Wednesday November 8, 2006

There’s a lot said these days about modesty.  What comprises modest dress and what does not?  I have my opinions on modest dress, of course; but I don’t want to talk about clothing today.  Modesty is far more than how we adorn ourselves.

Modest behavior in our young people is almost a thing of the past.  The world’s standards of decency, or should I say indecency, have even entered our churches. Flirtatious behavior, in both boys and girls, is immodest, and prevalent in even the most conservative of churches.

Our young people are to treat one another as brothers and sisters, yet how many  girls do you know that will look flirtatiously into her brother’s eyes and utter some silly comment, followed up with a giggle?  Hmmm?  Not many, I’d expect. If this is not the way she would naturally behave with her own brother, then she should not behave in this manner with another boy. 1 Timothy 5:1-2 tells us:

“Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father. Treat younger men like brothers, older women like mothers, younger women like sisters, in all purity.”

Years ago, when the whole idea of purity was very new to me, I observed a mother at the church we then attended as her daughter erred in this area.  The other mother and I were talking, but she was providentially standing where she could see her then 12 year old daughter.  The daughter was in a mixed group of other kids, all about the same age, who were visiting after worship.  At one point in the conversation, her daughter reached across and put her hand, briefly, on the chest of one of the boys as she was talking to him.  The mother immediately excused herself from our conversation, called her daughter aside, and privately admonished her to not touch another woman’s husband so intimately.  I was struck by the very honest and direct way she spoke to her daughter; and I’ve never forgotten it, though it’s been almost 15 years.  That 12 year old boy was someone else’s future husband.  Guess what?  Today he IS another woman’s husband!

You might wonder why this struck me as it did, and why I’ve never forgotten. Just two or three years prior to that incident, a woman in our (then) church had done the very same thing to MY husband!  This married woman had been asked to offer some technical assistance to my husband in a ministry opportunity that he had undertaken. I  was chatting with a friend close by when she approached Copper, discussed a couple of things with him, and then put the palm of her right hand on my husband’s chest as she made her final remarks.  Boy, my hackles were raised!!  Copper, instinctively I guess, took a step backward when she put her hand on his chest; and I’ve always looked back appreciatively on that. (I love you, Sweetie!)

Can you see where I’m going here?  We need to be very vigilant, as we raise our children, that we instruct them carefully in this matter.  A careless touch, a seemingly innocent bit of flirtation, can unwittingly stir up emotions in the girls and even more in the boys.  We need to tell our children, from the very youngest of ages, that the other boys and girls, young men and young women, they encounter are someone else’s future spouse.

Would your daughter want another woman touching her future husband in a manner that should be reserved strictly for her?  Would your sons want their future brides flirting and giggling and gazing into the eyes of another young man? Would your daughters, or sons, want to marry such a one who has behaved so immodestly in their youth?  I would certainly caution my children in this manner when considering the type of person they will one day marry.  If they have behaved this way in their youth, what is to restrain them as adults?

Please don’t think me a prude. I think it is fine, and in some instances virtuous, to offer a hug to another brother or sister in the Lord. But there are hugs, and there are HUGS, you know?  For what it’s worth, though, I’ve raised my daughters, and am raising my sons, to er on the side of caution even in this.  1 Thessalonians 5:22  says, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”  

I love the example set by that other mom all those years ago.  I will instruct my  sons to observe how their father behaves with women, other than me, to gather their clues for how they are to behave towards girls.  I will also instruct them how to handle themselves should a young lady behave immodestly toward them.  There are plenty of verses in the book of Proverbs to rely on for that!

Let’s raise a generation of virtuous, chaste and modest young people!

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your households!
Proverbs 31:27

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Karen has a tough week ahead, and begins radiation therapy tomorrow.
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9 comments to Wednesday November 8, 2006

  • you are not a prude!  If a man wouldn’t touch a woman in this way obviously, why should a woman feel free to touch someone else who is not her husband that way?  Society is so mixed up with all this!!  I agree with you 100% and could go on and on with lots of this stuff…………… and YES even in church this happens!

  • Next you’re going to be saying people shouldn’t be kissing or holding hands until they’re married!

  •   Book suggestion, Quest for Love by Elizabeth Elliot.  I’m about three quarters of the way through it and it addresses some of these issues.  It also has allot of letters from people who did what they wanted to do and how their lives have turned out the worse because of their actions. 

  • Corindy – You’re too cute!  Are you glad, or not, that you waited to do that (hold hands & kiss)? 

  • homemakerang – I could go on and on about this issue, too.  It’s so grievous for:( me to see.

  • ‘course I’m glad! Ain’t nobody else ever kissed my husband but me! :love:

  • Could you tell this to the women patients of my husband’s who try to rub his bald head or hug him after an appt.?  I KID YOU NOT!

    There is a reason he puts bibs on all of his patients, but some need the covering more than others…


  • Very well said. I enjoyed this post thoroughly.

  • Hello Sis,

    I couldn’t agree more with you. The Lord has someone for everyone and some people don’t realize or believe that unless they are married or engaged to that person that they shouldn’t touch them. They need a personal revelation from the Lord and otherwise can they be really sure? In my families beliefs we only hug sisters if we are a sister or hug a brother if we are a brother. Anything else in our opinion is inappropriate unless its our own husband/wife or other family member (our own brother/sister by blood relation, etc)

    I really enjoyed your site. I’m looking forward to reading more from you in the future.

    May the Lord richly bless you and keep you forever in His tender loving care =)

    Jennifer R.