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Training Our Daughters to be Modest

November 2, 2007

Teaching our daughters to dress modestly should be a no brainer.  But today, it isn’t.  I see so many moms who dress in clothes that are way too tight, way too short, and way too low in front and in back.   How can we expect her daughter to dress appropriately if her mom doesn’t?   We need to understand how sensitive a man’s eye sight is.  It doesn’t take much for his mind to wonder and wish.  We need to make sure that we do not cause his mind to wonder where it shouldn’t.  Below are some scripture verses to explore and then some activities your daughter can do or you can do with her.  I remember doing this with my daughters when they began to dress to their own style and taste.  It was good for them to see what scripture said rather than just what Mom said.  It was also good for us to discuss together how we can still dress the nice with out wearing giant baggy clothes.  It isn’t always easy, but when we keep our focus on glorifying God then it is worth the trouble.  Girls need to learn that their worth is not in what they wear.  Their worth is in Christ.

~Look up and discuss the following scriptures.

§         Romans 12:2

§         1 Corinthians 10:31

§         1 Thessalonians 4:4-7


§         Practice sitting and bending over modestly whether you are wearing shorts, pants or a skirt.

§         Discuss with your parents: What is your goal in the way you dress?  Are you dressing for the approval of man or God?  Are you seeking to attract attention to yourself or to bring Glory to God?

§         Ask your father to explain how a young man responds to form-fitting or revealing clothing, flirtations behavior, body language, etc.

§         Look through a clothing catalog or sales ad.  Which styles are immodest?  What makes them immodest or modest?

§         In a public place, note the response of men to women who are dressed or behave immodestly.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. papasteve permalink
    November 2, 2007 2:53 pm

    Good post.
    What I like, though you don’t say it anywhere, it’s implied in your approach, is that the goal is to not control our kids but to empower them to make good decisions.
    I do think (and you may disagree) that we create boundries to keep them from falling off cliffs, not necessarily to keep them from falling into ditches. I think it’s important that we don’t hem them in too tight. They have to learn, and sometimes that’s by mistakes. (we just need to strive to make sure thy don’t have opportunities to make real big ones)
    And I do think that many Christian young girls are totally, totally clueless about the minds of young men. It’s so foreignly different to them, they just don’t beleive us when we describe what’s going on in the male mind.
    I heard of a story of a dad who took his young daughter to the mall and had her point out outfits on girls walking around the mall that she thought was appropriate. When she picked one that was a bit on the revealing side he said “let’s follow her around. But don’t watch her, watch all the men who are watching her”.
    She now beleives what her dad says about boys.
    God bless,

  2. November 2, 2007 2:54 pm

    OK, do these girls associate primarily with boys of the same or related sects? If so, look up the phrase “a well-turned ankle.” Changes in clothing and demeanor only change the areas of interest not the interest itself. If you’re looking to keep the girls from dating outside your church, this might work – but for easing the sexualization within that body I have my doubts as to its effectiveness.

  3. November 2, 2007 3:46 pm

    Papasteve, Thanks for your comment. I agree with you that girls (and women too) are clueless when it comes to how the male mind works. They don’t understand how visual you guys are. As Christians we are commanded in scripture to not cause another to stumble and I feel that the way we dress can most definitley cause one to stumble. Boundries are crucial when you are raising children and my children definitly cross those boundries on occassion. But, when it comes to teaching my daughters the importance of dressing appropriately the boundries are even more defined. I do allow my older girls (16, 15, 13 & 2) to dress in their own style & taste, but there are guidelines to follow. We talk about those guidelines & they actually came up with some of them on their own. When their desire to please the Lord became really important to them then it was not as big of an issue. They know they have a choice to make every time they get dressed.

    To Jonolan;
    The ultimate goal in teaching my daughters to be modest is not to “ease their sexualization” or to keep them away from boys. As Christians they are taught by their father & I that we are to share with others about God’s love, not distract away from it. They will attract boys, they already do, but if they do it isn’t because the way they dressed brought attention to themselves in a wrong manner. We don’t wear tent dresses or over sized clothes. My girls & I dress as stylish as we can without wearing the low cut, skin tight clothes. It is possible, just not easy.


  4. November 2, 2007 7:15 pm

    It’s very good to see some others who are encouraging people in these areas. Modesty (recognizing the beauty that God has given us, and the purpose He intended it for) has been a big passion of mine and my family’s for a long time.

    Keep up your faithful service to your family and those who read your blog.

  5. November 3, 2007 8:21 am


    Wonderful 🙂 I was just trying to figure uot where you were going with this and what goals you were shooting for. I lived in north Africa and the Mideast for some years and saw that “modest dress” just changed what the guys were looking at – they still got just as worked up!

  6. January 13, 2008 8:29 am

    They certainly can still get ‘worked up’ jonolan; however it is then all between that man and God. A girl who dresses in a revealing manner sets herself up for inappropriate attention. IMHO.

    Thank you for your article Dana. It thrills my soul to see other families practice biblcal modesty.

