From the time my daughter Amber was little, I've talked about the value of modesty. As she grew older, I explained that sometimes she might feel alone in dressing modestly.
Last summer, I picked up my daughter from a swimming party, and on the ride home, she said, "Mom, remember when you said staying modest might make you feel lonely?"
"Yes," I answered.
"Well, today I totally understood what you meant. I was the only one at the party with a one-piece swimsuit."
"Did anyone comment about your suit or say anything to you?" I asked.
"No. It just felt weird."
I acknowledged her feelings and prayed for wisdom. That night, I made an "outward beauty" list of some of Amber's unique physical traits: her red hair, her pretty smile, her painted fingernails. I also made a list of her "inward beauty" qualities, including her joyful spirit, her compassion for others and her easygoing personality.
The next day I shared the lists with Amber, then read 1 Samuel 16:7 with her: "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." I told her that her heart was beautiful, and we talked about how dressing modestly can protect her inward beauty.
Dannah Gresh, a national speaker and author on abstinence and modesty, offers this advice to parents: "After a basic conversation stating why you want your tweens to dress modestly, be practical. Give very easy guidelines, like no spaghetti straps or no low-riding pants, so they know how to live out this philosophy."
For more from Dannah, visit PureFreedom.org.
This article appeared in the summer 2012 issue of Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Katrina Arbuckle. Used by permission. ThrivingFamily.com.
~ See more articles for parents of tweens. ~