Monday, March 2, 2009

Little Girls & Pants

Another conservative Christian blogger & sister in the Lord recently wrote an interesting post regarding little girls wearing or not wearing skirts. If you would like to read what she had to say, you may click here.

Though I'm not sure I agree with every one of her points, I appreciated her stand and it re-enforced some of my thoughts on this subject. I thought this would be a good opportunity to let my friends know where my husband and I stand on this issue.

We believe the Bible is clear about the woman wearing modest apparel. The Old Testament plainly says that it is an ABOMINATION for a woman to wear that which pertains to a man. Some would say, "Well, we don't live under OT law." That is true, but do we not believe in an unchanging God? He chose the word "abomination" and it seems to me that is one thing He does not change His mind on. The debate comes when people wonder what pertains to a man and what does not. There ARE jeans and pants out there a man would never wear. I'm not getting into that at this time.

My husband and I discussed and looked into this issue when we were expecting our first child. We knew what kind of an example we wanted put before our sons and daughters and I began to wear skirts/dresses exclusively. It was decided our daughters would do the same for as long as they live in our home.

When our first daughter was born, we did NOT dress her in dresses only until after she learned to walk. I know of many baby girls who get around just find crawling in dresses, etc., but, for us, it was no big deal to allow the 12 month old to wear some fleece pants or cotton shorts. Jeans, however, were never an option. Why? Because there are some really cute little girl jeans out there and I knew it would be hard to "give those up" when the time came.

When we sent out invitations to our daughter's first birthday party, we politely included a couple of sentences informing friends and family that she would be no longer wearing pants, but dresses would be appreciated. This eliminated the need to return a gift lovingly chosen by our loved ones thus hurting feelings.

Now, I don't think a little girl (3 or 4 years old) wearing jeans is immodest. Honestly, she has nothing to "show off" at that age. Why don't we allow our little girls to wear pants for a longer period of time? Mainly because it is harder to change a habit the longer you keep that habit. Again - there are a ton of cute pants and outfits out there. It would be very difficult for ME, my friends and family, and for my daughter to give up buying those suddenly when she turns 5, 7, 9, or 13. (BTW - making this change when your daughter is over 10 often brings resentment from her. Be VERY careful in doing this!)

Notice, I'm not going into a huge Bible study on this. I believe the Bible told us to dress a certain way - the more we try to walk the line, the more likely it is that we'll cross it. Staying conservative leaves less room for doubt and more space between yourself and that line.

Just so you know - I do NOT believe that women who wear pants are ungodly. I have often told my children that I believe that there a women more godly than I that do not hold to this standard. My best friend in the whole world doesn't see things the way I do. Do I think she loves the Lord and wants to please Him? Absolutely! There are women who wear dresses exclusively whom I would never go to for godly counsel as most of the rest of their lives are in direct rebellion against God.

Now, what will Eric and I do if our daughter's move out of our home and begin to wear...GASP...pants?! We'll love them and their daughters, and hope to be able to fellowship with them often. We'll accept them with a smile. We WON'T preach to them. I will give them the same respect as I give my friends and family who don't share this conviction. We will only discuss it if they bring it up. If they begin to wear EXTREMELY immodest clothing, we will ask that they not wear those things into our home, but if they are not living a worldly life of fornication, drugs, etc., they will still be welcomed with open arms.

What about you? What are some of your thoughts on this? I'd love to hear them.


Brenda said...

You have made an important decision--with study and prayer. Now, 1/2 the battle (in my opinion) is teaching your daughters WHY you do what you do. That's the part I am working on right now b/c my oldest daughter is 9 and old enough to understand what scripture says and the conclusion her dad and I have come to.
Part of it is doing it. The other part is teaching why. I think that will go a long way when it is time for them to leave the house.

Victoria said...

Absolutely, Brenda! That is something we often discuss. I don't like the idea of "choosing" a lifestyle for my children without showing and telling them why. "Because mom & dad said so" doesn't cut it in cases such as this. "To every man an answer" - I want THEM to be able to explain why they wear dresses if someone asks them.

Brenda said...

And you know, I was just thinking while I was fixing lunch, there is more to it than that. The really challenging part is to teach them why and then to NOT have an attitude about others who do not believe the same way. We've faced this with the long hair issue. My daughter saw someone we knew and asked (privately thank goodness), "Mommy, she loves God. So why does she have short hair?" She accepted my explanation very well, but it's important to not leave grace out of the equation when teaching our children the why. Just a thought. :)

Sally and Greg said...

Thanks Vicki for your take on this issue. I am so glad that the Lord accepts for who we are and not for our convictions! I am also thankful for you being so gracious to me as we differ slightly in our beliefs on this issue. I am still very young, and am probably viewed by most as someone who "just hasn't learned how it really is" or someone who will "get it eventually". I have a really hard time writing about controversial topics, partly because I am young and haven't experienced all there is to when it comes to motherhood and am worried about what other "seasoned" christians think. Thanks again for your wisdom and advice!

arielle said...

You are such a gracious woman, I look up to you so much and wish there were more ladies like you in the world!! :) You are such a great example of how a Christian should take a stand for what they believe but have respect for those that don't see eye to eye with you. Ok I guess I don't have anything to say about little girls in pants because I am rather far from motherhood (lol) but I still enjoyed reading it as I do all of your posts and I wanted to thank you for being such a godly women for us young girls to look up too! :)

Carolee's Corner Canary Islands said...

I did not grow up in a Christian home, so when I got saved no one really guided me on how to dress--but little by little I started to learn about modesty, and also the importance of being feminine. In high school, I started wearing dresses/skirts almost all the time, not because of a conviction against pants, but because one time my mom (unsaved at the time) told me that women look so much more feminine in a dress/skirt, and I wanted to be feminine.
When I married my husband wanted me to wear dresses, so it was never really an issue for me--I just did it.
I know some godly women who wear pants, and it doesn't make me stumble, as I am not looking at them and thinking bad about them. Modesty and femininity are the biggest issues with me.

Victoria said...

Sally - you did a great job writing your convictions - don't ever apologize for how the Lord leads you!!! I love reading your thoughts!

Arielle - I love teenagers, though they often scare me to death!:) Your comment encourages me greatly - keep on being the sweet girl you are!

AmyLin said...

Wow...I finally created a Blogger ID and can leave a comment! :) I love the way you write about the issues that we are all thinking and developing ourselves. I know godly women that have chosen to wear pants, and honestly I think they do so very modestly. I haven't met a woman yet though who was able to maintain that standard of modesty with her daughters once they became teenagers. Where do you draw the line? In order for a pair of jeans to look feminine on a girl, they HAVE to be tight! I agree with many others that skirts/dresses worn the wrong way can be every bit as immodest as a snug pair of Levis, but I think it is WAY easier to enforce modesty while still encouraging feminity in a skirt than to enforce your standard with how cute or un-cute a pair of jeans are on an attractive young lady...who wants to be and should be attractive. Anyway, it's wonderful to feel like we're not the only ones. :) Thank you!

Sarah P said...

Well i agree w/ aire! i don't have to worry about it :) But thanks for writing posts like this miss vicki! I really like to see what other people think and believe!

Little Family said...

Great post Vicki. I think you wrote this out very clear. And I hold you up high in a sense as an example. You and Amy are both my "wise sisters" that I look to in where I should be. I know you are only human, but you both really are not waning. So thanks for sharing.

Lisa said...

Gotta add my two cents. :-)

For me, when I made the switch (at 14) it was a combinaiton of wanting to be feminine AND modest. And- as Amy pointed out- it's rather hard to be feminine in pants unless they are tighter. I appreciate my parents graciousness while I sorted this issue out and prayed about it on my own and never applied pressure to simply conform to their ideals.

