How providential that we are discussing this subject this week! My friends the Botkins are doing a webinar on the closely related subject of Reclaiming Beauty, addressing the subject of beauty (and femininity, and modesty) from a Biblical perspective.
Last Tuesday was the first session and was open to the public, but it’s not too late to join. Latecomers will still be able to access the session they missed, and all 7 weekly sessions are just $44/family.
Since we have 8 daughters (4 of them teens right now), this is a subject that is near and dear to our hearts. We want our girls to glorify God in their bodies as well as their hearts, minds and spirits – and this does not mean they should dress as frumps. In fact, I think it means very nearly the opposite. We need to help them learn to dress beautifully but not in a way that is sexually alluring. God made women to be beautiful and attractive to men, but admonished them to dress and behave with modesty and discretion.
… likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. ~I Timothy 2:9-10
Learning to combine these qualities is a delicate task, and one that requires a man’s input.
One of our readers recently commented that it was inappropriate for a father of teens to look at his teenage daughters and decide whether they are dressed “sexy” or “attractive.”
I believe an important part of a father’s role is to guide children, protecting them from their own childish ignorance and foolishness. One way that a father of teen girls can do this is by encouraging them to dress modestly and teaching them how men and boys see them. These are not things that a young woman or even an older woman knows instinctively, and a father does his daughters no favors if he is too prudish to address the subject. Girls needs to understand that while they are not responsible for the thoughts and actions of others around them, they certainly do have the power to influence them. They can make it easier or harder for the young men in their lives to think pure thoughts – or impure ones. They can be instrumental in leading them into sin, or out of it. The way they dress and conduct themselves can be a big factor.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. ~Galatians 6:2
We don’t believe that femininity or modesty means a girl needs to be confined to the house, stitching samplers and learning to bake. While cultural standards can be relevant, we try to work within the standards and definitions of the Bible, not those of the modern day – or the Victorian era. The activities of the Proverbs 31 woman were home centered in their nature, but extended far beyond the physical boundaries of her house.
Our girls enjoy airsoft wars and shooting real guns, martial arts, hunting, and many other activities that take place outside the kitchen. As they get older, our boys will be learning to cook and acquiring other indoor skills as well.
We do believe that God created women to fulfill a different role than men, and we take joy in those differences. We work to emphasize the distinctions between the roles as they arise in daily life – our boys open doors for girls, kill bugs for them, and carry heavy objects for them, even if the girls in question are stronger than the boys right now and less afraid of bugs. Our girls do what they can to build up their brothers, encouraging them to act like men.
Biblical femininity and modesty are about far more than how we dress. I would venture to say that the way we dress is just one outward sign of where our hearts lie – but it’s an important sign that communicates very clearly and deeply influences those around us.
See what the other moms say:
Upcoming topics for 4 Moms:
- October 4 – Q&A
- October 11 – Introducing kids to technology
- October 18 – Food preservation
- October 25 – How do you keep the car clean?
- November 1 – Q&A
- September 20 – Large Family Gift Guide by the 4 Moms
- September 13 – 4 Moms: Handling different standards between you and your husband