Dressing Our Daughter for Who We Want Her to Be

She is eight years of age, and probably at least once every day, I call her “precious.” God placed her into our care in a very special way, and it is our job to see that we aim this arrow from our small quiver on a straight trajectory toward heaven.

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That aiming includes trying to build a work ethic into her. It includes attempting to teach her not only Scripture, but the Author of those words. It includes teaching her healthy boundaries. It includes countless other things that we will try to instill in her.

We want to model the right behavior before her each day. We fail often, but we get up and try again. Someday, though, she’ll have to stand on her own. So, we try to put every influence around her we can that points her toward what we want her to be: a faithful, sweet, loving Christian lady.

That includes her clothes.

I know that goes against modern thinking, but we try to dress her in such a way that expresses who we want her to be. I’m not talking about brand names or even certain styles.

Instead, we are simply talking about modest or immodest clothes.

She is only 8, but she is quite tall for her age. As such, it is getting less often that we can buy “little girl” clothes. We are fast headed toward “tween-dom,” and if you are trying to purchase modest clothes, that’s a scary phase.

Just walk down the aisles sometime and notice the clothes that are placed there for girls who are around 9 or 10 years of age. You’ll find strapless shirts. You’ll see shorts with words like “sexy” across the behind. Likely, you’ll see shorts that are basically nothing more than underpants, but made from different fabric. You’ll even see bras with padding.

May I ask why?

It is not just that I want my daughter to be modest. It is that I want her to learn what it means to be a lady. No girl, especially of that age, even knows what “sexy” means, but the clothes are meant to display that (and some even just say it).

What are we telling our girls? What are we wanting them to be? How can we even remotely think that this doesn’t affect their thinking about themselves?

We are putting our girls–some younger than my daughter–in clothing that would, quite frankly, only be “appropriate” on certain street corners in shady parts of town, and then we are telling them that they are more than just their bodies. Really?

Parents, it’s time we had a vision for who we want our daughters to be, and it’s time we cast that vision across every area of her life. That includes her clothes!

My daughter is a child of God Almighty.

She is His special creation.

Somewhere she has a future husband that she will be precious and virtuous for.

She is a Faughn, and reflects our name.

One day, she will be a wife and mother (Lord willing) and trying to reign in her own children.

She is pure, innocent, sweet, and precious.

So, we try to dress her that way.

I’m certain that arguments are coming one day. I’m sure my blood pressure will rise a few times, and I’m sure Leah will cry a few times over these arguments.

But our vision for our precious treasure is Godly lady-hood, so we dress her with that vision in mind. I’m begging other parents to do the same. Dress her for who you want her to be.

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7 Responses to Dressing Our Daughter for Who We Want Her to Be

  1. JenniferL says:

    My daughter is 14 and the struggle is REAL! Shopping for shorts and bathing suits just about sends me over the edge. I hate the fact that I am among the few parents that will not allow my daughter to wear bikinis and short shorts. Not just among her public school friends but even those whom are part of our church family. There was a time when she asked ‘why can’t I wear such and such like so and so does?’ and I could well they don’t share our same beliefs and we try to please God. But now that answer is no longer truth because the friends she is ‘comparing’ herself to worship with us! We as Christians parents must stand together and dress our daughters in modesty, pleasing in His sight!

  2. Bonnie Brumfield says:

    Thank you for an encouraging article. As older Christians, we try to get this message across to younger folks in the church, but it isn’t easy. So many parents just aren’t “paying attention”. Very helpful article – keep up the good fight – it will work if you don’t give up!

  3. James Tate says:

    This may sound strange coming from a man of 85 years on this earth, yes I am 85 and very active, in 85 I have seen it all from the long sleeve dress to the G string, I cringe to day as I see young Girls with short shorts so tight that you can the imprint of their woman hood, jeans even tighter and holes cut in them some that you can see their underwear,I see young overweight girls at church with off the shoulder gowns that look like they are stuffed in them, I could go on and on but my point is this, what are the Parents thinking when they let their precious Daughter dress in this manner? if they are match stem thin or over weight dress them in a modest dress and they will be beautiful to behold, some are going to be up set at my views, but they are mine and I am sticking with them.

  4. Patricia Fortenberry says:

    Adam, thank you for this article! Brian and I were very strict about Heather’s attire when she was growing up. But, I believe if you start when they are little, you set the example for the future. She knew what was modest and apropriate. I also, want to say that the daughters watch their moms and their modesty, too! But, now as a mom of a teenage son, I am horrified by the clothes young girls wear! And I know that they are permitted by their parents to dress in such a manner. The parents buy their outfits! Teenage boys do not need this temptation of lust!!! Girls have a responsibility to dress modest and keep young men from sinning! When I taught Jr High girls at church, I taught them the importantance of dressing modestly. If you dress immodest and you cause a young man to lust you are sinning too! I know I may get some arguments on this statement but, it is true! If they are dressed modestly and the young man lusts after them then that is his sin. Sorry, I got on my soap box! This is one of my biggest pet peeves!!!!! I just don’t understand parents dressing and letting their daughters dress in a manner that really is demeaning of them! Girls can dress modest and still look beautiful, attractive and ” in style”!

  5. Susan Courington says:

    Great post. I don’t understand the thinking of so many parents. No, you will probably never have to have raised blood pressure, because you have set the boundaries and established the rules. It never happened in this house. We taught and practiced modesty…down to gym clothes and ball uniforms. If something was required that did not meet our standards, we simply added something additional or modified…but we did not compromise. My heart hurts every time I see the volleyball teams and some of the cheerleading squads at schools professing to be teaching our children Christian values. If you can’t wear it to the classroom…how does it become appropriate to wear when performing in front of people. I am glad Freed Hardeman chose to have pants for their cheerleaders this year. I only wish their volleyball team and their tennis players were held to the same uniform standard. Again, great post.

  6. Judy Phillips says:

    This was sent to me by a close friend. Thank you so much for writing about this. I am 67 & don’t have children of my own but I am trying hard as a Christian to be a good influence on the children in the congregation where I worship. There is a book called “The Modest Heart” if you’ve not seen it.

    Thanks again.

    In the love of Christ, Judy

  7. Judy says:

    I would like to weigh in on this matter. I have two adult daughters and a son. Modest apparel was a non-issue in our house. They learned very early to recognize modest vs immodest. My real gripe is about moms with daughters who emulate what they see their mothers do. I am tall with long legs and a large bust. I’ve always been thin & wear my hair long. My point? I could easily wore bikinis at the beach/pool or short shorts everywhere else, with a tank top letting it all ‘hang out’. But I wanted to set a good example for my girls & son. My gripe: mom’s who dress to be noticed more than her teen daughter’s. NEVER, EVER give your daughters a thought that you try to outshine them. Act your age. Make them feel beautiful in their modest clothes. It can be done. Mom, keep yourself in the wings; it’s your daughters time. Not yours.

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