Now that I'm a mom? It's actually hard for me to find a time when to stop putting my daughter in pants. She had a hard time learning to walk in dresses, so we put her in pants. And the yards we spend time in in Africa are often infested with ticks. I was tired of picking them off her, so generally put her in pants when we let her out to play or went to rural areas for Bible studies. No big deal when she was one, but it'll be a bigger issue now that she'll be two and a half when we go back. Though she's not crawling or falling as much thse days, so perhaps the ticks won't be as big of a deal now!

Mrs. Bee said...

Vicky, I think you wrote this very well, I grew up like Carolee in a non christian home. The first argument my husband Jamie and I ever had was over what we were going to wear to our wedding. I wanted to wear jeans and a white tshirt that said bride, and he wanted me to wear ~gasp~ a dress. When Casey decided after reading that wearing what pertainith to a man was wrong, she chose to wear dresses. It took me a whole lot longer to wear dresses exclusively. It was tough and hard to change. Now, I am ever so thankful the Lord lead her that way and then myself. Part of that leading was how we ended up at Old Path's! ( Which I miss dearly!! )
Thank you for writing on such great topics. I agree with you whole heartily!
Love in Christ

Mrs. Bee said...

Lisa, you could always put pants under her dress, or tights? I know its so very hot in Africa.

AmyLin said...

Lisa, I was going to say the same thing! I always have leggings under Lauren's dresses/skirts in the winter and shorts in the summer. There is not much that disturbs me more than seeing a little girl's underwear because of her "modest" dress!

Victoria said...

I definitely think there is a lot of room for common sense & safety.

Amy - I agree - there are girls can be soooo immodest - bloomers are great!

My girls wear snowPANTS outside in the winter. They wear leggings or sweats under their dresses. My 3 year old tends to wear a fleece outfit (pants) when it's below 20 or 10 degrees.

Lisa - your concerns are definitely understandable & genuine. Maybe the "yard uniform" will have to be different than her "normal" clothes? Thank you for your testimony in making this conviction your own & not just mom & dad's:) I love being able to glean from women who grew up this way so I better know how to deal with certain issues with my own children.

You all are AWESOME!!

Street Preachers Wife said...

Hi, Just noticed your response to Sally's blog and thought I would comment. At what time is it ok for a girl to wear pants? Does God give an age when it is ok, and then they are to change to dresses? If it is wrong for me to wear pants, why would I allow my little girls to wear them. What do you tell your little girl? "Honey it used to be ok, but now it is not." When they look at pictures from when they were younger, how do you explain? Little girls can always be modest by wearing bloomers. We lived in northern Maine for a year, -20 for several days. The girls wore tights, flannel bloomers, extra socks and leggings under dresses and skirts. Why is it so difficult for us today? What did they do 100 years ago? I think that today we try to compromise too much. And not offend too much. There is no such thing as "modest" pants. No matter what it, splits the legs. When you compare a modest dress to what people claim are modest pants, which is more modest? I am not trying to be disagreeable, I just think that as Christians we try to go just as close to the edge as we can without stepping over. And for the record I do know Christian women who wear pants, and no I do not blast them. I do look for an opportunity to share with them what God has shown me.

Victoria said...

SPW - thanks for commenting:) Putting my girls in dresses by the time they're 1 (or walking) eliminates their confusion. They know that "baby" clothes are different. I had the same concerns as you - which is why we begin so early.

just a girl named jenn said...

So many interesting comments! Vicki, we've talked about this issue before, and although I don't entirely agree, I certainly appreciate and have the utmost respect for the choices you've made. I think if you choose to go the "no pants" route, then you MUST start your daughter(s) on the same path as early as possible. My parents sprang it on me when I was in the fourth grade, and it didn't go over well at all. I was very confused and angry for a long time, and was upset that I was forced to explain something to my friends that I didn't understand. It can be very confusing for a little girl!
Thanks for sharing your views on this subject in such a loving, Christ-like way.