“Mommy, Why Is Cinderella Showing Her Chest” was what my four year old daughter asked me, with no previous prompting and much to my discomfort. That question was in 2010 when I first wrote this article. The difference in the cartoon pictures was there, but when I saw the pictures of the 2015 Cinderella I thought this article worth revamping.
Our culture gets increasingly more immodest, even among fundamental Christians. I am not sure if it is justified in the name of “balance” that this false balance of adding thighs, skin tight clothes and peek-a-boo cleavage is brazenly mixed into the christian’s lives, but it is. Young girls, mothers and fathers need to be brave and strong and look to see what the truth is about all this sensuality. Read my post on Why Fashion is Important to the Modest Christian and Finding Balance
In the first few years of my marriage, I became aware of three marriages that were affected by pornography within my circle of friends. In two of the cases, the men refused to change their ways and the marriages ended and children were left without an intact home. In the third case, the man repented and through God’s grace, forgiveness, some boundaries and accountability the marriage was restored.
Around the same time as this, someone lent me the book, “Created to be His Helpmeet” by Debi Pearl and somehow we got the book “Every Man’s Battle.” Both dealt openly with the struggles of men with pornography. In the book “Every Man’s Battle” I read that there was a survey done among Christian men and 60% of the Christian men said that they had viewed pornography in the past six months. I was bombarded with the topic from all sides. I shook while sobbing as I watched “Fireproof.” I was overwhelmed, disgusted, discouraged and distrustful of all men, even my own husband.
I didn’t want to have anything to do with the internet, shopping catalogs, commercials, women joggers, cleavage baring women, the grocery store aisle, short skirts or skin tight clothing. I wanted to cry at the thought that my husband would even have to struggle to not look at other women. “WHY, Lord, WHY?”
My husband was super yielding to my paranoia. I talked to him a lot about the temptations of men, and he acknowledged that it was everywhere. He said that regarding the internet, it is a difficult thing for men because in Proverbs it speaks about avoiding a woman in the attire of a harlot. He mentioned these verses specifically:
Proverbs 7:6 – 8, “For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,
He said that it is increasingly difficult for men to stay pure because they no longer have to “pass through the street near her corner.” Her corner is right in the house.
AN UNSAVED MAN
I battled this distrust of men and asked my boss at the time, who was an unsaved man, some questions regarding his view on the subject. He casually commented that it was just something all men did. It didn’t have to be an addiction; it was sometimes just casual entertainment. This didn’t help my paranoia at all.
I proceeded to ask him questions to see if clothing mattered at all. I said, “Well, if a woman is wearing a skirt, what is the first thing you look at?” He said, “Her legs, and then you make your way up.” I further asked, “Well, if a woman is wearing pants, what is the first thing you look at?” He said, “Her butt, and then up.” I said, “So, it doesn’t matter what she’s wearing. You are going to look?” “Pretty much,” was his reply, and this was confirmed by the other men in the office.
A SAVED MAN
I then asked my husband, who is a good man about “looking.” He was honest that it was indeed “Every Man’s Battle,” but he said that you don’t have to give in to it. He said, “You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop it from building a nest in your hair.” He said that one of the things that he does is to blink when something revealing crosses his path. This would give him time to readjust his eyes and brain.
Thankfully, for the calmness of my mind, and as a help to him I’m sure, we “battened down the hatches.” We did as much as we could to stop the flow of temptation from coming into our house. I laugh as I say this, but I even scan through the Reader’s Digestand any magazines that make their way into the house and I tear out ads that show any “nakedness” or anything that would make a woman have an allure of sex about her.
Now you may think that I have gone crazy, but let me tell you. At the same time that I was initially bombarded with this, the issue of Reader’s Digest we received in the mail had a really, super great (sarcasm) picture of Halle Berry promoting her movie “Cat Woman.” Soft porn was in my home. Sadly, we are so conditioned to nudity that it may not even seem like a big deal to many people, let alone be considered “soft porn,” but it is. It truly is.
So, at this point I had some conclusions.
1. If a man wants to look. He will look. You can’t stop him.
2. If a man doesn’t want to look, he needs some help, because it is EVERYWHERE.
I would like to stop and say that I am not crazy. I just had for the first time, stepped into the reality of a man’s life. My paranoia was not unfounded. Everything that I viewed suspiciously was indeed a temptation. Whether or not my husband gave into the temptation was irrelevant. The Bible had a lot to say on the subject of avoiding temptation.
A Psalm of David. I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
2 Timothy 2:21 – 22
If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
While my growth is still continuing and has been progressive in this topic for a few years now, many things have changed. The blinders have been lifted from my eyes concerning Satan’s agenda.
The other day a preacher was at our church and he was speaking about a conversation he had had with another older pastor. They were concerned and aware that God was calling fewer men to His service. They said that they believed that a large part of this reason was because men were not fit to be called. Men were no longer pure in mind and heart. They had given over to the “lusts of the flesh.” They had it on their cell phones, the entertainment they watched, the ads they viewed, the web pages of the sports teams they perused. They didn’t have to get into the hard stuff, but they were on their way.
Another pastor said that the reason men do not rise up in the church is because “Conscience has made them cowards.” Their daughter’s skin tight clothes that show just the bottom of their thighs or just a hint of their cleavage weren’t really all that bad in comparison to what they were used to seeing.
It has been frequently said that the church walks ten paces behind the world. The problem is that the world used to be somewhat moral. Now the world is starting to resemble Sodom and Gomorrah. The girls and even women in the church have crossed the line of modesty, and they may not even know it. I certainly didn’t.
In trying to look thin and cute, my shirts were too tight and my skirts just barely touched my knee (which revealed my thigh upon sitting down). Thankfully, someone with a good heart approached me about the matter. Thankfully as well, I did not react in anger or rebellion, but I responded with sorrow about my ignorance.
MSN Encarta Dictionary defines “modesty” as
1. humble: unwilling to draw attention to your own achievements or abilities.
2. shy: not confident or assertive, and tending to be easily embarrassed.
3. reasonable: not large, extreme, or excessive (as in, a modest income)
4. simple: not showy, elaborate, or pretentious (as in, a modest dwelling)
5. not overtly sexual: reserved in appearance, manner, and speech, especially in relation to sexual matters
I’m not going to go into the “humble” side of clothing because that is not my point right now. I am more concerned with Christian love and kindness to those men who are trying desperately to do right but that are bombarded left and right with temptation, and their wives who want nothing more then to enjoy an evening with their spouse without wondering if they will have to keep dodging woman’s “overt sexuality.”
One of the thing I remember from the book “Every Man’s Battle” was that when a man stops filling his God given appetite for “the marriage bed” by feasting upon the sights of other women that his appetite for his wife and her body skyrockets.
• You know how your body doesn’t look the same as the women on magazines, movies or the cute teenage girls sporting the teeny tiny shorts and skirts?
• You know that woman sitting in the restaurant that is well endowed and letting it be known to her husband / boyfriend … and anyone else in the near vicinity?
• You know the woman with the great legs that doesn’t care that somebody else’s husband had to lower his eyes to the ground as she got out of her car because she was wanted to wear what SHE wanted to wear?
If we all practiced Christian love:
You could help someone else’s marriage by stop providing “food” for someone else’s husband, and in return someone else will stop feeding yours.
You could help someone else’s wife that wants to enjoy dinner but can’t help wondering if her husband is tempted to look at your cleavage.
You could help someone else’s husband by keeping your thighs covered, so that they don’t have to struggle to keep their eyes on the straight and narrow.
I hear women say, “WELL, IT’S NOT MY FAULT IF THEY LOOK.”
The Bible says that it is indeed JUST AS MUCH YOUR FAULT AS THEIRS, and God holds YOU ACCOUNTABLE for it.
And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.”
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
“MOMMY, WHY IS CINDERELLA SHOWING HER CHEST?” – A question from my four year old in regards to Disney’s new “princess” line.
If modesty is a command against “overt sexuality,” then keep ALL of your breasts covered; even your cleavage. That is for YOUR HUSBAND not somebody elses. Don’t be the “strange woman” to another marriage.
Proverbs 5:19 – 21
Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger? For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.
“MOMMY, IS THAT GIRL NAKED?” – A question from my four year old as we passed the swimsuit section of a store.
If modesty is a command against “overt sexuality” than get naked (often, if I might be so bold) for YOUR HUSBAND alone; keep your thighs covered outside of your bedroom or bathroom.
Only our view of nakedness has changed, God’s hasn’t. He stated TWICE what He views as nakedness.
And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:
Isaiah 47:2 -3
Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.
You know how truckers have a silhouette of a playgirl model on the back of their truck?
What do you assume about the trucker: a Christian, no doubt? Am I right?
Oh, wait! Nope, he’s probably not a Christian, because that woman’s figure is a sign of lust on the man’s part.
Yet, we have a society full of girls and women who don’t even realize that the clothes they are wearing are just as lust enticing as that playgirl silhouette. Take a second and look at your shirt.
1. Wear is your skin?
2. How far away from your skin do your clothes lie?
Most people may get a couple of wrinkles or gaps in their clothes because the clothes are pulling, but the only way they can fit their hand in there is by stretching it away from their body to do it. Clothes are made skin tight. So if you were wearing your jeans and shirt and posed like the model and someone took a silhouette shot of you (regardless of how fat you are) would they be able to tell exactly what your figure is? Women: that is “overt sexuality.” The world already knows this. Don’t be fooled.
Now here is the dilemma. The Holy Spirit within you may be tapping you in the heart (and maybe not depending on how seared your conscience is against Scripture) and you have come to this conclusion:
THERE ARE NO CUTE MODEST CLOTHES OUT THERE. A girl can not even find modest clothing without looking in a section of clothes that is two or three times bigger than her frame. This gives her that oh so super attractive, ill fitting, dowdy look that we all love on Christians.
You are mostly right. That is because Satan is in control.
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
But keep hope:
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
There is a way. This section is too long already for me to spell it out, but I will get there. For now, please pray and ask God to help you to surrender to HIS WORD and to show the kind of CHRISTIAN LOVE that would be to the benefit of the entire body of Christ.
For ideas on modest and fashionable clothing that truly is balanced, there are many on Pinterest courtesy of Polyvore.