Recently my wife gave birth to a baby girl. She’s our first, and only daughter. For quite some time I have discussed parenting issues with other parents. Like many people, I’m guilty of using absolute statements in many of these conversations “I will not allow my daughter to…”
I have never understood, why parents let their children do some of the things they let them do. But I’ve been told over and over again, “You have to pick your battles.” I don’t agree. I have four children, and I will fight every battle diligently for them. When it comes to my daughter, I will likely need to fight harder, longer, and more often, than I ever have when it came to my sons. I recognize women are tough – teen age girls are really tough. But isn’t your child worth it?
But what is wrong with the Christian father today? Fathers, how dare you let your daughters run around in bikinis. Today, I saw a father post a picture of his daughter on his Facebook, wearing only a bikini. Do you see the damage our culture does to us? We can’t even see the absolute moral disgust of this any longer. It’s become normal to us.
Now don’t get me wrong, if you’re not a “Christian” fine, you do what ever you want. You want to objectify your child to the men of the world, that is your business. But you brothers in Christ, you’re supposed to know better. You have a responsibility to know better. God has given you a responsibility to protect your children from harm, and that includes harm to themselves. His word says that you should train them up in the way they should go. And if that is not enough, God tells us NOT to dress in such a fashion, and we don’t teach our children to obey that.
Now, some of you are likely thinking I’m wrong to make such a judgment – that there is nothing wrong with a bikini even for the Christian. Really? Post a picture, of your teen-age daughter, on your Facebook in her bra and panties. Now all of the sudden it’s a bit different isn’t it? Why? Because the world accepts the bikini? Because they named it a “swim suit?”
I tell you, it’s very likely that the bra and underwear that your daughter wears covers more than the swim suit she’d like to wear to the beach. Would you invite your friends from work over to a pool party, and have your daughter deliver them drinks wearing only her bra and underwear? Or how about let her attend a pool party, at a hotel, where they are planning to swim in only their underwear and bra with boys along? I certainly hope the answer to that is no. What would you think, if your daughter came home in her bra and underwear, carrying her clothing and said, “I got hot on the walk home so I just took my clothes off.”
If you don’t have more value for your daughter than that, how do you expect anyone else to? She’s not going to value herself any higher than her parents do. Especially in todays culture where a child’s value is derived from the number of likes they get on a post on their Facebook. Or the number of shares their picture gets. This is one of those places where it’s more important to actually love your child, than it is to be the “cool” parent.
Kids look to us for approval, and a set of standards to live by. When we set “standards” and we don’t hold the line, they realize we’re soft. Once they realize we’re soft, they will push and push to try to find out where our line is. Do you have any back bone, or do you set your standard off what “everybody” is doing? What about what God wants? Do you even know what the Bible says about how you should live, or did you quit reading when you heard the verse, “freedom in Christ?”
According to the Word of God women are supposed to dress modestly. I don’t think a bikini fits into that calling. When Paul is writing to Timothy, he addresses things which are appropriate for the church. 1 Timothy 2:9-10 says, “And 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 clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.”
Addressing women In 1 Peter 3:3-5 it is written, “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands.” What they didn’t do, was dress in a way that generated power by causing the world to lust after them.
Have you so failed at raising your child, father, that the only way she can feel any sense of self worth is to be showing off her body to people who care little to nothing about her? Of course the world doesn’t mind this. They want to look at young girls this way. This is to be expected of the world. But you who call yourself a son of God, this is how you would care for the precious gift of a daughter? You would raise her up to think so little of herself that she needs to dress this way to feel good? Where is her innocence? Where is her modesty? How is it that girls, in “Christian” homes and a “Christian” culture are more uncomfortable dressing modest than they are bearing almost everything? Because you not only allow them to be trained to think this way, but you reinforce the teaching with your decisions.
When the bikini was unveiled in Paris in 1946, the French models refused to wear them. They had to hire strippers to model the swim suits1. Sales for this as a swim suit in the United states didn’t take off until the 1960s1. So you let your daughter wear something today that only a stripper would wear 70 years (2 generations) ago.
So, you call me old fashioned, legalistic, or a prude if you want to. But ultimately, if you let your daughter dress like this, you’re allowing your daughter to follow a trend set by the moral standards of strippers, rather than by the word of God. What I think doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. But rather what God thinks. Do you think God is glorified when you teach your children that this type of apparel is acceptable to Him?
Do you think “freedom in Christ” or “I didn’t know” are going to hold any water when/if God asks you to account for how you treated the blessings he gave you? This low value that you place on your daughter; it sits okay with you? I encourage you to start raising your daughters to follow the standard for women who claim to be devoted to God, rather than raising them to follow after strippers of this world.
Related articles (With a better tone)
- Should Christian girls wear bikinis? (yelenabosovik.com)
- What Are We Teaching Our Daughters? – Swimsuits for girls – Protecting Their Innocence (printsprincesandpetals.wordpress.com)
- Raising Daughters in a World That Devalues Them: 7 Things We Must Tell Them (wearethatfamily.com)