls looking like little ladies. I pray that I can give them a sincere desire to be Godly ladies that love God and reflect His glory by being what He created them to be – Ladies!! I want them to be proud of what/who God made them! Beside that, it’s just FUN!!! =)

Marie January 14, 2012

Hi,
Thanks for this interesting post, I made my way over from Raising Godly Children. I am curious about the wearing dresses thing, but even more curious about having a meek and mild spirit, not being life of the party, etc. I was raised with my parents hopes for me to become an attorney or hold political office (or something like that) and while that is not what I do now, I was trained to be the smartest, the best, and to be the toughest person- physically, mentally, emotionally. God has slowly changed me over the last 9 years, but I am really struggling with who I am and my personality still, as well as what my goals are for my own children. I am happily married and homeschooling my two girls with a wonderful Christian husband and a pretty good church. But I have constant issues with where my mind goes as I am working in the house, as well as problems with communication with my husband. I am naturally short, curt, and bottom line. I do the marketing for our home business, and I have asked God to turn my heart toward my children and away from my current line of work, and it seems that he is quickly answering my prayer in that regard, but I still struggle with many things. I’m finding that homemaking really is an art and worthy of being pursued, but it took a while for me to have a vision that motivated me. We moved from FL to TN 3 years ago, and there is very little support for this in our current church. My question is this- is there a mentor available or forums anywhere that I can go to get moral support and guidance on homemaking? I didn’t see any forums here. I have recently read (part of) Absolute Surrender, and the book that has helped me most in my life is Created to Be His Help Meet to give you a reference of where I am at. I plan to check out the link “Being a Mary in a Martha world”, but any additional direction is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your encouraging and uplifting blog!

amy April 28, 2012

Glad I found this worried about my daughter I have a set of twins7 yrs old.I fear for one she dresses jus like a boy I have begged her to wear a dresses I cry cause im scared she will get made fun of any tips please her sister Is very prissy always n dresses I no they are diffenut she’s a little girl they both are please help

Sonya March 25, 2013

I just stumbled upon the blog today and noticed your comment. As a child even though I was only required to wear dresses for church, I HATED them. For me it was a matter of comfort and modesty. I have since learned how to wear dresses and be comfortable, things like shorts underneath so my thighs don’t rub. I still wear jeans quite a bit, but definitely think it is important to look feminine, not like I raided my hubby’s closet, lol. I would suggest you ask your daughter why she doesn’t like wearing the dresses. If my parents had asked and been willing to work with me to find comfortable options (instead of just laying down the law) I probably would not have rebelled, clothing-wise, as much as I did. I would also guess she may be trying to make sure that everyone knows that she and her sister are two different people. Anyways, I know you commented almost a year ago, but I hope this helps and/or you’ve found some other solution already. God bless!

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