Modesty is a hot topic in today’s culture and something that my husband and I believe is essential to raising a daughter in the 21st century. With more and more immodestly dressed women appearing in movies, on television, and other forms of media, we have to be counter-cultural in this area of parenting. But how can we be sure that we teach our daughters what they need to know about modesty in a world that is full of exactly the opposite? Today I am sharing 5 things that my husband and I are convinced helped our teen daughter to grow up to value and choose modesty for herself.
5 Keys to Help Your Daughter Choose Modesty
1. Discuss what the Bible has to say about modesty.
In our family, we always use the Scriptures as a foundation for helping our children develop their moral compass. We have really clung to 1 Timothy 2:9 (NLT) as a teaching tool on the topic of dressing modestly:
And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.
This verse has given us the inspiration to teach our daughter the difference between the attention she’d receive if she was looking for acceptance on the outside opposed to letting people be drawn to who she is on the inside; specifically, Christ shining through her from the inside out. This has had a strong effect on our daughter’s worldview and we’ve watched her choose modesty for herself in the years that many young ladies do not. We know that reading the Bible and doing studies on modesty has had a large influence on her heart and we are so thankful for that!
2. Be a living example of modesty.
Although I didn’t grow up in a Christian household, my mom was adamant about dressing modestly and I am so thankful for that. As a young girl, I watched my mom be an image of beauty and grace without the need to show her body or skin. The confidence my mother had in who she was on the inside had a lasting impact on me and I wanted to be just like her. And now, in talking to my teen daughter, she has made it very clear that she feels the same way about me. I am so grateful to God for His grace and strength to make this a possibility in our mother-daughter relationship.
3. Carefully choose what you watch as a family.
With the challenge that many parents are facing as their children are using more and more technology, the need for family-friendly shows becomes more important. Over the years we have used videos such as VeggieTales, What’s in the Bible, and more to help speak life into our children’s hearts and minds! We are thankful for our family’s new membership to Minno so we can also raise our children to appreciate and watch wholesome television shows!
4. Allow her to speak openly and honestly.
In our home, we have a standing rule that our children are able to speak both openly and honestly with us as long as they are respectful in their tone and approach. I have found that this “rule” has made a difference in how our children communicate with us and trust us to share their hearts—even when they know we won’t agree with what they say.
There have been a handful of instances along the way where our daughter questioned dressing modestly. From her friend’s telling her that it was “silly” to worry about the length of a skirt or how low-cut a shirt is to her favorite child actress growing up to wear revealing clothing; we’ve had our fair share of discussions on the topic of modesty. We allowed her to share her concerns with us without judgment or condemnation. And we’ve watched our girl choose modesty time and time again in situations where she could’ve gone the opposite way.
5. Trust God to do the heart work (and the hard work).
This one is extremely important and likely the most difficult. We have to remember that while it’s our job to show our children Christ’s character through our actions, it’s not our job to control them. Rather we need to submit our daughters to the Lord and allow Him to do the heart work in them. We can plant the seeds and water them along the way, but only God can cause them to increase.
Raising our teen daughters to be modest is no easy feat but it can be done. By being intentional in our approach to modesty and making Christ and His love the center of our home we have watched our daughter blossom into a modest young woman. Let’s show the world that you don’t have to “bare it all” to be a beautiful, confident young woman!