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Christian Sensuality 19


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I don’t get it. Why is it that Christian men and women feel the need to be sensual, seductive, half dressed, and look like they want to jump into bed with anyone and everyone? From FaceBook to Pinterest, Twitter to Instagram, Christians pose in slinky clothes, fashion model like poses, and many applaud them. Why?

Why is it that if someone (male or female) shows cleavage, thigh, rippled abs, skin tight clothes highlighting their private parts, everyone uses words like, beautiful, lovely, gorgeous, stud, hot, etc. instead of words like, shameful, seductive, provocative, sensual, and stumbling block material? Where has our discernment gone? Have we forgotten how to blush?

In the effort to avoid the dreaded word, “legalism,” have we swung so far over to license? Don’t we have a responsibility to present our temples (bodies) in a holy, modest way? Is Hollywood setting the standard of modesty instead of the Church? Why do we have to go sensual and bear our bodies to be considered attractive and lovely?

The Scripture states clearly that beauty should come from within, not from highlighting our bodies:

1 Peter 3:3-5 – Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands. (ESV)

Why shouldn’t our clothes point to our faces instead of other parts of the body? With the proliferation of porn, the destruction of marriage through sexual immorality, and addictions running rampant, why isn’t the Church rebelling against these trends? I ask again, have we lost our discernment?

Solomon warned his sons, and us, to avoid the harlot or sensual, seductive, woman (or man). Consider this passage for just a moment:

Proverbs 7:10 – And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. (ESV)

There are many aspects to consider here, but one clear one is that the woman was dressed in such a way as to communicate that she was available for hire. Our clothing matters and speaks to reveal our intentions. Shouldn’t we, as ambassadors for Christ, living epistles known and read by all men, consider what we are saying with what we are wearing?

There is another disturbing trend arising over the last decade or so. Young couples court or date, attempt to remain sexually pure, and then marry. Almost as soon as saying “I do,” the husband begins to demand that his wife change. He asks her to be more seductive, show more skin, and be sexier. Get tattooed, pierced, show cleavage, shorten the dresses or shorts, and act more sensual. As if to show off his trophy, the man demands that his wife move towards public sensuality. Instead of protecting and cherishing his bride, the husband instills in her the seeds of destruction that will bloom sooner than later.

In addition, for some reason some guys now think that porn is ok. Bring the porn into the bedroom and let’s play porn stars. Get kinky, weird, stretch the boundaries of propriety and demean the girl for not readily being willing to throw off moral restraint. The guy begins to mock and ridicule the standards that were initially attractive to him. We wonder why young married couples struggle to stay together long enough to turn into older couples in our day. Have we lost our discernment?

If we keep looking at the world for our acceptable standards we are in deep trouble. The Scripture should be our standard of behavior and thinking patterns. As long as we continue to imitate the nations around us, we are not going to be an effective light to them. If we look like, act like, think like, and respond just like the world, we will not be successful in changing it.

Sensuality arises from the heart. When we are posing, dressing, and wanting others to look at us, what are we really thinking at that moment? Are we bringing glory to God with how we look and act or are we somewhere else? What is our motive for our behavior? I believe we need a serious heart change if we ever expect to make a real difference in our world.

Paul challenged his readers with this thought:

Ephesians 5:3 – But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (NIV)

When we are exposing, highlighting, or drawing attention to the private parts of our bodies, are we really obeying this verse? When we are demanding that our spouses show more, highlight their bodies, be sexier, hot, or whatever the latest word is, are we pushing the boundaries of proper behavior? Have we lost our discernment? Have we forgotten how to blush?

Finally, I know many of the comments, arguments, justifications, and responses that could be sent to me, for I have heard them all before. “The guys have the problem. (True) They need to quit looking with lust. (True)  I’m free in Christ. (True, with restraints based in love) What do you want me to wear, a bag or something? (No, just consider others as more important than yourself in how you dress) You are trying to put me in bondage, and you are a legalist,” (Both untrue, legalism has to do with attempting to gain approval with God, and I am not even anywhere near that, I am simply asking you to think about what you are doing and why) and the list could go on. Please attempt to hear my heart before attacking this messenger.

My appeal is simply for us to ask the Lord if we have compromised or adapted to the culture around us in how we present our bodies to each other either in person or online. Are we walking in moral purity, really valuing others so as to not place a stumbling block in their way? Is there a “hint” of impurity, sensuality or immorality in how we look, act, speak, and conduct ourselves? Have we lost some of our discernment? I am just asking the questions, you are the one that must answer them between you and the Lord.


About Jeff Klick

Husband, father, grandfather, pastor and author that loves his Lord, wife, family and the Word of God. Please let me know how I may help you in your journey.


