One of my friends posted this link on Facebook, and I was so impressed with it that I wanted to pass it along. The 19-year-old young man who wrote this letter did a great job of addressing a delicate subject, and brought up some very good points. Check it out.
Reflections on Modesty November 12, 2010
There is only one thing I believe is missing from his message, but it’s a pretty significant omission. He addresses his letter to mothers and daughters, but what I would like to say is this: what about the husbands and fathers who are the priests and protectors of their families? Shouldn’t they — being men, and knowing how men are made — have the biggest responsibility in forming their daughters in the virtue of modesty, and even challenging their wives, if need be? Women cannot be expected to know how they are perceived by men if their fathers and husbands are not telling them.
When I was young, my dad would make me change my clothes before I went to school if he didn’t consider what I was wearing to be modest enough. Thanks, Dad. Even now, whenever I’m in doubt about a particular outfit, I always ask my husband. I do this out of respect for men. God made them visual – it’s not something they chose. And it’s very tough, in our culture, for them to remain chaste in their thoughts, when they are surrounded by immodesty. They should not have to fight this battle all the time. If I can help by dressing more modestly, it doesn’t seem to me that it’s too much of a sacrifice. If we, as women, want men to respect us, and not treat us as sex objects, then we should do our part by not tempting them to impure thoughts by the way we dress. It’s a two-way street.
One of the best books I’ve read on the subject is Every Man’s Battle, by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker. Women, if you really want to understand what men face, please read it. For you men out there, there is also Every Woman’s Battle, and for young people, there are Every Young Man’s Battle, and Every Young Woman’s Battle. You can find them all at www.christianbook.com.
I have teenagers, so I understand that this is a tough topic, especially for young people, who want to fit in with the current fashions. This is why it’s so important to address it with our kids early on. In our house, we have made the rule that Dad is the final judge whenever there is any doubt about a particular outfit. But it has not just been laying down the law. We have talked to our kids about the reasons for it. If they are old enough to want to look attractive to the opposite sex, then they are old enough to talk about the reasons for modesty. We also make sure to frequently reinforce with our teenage daughter that she is beautiful, so that she will realize that she can be both modest and beautiful.
If enough people got on the bandwagon, modesty would come back into fashion. Maybe by the time my younger daughters are teenagers!