Summer’s here, the living is easy, and everyone’s donning tank tops to keep cool or pulling on their swimsuits to spend the day at the shore.
…Everyone except the Duggar Family, that is.
The stars of TLC’s 19 Kids & Counting steer clear of those typical warm-weather pleasures because they feel it goes against Scripture and God’s will for them.
In her latest blog for TLC’s Parentables channel, Michelle Duggar explains that her family lives by a code of modesty that keeps them from dressing in clothes most people take for granted.
“[W]e don’t judge anyone that doesn’t have this perspective, but for us, we felt like we needed to be covered from our neck to below our knees mainly because God talks about the thigh being uncovered, and how that’s nakedness and shame,” she writes.
What she says next is sure to raise more than a few eyebrows: Their other motivation for covering up is to avoid “defrauding” others – in other words, encouraging lustful thoughts in passersby. “Now, granted there are a few people out there who could be stirred up by a cardboard box all the way from head to toe, but regardless we want to maintain modest dress,” says Michelle.
So regardless of the activity – biking, horseback riding, climbing trees – everyone from Michelle and husband Jim Bob down to their littlest daughters stays covered up. No shorts, tank tops or miniskirts for this family.
You won’t find the Duggars at the beach, either – and it’s not because they don’t like getting sand between their toes.No, the family avoids public beaches and pools to keep the Duggar men from catching an unwanted glimpse of women who, um, don’t feel spiritually called to hide their assets. “[I]t’s just too hard for the guys to try to keep their eyes averted in those situations,” says Michelle.
On the occasions they do swim, it’s at a private pool or lake – and they still wear torso- and thigh-covering gear. (Yes, there are alternatives to Victoria’s Secret and Land’s End. Google “modest swimwear” and you’ll see thousands of links to sites like this one.)
The Duggar matriarch makes a point of repeating that you can’t keep others from thinking what they will – but adds, “[B]ut I do think you have control over how you present yourself.” She herself stopped wearing shorts as an adult because she worried she might be guilty of unintentional “defrauding.”
Hmm. Dressing according to your personal comfort and modesty level is one thing. But isn’t this just a rephrasing of the old “guys can’t help themselves/girls are asking for it” excuse that has made it so difficult for women to prove rape cases?
What’s your take? Are the Duggars too modest – or should more parents be more concerned about covering up?
[Photo: via TLC]
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