Thought Question: Sexualized Daughters

It’s increasingly fashionable for parents to dress their daughters like tramps (skanks, not hobos), and at younger and younger ages.

From a recent article in Christianity Today based on this article in USA Today

[T]he curious Christian can’t help but think of a simple but important follow-up: why? Why shouldn’t we sexualize our daughters?

… Little girls aren’t ready for sex. They can’t handle it emotionally. Statistics correlate young sexual involvement with multiple psychological problems, including eating disorders and depression. It’s just not right for girls to take on an explicitly sexual identity. 

Evangelicals can give thanks that the culture, in God’s common grace, does not generally conclude otherwise. …

The first and most basic of parental duties is to protect one’s children in a physical and especially a spiritual sense (Eph. 6:4). This involves training little girls to be modest and chaste, and to exude Christocentric virtue, not to be forward and promiscuous. If these ideals sound Victorian, antiquated to modern ears, they are actually much more historical (see 1 Tim. 2:9-10).

There is another type of father in Scripture besides the wicked men mentioned above. This father finds a little girl dying in the wilderness, crying with no one to hear. He gathers her in his arms and nurses her to health. He clothes her in beauty as she grows, celebrating her womanhood. Because of his protection and care, she flourishes. This father is the Lord God, and his daughter is Jerusalem (Ezek. 16). The text details the faithlessness of God’s people and bears first on that biblical-theological matter, but it also gives us a window into how we are to raise our daughters. Our heavenly Father’s strength, tenderness, and compassion direct our care for our own little girls, and we desire their flourishing for the glory of Christ as he desires the health of his people.

Are we “Tiger Dads”? Perhaps. But more than that, we are called to care for those God entrusts to us, to say to our children through both our words and our actions, “Live!” (Ezek. 16:6).

Here’s the passage the author alludes to —

(Eze 16:5-8 ESV) 5 “No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.

6 “And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’  7 I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment. Your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare.

8 “When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord GOD, and you became mine.”

How should a Christian respond to a Christian woman who encourages (or permits) her daughter to dress in an age-inappropriate way, who pushes her daughter into premature sexuality?

And, by the way, my interest isn’t entirely academic. I’ve seen this played out in church, and I’ve seen daughters badly messed up — all the while their mothers were insisting that it’s important for their girl to be “cute.”

What do you think?

 

Profile photo of Jay Guin

About Jay Guin

I am an elder, a Sunday school teacher, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a lawyer. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I’m a member of the University Church of Christ. I grew up in Russellville, Alabama and graduated from David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University). I received my law degree from the University of Alabama. I met my wife Denise at Lipscomb, and we have four sons, two of whom are married, and I have a grandson and granddaughter.
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55 Responses to Thought Question: Sexualized Daughters

  1. David Himes says:

    I don’t really knownhow to express my thoughts on this. It’s simply too common. Encouraging young girls to dress this way contributes to teaching them values that are inconsistent with loving others the way Jesus loved us. Over the last few years, I’ve spoken to several mothers about this. It is not an easy conversation, but it is an important one.

  2. Price says:

    Pride and Vanity can distort anything it seems…Is it wrong for Mom’s to teach their young girls how to dress, put on makeup, paint their nails, coordinate their outfits, etc., ….no… but the dangerous shift occurs because of pride and vanity…. When botox and boob jobs are happening in high school…things are out of whack…

    Same thing happens to the guys… we start out with strength conditioning and the next thing you know we’re pumping iron… trying to change our physical appearance into the Hulk… we buy the expensive Nike’s and comb our hair just so so… Jay, remember hair ?? :)

    We SHOULD encourage our kids to live a healthy lifestyle which includes being the best “temple” we can be…Childhood obesity mimics adult obesity and it’s out of control…Lack of self respect is as dangerous as too much….

    But, this adolescent movie star stuff is out of control… I think Mom’s are living some fantasy experience through their children and end up teaching them that what is the real person isn’t nearly good enough…What a terrible thing to teach your child that they just don’t measure up… Sure, kids have been dressing up like Mom forever…but pageants and competition just seems to take it to a different level… But, in the end I judge someone else for things I can’t know about their heart… I have a reluctance to that except with Alexander…:)

  3. Brothers, and I think that most people who read and comment on this blog are men, let us take care how we discuss mothers and daughters.

