How beautiful then is modesty and what a gem among virtues it is.
Up until recently, whenever the topic of modesty came up -- whether in conversation or out in the blogging world -- I always breathed a sigh of relief that I didn't have girls; in fact, I pretty much ignored the topic.
I was even a little smug about it: I am so lucky to have boys ... at least this is one thing I won't have to worry about.
But I was wrong, wrong, wrong.
The same societal influences which send mixed messages to girls, also affect boys. Victoria's Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, Calvin Klein, and even the outfits on Dancing with the Stars not only influence how girls view themselves, but also how boys view girls.
Yikes. Did my three boys value modesty in girls? Did they see it as a quality to look for when they begin dating?
Now, I appreciate fashion trends; I understand the current style of short skirts, for example, but there is short ... and there is short, and I would venture to guess that most of you know very well what the difference is between the two.
But did my boys?
I began with our sixteen year old. At this age they can be moody (shocking, I know) so I waited until we were leaving his National Honor Society Induction Ceremony (when he was feeling really, really good) to bring up the subject. I even handed him the keys of the car to let him drive us home (sidebar: whenever you want to get your teenage son to talk, let him drive ... it works wonders).
"So, what are your thoughts on modesty?" I asked, just jumping into the subject without any subtlety whatsoever.
"Modesty ... as in how you dress?" he replied.
Well, it wasn't an elegant start, but it was a starting point and during the drive home we talked about body image, respect, and what qalities to look for in a friend and, yes, even in a girlfriend. We used words like virtue, honor, value; we discussed the messages we send with our dress, our posture, our demeanor, and even our manners.
The conversation even segued into modesty of athletic ability, modesty of academic accomplishments, modesty of speech. It was a good discussion, and I am grateful we had it.
And yes, we even spoke about the difference between short and short.
Modesty for boys. Who knew?
One son down, now two to go ...