Monday, June 13, 2016

On Modesty

I am seeing a lot of chatter about body shaming these days, and a prevalent thought seems to be that if you are hiding your body, you must be ashamed of it...so therefore we must let it all hang out. That's a lie.  That would be equivalent to saying that I work out because I hate my body. Also not true.  I exercise because I love my body.  

Here are my thoughts on this whole modesty thing.  I'm not ashamed of my body.  I'm strong.  I'm healthy.  I work hard for it.  I make choices that benefit my body.  I'm not perfect in everything I eat and do, so I also allow myself grace.  If you're leaner or curvier than I am, great!  What a boring world it would be if we all looked the same.  But I don't wear leggings as pants, without a longer shirt.  (Feel free to disagree with me, but this is my blog and therefore, my opinion.  We're each entitled to our own.) They're leggings (and for the purposes of this discussion, let's define leggings as the thin, clinging type of garment).  I also endeavor to not wear tops where my cleavage shows.  I choose to not hang my tush and my top out for everyone to see and here's why:
You have heard that it was said, "Do not commit adultery.  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:27-28
When Jesus said these words, he raised the bar.  It wasn't enough for men to not act on it when seeing a woman he might be attracted to.  Now men were held to a higher standard.  Don't even think it. There's more that goes into that part of this discussion, but that's not where I'm heading today.  Let's suffice it to say that Jesus is telling us we do have the ability to control our thoughts--both men and women.

The reason I choose to keep my body parts covered is because I respect the men I'm around day in and day out.  These men are the husbands of my friends whom I love.  These men are husbands of other women that I may or may not know.  My body is for my husband's eyes to enjoy and take pleasure in...not for every man. (See Song of Solomon if you are more interested in knowing what the Bible has to say on sex...it's quite a bit, actually.  Sex within marriage is a fabulous thing--as God designed it to be.) Because I respect and honor my husband, I choose to not flaunt my body for every man to see. Because I love my friends and respect their husbands and their relationships, I choose to not have my "girls" hanging out.  I don't want to be a stumbling block for another man or woman that I might know.  

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I trust my husband, and he's never given me reason to not trust him in our 17 years of marriage.  But I've seen more than 1 marriage crumble in this fallen world.  I want to do everything I can to grow and nurture my marriage.  I want to do everything possible to honor and respect and love my husband so he can continue to grow into the man God designed him to be.  I'm not doing that well if he is constantly worried about what kind of attention I might be attracting from other people.

One more thought on this issue before I sign off.  Whether or not we choose to dress modestly has absolutely nothing to do with being a victim of a rape or other type of violent attack.  Someone that chooses to violate and harm another human being in that fashion isn't following the rules.  They aren't living within the realm of normal human interaction.  Do not hear me say that because you dress immodestly you are giving someone permission to harm you.  That is absolutely not the truth.  I'm discussing human interaction within the normal realm of human connectedness.

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, but let's remember to keep it respectful. EDIT: My idea in sharing my thoughts on this is not to stir up an argument, but to offer a perspective. I choose to not dress in a certain way out of respect for others, not to condemn.  It's food for thought.

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