0:00:03 – Speaker 1
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0:00:32 – Speaker 1
More than cyber parenting conversations to connect, Today we’re talking about modesty, purity, culture and the Matthew West controversy.
0:00:43 – Speaker 2
Bum, bum, bum. I feel like we maybe try to get canceled today. Why not Join the crowd right?
0:00:52 – Speaker 1
And, by the way, we have a whole show on cancel culture for real, if you want to go listen to that.
0:00:57 – Speaker 2
If you don’t know what that is, or if you want more stories or examples, check it out. It’s a good show.
0:01:03 – Speaker 1
So we’re a little late speaking on this controversy because we’ve been on a summer break, but we really wanted to come back and address this because I think it’s super important and there’s a lot to talk about here.
0:01:17 – Speaker 2
Well, yeah, and with any controversy there’s controversy because people feel really different on one side or the other, and so one of the things we’re hoping is that you will listen not just to the beginning or the middle, but all the way to the end of the show, because we just have some things we really want to share that we feel like God put on our hearts for you.
0:01:35 – Speaker 1
Yeah, and if we say something that irritates you, you know, hang on, because we may be saying the other side of the spectrum just in a minute, and so just hang tight with us. It’s hard to navigate the tone of things like this.
0:01:49 – Speaker 2
And one step further. If we don’t cover something on the show today that you think is interesting or would be a good insight for us to consider, you can always email us. We love to hear from our listeners. Email us at admin at nexttalkorg.
0:02:03 – Speaker 1
So if you don’t know the background to all this, christian singer, songwriter Matthew West released a song and video on Father’s Day and it was called Modest is Hotest.
So it was the catchiest little tune. I mean we were singing and dancing and it was a fun little tune. It was parody satire for sure. You know, stereotypical dad being overprotective of his daughters. I loved how the song started out because he compliments his wife and basically says boys are starting to notice our girls because you’re so beautiful And it kind of flashed to her and she was in. You know, she like gave this little look, like sorry I’m, i can’t help it, it was just super cute and sweet. And the lyrics go on to say you know he says the boys really like turtlenecks and pants now And he’s trying to convince his daughters that that’s like a fashion trend.
0:02:55 – Speaker 2
I thought it was hilarious. I mean, it reminded me of my dad, who made a video of himself that I was supposed to show to all possible suitors when I started dating And he’s like pacing back and forth and giving this like stern talking. I won’t give the details, but let’s just say it was highly embarrassing. But I thought of that. I was like dads with daughters. I mean that’s, that’s a moment to imagine them dating and guys looking at your daughter, Yeah, in a weird way.
0:03:22 – Speaker 1
Yes, yes, well, and you know, i have a 17 year old daughter and I have an overprotective husband, So we were just laughing hysterically over here about it. You know it’s so funny.
0:03:33 – Speaker 2
He’s a very talented artist, like in real life.
0:03:35 – Speaker 1
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. He’s got some great songs out there. I think we thought it was so funny too, because we follow their family on social media, so we follow the mom and they’re posting pictures of their girls all day long and their girls are wearing, you know, cute little shorts, sometimes some little crop tops, you know, i mean nothing inappropriate, but certainly not turtlenecks and pants that are posting on a summer day, right?
So you knew it was a joke. We knew it was a joke And that’s why we thought it was so funny. It got millions of views, rightfully so. But then came the controversy, of course. So people started posting, tweeting, saying things like why do girls have to dress a certain way so boys can control themselves? You know, basically it’s like girls responsibility here. Do boys just get a free pass in all this?
Some people even went as far as to call him a sojournist, and if you don’t know what that is just a brief definition. It’s prejudice towards women And that’s a catchphrase that we see a lot on social media these days. So if you have a teenager, you need to know what that is and be talking about that. Some people even went so far and this one really took me back. It’s when I was like hold up, got a little bit defensive. One of them was saying he’s creepy to be commenting on his daughter’s dress, the attire. That one really rubbed me the wrong way, because if a kid is out there posting really bad stuff on social media like totally inappropriate material, people are always like where are the parents? But then if we comment and say, hey, is this outfit okay, we really need to Now we’re called creepy. I mean, what in the world can we not win?
0:05:19 – Speaker 2
And that’s it. It doesn’t matter what you do, you just cannot win.
