If you’re anything like how I used to be, you might have had a hard time accepting the fact that some churches wanted the women to dress conservatively or modestly. You probably thought, “Why can’t the men just pray to God to help them not be so lusty?!” I didn’t like that they wanted women to have the modesty scarves over their knees when their skirts were too short or showed their knees. I didn’t like that they wanted women to cover their arms with sleeves or shawls. I just didn’t understand why saved people had to change their style of clothes for others.
I always figured that since I was not able to have premarital sex and party hardy, it would only be fair that I would get to have at the least THIS choice over my life. It was like, “I became a Christian, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!” I became a Christian and lost all my old life, and I was not even allowed to dress how I wanted. I’m petite (size 0), so I also figured, “I can wear what I want because I don’t have wide hips or a voluptuous chest. Seriously, how tempting can I be with the body of a 12-year-old boy?”
But after reading this book called For Young Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice, I now realize why. It is because men are so unlike us. To all the women readers, how much throughout the day would you think about or envision the nice physique of a dude you are crushing on? Most women will say, “Not much at all or never.” Once women see a man’s nice body, most of us immediately forget about it when the man or photograph (stimulus) is gone. I don’t walk around with visions of muscular male bodies in my head. But men are different. The book said that men will envision women’s bodies long after the fact. The book said that they have a storage file in their brains of the nice bodies they have seen throughout their life! They can remember bodies from years ago. Men are very visual unlike us. We’re visual too, but not like them; we are more tactile.
1 Corinthians 10:23-24 – “Everything is permissible—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”
I learned that just because we CAN do certain things, that doesn’t mean that we should. Just because I can wear short shorts, doesn’t mean it’s what’s best. It may be what I want to do when its 97 degrees Fahrenheit outside in July in Texas, but that doesn’t mean that I should seek my “good” at the expense of all the men who will run into me in my short shorts. I can wear a bra in public if I want to, but it’s not beneficial or constructive to those men who will see me and who will lust for me because of my attire. In this book, which interviewed and surveyed thousands of heterosexual males, one of the boys said that his pastor told a lady in the church to remove a girl who was sitting in the front row who was wearing a skirt that was too short. This PASTOR was not ashamed to allude to the fact that an UNDERAGED female was very distracting to him. My old church was not very big and had stadium-type seats, so if the women had on short skirts and did not have their legs closed or covered with something, the pastor admitted that he could sometimes see their underwear! How embarrassing and shameful is that?! Here is the pastor trying to preach the Word of God, and he can’t concentrate because your underwear are visible to him! One of the most righteous men in the Bible, Job, even had to make a vow with his eyes for his eyes not to look with lust at a female.
Job 31:1 – “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.”
When we wear tight or revealing clothes, men sometimes automatically envision us naked (and sometimes naked with them). It’s instinctual (meaning that they are designed to be able to appreciate, admire, and remember a nice body when they see one). Ask most men, and they will probably remember the first naked body they saw in their big brother’s pornography collection or seedy magazine. They remember every woman’s body they had sex with. These images come up automatically even when the men DO NOT want them to come up. It’s like unwanted pop-up ads. Some men, of course, don’t mind these images, but some really do mind because they want to keep their thoughts and hearts pure.
I think about all the times I wore tight or revealing clothes. I used to wear some of the skimpiest things back in the day when I was not saved. I wore barely-there, see-through clothes, and very short clothes. After reading this book, I felt bad when I thought of all the men I had tempted unknowingly (but mostly knowingly). I didn’t want to cause them to sin, but I did like the attention. The bible says that any man that looks at a woman with lust in his heart is guilty of adultery. Not to be hurtful to anyone, but the book said that these men are usually looking with lust at women with attractive bodies, so if you have a nice body, your tight clothes are without a doubt tempting men. But even if your body is not “coke-bottley”, even if you are very underweight or overweight, it should not matter because some men like women of different sizes! For many black men, they lust for women with shapely bottoms. But some men are breast men. But either way, men with character will struggle not to look at you and envision you naked.
Matthew 5:28 – “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
This post is chiefly for Christians because I know that Christian women should not want to tempt our Christian brothers and also because I have used a few bible verses that non-Christians might disagree with. I’ve seen women who cover their bodies in clothes kind of like how the Duggar family dresses. At first, I thought how they dressed was unnecessary and legalistic. But now I see why they do it. But I also feel that one can be fashionable and trendy while being modest. If you don’t have a lot of money to totally upgrade your wardrobe, there are different ways that you can “modest-ify” your current wardrobe. I shared some of these with the young ladies in an etiquette program I am doing at my church. If you have a cute shirt that you really like and don’t want to give away but it lifts up and shows your midriff, you can wear a sleeveless undershirt to extend the length to go past the top of your pants. If you have some really cute tight pants you don’t want to let go of, you can just wear long shirts over it. If you have a cute tank top or sleeveless shirt that you like, you can put a light jacket or sweater over it. Believe me when I say that women’s arms at times can turn some men on in the wrong way. I thought this was ludicrous when I heard this last summer, but I was told that when women don’t shave their armpits, it makes some men envision a females private part! I hear that is why they tell women to wear sleeves to church.
Compared to some of the photographs I used in this blog, I don’t dress nearly as modestly; but I just used them to exaggerate my point so that you would definitely get it!
Proverbs 6:25 – “Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes”
I was thinking that this summer, I will probably have to buy some different swimming suits. I have a small shape, but it’s nice enough to tempt men. So when I go to the beach or pool, I get looks. So I might want to buy some type of longer shorts to wear and a tankini (a sleeveless swimming top that covers the stomach). Summertime is no excuse to dress immodestly. Men are tempted at the beach just as easily as in the classroom or at the mall (and perhaps even more so). I believe some perverts might go to the beach just to get a cheap thrill. (But they won’t get it off of me!)
Now in some women’s defense, they don’t want to tempt men, but they do love the attention they get from dressing in tight or revealing clothing. Sometimes, when you don’t feel beautiful or attractive on the inside, you will try to get the attention from men to prove it to yourself. Imagine living in a world where you are never called beautiful or where you have never had an admirer. I couldn’t do it! I’d probably wear more make-up or get my hair done just to get a compliment to make certain of my attractiveness. I often hear how women who did not have fathers to tell them how beautiful they are will seek this validation from many other men. Well, to some women, that is their reality, so they may wear revealing or tight clothes to get the attention and validation that they crave. I guarantee that if you have a nice body and wear complimentary clothing, you WILL get attention from men. But it won’t be the right kind of attention.
So although you won’t find me in a frock down to my ankles or with high-collared shirts and turtlenecks all the time, you will hopefully never see me in a mini-skirt or short shorts. If I lived in a country with all heterosexual women, I wouldn’t care what I wore. But because I live in a society full of easily-tempted, automatically-visual, sexual-feeling men, I have to do better.
The book wrote of a female teacher who showed some high school girls the reason why dress codes were so important in schools. She decided to use chocolate to prove her point because knows how much many women love chocolate. First, she had all the boys go to a different classroom, and she had her student teacher stay in the classroom with all the girls. To the side of the room, she had a huge bag of Hershey’s Kisses chocolate candies. She told the girls not to look at, not to eat, not to talk about, and even not to THINK about the Hershey’s Kisses. She said that if they did, the student teacher would give them sentences to right over and over again. The teacher said that when she returned to the classroom, ALL of the girls had to write sentences. They all raised their hands when the teacher asked if they wanted candy and had a hard time not looking at it.
I Corinthians 8:9 – “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.”
As it was with Hershey’s Kisses, so goes it with males. How much more desirable are our bodies than Hershey’s Kisses? Most heterosexual men will look, and all will WANT to look even if they don’t look. The book did surveys on men of all ages, backgrounds, and religious preferences. The only men they did not include were men outside of America and men who were homosexual. ALL men wanted to look because of their automatic male tendencies, but the men who had some kind of religion (and not just Christian) wished they didn’t want to look. I’m sure most of those girls did not want to write those sentences, but women just love chocolate. Put us in a mall with money to spend, and it would be hard for us not to go buy some shoes! Sex and nice bodies are to men as chocolate and shopping are to women. Women are very tactile (very into touch) like men are very visual.
