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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Modesty, Purity, and the Tools for a Successful Marriage: A Parent's Responsibility

I checked in to Facebook today to find something discouraging.

There on my screen was one of those "bathroom mirror with my cell phone" pictures of a 17 or 18 year old girl with whom I am acquainted.

Well...the picture was actually of her, her belly button, her lower (much lower) abdomen, and the majority of one of her shoulders and upper chest area, and her "male friend" (who is apparently allowed to be alone in the bathroom with her).

Pretty discouraging.

Based on his comment on the picture, her father had seen it. was still there.

I have a myriad of reactions, but the primary ones are, how does a parent fail a child that way?  How does a child get to that place?  How does a child feel when dad allows a boy to be alone with her in a bathroom with the door closed?  How does she feel when dad knows that she chooses to dress that way, and allows it?  Does she feel free?  Lucky?  Unloved?  Unprotected?  I'm going with the last two, even if she is not aware of it yet.

Purity begins with purity of dress.  Purity of dress begins with purity of heart.  Purity of heart begins in the cradle, and it is birthed of loving, actively involved parents who "train up a child in the way (she) should go".

Parents with young children may think that this is not an issue for them yet.
It is.
Parents may think that guidelines for godly behavior with the opposite gender do not need to be addressed before the preteens.
They do.
Parents may think that a daughter does not like dad involved in her courtship activities.
She does.

Parents have a responsibility to guide and protect their children.  Protecting their purity and giving them the tools that they need to enter into, and maintain, a successful marriage is just as important as protecting them from falling off the playground equipment or running out into the street.  

Coming in at year 18 and saying, "Wow, that's a lot of skin" is not the answer.  Coming in from the beginning and saying: "God has made you special.  He loves you and values you.  He wants you to have a happy, healthy marriage.  Happy, healthy marriages are built on purity and godliness.  A young man who loves you will want to guard that purity." is.

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  1. It definitely is an issue for those of us with young children. Look at the clothes they are marketing to young kids. Look at how people are dressing on TV, in kids shows...all this goes into our little kids minds. As a mom I know that my girls look at me to be an example.

    I praise God he gave me the drive to learn how to sew so I can work on making my girls clothes...1) either making them completely or 2) altering them to make them appropriate

    Thanks for the good post on reminding parents that we need to "train them up the way they should go"

  2. Sounds like something we encountered recently on of my husband's cousins (one of seven homeschooled children in a very so called Protestant family) became pregnant at fifteen. She had the baby and now she has posted post partum pictures of her very "hot" body. She is basically wearing a thong and a bra in a very provocative pose. I had the same questions. What do her parents think of this? Is this considered normal? I'm just perplexed and sad for the family.

  3. My husband taught our five year old daughter a silly song for occasions, it goes like this: modesty, modesty, it isn't a cat or a tree it's modesty! May not make a lot of sense but today at church when a little girl was pulling her dress up over her head my daughter was quick to chirp out; hey, let's not show our tummies, let's be modest! We started with her when she was about one.

  4. Oh, WOW do I agree! My daughter is 7 and we're always having talks about appropriate/inappropriate dress - and we homeschool and don't watch alot of TV!!! It's crazy how early it starts, and that it is IN US from the beginning to rebel. Thank you for this post, pictures like that on FB break my heart as well. Thanks for linking up with me this week!

  5. Thanks for the clarion call to parents. We always think it will happen to other kids, but it is something we have to be proactive and vigilant about!
    Thanks for sharing at NOBH!

  6. Such and important issue, Michelle! My husband and I had a 10 year old foster daughter for a time and this was soooo difficult for us to deal with. As you said, you have to begin with this in those early days or it is almost irreversible. I found this to be very true and very frustrating as we tried to teach this young lady how to dress and act properly--with modesty--when she'd been given license to dress however she wanted up to that point.

    Unfortunately, our culture fights against it too. I found this very true when shopping for her. Ugh! Thanks so much for bringing this up!

  7. Ugh. It always makes me so sad to see the ways that culture tries to convince girls that beauty can't be achieved in modesty. Keep fighting the good fight here!

  8. This is so the truth, and I wish my parents had taught it to me! I was not raised in a Christian home, but thank the Lord, He led me to Himself when I was in college. Lately the Lord has placed on my heart this desire to dress more modestly and more feminine and I am loving it! This post is so important for parents to implement to their daughters.

    Nicole at Working Kansas Homemaker


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