A recent article in the Louisville-based newspaper, The Courier-Journal, noted that sports clothing for girls and women is extremely revealing (August 19, 2012, p. E1). The fashion editor tells of her experience shopping with her daughter for field hockey practice apparel. She was shocked when her daughter wanted to wear a sports bra without a covering t-shirt. The article goes on to discuss several other points.
Following are some of our observations after reading the article – in no particular order.
1. Parents have the ultimate control over the dress of their children.
God gives parents charge over the lives of their children. It is the duty of the father to raise his children in the Lord (Eph. 6:4). Their moral training, physical needs, and spiritual development is placed directly at the father’s feet (1 Tim. 5:8). The mother is to assist in every way possible. In part, this falls under the command of the older women to teach the younger women (Titus 2:3-5). Our realm of authority is over every aspect of our children’s lives, including the way they dress.
We give permission or make the decision as to whether or not they are on a particular sports team. We can insist on a certain style of dress while engaged in the sport – practice or competition. If we are not accommodated, we should not compromise and allow the immodest dress, but pull our child from the team.
When our son or daughter goes out with friends to the mall or a movie, it is our duty to make sure he or she is appropriately attired. If not, why not? We are sure to check their hair, maybe their breath (“Did you brush your teeth?”), and ensure they have money. Why? To spare embarrassment or hardship while they are out. How embarrassing is it for fathers or mothers to have their daughter running around looking like a tramp? What kind of hardship is placed on the girl to be treated like a piece of meat?
As a parent, you control your child’s clothing. Buy what is modest and becoming of a chaste, godly young man or woman. If the child rebels and acquires inappropriate clothing, use scissors and a trashcan.
2. No parents wanting to present their daughter as virtuous would permit her to be a cheerleader, regardless of the clothing.
The author of the article quoted a cheerleader mom, “I mean, they call them shorts, but, really, it’s underwear.”
Yes, that’s right. Cheerleading outfits are just underwear. Would you allow your daughter to go out in public in her bra and panties? You do essentially that when she leaves the home in a sports bra and “booty” shorts. So too with a bikini.
Don’t lie to yourself and think that the occasion for wearing such clothing excuses the immodesty.
Further, the very activity of cheerleading as it is done these days is what the Bible calls lewd (Gal. 5:19-21). The routines in some schools are nothing short of simulated sex. Others have the girls revealing everything under those little skirts or a boy’s hand in a place it ought not to be (as more high school teams have boy cheerleaders).
3. More Christians ought to wake up and take a stand.
The author lamented, “What do you say when a coach tells you that your daughter needs to buy tiny nylon shorts that leave far less to the imagination than the Spanx you’re wearing underneath your skirt?” (italics in the original).
My wife tells me Spanx is what older women (her words) wear under their skirts/dresses to hold everything in (her words).
What do you do? Just say no!
If enough people respected their daughters, let alone God’s will on this issue, the problem would be solved. Yet, the reality is not enough people will stand up. So, do we just go along with it? “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil” (Ex. 23:2).
We are to be shining lights in the midst of a dark world, a perverted generation (Phil. 2:15, 16). If we give in, we blend in. The gospel is hindered. The cause of Christ crippled.
4. The way you dress says something about you.
Discussing wearing a sports bra as a top, the author stated, “But, really, aren’t these little arbitrary distinctions the kinds of things that separate us from the animals? Or our innocent, adorable daughters from, well, less innocent, adorable daughters?”
Ah! Animals and men are different. Some people still realize this.
To the point: our daughters can wear something that makes them look like a whore. This is what the wise man said by inspiration in Proverbs 7:10, “And there a woman met him, with the attire of a harlot…” That is, the clothing sent a message that the woman was available for sex. When a 12, 15, or 17 year old wears certain types of clothing, it screams to the world, especially young men, I am open to sex.
The young girl may be wearing the clothing to fit in with her friends or conform to the media’s distorted image of an attractive woman. She might wear it because it does get attention that she fails to get elsewhere. Regardless of the reason, immodest clothing sends the wrong message.
Parents, especially fathers, should know better than to allow their little girl to leave home in immodest dress. What are you thinking letting your daughter go out with her cleavage bare for all to see or her thighs on display to any who glance her way?
At the beginning, God dressed both male and female in an appropriate way. He covered them with tunics of skin (Gen. 3:21). This was in contrast to their original state of complete nakedness (before sin) and their nakedness when wearing coverings of fig leaves (Gen. 2:25; 3:7-10). While a tunic of skin is not fashionable, the principle of modesty still applies (1 Tim. 2:9, 10).
The way we dress sets us apart from the world. Sexy is their mantra. Godly is ours. Let us make sure that our daughters and sons, as well as we, reflect this in our clothing, including when participating in sports.