Dress Standards for the Teenage Girl
In today's society, teenage girls are bombarded with sensual impressions from the media, public school, shopping malls and even the local newspaper. It appears that everyone in the world dresses to attract the eye for the wrong reasons. Having a teenage daughter must be quite difficult under these circumstances, especially for someone who's trying to teach her to stay pure for her marriage. Below are some tips for encouraging your teenage daughter to dress modestly and go against the tide of society.
Your daughter's dress often reflects her heart. What's in her heart is important. If the desire for acceptance from other teenagers, boys and society in general is in her heart, then she'll be tempted to dress in a provocative manner. If pleasing God and her parents is in her heart, then she'll be able to resist those temptations to dress sensual. What is Sensual Dress?
It seems that the definition for sensual dress has changed quite a bit over the past fifty years. Take a look at photos from the 1950s (not Hollywood photos). Do you see women in pants very often? Do you see cleavage? Do you see tight, tight jeans and shirts on women? Do you see men's undergarments? Do you see men flaunting their muscles without a shirt? The answer is no.
Sensual dress is any type of dress that draws attention to any area of the body other than the face. Your daughter should be taught at an early age that her countenance is what should be attractive. The countenance reflects the type of person you are at heart. The body only shows an outward physical appearance, and flaunting the body will only cause people to disrespect you as an actual person. Girls will look at other girls who flaunt their bodies either with jealousy and hatred or with a sense of pride that says, "Look at her - she thinks she's something!"
Sensual dress is promoted by Hollywood religiously. Hollywood offers no hope to any young person. The fruit of Hollywood is divorce and remarriage, fornication, adultery, drunkenness, drugs and greed. These are not the fruits that you want your daughter or son to partake of, right?
What is Modest Dress?
Modest dress is the complete opposite of sensual dress. There's no need to go to extremes and require that your daughter wear a sheet wrapped around her face. However, the other extreme is to allow her to dress sensual, showing parts of her body that are meant for only her husband to see after marriage. Once she's reached a certain age, she has to want to dress modest. That's why it's good to explain all along at a young age why she should dress modest, and that God will smile on her life for being faithful in this area. Mothers should dress modest to set the example. A mother who dresses sensual has no influence over her daughter's dress, especially as the daughter becomes aware of her mother's attire.
It's quite difficult to define modest dress today because every type of apparel you can think of has been twisted to be immodest. For example, the long skirt now has a slit or is too tight. The blouse is designed to show cleavage. The full dress is now too low, too short or too tight. The blue jean skirts are now designed with all sorts of worldly designs, etc., etc. A general rule of thumb is to wear clothes that attract no attention to the body, other than to give a neat appearance.
Teach your daughter that the world's standards are at the bottom of the trash barrel. That's what the world tries to make young ladies - trash. Teach her that she's worth far more than trash. Encourage her to have standards that are high above the world's standards. Can she still be a Christian and dress immodestly? Yes, God still saves sinners, but she needs to know that dressing sensual as a Christian brings a reproach to Christians and confuses the lost world. She's sending a mixed message, and lowering herself to the world's base attitude - that only a sexy woman can get a good husband. The opposite is true.
What Harm Can Come from Sensual Dress?
At the very least, people will think differently about your daughter. She'll leave the impression that she's "for sale" even if she's not. Her attitude will adapt to her clothing. This is the very least that can happen. The worst thing that could happen is that she could lose her precious virginity because some hormone-pumped boy chases after her and captures her heart. Once that's lost, my friend, there may be no turning back for her. She may or may not get back on the right path. Purity is something that should be treasured, and sensual dress removes the purity in the heart first, then in the body.
Going Against the Tide
Your daughter will be going against the tide if she dresses modestly. She should know that this is a privilege, not a curse. She can be one of the few who make a difference in the world. Teach her from a young age that being different is what separates someone from the masses. A person who's different can really shine in life, and others will take notice even if some do ridicule. People will listen to her and respect her opinions because they see her as a strong person who stands for what's right no matter what. During teenage years, it might get tough, but as an adult she'll have the power of persuasion with those people that ridiculed her in her younger years. When her enemies have wrecked their lives, she'll be the one they think of, and say, "Boy, I wish I'd lived like her and kept myself pure." These are the important things you can discuss with your daughter to help her understand why dressing sensual is not the way to go.
I hope these tips will help. Although I have two sons, the families at my church are teaching their daughters these same values - and it's working. God's way is always right.
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