“I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” – St. Paul
During worship services this past Sunday, Callie finished up a couple of drawings and handed them to me.
As a youth minister for 14 years, I was often asked by concerned older members of our church family in Houston to address how our young ladies dressed.
It was not without reason.
So many of the styles that were “in” at the time were so exposing of a young woman’s body. I remember walking into an Old Navy store and the featured “item of the week” as you walked in was a pair of shorts with less than an inch of fabric in the crotch – barely enough to even have a seam. And the shirts being sold all over weren’t long enough to cover a young lady’s midsection (my friend Tod called this “biscuiting”), effectively forcing our girls to either be fashionably “in” but eye candy for males (and not just the teenage ones), or appropriately modest but fashionably “out”.
I always felt like there was a male conspiracy going on behind the fashion industry for women. Like there was an invisible agreement being offered to girls by men that said, “You dress in a way that tantalizes my sexuality, and I’ll look at you in a way that you can pretend means I think you are lovely.”
Occasionally, in our youth group, there were some brave, sincere, “I’m-my-own-woman” type of girls who would create a sub-culture of modesty and make it cool. My favorite was a group of 4 high school girls, beautiful girls, who started buying “boy shorts” because they were the only ones they could find that were modest. They were so humble and confident about it and made it look so normal and natural that it started a little mini-trend among their peers.
Powerful. They took Paul’s advice.
Callie has been thinking about this kind of stuff lately. While she loves playing with make-up and such, just last week she busted out with, “Dad, I think makeup is covering up beautiful girls.” You can see this thought reflected in her pictures, too. Seriously…just take a minute and look back and forth between the faces she drew and try to imagine what is going on inside each girl she’s representing…what each one believes about herself.
So you can see why I was excited to see my 8-year-old daughter illustrating these things. I credit my wife who discusses this stuff with her regularly and conscientiously. After I looked at her pics and then over at her approvingly and proud, she jotted this little note…
So there you go, Callie, your little sermon in pictures!