Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Straight Talk to Teens

Daughter: “Hi, Mom. I’m going over to Betsy’s.”

Mom: “Well, shouldn’t you at least get dressed?”

Daughter: “Huh?”

Mom: “Dressed—you know, clothes you wear in public.”

Daughter: “I’m there, Mom; I’m wearing this.”

Mom: “Honey, those clothes haven’t even been ironed. Now, wait a minute, those are your brother’s pants. Honey, they are way too big for you.”

Daughter: “Mom, it’s the edge. This is what me and my friends wear; it’s cool.”

Mom: “It’s, it’s grungy-looking.”

Daughter: “Uh-huh.”

Mom: “Uh-huh?”

Daughter: “It’s grunge.”

Mom: “No, no, no, I said it’s grungy, you know, grungy.”

Daughter: “Yeah; cool, huh?”

Mom: “No, Honey, I meant dirty looking.”

Daughter: “Well, I meant grunge, you know, like Seattle and rock climbing and espresso and music and . . .”

Mom: “Well, I meant grungy like unkempt and messy and like you just got out of bed.”

Daughter: “Right.”

Mom: “What do you mean?”

Daughter: “I did. I mean, I just got out of bed.”

Mom: “Oh.”

Leslie Basham: It’s Tuesday, June 20th, and you’re listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. We’re in a series called The Attractive Christian Woman. Nancy’s been teaching out of 1 Timothy 2:9-10.

It says, “Likewise . . . women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.”

Nancy’s been unpacking these verses for us, helping us to develop a heart for modesty. In the last few sessions she counseled moms on how to teach modesty to their children, and today she’ll speak straight from her heart to teenagers.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Can I just—because some of you teenagers won’t be here with us tomorrow, and you’re scattered through the room—I just wish I could have you for a few minutes and look you in the eyes and, number one, tell you that you’re beautiful; and number 2, just encourage you to be willing to pay the price now, to avoid a price tag that you don’t want to pay later because of a willingness to make godly choices in this area.

Could I also say, if you have, as a teenager, a mom and/or a dad who care about the way you dress, they may not always express it in the best way or a way that you think is easy to receive. Their timing may not always be right on, and there may be just tensions that go on there, and that’s all understandable; but if you have a mom and/or a dad who cares about how you dress, thank the Lord, and thank your parents.

It doesn’t mean that all their ideas about clothing are the only way to think about clothing, but it means that God has loved you enough to put someone in your life who is a source of protection, and I would just challenge you to receive with a spirit of humility the counsel of your parents.

You know, I talked with a young woman not too long ago about a totally unrelated issue. Her parents were giving her counsel (and had made a pretty strong position in her life as a 30-year-old single woman) about something that she didn’t agree with. Her parents are godly, but . . . As I listened to her, I thought that I wasn’t sure I agreed with her parents either, necessarily.

But I loved this girl’s heart. She said, “I want to honor my parents, and I know that they want what’s best for me.” I said to her, “Whether your parents are right or wrong on this particular issue is not really as important as the fact that you receive with humility their counsel in your life.”

Now, that doesn’t mean, moms, that it’s appropriate for you to direct every issue in your kids’ lives, 30 or 16 or whatever. There needs to be a releasing of your children so that you’re teaching them to go to the Lord and get these answers, and you’re not micro-managing their lives. You want them to be adults. You want them to think biblically themselves.

But back to you, daughters. If you will respond in humility to the counsel of your parents, God will bless your life over and over and over and over again. If I had a message for young people today, it would be, “Read the book of Proverbs and see how foolish it is to spurn counsel and how wise it is and how many blessings you will receive if you receive godly counsel.”

There are aspects of my parents’ counsel that I received as a young person growing up, and there are some aspects of their counsel that I rejected in my heart. If I could go back and do it again, I’d want to be wise and say, “It’s not that they’re God; it’s not that they know everything; it’s not that they handle everything right . . .”

See, what I used to do was pick apart the way they handled it, or the fact that one of my parents maybe was being too emotional about this or too irrational about that particular issue, whatever it was; and now I just think God loved me enough to give me parents who cared about even things like my wardrobe.

Listen, I lost my dad the weekend I turned 21. I got up that morning, said goodbye to him . . . I was leaving on a trip, and I didn’t know I would never see him again. And what I wouldn’t give to have some more of my dad’s counsel!

As I think back, one of the most influential moments in my life, when it comes to this whole thing of modesty, was when I came downstairs dressed for a piano recital in a formal dress. I didn’t have any immoral intent, as best I know my heart, in what I was wearing, but my dad said, “There’s a problem with that neckline; I don’t think it’s appropriate.” So we had to do some quick fixing. But I look back on that experience and I so thank the Lord that I had a dad who cared.

