Teaching Modesty

Purity goes much deeper than how one dresses, and though our culture might try to convince us otherwise, purity is a sign of self-respect and can be a vivid example of a heart surrendered to Christ. In the following post, Dawn discusses this issue from a parent’s perspective. If you’re a mom—of boys or girls—may you glean some wisdom and encouragement from Dawn’s testimony. For all of us, may we hold ourselves to the same standards or higher as we would our child, niece, nephew or grandchild.

I desperately wanted to have a daughter. God, in His infinite wisdom, blessed me with sons.

Why do I say infinite wisdom? Because as my sons became teens, I struggled with the almost daily lessons on modesty and propriety in a society where sex permeates every corner.

This isn’t about demonizing television, music, and movies. It isn’t about shaming any gender or parenting (or lack thereof). It isn’t even setting a limit for what you should believe is appropriate; everyone has their own beliefs they should uphold.

It’s about the very real battle to keep my son’s minds as pure as possible, yet prepare them for every situation I can. I thought, if I have this much trouble with sons, I can only imagine how hard it would be to do so with girls—where many place the burden of modesty’s responsibility.

How do I qualify that last statement? Do you ever hear of a teen boy being called names simply for wearing something skimpy?

This past year at my youngest son’s track meet, the attire for a boy’s team made me uncomfortable. It was much more revealing that I liked, and I talked to my son about it. In comparison the girl’s teams were much more covered or modest in fashion. But I didn’t hear anyone else complain about the boy’s team, or how they were provocative in the least.

I have to wonder if the uniforms were switched, would anyone have complained?


Romans 12:2 (NAS) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Other versions say do not be fashioned, which I think sometimes fits our society better.

I was blessed to have boys, where most of the time they wore shorts to their knees and I didn’t have to worry about things such as bra straps and cleavage. But, I often get comments from mothers of daughters saying it must be so much easier to raise boys.

To tell you the truth, it isn’t. They have to learn self control just the same. They have to be taught what is acceptable and not acceptable, learn boundaries, and internalize responsibility for not only their actions, but their thoughts as well.

In a society where sex sells butter, it’s not easy to raise any child free from corruption, (or to live without corruption ourselves) unless you keep them in a vault hidden away. But that isn’t a feasible solution. John chapters 15 and 17 talks about how we should be in the world, but not of the world. These scriptures were and still are what I go to when talking with my boys about so many issues. (These are great Scriptures for us to go through as we fight the same or similar battles as well.)

"Being modest and pure of mind may not be easy in this society; it sure isn't in fashion." - Dawn Ford

Being modest and pure of mind may not be easy in this society; it sure isn’t in fashion. Boy or girl it’s not easy raising children in today’s world. May you find strength and comfort in God’s Word to continue the mission of raising Godly children.


Though Dawn spoke of this issue specifically as a mom, in our increasingly sexualized culture, this is an issue we all are forced to deal with—and battle against. What are some things you do to remain pure and modest? How might knowing who you are in Christ—knowing how deeply loved you are—help? How can helping our children understand this help them as well also?

Share your thoughts here or on our Facebook Page.

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The Modesty Debate: Going Deeper

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