1. Dress in a way appropriate to your dignity. As Crystalina Evert, an awesome chastity speaker puts it, “Don’t walk around sending the message that your body is the best part of you—implying that your heart, mind, and soul aren’t so important. Instead, say with your modesty, ‘I’m worth waiting to see.’”
2. Refuse to sleep with a man until you have his wedding ring on your finger. IF HE REALLY LOVES YOU, he’ll wait. This respect—both the respect you will have for yourself and the respect the man will have for you—will carry over to your marriage someday.
3. Don’t wear degrading T-shirts with messages like “Who needs a brain when you have these?” (now discontinued because of protests). Consider refusing to buy from stores or manufacturers that make and sell these things. And don’t wear pants or shorts with writing across your bottom unless that is where you want to draw every pair of eyes that looks at you!
4. KEEP YOUR STANDARDS HIGH FOR WHO YOU WILL DATE. A real man will rise to meet your standards, but if you stoop and lower yours to his, you’ll have much to regret, and he will not be challenged to be a better man. You may be discouraged, but amazing men do exist. They are having just as hard of a time as you are at living purely in an impure world. One of them is fighting the uphill battle for you, so don’t let him down. And PRAY for him!
5. Pray to be more like Mary. Was there ever a woman more beautiful and dignified than the Mother of God? Pray 3 Hail Marys a day for purity of mind, purity of body, and purity of heart.
6. Confront any guy who ogles you with his eyes or touches you inappropriately. Rather than laugh at it, firmly (but respectfully and perhaps in private) let him know that this is completely unacceptable. You will be doing him and yourself a favor.
7. Don’t be duped by the media’s promotion of the falsehood that physical perfection is both possible and required.
8. Don’t go to restaurants where the women (or men) servers’ bodies are put on display to attract customers.
9. DO let a guy be a gentleman. As long as he is holding the door or pulling out your chair with the right spirit, he isn’t saying that you aren’t capable of doing these things yourself. He is saying that you are worth so much that he wants to honor you with his actions.
10. Avoid clothing (even prom dresses or swimsuits) that seem as if they were made for the purpose of allowing men who are not your husband to enjoy the sight of parts of your body God made extra-special and are not to be seen by the whole world.
11. Say a prayer every time you see a woman dressed inappropriately, whether in person or on TV, etc. Pray that she will recognize her true worth, and pray that men will not be led astray by her.
12. Treat each person you meet with respect. Don’t let your kindness or attention depend on the other person’s (girl’s or guy’s) popularity or physical attraction. If you do, you could miss out on amazing and beautiful relationships.
13. Be GENUINE. There will only be one of you for all of eternity, and there is a place that only you can fill—fearlessly be yourself. Your genuineness will be a noticeable quality that will bring others to respect you. St. Catherine of Siena once said, “If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire.”
14. Treat your body as a temple of the Holy Spirit. Jesus bought you with the price of His blood spilt on Calvary. Don’t make light of that supreme gift by degrading your body through drugs, alcohol, or premarital sex. Be careful not to put yourself in situations where you might do something you’ll regret. Alcohol makes you vulnerable, and there are many girls who have been raped either by choosing to drink or even by having something slipped into their drink. Please, don’t think that it can’t happen to you.
15. Refuse to believe the lies. Satan and the world will whisper lots of them in your ear. (You need to lose 5 more pounds before he will consider asking you out. Your parents don’t understand ANYTHING. You’re just not good enough to be loved.) Sound familiar?
16. Become the woman God made you to be. Work on virtues like gentleness, patience, and courage. As Proverbs 31 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty fleeting, but the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
17. Show the world that modesty doesn’t equal frumpiness. You can dress cute AND be modest. It may take some extra effort, but don’t let anybody tell you it’s not possible.
18. Be grateful to be a woman! Women have incredible gifts, and you also have qualities and talents unique only to you. Glorify God by developing and using the gifts you’ve been given.
19. Be an example to all of the young girls you know—your sisters, cousins, and neighbors. They deserve better than what the world is offering, and they’re depending on you to model truth and real beauty to them.
20. Most important of all, make Jesus your Best Friend. He’s the only One who is always faithful, and He’ll encourage you as you strive to stand up and claim respect. He’ll give you strength to become who He made you to be, and He’ll pick you up every time you fall.
These 20 suggestions were written by Kristie Wellman, One More Soul U.S.A.’s Coordinator of Youth and Family Outreach and a young woman trying to claim respect herself.
One More Soul U.S.A. provides a printable PDF version of this pamphlet