Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Word About Modesty and Parents

Let me first note that if a guy lusts after a girl, it is his fault. He is responsible for his wickedness. If a man rapes a woman, it is his fault. He is responsible. He cannot blame it on the woman. There are no exceptions and no excuses.

But, there is a reason that the Bible has commands to women about modesty. That reason is because women have a duty, an obligation, to themselves, their husbands (future husbands if they are not yet married), to their daughters, to their sons, and to whoever else might see them to dress modestly. They are to make sure that only their own husbands enjoy their God-given enticements. And when their dress acts like a flashing red light and loud siren, it should sound very foolish to claim they have no responsibility.

Having said that, I point you to The Wall Street Journal today which has an article entitled “Why Do We Let Girls Dress Like That?

This author says, “Why do so many of us not only permit our teenage daughters to dress like this—like prostitutes, if we're being honest with ourselves—but pay for them to do it with our AmEx cards?”

This is not authored by some raving fundamentalist pastor whose wife looks like she just barely survived a bout with a buffet and Mike Tyson. It’s not written by a Mennonite with a headcovering, or a Muslim in a burqa. It’s not even written by a reformed sex offender who just got out after doing his fifteen for crimes against an attractive young girl.

It is authored by a Moses (Jennifer Moses that is). A woman. And apparently a Jewish woman. And like many Jews and many women, she is worth listening to.

She, like the ODG that shares her name, speaks a word that needs to be heard by parents, by teens too young to get it, by school headmasters responsible for classroom decorum, indeed by anyone who breathes and has a beating heart.

Here’s that word: Dress your age. And save something for the wedding night and the years that follow.

I think we live in a world where teen girls grow up too fast and teen boys grow up too slow.

Thirteen year-old girls are dressing like their twenty-five year-old man-hunters desperate to catch some man’s eye like he is the last single man living … though being single isn’t much of a requirement these days.

And thirty year-old boys are working part-time jobs at McDonald’s (this week at least), playing video games, and mooching off mom and dad for refrigerator privileges and living space (if they happen to even make it home at night).

Then when this thirteen year-old grows up and enters a relationship with this now thirty-five year old, she wonders why he only seems to want her for her body and makes her go out and get a job so they can eek out enough money to get a $300 apartment with stained carpet and loud neighbors.

And then three kids and a frazzled decade later, she wonders why he sits by the apartment pool with sunglasses on all summer long, spend hours on the computer though the browser history is always blank, and gets text messages at strange hours but never seems to have any texts on his phone.

She should remember that she attracted a jerk by using something wrongly. And he will be completely at fault for his sin. And so will she.

For God’s sake, and for your husband’s sake, and for your children’s sake, for men’s sake, for women’s sake, cover up a bit.

Girls, be thirteen for at least a year of life, preferably the year between twelve and fourteen. Develop a little self-respect. If you want men to like you for your mind, then spend a little time on that and not so much in front of the mirror. Because you will find that men who like you for your body will soon find another, and yours will stop being “thirteen” and become “thirty-five and three kids.”

And then what?

Moms, insist that your daughters act their age. And by that, I don’t mean telling them to grow up. I mean tell them to stop acting like they are twenty-five. And dads, be a dad. Tell the girls in your life what they can and cannot wear. You know how teenage boys think, because you used to be one, and probably still think like one at times. So help out. It’s what dads do.

And dads, insist your sons act their age. Teach them to be a man, sooner, not later. No young man will suffer irreparable harm because he scrounges up some spending money by raking yards or mowing grass rather than playing whatever the newest video game rage is. And missing the latest Fox cartoon will not send them to an asylum. Teaching them to wash dishes, sweep and vacuum, pick up clothes, and the like will not cause cancer, either for you or for them, though it may be painful for a while. And moms, with dad’s help, insist that your sons treat you like a lady, not a maidservant.

And dads, while I am here, I cannot think of any reason why your wife or your daughter needs to have something plastered across the back of her sweatpants or jeans. My guess is that you can’t either.

But you probably know exactly why it is there and exactly what young men (and old men) are thinking of when they try to read it … again and again and again.

Yes, legalistic I know. 

But a generation depends on it.

And we have already lost one.

It’s time to reclaim the next.


Anonymous said...

Excellent, Larry. Home run. Thank you for this.

Anonymous said...

Very good, but what does ODG mean?
Ozone Depletion Gopher? Seriously, it's not an acronym with which I am familiar...

Sam Hendrickson

Larry said...

ODG = Old Dead Guy

Usually used in references to writers from the 17-19th century.

Mark Buhr said...

Larry, Great article. Thanks for sharing it. And thanks for clarifying ODG. I couldn't figure it out, either! That's probably because I'm an OLG! Anyway, preach it, brother!

Anonymous said...

Excellent! I might just copy and save this on my own computor or post to FB. Might I also add:
MOTHERS - DRESS like a MOM! You are not 21 anymore! Quit dressing like you are going out clubbing with your girlfriends when you are taking your young children to school, library, & PTA meetings. We wonder why little girls are growing up too fast. I think some of their mothers need to grow up themselves.

in Chicagoland

Deana Terrill said...

BRAVO !!!!! Today's parents are tooo busy trying to be friends, and NOT parents. Making their children into worthy, loving, respectful growing young adults. It's parents job to teach, and execute the morals, values, standards for the next generation. Not to impress the child cos' we can game it w/ them. Doh' It's not rocket science, I'ts a life in your hands, if your to busy, or don't care about your children you let them roll with todays trashy fashions and see how messed up & dysfunctional they become. And, you are tagged as a lousy parent. Stand Up, get off your butts, and be parents! Kids, Tweens enjoy being a kid, I promise it'll be worth it. Act like a lady, walk and sit w/ legs closed. old saying, keep a dime between your knees. You'll be Loved for it so much more later as you develop. This is soo right on.. THANK YOU

Melissa said...

EXCELLENT!!! Passed that one on to Facebook. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for writing what "sensible" people are thinking. If we could all get it, there would be a lot less immorality.

Melanie said...


Jessica G said...

Excellent. Every parent...no, EVERYONE needs to read this. Thanks for your bravery.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I were just at McD's last night. More than 3/4 of the people were old men but a few tables had what appeared to be Jr. High girls and some older boys. We sat down to eat and the girls were talking quite loudly about different body parts of the boys, Every other word was a profanity as if they got a brownie point for how many times they could fit it in a sentence. I'm not a prude by any stretch and went to public school 30+ years ago. I've been through a lot and broke my parents heart numerous times as a kid but praise God He changed me. I was so saddened by what was going on I just wished there was a way to speed up time and show those girls where the path they were on was leading. Little girls plastered in makeup and barely dressed. I also wanted to warn those boys that these girls weren't the kind you bring home to Mama. All I could do was pray for them to wake up soon. Before it was too late to salvage their name.

Margaret said...

Great article. I also whole heartedly agree with the post that Moms should dress their age. They are huge offenders in so many ways. You are a wife and Mom, you can dress stylish AND be appropriate! If we guide our children, they can do very well even with all that they see or hear around them. We can't shelter them completely because the world is there but we can and we must guide! Be an example! Bad language has gotten so acceptable in the world. When and why? Bad words are still bad words. I'm just saying!
Maggie/Maggie's Lil' Fixins

Anonymous said...

FANTASTIC. You hit toe nail right one the head !!!!
Glad someone has some comon sense to tell it like it is.
A BIG THANK YOU !!!!!!!!!!!

Wanita said...

What about school sport uniforms that compromise your modesty? I have two teens in track this year and without wearing spandex underneath their shorts, they show their underwear. Do they really need to be that short? They don't even meet school dress code. How come the boys' shorts are longer? Any thought on this...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to post this!


Mimy said...

Thank you for sharing this! I passed it along on facebook...

Anonymous said...

Not legalistic, just common sense. Great post!