Yesterday, I was reminded of how important it is to start early in teaching our children modesty. The older my kids get, the more I see the fight for their purity is imminent. I see it everywhere…at the mall, at school, even at church, which is particularly troublesome.
I was reading here yesterday and this part really caught my attention: “Women go to church wearing short skirts with slits up the back, and worship God without a care in the world. Meanwhile, the guy behind them is struggling to focus on God, instead of her body.”
I immediately thought of the youth at my church who sit in the first two or three rows during our church services. They're great kids, but I have noticed many times that some of them dress as though they're more suited for street-walking than for worship. (maybe I exaggerated just a hair, but you get my drift)
How does Lucy Teen-ager’s low cut, curve-hugging blue jeans and tight fitting shirt affect Mr. Smith who is standing behind her trying desperately to focus on worship? Or, how does that scenario affect the teenage boy who is a veritable landmine of raging hormones? How can they possibly not notice a woman dressed like that?
They do notice. And that’s a problem.
Church services have become more contemporary these days and, as such, are moving towards a “come as you are” philosophy to encourage church attendance. I think this must have started with some congregation trying to encourage church attendance by denouncing the unspoken rule that one must arrive at church donning “Sunday” clothes, else be ostracized and forever pegged a heathen.
I think it worked, to some degree. After all, everyone doesn’t have “Sunday” clothes. And I’ve known people whose past experience in church left them feeling inferior and self-conscious because they didn’t have clothes as nice as everyone else. Of course, we all know that going to church isn’t about what you wear. But for some people, the dress code could potentially make or break their decision to stay in church.
The problem I see with the “come as you are” philosophy where church is concerned is this – it needs some boundaries. This isn’t so much an issue with the older generations who are still somewhat accustomed to breaking out their Sunday best every week, but for our youth, it has become a way of life. They think nothing of it. Telling a teenager to “come as you are,” is basically saying “wear whatever you want, no matter how sleazy it looks.”
Not sure exactly how to attack this issue, but it’s one that I feel is important. It's one I intend to fight. Church, of all places, should be a safe place where the struggles of everyday life are surrendered and abandoned at the cross. It shouldn’t be the setting of yet another moral obstacle to hurdle.
There has to be a gentle way to ask the kids to leave the hoochy clothes at home.
We just need to teach our kids modesty. We need to set the example and teach them how to protect their purity and how to protect the purity of others by dressing appropriately…everywhere they go.