Ask the Wemmicks

This post is part of a debut of  “Ask the Wemmicks”, a “round up question and answer” type of post. Visionary Womanhood has asked several of us to answer a question about modesty and how families handle swimming activities in the summer. You can read the original question at “Debut of Just Ask the Wemmicks” but here’s a snippet of it:

“Do all of you avoid all boating trips and boat docks in addition to the public beaches? How do you deal with extended family who are showing too much skin?”

This is my short answer:

We struggle with the same question/problem as you have described. If we go to the beach (not more than once a year, if that often) we wait until school is back in session (it’s cheaper that way too) and try to choose a less populated location. We talk to our boys about averting their eyes just like they have to do often in public anywhere (grocery checkout stand, driving down the interstate, etc.), and to our girls about the importance of loving others in the way we dress.

At the same time we try to emphasize to our children that some simply aren’t aware of how their dress may affect others and often it could indicate a deep need in their soul to be wanted, loved and accepted, so we need to remember love. We all deal with our sins, but I think the one of immodesty is easier to focus on because it’s so “in your face”, and because pornography is such a destructive, open force in our society, we are (rightly) more cautious of it. All the while, though, we must not let our caution turn into a lack of love.

Our best pool time has been weekend surprise trips during the fall and winter to a local hotel with an indoor pool. We are almost always the only ones there, the kids love it and it’s a great place to teach littles how to swim.

Some others have answered this question too (and done a better job than I have):

Bambi Moore, In the Nursery of the Nation

Terry Covey, A Mom’s Many Lessons

Tyanne, Lamp on a Stand

Marci Ferrell, A Thankful Homemaker

Marcia Wilwerding, eHomebody

Molly Evert, Counter-Cultural Mom

Cindy Dyer, Get Along Home


10 Responses to “Ask the Wemmicks”

  1. […] Homebody Wemmick The Visionary Wemmick The Generation Cedar Wemmick The Counter Cultural Wemmick The Lamp on a Stand Wemmick The Wemmick at Mom’s Many Lessons […]

  2. Cindy says:

    Not better. Just longer. You have a wonderful reason for it. How’s the baby?

  3. Erica says:

    This is a tricky one for me. I have teenaged boys that know it’s not appropriate, but will still look! Up until this summer we had our own pool so it wasn’t too much of an issue. New home – landlord – and now we aren’t allowed to have a pool. So I was faced with 3 choices – (1) get a pass to a community pool, (2) go to the free public beach, (3) no swimming activities. After a quick drive-by of our local community pool I decided NOT to go that route. The young ladies in our neck of the woods are darn near naked even IN bathing suits! After 1 attempt at the beach we packed it in and left after less than an hour when my young daughters (7 & 5) started asking for the very revealing bikinis (if you can even call them that) that were on display. And it wasn’t even the boys in our family that bothered me with reactions because they actually ignored it – surprisingly enough! So dad & I talked about it. We bought a sprinkler and a shallow “baby” pool that the kids can get wet in on hot days.

    After reading your post (and the others – which weren’t necessarily better but definitely longer) I think dad & I need to talk again about our approach to this issue. I think taking the stance of what’s on the outside shows what’s on the inside is the best suggestion yet! I live my life like an open book – especially with my kids. I want them to learn from my mistakes. Unfortunately they DO sometimes try to use my past as an excuse for their present behavior. I am constantly reminding them that back then I didn’t have Jesus in my heart and that makes ALL the difference. I recently did a thorough closet clean out because I realized that some of my clothing was NOT putting forth the image I wanted to project as an example of what it right & proper for a Christian. I was happy to do it. It led to conversations with my daughters about why I was getting rid of certain items & ultimately led to a discussion about what makes God happy concerning our manner of dress. I was happy that I included the girls in that activity.

    And this is a topic that I never truly thought about until recently. I want to be respected for WHO I am NOT what I wear or what my body looks like. I am constantly telling my girls that it’s what’s inside, not outside that counts.

    “Thank you God for showing me the errors of my ways. Please continue to guide me as I try to live out your will in my life and in raising my kids. Help me to be a good example to them. Guide my words when answering their questions so that they can know You better and proper. I am not prefect, only You are. Help me to teach them to look to You for guidance. Amen.” That is a daily prayer that I find myself saying more and more as the kids get older! Sometimes I find myself praying it multiple times a day.

    Hope you & the family are enjoying Kaid! You’ll have to post some pictures soon…baby’s change so much so fast!


  4. Carla says:

    It is a futile task to try to control someone’s eyes. It only makes them more curious anyway, and besides, it’s impossible. Instead, try talking to them, telling them what you feel, and allowing them the freedom to grow in Christ without your constant control.

  5. Joy says:

    My husband totally downplays it. He says it is all standard equipment, everyone has the same parts. We stay covered and modest, and even the boys wear sun-sreen shirts when we go to the lake. But we see all kinds, and it is fun to people watch. Last time we saw:

    * Three young teenage girls looking uncomfortable and self conscious as they walked along the beach in their bikinis.

    * Two large ladies, very comfortable and unselfconscious in their bikinis, playing with a naked baby in the water and watching a half dozen tanned children splash each other. Their very tattooed husbands sat in the shade, drinking beer and visiting with anyone who walked by. Nice, friendly families, different than us, but nice.

    * A couple that carefully avoided making eye contact or speaking with us, even though their sons played with our children for over an hour.

    I don’t feel bad at all about people watching. I know people watch us all the time. “Look at that family with all the red-heads! Man, they have their hands full!”

    There are all kinds in the world. Let your kids know what kind you are and why. Teach them to judge character, and what is important in a spouse. Teach them to resist temptation. But the lesson that the world is full of all kinds of people, and it is ok for our family to be this way in the midst of other families that are different is a good lesson. At first I was a little uncomfortable with my husband making the “its all standard equipment” type comments, but really, it helps sons to choose the more modest women for themselves. Under, the parts are the same, so judge the character and the heart. Not sure I communicated that well, but I tried!!

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