Well, I am just going to come out and say something that a woman in a Southern Baptist Church probably shouldn’t say…
I’m not sure modesty is all it’s cracked up to be.
There, I said it. You see I am concerned with the overwhelming amount of attention spent in the church training girls between the age of 8 and 18 about how to dress. We have classes, bible studies, and fashion shows to teach girls how to dress in the right way. How they should look cute and modest, fashionable and conservative all at the same time. While it’s with the good intentions of teaching girls not to look like harlots, or believe they can only be beautiful if they dress like a porn star, the subtle underlying message I fear we are teaching these girls is that it actually matters what you wear. I believe the church is helping drive an obsession with valuing the external.
Where are the classes on figuring out your gifting? Where are the classes teaching these girls about their sisters around the world who are slaves… factory slaves, sex slaves… actual slaves? Where are the classes teaching these girls Acts 1:8, and James 1:22, and Proverbs 31: 20? Where are the classes that teach these girls that the Church is God’s plan and they make up half of it!
Sadly, they just don’t exist…
Where and when in the church are we raising up an army? You see we need one. The world desperately needs an army of women who are willing to do more than attend a bible study, and as my friend puts it, “skid in to Heaven.” We desperately need a generation greater than mine. A generation that gets off the couch and says, “Wait, all this wealth, all this education, all this abundance in my life… it’s actually not just for me to sit back and enjoy!”
That’s why I think maybe we need to take another look at modesty. Every psychologist and mother alike will tell you a girl dresses like a hoochie to get attention. Why? Because she wants to be valued. Valued by the men around her. Valued by a boy who will stare at her, take her out, pick her as his own. She dresses like a whore because she’s been taught her value is to be decorative.
That’s where the church needs to come in…
We need to teach our girls that there was a man whose name was Jesus. He saw them before they even were, and He picked them. He picked each one of us girls as his own. He loved and cherished us so much He gave his very life for us. We can not be more valued by any man on earth than we already are by Jesus. And after dying for us, He valued us SO MUCH that He gave us a purpose for our time here on earth…. and it wasn’t to be decorative.
He charged us with bringing His message to the ends of the earth… (Act 1:8)
He charged us with loving one another as ourselves… (Mark 12:31)
Through Him we are created to teach, serve, contribute, and lead. (Romans 12:5-8)
I have never met a young woman who knew her value in God, and felt a calling on her life, who dressed immodestly. I guarantee you Katie Davis‘s mom did not have to keep on her about not wearing sheer shirts and mini skirts. That girl knew her value even as a teen. We need 100,000 Katie Davises to rise up. Our world is fallen and the needs are great. We are losing the church in America. We can not raise up another generation of modest girls whose church training focused on cute accessories and skirt lengths-. What we need is radical girls. We desperately need a generation of outlandish, spectacular, remarkable women who know their true worth and the impact they can make on this world. Once we raise that generation up, modesty will be a non-issue in the church, and the church might just not be lost after all.