Much has changed since God clothed Adam and Eve with the first animal skins. Yet the basic purpose of clothing remains the same—to cover the body. God emphasizes the importance of modesty throughout Scripture, telling “women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly” (1 Timothy 2:9).
God calls Christians to a different standard than the world, and young people need to understand both how and why to implement modesty with regard to clothing choices. But how can parents and youth leaders break down barriers on this delicate topic?
Here are a few ideas to consider from a couple of trusted sources. Both promote biblical truths about beauty and modesty.
Dannah Gresh is the founder of Secret Keeper Girl, a Christian organization that offers tools for teaching modesty in relevant and engaging ways. She suggests that parents start teaching their daughters early, long before they become teenagers. “Since her body has not yet fully formed into that of a woman’s, she won’t interpret the instructions on modesty as a criticism of her own body,” says Gresh.
Another option is to attend a Secret Keeper Girl event (or hold one at your church). They include a fashion show featuring moms dressed in clothes from different eras and young girls in modern clothes that have passed the Truth or Bare modesty test (available at www.secretkeepergirl.com/Truth_or_Bare.aspx). At these events—which daughters seem to enjoy as much as mothers—all are challenged to dig into God’s Word and talk about peer pressure and internal beauty.
Another good source of help is Nancy Leigh DeMoss, an author, conference speaker, and radio host. Ask your daughter or youth group to take the quiz in DeMoss’s book The Look: Does God Really Care What I Wear? (see exclusive link). The quiz will quickly expose whether your beliefs on clothing reflect man’s philosophy or God’s views.
Modesty is a heart issue, not just an external issue. As DeMoss points out in the same book, “If our hearts are right with God—if we’re walking in purity and humility before Him—the inevitable result will be a modest external appearance.”