0:05:23 – Speaker 1
Yeah, and I will tell you, i had, you know, here we’re over here singing and dancing the song and I had close friends texting me and they were outraged by it. And these are people I deeply highly love and respect And you know, one of their main points was, um, like he should have known the cultural backlash that would be coming with this. He should have known the controversy it would take and then it would spiral out of control. And and I do kind of agree with that In some point we do need to know the temperature of our culture and what our world is saying, because that is how we have conversations with our kids, right? And so you know, he probably should have. And I thought to myself he probably did. And he took a stand and he was like I’m going to release this And that’s what I thought was happening. But he eventually came and apologized, took the song down and basically was like I don’t want this to be a distraction, like I just want to glorify Jesus And if this is a distraction, i will take it down.
0:06:17 – Speaker 2
And then, on the other side of the coin, I had some different friends who I reached out to and I was like Hey, what do y’all think about this? Some of them hadn’t even heard of it, but most of them had and they were just as outraged. But that one, he took it down. They were like he should have left it up and took a stand, And also to that people were even upset about it, because it kind of feels like now you really can’t say anything or even make a joke without it turning into a huge thing. And so they felt like why does everything have to be a controversy? And I understand that side too.
0:06:51 – Speaker 1
I absolutely understand that side for sure, especially in our line of work, you know, we say one thing wrong and it turns into a controversy, so I feel crazy, i feel that. But you know, at the end of the day, though I at first I was kind of like, Oh my gosh, here we go, you know, rolling my eyes, but then I realized, you know, i have a little bit of conviction in my heart, because I’m always learning to be a better listener to my kid And I’m always wanting to engage in conversations that they’re seeing on social media, and so, for me, it was really about digging into the heart of this and saying, like, what are people saying? Why would they have such a harsh reaction to this? Like just whoa, but I, but I.
The more I dug into this and the more I listened, i want to paint this picture for you. So I want you to think about rape and abuse survivors, okay, women who have been raped and assaulted by men And their rapist saying to them you shouldn’t have dressed that way, You were asking for it. I mean, i could see why this song could hit them the wrong way and be like whoa, what message are we sending to our girls, And so the more we think about that, the more we have to be sensitive as to why people are saying hold up, there’s an issue here.
0:08:15 – Speaker 2
I’m glad you brought that up, mandy, because we don’t know what people’s experiences are or why it’s hard for them to hear something that for maybe for me. I grew up in church, but that song I found it just to be funny and light, but I didn’t have the same experiences maybe someone else, and so that message would be hurtful for them.
0:08:32 – Speaker 1
Well, and so I think that’s why it’s so important to listen to people. We are growing up in a world where everything is a controversy and it is easy to roll your eyes and be like what, but sometimes there’s a legitimacy there that we do need to take into account. The other thing I want to talk about in this whole thing is the purity culture. We hear a lot about that, and I think this was a trigger and it brought it all back for people who grew up in the purity culture that we did. I mean, i remember getting the purity ring and it was focused mainly on the girls, i think.
I think, if I remember correctly, we were even taken into a separate room. It was girls and boys were separated. But you know it was take this ring, commit to not having sex until you’re married, sign this paper, and then there was no conversation about boundaries or what to do if you’re in the heat of the moment or you know like nothing. There were no conversations about sex whatsoever, and so for me, that’s my big hangup with the whole purity culture thing Anything that says wait until you’re married to have sex like I’m for that, but I think we can also do a lot of damage when we’re like check this box and we don’t give tools in the why behind. We want to do that.
0:09:55 – Speaker 2
Yeah, i think it’s definitely a reflection of culture, the way we converse with our parents or not. I mean, think about our parents. They were doing the best they could and a lot of them didn’t even think to dig into these hard conversations, and then especially not in most churches, and that’s an extension of the home And so, goodness, i think that was probably a lot of people’s experience. I didn’t go through the purity thing And you know, maybe I was kicked out. No, i’m just kidding, i just know you grew up in Hawaii, like not that girl?
0:10:25 – Speaker 1
Oh, everybody’s, from baiting suits to church. Yes, snatchers walking in church on the beach.