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19 thoughts on “Christian Sensuality

  • Elizabeth

    Jeff thanks for being bold enough to post this article. Thank God there is another human that feels the same way I do. I wonder how much people when think (at all) about what they wear. Even in my workplace I see inappropriate clothing choices but no one seems to care. I take it as an opportunity to prayer for my co-workers. Thank you for your ministry. May you be blessed as you give out the whole truth of the Bible.

    • jeff Post author

      Thank you Elizabeth for taking the time to comment. My prayer is that people would think and pray about such things as we learn how to really love one another…all the way down to how we dress 🙂 – Blessings, Jeff

  • Amy Petrick

    Thank you for your bravery at posting this! A volatile subject but one that desperately needs to be preached from every pulpit across the land. We’ve polluted our churches with vileness. It’s hard to go to a church assembly anymore without our senses being assaulted (sight and sound!). If people attack it’s because it has hit a nerve. Keep up the good work, Jeff!

    The wicked strut about on every side when vileness is exalted among the sons of men.
    Psalm 12:8

  • jeff Post author

    Thanks Scott and Amy for your comments. I believe we need to have our minds renewed on a daily basis. We encounter so much trash each day, we need to stay sharp in the Word of God. – Jeff

  • Maurya

    Thank you SO much Pastor Klick for this article. May God bless you immensely for being bold for Christ. Don’t stop preaching the truth. I know I’m probably too young to offer a substantial amount of encouragement, but I pray you will be encouraged by the positive comments and letters, and indifferent to any negative feedback. Onward, Christian soldiers!

    • jeff Post author

      Thank you Maurya for the response! One is never too young to reach out and offer encouragement…even to old guys like me! It is greatly appreciated! – Pastor Jeff

  • David Kowalski

    Jeff, you hit this one out of the park. Great job my brother on addressing an issue that sorely needed to be spoken to. It seems to me that for some reason many Christians act like public sensuality is normal and that we are neurotic legalists for thinking people should not dress or act in ways that are likely to cause others to sin in their heart. If Christian men are not really attracted to the female form (as we so often pretend) why do so many Christian men have a problem with porn and where are all the babies coming from in Christian families? If one studies fashion throughout civilized history, they find that modesty has been the rule even in the secular world until the 20th century.

    Vintage pornography often consists of women wearing a garment that shows leg 2-3 inches above the knee. Men bought this pornography and found it erotic. Modern men do not buy the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated because they are interested in the latest fashion in swimwear. The church desperately needs to be more open and honest on this issue — as you have, Jeff. Thanks.

    • jeff Post author

      Thanks David for the comments. It seems like we lose ground quickly when we take our eye off of the Scripture…we compare ourselves to the standard of the world around us and think we really are not too bad…however, that is the wrong standard. We should be looking the Word of God and comparing ourselves to what is presented there instead. If we really loved one another we would consider such things as this with an open mind and heart I think…Blessings Bro, Jeff

  • Samantha Dawn

    While I agree with the vast majority of your well thought post, allow me to add some perspective.

    I’m seventeen years old. I’ve had more than one serious relationship ruined due to pornography, and I completely agree that objectifying women’s body parts is ruining culture. I also would like to state that I understand I am young and foolish, and the fact that I’ve had “serious relationships,” at my age is a bad thing. I’ll take that criticism. I agree with it. I do think the body is over sexualized by society, and if more attention were given to the people on the inside, the world would be a better place. Ideally, we could do this without hiding our bodies. However, we live in a sinful world, and dressing modestly is the quickest and easiest way to retain focus in the right spot. I’m rather shy about throwing my body out there. I’m not one to wear bikinis, or prance around in halter tops and skin tight jeans. When it’s 100* out, in the dead of summer, one might occasionally catch me in mid thigh shorts and a t-shirt. The shorts aren’t tight, and the t-shirt covers me. Before I leave the house, I ask my dad if what I’m wearing would cause guys to stumble. Sometimes, he says yes. So, I go change, and try again. If the skin between my knee and just over halfway down my thigh is that much of a stumbling block for someone, that makes me sad.

    Anyway, I digress. What I don’t agree with is what you’ve hinted at. You didn’t outright say it, but you seem to frown upon sexual freedom inside of marriage. If a husband and wife want to try something new, that maybe isn’t mainstream, and they’re both consensually agreeing that it’s something they would like, I see no reason to hold them back. God made sex to be a fantastic bonding experience for a man and wife.
    If a man has issues with pornography, and wants his wife to become a similar outlet to him as that, then there’s a problem. Your lifemate should not be reduced to or humiliated by being compared to that filth. Your lifemate is the real deal. Porn should be failing to emulate your lifemate, not the other way around. But, see, that situation? That’s an instance where the woman is being put in a position lacking respect. That’s unhealthy.

    I see nothing wrong with “kinky” sexual relations inside a marriage, as long as they aren’t putting one partner down. Granted, I’m not married. But, I’m a modest woman, and I don’t feel uncomfortable at the concept of my future husband wanting to try something different.

