I often see blog posts or videos addressing girls and modesty. And while I very much agree that this is an important topic that needs to be addressed, it seems to me that we are missing something. I have three boys ages 11, 14, and 17, so I am very much aware of the problem of females and modesty in our culture, and often talk about this with my sons. While I truly believe that we keep talking to girls about the value of dressing modestly in a loving and compassionate way, we will not make the problem of immodest females go away. Our boys will still be faced with magazine ads, television commercials, billboards, public beaches, school hallways. And we must bear in mind that what one considers modest, another would consider immodest.
And honestly, have you seen the selfies of young men with their muscles and low rise pants (as low as pants can go) standing in front of their bathroom mirror? All you have to do is take a look on Pinterest or Instagram on a "Man Crush Monday" to see that there is a plethora of pictures of very muscular, nearly naked men. And girls like looking at them. A lot.
So as a mom of three boys and one daughter, I will continue to talk with all of them about the state of their hearts. About learning to read Scripture, pray, and listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit and the people of God speak to them regarding their choices. And since I see so many letters written to the girls about how they dress and act, I decided to write a letter to my sons.
I am unable to provide for you a world of covered females. During your lifetime you will see many female bodies. Our culture has placed a high value on the way a woman looks. This is not only hurtful to females, but to males as well. I wish girls would quit trying to pose like a Victoria's Secret model on Facebook or Instagram. But the fact is you will not be able to walk down a street, drive down a highway, walk through a store, go to the beach, and yes...even sit in church without seeing some cleavage, tight shirts, tight pants, a dress that clings, a bikini, a lot more cleavage, exposed legs, exposed backs, exposed midriffs.
And sometimes, a female can be dressed very modestly and her figure still show in a very flattering way. There is something about women that even if they aren't trying, you will find them attractive, sensual, sexy. It can simply be in the way she tilts her head when she smiles, and all of a sudden your stomach does a flip and your heart skips a beat. And you may find your mind wandering even though she has a covered body.
So boys, how do you navigate through this sea of females?
Keep seeking first the Kingdom of God. I know it sounds cliché, but when you put first things first, you will have a compass.
Pray. Pray that your heart will remain soft and open. Pray that no matter what, you will continue to cling to Jesus. I don't expect you to be perfect, but I hope that when you struggle, you struggle while holding to Jesus.
Don't close your ears to the still small voice.
Don't think that you are the only one struggling. You are not alone. Talk to us or a mentor. Please don't hide in shame.
Don't blame the girls. I know they don't make it easy to remain pure, but if you blame the girls then you don't take responsibility for your sin. Set boundaries and stay accountable to us or a mentor.
I will tell you what my dad told me, "If you are doing something that you aren't supposed to be doing, you will see my face." Yeah, that kinda stuck with me. Even to this day.
And lastly boys, your body isn't for displaying in a selfie either. You know me, your mom the fitness trainer wants you to work out and be fit, but not so you can be "sexy and you know it". You will like the attention you get from girls, it will feel good to have girls notice your body, but you are more than that.
I love you, boys. And your dad and I are here for you. To pray for you, to pray with you, to listen to you, to talk with you, to guide you, to walk beside you. I pray we all continue to love each other well.