Friday, June 12, 2009

The Most Common Objection

I hope you were reminded, or perhaps understood for the first time, why modesty matters in my recent series. I know I learned a lot in my research for the posts and from the thoughts that the men shared.

One of the most common objections to modesty that Christian women commonly use is:
Aren't men responsible? It's his problem!!!! He's a pervert if he can't keep his eyes off of me!" I know this because at one time I had these objections in my own mind toward modesty in my effort to understand how men think.

In digust women blow it off as crazy that we should think about modesty because after all, some guys will lust no matter what one wears and we can't live our lives trying to please everyone, right? Any talk/book/blog post/sermon on modesty is met with an attitude of "You're letting him off the hook!"

So, here's an analogy I like to think about. Analogies aren't perfect, so bear with me.

Imagine the things that first attract you to men. Think of those things that really catch your eye, your heart, your emotions because of how you are wired as a woman. What really arouses your lust or affections?

Then imagine that nearly every guy around you was doing those things. Maybe when you walk through the grocery store the cute guys you pass call you beautiful, stroke your hair, or give you a tender hug. The guys at church, including many of the church leaders/staff shower you with attention, brush their lips against your neck, buy you flowers, etc. Imagine that even when you go on a walk through the neighborhood a few guys stop and try to enter into conversation with you and take you out to dinner. When you turned on the TV to watch a movie, the actors got out of the movie and came over to offer you a lingering kiss. When you hang out with friends, their husbands wear the nicest cologne and bring you chocolates and dot on you. The fix-it man offers to do your dishes and take you dancing and when you check your e-mail, real, live, handsome muscle men pop up on the screen and start asking you to talk about your feelings. Nearly every young man you meet says he wants to rescue you and carry you off. If you were living for yourself, you would probably enjoy it and crave more and more. "Bring it on," you would say!

But if you were trying to live for God, saving your heart and body for your husband, or future husband, it would be difficult to keep your affections in check. You would constantly struggle with giving in, especially if you were still unmarried or your husband and you were at odds or he hadn't been paying much attention to you recently. Or perhaps you would start to become bitter or cynical towards those affectionate men, and start just having to avoid all the places where you would run into them and get angry at the problem. What if you approached the men in church about what they were doing or emphasized a need for men to be less expressive and they said, "Who are YOU to tell me what to do? This is a free country! I can say what I want! If you have a problem with it, you should control yourself better! All the other guys are expressive and that's all I know! That's how I grew up and that's what popular! So, bug off!"

Then imagine that a couple of guys at church, or among your friends decide to serve you. Hearing that overt attention, lavish smiles, caresses, gift gifting, etc. would cause a woman to struggle they decide to be aloof to you and all women. Friendly, but keeping their distance and never saying anything personal or inappropriate. I personally would be sooooo grateful as a woman who is seeking to live righteously by God's grace! I would feel safe hanging around guys like that! I would feel truly cherished, in a far greater way than by the fleeting physical attention of other men. I would respect those men's character. I would plead with other guys to follow their example. If I were single I would long for a husband like that, who thought more about others than himself and honored the Lord in honoring me. As a wife, I know my husband would be so thankful that my heart wasn't being enticed day and night by those men around me. My affections would be easier to keep for my husband alone.

From what I've heard from them, men face a similar amount of temptation often, if not daily. No doubt some days are harder than others, and they are responsible to guard themselves and choose not to sin when presented with the opportunity. There will always be opportunities for them to lust just as there will always be temptations for us to sin too, whether in gossip, idolizing celebrities or leaders, putting our kids first in our lives, putting our hope in financial security, envying our neighbors, etc. But how much easier can we make it for our brothers if we help them with one of their greatest temptations by covering up what doesn't need to be seen!

The fact is, women will never fully understand the extent of a guy's visual struggle and what they are going through. And different guys may have different levels of struggle. And some guys who have given themselves over to worship lust may lust over your big toe or your hands even if you had covered everything. So dressing in a Burka isn't what we are talking about here. Common sense, and following some of the tips I mentioned in my recent Modesty Monday series will go a long way.

It boils down to selfishness and obedience. Yes, many women out there are ignorant when it comes to the importance of modesty or when it comes to specifics with different outfits. But if you are reading this post, you no longer have an excuse of ignorance about the issue in general. You have been told that modesty is a way to serve your brothers. Don't believe me? Search the Scriptures, talk to your pastor, talk to the guys around you and see. It's not about a certain uniform it's about your heart. So, if you, knowing that you should be modest, continue on in your life saying, "I will wear what I want to wear! Guys are perverts! They need to quit looking!" you are choosing to be selfish. You have chosen your way above God's Word, which commands modesty, self-control, humility, and serving your brothers and sisters in Christ.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

A very frank post, and all true. Thank you for addressing this subject! That took guts. :o)

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