The Bible has many Scriptures about modesty that are often misinterpreted and misunderstood. It is absolutely crucial that we teach our daughters the value of dressing in ways that are wise, stylish, and honorable.
A few years ago, my daughter was given a Barbie doll for her 6th birthday by one of our neighbors. This doll came complete with a wardrobe of clothes, dining furniture, and kitchenware.
I was surprised by the number of sexy clothes this Barbie had in her wardrobe. Halter tops, mini skirts, low-cut tops—this doll even had lacy negligee!
Needless to say, Barbie underwent a major wardrobe makeover in our house.
I got rid of the risque clothes, and tried to sew together (rather unsuccessfully) some of the low-cut tops.
The pressure to wear sexy clothing bombards our daughters on a daily basis. Tightly fitted, low-cut tops, skin-tight leggings, very short dresses, skirts, and shorts flood our TV screens, movies, and magazine covers.
How do we teach our daughters to value their true worth and beauty, and how do we teach them to conduct themselves with grace in this sex-crazed culture?
We have to teach our daughters to value modesty.
What is Modesty?
When Christian women hear the word modesty, they often groan and roll their eyes. Many think that modesty is a ball and chain that strips women of their freedom to dress in stylish and creative ways.
But does God really care about what our daughters should wear? Why is modesty looked down upon as drab and dull, even in Christian circles?
Paul in 1 Timothy gives clear instructions for believers as they gathered for worship:
“I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” 1 Timothy 2:8-10
The apostle Paul is not saying that we as daughters of royalty cannot wear beautiful clothing.
In Psalm 45:13-14, the princess on her wedding day is dressed in stunning garments interwoven with gold.
How can God, the author of beauty, forbid his daughters from reflecting His image?
The same Greek word is used when Paul instructed elders in 1 Timothy 3:2 to be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, and apt to teach.
We must teach our daughters that our inward transformation is expressed in the outward adornment of our bodies.
Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth in her book Lies Women Believe urges women in the body of Christ to stop believing the lies of the Enemy about our dress and hold to the truth of what God says about them:
“I sometimes find myself wanting to say to Christian women: ‘Do you know who you are? God made you a woman. Accept His gift. Don’t be afraid to be feminine and to add physical and spiritual loveliness to the setting where He has placed you. You are a child of God. You are a part of the bride of Christ. You belong to the King—you are royalty.“
“Dress and conduct yourself in a way that reflects your high and holy calling. God has called you out of this world’s system—don’t let the world press you into its mold. Don’t think, dress, or act like the world; inwardly and outwardly, let others see the difference He makes in your life.“
Ladies, we are women of royalty! Let’s teach our daughters to dress in a way that brings honor to our King.
He has clothed us with spiritual garments of splendor, glory, and value.
Why would we not then clothe our physical bodies in a way that reflects his amazing grace and beauty?
When you enter his place of worship, lift up holy hands to him in gratitude and thanksgiving. He alone is worthy of our highest praise.
When your daughter opens her closet to decide what to wear each day, each article of clothing should remind her that God has clothed her in royal beauty.
Teach your Daughter the MAP Test
Teach your daughter the MAP (Modest, Appropriate, and Proper) test by asking herself these questions:
- Is my clothing modest? (Is it too tight or too low-cut? If I sit down, will I constantly keep pulling my dress/skirt down?)
- Is my clothing appropriate? (Is it suitable, good and decent?)
- Is my clothing proper? (Is it right, fitting and correct?)
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8
These exhortations are for our spiritual health and renewal, but can also be applied to our clothing. Are we dressed in ways that are true, right, pure, lovely, admirable and excellent? Remind your daughter that her body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Teach her to treat her temple with high honor.
8 Scriptures about Modesty to Teach your Daughter
Here are other important Scriptures about modesty to teach your daughter. Discuss them together and talk about ways you can both honor God with your clothing.
Teach your Daughter Modesty in her Character
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
Teach your Daughter Modesty in Caring for her Body
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Teach your Daughter Modesty as an Expression of Inner Beauty
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:3-4
Teach your Daughter Modesty through Humility
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you… 1 Peter 5:5-6
Teach your Daughter Modesty as an Act of Worship
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1
Teach your Daughter Modesty through her Conduct
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
Teach your Daughter Modesty through her Dress
I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. 1 Timothy 2:8-10
It is crucial that we teach our daughters the importance of biblical modesty, and that it is so much more than what she can and cannot wear. Teach your daughter with these Scriptures that modesty is an act of worship to our Lord, and that it is an overall way of life that reflects godly character and behavior.
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