  4. rich constant says:

    well jay there is more than on way to skin a cat.
    you don’t always have to start at the ass, oops tail and cut up!
    :-)
    it is the church’s failure to to form real relationship and community through love that is to blame…

    and the love of god teaches one thing,
    faith and hope.
    and the church and most seem to be stuck in a
    ” thou SHALT NOT”
    AND WHY
    the conspiracy of ignorance always unstated…
    “is be “like us” or be ostracized to the fringe”

    “And, by the way, my interest isn’t entirely academic. I’ve seen this played out in church, and I’ve seen daughters badly messed up — all the while their mothers were insisting that it’s important for their girl to be “cute.””

    a community a family,a church a bunch of people sharing and caring for one another reaching out unbiasedly.
    confessing their sins(issues) one to another…
    it is pitiful in a lot of ways how we “do church on Sunday” and screw up all week…
    by the way JAY
    what IS A LOVE FEAST AND WHY NOT.
    OH YA
    NOT TRADITIONALLY ACCEPTED .
    THE SUNDAY GATHERING I S ONLY AN HOUR AND A HALF.
    i wonder just how god feels about that tradition…
    i could go on and on
    we all partake in a bad model!

    in princiaple i really like this artical

    http://oneinjesus.info/2011/07/missions-mark-woodward-you-must-kill-all-your-darlings/

    ….That is indeed very well said — both regarding writing and doctrine. It’s hard to give up our creations. In terms of doctrine, it’s especially hard because we fool ourselves into thinking that our doctrines are God’s doctrines and thus unreviewable. A little humility goes a long way both in writing and theology!

    …Mark suggests that to avoid keeping old habits purely out of inertia and untested presumption, we should ask ourselves some questions. And I think he asks particularly insightful questions, which I’ll undertake to answer regarding my own congregation’s missions program. (I enjoy bragging on our missions team, but there’s a point to this beyond bragging.)…

  5. Adam Legler says:

    Doesn’t it come down to to establishing boundaries and enforcing them even when it can be a battle in the home. If the parent is defensive on their daughter’s behalf, then that’s a whole other matter. Maybe there needs to be more education at that point about the temptation it brings to guys. Especially for those of use who are real visual beings. Maybe the whole discussion needs to be brought back to sacrificing our freedom for the benefit of others like Jesus did.

  6. rich constant says:

    or
    another thought
    about what the lord is teaching about tunnel vision.
    and sexuality. based on intimacy and trust ya know LOVE…
    I TAUGHT MY KIDS .
    THIS.
    as an alternative to god just saying no that is not right.
    trying something different . anything is better than saying no to a kid in this day and age. they will just ask someone, (kinda like us ) that agrees with them.
    (that is not meant to be funny, they do it by example, modeling,)
    talking with my kids on their level.
    about sex is great fun.
    or have we all created a burden out of something so mundane as diversity (male and female).

    do we have issues or what!!!!
    :-)

    ya

  7. Matt Dabbs says:

    Ezekiel 16 goes on to say that God’s people were worse than Sodom at that point in their history.

  8. For those of us with daughters (mine just turned 16 and 14) this is a problem. If you even go to Kohl’s or any other store … or Forever XXI or … what is deemed “in style” the clothes are incredibly “mature” (perhaps trampy) is a better word. I have found it necessary to “choose my battles” and try to teach self respect. But it is a major uphill battle when you have an ex wife with one point of view and you with another. What is perhaps even worse is when you have marketers going after 9 and 10 year old so they can look like Lady Gaga or Katy Perry.

  9. laymond says:

    What are you looking at “Lady Gaga for Bobby :) Don’t you know that is a sin?

  10. laymond says:

    Mat 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast [it] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not [that] thy whole body should be cast into hell.

    Maybe the offender here is not the child, but the one who is looking at the child.

  11. Adam Legler says:

    You could also quote about not being a stumbling block to your brother. I think it goes both ways.

  12. laymond says:

    Adam, if a scantly dressed child is a stumbling block to a grown man, he might want to consider getting some help.

  13. Don Wade says:

    Jay,

    I’d like to reply by saying that the problem isn’t just one of mothers
    wanting their daughters to look “cute.” It goes much deeper than that,
    and in many cases it is the mother who is “stressing out” over how their
    daughter is dressing.

