We are a plain dressing family. My children are still somewhat young but I was wondering how other families deal with competing values in the overall culture. How do we instill the value of modesty and simplicity in a world of skin and flash? We home school so I think that helps immensely. Any thoughts?

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Keely,

I am modern/headcovering plain.  We live on the west coast, and there are not any other plain folks (including in our meeting) anywhere nearby.  There are a few who headcover (mainly Muslim folk), but that's all.  I'm a single mom who adopted my son, so he did not have early years with this example.  He attends public school because of his special needs.  I've chosen to dress as I've been led and let him choose his own plainness if he is ever led that way.  We do, of course, only choose modest and appropriate clothing for him -- and he does make notice folks who have clothing values that are not the same as ours.  (That girl's mom needs to buy her a suimsuit that fits properly, Mom!" etc.) 

It is very difficult, esp. with a child in public school, to deal with competing values.  Keeping TV/video games/computer time out of our home helps, and so do intelligent conversations about the world around us and all the different choices folks make.  Blessings to you in your journey -- and enjoy the homeschooling!  :)

Kristen

Wow, blessed that you have had the fortitude to hold out against media in the home, despite being immersed in the public school culture!!! Thanks for your thoughts...they mirror our own family's.

As a small family, being that we have one nice daughter that survived out of many miscarriages. We too home school, as that has been clearly shown to us as what we should do. We have simply instilled a sense of modesty and the dangers that could happen from immodesty.

In our situation, my wife's sister is our seamstress, so we have to accept what she makes. We attend the rather plain Mennonite church here in our area, so dresses are of that cut. This also may have helped in more ways than we realise. I had wished to be the tailour in our home, but haven't completely learned to do so. I did make a dress or two for my daughter, when she was yet two, now she is eleven. So I have a bit of tailour in me. My wife was never good with sewing or needle work, or I, but I learned some things by my wife's sister.

(Jacob Amman~founder of the Amish in the Alsace/Loraine area was a tailour by trade, and made all of the necessary modifications and alterations of their early garments. The first change was the removal of buttons, due to the military influence, and mixed peasant's attire of simplicity of the year 1693. All of the early Anabaptist men with beards also had mustaches, until after the French—Napoleonic wars; then, one by one, the men removed their mustaches or in some cases the entire beard.)

My wife started simply plain dressing in 1999. She started to cover her head in the summer of 2001. Our daughter has on and off covered her head to "be like mamma." She has always took modesty seriously. We try to have regular Family Meetings and Worship times, this now includes Quietness, Silence, and also Bible reading. (We have gone from hardly four minutes of Family Meeting for Worship to sometimes over an hour! It varies from day to day. Thee probably will find this true as well. . . Like if colds, fevers, or illnesses are spreading around ye may not find as much time to do this.)

We have no television. (Well we do, but only for dvd's, which we have some wholesome ones.) We did not always have them. We used to not have computer, internet, radio (which we still just don't use other than NOAA Weather Radio), we went through two years without a vehicle (from 1999—2001), we have always been sort of introverted and shy of large crowds or long distance travel, we did not always have phone, mobile phones, or such.

Since we do schooling at home, that really helps to know what is being taught. It giveth us a sense of accomplishment, knowing we have taught our daughter to read, to memorise scripture, poetry, and other academic skills. (Though Arithmetic is still a weakness.) This also hath kept at bay other influences, just as thou hast spoken.

Since we have always done things together as a family from our daughter's birth onwards, she still enjoys this—doing things together—and it hasn't presented a problem. She's had friends come here or sees them at services, when we are able to make it, and infrequently on other occasions.

She just seemed to take to modesty early on. This has been helpful. She doesn't like immodesty. We are not by any means perfect, but have learned by knitting closely together, we have been able to impute things clearly, though sometimes unawares. Minding the same thing and being like minded, in modesty and carefully selecting viewing materials, and we have an internet filter also to help with online activity too.

Our little family of three keeping a close bond has proven best. Our daughter has of her own accord not wished to go to others homes, but rather would send an email to them instead. Like us, she has inherited our lack of travel, staying on the go, and so on. We are her best friends, and factoring all of this together, it has helped her mind the same thing.

Yea, we may be a bit protective or mindful of the primary and secondary roads which we live nearby, but she is all of our labour, investment, and time. She is the only one we have. If we fail with her, there are no others we can hope to see do well. She is our only beloved child. Who will tread the Narrow Pathway with us if she fails? We have only one chance, as we have one daughter, to try to lovingly bend and lead her as the Lord God of Light illuminates our hearts and minds, and instructs us to.

Again, we have made mistakes. We are human. More human than human at times it seems. We lean on our Lord God Heavenly Father for succour and strength. I hope this of some help to thee and thine.

Grace and peace be with thee.

Timothy

Limit the world's competition. Have no television or at least switch over to dvd materials where thou canst select what seems more appropriate for thy children and their ages. Look into a Christian Internet filter, that rids extreme and pornographic materials from being accessed. . . True Vine Online is one, but there are others.

Know the companions thy children keeps company with. If thee finds some that possess wonderful traits and some of the basic values thee keepeth as modesty etc., then encourage those while discouraging others. Not because thee has ought with them, but to maintain thy own virtues. Just a thought.

We have merely kept together close as a family and that hast been a great help. Take thou care. God bless.

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