Sunday, April 27, 2008
Weekend Worship - Modesty, Part 2
I had the pleasure of attending my brother-in-law's wedding this weekend. The weather was perfect! The food was great! But I felt terrible for my husband who surely had to avert his eyes at least a hundred times from the scantily clad women who attended. Perhaps it's just that I haven't been to a wedding lately or perhaps it's that I've grown more sensitive to this issue in the past several months. But ladies, if your boobs look like they could fall out of your top at any moment, you're dressing COMPLETELY inappropriately! I think some of these women would have been revealing less if they had been wearing a bathing suit! It was ridiculous!
I don't know if women don't realize what they are doing or if they realize it and actually want that sort of attention. But either way, it certainly doesn't measure up to God's standards.
When writing the book For Women Only, Shaunti Feldhahn interviewed 1,000 men and found remarkably similar results among all of them as far as how men relate to women. Men want to feel respected. They are haunted by romantic failures. It's difficult for them to "change gears". They enjoy it when their wife takes care of herself. But the most stunning discovery (in my opinion) that she made during these interviews was this:
Men have (what Shaunti calls) a "visual rolodex" in their brain. Any image of a beautiful/sexy woman is automatically logged into their brain the instant they see it (be it live, in a picture, or in a video). These images can be brought up at will or may just randomly pop into their minds. While this may appall you at first (if you're a woman), this is not a malfunction of a man. This is the way men were wired by their Creator. The key is protecting their eyes from seeing all the filth of the world and, if an inappropriate image should pop up, immediately willing it away by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In Every Man's Battle, the authors include several personal stories along with real letters from Christian men on the topic of sexual purity. I want to give you a glimpse of what these letters include so you can be aware of the kind of battle that men must fight with their eyes when women are not dressed appropriately. Men receive sexual gratification through their eyes. That is why it is SO important for us to be careful about what we wear! Remember, these are Christian men struggling with normal desires. As a warning, these personal accounts are somewhat graffic:
I never intentionally set out to be girl-watching that day, but I spotted her about two hundred yards ahead and to the left. She was jogging toward me along the coastal sidewalk. From my sheepskin-covered leather seat, I found the view outstanding, even by California's high standards. My eyes locked on to this goddesslike blonde, rivulets of sweat cascading down her tanned body as she ran at a purposeful pace. Her jogging outfit, if it could be called that in those days before sports bras and spandex, was actually a skimpy bikini. As she approached on my left, two tiny triangles of tie-dyed fabric struggled to contain her ample bosom. I can't tell you what her face looked like; nothing above the neckline registered with me that morning. My eyes feasted on this banquet of glistening flesh as she passed on my left, and they continued to follow her lithe figure as she continued jogging southbound. Simply by lustful instinct, as if mesmerized by her gait, I turned my head further and further, craning my neck to capture every possible moment for my mental video camera.
There was a (sexual) monster lurking about, and it surfaced each Sunday morning when I settled in my comfy La-Z-Boy and opened the Sunday morning newspaper. I would quickly find the department-store inserts and begin paging through the colored newsprint filled with models posing in bras and panties. Always smiling. Always available. I loved lingering over each ad insert. It's wrong, I admitted, but it's such a small thing. It was a far cry from Playboy, I told myself. I peered through the panties, fantasizing. Occasionally, a model reminded me of a girl I once knew, and my mind rekindled the memories of our times together. I rather enjoyed my Sunday mornings with the newspaper.
Alex remembers the time he was watching TV with his sister-in-law. The rest of the family was at the mall. "She was lying flat on her stomach on the floor in front of me, wearing tight shorts, and she'd fallen asleep watching TV. I was on the chair, and I happened to look down and see her upper thigh and a trace of her underwear. I tried to ignore it, but my heart started racing a little, and my eyes kept looking at the back of her upper thigh. It got so exciting that I began to stare and really lust. I had to release it somehow. I masturbated while she slept, right out in the open."
Do you see what we are doing to the men in our lives?! Women should be dressing in a way that is not causing a man to stumble. It's okay to dress attractively, but it's not okay to dress seductively. Since we know that men have a natural weakness in this area, we need to do everything possible to keep them from stumbling.
Now, I want to clarify that I am in NO way condoning a man's lustful behavior. Men need to train themselves to look away and "bounce their eyes" when an attractive woman is nearby. They need to keep themselves out of dangerous situations that they know may cause them to stumble. But at the same time, it is a woman's responsibility to clothe herself fully so as not to aid a man in this sin.
I think I will include one more week on this series next week. We'll see what I can scrounge up for that. :)
By the way, did any of you go through your closet this week and take a good look at your clothes??
Other parts of this series: