The Bare Essentials: What I Tell My Daughters About Modesty

The Bare Essentials: What I Tell My Daughters About Modesty

I was practically born in a bikini.

Okay, so I was probably wearing less than that.

But I did grow up hearing my mom tell people that I was only 3 weeks old when I took my first trip to the beach. Living close to the sunny Southern California coast, it’s where I spent most of my childhood—at the beach.

And, if you didn’t already know this, beaches and bikinis . . . well, they just kind of go together.

Like mint-chip and ice-cream.

Or something like that. 

My point is that I didn’t exactly grow up in an Amish community and modesty wasn’t the hot topic for those of us immersed in the beach culture.

Even though I attended church, I honestly don’t remember the topic of modesty being brought up there. Not in Sunday School, in sermons, or at youth group. Maybe I just missed it, but it was rarely, if ever, mentioned in our church setting.

So I feel a little funny telling you this, but it wasn’t until I was all grown up – a wife and a mother – that I realized that modesty wasn’t merely a “nice” subject for “nice” girls, but was actually a biblical one. Like, it’s literally found  in the Bible and that I should probably try to figure out what modesty really means. (I Timothy 2:9-10)

I said I was a mom, but I should add that I’m a mom to four girls. So not only did I need to come to grips with this whole modesty thing, I now had the responsibility of teaching our daughters about it. And it’s not quite as easy as it sounds.

Do I “lay down the law” and decide what the girls can – and can’t – wear? Or do I ignore the topic altogether and hope they figure it out for themselves?

Neither of these approaches set very well with me.

I’ll admit that I wish it was defined a bit more clearly. You know, what modesty is and what it is not. Seems to me that it would have made things a lot more simple.

But then again, the Bible also says we’re to “love one another fervently” and doesn’t explain the “rules” of how we’re to go about that. Yet it doesn’t keep us from seeking what love might look like. How that might play out.

So modesty doesn’t come with a rule-book either. But I’ve decided I’m willing to wrestle with it. And our daughters are right there with me and we’re working it out together.

Does modesty merely involve wearing more clothes? Ditching the bikini? Never wearing jeans? Always wearing skirts? But never short skirts? And . . . how short is “short” anyway?

I’m sorry, but you’re going to be disappointed if you were hoping that I’d answer these questions.

Except maybe the one about the bikini. That got ditched. A while ago.

But I do still love mint-chip ice-cream, just so you know . . . and if you wanted to send me some. 

What I can tell you is what I tell our teenage daughters. What I believe to be the bare essentials about a woman and modesty.

The Bare Essentials: What I Tell My Daughters About Modesty

The Bare Essentials: What I Tell My Daughters About Modesty

Modesty has far more to do with our hearts, than it does with our clothing. Anyone getting all caught up in the apparel is probably missing the point.

Our beauty should come from within and not be wrapped up in our bodies. True beauty is found in our hearts and will be evident to anyone around us. Baring our bodies doesn’t make us more beautiful. No matter what the world might tell you.

God made women with feminine curves and that’s nothing to apologize for. So we don’t need to hide them, just not accentuate them to a point of distraction.

Save sexy for marriage. It’s the best place for it. In fact, it’s a great place for it.

Sometimes it helps to get a second opinion. Does this work? Too little, or too much? This is what friends – or sisters or mothers – are for.

Modesty doesn’t have to mean frumpy. No need to completely abandon style or taste in the process.

If God had wanted modesty to consist of a bunch of rules, He would have listed them out for us. Just remember the point is not to see how much – or how little – we can get away with.

Our definition of modesty might look a bit different than that of others. Some of our friends wear only dresses and some of our friends wear only jeans. As it happens, around here we wear both.

Sometimes modesty means simply dressing appropriately for the occasion. In other words, don’t wear a ball gown to the beach and don’t wear your bathing suit to the dance.

My job as mom is to teach the principle of modesty, but I didn’t sign up to be the Modesty Police. You belong to Christ and I won’t be dictating your clothing choices.

The Holy Spirit will guide if you ask Him for wisdom in this matter of modesty. Look to Him for direction and you will do well.

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. ~ I Peter 3:3-4

So, my dear daughters, I hope you always walk in love and forever in beauty.

Imperishable beauty. 

Because you are truly precious.

In His grace,

Signature small

 

*I always welcome comments and discussion and look forward to hearing your thoughts and questions. A gentle reminder, however, that Club31Women is a community where we strive to speak both grace and truth, so please refrain from insulting, divisive, or judgmental comments.  Thank you ~ Lisa

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

Growing Up Girls: An Encouraging and Helpful Resource for Raising Daughters

Growing Up Girls: An Encouraging and Helpful Resource for Raising Up Daughters

You probably know that I have four daughters.

And that I love these girls all to pieces. Each and every one of them.

They are my dearest friends and the ones I go to when I need prayer or encouragement. Or help. Or even advice, now that they’re getting older.

And coffee. I definitely go to them for coffee.

And they come to me for chocolate.

So you can see that we’re very close, these girls and me.

Even though each one is so different with her own unique personality. With her own individual strengths and weaknesses. And me with mine.

