Here is part three of a recent interview a journalist conducted with us.
Interviewer: Tell me about your book: whose idea was it? What are you hoping to accomplish with it? How has it been received?
A&E: We got the idea for writing our book when we were aged 15 and 17. We were nearing adulthood, and faced with the question of “What next?” Who did we want to become? What did we want to live and die for? Our friends seemed to be living on auto-pilot, defaulting to the same decisions all the other girls were making about college, career, relationships and the rest. Our father had always taught us not to passively follow the crowd, but to carefully and deliberately think through every decision, using Scripture as our guide. So we began a rigorous study of the biblical role of women (daughters in particular), and made discoveries so fascinating, counter-cultural and life-transforming that we wanted to share them with every other girl.
We knew there was a need for this book. The young women of our generation have so many questions, and often feel so lost and conflicted. They struggle to understand who they are as women, while surrounded by destructive and confusing stereotypes of women from past and present. They suffer from bad relationships with their family members, and the consequences of that. They don’t understand how they as women should relate to men. They fear they will never marry; they feel guilty about wanting to marry; they’re confused about what to do in the meantime; they’re realizing too late that they may have driven away their chances of marriage by pursuing feminist dreams of their own; and if they eventually marry, they agonize over how to balance their families with their careers and feel guilty about whichever one ends up short-changed. What we found is that the Bible does give the answers to each of these problems. God is not silent on the issues that face young women — He has a place and a purpose for us, if we will only study to find it.
Interviewer: Have you heard of the “modesty movement”? Are you connected to that? What does that entail for you, personally?
A&E: The Bible specifically commands women to dress modestly (1 Tim. 2:9), and we do try to model that. It’s interesting to us that, as a reaction against the damaging effects of the sexual revolution, even many “non-religious” women are returning to modesty and abstinence, and discovering the many benefits that accompany them (a reminder of the wisdom of God’s commands to us). However, we see modesty as a defining characteristic of Christian behavior, not simply as a solution to a cultural problem.
We are not advocates of frumpy flour-sack “modesty” — modesty is only one aspect of what Christian women need to communicate in their dress, radiant femininity being another. Our goal in dress is to communicate that we rejoice in being women, and to encourage the men around us to respect women rather than objectify them.