I shared a few blog posts ago that my daughter had asked Siri, “What is the definition of modesty?” and how I tackled that conversation.
Confession: My feelings on the subject have been unraveled after reading “Restoring The Lost Petal” by Danielle Tate. And although I have provided links so you can get a copy of the book for yourself, I was not paid to provide a good review and will not be compensated in any earthly way by your purchase of it.
I think it would be helpful to understand, first of all, that I was not raised a Christian. I got saved at 15. And I was already an angry, rebellious teenager trying to assert some level of independence from my mom by then. I had already made less-than-ideal choices, and because of my attitude I already had a reputation (although it was far worse than I actually deserved).
Interesting thing about how I rolled back then: If you accused me of being slutty and I didn’t really deserve it, then I would go out of my way to show you how slutty I really could be. I don’t know how this logically could’ve worked in my favor, but that was how I rebelled against EVERYONE – by one-upping whatever anyone said, being more than what I was accused of. More tough, more angry, more violent, more promiscuous, more cruel…
And yet, if I’m completely honest, these experiences didn’t hurt me as bad when they happened as they did AFTER I got saved and started going to church!
When Jesus showed up in my 15 year old self, I didn’t need to be told that my dating speed was inappropriate, or that self-harming was bad, or that I needed a whole new circle friends. The Holy Spirit did that well enough; I understood at the moment I gave my heart to Christ and asked Him to be Lord of my life that I couldn’t have Jesus and live like I’m going to hell on wheels.
No exaggeration: I gave my life to Christ one Sunday morning, and while I was praying the sinner’s prayer, I told God, “And Lord, you know that tonight these boys from my neighborhood are going to knock on my window and invite me to sneak out while my family is asleep. No sense lying to you about this. I’m not sure I’m strong enough to say that I’m not going to go. I need You to protect me from this.”
That night, I slept like a rock. Heard at school that the boys went as far as opening my window and shook me in my bed as quietly as they could and I would not budge, so they left me alone in my room. And they never came back. #truestory
Christ’s forgiveness was so real at that moment that I completely forgave myself – being as far removed from that girl as the east is from the west. The problem is, I went to church…
From then until I got married and got the heck out of dodge, it seemed that no one in my church believed I was changed – no matter all my efforts to prove it. If I participated in EVERYTHING – from Mission’s Trips, to Bible Quiz, it was to get into my then-friend-now-husband’s pants. Nothing I wore was modest enough. The highlight of learning about sex was “Don’t do it! Don’t touch! Don’t even kiss! Until you’re married!” And then when my husband and I decided to get married, the church refused to get involved under the auspice that we already had sex and our marital union would no longer be sanctified.
Sadly, this is a #truestory as well. Needless to say, this did little to build me up in modesty and purity, little to break spiritual bondage, and little to bring healing…
Fast forward to this year, now that I’m 31 and even further removed from that person, I received a copy of this book to review. Danielle and I are Facebook friends and we had engaged in blog-related activities and personal conversations over the years. I was so stoked that she wrote this book and excited to offer her my support.
I didn’t realize how much I needed to read her words. And that’s about as far as I’ll spoil it for you. Because even though I wasn’t living a promiscuous/adulterous life style, and I wasn’t recovering from a traumatic abusive experience, I had still in some ways lost some petals and just learned to live without…
I strongly recommend this book for any girl of any age – before any sexual experiences or after, before marriage or married more than once… We as Christians need to re-engage in these conversations about sex, dating, modesty, purity and we need to do it right! We need to know much more than “don’t!” but also “Why?” and “When?” and “How?” And we need to restore the petals in the flowers of our hearts and protect the flowers in the hearts of the younger girls coming up after us.
You can get your copy of “Restoring The Lost Petal” by Danielle Tate here, but I’m also willing to give my copy away at random if you answer this prompt below:
What is the conversation about purity you WISH you had as a teenager? If you could go back and give your 15 year old self a message on this subject, what would you say?