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.