  7. inge permalink
    February 11, 2008 9:55 pm

    In my experience, the only person who can make a man’s eyes stay where they should is the man. A man whose eyes will wander will wander all over a modestly dressed girl, and a man who has been brought up right to think of women with masculine protectiveness and tenderness will behave honorably even with a mini skirt and skimpy tank. It is after all the male behavior that is the problem, so better to focus on bringing up boys to respect women than bringing up girls to blame themselves if boys don’t respect them.

  8. February 12, 2008 7:24 pm

    Inge,you bring up a very common argument concerning modesty. You are right in that a man can look lustfully at a very modestly dressed girl as much as an imodestly dressed girl. the difference is that if a man is going to look on a girl/woman in that way he is already greatly depraved in his heart. But, for those men who are trying to live according to God’s command and look onto a woman with respect and honor, why should we as women ignore the fact that God has created them with a very acute sense of sight and dress in a way that could tempt them to let their thoughts wonder? How responsible is that? It is a battle that men face everyday. why would I want to complicate it for them? What if I am struggling with eating too many sweets and you came to my house and brought me a giant chocolate cake. I love chocolate cake, but I know that I do not need to eat it, but here it is right in front of me and the temptation is very great & almost irrisistable. You are making it very difficult for me to resist the temptation to not eat the cake by bringing it to me & you probably had no idea that it was so difficult on me.
    I have told my son who is 14 that he should not hug girls because girls tend to be aroused by touch very easily and they could read a lot more into his hug than he is giving. He is just saying “hi” with a hug and not thinking anything else about it. Men are arouse by their sight. And once that picture is in their head they can not get it out. I want to help my brothers in Christ to live an upright life and be holy. I myself must live holy and part of that is dressing in a way that brings glory & honor to God. If the way I dress distract others from the Lord then that is sin. It is all about glorifying my God, more simply; making God look good. It is about living my life in a way that draws others to desire Christ, not me. I am teaching this to my kids, and my prayer has been that my boys will grow up to respect & honor women because they respect and love God, and my girls will grow up to respect & honor men, because then love & respect God.
    Scripture tells us that we all will be held accountable to God. Men who allow their thoughts to grow into lust wil be held accountable just like women will be held accountable if they presented their bodies in a sinful manner by wearing skimpy clothes. We can’t just wear what we want & tell them that it is their fault if they wonder what we look like with out our clothes on. Just like they can’t fondle our bodies and then tell us that it is our fault if we are aroused.

    Yes, raise our boys to to respect women. Nurture that God given desire to provide & protect their wife. It is so important and is missing in many of our boys today. But we as women can not refuse our responsiblity in encouraging and supporting our men and boys in living a holy & upright life by dressing modestly.

  9. February 12, 2008 8:00 pm

    Thank you, . The onus of restraint – if restrain there must be – must be placed squarely on the shoulders of both men and women.

    Who gave Adam the forbidden fruit? If he woman is a temptress – or dresses as such – she must take her share of the blame for any consequence thereof.

  10. February 13, 2008 4:39 pm

    Thank you Jonolan. it is nice to see you back.

  11. February 13, 2008 4:49 pm

    A good book to read on this is called “For Young Women Only”, by Shaunti Feldhahn. She first wrote, “For women Only”. But on this topic I think the young women book is good because it tells personal testimony from guys what goes through their minds when they see skimpy dressed women whether they are married or single, they all had the same response. her first book is great for married women.

  12. February 24, 2008 9:56 pm

    Preparing Your Daughter for Every Woman’s Battle – an excellent book to help. It covers much more than modesty, but it’s a good way to talk over all aspects of sexuality and how to set boundaries.

    Thanks for this post – my daughter and I will look at these verses together.

  13. Nikki kesterson permalink
    March 7, 2008 7:45 am

    hey I wrote that dude, that letter hit it right on the head. I really wish some girls read this and take it to heart.

    Love ya
    Nikki kesterson

  14. walter jackson permalink
    October 7, 2009 9:56 pm

    date 10 077 09 hello to all churchs modest and a lot fo man made..rules dont fellow this ..if women wants to wear short dress to church that is alway right ..her nakeds is cover up .. that would be bettween her legs ..short dress cover that spot ..reed your bible ..god dont look at the outer part he looks at the heart dont judge these girls a wrong to judge others ..only reasion they dont want to see the girs in short dress because they caint control the lust for them in there heart .and their afarid it might show there sins. out .cause of there lust ,..women should fellow ther own heart ..there heart will comdem them when they think its wrong ..pastor walter jackson …

    • October 8, 2009 10:10 am

      My only response to this can be that we should never follow our heart. It is where our emotions lie and scripture says that heart is wicked above all things. If we follow our heart, we will give in to evil desires. We must never follow our heart, we must follow God and his commands for us.

  15. August 14, 2011 3:55 pm

    Great article (and following posts). I couldn’t agree more. I am the mom of 3 boys and 3 girls. I pray that my boys practice Holiness. I pray that they will guard their heart and minds in Christ Jesus. I pray my girls seek to honor Christ first through their dress and seek to honor their father, brothers and other men of this world as well. We (men and women) are accountable for our each and every action. I pray that I do not cause one to stray. Thanks for the fellowship! You can read more about my perspective at my blog:

    God bless!

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