My modesty journey began almost ten years ago on October 7, 2001, when this scripture literally turned my world upside down. I was a 19 year-old college student who thought the more skin I exposed, the better. Growing up, I can’t recall ever being told a particular piece of clothing was off limits — tube tops, miniskirts, halter dresses — I wore them all with no objection from the maternal figures in my life. But in the months leading up to that “fateful day” in October, I began to find myself becoming uncomfortable exposing my body, putting on so much makeup and wearing body piercings. I even began to think my short, bleached hair (which I had dyed bright red) wasn’t exactly the look I should be going for any more.
This process of transformation wasn’t motivated by any human source; my family didn’t suggest the change and I wasn’t going to any particular church at the time. I no longer wanted my old lifestyle and I wanted to dress the part. Eventually God saved me and I began attending church regularly. It wasn’t long before I was introduced to the “do’s and don’ts.” Some of these standards aligned with the way I felt God had led me, while others seemed a little unnecessary. However, I deemed the less needful “standards” as trivial compared to the awesome transformation God had made in my life, so I just went along with what I was told.
Over time, though, I began to notice individuals who didn’t feel they were given the opportunity to possess their own convictions or had a difficult time aligning with the standards — and who could blame them? Most times they were given a list of regulations — in place of biblical teaching. This group seemed to be well-versed in the do’s and don’ts but completely oblivious to the “why’s” and “how come’s”. As a parent, I’ve been thinking of how we will instill modest convictions in our daughters, rather than a dogmatic list of rules and regulations.
I know that I want to share my personal testimony and experience with my daughter, but my prayer is that she never has to wear a miniskirt to develop an appreciation for modesty. With so many colliding ideologies and opinions, how does one put a love for godly principles in the heart of a child so they learn to form their own convictions? How do I take Hebrews 5:14 and put it into practice so that my daughter, “through training [has] the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong?”
When I came across MoMoMod a couple years ago and saw fashionable, modest, young women who enjoyed the way they dressed and seemed to have personal convictions related to their standards, I rejoiced! As a mother this gave me hope. The women who are a part of the MoMoMod community intrigued me. How had these individuals come to value modesty and what role did their mothers play? Were they taught why they should dress modestly as a child? Or were they given the regulations of a particular assembly? Is their mother an example of modesty or has God used them to be an example to their mothers? Was their relationship with God cultivated by their parents — therefore leading them to make personal decisions about their appearance?
This post isn’t my way of opening the gates to bash any particular standard or assembly (or to learn the specifics of your personal convictions) but to explore the role of mothers in the modesty journey of their daughters. Do you dress modestly and enjoy it? If so, what role, if any, did your mother play in your journey…inquiring moms want to know!