    My youngest daughter is 17, and very attractive, but she knows what is
    appropriate and what is not. Why? Because since she was younger she was
    never allowed to wear inappropriate clothing. She is growing up now, and
    things are changing in new and different ways. Her body has developed
    into a “work of art” and she knows it. She has begun trying to dress
    more in a way that accentuates her physical assets, but her mother (and
    I) still remind her of what is appropriate and what is not. But if she
    could get away with it SHE would choose clothing that is too
    revealing…believe me, she has tried.

    So, just remember that is isn’t always the mother that allows her child
    to dress inappropriately…sometimes it is the child’s own choosing to
    dress that way. We live in a time when sex is everything, on TV, in
    magazines, etc. Our children are bombarded with the whole sex thing from
    a very young age. Is it any wonder that they are trying to dress “sexy”
    at every chance they get? It’s what they see in all their friends and
    they are going to want to dress that way as well. Unless they have
    parents (like my wife and I) who care enough to teach their child about
    both sex and appropriate dress. It is a constant struggle these days,
    and I pray for all the parents of young daughters who face this in their
    lives. Thanks for posting this in your One in Jesus newsletter.

  14. Adam Legler says:

    Laymond,
    I would place most of the responsibility at the feet of the parents on this. But here in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, we’ve had about 4 public school teachers arrested in the last 3 or 4 months for having sex with their students. So, I think it’s a more wide spread problem than you might be acknowledging. What seems like a ridiculous thing to one might be a huge struggle for another.

  15. Ezekiel 16 is one of the most vivid descriptions of God’s grace for his people.

  16. Wendy says:

    As a mom of a 16 year old, let me add to Bobby’s comment that it is very difficult to buy modest clothing that is still fun and age appropriate. Luckily my daughter shares my views about what is modest and what is not.

  17. HistoryGuy says:

    Let me be blunt… I am happy that you all are talking about clothing that young/mature ladies actually wear. As a recovering porn addict, I help with an SAA group, and the problem of young and mature women taking (part or all) of their clothes off when nobody is looking, snapping a picture, and then sending it to their friends (which gets posted to the eternal Internet) is becoming common place among the most unsuspecting, even those of young ages. As one trying to now help others (you know, the lowly scum who you never thought would have such a problem), I can reflect and truly wonder where (some) younger girls got such outfits, some outfits only proper for a wife in the bedroom or brothel.

    The issue goes deeper than clothing and borders on subconscious societal expectation; I am not sure how to describe the epidemic. Young girls/women need to know several facts: they are not sexual objects, who need to dress in the ways that you all have discussed; they need to know who/what is behind the pressure to dress in such ways; they need to know that it is more than just a picture; they need to know that being sexy (as volatile a topic as it is) does not require skin tight clothes, studded thongs, or baring it all… just ask Tamar and Judah (Gen. 38). Seriously, I think the principles of what I said remain constant, but how a mother/father instill them will vary depending on socioeconomic status (especially since clothing and modesty change depending upon culture).

    I have a daughter and hope my post made sense.

  18. Cathy says:

    How much of the problem is the clothing, and how much is the eye of the beholder? I know my perspective on bikinis for young girls shifted when your wife pointed out the practical ease of taking a little girl to the toilet in a two-piece swimsuit vs. a one-piece, which can be awkward to remove, especially when it’s damp.

    Some things are clearly on the wrong side of the line, like pants with “sexy” on the seat. But other things are less clear to me. There’s nothing inherently sexual about bare skin — all those scantily clad people in National Geographic aren’t trying to titillate their neighbors; it’s just normal for their society. What we consider modest today would scandalize out ancestors just a few generations ago, like pants on women, or shorts on anyone. Some of what they considered normal and appropriate would be considered strange or even perverted today, like dresses on young boys.

    I don’t have a simple answer; I don’t think there is one. But I do think we need to check our own eyes for logs before going after other people’s specks — or even sticks.

  19. abasnar says:

    How about rediscoreing 1Pe 3 or 1Ti 2 for teaching in church? If we only talk up to mothers or daughters eye to eye they will be puzzled because they probably have never heard of such things as modesty. And then it is a little unfair and even embarrasing to address such an issue “out of the blue”.

    I have a hard time remembering any sermon that focussed on the importance of modest dress and chastity during my last 24 years as a Christian. I think one reason we tend to avoid this is that we think we speak only to a part of the congregation, mainly to the sisters which again seems terribly politically incorrect to us. But the letters that contain these teachings were addressed to the whole church and to be read in public.

    There is a big advantage, when all hear these words spoken “from the pulpit” with authority (by the elders): All know what is expected in this congregation, and if anyone wants to dress inapropriately he can (and will) be addressed by everyone from the church in a (hopefully) brotherly way. If such topics are stated and spelled out, THEN it does not come as a surprize when you speak to some “dissenters” in private.

    There is yet another problem I saw: The few instances where these texts from Peter and Paul were mentioned there were two main lines of presenting it:
    a) This is a valuable principle, but no clear examples are given as to what really is a modest or an immodest dress.
    b) The whole topic is being downplayed saying that all that is important is the heart, everything else will flow from that (Nice try, doesn’t work in real church life)
    Either way the preacher can say: “Well, I preached on these texts”, but in reality he skipped them eloquently …

    What is necessary is to define some clear and applicable dress standards. And the wives and children of the elders should set the examples first so others can imitate them.

    You know, it is very frustrating when you go shopping for clothes and then your husband says (that means I to my wife): “The pair of jeans you bought for our daughter (13) are far too tight!” The reason: We as a church also avoid to set clear standars and leave the application (or non-application) to the individual church member with the result that – as a whole – these texts are rather neglected than practiced.

    If we don’t provide clear guidelines for choosing and buying clothes, our lamenting the developments will not cease, because the church will be driven by the worldly culture instead of Christian values.

    This leads to this really ugly image: We speak of Christ and virtues, but we look like the prostitutes of the world. Why? Because clothwise we want to fit in with this ungodly society rather than to stand out. And this makes us adulterous in the eyes of God (Jas 4:4).

    Teachers! Stand up for 1Pe 3 and 1Ti 2! Insist on their application and set standards and examples!

    Alexander

  20. Rose Marie says:

    A very astute Christian friend of mine nailed it when he (yes, my friend is a man) said, “Women dress to please other women.” Little girls start this quite early. Little girls are not trying to be sexy, although they may hear that adjective and use it without totally understanding all the freight that comes with it. There is something inside of each woman that wants to be lovely, admired, noticed by someone(s). Clothing helps create this state. Hair, nails, jewelry also add to the aura. Marketers try to promote products that will entice women to buy the accessories that will create this state of satisfaction, however fleeting, that tells us that we are admired and worthy?, valuable?, desirable? When my daughters, who are grown now, were young teens, we focused on having lovely hair and complexion. We focused on purchasing clothing that was “their” color or suited their interests. We arrived home with purchases and showed all the bounty to their father who admired the choices. Okay he was bored but did notice their excitement. I was lucky, I guess. I did not have to refuse just based on modesty. The mother’s role is to help guide the child into making “good” choices and this includes price, suitability for the activity, color, fit, and maybe modesty. Some children will be more difficult to guide. It is why mother’s turn gray.
    I suspect that this whole process is viewed by men and fathers, as mysterious and baffling if they would admit it. Having a really good relationship with his wife will help the father have more of a role in this mysterious process. IMO.

  21. abasnar says:

    … and maybe modesty.

    Dear Rose Mary. I don’t know you, and I sure don’t want to offend you (like some brothers who beg for such ;-) here we go, Price!) – but do you really think Paul wrote these words with a “maybe” on the back of his mind?

    … 1Ti 2:9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,

    or Peter?

    1Pe 3:3 Do not let your adorning be external–the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear–

    (Note: This is not a “both and”-statement, in the sense that it is all right to adorn yourself externally in the described manner as long as you also focus on the inner values. If he had meant this he had written: “Do not let your adorning be externally only.” But that’s not what Peter said.)

    In a way it is good that you wrote what you wrote, because you explained to us men how women (generally) think or feel in this matter. Nevertheless the scriptures go contrary to human thinking or feelings – we men have to struggle with other things, such as the use of violence to settle our matters.

    But we both have our battles to fight, and in the case of the females, modesty is not a “maybe” but a “must”, a matter of obedience to Christ and a matter of self-denial (versus striving for “what suits me best”).

