We live in a modern world and as a result it is easy for parents to forget what has been practiced and proven over the years. In today’s world modesty is sometimes seen as old-fashioned and unnecessary. It almost seems as if the younger generation is rebelling against the extremes of the past. But there are good reasons for teaching modesty.
Immodesty is not something new. If you study English History you will discover that the England of old experienced a time when it was considered modern to be free of the restraints modesty places on individuals and society. As a result the English culture became so risqué that the younger generation rebelled. This rebellious era we now call the Victorian Era. Long skirts and high neck lines marked this era in English History.
Those who preach that modesty is a thing of the past do so using the following logic. After all, they claim, there is nothing about the human body that we should be ashamed of. “Who hasn’t seen a naked person?” they exclaim. But the proponents of such thinking forget some of key points.
1. There are those in society who have not grown to a point in which the sight of unclothed or nude bodies can be seen without stimulating the animal lust common in undisciplined individuals. Why feed the lust of immature individuals? Why pretend that all people have learned self-control?
2. When a person, especially a female, exposes parts of their bodies it is considered, by many, as a message of sexual availability. Some males, who otherwise would not make advances, interpret such behavior as a come-on. (It is sad, yet common, for scantily dressed children to be viewed by some sexually immature males as advertising their desire for sex.)
3. Respect for the body and reverence for the sexual aspect of our makeup is not developed or refined by immodest dress.
4. Dressing in an immodest fashion does not cause one to be respected. This is especially true for females. Respect is not enhanced by immodest dress or behavior.
5. Immodesty is rare in those who respect themselves and have developed the maturity that age usually brings.
6. Most religions recognize the value of modest dress. Religions teach that God expects us to dress in a manner befitting His people. I cannot picture the Savior dressing in an immodest manner.
I could go on and on with similar reasoning but suffice it to say that the wisdom of those who have preceded us on this planet is that modesty and respect for our bodies and ourselves go hand in hand. As a result parents who wish to help their children gain the respect for themselves should start early to teach modesty in dress and action. Here are some ideas that you may want to use.
· Set an example. Dress modestly yourself.
· Avoid the “cute” outfits that children sometimes wear because they have not developed sexually. Help your child get used to modest clothing when they are young.
· Teach your child that those who respect themselves respect their bodies.
· Don’t allow others who claim to be “modern” convince you that there is nothing to worry about. There are dangers related to immodesty. Do not put your head in the sand.
· Associate with those who believe as you do about modesty. Attend Church and join a congregation that will support you and assist you to teach values and modesty to you children.
· Allow only uplifting and value building TV, videos, DVDs, and Computer Programs into your home.
It is not easy to teach modesty in a world that is teaching principles of “freedom from restrictions” and self-indulgence. But the age old question remains. If you do not teach your children, who will?