Why I Won't Teach My Daughter To "Cover Up"
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Why I Won't Teach My Daughter To "Cover Up"

We're teaching our young women that there is something inherently sinful with the bodies God gave them.

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Why I Won't Teach My Daughter To "Cover Up"

I'm a Christian, I go to a Christian university, and I have pretty conservative values. But one day, if I'm ever blessed with a daughter, I will not teach her to "cover up". Instead, I will teach her respect and love, for herself and for others. I will teach her about Who made her, and His expectations for her. She will not be modest to please anyone but herself and her God.

Telling girls to cover up their bodies teaches them, from a tender age, that their form is something to be ashamed of and that their curves invite sin. But this is so far from the truth. God made women strong and beautiful, that was not a mistake. I will not tell her that her body is a distraction because it isn't. She will know, that the true reason for modesty is out of respect for herself and obedience to God's wishes. I will never let her think that she should be ashamed, or feel like she is the problem.

Our bodies are temples, works of art, the grandest masterpieces in our world... not a "distraction". We were sculpted by a magnificent Creator, and we are not made to be hidden away, but to honor God in all that we do. So while that doesn't mean wearing a thong bikini on the beach in Florida, that also doesn't mean bending over backward to make sure I buy knee-length shorts and tank tops with 3 finger width straps. The Bible doesn't have a "one-inch rule".

But as much as I will teach my daughter to respect herself, it doesn't matter if parents don't also start teaching their sons that girls' bodies are not their playthings.

So, perhaps I have a son. I will teach him to respect himself, and his God. I will teach him that no matter what anyone else tells him, a girl is not only a body. Girls have feelings, they were also made by God, and they were made to be respected. He will know that his eyes should not wander, even when it's difficult. He will know that Porn Kills Love. He will grow up knowing that God created us all to be loved and respected, and in turn to love and respect one another. He will be taught that he too should dress in respect for himself and God. My son will not be taught that "boys will be boys" or "teenage hormones" are valid excuses for his misbehavior.

Teaching girls to be modest to please teachers, ministers or parents misses the entire point of modesty in the first place: respect and obedience.

Never once in the hundreds of times I've heard a lesson on modesty has the reasoning ever been about respect for yourself or God. Mostly I've been told that modesty is important so you aren't a "stumbling-block" for young Christian men. But, you see, my body is still the same shape no matter what I wear. It doesn't matter if I'm in leggings and a crop top, or a garbage bag. A girl cannot change her body to make a boy not be curious. If boys want to look at a girl's body, they will, and often they feel justified because they're told that 'boys just can't help it'. What a joke.

Only when we start teaching our young Christians that bodies are not just bodies, but art made by God, will things start changing.

So, maybe next time you talk to a young Christian about modesty, you don't mention "stumbling-blocks" or "distractions". Maybe you lead with respect and love for one another. Because we are not meant to be ashamed of ourselves, we are made for love.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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