Moms for Modesty – Inside and Out

Everyday Mommy, Rocks in my Dryer, Don’t Try this at Home & Barbara Curtis (Mommy Life) have come together and begun a campaign for Moms who are for Modesty.

They have established a Mission Statement:

Many retailers, marketing and PR firms review mommy blogs for trends and opinions. If we speak as one we may be able to effect change. Please let your blogging friends know.

Moms for Modesty Mission Statement

  • As a Mom for Modesty I believe in common-sense modesty for girls and young women.
  • I believe in refraining from sexualizing our girls and young women.
  • I believe that it is unwise and unfair to taunt boys and young men by permitting my daughter(s) to dress in an immodest manner.
  • I believe that true beauty comes from within and I strive to teach my daughter(s) this truth.
  • I will loyally shop at retailers that provide girls’ and young womens clothing that is modest, affordable and stylish.

When I read this, I was thrilled. As the mother of 6 girls, I can’t tell you how hard it is to find clothing that meets the standards that we have established for our daughters. (Can someone PLEASE explain to me why any young lady wearing a size 8 (children’s!) needs a matching bra and low hipster panties?! These were given to my daughter as a gift. ??)

However, I must stop and say, that no matter how important I find the need to purchase modest attire for my daughters, the REAL issue, of course, is helping them to be modest of heart.

Growing up, I heard over and over how a woman wasn’t lovely and feminine unless she was quiet and gentle. One of my first school memories is decking a young man square in the nose and leaving him bleeding at the back of the classroom. That doesn’t quite fit the mold of quiet or gentle, eh? (I’m sure this comes as a surprise to all of you – I know I must come off as the quiet and gentle type.) πŸ˜‰

After we were married, Jeff and I were a part of a Body that was teaching on boisterous women. I suppose, if you were searching for a good word, I might, in a pinch be called boisterous. (The first few times I went to a Clark gathering, I had to take Tylenol, to counteract the headache I received from all the noise….now, I just fit right in.) πŸ˜‰

One time, in particular, I was sitting with a group of women at a restaurant. The young man, who was our waiter, came up and served our meals. I smiled and thanked him and told him that his mother would be proud that he was serving a table full of mommies who were going out to dinner, for the first time without children. (We had all had babies within a 3 mo span of one another – and now the babies were all 6 – 9 mo…we were all pregnant, as I recall… but that’s another blog, altogether.) As the young man walked away, one of the women said, “You’re very forward with that young man, don’t you think?” I was shocked. Forward?! I stammered, I stuttered and said, “I’m sorry, I don’t know – was I?” Suddenly my approach to this young man was under intense scrutiny.

I came home WEEPING to Jeff. “The ladies thought I was forward with our waiter tonight.” I cried to him, I cried to Father and I cried to myself. (Did I mention I was pregnant?) After several days of crying, I finally came to a place of peace. The question Father posed to me was, “What was your heart motivation for speaking to the young man as you did? Was it to draw attention to yourself?” (Amusingly, the next time we all went out, I spoke to the same young man and the same woman commented and said, “You know, you have more joy than any other person I know.” Funny, isn’t it? Once Father had dealt with my heart, her perception of my motivation changed, too.)

Therefore, the standard that we place before our girls for their clothing is: “Why are you wearing that?” Is it to be cool? Is it to be noticed? Is it to draw attention to yourself? Once we have ascertained the heart behind the clothing choices, it’s much easier for us to know how to guide the hearts of our daughters.

I will pause here to confess, as a mom of almost-many, it is VERY hard for me to accurately check my OWN heart when it comes to dressing our daughters. Many times we run into immediate judgement because of the number of children we have. People either assume we must be very wealthy (we’re not) or they assume we’re dirt poor (we’re not). We have known families who have children who dress as though they were standing next to a Goodwill when a gas line exploded. They are mismatched and raggedy-looking. I want to avoid this – not for our glory (“Wow, check out how those Clarks dress their kids.” BLECH) but because I do not want to give anyone the idea that the Lord does not provide – and provide abundantly for us. (Which He does!)Β  I find I face the temptation of getting too many clothes or spending too much money on clothes for the girls. So, my heart is certainly not immune to this and I must keep asking the Holy Spirit to search my motives when gathering clothes for the girls.

By God’s grace, our daughters DESIRE to be modest in behavior and attire. (modest, not silent – they ARE my daughters, remember??) Already, in our 10 yr old, we have seen gifts of beautiful clothing given away, because she knew she would be tempted to sin while wearing it. (I should have been so mature at 10…. I’d have been grateful for that kind of wisdom at 30!) They help one another determine what they desire when choosing clothes that are…wild. πŸ™‚ My beautiful 17 yr old daughter asks her father and brother if anything she has on could cause a brother to stumble. How blessed we are. (This is NOT a matter of reaping what we’ve sown, by the way…this is GRACE, GRACE and more GRACE!)

So, fellow moms who desire modesty for our daughters, let’s shout from the rooftops and call for modesty on the outside – as well as inside. They go together like a horse and carriage….I tell you this, Mother, can’t have one without the other. πŸ™‚ (sort of source?)

 

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Comments
17 Responses to “Moms for Modesty – Inside and Out”
  1. Michelle says:

    AMEN! Glad to see you’ve got the button up here. Maybe I’ll have to think about switching over to wordpress if I can’t get one up on xanga. Tell BondServant thank you for me. I can’t even imagine doing all this work for a complete stranger.

  2. deborah says:

    “love and marriage, love and marriage……”

    ok, now on to my comment. i just posted on CH about this very thing. i dress modestly myself and my dd walks very closely behind me in this matter. we ask dad his opinion on clothing and he’s never steered us wrong. dd and i were reviewing a recent get together we had and talking about why wearing certain clothing might appeal to young women. i SO MUCH APPRECIATE that we are able to have these talks and that she understands the need for modesty, that it is really all about the heart, that truly loving the other person requires you to not cause them to stumble.

    it’s amazing to me, really, that i’m even having these talks! i was a girl always looking for love in all the wrong places (source anyone?? ;)) and i dressed like i was determined to find it :(. anyway, it is grace that brought me here and i am so thankful that God is allowing me to influence my dd for good and not evil! i have 4 daughters and 2 sons, so i’m glad i have this time with rebekah to practice.

  3. Jenna says:

    *laughs* So, that is what it looks like when we walk into a room? Gas explosion…at least it’s exciting! lol

    Seriously though, I am *trying* to teach DD about coordinating clothing, but I’m just not the best person to be handing out this lesson. My sister is forever groaning over my clothing choices. I think that is just because I’m not stylish enough though. lol

    I think that we are doing pretty well on DD’s heart, but actually having success with the physical- that is taking some work. I’ve made a specific point to always keep shorts and leggings available for our daughter, because she’s not happy unless she is falling all over herself, with her legs up in the air. Makes for messy dress wearing. lol I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been teased for “over dressing” DD, just to keep her from accidentally flashing everything that God has given her. *blushes* It’s all good though. I’m sure that she’ll outgrow the urge to hang upside-down eventually.

  4. javadawn says:

    Hey Deborah – YES!! Thank you. πŸ™‚ And I offer Johnny Paycheck “Looking for Love”…. How fun. I know just what you’re talking about – Danica and I have those kinds of conversations too – I thrill to them. πŸ™‚

    Jenna, you BEAN! I don’t mean JUST mismatched – I have kids, I know mismatched…I wear mismatched. πŸ™‚ I mean mismatched and raggedy…that dirty waif look. I understand it and have compassion on it when the family is needy – but when it’s just a lack of …I don’t know – it’s the same feeling I have when I see kiddos out in public with green snot running down their wee faces. It’s one thing if they’ve just sneezed and it’s still…well, it’s fresh – it’s the dried green and brown gunk gathering around the base of their chin thing that gets me. (SORRY ALL – TMI X 10!!!):? Jenna, my sweet, I have NO doubt that your sweet dd doesn’t end up looking like what I’m talking about.

    NOW – when kids are playing and they’re dirty and wearing play clothes, we’re talking a different ball game, altogether!! OK?!

    Michelle, you’re oh so welcome. She loves messing with it, and felt bad she couldn’t help you out with it. I say – “Welcome to WordPress.” πŸ˜‰

    Um, by the way…Jenna, are you trying to tell me I’m going to stop hanging upside down soon? I think I’m going to cry….

  5. ~ Patricia says:

    I saw “Moms for Modesty” on Barbara Curtis’s blog earlier and must admit that I am very skittish about grabbing it. The problem is that there are so many interpretations among Christians about what is “modest”. My 15yo dd is incredibly modest and arrived at her convictions entirely on her own. but she wears jeans and enjoys looking stylish. She buys her shirts not by size, but by what fits without clinging, and she layers them. She will not buy a shirt with words on it that she cannot read, in the event that it says something it shouldn’t. She is careful to cover her midriff and would not walk out of her bedroom – much less the house – wearing anything revealing. She sometimes wears bermuda shorts (we do live in the hot and humid south, afterall). She is known among her peers as someone who will approach you privately about your dress if she feels it is immodest. She despises shopping at the mall because she gets so irritated at the way most of the girls dress and the difficulty of finding cute and affordable modest clothing in the stores . Yet – some Christians would not consider the way she dresses to be modest. Her father and I do. More importantly, we know her heart. Her love for the Lord and her desire to bring Him glory humbles me. Yet, just this afternoon, her standard of modesty was sharply criticized by other Christians. It reminded me of the time many years ago that I attended a church where I was told that dangling earrings were debauchery because they drew attention to a woman’s chest. I was scared to death after that to go to that church for fear that I was wearing something inappropriate and didn’t know it. As much as I’d like to add the button to my blog, I’m not sure that I want to invite further insults. Thank you for an excellent post and for allowing me to vent. In His Amazing Love ~ Patricia

  6. javadawn says:

    Patricia – YES!! Thank you – THAT is the heart attitude we’re after, as well. We haven’t chosen SPECIFICS so much as gone after heart attitudes. (And you’re welcome to come vent any time you like.) πŸ™‚

    There are things that Danica won’t wear because she says, “I just don’t feel “right” – partly because the people who prefer this style aren’t doing so modestly AT ALL.” (Patricia, I would NEVER have been so discerning at her age! I was still wearing bikinis and running around in tight jeans at that point, to my shame.)

    I had never heard before the dangling earrings thing..??? I’m sorry – that seems so extreme to me. Does it make anyone else wonder what kind of lust some of the people who make these rules is dealing with? (I remember someone telling me that I couldn’t put my arm up on the back of a chair because it made my top too tight. ??? I was wearing a one size too large maternity top… I’d have had to put my arm AND THE CHAIR into my top to make it too tight.)

    Please hear my heart. I desire to remain modest, but it has SO MUCH less to do with what I choose to wear and more to do with the state of my heart – “Out of the over flow of the heart, the girl/woman dresses.” πŸ™‚

  7. Michelle says:

    Dawn,

    Thinking seriously about making the switch, trouble is I don’t have a BondServant at my house. I’m the most computer literate sentiant being on the farm, so that’s pretty scary. Maybe Buddy (our chocolate lab) or Luna (the cat) could do better, but they’re not allowed in the house.

  8. javadawn says:

    HEY!! What are you doing on the computer??? Aren’t you supposed to be off playing kissy-face with your hubby??? πŸ˜‰

  9. molleth says:

    I know, I’m all for the concept of modesty, but I’m a little burnt on the issue myself.

    I’ve heard one leader talk about how you have to be very careful with your long skirts, that the slits in them cause men to lust, especially side and front ones, no matter how small, however if you MUST have a slit, back ones are preferred…

    And I’ve heard another leader give a sermon on women’s SHOES, how dangerous they can be, how you can ruin your entire modest wardrobe all by wearing a pretty pair of shoes that will then cause a man to stumble…

    I’m just so burnt out on it all right now, that I decided (like Patricia—nice to know I’m not alone) that I’m not putting up the button. I am a mom who is totally for modesty…I’m just a little queasy at all the hoopla that surrounds it right now.

    And I say all THAT to say that your post was flat-out AWESOME, Dawn. Ah, refreshing. Thanks, I needed that!
    πŸ™‚

  10. Michelle says:

    Dawn, we leave this afternoon.

    Patricia and Molly, it sound like the people you are talking about are making the issue of modesty their idol, much like when Jesus said that sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. Modesty is for our good, to help and protect us, not somthing we should become enslaved to. I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, just encouraging you that the people you are talking to have a very warped view on the subject.

    That said, it’s probably a good idea to step back and realize the Moms for Modesty campaign is not trying to reach conservative Christians to define modesty. It’s trying to make an impact on the secular fashion industry for the glory of God. It really should be something we can all get behind. I don’t know if I’m saying this right or not, but if we want to have a legitimate discussion about what constitutes modesty within the Christian community, fine; but we will make more of an impact on the world around us if we are unified. I’m not telling you to put up a button or join a campaign, just feeling frustrated with how our witness is sometimes compromised by in-fighting.

    I hope and pray that when you read this you hear a heart of love and not one of condemnation.

  11. I know I’m coming in this conversation late and no one (but Dawn) will probably see this. But I just wanted to say I totally hear and understand what Patricia and Molly are saying and just want to echo what Michelle and Dawn said. So I don’t really have anything to add I just wanted to say yep and mmm, hmm!!

    *hugs all around for the sisters*

  12. Thanks for the hugs! Michelle…please don’t misunderstand my comments about the Moms for Modesty campaign. I would love to put the button on my blogs – and like Molly, I am a mom for modesty – It is just that my daughter and I are still “licking our wounds” from the harsh, and soon to be public, criticism I referrenced. My daughter – the one who preaches modesty to her friends – was in tears yesterday at the criticism she received implying that she is worldly. I fear that if I place the button on my blog that I will be inviting more of the same because clearly our definition of modesty is not the same as others. The earring incident happened many years ago – it was simply an example of how legalistic the topic of modesty can become. I came to the conclusion that the person in that church who promoted the ban on dangling earrings must have been the person with the problem. I would never want to offend a brother in Christ, but didn’t know all their “rules” and was afraid of being offensive without knowing it. Modesty shouldn’t be that difficult. Dawn….I love your blog and I will most certainly return. In His Love ~ Patricia

  13. javadawn says:

    Patricia – I’m posting this here and I may post at your blog too – Danica and I will be praying for your daughter. (and you) This situation just breaks my heart. 😦 There are so few young ladies who truly want to wholeheartedly be sold out for Jesus – what a painful thing to endure. May the Lord comfort her!

  14. Oh (((Patrica))) I’m praying for you and your daughter too!! Ugh, how incredibly frustrating!!! I had a similar situation last summer with a very close family member. I was told that I wasn’t dressed modestly (I was at a pool with capri’s on and a tank top over my bathing suit ~ and not just because I was trying to be modest but because I feel uncomfortable in a bathing suit if front people). I had the whole story written out but decided not to post it. Instead just know I completely empathize with you and your daughter.

    Oh and Emily and I both wear dangling earrings too!! =oD

  15. javadawn says:

    Patricia, Is your dd an Emily too? I saw an Em in your brag book (sniff, sniff, makes me want another baby to see your precious Mason):) I was enthralled by her face. Her eyes are just so full of LIFE and JOY! Her sweet spirit is just written all over her. (She’s beautiful too – Thank God she has chosen to be modest – your hubby would need a ball bat to keep her protected otherwise.)

    Crystal, are you serious?!! I don’t want to stir up trouble, I just really want to understand…what did they feel you *should* have on, if capris and a tank weren’t enough? I’m hard pressed to see you standing on your poolside lounge, towel around your neck, singing “I wanna be loved by you, by you and nobody else but you…booo booo beee dooo.” So…??? I don’t get it.

    While we’re at it, may I also say I don’t get the mentality of dealing with one another’s immodesty in attack mode. Aren’t we all on the same “team”? Isn’t the goal to honor and glorify Father and protect our Brother’s in Christ?!! Does it really require bloodletting to accomplish that?! (Sorry, I’m probably too tired to comment on this – it gets me really upset. I better hesh mah mowth and get off here before I say something I’ll be ashamed of.) πŸ˜•

  16. molleth says:

    Personally, I think it’s just another thing we vaunt up into idol status, seeing *it* before we see Jesus, if that makes sense. A great indicator is what our eyes see: if we look at a girl walking by strutting our stuff and think, “Immodest! I’d like to take her aside and explain to her a few things…” as opposed to, “There’s a girl who needs to know the love of Christ. Spirit, how can I pray for her…?”

    It’s one of those things where SO many people can be talking about modesty from the RIGHT vantage point, because we *should* be modest and it honors our Lord by doing so, yet…others aren’t talking about it from the right vantage point at all… 😦

    It’s just so easy to develop the Pharisaical version of it in our hearts…the Pharisees were *right* on so many things, but they lost the heart of it…and while being right, they were ugly as all get out. I don’t want to be that kind of “right,” know what I mean?

    Which is why, Mrs. Dawn, I loved your post so much. Modesty is one of those words I cringe at these days, having to much of it pumped down my throat in the form of the idol version…so thanks for the good good good words about what REALLY matters, about what’s at the HEART of modest dress. Keep on pointing to the Lord, sistah! πŸ™‚

  17. Oh Molly you really touched my heart tonight. I am one of those who is guilty of screaming inside my head, β€œImmodest! I’d like to take her aside and explain to her a few things…” as opposed to, β€œThere’s a girl who needs to know the love of Christ. Spirit, how can I pray for her…?” And yet I know that these quoted words are the truth and I knew it before you posted them. Modesty has only been something that has been on my heart in the last year or so. Before that I was just a girl (who loved Jesus, btw) out in the world oblivious to what I was wearing that was not modest.

    I have been in this place before where I have seen the truth that you shared tonight only to let it go and let my anger take over instead of keeping love in my heart. I don’t want to be like that and I feel like I am in that place again where I can see girls dressed in less than clothes and love them in my heart. God has me on this journey though to figure out this modesty stuff and let me tell ya He’s has stretched me BIG TIME and has shown me many things. Tonight I think He just showed me one more!

    Thanks friends.

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