Can you hear the Rocky theme playing in the background? I hear it in a distance. I feel like I should be racing up concrete steps in Philly. Why?
Because I’m in the fight of my life. Ready to get my knuckles bloody. Ready to be marked—black and blue. Ready to face the enemy.
But not ready to go it alone.
Target. So many lessons seem to happen here. It’s not that I find God within the walls, I think I’m just there so much that’s where He finds me.
Sigh. Moving on….
My daughter and I had been shopping for a birthday gift. We reached the check-out and there they were—in all their glory. The tabloids.
Pictures of Kim Kardashian splashed the front pages of several. Kate Middleton took her place on a few as well. I watched, mouth shut tight in curious silence, as my Princess began to scan their covers.
“Why are there so many of her?” she asks pointing to Kim Kardashian, half dressed with a neckline so deep, well, I don’t even know how to describe it.
“I’m not sure baby,” came my lackluster, wish-I-had-something-better-to-say reply.
“I think they should have…” she paused. “I think they should have more pictures of…” she continued to work out her thoughts with stuttered pauses.
And then she unleashed the heavens, wrapping me in the softness of hope. “They should have more picture of her,” she said pointing to a cover with Kate Middleton. “They should have more of her because she dresses appropriately. And well, she’s a princess.”
While Kate Middleton is no stranger to scandal, my daughter is unaware and has only ever seen the classy, beautifully dressed versions of this modern day princess.
And that is what I am ready to get bloody for. Ready to claw and pummel for. I’m fighting for my daughter’s purity and innocence. I’m fighting for her deep desire to be a princess in its truest form. And I’m ready to fight anything that tries to steal it away.
But I struggle with the how.
How do I fight an enemy so large? How do I fight an enemy so quick to make us rationalize or turn a blind eye? How do I draw battle lines in sand that shifts with each new wave?
Answer? With help. The enemy is too big, and I’m too small to fight from my corner alone.
It’s time for us as mothers, aunts, sisters, women to rise, with our swords together, as a collective soul. It’s time to yell with a guttural scream, “You cannot have our daughters!”
You cannot have our daughters!
It begins by teaching our daughters what modesty means and modeling it. Don’t hear me define modesty with long skirts and buttoned-to-the-chin shirts. Modesty is not a response to being embarrassed of our bodies. Modesty is response to confidence in ourselves.
Because modesty begins in our hearts. Hearts that say: Look at the real me. Look at my heart not my body. Look at me and know who I really am.
We need to consider that what our daughters wear at six is not always cute at sixteen. Harsh? Maybe. Reality? Yes. I’d rather not tell my daughter she can’t wear a shirt she wore a year earlier just because she grew breasts. Is that really the distinction? Is that really the line in the sand? You’ve hit puberty, so now let’s figure out what modesty means? It can’t be or we’ve lost before the real battles begin.
We must collectively stand up to retailers. Refuse to buy your nine-year-old clothes made for the college coed. Will they balk? Protest? You bet. But better to fight now when she’s nine than when she’s fifteen. And instead of just telling her no, teach her why.
We must stand up to the television programming and movies that depict ideas and morals waiting to suck up the innocence of our daughters. Hunt, search, and scour the landscape for movies and shows that glamorize purity. Not in the 1950s-I’m-a-doormate-for-men purity, but an I’m-a-confident-unafraid-girl purity. Purity that screams I love Jesus and His joy is so much better than the world’s.
We must stand up to advertisers, who only illustrate unattainable perfection and airbrushed photos. Images that tell our daughters they aren’t beautiful. Think before you bring magazines in the home which could shatter your daughter’s self-esteem. Ask yourself, Does it shatter mine?
You see, our fight for the purity and innocence of our daughters, our black and blue war, is also a fight for ourselves. The fight to say there is a beautiful princess in each of us. A princess worth fighting for.
As we stand up to the world that wishes to steal our daughters away, we must be prepared to talk. Talk to each other, talk to our girls. Talk candidly about why dressing modestly is also beautiful. Talk about why purity and innocence are worth fighting for. To explain how a burka is not modesty but our jeans can be.
My sisters, we must also pray. Pray alone, pray together. Pray. Pray to the God Who Sees. Our El Roi. The One who sees you and me—our daughters. Who sees our struggle. Who wants to restore what has been lost.
Purity. Modesty. Innocence. They are not outdated, 1950s words. They are ancient words meant to be lived out in modern times. Ancient because they are created by a Father in Heaven who wants beautiful lives for his daughters—young and old. Lives that can reclaim innocence, even after the world may have stripped it away.
It’s time. It’s time to define modesty for our real-world princesses. It’s time to reclaim our right to teach our daughters how they should present themselves to others. It’s time.
Will you fight with me? Are you ready to get bloody? Because they’re worth it.
The world cannot have our daughters!