Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's time to get dressed

Yesterday as I sat waiting for my son Aaron who is a sophomore to come out of school, out walked a young girl pushing her baby in a stroller. Then two young girls came out of the building each holding a baby in their arms followed by their friend who looks like she is due to have her baby any minute.
His school has a daycare in it.
The young parents of LHS even get a two page spread in the year book.
It's not anything for him to see pregnant girls in his classes.
Or for a young girl to tell him she wants to have his baby. It's his norm. 9 months out of his year.

This was by far one of the best posts I've read addressing the clothing some designers are making written by author Vicki Courtney titled Abercrombie & Fitch: YAWN.
Here are some of the t-shirts A&F tries to sell to our young men and women...

Many Christian moms pray over purity for their young ladies, but often it's that same praying Mom that buys her daughter the newest, tightest, shortest outfit in the store. I remember a very strong woman of God once defended the trashy way a teenage relative of hers dressed by saying, "it's all the stores are selling".
We can't pray for purity and justify provocative clothing in the same breath.
As a mom of a 15 year old boy with eyes in his head, it is not fair for him to have to see this junk.
Not at school, not in the movies and definitely not at church. And if I'm honest with myself, as much as I want to think that he looks away, I know he doesn't. Hopefully I'm wrong, but as we know, young and old men alike are very visual. Now don't think for one minute that I'm saying that your girl is responsible for what my boy looks at or thinks about what he sees. Not at all. Boys are responsible for where they choose to look as well as young ladies are responsible for what they give them to see.

This summer I went shorts shopping for my 8 year old daughter. Almost every pair of shorts I picked up had "short shorts" typed on the label. Even if I wanted to dress my daughter in them I knew her Daddy would've sent me back to the store. I had to really search, but eventually found shorts that didn't end right under her butt cheeks, but instead below the middle of her thighs.

About a month ago Aaron and I were in Wal-Mart and there was a teenage girl standing in line with her Mom. It looked like she just finished up with cheer practice and she was wearing a sports bra and the tiniest shorts I've ever seen. I stepped back and looked around and couldn't believe all the eyes looking at this young girl. Young men, married men and older men all obviously looking at her tan, in shape, uncovered body. And who could blame them? Everything she had was on display for all to view.

The devil is out to kill, steal and destroy. This is not a game he is playing. He wants our young ladies and our young men, for Satan knows, the younger they fall the harder it is for them to get up.
These young girls today are no different than I was when I chose to dress in a way that didn't please either my Heavenly Father or my earthly Dad. I had to wait until I was out of my parent's house to disrespect myself in the way I dressed, but I will never forget a comment I received from a man my Dad's age.
A few years after high school graduation I was already a young Mom. At 20 years old my body had no problem bouncing back to what I was before I got pregnant and I wanted to show off every curve. A friend of mine and I attended a basketball game at our high school. I wore a pair of jeans that I'm sure I had to paint on me and a long sleeve black shirt with black leather boots up to my knees with my jeans tucked into them. This father of a student that was not in my grade, but grades older, approached me to tell me how "nice" I looked.

Looking back, I know I had the body for the jeans, but nothing about how tight or sexy they looked brought pleasure to my King. Nothing. And by the look on this man's face, I knew I had made him stumble in his thought life and I walked away from him feeling so dirty. In all the years I attended school with his kids, he never spoke to me. Never one time did he tell me I did a good job after a volleyball match. He didn't feel the urge to talk to me until I dressed with a message. To this day the way he looked me up and down gives me the creeps. And I went to a Christian school.

Again, I had to wait until I was out from under my parents' roof to dress in clothes that my Dad would've thrown away. I grew up with a Mom that I never had to be embarrassed of how she carried herself or how she dressed. Never. The most skin she showed was when she mowed our lawn in her jeans and would roll up the sleeves on her t-shirt and show her shoulders. To this day my Mom dresses modestly and pleasing to the Lord. But by choice, in my twenties I lived a different lifestyle than what I was shown and taught and I dressed according to what I grew to believe about myself. Pure lies from the lips of Satan himself.

When the schools are having to put day cares in the building so the girls will stay in school and graduate, there is something not right here.
These young girls are searching.
They are seeking.
Time and time again advertisers claim that "sex sells". This Satan knows. He tries to convince our young girls that dressing sleezy or putting inviting messages on their shirts is what these guys want and he is just filling their minds with lies. My son had a class with a young lady his freshman year that in his words, "Mom she says she is a Christian and invites everyone to her youth group, but she dresses slutty and talks openly about what she is willing to do to guys. What I don't get is how can you say one thing and be the other?" I remember this conversation as it was yesterday because he initiated it more than once.

