When we think of modesty, our first thoughts go to our little girls–or teenage girls. Maybe we think of young women in their early twenties. But our first thought isn’t usually our little boys.
We are contentious in raising our girls that they learn the importance of modesty right from the beginning. I think it’s easier to understand why it is of importance for girls more than for boys.
Is it more important for girls? Or equally important for both?
I would almost go as far as saying that it’s more important for boys. Really. Almost.
As my boys are growing, they are seeing the world around them. Hearing it. Feeling it. Taking it all in. Taking it all in.
They see what I wear. They see what their sisters wear. Many little girls come over to our house. They see what they wear. They see what the girls and women at church wear. And they see the attitudes these girls and women exude. And if you have boys of any age, they are doing the same thing.
Boys don’t have to be staring and gawking to notice. They are highly intelligent beings. They just notice. And it shapes them. It helps to shape what type of woman is attractive to them. It helps to shape what their expectations of a wife (or just a mate!!!) will be. And it shapes the degree of respect they will have toward women.
If I were to dress my daughter in sleeveless shirts or tank tops all in the name of hot weather, for example, then my boys would just be used to seeing girls in tank tops. Imagine if you will, he grows up and gets married. On an anniversary date, his wife cooks a candlelit dinner and wears a cute sleeveless outfit for him. Would he notice?
He would if it was something he never saw at home. If I never dressed that way. If his sisters never dressed that way. If the girls and women at church never dressed that way. Then he would notice–and he would likely be impressed with his wife. And he would feel a husbandly privilege–knowing this virtue was saved for his eyes only.
It’s not just about the physical attraction either. There is an attitude that goes with modesty.
When a young woman respects her body enough to keep covered, I don’t want my young men to think that she’s stuck up. I want them to view her the way God views her–as a virtuous woman. I want my boys to desire virtuous women–so I have to set that example.
And when they are married, I want them to have the confidence when their wife goes to the store covered, that they don’t even think twice that another man would be eyeing their woman. I want them to not suffer from jealousy for a reason so easily solved.
And I want them to give their wife confidence. I never want their wives to feel as though their body is never good enough for them.
If I wore tank tops and short skirts all the time, I feel that I would naturally expect my husband to be looking at me. If I dressed this way all the time–he would probably get used to it and stop looking after awhile. This would cause me to feel maybe like there was something wrong with my body. Maybe I’d start showing more just to get his attention? What low self-esteem would ensue?
I firmly believe when my boots are up to my knees, on top of wool leggings, underneath a heavy denim skirt that goes all the way to the tip of my boots, and a turtleneck sweater–my husband finds me attractive. I want my sons’ wives to have this assurance as well.
So I have to protect my boys. And I have a duty to protect yours as well.
I will live a life of modesty for myself. I will do this for the sake of my husband and my sons.
I will teach my girls a life of modesty for themselves. I will do this not only for their own sake, but for the sake of my sons. And for the sake of all the boys in their lives–and their wives.