1 Timothy2:9 says "I want women to be modest in their appearance."
My oldest is only 2 right now. Is it even possible for her not to be modest? Probably not. I mean, she's cute . . . of course :-) but there is nothing about her body that would attract a male's attention at this stage of the game. This can be said of my younger daughter as well.
So, when does that change happen? Is it when they're in high school? Is it when they turns 13 and become a teenager literally over night? Is it when they hit puberty and mother nature begins wrecking havoc on their hormones?
I don't think there's a "one size fits all" answer. I believe it's different for every girl. That's why it's important that the training begins the day they are born. If I don't start at Day 1 the change will come and I'll still see them as "my babies" while men are beginning to notice them as women.
Well then, what does the training look like?
First off, let me say that modesty is not just about the clothes we wear. It's also about the way we carry ourselves and the way we act. A girl can be dressed in the most modest outfit and still be immodest. How is she standing? I would say 99.9% of girls know when they're standing or walking in a way to draw attention to their bodies. How is she talking? Do body parts have a constant place in her conversations? Not just her own body parts but those of others as well? I know a girl who is constantly discussing herself or her husband or her son. It's not appropriate! It's not modest.
I have a responsibility to teach Elizabeth and Jennifer and Samantha how to walk and talk in ways that are pleasing to God and honoring to their husbands.
And clothes . . .
Again, there is nothing seductive or immodest about a 2 year old in spaghetti straps or a 2 piece swimsuit or if her belly shows when she raises her arms or shorts that might be a tad too short - the list could go on and on. However, for 3 reasons, I've got to go ahead and dress them now in the way I expect them to dress later on.
1.) 1 Peter 3:3 says, "Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes." There are more important things than the way she looks.
2.) I don't want to be the mom that misses when her daughters go from little girl to woman and as a result cause a man to stumble.
3.) There won't be much of a battle (if any) later on. It'll be accepted that this is the way we dress. They may ask why and I'm gladly going to tell them (whether they ask or not because it is my responsibility to teach them), but there won't be any "but you've always let me before" argument!
With that said, there is one more question to be answered.
How is teaching them to be modest relevant to teaching them to bring good and not harm to their husbands all the days of their lives?
When that man comes along, he will know, they will both know, that she has cherished her body and protected it for him alone. He will feel loved and honored by her because she guarded that which is most precious just for him - even when she didn't know who he was. He will definitely feel good and not harmed! He won't even need to ask. He'll know, by the way she dresses and carries herself, that she is a one-in-a-million. That's what I want for my daughters to be. That is what I want my sons-in-law to have.