    Again, it is not my intention to blame you in anything. I blame the teachers and preachers of the churches who skip such texts in order to please our natural feelings and to confirm our natural thinking.

    Alexander

  22. Rose Marie says:

    No offence taken to your remarks, Alexander. I understand what you mean and agree. Modesty is a must. What I meant to convey is that the struggle with the generations has lots of other things going on. The relationship of the parents, the desire of one partner or the other to control spending/money. Some of these things feed into the desire of women to have nice things and to buy nice things for their daughters and be part of the society around them. This desire does not make it okay to be immodest. If you notice in the verse you quoted that Peter is asking women to change their interior rather than concentrating on their exterior. I don’t agree with you that an attractive exterior is forbidden.
    Matthew 5: 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If men cry foul………”women are making me lust”, they miss that same change of the interior that Christ is asking for.
    Preaching should talk to both sexes about how they can change their interior to please the Lord. Men should love their wives as Christ loved the church. Seems to me there are a lot of verses about how Christ is adorning his bride for the wedding ceremony. Mothers have a lot of responsibility for teaching their daughters to be attractive but not seductive. Fathers need to find ways to help mothers do this.
    We probably do need some explicit preaching from the pulpit and in classes about the mistakes we are making about our sexuality and modesty. Our natural desires do not produce the fruit of righteousness. Preach on, Brother.

  23. abasnar says:

    Our natural desires do not produce the fruit of righteousness.

    So true …

    Some of these things feed into the desire … to … be part of the society around them.

    That’s not reduced to women, though.

    I think both quotes add to our understanding: E.g. By nature men look at women differently than they should; sexuality is experienced differently, too – more selfish, more body-oriented, more detached from relationship. This shows that our nature has a serious defect: sin.

    And we live in a society that Christ calls “adulterous”. In fact one of the reasons sexual sins are almost always on the top of the lists of sins in the Bible is that this is one of the strongest powers people fall prey to. Idolatry goes hand in hand with immorailty.

    Now I sum up both of your quotes: Our nature and the society we live in fit harmoniously together – if it were not for the Holy Spirit we’d be more or less at peace with ourselves (Gal 5:17). We may think of our daughters only (since this is the topic), but we are as much endagered to follow the “peer-pressure” of the society our nature wants to be a part of.

    Let’s stop here for a moment: Our nature wants to be a part of this society – but is this our Christian calling?

    Act 2:40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.”

    Gal 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
    Gal 1:4 who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,

    Col 1:13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,

    Just a few out of many similar statements. How do they describe the society we live in? Crooked, evil and dark. Our nature loves that, because that’s the way our (old) nature is, too.

    Yet we are transformed, taken out, delivered, saved – not only from sin, but also from this world. I really love this verse:

    Gal 6:14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

    So we have NOTHING in common with the society ariound us, if we walk in, by and through God’s Spirit.

    I use the WE on purpose, because we are not called out live individual Christian lives, but born again into the Kingdom. We are a fellowship of likeminded followers of Christ, striving to please Him.

    This means we have a different “society” to fit in, and we also have a different “nature”. They also belong together like our sinful nature belongs to the sinful society.

    Therefore our churches must teach Kingdom lifestyle, we must create our own “peer-group” – and some parts of this are the way we date, the way we dress, the way we seek entertainment, what we find worth striving for. If a church does not teach and live out such topics, our old nature will again cling to the world to fill the gaps. Because we need these things I mentioned – if the church does not offer them, Satan will gladly help her out …

    Oh, there is so much missing in our sermons … and we are getting increasingly astonished that our brothers and sisters do not live the way we do not preach. Well, enough for now, this is going to be repetitive.

    Alexander

  24. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Adam wrote,

    “Doesn’t it come down to to establishing boundaries and enforcing them even when it can be a battle in the home.”

    Absolutely! And it comes from teaching our daughters that they are not part of the world and shouldn’t be interested in being judged by the world’s standards. Unless we teach our children that they are different and held to a higher, truer standard, the battle is lost before we start.

  25. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Bobby,

    My heart goes out to all parents of young daughters, who have to fight this battle every day. Retail’s marketing machine, the music industry, TV, etc. all conspire to push girls into looks and behaviors that are very inconsistent with Christian values. It’s tough — and well nigh impossible when the parents disagree over how a girl should dress.