Women, if a man touched or kissed you on your body, how hard would it be for you not to think of sexual things? The same goes for men. When they see a nice body (clothed or naked), it’s just as hard for them to say no to sexual images and feelings as it is for the women who are being touched or kissed. As Christian women, we should feel sorry for men because they are constantly bombarded with images that pop-up in their heads in person, in magazines, and on the television. We are all bombarded with great bodies every time we flip through the television. Let’s not add more images to their collection.
I really admire that virgin, Mormon man that was on MTV’s The Real World – Brooklyn. He said he had never seen a woman’s naked body before and that he wouldn’t until marriage. That is so beautiful because after his honeymoon, the only image that will keep replaying in his head — and sometimes without warning – will be the body of his wife, regardless of how her body looks. That is so beautiful! He’ll be less tempted to cheat because all he will know is her and her body. There will be no other women’s bodies popping up into his mind at any moment to tempt him and bring back sexual and pleasurable memories. Even if she’s not the most experienced in the bedroom, it’ll be great to him because it’ll be all he knows.
So Christian ladies, let’s cover up! If you have a nice body, everybody already knows it! You don’t have to show it! Give your future husband something to look forward to the night of the wedding. For the single ladies reading this, it helps if you think of yourself as already married. Think of yourself in the future. If God wills that you get married, then you already have a husband who is walking the earth now (you just might not have met him yet). Dress how you would dress if you and your husband were out for a walk or if you and your husband were having lunch with his family. Dress how you would dress if you knew that other people who wanted to be Christians were looking to you as their role model. Dress how you would dress if Jesus was sitting on your bed as you picked out your outfit for the day. Buy clothes that you would wear if you and Jesus went to the mall together to buy some new clothes. But don’t let me judge you; let God and Jesus judge you!
Here’s an article I found that proved my point!
“Bikinis Make Men See Women as Objects, Scans Confirm
Christine Dell’Amore in Chicago
National Geographic News
February 16, 2009
Sexy women in bikinis really do inspire some men to see them as objects, according to a new study of male behavior. Brain scans revealed that when men are shown pictures of scantily clad women, the region of the brain associated with tool use lights up. Men were also more likely to associate images of sexualized women with first-person action verbs such as “I push, I grasp, I handle,” said lead researcher Susan Fiske, a psychologist at Princeton University.
And in a “shocking” finding, Fiske noted, some of the men studied showed no activity in the part of the brain that usually responds when a person ponders another’s intentions. This means that these men see women “as sexually inviting, but they are not thinking about their minds,” Fiske said. “The lack of activation in this social cognition area is really odd, because it hardly ever happens.”
Fiske and colleagues asked 21 heterosexual male volunteers to first take a test that scores people based on different types of sexist attitudes. The subjects were then shown pictures of both skimpily dressed and fully clothed men and women. Most of the men best remembered headless photographs of women in bikinis, even if they’d only seen the image for two-tenths of a second, Fiske reported this weekend in Chicago during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
And the men who scored higher as “hostile sexists”—those who view women as controlling and invaders of male space—didn’t show brain activity that indicates they saw the women in bikinis as humans with thoughts and intentions. Scientists have seen this absence of activation only once before, in a study where people were shown off-putting photographs of homeless people and drug addicts.”
This study has proven me correct in that when women dress provocatively SOME men (not all) see them as tools to some extent. They see women’s bodies as something to “push, grasp, and handle” which unfortunately happens when women are dressed a certain way at a party or a club. I’m not saying it makes it right because it’s 100% wrong for men to put their hands on a woman’s body parts if they are not married to her. But STUDIES that have recorded brain activity show when you dress immodestly, men feel you are inviting them to want to view you sexually. They value your opinion and thoughts just as little as they do a homeless person or a crack addict. I’m not implying that it’s women’s fault if they are groped or sexually assaulted by men because it’s TOTALLY not their fault. But what I am implying is that when you are walking down a dark alley full of thugs, it’s not a good idea to safety pin hundred dollar bills onto your blouse just because “thugs shouldn’t take things that aren’t theirs”. YES, the men should not steal. Stealing is against the Bible and the law. But guess what? People steal anyway. So just because men shouldn’t do things, doesn’t mean that they won’t. So let’s act and dress accordingly!