PHANEROO \fan-er-o-oo\Greek: to manifest in word or deed.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Daughters, A Must-Read!

If you are a daughter, have a daughter, know a daughter, have a son who will marry a daughter then you must read this amazing article about modesty. The readers' comments below the article are enlightening as well. Many of us have probably missed the mark on this issue with ourselves and with teaching our daughters (and sons).

I used to believe modesty was a balance somewhere between pride and shame. I thought you should find a happy medium, a point where you aren't focusing so much on your appearance that it becomes pride (trying to earn favor with God through dress). But also not being motivated by fear of my femininity and trying to cover it up out of shame. I've probably spent a great deal of my days contemplating the midpoint on the modesty continuum. If on the modesty axis Pride is point X and Shame is point Y, then we are not even on the right axis. Turns out, modesty is not about finding a happy medium between those two points of sin, because it's not a point at all. But rather, it's the whole graph - it's about the glory of God! The aim in modesty should be to minimize our own glory, and direct focus on the Glory of God who is in all things, above all things, and creator of all things. Should it surprise me that it's about the glory of God? No. But sometimes we all get our motives off course and need a friendly nudge to get back on course.


Kristy said...

That is a good article. I think the only thing missing from it (and from every discussion on modesty) is the subject of modesty in men/boys. Should we be telling young women to cover up and where one-piece bathing suits while saying nothing to young men running around in shorts or swim trunks and no shirt?

Emily said...

Kristy, I think that's the beautiful thing about teaching girls and boys alike that modesty is about minimizing our own glory to maximize God's. Since the Bible doesn't state a dress code then you have the freedom to interpret your own personal style while keeping your heart in check. I know a lot of folks who are shopaholics and perhaps much of it is driven by having the latest fashions (applies to males too) so that they will stand out and heads will turn in their direction. Perhaps the abundance of clothes in their closets are more than sufficient and perfectly modest but their heart issues are a driving force in their shopping habits. The wonderful news stated in this article still gives us freedom in Christ to be individuals. But it also helps to confront the human tendency to create our own standards (in this case a dress code), hold everyone to them, and judge according to them. But the problem with that tendency is that we have become our own gods. Every family probably needs to discuss modesty in terms of bringing God glory, then working out the specific details of what that looks like in our family without regards to what other families are doing or what fashion is dictating. If you feel your boys should wear shirts at the beach/pool, then I say go for it! But we have to also understand that not every girl and boy at the public pool is going to be following our own standards for modesty. That is ok because God is our authority. As a personal aside, I place a great deal of those decisions on BJ because he has a special responsibility as spiritual leader to guide our family. What I love about that is if someone were to question our dress, I can tell them to take it up with him :)

Kristy said...

Awww, Emily. I love your reply to me. You have a gift for stating things so eloquently.