    Easier said than done, but we really have to create in our children the idea that we are in the world and not part of it. We aren’t looking for the world’s approval. We have chosen to honor a higher, truer Judge.

  26. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Wendy,

    Kudos to you for raising such a daughter! Those things don’t happen by accident. When daughters have those values, it’s almost always the mom who builds it into her soul while she’s still very young.

  27. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Cathy,

    I have to disagree in part.

    Yes, it’s true that standards vary from society to society. But that doesn’t mean there are no standards.

    First, I think it’s critical that we escape the notion that there are easily stated, concrete rules to be enforced, because modesty doesn’t quite work like that. A legalistic approach won’t work.

    When I was in high school, there were a couple of girls whose dad was a preacher. He banned them from wearing shorts. And so, in PE, they wore dresses. And when the girls played volleyball, they were FAR less modest than the girls in shorts!

    That’s the problem we sometimes fall into when we think of modesty as being about certain rules. Yes, there are rules of a sort, but not the sort easily communicated by a preacher, condemning shorts and bikinis. It’s about the overall look and attitude — and whether we’re going to train our daughters to not submit to the world’s rules.

    That being said, the fact is that in every society I’m familiar with, there are symbols by which a female can communicate her sexual availability. This is why prostitutes dress like, well, prostitutes. They want men to determine by their clothing that they are available for their sexual pleasure. There are symbols that society has agreed mean “This woman is a prostitute.”

    Just so, most women are quite willing to refer to another woman as looking like a “slut” when she dresses a certain way. Most women know that there’s a look that communicates “sexually promiscuous.” And all men know this — because they are the intended target for that look. And, yes, the symbols are context specific. What says one thing in the mall may say something else entirely at the beach.

    Sadly, far too many girls and women are naive and think that fashion trumps the impact of these symbols. Thus, a girl thinks if she dresses like Britney Spears, she’s fashionable and cute, and yet the guys interpret that style of dress as communicating promiscuity — because that’s exactly why people like Spears dress that way. They want to communicate “promiscuous” to sell records.

    In short, in every society, clothes send a message, and the codes and symbols are well known by all but the naive. Blaming the boys for interpreting the codes correctly is deflection. Yes, the boys are at fault if they act improperly toward the girl, no matter how she dresses. But she’s at fault, too.

    It’s true that Jesus said to check our eyes for logs. But if we aren’t careful, we conclude that since we’re all sinners, we can’t condemn any sin as sin. And that’s plainly not the correct conclusion. I take Paul to be an excellent student of Jesus. He wrote,

    (1Co 5:9-1 ESV) 9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people– 10 not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler–not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

    We are banned from judging those outside the church — other than as people outside the Kingdom who need to be brought in. But we are commanded to judge each other.

    Of course, such judging of fellow Christians is not to look down on others, but an act of loving, gentle, kind accountability. We are called into community so we can help each other remain true to our calling until the end.

    In a society that overly values individuality, many of our members reject any idea that they are accountable to their brothers and sisters — even their elders. But that’s not God’s view of things. We are in community so we can hold one another accountable. And that requires a certain kind of judgment.

    Therefore, my spiritual brother’s daughter is my spiritual niece. We’re one household, one family. And we love each other so much that we don’t want our girls tempting our men to lust. And we don’t want our boys seeing our nieces as sex objects. And we don’t want worldly standards of sexuality in the Kingdom. We don’t want to adopt the world’s standards.

    So, yes, standards change. The Bible doesn’t tell us how far above the knees a skirt can be. But the Bible does insist that we not tempt each other.

    The male heart is affected by what it sees. And that’s key, and that’s where many women miss the point.

    Men’s brains are not like women’s. Men are easily sexually aroused visually. This is why the pornography industry is targeted almost entirely toward men. And this is why there’s a huge lingerie industry for women and nothing remotely comparable for men. There are no lingerie showers for the groom! There aren’t many women in pornography recovery groups.

    Many women don’t understand this because they are not like this. They figure men think as they do, but they just don’t. It’s hard wired (and experimentally confirmed, to the surprise of not a single male).

    And men repeatedly beg not to be tempted by women, recognizing their own nature, and some women respond by blaming the man. I’ve been in church services where a scantily dressed girl walked by and men literally turned their heads to avoid temptation.

