“Mama is gonna be so upset with you, Ollianna. You know how she feels about the length of your skirt!”
“Listen baby sister, she won’t notice if you keep your mouth shut. You think everything she says is supposed to be good for us.”
Flouncing toward the front door, she ran smack into her beautiful and Godly mother.
“I’ll be back later,” she threw over her shoulder as she tried to squeeze past her startled parent.
“Wait, before you go, Ollianna, help me take these groceries to the kitchen.”
The young girl knew she was caught. She might as well oblige and face the music. Hoping to deflect her mother’s attention, she asked about her brothers.
“This is the day your father took them all fishing. By the way, young lady, I would venture to say YOU are getting ready to go fishing yourself.”
“What do you mean? I hate those smelly things.”
Moving to the table with two glasses of lemonade and some homemade cookies, her mother indicated they would be talking.
“Sit down, Ollie.”
Rolling her eyes and heaving a teenaged sigh, she plopped down for the lecture. She had to admit her mother’s admonitions were based on truth, but she did not want to hear it again. It did not support the image she held of herself.
“You are my oldest daughter. What you do is a witness to your little sisters. It is also a reflection of the kind of girl you are.”
“But Mama, if this is about my clothes again, we simply have different ideas. It is not the same as when you were my age. Times have changed.”
Raising her voice ever so slightly, and adding a touch of maternal sternness, her mother replied, “Now you listen to me, Missy. Human nature NEVER changes. One hundred years ago girls fell in love, wanted to look pretty, hoped boys noticed them, and had to be shown the decent and righteous direction.”
Ollie began fidgeting with her uneaten cookie, generally making a mess.
Her mother continued, “ We may have more modern conveniences now, but feelings and emotions are exactly the same. You heard your father preach about this on Sunday morning.”
Ollianna put her head down but said nothing.
“ Your brothers are always discussing the ways a girl speaks volumes by her dress. She sets a standard for the way a boy behaves. Whether or not you think it is fair, females have a great responsibility when it comes to the way men act. Well, actually, Ollie, the way they re-act.”
The young woman was about to burst to share her opinion, but kept silent.
Her mother continued,” If fashion magazines keep insisting we bare more of our bodies, your great- great -grand daughters will probably wind up walking around with no clothes at all. By then, they will be desensitized to the Lord’s plan for the Godly woman, and society will be none the better for it.”
This was almost too embarrassing to hear. Ollianna was tired of listening to this straight-laced person expounding. “Oh Mother, it shouldn’t matter what I wear. This is a free country.”
“Honey, I’m trying to tell you it DOES matter. We reap what we sow and you are sowing seeds that will bring a harvest of heartache if you are not careful.”
Reaching for the Holy Scriptures on the shelf, the superior mother turned to James 1:14-15, and began to read in her quiet sweet voice.
“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
She gently closed the Bible and looked at her daughter, expecting obedience but not demanding it.
Ollie finished the last drop of her lemonade and rose to attempt a getaway. As she began to move toward the door, her mother laid a loving hand on her arm.
“Just remember, Ollianna, Your father and I love you, and God loves you, but we do have more wisdom and knowledge about this kind of thing. Now, go to your room and make some adjustments to your outfit.”
As the thoroughly modern young woman slowly climbed the stairs to comply under pressure, her mother could hear her mumbling to herself.
“ Others have shorter skirts than this. It’s the latest style! What could it possibly hurt…it’s ONLY my ankles. After all this IS 1904!”