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Modesty seems like a dead virtue. Those of us who were born and grew up in the 1950s can remember a time when people generally covered themselves. That is not the case today. However, parents who want to raise their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord must teach them modesty. David Vaughan is a minister with the Liberty Christian Church in O'Fallon, Missouri. He and his wife, Diane, have homeschooled their four children. In this book, they stress the importance of modesty. The eleven chapters of the book are divided into three parts: the need for modesty, the nature of modesty, and the nurture of modesty. Avoiding a legalistic approach, the authors stress a biblical view of the body and make suggestions on how to develop an inward modesty of spirit that will manifest itself in an outward modesty of dress.
While everyone would benefit from more modesty, The Beauty of Modesty is "written largely for a Christian audience," because those who claim to be God's people must first set the example of modesty for the world. Bible believers cannot expect the world to follow where they themselves are unwilling to lead. Also, we usually think of modesty as a women's issue, but in an afterword the Vaughans say, "It would be a great mistake to assume that because we have been primarily addressing women modesty is not a male issue. On the contrary, everything we have said applies to men in principle." Therefore, even though both of our children are boys, this book has information that will be helpful to us as well.
Far from being a dry, dusty theological treatise, the book is eminently readable and practical. I found it fascinating. Those of us who homeschool because of our religious faith need to incorporate lessons on modesty in our teaching. This book can be very helpful in doing that. Parents should certainly read it, and I believe that it would be good for them to read it with their teens. There may be a few specific statements, observations, and suggestions that not everyone will agree with, but in general The Beauty of Modesty provides a lively discussion, firmly rooted in the Scriptures, of this largely forgotten topic, reminding us that how we dress does indeed reflect who and what we are.
Product review by Wayne S. Walker, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, March 2006