Last updated on October 17, 2020
I would like to ask why this wasn’t discussed in your article? To me, wearing any bathing suit is as close to being naked as you can get. There is nothing left to anyone’s imagination. Even if a person is clothed from head to toe, going to a public swimming pool or the lake would not be an appropriate activity for a child of God. There are others in that setting that are as worldly as they come and to view others in swimming attire would be enticing one to lust. I believe most congregation’s leaders are ignoring this and other issues of immodesty. I have grandchildren who are allowed to go to school proms and mixed swimming. It breaks my heart; because I have given them everything to read on these subjects (with the Scriptures included) and have instructed them myself; but of course their parents (my daughter and two of the kids’ step-father) are in favor of all this activity. My daughter says she wants to “pick the battles” with the kids so as not to go overboard and say no to every issue that comes up. I am totally amazed at that philosophy! The parents refuse to listen to the word of God or any wise counsel on these issues. I am very discouraged concerning these issues and in general with the height of members worldliness in the church.
I didn’t come from the best of families, nor did my husband. We made many mistakes with our 3 children. It is being proved in our case that personal example speaks louder than words. My husband was working long hours and therefore I was the one left alone with the kids most of the time. I did not make a good “single parent” so to speak. My husband had more of a “relaxed” attitude toward some issues with the kids. He also smoked cigarettes (began after our first child was born) and at that time we also went to public swimming places, as did the other members of the church. Public swimming by members of the church was something we both grew up with. I don’t recall the time frame when I learned how wrong the mixed swimming was, but I think it was sometime in the 1990s. I believe I have always known it was wrong; but all those years before, I thought it was because I was shy and didn’t have much self-esteem, etc., etc. Now I realize it was because I did not feel comfortable having so little clothing on my body, especially when males were present. I ignored my inner voice and since I had always swum in public and the church had not given any instruction about it, it continued on with my own children.
I believe my kids received mixed messages from us all those years and that’s why none of them are strong Christians today. Parents may not be the only example their children have, but they had better be the best one! My family is living proof of that and it will probably cause me much heartache until the day I pass from this earth.
You are right that the issue of mixed swimming is important to address and it should be taught more often. When I originally wrote this book, I mistakenly thought that the issue was a clear application of the principles brought out. Given the questions I received, I realized that I needed to spell out the issue more clearly. I just recently wrote an article on it, which you can read by clicking on “Is It Okay for Boys and Girls to Swim Together?“
Thank you for sharing your concerns with the younger generation. I hope they will learn from your experiences. Concerning the need for consistency in expectations of children’s behavior, may I recommend the lesson “When I Grow Up“? Please also look at the study on parenting, titled “Raising Godly Children in a Wicked World.”