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