And we talk together and laugh and sometimes cry. Then talk some more and hopefully laugh again.

Because . . . well, because we’re girls, I guess.

And we’re growing up together.  These girls and me.

Growing Up Girls

Maybe you’ve got girls too?

If you do, then I’ve gathered some of the words I’ve shared over the last few years about raising daughters and some of the things I’ve learned along the way. Plus a few things from their daddy too. Stuff I hope will encourage and help you with your girls too.

Encouraging & Helpful Articles on Raising Daughters

21 Questions Your Daughter Really Needs You to Ask Her

How Does Your Daughter Grow Up To Be Your Very Best Friend?

One Hundred Things I Want to Share Before She’s A Bride

To My Daughter: A Good Man Is Worth Waiting For

24 Ways to Prepare Your Young Girl to Become a Lovely Woman

A Dozen Ways to Look After Your Daughter’s Heart

6 Truths Every Daughter Needs to Know

My Dear Daughter: A Word About Love Stories and Happy Endings

And from a Dad’s Heart:

8 Things Every Daughter Needs To Hear from Her Dad

20 Daddy-Daughter Dates

Growing Up Girls

And now I’m going to tell you something that you already know, but I have to say it anyway.

They grow up fast. These girls.

The next thing you know, she’s a woman and not merely a girl. And not only your daughter, but hopefully your friend too.

Drinking coffee and sharing chocolate together.

Talking, laughing, crying, and praying together.

Because that’s what grown-up girls do. ;)

Growing Up Girls - An Encouraging Resource

In His grace,

Signature small

 

P.S. Here’s another resource if you’ve got boys: Bringing Up Boys: An Encouraging and Helpful Resource for Raising Sons

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

To My Daughter: A Good Man is Worth Waiting For

To My Daughter - A Good Man is Worth Waiting For

It’s not easy being young.

Especially when you’re a girl and eagerly looking forward to the upcoming Hoedown on Saturday night.

She had no trouble picking out a blouse or borrowing a cowboy hat from a friend.

But finding the perfect denim skirt? That was another matter.

Our daughter looked up at me with pleading eyes, “Please, Mama, can we go thrift shopping for a skirt? I have the outfit all pictured in my mind. Please….?”

Oh, how I wanted to help her out.

I mean, on the one hand, it wasn’t a big deal, right? Just another Saturday night event at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch.

The Ranch of Rescued Dreams.

But then again, it kinda is . . . when you’re a fun-loving, dreamy girl. And it’s not been so very long that I don’t remember what that’s like.

So I honestly wanted to do this for her. But I couldn’t.

My day was more-than-filled and I couldn’t see how to pull it off. I tried to soften the blow and let her down easy. It’s true, earlier in the week I had told her I’d take her. But what could I do . . . ? Sometimes plans change.

I was searching for sympathetic words for the dear girl when I heard him speak up from across the room.

“I’ll take her,” he simply said.

That would be her dad talking.

We both glanced over at him – somewhat surprised.

“Umm…Honey? You’re so sweet to offer, but we’re talking thrift shopping here. And this is a work day for you. And you have a deadline to meet and . . . .” I had so many reasons why it didn’t make sense. Why he shouldn’t do it.

But it was already a done-deal.

He was grabbing his keys and they were going.

I watched the two of them drive off and I wondered if she’d always remember that day with her dad. If someday she’d look back at the old photos and remember searching nearly every thrift shop in our small western town. The perfect blue-jean skirt finally showing up at the last consignment store.

Happy smiles and holding hands. Daddy and daughter.

It wouldn’t be the first time I’d fallen in love with that man. But watching him drive away with that girl of ours had me spinning again.

A Good Man is Worth Waiting For

Funny what love can look like.

When I first met my husband, I thought love looked like a tall, dark, and handsome man. Then it became a long, passionate kiss and deep conversations that went late into the night. Later on it meant holding a new baby in our arms and tucking sleepy children into their beds.

Now love looked like a busy man taking the day off work to rescue the small dreams of a young girl. Who is quickly becoming a woman.

I often thought of them – those two whom I love so dearly – throughout that day.

And I prayed that our daughter would someday find just such a man. A good man who understands the hopes and dreams of a woman. The kind of guy who’s willing to look after his girl. Who cares about her heart.

A Good Man is Worth Waiting For

Hold out, my Darling, for that kind of man because he’s worth waiting for.

I pray this for all our dear daughters. For mine and for yours too.

I pray that she will wait for a good man. That she’ll know what love really looks like.

I pray that he’ll be one who loves Christ and loves her too.

Sacrificially and faithfully. Tenderly. A good man.

Yes, wait for him. 

In His grace,
Signature small

 

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

My Dear Daughter: A Word About Love Stories and Happy Endings

Club31Women.com_My Dear Daughter - A Word About Love Stories & Happy Endings
I feel rather blessed.

Being the mother of several lovely teenage daughters—young, bright, and beautiful.

All of them hoping to get married some day.

Or at least they think they will.

But to tell you the truth, they’ve grown a little doubtful lately.