As Moms it is our responsibility to teach our girls to be mysterious.
To know they are worth the wait, respect and proper attention.
To dress as if a King is watching over them, because One is and there is no outfit He doesn't see her wear.

Trust me when I say that when a young lady doesn't pay attention to how she dresses, she will soon become undressed. And when your clothes fall to the floor so does your self respect and esteem. And there your daughters' clothes along with her self worth is left in a pile. "My daughter would never do that"...maybe not, but I guarantee you if she dressed inappropriately, she was undressed by eyes of whatever guy she paraded herself in front of throughout her day.

Let us be Moms who encourage our young ladies to not show too much leg or cleavage. To not buy clothing that causes confusion. When we attended a larger church years ago the way certain young ladies dressed was such a distraction to a friend of ours that he had to switch churches. We have to be wise and protective, not only our girls, but the guys they come in contact with each day.

There are two young sisters in our church family, Rebeccah and Hannah that each Sunday are dressed like girls of God. Rebeccah just turned 17 last Tuesday and I love the modesty she displays each week. I wouldn't have a problem setting any man behind her because she is covered where she needs to be and she offers no distraction away from her King. That is a godly young lady who respects herself and God.

Yesterday as I watched the young Moms exit high school, I did not sit there and cast judgement their way, but instead compassion. Having a gorgeous teen Mom under my wing, I am seeing that really the bottom line is she just wants to be loved and accepted. She never set out to become a Mom of two before turning 20, but Amiyah Elizabeth and Juliana Pearl are the result of her search.

These young ladies, whether they are a teen Mom or a virgin, they are searching.
Longing to fill the spaces in their lives.
If we don't point them to Jesus Christ in every area, including how they dress, then Satan will sneak into their lives and soon their search will be over because someone or something has found their way into their heart.
Being filled with anything but Jesus only brings emptiness and heartache.
Trust me, I know.

Dressing modest is important because a nice Christian girl with tight jeans on or short shorts on or a low cut blouse on isn't noticed for the Bible in her hands. Messages are spoken silently but loudly with how we as women cover or don't cover our bodies. Dress so that when you look in the mirror you can hear the words of Jesus say,
Well done good and faithful servant. Well done.

I hope you take the time to read Vicki's post mentioned above as her whole ministry is focused on young girls.
And for all ladies between the ages of 18-29 there is an incredible new website JUST FOR YOU called She Seeks. Headed up by our beautiful sister in Christ, Lisa Whittle, it is a website that is fun and hip and is a division of the beloved Proverbs 31 Ministries. There are giveaways, devotionals and places for you to express yourself.
It's a must go to website.
So click on the name She Seeks above or on the button on my sidebar and go check it out.

Dress for your King today ladies, young and older. He's watching us in a world where modesty and godliness has been shoved out of our closets. It's time to bring it back and let the Designer of your life dress you from head to toe. No more room for compromises. It's not fair to you or the young or older men around you.
It's simply time to get dressed.
I hear God's full armour described in Ephesians 6 is a pretty snazzy outfit.

~Many Blessings~


Lea said...

Dressing modestly and discreetly really does need to be re-addressed.I heard a pastor once say that it's sometimes even hard for him to minister to women who often go kneel at the alter in "too" short of a skirt, or too low of a top.

It's funny you mentioned this because just yesterday at walmart I saw a woman who ... well put it this way; I was glad my husband nor sons was with me. :(

"clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Col 3:12
As my friend Irene wrote:
Now THATS "high" fashion.

Unreasonable Grace said...

Lelia, insert my "AMEN" after every one of your statements! I lost the dressing battle with my oldest stepdaughter, now 19 and living with her boyfriend. But the 16 yr old is still under my roof and often thinks ugly thoughts toward me because I refuse to let her wear "daisy dukes" and insist that she pull her shirt down to cover her middle. I plan to send her to your blog post today - I think she thinks I'm the only "fuddy-duddy" on the planet.

You've preached GOOD words today. Thank you, sister!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

This is wonderful, Lelia. So beautifully said.
You have a way with words and expression, that's for sure. Such grace.

Danielle said...

Oh, girl! This topic can get me so heated! And not in a bad way. My daughter, 9, watches people like a little hawk. At the age of 3, she was pulling down my cousins shirts if they road up and pulling closed jackets if the tops were too low cut!

I am trying to instill in her a modesty that honors God. Not me and not her dad, but God. In our society, that is so very rare. We had this talk yesterday while in Bible Study. I love my family, I do... but alot of my cousins, who are young mothers wear clothes that they hang out of. I don't even want to be around them because I don't like seeing it, let alone my husband and daughter.

It grieves my spirit to think these young girls think it's sexy, it's good, it's what they need to be doing.

How the Father's heart must weep for these girls!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Yes, and yes, and yes!!!

Not long ago, I wrote a couple of posts on purity: here's the link if you're interested...

We dress on purpose and with intention. As the mother of 3 boys and wife of one grown-up boy,I can't tell you how angry I get at parents for not training their daughters along these lines. In addition, grown women who know better, but choose lesser. I've been that woman, and I knew exactly what I was doing.

Keep preaching, girl. Keep living it all the more.

Love you.


Kelly said...

The devil is out to kill, steal and destroy. This is not a game he is playing. He wants our young ladies and our young men, for Satan knows, the younger they fall the harder it is for them to get up.

I love how God speaks through you, with the utmost important messages.

KelliGirl said...

There is some great stuff here. As a mother of a teenage daughter, I hung on your every word.

It is tough sometimes to even know what "modest" is because immodest is almost universally prevalent. As parents we need to be ever-vigilant and focused on eternal truth, not the "truth" that goes in and out of fashion with the changing seasons.

Have a great weekend!

Suzanne - Daughter of the King said...

Lelia - thank you for this post. For the last couple of days I'd been watching my daughter. She is growing so tall (at 10). Her shorts were getting shorter. I could feel the Lord pointing this out...but I was ignoring because our funds were limited and we didn't have a lot of clothes for her to begin with. After reading your post - I prayed and talked to the Lord and committed that I would talk with her. First thing this morning she and I talked about growing up and modesty. We went through her entire dresser and pulled out the shirts that were really too small (but I'd been holding out and ignoring that sometimes I could see her stomach if she stretched). The lack of faith that God was going to clothe her had me in chains!!

I told her we were going to trust God to provide her with clothes that would fit her. So out went the jeans that were getting too tight, shorts that were getting shorter as her legs grew... Thank you for your honesty, heart and transparency and most of all your obediency to speak truth.

Donna said...

Thank you so very much for today's post! This is indeed a much needed and timely message for women of all ages. I have a 14 year old daughter, who thankfully, is careful how she dresses. But it is a battle in trying to find decent, modest clothing. I look around at the girls at church and am amazed at what they wear, even more so that their mothers let them. As others have said, it is refreshing to know that I am not the only fuddy duddy. Thank you again for your message today!

Kelly said...

An excellent word, Lelia! I work right next to a big shopping mall, and if I go over there at lunch to get something to eat or run into a store, I am amazed at what I see in how girls are dressed...and it's not just jr high/high school girls either....modesty has been thrown out the window...but I don't want to be judgmental...I just feel bad for them, feeling like they have to dress the way they do maybe to get attention or is a heartbreaker for sure.....

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Preach it, sister!!

My dad was very uninvolved in my life, but I do remember a couple of times him saying "Go change your clothes, you look like a hooker." And I doubt seriously I did - this was the 80s, modesty/the preppy look was in. I had nothing on what the girls wear now. But when your dad says you look like a hooker, no matter how much you disagree with him, no matter how much you cuss him out in your room, you just can't wear that outfit anymore. Total fashion buzz kill.

I think most of these girls are absolutely clueless about the effect they have on men - I know I was. Most girls dress to impress other girls. I didn't have a clue how visual men are until I married one and we discussed it over and over. We are so UNvisual (Playgirl? Um, gross...) that it is hard to wrap our brains around.

But the fathers of these men know exACTly what happens when their daughters wear this stuff. Of course many of the girls don't have a dad in sight, but many of them DO, and the dads need to STEP UP and say, "Go change your clothes, you look like a hooker."

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

PS - in our very conservative church, our pastor's (beautiful) daughters wear short skirts and strapless tops.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing.

Jennifer said...

Such a great word Lelia! I have a 3 year old daughter and I have already thought of such things! We have to direct them to Jesus as you said, it's so important!! Thank you for sharing this.



HisPrincess said...

My teenager has a great attitude toward the way she dresses. It's one of the very few things she has a great attitude towards, and I'm extremely grateful.

Her motto is "don't advertise what's not for sale". I love that. She can be so grown up sometimes!

Mari said...

Amen! I fight this battle with my two teen girls. We search until we find something mommy thinks does not say "have a look see and a taste". I just won't allow it. Having walked that provocative road myself, I know of what I speak. So I am with you Lelia. We have to instill what we can and hope they stick with it. I'm praying mine stick with it!

Connie said... are so right on!!

I just want to encourage all of you young moms and moms of boys to keep trying to keep them pure and dressing appropriately. I prayed many a prayer for my sons when they were in high school because the girls wear so little clothes these days.

Keep praying and fighting for your children's purity!