Modesty in the Home

  • Genesis 9:22-23 “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.”

Modesty amongst family members even in the privacy of one’s own home matters to God. Noah was in his own home. Ham was his own son. The Bible does not say how much of Noah was uncovered. It simply states that he was uncovered. To briefly recap the basics for what parts of the body are to be covered: God Himself covered at the least the torso of both the male and the female in Genesis 3:21, and He declared exposing the thigh to be nakedness for both male and female in several places, including Exodus 28:42 and Isaiah 47:2-3. So some part or parts of Noah that were to be covered were not covered. And Ham saw, whether on purpose or on accident we are not told. What we are told is that he handled it incorrectly and that his brothers handled the situation correctly. 

When it comes to modesty in the home, no age limit is given in Scripture, and the only exceptions are for a husband and wife alone to whom everything is honorable in all and undefiled (Hebrews 13:4). All other people and situations are covered by God’s basic guidelines for covering the body. So, during potty training, shut the door. When nursing, cover up. Train the other children to give the diapered child a “modest spot” when being changed. Don’t bathe children together, even same gender children. Keep shirts on your boys to cover the torso. Put something under your little girls’ dresses to cover the thigh. Mothers, wear something that will not gape, ride up, or otherwise expose yourself during the day’s demands. Teach children to look away from one another if someone accidentally exposes himself, even just a shirt coming up in the back exposing the torso. 

In doing so, you are creating an environment that will greatly enable your young teen man to control his eyes in this wicked world. You are daily showing your young ladies that what you wear matters. You are building another layer of respect one towards another. And most importantly of all, you are obeying God. For convenience we make exceptions, but what are these based on? At the end of time we will be judged by God’s Word, not by what seemed easy at the moment.