Today I have the privilege of introducing you to a wonderful study for young girls, Divine Makeover, by Sharla Fritz. Sharla answers a few questions for us, but before we get to that, I'll tell you what my tween thought! I had her read some of the study and plan on having her go through the entire thing in our upcoming "Becoming Women" year. Modesty is certainly something we'll be addressing and it was the chapter I had her read. She was struck by the idea that even though times and attire have changed, God's desire for modesty has not. I am hopeful this helps as we shop for summer clothes in the next few weeks!
1. What struggles do you see the younger generation having?
I remember as a teen thinking that no one would ever think I was beautiful, no one would ever love me. Almost all of us go through an awkward stage where we doubt our beauty and worth. (Some of us never outgrow that stage!)
Plus, in this age, the emphasis on physical beauty is greater than ever before. Celebrities are scrutinized for their hair styles, makeup, and clothing choices. Ordinary girls are slammed when they don’t wear the coolest brands. Every year hundreds of thousands of teens are so dissatisfied with their looks that they resort to plastic surgery.
I’m hoping that Divine Makeover will help young women discover their worth not in what clothes they are wearing on the outside, but on the clothing of their character.
2. You talk about some myths of modesty? What are they?
I think three modern myths of modesty are: Modesty is old-fashioned, modesty means wearing a burlap bag, and modesty means following a strict set of clothing rules. Modesty is an enduring principle because the Bible tells us that “Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control” (1Timothy 2:9). Because God’s Word never goes out of style, this advice is not just for women of Timothy’s day, but for us too.
We might think that if we dress modestly we can’t be stylish, but that isn’t necessarily true. It may mean that we have to adapt styles: wearing a camisole under a too-low top, adding leggings to a dress that’s a bit too short, or wearing a cute jacket or sweater over a top that’s too form-fitting.
I have seen sites and books that give strict rules for lengths of skirts and depths of necklines. But I think rules sometimes beg to be broken, so I think a better way to view modesty is as a way to dress with respect: respect for the beauty God gave you, respect for God’s Word, and respect for the gift of sexuality—which God has reserved for marriage.
3. You include some dramatic stories of teens who struggled with their self-image. Tell us about them.
Yes. Some young women graciously shared their stories with me. One young woman battled anorexia for a time in her life. When she looked in the mirror, she saw herself as fat, even though she definitely wasn’t. She bravely shared her story of how she eventually discovered that she had become obsessed with food and a totally skewed view of her body. Eventually she learned to choose to see herself as God saw her—His much-loved daughter.
Another young woman discovered she had alopecia. She lost all of her hair. In this society that worships thick, long manes of hair, she struggled to see herself as beautiful. She doubted that any man would ever love her. She has never regained her hair, but she has regained a healthy self-image because of her trust in God.
Both of these women are now in their twenties and happily married.
Would you like a copy of Divine Makeover for your teenage daughter? Share your story and be entered to win a basket of goodies, including a copy of the book, gift card, and more.