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What Every Mom Must Tell Her Daughter About Modesty

Respect is at the heart of God’s intention for marital expression. Lean in while I unveil to you one of the best-kept secrets in the Bible: a single word. The Old Testament uses the word yada for intimacy. It means “to know, to be known, to be deeply respected.”

Yada: To know, to be known, to be deeply respected

God’s very definition of intimacy transcends the physical act and emphasizes emotional knowing and an exchange of respect. Respect of others, and even of ourselves, requires self-control. This is one, though not the only, reason that our lives must be characterized by self-control.

This self-control includes the delicate power of modesty. However, many times the teachings on modesty are not consistent with the intentions of the Bible, and shrouded in myth. Here are two to avoid.


Myth #1: The modesty movement forbids the expression of feminine beauty.

In some Christian settings, women might as well wear burqas. In those settings where the female body is hidden in shame, men seem uncomfortable. I do not find this same sense of discomfort in environments where women demonstrate a healthy expression of their feminine beauty. Many Bible verses celebrate a woman’s beauty.

A healthy message of modesty can allow—and in fact, encourage—women to celebrate their beauty.

TRUTH: We must teach women to celebrate their beauty while we teach them the self-control of modesty.

Myth #2: Modesty is about clothes.

RESPECT FOR GOD, not a guy, is the goal of modesty. The point of modesty and purity is not to showcase yourself for a godly guy, but to showcase GOD to the world! Look at this verse.

“I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothing. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.” 1 Timothy 2:9–10 (NLT)

This verse is primarily about the good things we do, not the clothes we wear. Like driving a friend to a job interview or helping mentor a tween. Or baking cookies for your family, or fighting sex trafficking by raising money. These things make God known. They say, “look at God!”

But the verse DOES mention clothes, doesn’t it? Because God doesn’t want your super-tight skinny jeans that look painted on to distract others from seeing the good works you’re wearing!

The greatest sin of immodesty is not how short your skirt is.

TRUTH: The greatest sin of immodesty is that we’re saying “look at me” instead of “look at God.”

 “The call to live a holy life is not the root of the Christian faith, but its fruit.” –Tim Challies

Continue the conversation mama with Secret Keeper Girl: The Power of Modesty For Tweens!

About the Author

DANNAH GRESH is a bestselling author and co-founder of Pure Freedom. Dannah’s books include And the Bride Wore WhiteWhat Are You Waiting For: The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex, and Lies Young Women Believe (co-authored with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth), in addition to the Secret Keeper series. She is also a frequent guest for national radio, TV, and print mediums. Dannah lives in State College, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Bob, and their three children.

Moody Publishers strives to educate and edify the Christian and to evangelize the non-Christian by ethically publishing conservative, evangelical Christian literature and other media for all ages around the world, and to help provide resources for Moody Bible Institute in its training of future Christian leaders. Learn more at

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