Monday, June 3, 2013
Is It Ever Okay to be Immodest?
What comes to mind when you think of that word? Floor-length dresses? Turtle necks? Long sleeves? Some simply think that as long as their private areas are covered, then they are exuding modesty. And some believe that modesty only matters when they are around a certain group of people. You know like boys....or those who seem creepy...or the Pastor.
That brings me to ask this question, is it ever okay to be immodest?
This past Memorial Day, I put my 3 1/2 month old baby girl in a cute little patriotic bikini. I have to admit, she looked quite adorable. I mean, who doesn't love baby pudge and baby rolls all over the place? Several days later, a friend gently brought it up to me and asked "When do you begin to teach modesty??" Woah! Light bulb.
To be honest, I had reservations about that bikini in the beginning. I don't wear bikinis. And I won't allow my daughters to wear bikinis or any swim suit that exposes too much skin. But I thought, "Well goodness, she's just a baby!" and went on with it. It doesn't really matter when they are that young, right?
So when does immodesty become unacceptable? When they become a teenager? At puberty? At age five?
Or does training in modesty begin from birth?
I'm new at this. I have always thought about modesty when I'm the one choosing what to wear. But now I am a mother. To a little girl. And now I am faced with a completely new spectrum of this whole cover-up-and-be-modest thing. I am having to shine a light into the corners and closets of my life and examine, not just my choices, but the reasons behind the choices I will make in training my little girl. How can I teach her to be modest if I compromise in infancy but stand solid when she is a tween? I could simply say, "I'm the Mom and this is how it is." But that's not training. That's bullying.
The Bible says to "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6) If we, as parents and leaders of our home, begin NOW in training up our children in the way they ought to go, then the Word of God gives us the promise that our work will not be in vain. If we raise our little girls - our baby girls! - to know and love modesty and what it means, then we will surely reap a harvest of blessings in the future. They will understand more of purity and holiness and I am quite certain that the Godly mothers of young men will thank us as well.
It's hard stuff, this training up of little people. I know down the road I will have my share of exasperation...and stupid mistakes. But I do not want to be too lazy to diligently guard my children from worldliness. And I have to begin now. I'm sure when she's old enough, my little girl will ask why. She will mostly likely get angry. But training and loving and showing her the beauty of our God and of representing His name in our dress will be worth it in the end.