The Value of Modesty for Boys

February 3, 2009 at 9:27 am (Uncategorized)

Being the mom of a girl I have talked to my daughter about modesty since she was a toddler.  From the time she was big enough to stop wearing frilly diaper covers I have talked with her about how to sit modestly, dress modestly and act modestly. All you mom’s of girls out there already know that the dressing modestly is no easy feat these days!  You see the clothing they make for little girls are anything but modest these days!  It’s awful sometimes!  We have passed on so many outfits because they are way too short or show way too much skin.  I really don’t see the need for a belly being exposed on a 5 year old!  (Or anyone else for that matter.)  It’s a constant struggle to find the right clothing.  Thankfully my daughter agrees with me that being modest is important.  So at least that part isn’t a struggle.

Enter having a teenage boy!  LOL  Now I just want to say right up front that this really has nothing to do with my teenage boy.  He’s certainly not seeking out immodest girls!  But, there have been a couple things that have happened recently that make me realize that I need to be teaching him to value the efforts of modest girls, because society is certainly pushing the opposite!  A few weeks ago I naively picked up a gift box of Axe For Teens products for my teenage son because is was really, really cheap on clearance.  It sat on the dining room table a few days, then it got moved to the kids bathroom still in the box.  About a week later I was in the kids bathroom and the back of the box caught my attention…"Turns good girls into bad girls!"  WHAT?????  I grabbed the box and turned it over.  The front of the box was innocent enough.  It just had the info about then scent and a scratch and sniff place to see if you like the scent.  So why was this written on the back of the box?  I quickly took it all out of the box and tossed the box in the trash, under a bunch of other stuff so no one would see it.  (Note to self, don’t buy anymore Axe products.)  I have no idea if my kids read it or not…. But, I have seen a couple Axe commercials since then and well, I had no idea!

Then this weekend my son set up a Facebook account.  The leader of the youth group at church had suggested all the kids get one so they can communicate easily.  I didn’t have a problem with it because, A – I trust my son and, B – you are only seen by people who you already know.  After he set it up he and I were searching for people we know to see who all has Facebook accounts.  That is when it happened, we came across a picture of a real life teenage friend of my sons in a pose that was…well I will just say NOT modest.  I was a shocked. It wasn’t obscene.  But, it was very obvious that the purpose of the picture was to say "Look at me, I have  great body and I am not afraid to show it off."  YIKES!!!!  (Oh, and this is a homeschool girl folks from a Christian family!) 

So once I got my chin off the ground I tried to talk to my son about it.  I’ll just say upfront that I blew it!  LOL  My first response was "You cannot make this girl your friend unless you tell her to change her picture!"  He laughed at me!  "I am not going to tell her that Mom!"  Okay, then I will call her mom.  "Whatever, mom."  (Still laughing at me for over-reacting.)  Since then I have brooded on it a lot..and here is what I am thinking….getting this one girl to change her picture isn’t going to solve the problem.  What I really need to do it get why this lack of modesty bothers me into my sons head.  So I wrote this for him and I am posting it here with his permission.

Dear Son,

When I was growing up I remember my dad saying "I wish my kids didn’t have to make the same mistakes I have already made."  and I thought he was being a little silly.  But, now that I have 43 years of living under my belt I know exactly what he meant.  It’s hard to see your kids go through things you know the answer to.  So this is my attempt to share with you why that picture on Facebook makes me so sad…

There was another saying when I was a teenager that I have also found to be true all these years later.  "The kids you don’t want to date it high school are the ones you want to marry after college!"  SO TRUE!   I knew dad in high school, but it wasn’t until years later that I saw the value in him as a spouse.  It might seem fun to hang out with the wild and crazy crowd when you are young.  But, when it comes to a lifetime commitment you want a person who is loving, stable and devoted to God and you.  So what does this have to do with modest dressing in girls?  Well, the true beauty of a girl is what kind of women she will make.  When I see a young girl flaunting her newly developed body, I see a girl who is insecure, needy and begging for attention.  I know the Facebook girl in question is not someone you are romantically interested in.  But, I also know this is the perfect time for me to explain what thoughts and emotions that picture stirred up in me.  You see I have prayed for your future wife from the time you were born!  I have prayed for her parents, her education, her salvation.  You name it.  Through all these years of praying for her I have also become very excited about meeting her someday!  Not only because I pray that she and I will have a great relationship, but more than anything because I pray that she will be the perfect woman for you!  This is the woman that you will spend your life with and who will raise your kids and my grandkids!  Let’s face it, she is important to our family!  I want her to be a gift to you!  I want her to love herself way too much to be showing off in a way that begs for attention.  I want her to be confident and strong and loving of herself as well as you. And if you haven’t already notice the world wants just the opposite for you and every other boy these days.

So that is what was going through my head that I couldn’t quite articulate.  I know that you will not 100% understand this until someday many years from now when your own child is a teenager and you are standing in my shoes.  But, I hope and pray that these words make a little bit of sense to you today.  Here is one more saying for you that I heard when I was younger.  When you are dating someone imagine if there father was married to your mother and their mother was married to your father.  Could you see these folks being compatible together?  You see when you get married you truly are bringing these 2 families together and by making this comparison you will have a good idea if your personalities will mix.  This is why boys many times marry a woman who reminds them of their mom and girls marry a man who reminds them of their dad. I know you are a long way from getting married!  (And right now you are thinking "Ah mom!")  But, these are all good things for you to think about in your teen years.  You are a lot closer now to needing to know these things than when I first started praying for your wife!  And believe me all those years have just flown by! You are growing up to be an awesome young man and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for you. 

Never forget…I am always here for you and I only want the very, very best for you!

XOXO

Mom

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight."   1 Peter 3:3-4 
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5 Comments

  1. Christinethecurious said,

    I'm typing one handed as I nurse the baby, so I can't write much,but this is right on the money.

  2. southernliving said,

    OK….you made me cry. Thanks sooo much for sharing that letter with us. How very precious. My son is 15 and a half and I know exactly how you feel. I laughed out loud at your initial response because it sounded just like how I would react and what MY son would say….haha
    Anyhoo, thanks!
    shan

  3. genamayo said,

    (I'm nursing a baby, too!)

    This was so wonderful–thank you so much for posting it!

    –Gena

  4. Charlotte, FL said,

    I just wanted to comment on the girls picture issue. I am the single mother of 2 girls. I have raised them in a loving Christian home and homeschooled them too. Unfortunately there comes a time when the world starts having it's influence on them. My daughter was posting those types of pictures on her myspace page. I had no idea about myspace and felt it was too complicated to learn, BUT, I had other adult friends that loved my daughter a lot and she posted a message about the picture being inappropriate, sending wrong messages, and expressed her love for my daughter…..she also pointed out the God didn't want her feeling like she needed to flaunt the body He gave her like that.

    So, my point is this: that girl will respect you more if you send her a message to her inbox telling her why that picture affected you so and how much you care for her wellbeing. Then, like my friend you can threaten to tell the mother if she doesn't change the picture…..lol

  5. Anonymous said,

    This post was fabulous!

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