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

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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  1. Love this! As a Christian, I grew up on strict rules of modesty. I went to church in pants one time, coming from school, and was shamed. That is NOT OK. This is not a reflection of my faith, but rather misperception by a large amount of what modesty truly is. Men and women are both accountable for their own actions. Sure, we should not tempt others by what we wear, but if you are dressing comfortably and not intentionally trying to seduce, any negative reaction is not yours. I agree we should dress in a way that draws people to our eyes and to our true self rather than parts of our body and I can do that even wearing comfortable yoga pants and leggings. Sometimes they are even more modest than skirts (oi the times my skirt flew up from the wind..) I believe modesty is more a heart issue rather than a clothing issue (not that people should be walking around in see through clothes or anything lol but if they are it is probably to get the wrong kind of attention..heart issue.)

  2. Rock on for writing this! Modesty is a heart issue, and it goes so much further than clothing. In fact, more bible references are to flaunting of status than to lustful displays, so the current “modest” focus is a bit misconstrued.
    Thanks for bringing a fresh perspective and reminding us that men, too, have a modesty conversation.

  3. Wonderful post! That yoga pants post really got to me too. I think she really was thinking about the entire thing all wrong. I totally agrees with you about modesty being about yourself, not about anyone else. Sharing!

  4. I love this. I love your heart shining through this and cutting through all the arguments on both sides. It’s about our hearts. Well said, bravo and God bless!

  5. i don’t follow any particular religion but I was raised to dress with class. I carry myself with modesty and it is daunting to pass this to my children. I have twins and it seems easy to teach these principles to my daughter, but my son is another story. I will certainly look for guidance on this. My husband and I work each day to agree to disagree on the difference of raising boys vs. girls. Doesn’t help that the elders in the family value double standards. I persist, though.

  6. I agree with you so much about what modesty really means. It is about myself and caring to keep myself modest at all times. I dress modestly because I believe it is the right thing to do for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this important subject.

  7. I appreciate your views on the matter. It would be wonderful if everyone chose to make what’s inside more important than what is outside of a person.

  8. Lovely said.I agree with the whole modest thing.I do believe everyone is there own person and should not follow but lead by example.I dress attire is both modest at times and not modest My daughter however is very,very modest,she will not even wear a swimsuit.I do not tell her what to wear or not wear,this is by her own choice.I guess I can say I’m relieved she chooses to do so,as a 15 yr old teenaer.Most her friends barely wear any clothes and it kinda shocks me ,but I’m not gonna judge there character by there choice in clothes.Like I said before I’m just glad my daughter chooses not to.Thanks so much for sharing your review with us.

  9. I was raised to dress modestly,,we wore pants etc but not tight and not short shorts,they had to cover a lot,,it pains me to see young ladies/or old ladies for that matter dress with so much showing,,we wore a dress to church and to funerals,,It took me a LONG time for it to be okay for ppl to wear pants to church and funerals,,but I have come to terms with that,,glad you are happy with your choice

  10. 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”.


  11. 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.

  12. 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!

    1. 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…

  13. 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.

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