Saturday, June 12, 2010

Your Power (Modesty Part Two)

I really enjoyed the discussion in the comments on yesterday's post. Thank you.

Since we have opened this can of worms I wanted to continue along the same lines with another conversation I had with a wise Mom (again around the pool). Observing some of the teen girls she remarked, "Remember when you realized how much power you yielded with your body?"

I have always been petite and a late bloomer. I have never been jaw-droppingly beautiful or had a body that stopped people in their tracks-perhaps it was God's protection. :-) Even so, I knew what she meant...kinda.

It got me thinking about what life would look like 15-20 years from now for today's young ladies. The trouble with sexuality being their source of power is that no one stays young, fit and wrinkle/sag free forever. If those attributes are the most powerful part of your being/identity, what happens when life inevitably takes its toll on your 'power'?

I am not belittling outward appearance. I would be lying to say it did not matter to me. I just want to make sure my life sends a message (especially to the younger girls in my life) that there is so much more than chasing skinny, fashion and good hair.

The world can send a message to girls that beauty and sex appeal is enough. That is a lie straight from the Enemy. Only Jesus is enough. Only when our power is found in His love will we find ourselves able to gracefully weather the toll childbearing, gravity, sun and age takes on our earthly bodies.

"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

I was reading John Rosemond the other day and he kept emphasizing the importance of thinking about the people we hoped our children would be at age 30. As we fight the battles like modest clothing and behavior it seems it would behoove us to remember the long term consequences.

By the way, I realize this is WAAAYYY easier for me to comment on because my children are only six. I pray I am not eating my words in a few years. :-)


Bailey's Leaf said...

I'm sorry. A little late to the game on this one, but I have a 6 year old, too. Parents aren't going to agree with me, but we don't allow our daughter to wear a bikini or two piece. It is one piece or nothing. (She's never asked why. She's never asked for one, so we're okay for now.) Our daughter tends to be a bit more modest anyhow. Anything that dips too low in the front makes her fear that her "bre*asts will show." I think that it is important to have little girls realize that they can be just as cute as everyone else with all of their proper parts covered. After all, wardrobe malfunctions happen, right? Besides, we leave less for the eye to feast upon. That includes children their age and older, as well as people who might want to feast for very improper and rather scary reasons. Is it difficult to pull a wet suit up on a wet body? Absolutely, but I'm willing to go through that struggle. That's our take on it, though.

As far as the teenagers in itty bitty bikinis and all that, my daughter will talk to me about that. "Mommy, I can see . . . " "Mommy, is she in her underwear?" "Mommy, she's going to get really sunburned." Yup.

My niece was very upset with me a few years ago when I agreed to purchase her a bathing suit, but it had to meet my standards. When I told her one piece only, I may very well have told her to include the turtleneck, so I had to back down on that a bit. (According to what she had been able to wear.) I told her that the two pieces had to be very extensively covering and if I didn't approve, it wasn't coming home. We came to a compromise that seemed reasonable. I assure you, all parts were very decently covered.

Alyssa The Alaskimo said...

I usually don’t comment because others tend to convey the same view so much more eloquently, but because this is the first time that I’ve disagreed, I had to weigh in, I apologize for the rambling rant that follows :) I grew up through middle and high school wearing bikinis.I never wore them because of what boys would think.

Now I am not a mother, so I understand that my view on this is much different, but sometimes I think as Christians we like to think that just because we’re doing something differently from the rest of the crowd (wearing a one piece, or cover-up), that we stand out more because we don’t care what other people think. Can it not be the same for wearing a two-piece?

I wore a bikini because I never once had a passing thought about what men or boys thought, and if I found a one-piece in the store that had better colors, I’d wear that! Shouldn’t that mind-set be what we aim for, for our younger generations?

I am a modest person, I can get down with turtle-neck like the best of them :) And I understand that as women we want to keep away from tempting lust, but where’s the line between avoiding lust, and simply distrusting men?

The girls at the pool wearing a one piece could be just as mean as the ones in bikinis, I think that's what we should worry about.

JMom said...

Alyssa, Thank you so much for your input on this. I wrote these posts with a considerable amount of passion, so I apologize if I went too far and was misunderstood.
I am definitely NOT judging the biki clad girls or their hearts. Especially because some of the ones that starts this conversation are girls that I know and adore. They are good girls.
I spent 10 years of my life wearing bikinis too. I was a Christian and not wearing them for what the boys thought--it was what all my friends were doing.
I also won't go so far as to say K will never wear one. I am really remarking on how scantily most of them are cut and how this world is a battlefield. Mainstream is really sexual. (So much so we don't even always recognize it.)
Thanks again for weighing in!