0:10:33 – Speaker 2
But no, i mean, i just don’t recall maybe I wasn’t in youth group at the time, i don’t know why, but I have heard stories about that that it is a ceremony without the conversations and the follow up. But I hopefully, from what I’ve heard lately is a lot of parents who are trying to do that differently And it’s kind of a both and, like we always talk about, and so that’s positive. I’m hoping that that’s the case, but I can see how that, to you know, as you mentioned, mandy, would be a trigger for someone hearing a song like this, this whole purity thing.
0:11:05 – Speaker 1
Well, and I think, in general, when we talk about sex, our world focuses more on the girl And and I think that is a whole conversation that we need to have too about the boys equal responsibility, and we’re going to get there in a minute But some other reasons why people just the song was really hard for them is just women in general feeling shame for the way they look or the way they dress, you know, and there’s a difference between shame and conviction, and we’re going to do a show on that in the upcoming months, but but that there’s a difference there between shame and conviction, and so we need to recognize that.
0:11:40 – Speaker 2
I think, a struggle that’s been ongoing, especially, you know, in the last 20 years or so, women not being able to embrace their femininity and their Christianity at the same time. Like you, have to choose, and it’s really hard to know what that line is, and I believe personally that that is between you and Jesus, and we’re going to touch more on that a little later on the show. But then also the word modesty itself. I had a mom text me and she has older daughters, and she said that word just brings up weird upsetting feelings to her. She does not like it, she prefers the term appropriate, and so that’s just something to think about too. But clearly a lot of different things that were going through people’s heads when they heard this song, other than just ha, ha ha. This is funny.
0:12:26 – Speaker 1
Absolutely, and I think we need to recognize that. As Kim and I prepared for this show, so we often realize when we handle tough topics that the parent perspective is different from, like, a teen perspective. So to prepare for this show, i sat down with my 17 year old daughter and had some conversations about these issues And I think it was such a good conversation. I wanted to kind of capture that for you guys a little bit And she was okay with that. So that’s good. So I just wanted to say thank you for doing this, hon, and welcome Hey. Okay, so my first question for you is what did you think about the Matthew West controversy? Well, first of all, the song. Tell me your original thoughts when you first saw the song.
0:13:14 – Speaker 3
Well, when I first saw it Well, heard it, heard it yeah, i mean, there’s the music video too It was funny. I just thought it was funny. It was obviously satire And I also kind of see it as from having a dad like an overprotective dad. I just saw that in him and I was like, oh, whatever, it’s funny. But as I continued listening, i kind of started to notice like, okay, some of these lyrics here are a little toxic, kind of like. I don’t know about this. I know it’s supposed to be funny, so I understand the backlash on it for sure.
0:13:50 – Speaker 1
Because it can be a trigger for some people If they’ve had negative experiences with purity, culture and that sort of thing.
0:13:56 – Speaker 3
Well, and I think other parts of it also just seemed kind of like well, if you don’t dress like this, then you’re just like a bad person, And I don’t think anyone should really feel that way ever. So that’s why I thought it wasn’t really the best thing to post.
0:14:12 – Speaker 1
Okay, so that’s a good point. But we loved it, we sang it. It was a good little catchy tune for sure.
0:14:17 – Speaker 3
Yeah, We sang it for like the first night when it was still up. Like every once in a while I’d just be like from the other side of the house.
0:14:25 – Speaker 1
Well, it got stuck in your mind because it was a well-written, little catchy tune. I mean, he’s a great songwriter, right, so okay. So the question I really want to ask you is this How did because you’re 17 now and you’re making lots of your own decisions, true How did dad and I do with dress code, purity culture, this whole kind of picture, i think?
0:14:49 – Speaker 3
as I was growing up, i would definitely say you maybe like prolonged the whole life whole dress code thing for a little bit longer than it needed to, because I was wearing those like knee length shorts like throughout middle school. It was the most embarrassing thing ever. Okay.
0:15:08 – Speaker 1
In my defense. Yeah, parents out there, you just want to delay as long as you can.
0:15:14 – Speaker 3
It was embarrassing Don’t do that to your kids, guys, anyways. So that was a little maybe a bad parent to move there. Everything else, i mean, he did pretty good. I think the main thing I really liked is, like, as I was growing up, you would always encourage me to dress modestly, not necessarily like for other people. It wasn’t because like, oh like, because boys won’t be able to keep their little thing in their pants or anything like that. It wasn’t for boys benefit or like to keep them like from lusting or anything like that, like that’s silly, that’s their responsibility. But you didn’t like that wasn’t the reason for me to dress modest. It was more of like accountability, to like myself and to God And like that’s like God wants us to be modest, like that’s biblical. So I think that was good that you always instilled in me like we do this for God and not for people.
