Note: Yes, I forgot that yesterday was Wisdom Wednesday. I switched my schedule around and I got mixed up. Next week, we’ll be back on schedule.
Our girls wear shorts under their dresses. Partly they do this because hanging upside down on the jungle bars in a dress isn’t very modest, and our little girls are still learning how to act modestly. We try to keep coordinated shorts on hand (I pick them up inexpensively at the end of summer), and it’s a part of their wardrobe.
There’s another reason our girls wear shorts under their dresses, and it’s one I’m just thinking about.
The other day, Lee mentioned that the particular pair of shorts that Bethel was wearing were too short and looked like underwear. He was right of course. As a result of that conversation, I started considering the difference between being modest and pursuing modesty. I finally came to a conclusion.
At this stage, it’s more important that she attempt to be modest than whether she’s actually modest.
Here is why. Modesty develops from the inside out.
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. I Peter 3:3-4
Our daughter must value modesty before she pursues it: we want her to know that modesty is something to be treasured, and immodesty is beneath her dignity. One of the ways I can help with that is something I find surprisingly difficult, praising her for being or looking modest. We’re also still working on teaching her how to act: don’t pull your dress up, watch how you sit, don’t come out of the bedroom with your shirt stuck around your head.
Because she is a little girl, she is immature in her understanding of modesty. As she grows older, she’s going to understand better what modesty looks like on the outside. Right now, she’s quite capable of understand the concept of modesty and the value of it. Having shorts under her dresses is simply one way to help her pursue modesty, even as her understanding of modesty continues to develop.
Tonight I helped Bethel get dressed, and I told her to close the door. I know, she said. Now I will be modest! It’s not that she was feeling immodest; but asking her to close the door helped her to be aware of the pursuit of modesty. Even at the age of three.
What do you think?