    • David Kowalski

      I really should stay out of this and let Jeff alone answer, but I’ll indulge my imprudent side for a moment. You raise a very legitimate question. Though you do not use the word, your objection seems to be over Jeff’s reference to “kinky” behavior. While I will not steal Jeff’s role in answering for himself, I would just say a bit on the subject.

      First, I would question any role playing in which the partners fantasize the other to be someone other than who they are. Jesus spoke of the principle of adultery of the heart (Matthew 5:27-28). The specific application in the text does not mention the kind of role playing I spoke of but it could be seen as paradigmatic in forbidding all adultery of the heart, and one could argue that role playing as other people constitutes a form of this heart adultery.

      Another passage that some people find paradigmatic is Romans 1:24-28. Again, the clearly specific application in the passage is to homosexuality but the reasons Paul gives for its immorality is that it is “unnatural,” “degrading,” and “improper.” Of course, specific application of this paradigm and set of reasons for disapproval of other conduct involves some subjectivity. It is very difficult to draw a line and say married couples may do “this” but not “that,” but I do think there are boundaries somewhere, and those can best be found in the consciences of the parties involved.

      I have read Christian authors who have gotten a bit more specific on these issues than I would feel comfortable with since I need a clear, biblical teaching before I can get too specific in pontificating any prohibition of particular conduct. Still, I think the words “unnatural” and “degrading” should not be totally ignored, and I think no partner should be forced to do things concerning which they do not feel comfortable.

      Just my two cents. I’ll let Jeff answer for himself.

    • sherry

      As an old, formerly married woman, and as a born again child of God, I believe that there should be holiness in the bedroom as well as every other aspect of our lives. I believe there ARE boundaries that are established by the Spirit of God living in us. If you consider the life of king Solomon, you will see where he was led astray by his wives. God says he turned to worshipping strange gods because of his wives. That would lead one to think that maybe there are some practices between men and women which can lead to spiritual destruction. Time after time, in the Old Testament, which clearly illustrates the depravity of unregenertated human nature, God warns Israel to not participate in the pagan practices of the inhabitants of the countries around them. Time after time God’s people profaned themselves by following strange gods. The strange gods almost always appealed to mankind through sexual activity. If any and all things consented to by a married couple is okay, then why did God condemn the perverse practices of these pagans and forbid His people from such activity? It tells me that there are some sexual practices which are holy, and some which are profane and destructive.

  • jeff Post author

    Thanks Samatha and David for your comments. I didn’t hint at or refer to any behavior limitations within the context of marriage other than demeaning the wife if she was not comfortable with throwing off all restraint. The Bible is basically silent regarding what goes on behind closed doors for a married couple. The guideline to me should be the physical marriage relationship is a high expression of agape love and not simply the working out of some porn fantasy. Mutual satisfaction and love within a tender relationship should be the norm. Brow beating, mocking, ridiculing, and demanding of the spouse should not have any place in our lives. Making fun of someone’s modesty, or shyness is not being tender. Love, grace, kindness, esteeming the other as more important than ourselves should be the norm, especially within the context of the sexual relationship.

    My main point was that just because you are married, does not mean you can now operate righteously in lust. Porn feeds lust, not mutual respect and the tender love required in marriage. The fruit of the Spirit should still operate behind the bedroom door. Blessings, Jeff

  • Craig Petrick

    Jeff,
    Even as far away as Afghanistan, what you have said rings true because it is from the Word of the Lord. The decay of morals is seen all over the world and that leads me to believe the body of Christ is not doing what it should throughout the world. Stand firm and fast in the Lord and hang what others think and say. We are the Lord’s servants and He will accomplish what He desires with or without us. Thank you for the words of encouragement.
    Craig

    • jeff Post author

      Thanks Craig for the comments…and thank you for your service to protect us so we can discuss such matters in relative peace. May the Lord grant you great grace as you serve Him and us with your sacrificial life! Blessings Bro, Jeff

  • Anita Aytes

    There’s a lot to be said here, I don’t agree with everything going on in the world, these girls and guys, don’t have internal beauty to share, they let everything hang out. It’s great they have nice bodies but on the inside of these people there are no value, rules, principals handed down to them from their parents or they have rejected their parents principals. I don’t agree with the body art or tatoo’s for in the 1970’s it meet, sex, drugs and rock and roll. This type of life style is fun for a while but like I said a while then you have to grow up, find a job or a career go to school make something of your life. People have a hard time making something out of their life when their minds are burned out or up on drugs. A mind is a value thing to waste on a crappy life style for a little while. In proverbs it says, “to guard your heart and mind, you only get one.”

  • sherry

    You are on target! The church now looks to the world for tips on how to do everything! We are not to be conformed to the image of the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds!