Teaching Our Daughters to be Ladies

{Originally published October 22, 2006, Significant substantive edits Sept/Oct 2013}

How do we teach our daughters to be ladies? 

Specifically, I'm interested in how we should teach our daughters about being a lady who is pleasing to God.

How do we transfer ideas to our daughters of ladylikeness -- encouraging and empowering them to display the unique and beautiful qualities God has created women to display-- without placing an unnecessary, extrabiblical burden on them (pressure to be a debutante, an expert quilter, fashionista, or gourmet chef)?

How do we teach things like modesty, charity, purity, servanthood, and how can we instill a desire (rather than a heavy feeling of obligation) to be a blessing to others, to nurture life, to be a helper to a husband one day, to be a kind and loving mother to children one day?
"Encourage [train] the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored." -Titus 2:4-5
I want to share some practical ways I have thought of and intend to carry out to instill desirable qualities into this precious daughter and any others God may give us.

Modesty, charity, and servanthood are not qualities that will just naturally appear in our daughters. 

By and large, human beings are bent toward narcissism, selfishness, and treating others as subject to themselves. If we want our daughters to be not obsessed with self (particularly in this self-obsessed generation), and instead, for her to dress, behave, and be oriented in ways that honor others above herself, it will only happen with intentionality.

I grew up with varying examples of modesty.

First, my own mother was a wonderful example. She taught me not to be unduly focused on my physical form. I remember her working at times to moderate her diet, or to add in exercise in order to tone her body, but there was not an inordinate focus on her body. She was humble, not paying much attention to herself one way or the other. She taught me by her example that she was more than merely her physical form; her body was not the focus of her heart or life.

Neither she nor I wore clothes that brought attention to our physical form, but neither of us were hiding and covering it either. We were feminine but not on display.

Second, I had friends with a variety of levels of modesty. Some wore dresses only. Some had rules about wearing shorts while swimming. Some required these things of their daughters. I have not had good experiences with legalism. While a woman who wears dresses from her own conviction can be a beautiful, lovely thing, a daughter who is forced into a conviction that is based on externals often turns out with dire results. For my part, I have not (for myself or for our daughter) taken on a conviction about the pants/skirt issue.

But there is a particular standard I see in Scripture. The most helpful and specific "modesty passage" for me is this one, found in 1 Timothy 2:
"I desire then... 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."
In this Scripture that became extremely illuminating to me when we lived abroad, I see two issues.

First,  *respect* is the issue. 

When we moved overseas, to one place, and then another, and traveling to others still, this line in the sand became CRITICAL for my everyday life. I asked myself (and discussed with Doug), "What kind of attire is it that *respectable* women in this place wear?" What items communicate unequivocally that I am a woman to be respected? What items, if I wear them, will send subtle or not-so-subtle messages that I am NOT a woman to be respected.

(Some will argue, I am a human being, therefore I am worthy of respect no matter what I am wearing. And that is true. But that is a different issue than whether or not what we are wearing clearly communicates that we are a respectable woman within our particular context & culture.)

Second, *riches* are another issue in what we wear. Am I being ostentatious in what I wear?

This is also especially poignant for women today. Many people wrongly assume that since we're OK with gold and braided hair, that this is irrelevant. I believe the principle is still valid. We are not to be ostentatious in our wealth. The idea here is that a woman should not walk into our church, or be around us in some other context, and get the idea that she is of less value because her purse, her shoes, or her attire cost less than mine. There should not, in appearance or in reality, be an income level associated with following Christ.

So, for ourselves and for our daughters-- 2 questions illuminate this issue of modesty in what I believe is a helpful, biblical way:
  1. Is what I am wearing RESPECTABLE?
  2. Is what I am wearing financially OSTENTATIOUS?

From the start, when I went shopping for (and now with) my daughter, I intentionally looked for modest clothes. Yes, even when she is young, I want the same principles to be in place. I don't want there to come a time when I suddenly have to "impose" modesty on her because she's (gasp!/shock!/surprise!) starting to develop to be a young lady.

Culture plays a big part in our view of all of this.

In strict Islamic cultures, little girls can wear pretty much whatever they want until they begin menstruation, at which point they then must begin covering up head to toe. In American culture, even in the church, many parents often let little girls wear whatever they want... "Oh, she's only 3 and that tiny bikini is just too cute. We can be more choosy when she gets a little older," only to find that by the time their daughter is 8, her outfits are even more racy, and by the time she's 13, they've lost any control over what she's wearing (and likely doing).

I want my daughter to be modest in her appearance and in her heart. I want her wardrobe choices to facilitate purity rather than more easily seducing her (and others) into the oversexualized culture of this world.

Similarly, with charity and servanthood, I have worked to train her in this from the beginning, to never indulge selfishness, but rather to encourage generosity, empathy, and sensitivity toward others. I want her to see others as Scripture tells us to- as more significant than ourselves.
"Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share" - 1 Timothy 6:18

We must be intentional about what we praise.

 If our daughters see us regularly referring to People magazine to see what the latest flesh-baring Oscars fashion looked like, and we pursue and praise beauty more than God, our daughters will rightly call us hypocrites when we encourage them to chase after God and pursue modesty.

We must not praise things that are not praiseworthy.

But we also must be careful to praise the things that we DO want them to imitate. When you see young ladies in your church or in a store who look radiant but not flirty, who eyes look beautiful but not because of inch-thick eye makeup, praise this to your daughters. Point it out. "Doesn't Mandy look beautiful this morning? And she's hardly wearing any makeup; but you can see the beauty of Christ in her eyes!"

When you see acts of kindness that are worthy of imitation, use it as an example. "Mrs. Christi is always so thoughtful. She brings meals over to anyone who has a new baby!" It just takes a new set of eyes to be tuned into what is praiseworthy and what is not, and then to bring these things to the attention of our daughters.
"With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord" - Ephesians 6:7-8

If we tell them to be kind to the poor and needy, but then make snide remarks about the smell of a homeless man or refuse to be generous to a beggar because "they might waste the money on alcohol," they will see how we really feel about generosity and will follow what we DO rather than what we SAY.

If we watch shows or movies that have beautifully dressed, primped women having adulterous and premarital relationships with a variety of men, or we read unrealistic (or worse, sadomasochistic) "romance" novels, but then try to tell our daughters that marriage to one man for life is God's best design, we shouldn't be surprised when they "opt out" of God's design for what we've communicated is more desirable. We must be women who love our husbands well.

If we complain and gripe about housework and yell at our kids for the "mess they've made," we ought not be surprised when our daughters have a foul disposition toward serving in the home. We must be women who lay down our lives and serve our families with joy.

If we spend our days seeking ways to get away from our children, and hide ourselves from them and their legitimate needs, we should not be surprised if they grow and of their own will eschew having children of their own. We must be women who nurture and nourish life.

If we wear clothes tighter or shorter than we ought to, it is likely our daughters will too. On the flipside, if we wear clothes that are frumpy and unattractive, they may be lured into what the world says about what is beautiful simply because we are not modeling beauty ourselves. The Proverbs 31 woman had an awareness of fabrics (wool, linen) and colors (purple, scarlet).

We should make an effort to look beautiful for our husbands while not attracting the unwanted attention of other men's eyes. We ought to be intentional to be modest but also ladylike.

In short, we must have the kind of character we want her to one day possess.

I can't teach what I don't know. If my daughter is going to learn these things (modesty, charity, and servanthood) I must learn to enjoy them and foster them in my own life.


Epiphany said...

I have 2 daughters- ages 8 and 11. We have attempted to model the strengths of what scripture says is beautiful. It is very difficult to do considering I didn't come up this way at all, and even am chastised by family members who think the girls should wear "street-walker-in-training" attire that is so easy to find. I have learned to sew for that very reason. :) God bless you and your efforts in this area of raising your little one.

Jess said...

That is why I respect moms like you so much- you are fighting an uphill battle. This culture, this world- even the Christian community- tells us that we shouldn't be concerned, that girls look "cute" in tight tank tops that say "too much to handle" or some such thing. Just by watching what teenage girls are wearing and what's available in the stores, it is clear how careful and intentional of a job it is. God bless you and moms like you as you strive for modesty in this show-all, tell-all world.

Claire Weaver said...

I stumbled onto your blog and have been very encouraged. I have 2 little girls of my own that I am trying to raise for God's glory. Continue to seek the Lord as you are.

Jess said...

Thanks so much, Claire. It is really wonderful to be able to connect with other young moms like this and encourage one another. Hope to see you around!

agodlyhomemaker said...

fantastic post! i have 3 daughters, 1 of whom i would classify as girly girly and 2 who , shall is ay , could take some lessons? ~smile~ i'm trying!

amy said...

When my daughter, who is now 10, was six months old I wanted to take her out to play in the little blow-up kiddie pool we got her. I put her in a hand-me-down swimsuit that was basically a two-piece suit. Now with her tubby belly hanging out the front there was nothing but cute, but it was at that moment I realised that I wouldn't want her to wear that when she were older, and I would be setting her up for a double standard if we let her dress like that now; thus began our journey in modesty. I am ever so grateful the Lord led us in that direction, although I didn't completely understand at the time how important it would become.

This also applies to training our sons. We began early on with our son as a toddler teaching him to avoid looking at girls/women dressed immodestly. Even as a three year old, he would point out billboards and comment on how immodest the women were.

Thank you for a wonderful article!

Lisa said...

This has been an issue in our lives for the last 6 years as the Lord has been leading me to be more modest and feminine. It's been an uphill battle because of the culture and because my daughter and I have spent all our lives (both of us) wearing jeans and tee shirts. My D is now 12 and very very modest....but that amounts to....tee shirts and jeans.

But I have a hard time finding anything for either of us in the stores and know that I will have to learn to sew to make up for this deficit.

One thing that has been the most bothersome, is trying to be attractive and feminine for H and not appear that way to anyone else!? I guess you either don't leave the house....or we're talking about being covered and yet attractively dressed.

There's a difference between attracting lust and attracting a respectful appreciation. And we all can tell what type of clothes encourage either.

Thank you for your article. I wish I had understood these things when my D was a baby/toddler and then I wouldn't have encouraged her tomboyishness so much.

God Bless!


an older Christian said...

Thank you for your article. You are so correct about beginning now to teach your precious daughter modesty. This will make it so much easier when she is older. May I add, do not forget to teach your sons modesty now as well. Sometimes it is forgotten that boys need to learn modesty also.

I am now a grandmother and was not a Christian when raising my children. Although I taught them many good principles, including good morals, and some things about modesty, now modesty means very little to them as adults and no teaching to their children concerning modesty is being done. I became a Christian some years back, but am highly criticized by some of my children and also by my parents for my high standards for myself and for the things I try to teach my grandchildren. This becomes very discouraging. I share this to say - be thankful you are teaching your children while they are so young. Never cease to do this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much for such a lovely article. I, too, think you can never start too early to train daughters to be ladylike and modest. I was blessed to have a godly example in my mother and pray that I will be that to my children as well.

Mrs. U

Anonymous said...

A girls role in life is not to please her husband and become the stereotypical true women that typical conservative society thinks of. It is to educate herself and become who she wants to be what truly makes her happy. Modest clothes of little makeup is not going to make someone a good woman. It is what is on the inside that counts, and people dont enforce this belief enough. I wear a bikini and I still have good moral, I think it is absolutely ridiculous that because someone wears one they are less of a person/woman.

Shannon said...

Thank you for writing this. It's so wonderful to know I'm not the only mom who thinks that how a child (how a person) dresses matters. It's so important to teach our daughters and sons about modesty - thanks for talking about it.

Mom in Maryland said...

Thank you for this article. It is true and an encouragement to me as a young mother with a 13 yo daughter and 7 yo son; training them both to know the Lord truly and adorn themselves in the Spirit. I only wish I had this wisdom when my daughter was a babe, but the Lord is gracious.
To Anonymous, you are certainly correct. It is what is on the inside that counts. Purity begins in the heart and will show itself outside. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
This article in now way conveyed that a woman in a bikini is less than a woman, but rather, who does the woman in the bikini desire to be? What kind of attention does she seek and is this attention pleasing to the Lord or even a benefit to a God fearing society.

Jess,thank you again for this article and may the Lord continue to bless you and your family according to His will.

Emily said...

This was a thoughtful article. Thank you.
My mother raised me to dress "age-appropriately." When I was a little girl, I dressed like a little girl. This meant longer shorts, cute dresses, jumpers, tights, etc. Once I was older, I was allowed to start trying more grown-up clothes. My mom still encouraged cute and trendy but not revealing. We used to look through fashion magazines together and pick out trends that we thought were appropriate for me.
She is a great seamstress, so we could make clothes that we couldn't find. I know that having my mom be so strict, but kind, with me was TERRIFIC!! She showed me how to be trendy and funky without showing crazy amounts of skin. Even now (and I've been out of the house for 7 years) I still hear my mom's voice in my head when I'm shopping, and it helps.
Good luck with your little girl! She'll be wonderful, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this heartfelt post. With 2 girls of my own I also share in your concerns. I would like to link to your post if that is alright.


Jess said...

Thanks, Trina. I'd be honored if you'd link to this post. I'm glad to see so many other moms thinking these things through too. I often find myself wondering, will there be any modest, godly young ladies for my sons to marry? I'm glad to see that from the comments here, there are other moms who are vigilently protecting their daughters' innocence and purity.


Anonymous said...

Great article!! I found this site through Ladies Against Feminism. I have a 2 year old daughter, and I am strict about her clothing as well. I agree totally with what you said!

Angie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Angie said...

Thanks for your post, I found it on Ladies Against Femininsm's page. I was raised to be modest, and although some would consider me unfashionable, I have chosen to dress in a way that I believe honors Christ.

I absolutely love the outfit your little girl is wearing in the second picture (with the pink pants and white decorated tunic). Where did you get it? I'd love to get something like that for my baby sister.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to thank you mothers who are striving to raise Godly young women. I am raising two sons and we are teaching them to look for wives who are pure and modest. It refreshes my heart to know that there are still other parents who are maintaining Godly values no matter what the world thinks. God bless.

Jess said...

Thanks for the kind words- and the compliment on Maranatha's outfit; I don't have it with me here in Hong Kong, but I think it's a Carter's outfit, and I am pretty sure I got it on the Kohl's clearance rack in January. SO, I'm not sure if you would be able to find it, but I hope you can- it's been my favorite outfit for her- pretty AND warm!


Joy said...

Angie, thank you for your post. I struggled when I found out I was having a daughter after two boys; Boys are so easy in comparison to girls- there is so much I don't understand about being a woman, let alone showing it/telling it to my daughter. It was so inspiring to read your post. ( It was linked to LAF)

Anonymous said...

HI. I very much appreciate your article and wish to encourage you by saying that my daughter, now 22, was raised the way you describe- with modest dress from her very young years until now. I'm glad to tell you that she still dresses modestly even though she is a most beautiful young lady and did go through a very short phase of wearing more worldly fashions.

Now I have two granddaughters that we hope to raise the same way. Thank you for your inspiring post. Sometimes I feel very alone in this regard until I come across good people like yourself.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad we set examples for our children. Our children must embrace the Lord, or they will become anorexic, self hating fools. Our children must grow up to live large. There is nothing better than a plain big-boned lamb of God.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this article. I never really thought about how my little girls (7 and 4) would be affected by dress. I always look for things that I thought were cute. I already knew some things were out of the question and I would never buy them..., but this really made me think. Thank you.

dcrmom said...

Wow, what an excellent post. You have brought things to my attention that never occurred to me quite that way before.

Anonymous said...

Interesting and great food for thought - as a mum of boys I haven't had to worry about dressing them with modesty. Hoping for a girl one day though!

Must say that one of the anonymous (Dec 21) comments was very harsh and untrue - I know many non-Christians and none are "anorexic, self hating fools"!!!

Anonymous said...

I got a link to your blog through a mommy's group I'm in. I think the post is very thoughtful and well written. I agree it's good to be modest and that a lot of little kids these days are dressing far too sexually (and many adults as well) but I don't think there is anything wrong with a bikini...and wearing shorts over a bathing suit? Are you teaching her modesty or to be ashamed of her body? I am a very modest person myself, I don't wear clothes that are over the top flashy, or so tight there is nothing left to the imagination, I don't let cleavage hang out all over, I am a modest woman but I don't think there is anything wrong with a modest bikini. If you're not hanging out of the pieces that do cover you, there shouldn't be an issue.

Jess said...

Hi anonymous,
I don't generally like nameless post-ers. But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt- that maybe you don't have a blogger account and were just so overwhelmed with my post that you just HAD to write in without establishing one. ;)

That said, the reason I approved your post is because I definitely don't mind a respectfully written dissenting opinion. It rounds out the debate and makes us all think through our own opinions. I've been following your mommy's group's comments (as I noticed I kept getting referrals from there through my sitemeter), and so I'm aware that your thoughts certainly represent the majority of opinions expressed there. Let me respond to what you wrote.

First off, it is apparent to all of us mommies that today's society is by FAR too sexualized.

What varies among us is where we draw the line. Generally, there are differences based on geography, weather, and yes, religion in regards to modesty.

If you are not an evangelical Christian, much of what I write may not make much sense to you (in fact, it may seem "nutty", as someone on your forum called it). And even if you do try to follow Jesus with your life, but He is doing different things in you than He is in me (which is true for all Christians), my priorities may seem "out there".

Here are some things to consider as to why I've placed modesty as such a priority in my parenting:
(1) I moved to Central Asia last year and had to think through these things ahead of time for my daughter (who was then in my belly) in light of a very different culture that is VASTLY more modest than we are in the US.
(2) I've read many books in recent years about the rise of pornography and have conducted what I like to think of as personal research that has shown me how BIG of an issue lust is for guys. And how different guys "see" things from what we as girls "see". Where we see "cute", they see something much different (here is not the place for me to elaborate on all of that).
(3) I remember being a teenager. And even though the styles were actually pretty modest back then, all things considered (the baggy, layered look was "in"), I remember what went through my head in trying to turn guys' heads.

I want to build in to my daughter, through conversations, through teaching, and yes, through her physical clothes choices an internal guide that tells her she is valuable, worth "keeping" for her future husband.

Suffice it to say that I'm not going about this randomly or because I want to shame my daughter. Quite the contrary. I want her to be SO aware of the gift she has been given in her physical body that she desires to protect it. And just like anything else, I will protect her until she can protect herself.

It is not my intention to condemn moms who don't want to seek modesty for their daughters, and it is not my aim to shame or judge non-Christian moms. This article, like my entire blog, is written in light of my faith. It can't be separated out from my parenting. They are interwoven.

I appreciate your point of view and am thankful you spoke up.


Lady Rael said...

This is a beautiful post! As a young lady hoping to one day be a goodly wife and mother, I can see how so much of your advice can be applied even to us unmarried ones. Thank you for pointing out that the best way to influence some is through trying to be Christ-like ourselves!

In Him,

Charley said...

I saw an excellent argument for modest dress in another blog (sorry...don't remember which one, so I can't give appropriate credit). To the young woman who wishes to dress in a somewhat provocative manner, ask her if she realizes what message she is communicating to the guys around her. She may very well understand that she is exercising some amounts of sexual power over her male peers. But then ask her if she minds having a 50-year-old man think the same things.... When she is "advertising," she can't control who "views" that advertising.... I suspect most young women would recoil in disgust at that thought, and then give more consideration to modest apparel.


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Anonymous said...

Forcing them to wear 'modest' attire is just another way to control children and seperate them from their non christian peers. My parents allow me to what what I want and I love how they trust me enough to allow me a choice.
I think it's disgusting to encourage LITTLE GIRLS to cover up their bodies as though they are something to be ashamed off. Children are innocent, and you are making them think that showing flesh is wrong and a sin. And if they grow up to wear short skirts or revealing tops, then so what? You can still wear 'immodest clothes' and be a nice person.
I'm non christian, and often wear short skirts, tight jeans etc (Because I LIKE my body) but often show more christian traits than my deeply religious friends. For example, a friend who refuses to wear tops that show her midriff refuses to give money to the poor, or speak to 'unholy' people - drug addicts, the homeless etc. Whearas, my non - christian friends and I often give our pocket money to beggars and help out at home. If any of you saw me on the street, I'd probably be called a whore or trash by you, but atleast I'm a better person.

Anonymous said...

I loved your article and agree with it:) I have several sons and now a 2yro little girl. I think you are right on the money with your article. I also wanted to share a couple of thoughts I had regarding one of the anonymous replies.
She might like to reread the article- especially the " We must be ladylike ourselves" section where you talk about how we should"Show" generosity ourselves. I am sorry that she has a friend that does not do this and I am very glad that she does, but she is forgetting that the very thing she complains about is already mentioned.
I also think that she is very quick to take offense, I find this to often be true when we try to do something different from main stream- would she be so quick to be offended by covering up a little one to prevent sun damage? Even if you are a non christian and don't care at all about modesty you could still be concerned for covering your children from the sun. They say the more sun damage done early the worse it is- if this article had been about covering little girls up for that she probably would not have cared- she seems to just be offended that people are choosing to do things in a different way then she is??
I also wanted to share, because of the whole bikini thing this web site with little sunsuits that are so cute for swimming- I am planning to get my little one one of these and maybe the older ones too (boys) though they often wear t-shirts with their swim trunks. anyway:
one more closing thought- I found this quote online and copied it down from an article called "What does it mean to be a lady" (by someone called Coffee lady or Coffee mom or something like that- I think, I'sorry I forget just what it was)
" When a lady wears modest clothing she says, 'I respect myself and you cannot get something off me for free!'(Think about it; when we dress so as our thighs and b**bs hang out for all to see we are saying, 'Here you go!It's all yours free-you don't have to respect me or earn the rights!' She is letting others rob her." I loved this quote- do we want people to take advantage of our children or do we protect them?
I thank you for your ideas:)

Brenda said...

I just found your blog and this VERY old post, but I am so excited! I have posted about this very topic. Thanks for giving me some more things to think about. In my little corner of the world, NO ONE thinks about these things. I only find like-minds on the web.
I will be back...

Anonymous said...

I to still hear my moms voice but most of all her example! =) I have 3 girls now and I must remember all that you have mentioned above. It's so true and i say AMEN to it all! Thank you so much dear sister. I have often come hear a bit discouraged and and leave so encouraged and braught back to the word of God has to say about this or that. I find your site so encouraging and helpful. God bless you!

Jan Hatchett said...

While I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment, we must also be mindful of what we teach our sons about women by how we model ourselves as ladies. I have two sons and no daughters, but as a school teacher, I see daily the flesh and flash that my sons are exposed to. I endeavor to teach them to favor "ladies" of character, who love God, and respect themselves as something more than sexual beings. Both genders must learn that being a lady is a beautiful reflection of a peaceful character and integrity

Anonymous said...

I feel compelled (and delighted) to bring some great news to this lovely group of Christian ladies--you don't have to be able to sew in order for you and your daughter to have modest clothing! As difficult as it can be to find modest and pretty clothing (believe me, I know, it can be INCREDIBLY HARD), there are a few great resources.

One resource is a small chain store named Christopher and Banks (their website is: www.christopherandbanks.com). This is a great place for modest dressy clothes (great for church). It's prices are comparable (I think) to JCPenney's, unless you do what I do--go directly to the clearance section! There is ALWAYS a clearance section. :) I think the smallest size they have is a 4 (perhaps I've seen a 2 there once???), so they're best for teen girls and women.

A book I highly recommend on the topic of raising daughters in the Lord is--> Raising Maidens of Virtue: A Study of Feminine Loveliness for Mothers and Daughters. This book, by Stacy McDonald, would make an amazing read for a mother and 7-10 year-old daughter (also, though, I read most of it by myself when I was 15, or maybe even 16, and was greatly blessed). A wonderful resource in the back of the book is a list of sites that sell modest clothing. With a "use your own best judgment" caution comes a list of about 30 websites with modest apparel.

Just to list a few...
www.wholesomewear.com (
modest swimwear)

I hope this is all helpful. If you are raising daughters (or even if not, and you want a very simple read on feminine virtue), GET THIS BOOK! It's really awesome.


Mrs. Kroeger said...

Greetings! I see it has been awhile since anyone responded to this. I am a slightly older mom who has a 19 year old and a 5 year old daughter...and four sons aged 23, 15, 12 and 8. I agree that raising sons is easier than raising daughters!! Raising daughters is more fun though. We get to be princesses. We get to wear things that are full of "scope for the imagination" as Anne of Green Gables would say.

I agree it is a hard sometimes to get our daughters into attractive, modest clothing. Sometimes I wonder why this is such a controversial thing. As a Christian, I realize it is a spiritual warfare issue. There is somebody watching us from the spiritual realm who really hates it when women live up to what God created us to be (see the Book of Genesis).

I pray for all you younger women who have a vision for what being a Christian Lady (not just a woman!) can be!

A young, agnostic, creative girl said...

Modesty has always been something I found good from people who are up-to-date with society, and bad when they come from people who stick to the old-fashion conformist ideas of femininity. Fashion is an art form, expression for young people. I know girls who go to my middle school who wear ridiculously skimpy clothes, but raising your kids to wear shorts over their one-pieces is telling them nothing but that being covered up means you are a good Christian.
Typically "modest" clothing are things that I will never be caught dead in: long skirts and sweaters and such, because I love fashion. You probably just think that fashion is all about sexuality and making people beautiful in a "bad way," but it really is a form of art. And besides, being sexual is in our blood. Its how we attract the opposite sex, which makes us breed and therefore furthers the survival of the species. Paranoia over sexuality is dangerously close to falling into the category of that "all that brings pleasure is evil" fanatic nonsense (although I do agree with your taste on tight tank tops and bikinis for very young children. That is not art).

Jess said...

Hi young agnostic!

You've absolutely pegged me wrong when you talk about fashion. Frankly, we agree about the idea of modesty being far more attractive and interesting when done with a flair.

And if you check out my site, you'll notice that I'm not at all paranoid about sexuality. We talk about it a LOT here at Making Home. It's just connected with marriage rather than with random hook-ups in the teens and twenties. Which is where it belongs.

I'm not at all scared of sexuality or shy of talking about it. It's a beautiful and awesome thing-- but only within the right guidelines. Teaching young children to keep themselves modestly dressed is not only for their protection against early sexualization, but also an investment in their eventual enjoyment of sexuality with their spouse.

Blessings and thanks for adding your thoughts,

Patty said...

Hi Jess! I just wanted to comment on your response to anonymous regarding whether we are teaching modesty to our girls or shamefulness.
I agree with you 150%! I too, used to think that bikinis were OK when my twin girls were toddlers. It took a Dateline episode to really open my eyes. In this day of technology, i.e. cameras in cell phones, etc. I do NOT want my children to end up on some pedophile site!! Call me paranoid, but better safe than sorry!
I am blessed to have children that do not argue about clothing choices and I explain why we should dress in a certain manner in an age appropriate way. I am also fortunate enough to be able to send my children to a Christian school where we have dress codes, but no formal uniforms - although I wish we did!!!
However, my girls are aware enough that they have asked when looking at old pics why I let them wear two piece suits "then". Currently I simply respond to them, "that was before I knew better"!
Thank you for your site - it is one of the best I have seen!

Amy said...

I agree with much of this article, though I myself am not actually religious. But I stumbled upon this particular page and I believe in raising girls to have modesty and to be kind without burdening them. I am deeply discontent with the state of girls and young women today-- so many I come across these days are rude, selfish, and self-destructive as a result of society's teachings.

The concept of a good and proper lady is dying out frighteningly fast. I can only hope that people like you lot, who see what a lady ought to be will continue fighting the good fight for the betterment of your children. Set a good example for the future to follow. :) ~ A.

shyronn said...

So refreshing! I just started a study on Titus 2..... Again, so very refreshing.

God Bless!!

KatyJacobs said...

Thank you for your encouragement. I feel inspired! :)

Angie @ www.ourjoyfulliving.com said...

I just found your blog and read this post. So inspiring. Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for raising Godly women for my boys. I have 2 boys and a girl. This helped me to see hope for them to find someone with mutual standards of showing and being respectful in all areas of life.


Anonymous said...

I feel like a lot of these women mistaken "being ashamed of their body" to just having respect for yourself. As I've seen many women say on here, That's for their husband. When they are younger at 13 and such, they don't need to be dressing like that. The more we teach our young ladies to dress modestly and teach our sons to steer from women who don't, the more we can change humanity and show women's true beauty which is not always their body but their personality. That's not saying that women who dress immodestly are bad people. But you advertise yourself based on how you dress whether you disagree or not. If I see a thug with his pants below his waist and looking like trouble, it doesn't matter what race you are, i'm locking my doors and i'm assuming your some gang banger. You may say I don't judge people like that, but psychology says otherwise. The point of this is, we should be raising women to be more than just their bodies as a way of beauty. Because there is so much more to us than that and more to our daughters than that.