Off Topic · parenting

My Thoughts on the Modesty Debate.

The Modesty debate has been brought to my attention again.  My friend posted this link to her fb page and I had to read it.

http://www.convergentbooks.com/why-modesty-is-wrong/

I am a pervert. At the mall, I’m a pervert. At the beach, I’m a double-pervert. At home, I’m a pervert when I look out the kitchen window at joggers passing by. And then there’s the computer, where I turn into a triple-pervert. I have no willpower. I am nothing more than a weak, sex-crazed monster who thinks women were born for my erotic pleasure.

At least that’s what I’m told

Check out the link for the rest of the article. It is really well written and I love the ending of it.

Then there is the debate on her page after this article.  That has been really good too.  I understand. I have been there and am still here. It’s quite a discussion.  I have had my eyes opened to a healthy way to see and understand this debate. Thank you to my dear friends who posted this link, and also discussed it here.

This debate is one we have had A LOT at our house!!

I have sons and daughters.  They both have had issues with modest dress.  For the boys we have had the “pants on the ground” discussion.  For the girls, well, unfortunately that is where culturally most of the discussion lies.  Girls’ clothing styles are low cut both pants and tops.  We have discussed til we are all blue in the face, the issues here!  We have had the swimsuit debate.  We have had the low cut pants debate- That one is over with thank GOD!!!  No problems with that one lately, as they are sick of pants cut that way too!  We have had the low cut shirts debate.  We are all doing better with that one.

Why is it that it’s only the girls that have to worry about covering themselves so much?  Why is  it that it’s only the girls who have clothing/style issues?

Should it be only the girl’s problem?

I have been known to walk around our table full of teen agers, boys and girls, and see butts.  I can look around our table and see boobs.

I don’t want to see either.  They don’t really want to have either showing.  When I point it out they are quick to cover it up.  The problem is not only in their choice of styles, but in the styles themselves!  Yes, I know there are ways to still cover things up. My oldest wears shorts under his baggy pants because he doesn’t really want to show it all but likes the baggy pants.  Some of the kids layer clothing to help keep things covered.  Belts have become important again.

The other thing I want to point out here is that boys or girls at my house, friend or family, both are expected to look at each other as a brother or sister.  What I mean by that is this, when the boys run around with their shirts off their sisters don’t look at them in a sexual way.  They are their brothers.  When the girls run around in their swimsuits the boys don’t look at them in a sexual way, they are their sisters. I don’t care if you are family or friend.

The point I want to make here is this.  We are not animals. As I quoted from the other article, men are not all perverts.  Women are not all sluts only looking for the next man or trying to seduce yet another man. Women are not objects for men to look at for their erotic pleasure!  We must learn and train our kids, to treat each other as brothers and sisters.  No matter what they are wearing.  Or not wearing.

If your sister is naked, according to the “modesty police”, her brother will have sex with her.  He can’t help himself.  He is an animal unable to control his urges.   If not physically, then for sure in his head which, in some circles, is still adultery or fornication. He is a pervert!!

What I am saying is that if your sister is naked her brother ought to be able to go to her and talk with her and cover her up, without NEEDING to have sex with her!  and if a young man is taught healthy ways to look at another person he should be able to see value and importance in her and be able to control himself.

(Obviously, I am not condoning brothers and sisters to get naked together I am just using that as an example.)

The reality here is that our kids need to learn to dress well, neatly and modestly, without showing off things that need to not be shown off, but also to be able to talk and relate to someone without having an issue with what they are wearing or not wearing.  Our kids go into the world and we want to world to come to us.  There will be times when a young woman comes into our churches with low cut pants, high cut tops and a “tramp Stamp” in between and we need to be able to look at that and not think sexual thoughts!!  We need to just love her where she is at and show her that she is a person not a sex object.

We also need to understand that sometimes the church kids are in church with clothing that we would not consider modest or appropriate.  Sometimes the parents are just choosing to not fight this particular battle because they are fighting lots of other more important battles with their kids. Maybe the fact that the kids are in church at all is a huge victory.

We have to teach our kids that no matter what they are wearing, they must treat each other as people and with respect.  Just because you don’t have your shirt on doesn’t mean I have to look at you with lust.  I have a choice.

Now let’s be honest here, if you have your shirt off, people are going to look at you.  They are going to look at you either as “you look good” and in a good way.  Admiring your body in a good way.  Then there are those who are going to look at you in a “you look GOOOOOD” in a way that is not at all healthy, but rather, well, let’s just say, not healthy and good.

You are going to have that.

They have not been taught a higher way.respect-300x248

The higher way I think, is this.

Men and women are not objects for personal pleasure.  Note that I include men AND women in this.  Women are just as guilty as men in this.  I am putting the blame square where it belongs: BOTH of us are guilty of this!!  You might remember there ARE male strippers too!!

Men and women are not animals that cannot control their urges. Even some animals most of the time can get along with members of the opposite sex without HAVING to have sex with them!!!  We have something called self-control.  Learn to use it!  Teach your kids to use it!!  Teach your kids the value of the other person and how important it is to protect the other person.  They are not there simply for your pleasure!

Sex is a good thing, inside of certain healthy boundaries. One and I believe the most important, being the bounds of marriage. Honestly, this is a hard one for me.  I have talked to my kids about this subject and the previous one.  I don’t really know for sure that they are following this.  The point here is that this is what needs to be taught and talked about and encouraged.

Men and women should be taught that they are beautiful no matter what.  I don’t care what you are wearing, pants down, or shirt up, you are beautiful because of who you are and who God has created you to be, not because of what you are wearing.

This modesty battle is an ongoing one. It will always be there I am sure.  But let’s not just blame the girls.  Let’s just come to terms with some things and deal with this in a healthy way. I am starting to get a good understanding of this I think.  I haven’t always and I apologize to my kids right now for not protecting them when they needed it, and for not teaching them and not having a healthy understanding to be able to teach them and talk with them about these things.

I don’t want any of my kids to feel dirty and shamed.  I don’t want any of my kids to have to look at a friend or a sibling in a way that makes the other person feel dirty or shamed. I want my kids and the people around me to be able to look at another person and admire them in a healthy way.  I want my kids and the kids around me to be able to look at another person and see value and beauty in them.

How do we do that?  By talking with our kids, training them, teaching them, modeling for them healthy ways to admire someone without turning it into an unhealthy thing.  Remember that other people are important and valuable.  Think about that.  Understand when you are dressing others may be looking at you, and it could very well be they are looking at you in unhealthy ways.

Honestly I hope I am helping to give more understanding and not offending anyone.  I want to bless you all in your raising of your kids and I pray mostly that this not be a major issue in your lives!! 

Blessings on your day! 

vicki

 

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