    I have no idea what it’s like to be a woman, but I don’t think they see men the way men see women. I recognize this as a God-given mystery — part of the marvel of femininity. Women should return the favor, recognize that the difficulty men have with visual temptation is incomprehensible to the female mind, and love men enough not to tempt them.

  28. Cathy says:

    I must not have expressed myself clearly enough, because I almost entirely agree with your reply. However, I do think that even today, what’s modest is context specific — what’s modest at San Diego Comic-Con might be scandalous at church — or vice versa.

    But at the same time, we are responsible for our own thoughts and actions.

    I think we’re in accord that standards of dress are a Romans 14 type of issue — we are not to be stumbling blocks, be the weak are not to drag the strong down to their own level, either.

    You say we are commanded to judge each other, yet Rom. 14:13a says “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer”. The question of judging and judgment is a complex one, as I’m sure you are aware.

    Yes, in the end, it is best not to wear clothing that offends others. But before asking someone — personally or in general — to change their dress, a fair bit of self examination is called for.

  29. abasnar says:

    Pleeeaase, don’t boil it down to Romans 14! <em"Ah, yes, my poor weaker brother, I – the strong one – will deal very carefully with your weaknesses in order not to tempt you (you weakling)!"

    No, this is about specific commands that are not in the context of weaker/stronger consciences but about the general behavior in the Household of God (1Ti 3:15) or the general behavior as men an women in the Kingdom. It is about reflecting Christian values such as modesty and chastity in contrast to the immoraluity of the world. It is a testimony.

    Therefore: Let us stand out boldly! Let us be visibly different! Let our neighbors wonder and ask why we are different!

    If our daughters are the only ones who are not dressed like Britney Spears and who don’t dance to such music in this discgracing manner, for sure, it will become a test of faith for them. This means the church must become a stronger peer group than their class mates. And this means: ALL children in our churches should live more orf less according to the ame values.

    Therefore: Teach it! Preach it! Enforce it! Don’t ever let it be up to the individual how to apply barely stated principles (the result will be the diversity of the world)! Give Examples, Guidlinies!

    Once I approached a sister, a very gifted and beautiful one, who dressed in rather tight clothes, wore make-up, and had a very winning nature: “Please, I want the church be an oasis for my eyes.” I had almost not authority in this since the church had no teaching on this – I could only beg as this “weaker brother” from Romans 14. But that was not my point! The point are clear commands that were being neglected.

    Alexander

  30. abasnar says:

    @ Jay

    Be less afraid of legalism than of lawlessness. It is a common standard reaction in such issues to shy away from “legalism” and in the end we teach nothing but vague principles that do not urge us to change anything in our clothes-cupboard. Be bold!

    How about a “Christian Catwalk” – this means: Having a church meeting where mature sisters present modest and chaste clothing (in accordance with the elders) to the congregation? To be sure, there are more than one ways to apply these texts; but there are many more ways of missing the point in the application. The church needs guidance, not vague principles.

    Alexander

  31. Cathy says:

    “Ah, yes, my poor weaker brother, I – the strong one – will deal very carefully with your weaknesses in order not to tempt you (you weakling)!” — I think that’s a dramatic mis-characterization of Rom. 14, which is a far more balanced passage.

    What it comes down to for me is that “That’s just how men are” sounds an awful lot like “If she didn’t want to be raped, she shouldn’t dress like that”. You, men, are ultimately responsible for your own thoughts and actions. Being a Christian means fighting against “how we are” by nature. Yes, we should not go out of our way to tempt others, but “women must never dress in a way that could tempt men” is a line of thought that ends in burqas — and men still wonder what’s under there, and possibly end up somewhere even worse than when there’s no mystery at all.

    Stop blaming others for your own failings.

