Exporting modesty to the next generation
It is incumbent on the current generation of dads and moms to export biblical modesty to the next generation. There is no better context to do this than in the home.
Parents have a dozen or so years to teach their children how to connect the Gospel to everyday life. Wearing clothes is about as every day as it gets. From two to twelve years of age your child will put on clothes nearly 4000 times.
This is your redundant opportunity to teach your child about modesty. As you do this, keep in mind the starting place for modesty conversations begins in the heart of your child.
Exporting modesty to your family always begins in the heart rather than the child’s clothes. What we wear is a reflection of who we are. Your first goal is to address who they are before you address what they wear. You see this concept in our creator God.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. – Psalm 19:1 (ESV)
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. – Romans 1:20 (ESV)
The works of God give us insight into His person. He can’t do anything without leaving His mark on what He did. We are similar. The things we do and the choices we make reveal our true selves.
This makes addressing and reshaping the heart of the child into Christlikeness paramount. Ultimately the transformation of the heart is God’s work, but we’re supposed to cooperate with God as He works in your child’s heart (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
Some of the heart motivations you want to teach your children are respect, honor, gratitude, wisdom, discretion, and humility. If these character traits are functioning in your child’s heart then she will receive your instruction on modesty.
If your child is not governed by these character traits, then your efforts to get her to dress modestly will be futile. You can whitewash over a stain, but the stain will still show. You can make her wear the right clothes, but her heart will be defiant.
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion. – Proverbs 11:22 (ESV)
Beauty is external, while discretion is a matter of the heart. Address the heart first or you’ll