When we think about giving the modesty talk, it’s usually about talking to girls. The arguments parents have with their children about modesty usually entail that of immodest or improper dress. Moreover, it’s usually the father laying down the law when it comes to dressing modestly as they are the best ones to give the talk. However, just like when we teach our children about chaste and purity we talk to both sons and daughters, the same is true for modesty. Modesty is the gateway to chastity, and yet most of the time the focus is given on the girl. However, it’s equally important to speak to boys on the matter. Moreover, just like fathers are the best ones to talk to daughters about modesty and chastity, mothers may be the best ones to do the same from their sons.
1. It’s About Respect
When mothers talk to their sons about modesty, they show how a woman should be respected as a daughter of God. With a patience and meekness that mimics Mary Most Holy, mothers are a living example of how woman acts and how they should be treated. For boys and men, modesty is more focused on behavior than clothing. Mothers can teach their sons that when they behave immodestly – i.e., use disrespectful and sexually explicit language, for example – they disrespect women in general and, more importantly, they disrespect the Mother of God.
2. It’s About Protection And Chivalry
Many people may scoff at this notion of a man protecting a woman’s virtue, thinking it’s outdated, sexist, and misogynistic. However, the truth of the matter is that man is meant to love woman as Christ loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25). Granted, when Saint Paul was writing to the Ephesians, he was referencing the relationship between a husband and wife. However, this love and respect between a husband and wife that’s due because they are one extends past the marital relationship as we are all called to love each other as we love ourselves. As Saint Paul says:
3. Have Fortitude And Honor
To be modest today means to have fortitude, to be courageous. Although it’s become more fashionable, modesty is still seen by society as old-fashioned and outdated. Even men’s clothes reflect an immodest culture. Furthermore, to walk away from sexually-explicit talk or to not participate in inappropriate behavior, especially among one’s peers, requires courage and honor. These are not only virtues that we are all called to exhibit to bear witness to Christ, but these are much-desired qualities.
We are called to not only avoid sin, but to be good examples to the rest of the world – to put on Christ in public – to be leaders. For a boy to modest in today’s culture means to put on Christ and to lead others – both boys and girls – in virtue.