When we have that kind of counsel, we can respond to it with resistance. You know what it comes down to ultimately? It’s usually not the issue—it’s not the item of clothing—it’s our pride, and we want our way.

As someone said earlier . . . this is a grown woman here who said, “We just don’t want people telling us how to dress.” Isn’t that the bottom line? When it comes to this issue, we don’t want God telling us how to dress, much less some human being; and yet, the submissive heart says, “I receive this counsel. I have a humble spirit.”

I’m now in my mid-forties, I am not very often with you teenage gals. I wish it could be more often, but if I could just plead with you about something. I want you to know that in my life I am experiencing incredible blessings and joys and freedoms today because, for the most part, the Lord helped me to respond to counsel that I received in my teenage years.

I didn’t realize then how important that was. I mean, I knew “honor your parents." I was. But I wasn’t thinking, 30 years down the road, what would this mean to me?

You’re probably not thinking, 30 years down the road, how I handle this argument or this disagreement with my parents or this thing of clothing, you are not thinking: How will this affect my marriage? How will this affect my children? It’s no big deal.

Boy, I’m so much more modest than all those kids at school, can be the way of thinking. Don’t make the other kids at school your standard. Don’t make what’s in the malls your standard. Find out what pleases Him, Paul says. Find out what pleases God and choose to do it, and you will be blessed (see Hebrews 13:21).

I’m now what you might consider an old woman, standing up and saying God’s will is so good. It is so good. I love the will of God. I don’t always love to do it at the moment, but when I get on the other side of it, it is so, so good. You know what? When you get to my age, you don’t care what anybody else is wearing. If you’re growing in the Lord, you get secure in Him.

I remember what it was like to be an insecure, over-weight teenager who never felt really good about my body or about . . . like, gym class was the worst thing in the whole world for me. I wrote the book on a hundred and one ways to get out of gym class, most of them not very honest. So I knew what it was to be a kid in junior and senior high school who was never quite with it.

And you know what? I’m still not with it. But today, listen, I don’t care, because I’m having a ball. I’m looking at the women my age, most of whom have been married multiple times—their lives are torn apart; they’ve had multiple abortions . . . and some of the women in this room . . . They’re hard, and they’re miserable, and they’re unhappy, and I’m saying, “Oh Lord, what You spared, by Your grace, what You spared me from!” I mean, it’s not anything I did except to receive godly counsel.

It may be really hard right now to stand out, to be different, to not be in the “in” crowd, to not be accepted. I understand that, and I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes today. I wouldn’t want to have to be shopping for modest clothing today and be 17 years old.

But you can do it. It’s worth going against the crowd. And when you do, you’ll find that, in time, there’s going to be a beauty and a fragrance and a radiance.

See, you’re not concerned about all those things right now. You say, “Who wants to be fragrant and radiant? Who wants a sweet countenance when you’re 15?” Well, you know what? When you get to be my age, that’s exactly what you want, because you don’t have anything else—I mean, just to be honest.

If you’ve been cultivating inner beauty and cultivating a humble heart and cultivating a modest heart, you’re going to be a beautiful woman long after your peers have shriveled up and are looking like old ladies. You’re going to be full of life. So pay the price now, and watch how God will bless you with fruit—fruit of joy and fruit of blessing beyond anything you can imagine down the road.

And could I just say, for those of you, especially you teenagers who have chosen the pathway of modesty, maybe you didn’t always love it but you’ve chosen to listen to godly counsel. You’ve chosen to listen to the counsel of your parents and of the Lord, and you’re making modest choices. I applaud you. It takes a huge amount of courage to do that today. I look at some of you teenage gals and I say, you are beautiful. I mean, you really are, inside and out.

Leslie Basham: That’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Maybe you know a teenager who would have an open heart to what Nancy’s been sharing with us. You can get her a copy of today’s program. It comes as part of a package called “The Attractive Christian Woman.”

It includes Nancy’s teaching on three CDs, along with her booklet on modest clothing called The Look and her booklet called Becoming a Woman of Discretion. It’s all part of “The Attractive Christian Woman Package" for a donation of $25 or more.

You can give online at www. ReviveOurHearts.com, or call us at 800-569-5959. When you contact us, be sure to ask for our free newsletter. You can read articles by Nancy, see what’s coming up on our schedule, and read about what God’s doing in the lives of other listeners. We’d also love to hear how God is using this program in your life.

Tomorrow: shopping and standards. We’ll talk about modesty in the real world, as some of the women who’ve been listening in on this series share lessons they’ve learned. Join us for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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