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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Paths (05/17/04)

TITLE: Pathway to Modesty
By sandra snider
05/18/04

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Dear Hannah,

You’re at a crossroads, dear one. A path must be chosen.

You’re a teenager now. How will you dress as a young woman? Will you choose the path that’s broad and wide and easy for the multitudes of shoppers? Will you, without much thought, carelessly select trendy but often-sleazy fashion items that hang and beckon on the racks in all the department stores? Which skirts, shorts and tops will get placed in your shopping cart? Which path will your cart get pushed down, the crooked and destructive path of the world?

Or will you choose the straight pathway to modesty? As a Christian, modesty is obviously the right path to choose. Unfortunately, there are few today in our culture (or even in the Church) who choose this path because narrow and difficult is the pathway to modesty. Yet, God’s Word has much to say on the subject of clothing for females.

Let’s start by opening our Bibles to Isaiah 3:16-24. These verses describe how some Jewish women dressed a few thousand years ago; and God was not pleased with their appearance. Unfortunately, things haven’t changed much and if God were writing those same words and sentiments today, this is how God’s letter to America might read:

“God will judge the prideful American females who walk around with the haughty attitude, ‘I can dress however I want.’ Their bodies are pierced and studded with jewelry of all kinds. They wear skimpy tops, no bigger than doilies, really, to reveal cleavage and bare midriffs as they try to catch the attention and glances of men and boys. They walk the streets in clothing better suited for bedrooms than for sidewalks! They are self-assured now but the Lord will strip away their pride someday. Gone will be their heavy perfumes, short-shorts, visible bra straps, bosom-hugging tight T-shirts, low-rise jeans and mini skirts. Someday, all this be will gone and all that will be left to them is shame and disgrace.”

Now, for a dramatic visual contrast, check out Ezekiel 16:10: “I clothed you in embroidered cloth…I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk…your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth.” God clothes his daughters in beautiful fabrics fit for royalty! The clothing of the Proverbs 31 woman is fine linen as well, which sanctifies her, sets her apart, and makes her special.

Ezekiel 16:14 says, “Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor, which I had bestowed on you,” says the Lord God. When you clothe yourself in a God-honoring way, beloved, you will have His splendor, not the world’s inferior standard of beauty. This fallen world shouts at you to show more skin in order to be considered beautiful, but we know that Satan is the father of all lies.

God’s pathway is this: dress modestly and the Lord will bestow upon you a special beauty that makes you even more attractive to your brothers in the Lord. Modesty enhances your beauty, dear daughter, and I guarantee you that dressing modestly and sensibly will actually be one of the reasons your future husband is drawn to you. The way you dress determines your reputation. A good name and a good reputation are to be chosen, says Proverbs 22:1, so choose the pathway to modesty.

God wants your body covered. I’m not saying that you should go around in sackcloth and ashes (you know me better than that, Hannah!), but Revelation 19:14 describes the Saints (that’s us) as being clothed. The tormented man who lived among the tombs in Mark 5 is described as being “clothed and in his right mind” in verse 15. He becomes perfectly sane after he encounters the Truth in the Person of Jesus Christ.

When a girl is not dressed properly she is not even in her right mind. Surely and sadly this describes most females today. What are they thinking! Well, according to Scripture their thoughts are disordered and they’re not even thinking clearly.

Think clearly, dearest Hannah, and choose the pathway to modesty!

Love,
Mom


Member Comments
Member Date
Marcell Billinghurst05/24/04
An excellent letter, lesson and challenge as a mother, not only to our daughters but to all young girls and women. Not just in America but all around the world. Keep up the good work and spread the word.
Patrick Whalen05/24/04
I’ll be honest, I did not read this in its entirety. From what I did read, if I was a girl, it would not convince me to dress as mom wanted me too. You bring up some good points but I don’t think children would respond well to this, I know mine wouldn’t. It is well thought out and planned though and I think it only needs a more contemporary touch to get the point across to the intended audience.

2 of 5
* - One error I noticed: “Someday, all this be will gone…”
* - I believe this is on topic for setting the proper path for a growing girl
X – I look at these entries as if they are being submitted for publication. This is written as a letter, not as an article or such as I would be looking for
X – It seems a little long and redundant
X – I am not the target audience so it is noted that I wouldn’t be very entertained by it
sandra snider05/24/04
I think Patrick made some very valid points. After I submitted it to the Faith Challenge I shared it with a church friend. She pointed out that it sounded very harsh and that perhaps I should re-word it. I did re-work it and put a much more positive spin on it, but at that point I could not resubmit it to Faith Challenge. But I did publish it on Faithwriters.com. so my revised article is found with my other writings. Constructive criticism taken to heart! Sandra Snider
B Price05/24/04
want to read the other one with the other spin on it then compare the 2 of them to be just.
I did like the letter form, a different form of writing and I not seen it before here, if I have, I forgot about it.
I know a little 11 yr old that I don't know but she been in the news that might tottaly agree with you on this.
so for some things needs to be heard.
someone needs to draw a line in the path to wake up these kids.
Not sure if this is the way or not.
again will read the other one too.
at least you were aware of how strong this was. Yet like I said sometimes you need to be strong.
B Price05/24/04
yes I did like the other one better. next time go over your stuff first and get some comments before enter it..
maybe that will help out.
L.M. Lee05/24/04
this was great! I remember my mom telling me, the way you dress is a billboard...what are you advertising?
Lynne Gaunt05/24/04
Excellent topic. I liked the letter idea, as I have teenaged daughters myself. Maybe a little more focus on the fact that the outward appearance should reflect who you are inside (a child of God), would have made it less harsh. I'll have to go read your revised version. Nice job.
Linda Germain 05/25/04
This message is NOT given to females enough. As the sister of two brothers and the mother of a teenage boy with an entourage of dozens of male friends, I can tell you females do not have a clue what message they are sending. Guys are so VISUAL. Some teens I have spoken with have never even heard the word "modesty." Keep preaching, you are right on track. Don't let the media or her peers keep you from this admonition. You are a good mother.
Mary Elder-Criss05/25/04
While I totally agree with what you are saying in this piece, I think if it is to be accepted as being written to your daughter, it still needs to be more personal, and not as rigid. I read the revised piece, and it's much better, but I think your ending needs to be stronger, and the overall tone of it more personal. It's not (even in its revised state) a letter my daughter would read. Your word is an important one to share, just needs a little more work if you want to reach your target audience. Blessings~Mary
sandra snider05/25/04
I agree with what Mary above says: my article sounds too rigid and it needs to be more personal. I think the "rigidity" crept into the letter because this is something I feel so passionate about. However, I need to learn to keep my strong feelings in check while I write and not come across as pointing fingers and sounding judgemental. I want my writings to be like honey (to draw the bees), and I don't want to come across as a human porcupine! On another note, I am absolutely amazed at the reaction this subject has elicited. It's a sensitive topic and perhaps I should have just avoided it!
Deborah Porter 05/26/04
Sandra, I think I may have read your re-worked piece, or something very similar that you wrote in praise of your daughter's choices. I think the comments that have been made here really cover just about everything I would have said - the need for it to be less of a lesson and more of a gracious and loving exchange of heart and truth (if that makes sense). But really have to say that your attitude to the critiques you've received is really very admirable. Shows a great level of maturity in a writer to be able to respond in the way that you have done. I think your choice of topic for the paths theme was a very interesting and appropriate one. By the way, good on you Mom for instilling your daughter with Godly truth. With love, Deb
Tracy Brunke05/26/04
Great article. I personally get disgusted at the clothing that is promoted to teenagers these days, and when adult women sport the same clothing! As well, what a creative way to talk about "Paths..." through the clothing store! A beautiful and touching letter to a daughter...the very same thing I long to communicate to my own future child. :)
B Price05/26/04
going over my list again. and droped in here once again.
I noticed you said that maybe you needed to ignore this..
do not do that to yourself.
This is a subject that girls needs to hear, and you learned a lesson it looks like between this one and the other one. This helped you in many areas and that is good.
so do not beat yourself up and keep writting.
Babette VanHook05/26/04
I liked this entry for 2 reasons...I have a young lady who will be 13 in June and her name is Modesty. Thanks so much.