0:16:15 – Speaker 1
And that’s when you, when you start to think, oh, if some parents did push this on their girls They can’t dress this way, because it’ll cause boys to sin, if they’re constantly told that, then this song could have been a trigger for them, And that’s kind of what we wanted to get over there, okay. So thanks for that feedback. Okay, one other thing and this is kind of related, but it’s not but in our conversation the other day you told me something that I thought was really cool. You said fashion trends are starting to change for younger girls. Because you’re 17, now you know you’re, you’re going to be a senior, and a lot of people your age think that younger girls are dressing kind of not. Oh, yeah for sure. Okay, so talk on that just for a minute, like what you said in our conversation, because I thought it was really good and it gave me a lot of hope that that your generation is kind of being like wait, we have to be modest here for our own self-worth.
0:17:09 – Speaker 3
Yeah. So I’ve definitely been seeing a lot recently with like older teenagers, maybe like early 20s. So we’ve also kind of started to notice, especially with like middle school people, like pre-tweens, the clothing transition has completely dissipated So you transition like exactly from like being a little kid to being a complete teen, Like there’s. No, they don’t market clothes to pre-teens anymore. Pre-teens will just buy like older teen clothing, which is kind of problematic because a lot of them, like their bodies, are not physically mature enough to like, you know, fit, that style but also, you know, so that can create like self-esteem issues. But also the idea of a lot of like older teen wear is not appropriate for younger children to be wearing because so much of it is sexualized, So like.
For example, the other day I saw a video college age girl and she was like hey, if you’re in middle school and you really like, like the fishnet leggings trend, because that is kind of a trend nowadays in a lot of different aesthetics or styles or whatever, Now you wear like fishnets, either like under jeans or with skirts and that kind of stuff. But this girl in the video was saying, like you know, that’s not really appropriate for 12 year old speed wearing. Generally, fishnets are a sexualized piece of clothing. So I remember seeing this girl in this video saying like hey, if you’re a preteen, you want to wear fishnets. That’s not age appropriate. But here’s some alternatives.
I thought it was really cool. It was like, start with, like you can do like some cool, like ripped tights or something like that that makes it look cool and grunge or whatever. Or do like patterned tights. And I remember really liking that video because I was like oh, like there’s other people out here that are recognizing that all the fashion trends we have out are like. It wasn’t necessarily like a modesty thing, like religiously. It was more of like this is a problem. Like young children should not be sexualized because they’re wanting to dress like adults.
0:19:16 – Speaker 1
Well, i’m glad you shared that. Those are just. we had a long conversation in the car the other day about this whole controversy and the show that Kim and I were working on And those were kind of some highlights that I was like, hey, will you come on the show? Because I think she articulated them way better than I could have. So I appreciate you being here, hun. I appreciate your honesty. Thank you very much.
0:19:36 – Speaker 3
No problem, thanks for having me.
0:19:39 – Speaker 2
I always appreciate getting a teen perspective from your daughter at 17. She’s got so much wisdom and she’s very candid and that just helps to paint a clearer picture of what’s going on, not just for moms or dads, but also in the teen world and the kid world. Don’t want people to feel bad about themselves. We want them to understand where their identity really comes from, And I love that she pointed that out And that feeds into the bigger point that she said in regards to parenting. Mandy, that I want to give you kudos for is that she said you never made it about like not making it hard for boys to control themselves around her when it came to the dress code thing. You made it about her and her own integrity and her own desire to be modest, because that’s as far as her faith goes. That’s how she wanted to present herself, And I thought that was really good.
0:20:31 – Speaker 1
You know, I was really glad to hear that too, because I have had conversations with her about, hey, the world is not fair And you as a woman, if you go out exercising by yourself or you go to the store in your exercise clothes, you have to be aware that predators and, you know, sex traffickers and just weirdos could look at you the wrong way. But I never said to her you can’t wear that because of that. I just need you to be aware that this is a possibility, kind of thing. But I was glad that she never got that impression from me because it really was.
we really focused on, like your heart with Jesus, Like what is your motivation for wearing this? Why would you wear this? Does it make you feel confident or do you want attention, kind of thing. And that was kind of always the conversation in our home. As you can see, there are so many perspectives on this and we may not all agree And no matter where you fall on the spectrum, whether you hate the song, whether you love the song, we still love you here at nextTalk. We even got people on our team that differ on this right.