The girls observe these marriages around them falling apart right before their eyes. They’ve seen the destruction of divorce and have stayed up late comforting dear friends whose parents are parting ways.

Or, they watch while some couples stay together, yet grow increasingly cold and distant.

Tension filling the air.

It troubles them to think of their lives ending in this unhappy way.

It messes with their minds and messes with their dreams.

They’re not little girls anymore and they understand that life is no fairytale.

But they can’t help wondering where did all the good stories go? You know, the ones with a happy ending?

Whatever happened to happily-ever-after?

And this is what I tell each precious one . . . .

My Dear Daughter - A Word About Love Stories and Happy Endings

 

My Dear Daughter

My dear daughter,

I believe in a good God who desires to write a beautiful story for our lives.

Rather than looking at the messed-up world around you, fix your eyes on Him who is more than able to care for you. He is the One you can trust for your hope and for your future.

. . . casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (I Pet. 5:7)

I believe in a God who’s in the business of changing people.

He can change me and He can move that man of mine. He has the power to transform our marriage into something wonderful and glorifying to Him.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor. 5:17)

I believe in a God who restores and redeems.

He can heal the broken and save the lost. I’ve seen Him turn lives around and rescue marriages from the most impossible situations.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Ps. 34:18)

I believe in a God who sees the big picture.

While we might only see the snapshot – what is happening today – He knows what our future holds.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11)

You can take your daddy and me, for example. Here we are, two imperfect people who have learned to love each other—who are still learning to love each other. Look at the good work God is doing in and through our life together.

Growing, learning, forgiving and loving some more.

This is the stuff that makes for some of the best stories.

This is a real love story.

With a very happy ending.

With love,

Mom

A Good and Powerful God

So that’s the kind of story I’m hoping for our daughters and the kind I’m hoping for you.

Not because I believe in fairytales, but because I believe in a good and powerful God.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph. 3:20-21)

Let’s call on our God – He who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think – to do His beautiful work in our lives and relationships!

In His grace,

Signature small

 

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

FREE Printable: 21 Questions Your Daughter Really Needs You to Ask Her

Questions Your Daughter Really Needs You to Ask Her

So how do you develop a close relationship with your daughter? 

How do you get to know her heart?

That’s what I shared with you a couple of weeks ago (you can read more HERE).  It’s one of the ways that I’ve been able to grow close to our girls.

I ask questions.

It’s not so much that I have the answers —mostly I have questions.

And I ask these – and more – from our daughters and then do my best to listen with all my heart.

You can download this FREE printable by clicking the link below:

Printable – 21 Questions Your Daughter Really Needs You to Ask Her

FREE Printable - 21 Questions Your Daughter Really Needs You to Ask HerBlessings on you and your own dear girl!

In His grace,
Signature small

P.S. Also:  21 Questions Your Son Really Needs You to Ask Him 

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)
100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

21 Questions Your Daughter Really Needs You to Ask Her

21 Questions Your Daughter Really Needs You to Ask Close.

That’s how my friend described my relationship with our daughters. “She’s really close to her girls,” she informed the woman across the table. She said it as though I wasn’t sitting right there and listening.

Felt a little funny. That personal observation shared in my presence.

But it’s true – we’re very close. Those girls and me. We laugh and hug and talk about most everything.

Close.

So how did we get there? How did we grow so close?

I had to stop and really think about that one. And then this is what came to me . . . .

This closeness comes from seeking–from seeking their hearts and pursuing relationship. It comes from being interested in their thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams.

And it comes from asking questions.

I ask our daughters questions most every day. I wonder how they’re doing, what they’re thinking about, and how they’re feeling.

Because our girls need me to ask them about these things. They won’t necessarily volunteer what’s on their hearts and minds. They need me to ask and they need me to care about their answers.

Your daughter probably needs you to ask her too. 

21 Questions Your Daughter Needs You to Ask Her

21 Questions Your Daughter Really Needs You to Ask

Maybe you don’t know what to ask your girl, or where to begin.

If so, here’s a list of questions you might ask that sweet girl of yours….

  1. What’s on your heart?
  2. What happened in your day today?
  3. Why did that make you cry?
  4. What do you dream about?
  5. What would you do, if you could do anything you wanted?
  6. What kinds of things make you feel cared for?
  7. What is your favorite kind of food?
  8. What do you need from me?
  9. What makes you happy?
  10. What did you like about that movie?
  11. Which kind of music makes you want to sing?
  12. What are those things that make you angry?
  13. What would you like to talk about?
  14. Where would you like to visit, if you could go anywhere?
  15. What makes you afraid?
  16. What is your fondest memory?
  17. How does that (whatever the circumstance) make you feel?
  18. What makes you laugh?
  19. What have you been thinking about lately?
  20. What sorts of things are important to you?
  21. Do you know how much I love you?

So go ahead. Ask her.

Start the conversation.

And cozy up and listen to her answers.

Grow close together. Very close.

In His grace,

Signature small

*FREE Printable of these 21 Questions Your Daughter Really Needs You to Ask Her

*Also: 21 Questions Your Son Really Needs You to Ask Him

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).