Do you think modest dress is old fashioned? It seems that the manufacturers of girls’ clothing think so. A recent walk through the teen section of a major department store made me aware of how difficult it must be for girls to find attractive, yet modest, clothes.
The “Daddy-Test” for Modest Dress
They seemed an odd trio to be shopping in the preteen section of the big department store: a silver-haired sixty-something lady, a man about the same age in clothes and cap that indicated he probably was a farmer, and a slender, attractive girl about twelve years old. The man poked around through flimsy girl garments with unabashed comments about “what young people called clothes.” The woman spoke quietly with the girl as they checked out rack after rack of “stylish” back-to-school clothes.
Finally the girl retreated to the dressing room with an armful of possibilities. After a long wait, the woman checked on her. “Honey, are you finding anything?”
“No, I can’t find anything that meets the “daddy-test.”
Thank God there are still parents who have standards for what their daughters should wear and are willing to enforce those standards.
Scriptual Basis for Modest Dress
“ Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT
“I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety…” I Timothy 2:9 NIV
Modest Dress Protects the Sacred Places
The Temple in Jerusalem had an outer court that was called the Court of the Gentiles. Jewish worshipers were allowed to go deeper into the Temple, but Gentiles could only stand in the area that was farthest from the Holy of Holies. Understanding this concept is helpful as we think about our bodies as temples of God. Modest dress keeps the hands and eyes of outsiders off the sacred places that belong only to a marriage partner. Parents who insist on modest dress for their daughters are protecting the sacredness of their daughter’s future marriage.
Pleasing the King with Modest Dress
Middle school is a difficult time for girls who are seeking to be liked by friends and yet please their parents by how they dress. I once spoke at a seminar for girls appropriately named “A Princess for the King.” That title reminds us to teach our daughters that deciding how to dress is less a matter of pleasing friends or a parent than it is of pleasing their King.
Modest dress is only the beginning of the lessons that middle-schoolers need to learn about caring for their bodies as temples of the living God. Next week, we will explore another issue that is important to pre-teens and young teens.