Adventures in School Shopping–Whatever Happened to Modesty?

Welcome Oh, August…the dog days of summer and back to school shopping…two events that seem to bring out all the scantily-clad teenagers in droves, and drive my annoyance meter as high as the humidity!  On three different shopping trips this month I found myself asking the question, whatever happened to modesty?  And later, we’ll look at a copycat chicken nugget recipe that my daughter actually prefers to any of the chain drive-thrus.  Note-I may receive small compensation from advertising and affiliate links found in this blog.  I am not sponsored by or affiliated with stores or businesses mentioned in this post.  For further information, you may see my terms and disclosure page.

Teaching Modesty in the Modern World
I am finding it increasingly difficult to shop for clothes with my daughter.

Food For Thought  Starting school in August means shopping for shorts and tees for my daughter, but as the years go on this seems to become more and more challenging.  The first shopping day seemed to take a long time.  The length of the shorts was so…well, what length?  It took several hours, but we finally found some shorts I would agree to let my child go to school wearing.  Then, while on our trip to Arkansas, I had the privilege to take my daughter and three other lovely young girls on a trip to look for back to school clothes.  I was so proud to be with these girls, who presented themselves with great modesty, not only in appearance, but in their behaviors as well.  It was reassuring to me as a mom, that these teenage girls were having as much difficulty finding clothes they felt comfortable with, as I had finding clothes for my ten-year-old.  Their comments addressed the tightness of jeans and leggings, inappropriately placed holes in jeans and shorts, and the also the shortness of the shorts.  When we talked about dress codes for schools, I found what they said to be true for most everywhere: there is a dress code, but it’s not enforced.  Then, last week, we did one last run to get shoes.  While shopping, there was a teenage girl shopping near us, and her shorts were literally so short, I could see almost all of the fleshy part of her back end and she was just standing.  I don’t know how she planned to bend for anything!  Before I could even stop myself, I said aloud, “ooh, gross!”  The majority of the population does NOT want to see that!  But aside from the fact that I consider it completely inappropriate, how could those shorts possibly be comfortable?  I would have constantly been pulling at them, plus it looked very uncomfortable to move in them.  I know when my husband and I hike, we often see girls or women wearing very short shorts, and think they must be crazy.  Scrapes and rashes in some of “those places” make me cringe just thinking about it!  And do you remember the low-rise trend?  I have worked with some teachers that had such a low-rise on their pants or jeans, that you could see their thong in the back!  Wrong profession, sweetie!

So, am I really just being a prude?  Am I getting old?  I don’t think it’s just that, but even if this is the case, I know I want my daughter to have a little more self-respect than to think she needs to dress in such a way.  I feel pretty sure that the Bible has a take on this modesty issue, or at least that’s how I was raised.  But I couldn’t quite figure out the exact verses that said “Don’t wear short shorts” or “Keep your cleavage covered” or even a simple verse that says “dress in modesty.” I needed to do some research.  I read a great article from about the subject of modesty called 6 Marks of Biblical Modesty: How God is Bringing Sexy Back.  In addition to finding some verses, I got a better understanding of the meaning of modesty.  Merriam Webster defines modesty in a couple of different contexts.  First, modesty is the quality of not being too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities.  That sounds a lot like humility, which is a treasured and noble quality of Christians.  The second definition is having propriety in dress, speech and conduct.  When looking at verses in scripture, I see that a lot of Biblical references on modesty are often about luxury and expense, ornaments and make-up, and preoccupation with one’s appearance.  These verses are not specifically addressing how much skin one happens to be showing.  But what I do know, in all of these contexts, whether Biblical or modern, a lack of modesty has to do with calling attention to one’s self.  Modesty is not just about clothing, but about one’s behavior and attitude.  What are your motives when you put that on, whatever that is?  Whether it be shorts, tight jeans, a low-cut top, or expensive jewelry, am I wearing this to call attention to my physical body?  Am I wearing something to make myself look better than another?  Am I wearing something to make another envious and jealous?  Could I have a motive to make someone look at me lustfully?    Like so many of our choices in life, it comes down to our motives.  Am I doing this to be uplifting to God and his Kingdom, or am I being part of this world?

I promise you, I am not running around in long pants and sleeves everyday and I’ll don a swimsuit for the pool.  I also confess that I have plenty of spandex and tank tops from my running days and for working out.  These are articles of practicality, not to encourage attention to my body, trust me!  I would prefer no one look at me while I exercise, but I also don’t like to chafe!  Now that I think about it, I was a little guilty of not being modest myself, even though I wasn’t showing excessive skin.  A few years ago, I lost a lot of weight, and after considering myself successful on that endeavor, I wanted to “show off” my body.  I was proud of my hard work and wanted the attention and recognition that went with it.  In that regard, I was being immodest.  My motives were wrong.  It always comes down to our attitude and intentions.  And maybe I can help my daughter understand this as we learn about modesty in the modern world where “skin is in.”

Today’s Scriptures  While trying to find Biblical references to modesty, I came across some verses that were helpful, especially in helping clear up my understanding of what modesty really is in scriptural terms.  I am hopeful they are influential words to others, as well.

Titus 2:11-12  “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say “no” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age.”

1 Timothy 2:9-10 “I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.”

Romans 6:12-13  “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.  Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.”

Matthew 6:28-30  “And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the lilies of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

Today’s Recipe  I thought about trying a cheesy line, like “keep your nuggets covered,” but in all honesty, today’s recipe is in honor of the lunch I enjoyed with my daughter and the other girls on our shopping day.  We all love Chick-fil-a, and my daughter repeatedly talks about their nuggets being “the best.”  There are actually a lot of copycat recipes for their nuggets on Pinterest, but I noticed most of them use dill pickle juice.  That must be legit, since I see it so frequently, but I didn’t really want to use pickle juice, so I came up with my own version of these nuggets.  Like yesterday’s ham and biscuits recipe, these make great tailgate food, appetizers, or kids’ birthday party food.  This recipe makes a large batch, but at our house, we don’t mind leftovers for breakfast, lunch, or snack.  But plan ahead, the 24 hour buttermilk marinade is key!  Oh, and my daughter now says I make the best chicken nuggets!

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Nuggets
The key is the 24 hour buttermilk marinade!

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Chicken Nuggets

  • 2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 TBS Cajun seasoning (this can be pretty salty, so I would not add any extra salt in this recipe)
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut oil
  • In large bowl, add cubed chicken breast
  • In large bowl, toss chicken pieces with seasoning.  Add in buttermilk and cover; refrigerate for 24 hours.  When ready to prepare, drain off all buttermilk.  In large baking dish, combine flour and breadcrumbs.  Heat peanut oil in electric skillet at 350 degrees.  Dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off any excess.  When oil is hot (it will be shimmery and have a light aroma), add chicken in batches, making sure the pan doesn’t crowd.  After about 3 minutes, you can flip the nuggets and cook an additional 2-4 minutes, depending on the size of your nuggets.  When cooked, remove from oil and place on paper towel-lined plate or tray.  Continue until all nuggets have been cooked.  Add a side of honey mustard, ranch, ketchup, or barbecue sauce and you’ve got a kid-friendly meal or chicken for a crowd.

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