And I like to look nice.
I'm pretty sure I've always been like that.
My grandma has a picture in her collection of me and my cousin standing together the year we coincidentally ended up with very similar swimsuits. We were probably around 9 or 10, and while we were both very much "children" in our appearance, one of us was standing like a regular kid and the other was posing like (what she thought was) a super model.
I'll let you guess which was which...
I've always cared about my appearance and my clothes - sometimes too much. In the last number of years, however, I've thought a lot more about modesty. I certainly went through a phase where modesty was of no concern to me, but as I've gotten a little older and watched the styles and trends change; as have had two daughters of my own, modesty has been something I've spent more time considering. Why is modesty important? Who is modesty for? What does modesty look like?
Last summer at teen camp, my husband asked me to speak to the girls about godly sexuality, and modesty again came to mind. Today I was reminded of some of things the Lord taught me in preparing for that talk. A facebook friend/relative of mine posted a link to an article written by Sharon Hodde Miller for Relavant magazine which also included another link to a separate article she had written for her-meneuntics (a division of Christianity Today).
[click the links to read both articles]
Let me just say, this lady and I are of one mind!
As I read (and "amen-ed") these two pieces, I thought of my seven year old daughter. This girl cares about her personal style. She likes colourful dresses and fun tshirts, and she loves to be complimented on her outfit! As a toddler, she was the one who could be seen twirling her skirt for the attention it brought her. More than once I wondered about the fashion choices she would want to make as a teen....
|she's poser - just like her mom!|
What made my heart swell at the time was that she wasn't judgemental of the choices the actresses had made, she showed discernment. "oh, her dress is such a pretty colour and I love the way it ruffles in the back," she would say, "but it probably is a little immodest at the front top part...."
It makes me think. Here is a girl who doesn't yet understand the feeling of power a young woman can feel by dressing in a way that makes boys swoon (which is sweet way of saying something that likely isn't sweet). She's learning to assess outfits and choices based on whether or not it's appropriate for her and honouring to God. Maybe she doesn't think it exactly in those terms, but she is thinking.
I want modesty for my daughters, but I don't want it for them if it means they think their bodies are bad or dirty or irreverant just because they're female. I want my girls to honour the bodies God has made for them by feeding them well, exercising them for health, and dressing them appropriately - so that they are fit (in all senses of the word) for the things God is calling them to do.
I want this for myself too, and for all women. Let us offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. This is our spiritual act of worship. (Rom 12:1) And may we be motivated by love for our loving Creator and a desire to serve and please Him.