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Modesty Misunderstood – How I Plan to Teach my Son

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I strongly believe that modesty is misunderstood. In this post, I explain why and how I plan to teach modesty to my son.

 

modesty misunderstood and how I plan to teach it to my son

 

You must have read this viral post that I’ve been seeing all over the place lately. It’s about a Christian blogger, Veronica Partridge who talks modesty on her blog, explaining her decision to give up leggings.

 

 

Boy, do I have opinions on the matter!

 

You see, I dress modestly. Very modestly, you might say. I’m an Orthodox Jew and we have rather strict laws regarding modesty. I cover my elbows and wear skirts to my knees. I won’t show any tummy or cleavage. Since I’m married, I even cover my hair.

modesty misunderstood

Now’s where you panic: “She’s going to tell me to cover my hair!”. But the truth is, I’m not going to tell you to cover your hair. I’m not going to tell you to do anything. Because my modesty is not about you. It’s not about him. It’s about me. 

 

Modesty Misunderstood – it’s a personal thing:

Modesty is not about leggings. Or hair coverings. Or bikinis. Or women’s rights. It’s about me. I treasure what I have inside me, which is why I choose to dress modestly.

 

I will not dress modestly because a man might “lust after me.” The man must take responsibility for his thoughts too. I dress modestly because I want to focus on my values, my talents, my personality, and my virtues that I was born with.

 

I choose to dress modestly. And to me, modesty isn’t about the exact length, color, or fit. It’s about what it does for me. It’s about having a man, woman, or dog look at me and look me in the eye. Because the eye is the window to what’s inside – what’s inside ME. Who I AM. And no, I am NOT the clothing I wear. There is so much  more to me than that…

 

How I Plan to Teach Modesty to my Son:

 

I believe that modesty is a misunderstood subject. It's not about men and lust. It's about self-worth. REad how I plan to teach modesty to my son here.

 

I plan to teach modesty to my son too. Because the message above applies to boys just the same. It applies to grown men and to husbands. It is not a message of “how your wife should dress”. It is not a message of “how to not lust after other men’s wives”. It’s a message of how to dress and act in a way that treasures what’s inside you and loses the focus on all the externals.

 

I plan to teach my son modesty in the original meaning of the words. Modesty means not to flaunt. It can be flaunting a spanking new car. It can be flaunting his life’s accomplishments. It can be flaunting body parts.

 

I will teach my son to focus on the beauty inside him, on all that he is blessed with. I will teach him to use that for good. I will teach him to see the good inside everyone and to be humble and kind.

 

Because that is what modesty is really all about.

 

So, wear leggings. Or yoga pants. Or don’t. I don’t care. But if you don’t, please don’t do it because “men might lust”. And definitely don’t tell your son that that’s why you’re doing it. Or your daughter. Because, is that really the message you want to pass on to the next generation? It’s a continuation of the “women dress sexy, I have a right” message that is so destructive. Never mind the “hide from society, outward looks matter too much” message.

 

Rather, teach a message of value and self-worth, and you’ll be teaching the lesson of modesty regardless of how you dress.

 

 

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Amanda Bernard

Saturday 21st of February 2015

I love this. I read that same blog post and I also had strong opinions on it. I feel the same way that you do. And it really burns me when people act like men cannot control their thoughts or actions....like their just a bunch of neanderthals. That, to me, does not say "I respect my husband". I actually find it very disrespectful to all men.

The Parent's Guide to Teaching Moral Values: 138 Ways to Raise Great Kids

Wednesday 18th of February 2015

[…] Modesty Misunderstood – How I Plan to Teach My Son – Moms and Crafters […]

Tiffany

Tuesday 10th of February 2015

I loved this! While I do dress modestly by choice, the attitude behind "modestly" at times bothers me. I went to a Christian school with a strict dress code.... For the girls. Because, we were told ad naseum, boys/men could not help being lustful, sexual creatures and the sin was ours if they struggled with impure thoughts. Imagine being 15 years old, and wearing a skirt that was below the knee in June, but you must have grown over summer, because now, in September, a hint of knee cap is showing. And being told multiple times throughout the day by a middle aged male teacher that he couldn't stop looking at your legs, he was thinking about your legs all through lunch break, "mmm, yeah, they're as nice as I remembered". When my parents complained they were told, what did you expect? He could see her knees. It was only a natural reaction on his part. This type of cop out is obviously unexceptable, that a grown man (a teacher), is free to lust after a child and it's all her fault. It's not fair to the girls/women, and it's not fair to the men/boys, who are basically being told, you're too weak to show any self control, any respect, any decency. You better hope you don't come across a girl in shorts, who knows what might happen!

Menucha @ Moms & Crafters

Tuesday 10th of February 2015

Exactly! That story is pretty shocking... And for me, as a parent, when it's taught that way to the girls, I know my son will pick up on it too. It "absolves" the men of responsibility for their actions. At the same time, there's so much virtue involved, that it's a shame to give it over the wrong way and miss out on it entirely...

ad46241

Tuesday 10th of February 2015

i love the message you want to pass on to your child. its always important to teach kids at times becuase thats the age they learn better and understand. They even develop the skill to use the knowledge and manners we pass on to them.

Alison

Friday 6th of February 2015

I love this article. I am having such a tough time finding clothes for my daughter already that I would consider "modest". Shorts are just way too short and some of the bathing suits are tiny. My mother inlaw gave her a rockstar costume she bought after Halloween on clearance that came with a tube top and fake snake skin pants. I am not super conservative, but she will not be wearing that. I want to teach my daughter confidence and although she is beautiful, I don't want her to think that is her only quality. She is so much more than the "pretty girl".

Thanks Alison theguiltymommy.com

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