Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Something that needs saying

This has been on my mind a lot lately and I would like to share.  The last few Sundays I have been observing at church.  What have I been observing, you ask?  Well, I've been observing what the women, teenage girls and little girls are wearing.  Several years ago, I really didn't notice it much unless someone wore something way outrageously inappropriate.  Now, though, my eyes have been opened wide.  I've been seeing women who are married, have kids and come to church regularly, dressed like they are going to the beach or out on the prowl.  One woman in particular always catches my attention because she has an endless supply of dresses that are low cut in the front always showing about three inches of the line between her ample bosom and the dress ends a very few inches past her rear.  Let's just say bending over would NOT be a good idea!  Then there are the women who come in with the tight shirts with the revealing V-necks giving a good view of what they have.  There are some moms who wear the teeny tiny, just short of daisy duke shorts.  There are the teenagers that come with their mother appropriately dressed, but they are far from it!  I'm seeing all of this and it makes me so sad and mad and the same time!  How on earth is church a safe place, a sanctuary for all of us to come and worship and praise and be in the presence of our Lord, if upon entering 99% of the men are being bombarded with boobs, hinies and thighs?  Their attention is being divided between fighting the urge to look and trying to meet with God.  Let me explain even further....  A couple of years ago, I attended the Spring Ladies Event at church and they really touched on this subject.  It wasn't in a mean or discouraging way, but it was told in truth with love.  Man, what a revelation!  Also, about this same time, I was being made aware of the very real battle EVERY man has with visual stimulation.  See, the two coincide.  I don't think most women are really aware of what kind of a reaction a man has to a woman who is dressed to show off her assets.  She's thinking, hey I look good, attractive, men admire my figure, think I'm cute perhaps, but it goes so much deeper than that!  You see, when he can see how busty you are and how your rear end is accentuated by the pants/jeans/skirt you wear or how much leg you show when you have the little teeny tiny shorts on that seem to be all the rage the last few years or my personal "favorite" the jeans that are made to purposefully cause a plumber's crack so as to showcase a thong.... well, I'm telling you he's thinking quite something else.  There's already a fantasy including you in his bed and you've helped to stimulate his sexual drive.  Most men will file away images for later perusal in their mind.  There's a very good book on this subject and if you are a man, especially a Christian man,  you should definitely read it and if you are a wife, mother about to be married, whatever, you should probably read it, too.  It will be a hard read for some ladies because it is very open and honest and true and shocking, but if you know what he's dealing with every single day, not only will it make you realize that maybe you've been a stumbling block for men other than your husband by the way you dress, but you can also better support your husband in his battle.  Also, it can help you help him to guard his heart and in the process protect your marriage.  The book is called Every Man's Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey.  I will put a link to the book for info. at the end of the post.

I want to qualify all of this by saying that if a woman is appropriately dressed, meaning everything is covered and not tight to make sure every curve is accentuated and a man is still having thoughts about her, that is not anything to do with her.  That man is having deeper issues than just the normal battle usually dealt with.  There is also a responsibility that God gives men to rise above all of this.  He's already provided the way through the freedom in Christ and the aforementioned book gives very practical ways to do that.  What I'm wanting to bring to the attention of the ladies out there, and I'm speaking specifically to the Christian ladies, is this:  Fashion is of the world.  I'm not saying don't try and be fashionable or anything, but just because a super model comes busting down the runway in a see through shirt, doesn't mean its okay for you to wear!  If you are showing cleavage, you are sharing something with everyone else that doesn't belong to them.  The "girls" should be for your husband's eyes only.  If you aren't married yet, then save that view for your future husband.  Same goes for your backside and thighs.  I know a lot of you might be saying, "What's the big deal about thighs?!"  Let's think of it this way, first I know you've heard men say, "I'm a leg man."  Also, guess where the thigh leads?  Straight up to their imagination going wild with you as the center of the fantasy!  You may be rebelling against all of this just like I would have just four short years ago, as in this is their problem, if they are having issues, then they don't need to be looking! But let me tell you that according to the Bible you have a responsibility to keep your brother from stumbling, if it is your action or behavior that is causing it.  Plus, think about it this way.  Where would you have them look, between the way women/girls are dressing these days, ads on billboards, ads in magazines, t.v. commercials, no place is safe.  Not even church!  There is a reason the Bible speaks so much and clearly on sexual immorality, lust, debauchery, etc. Its a huge issue and not only does it permeate from every corner of our society, but the desires for these things come out of our own hearts! (Psalm 81:12, Matthew 15:19, Romans 1:24) Its destructive!  The Bible even says in Matthew 5:27, 28 - You have heard that it was said, YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Okay, so really all of that was to say this.  Next time you are getting ready for church, really take a look at yourself.  What do you notice first?  If you've got cleavage showing or your rear is very well showcased or whatever bottoms you have on are showing most of your thigh, think about finding something else because making that choice will save the men at your church one less battle to have to fight.  Oh, yeah and talk to your husband about this.  You might be surprised at what he has to say......

I also welcome your comments and conclusions. :)

Here's the link for Every Man's Battle

5 comments:

vanillafrog said...

oh wow, amen and amen! i have noticed the same thing at my church, especially in the summer. and at work too, which is a whole other kind of wrong, because not only are there men there, but there are adolescent boys, too! i'm so glad someone else thinks the way i do on this subject!

Mzzterry said...

Wow. I guess I think just like my daughter here! Well said. Men should not be tempted at church. It is just so wrong. There is a way to dress cute, in style and not show off too much of your self. It can be done.
The book you recommend is an excellent one. The topic is a timely one.

Nessa and Jeebs said...

One time, this girl at church wore this black, sleeveless short tight dress. It seriously looked like a towel she had just wrapped around herself. From then on, in our family, she was known as towel girl. The story goes on, but needless to say I don't think she comes to church anymore:)

DyessFam said...

Yay! I didn't honestly think I was going to get any responses to this one because so many people think its a taboo subject or they don't want to be confronted in any way. So sad. Thanks for commenting! Now if we could just get more done about it... Any suggestions? The ladies event that I went to was very neat in their approach to dressing properly as a lady, but it was only broached in that arena. Even though some might get offended, I think there could be a very tactful way of a married couple addressing both of these issues as a lesson one Sunday to the whole congregation. Whad'ya think?

Rosemond said...

Amen, sister! Eric and I actually read that book and it was totally eye-opening to me as well!