Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Taboos of Modesty: Why Should Women Dress Modestly?

{Guest post by Psalm1Wife}
Young women are being told from Christian pastors, teachers and well-meaning parents everywhere that they should dress modestly. There is a push from the world to dress immodestly and those of us in the conservative Christian corner are exhorting the young ladies to a higher standard. If we are immodest, we are rebuked, and rightly so.

I {Psalm1Wife} am going to submit a reason to dress modestly that is different than what you have likely heard. If you're like the rest of us, the reason that comes to mind is that dressing provocatively can cause our brothers-in-Christ to sin and would make us a stumbling block. {Romans 14:13; James 1:14-15} This reason has been drilled into every private schooled, homeschooled or fundamentalist's daughter's head from the time she was a teenager.

When this reason is solely being taught and reiterated to young women, it can be a very dangerous thing when these young women get married. Wives are always searching for a reason to control their husbands. When we teach young women that the only reason they must cover up their bodies is because it is their responsibility to keep their brothers-in-Christ from sinning, we are subconsciously telling them that it is their job to not allow their husbands to sin. Could this be another way we try to control men and even maybe our husbands? We are training our brains to think that if it weren't for women making the moral choice to cover up, men would automatically sin by lusting after our bodies and this encourages women to have a distrust of men and a sense of spiritual superiority over the male species in general.

Men and husbands are responsible themselves to refrain from sin, not women or wives. Dressing in a way that does not draw attention to our bodies is a good safety measure in defense of the very few men who may overpower us and take advantage of us because of the temptation that revealing our flesh will elicit, but keeping men from sin is not our responsibility; it is the Holy Spirit's. Which brings us to the real reason that women should not dress provocatively ~It is a sin, our sin.

We are neglecting a very crucial part of immodesty ~ how good it makes us feel to be lusted after. Men have a desire to have sex and they are visually stimulated by a woman's body. God answered this desire by creating a wife for a husband whose body is solely his. But people tend to think the buck stops there, when in fact, it does not.

Men are not the only ones with desires. Women have a desire to be lusted after by men and God answered this desire too. He gave us a husband to dress provocatively for and elicit raw, sexual attraction from.

When women dress immodestly, we are seeking that exciting rush from others, besides our husband. The same women who dress this way, will condemn their husband for lusting after women through pornography or through checking out some scantily clad girl in the mall. No one says anything to the wife,  whose skin-tight jeans with rhinestones on the bottom that may as well be a well-lit landing strip with arrows and a service man holding flashing lights directing every man's eyes directly to her rear. Or the women who wear cleavage bearing shirts or extremely form fitting clothing with the purpose of drawing attention to our flesh.

I remember one time, before I realized my grave sin in flaunting my body for other men to see besides my husband that I was envious of a woman I knew that had gotten her breast size surgically enhanced. I was telling her how much I would also like to have this done and that instead of just making my breasts larger, it would be nice to have them cosmetically enhanced as well. She answered me that there is no need because it costs more and no one, besides your husband will see them anyway. In my wickedness, I agreed with her. She outwardly and blatantly exposed the fact that a woman's desire is to be attractive for others, besides her husband, to the point of saying that a breast enhancement that would be making her look more attractive in a way that others would not notice would be a waste of money and I understood her logic and agreed with her. Woe is me!

A woman's temptation to dress immodestly for attention is just as dangerous and sinful as a man's temptation to look at a woman. This is a very real and serious topic and so it is also important to remind ourselves that our husband is our authority and we must not cause dissensions in our marriage because we have been moved to throw out all of our pants and boots. If you are convicted to change your wardrobe, talk to your husband first. The point I am making is that he is the one we should dress for. If your husband wants you to wear tight jeans in public, you should obey him but we must acknowledge the error in neglecting our own sin, as women, of enjoying the flattering attention from others that comes from immodest dress and the error of conditioning ourselves to thinking that the only sin committed is on the part of the man who looks at us.

In conclusion, keep your finger pointed at yourself and do not dress immodestly. Not because it will cause the brothers-in-Christ around you to sin, but because it feeds your own desire to be wrongly lusted after and noticed by other men. A godly man's perspective on the subject of modesty and all of the excuses that ensue is as follows ~

If you are like me and have been seeing and doing things wrong for your whole life, things like this are hard to hear. All the talk of the “utility” of immodest workout clothes, sports uniforms, comfort clothes, etc. is an alluring sidetrack. It appears like a shortcut through the wilderness of moral choices, but it leads to Sheol.

Your heart will tell you lies to make sin appear reasonable. Friends and even respected elders will make to you excuses for immodesty...anything to try to make you feel bad for choosing modesty before trivialities. That’s what uber-efficient work-outs, amateur sports, or a smidgen more comfort in the supermarket are: trivialities. Do not be deceived! You must choose what you love. 

If we love to serve God, we will not sin against Him and our husbands by ignoring our desire to be lusted after by other men and continue to suppress the fact that that is a core reason that we may dress immodestly. We will choose what we love. If we love that attention, we will remain in the dark and continue to hush the taboos of modesty ~ how enjoyable it is to be attractive to all men and that we must work against this desire at all cost.

Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a 
beautiful woman without discretion.
Proverbs 11:22