The Modesty of Summer

The waves crashing, the children building sandcastles, the aloe ready to relieve the sting. All things making Summer tangible.

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I love this time of year. I love the excitement of road trips leading to the ocean and Fourth of July parades followed by brilliant displays of color in the sky. I love camping and cookouts and every other thing that just doesn’t happen during other seasons. You know what I don’t love? I don’t love mosquitos. I don’t love dripping with sweat before I get from the house to the car. And I don’t love that my boys will be saturated with images of scantily clad women frolicking at the pool, beach and just about everywhere else we go.

Now that two little lads call me “Momma” I see things through a different filter and think of the teenagers and grown men they will become. I’m not raising children–I’m raising men–or at the very least, doing the best I can to hope the end result is two 30-year-olds I can be proud to call my sons. I wonder, however, when did those nearly-naked women, who were once little girls, choose to showcase what is sacred for all the world to see and not think twice about it?

We all know men are more visual while women are more emotional. Knowing this, why are so many little girls now dressing like little women–little immodest women? It’s not the girls buying the outfits, it’s the parents. Why aren’t the parents recognizing that those two-year-olds will be 12-year-olds and eventually 32-year-olds, who will have no understanding of modesty and not drawing the wrong kind of attention from the wrong kind of man? Hear me: I’m not saying sun dresses aren’t cute, and if I had a little girl the ruffles and lace would know no end. I’m also not saying girls (and women) should wear a muumuu and be covered to their ankles. What I am saying is our culture is obsessed with sex and little girls are not being taught the importance of treating their body as a gift from the get-go.

When women wearing only their undergarments are on full display in retail windows and the songs playing in the stores are shockingly graphic, we need to be all the more aware of what our children are seeing and hearing everywhere we go. And, perhaps we need to be more aware of our surroundings as well, and sing the all-too-familiar words to ourselves (and our children):

O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

We live in a zero-censorship society and only by staying prayerfully in tune to the Holy Spirit can we be on-guard and take proactive measures to train our children well. It’s time to step-up our parental game and teach these toddlers to treat the bodies God has given them with honor, respect and purity. When you think of the type of adult you are raising, ask yourself what message you hope they send through how they dress and what type of people you hope they eventually attract. I know this is not the be-all and end-all in terms of developing purity of heart and character of mind, but it is one very purposeful choice you can make. Remember: retailers sell things because the consumer buys them–stop buying them. Protect your child. Protect my child. And together, let’s do our best to protect the future men and women we are raising.

“Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

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