0:21:32 – Speaker 2
0:21:33 – Speaker 1
But I feel like what we need to hone in on for this show is how can we take all of this big controversy surrounding this purity culture, modesty, all this stuff and bring it so that we can have great conversations with our kids? And so we wanted to come up with three practical conversations that we hope all Christian parents can agree on, no matter where you fall on this controversy. So point one if you have a son, teach him his responsibility.
Back in 2016, when I wrote my first book, i talked about the equal responsibility between girls and boys in my dress code and pornography chapter, but one of the most important conversations I’ve had with my son is this I don’t care how a girl is dressed, i don’t care how she’s acting. She could be completely naked And it still gives you no right to disrespect her, touch her, take pictures of her, grab her, grab, stare, whatever. It still gives you no right. Your responsibility in all of this is to respect women, help them if needed, and that’s it period. And then, when they get older, you’re also gonna need to add in like, if they’re drunk, if they’re incapacitated. You still have a duty as a man to take care of that girl and protect her and not disrespect her or take advantage of her. I think these are very important conversations in our porn saturated culture today.
0:23:12 – Speaker 2
Absolutely, And one that’s very easy if you’re listening to this and you have little kids. One thing from my boys that I’ve said from day one, since they were one and two years old, is no or stop means right now. And I think that applies here also because, whether or not they’re dressed appropriately or not in any situation, whether it’s tickling when they’re little to when it gets older and they’re dating, they need to know that it means right now. When a woman says stop or no.
0:23:42 – Speaker 1
I love that And you know this is biblical. This is biblical. God talks about men lusting after women. Here are just a few verses Proverbs 6, 25,. do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.
0:23:58 – Speaker 2
And then Matthew 5, 28, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Now, that’s generally meant for married men, but here it goes to show you again the seriousness of lust. Like even looking at a woman without moving forward with an act is already committing a sin, and so lust is serious.
0:24:21 – Speaker 1
Well, in 1 Corinthians 10, 5, it tells us to take our thoughts captive. You know, a lot of times with my boy I will say it’s so natural that you notice girls and their beauty, that is okay. but we have to make sure we take our thoughts captive to make sure we’re not disrespecting that girl or feeling like we can touch her inappropriately or anything like that crossing a boundary. Kids need to know boundaries.
0:24:47 – Speaker 2
And they need to understand that noticing is different than lusting, and it helps to have those conversations with your kids, so it’s very practical for them.
0:24:55 – Speaker 1
Number two, modesty, is biblical. One of the main things that rubs me the wrong way about this controversy is it kind of makes parents feel like, well, we can’t talk about modesty anymore or purity or anything like that, and that is Satan. I think it’s very important to talk about these topics, but we have to make sure we’re doing it in a biblical way, and so I love 1 Timothy, 2, 9 to 10, and I’m paraphrasing here. It says women should be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the outward things. And it says for women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attracted by the good things they do.
0:25:37 – Speaker 2
First Peter, 3, 3 through 4, don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourself instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God, and I think it’s important to outline here that this. Within your family conversation, it’s important to discern the heart being the most important thing, but that wearing jewelry or a cute shirt does not mean that you are not concerned with what’s inside. It’s where your focus is. If that’s where your focus is, then it’s a conversation to come back to. Where are we really finding our worth? and our worth needs to come from Jesus.
0:26:25 – Speaker 1
It’s OK to have a cute pair of shoes and a purse, for sure, but are those our idols? Do we put more weight into that instead of our heart and how we serve others?
0:26:38 – Speaker 2
You know it’s a conversation that you have within your family with your kids, and come to determination about what’s appropriate and where your focus is.
0:26:48 – Speaker 1
So point number three, a good conversation for all of us to remember Look at the heart more than the outward appearance. Never forget that the heart is more important than the outward appearance And I love this scripture and we’ll end it here with our wrap up points. First, samuel 16.7 says the Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. So in our wrap up today, number one if you have a son, teach him his responsibility. Two modesty is biblical. And three look at the heart more than the outward appearance.
Transcribed by https://podium.page