  32. Adam Legler says:

    Cathy,
    I would agree that in the end men are ultimately responsible for their thought life and actions and they have a struggle that many times women will not be able to understand. Maybe there are times when your comments like this are what is needed.
    You could make a safe assumption that any church is going to have a good number of men who struggle with lust just like you could safely assume that some in there are alcoholics.
    I wouldn’t offer an alcoholic a beer even though for me it’s not a big deal. I know how that would destroy him then my hands are guilty as well. Why offer a lust addict (probably a term we should be more open about) a chance to see something he will commit to memory for future use? I would say all parties are guilty.
    You will always have those men (and women) who wonder what’s hidden. But out of sight out of mind goes a long way when it comes to how much skin or figure is shown. It can be hard to flee from sexual immorality like the Bible says when hints of it are everywhere even if others think they have the right to wear stuff with no intention of sending off any other messages. Shouldn’t church be a place that a lust addict can get away from all of this?
    Notice, the Bible doesn’t say to fight this stuff, it says to flee this stuff. There’s a reason for that. Why make it any harder?
    Saying all of this, most Christian women I know do dress with sensitivity to others. But those who don’t understand this battle and dress otherwise sure do make it hard on guys living a pure (thought) life at times.

  33. abasnar says:

    @ Cathy

    Let me be a litle more provocative in this: If we reduce this issue to a Romans 14 issue, we basically can say: “I forsake my freedom of dressing immodestly for the sake of my weaker brother”, such as: “I forsake my freedom of drinking beer for the sake of my weaker brother.”

    There is a difference here: While alcohol is not forbidden in the scriptures (listen closely, my American brothers!), but rather created to enjoy the human heart; there is a clear commandment to dress modestly and chastely. So while the scriptures teach freedom to enjoy a good drink, there is no freedom to dress immodestly, because this is clearly forbidden.

    Why?

    Well, ONE reason is that it might lead others into sin; but another equally imprtant reason is that WE ARE TO BE PURE in EVERYTHING. How we dress, how we speak, how we interact with other people shall reflect holyness and purity. If we dress acording to the fashion of an adulterous generation, we misrepresent God’s Holyness.

    When you ignore God’s Word on this and justify your “freedom” of dressing the way you want, you sin against God – and most likely also against a weaker brother.

    Alexander

  34. Alabama John says:

    Men must adjust their thinking. Quit being such a can’t control my thoughts wimp!

    To look at a beautiful woman is a pleasure. To admire her is normal. To tell her is normal.

    To see her and have to turn your heads to keep from sinning is a weakness on your part, not hers.

    You ought to hear us old cowboys talking when we go to a horse event.

    Close your eyes and listen to the admiration for their necks, eye set, rump, back quarters, gaston. and many other parts of their bodies that stand out as beautiful.
    Sure no sinning there, just admiration. You can do the same with women and no sin involved, you can do the same in admiration of stallions and men and no sex there either.
    Anyone get aroused looking at the women in church nursing their babies and seeing it all?
    If so, you are sick, not her.

    If a man wants to lust, it won’t matter what the woman is wearing, as his imagination is needing a bridal as well as his mind needing controlling.

    If a man looked or expressed his lust for my daughter, he would need a few teeth, not her a different dress.

  35. Adam Legler says:

    Is turning your head a weakness of someone using their strength by being self controlled?
    Is the admiration argument just rationalizing a deeper issue? (Though there is of course a difference in admiration and lust).
    Yes, this ultimately lays at the feet of men exercising self control. Sure, it’s sick. Just like those who cheat on their taxes, gossip, lie, commit adultery, hate their brother, etc. It’s sin. But is this the best spirit to respond to that sin?

  36. Alabama John says:

    I think so, as the poor me, I can’t help myself, so blame it all on the woman has sure bred a group of men with no backbone.
    Good thing is most men DO have that mind control, the weak ones are the minority, but the loudest.

    if imagination and mind is not under control there doesn’t even have to be a woman to lust after as one is created in the mind.

    A kick in the pants instead of hand holding will cause men to think twice and that is the key, getting them to think and control instead of making excuses.

    This is not hard, its very simple, don’t justify and by doing so help their weakness.

  37. abasnar says:

    Men must adjust their thinking. Quit being such a can’t control my thoughts wimp!

    Absolutely!
    And drunkards must stop drinking – immediately.
    And women must stop dressing immodestly (and men, too, but that’s not a general) isuue.

    So, yes, we must stop sinning, right?

    And if the scriptures tell us how to dress properly, we must stop rationalizing our worldy taste and repent – even if it means we have to make our own dresses again because there is nothing decent to buy at WalMart’s.

    And now for some Grace: Repentance is a process, brother. Training your eyes to look into a different direction, your mind to think differently about what your eyes see, is as hard for a man as for a drunkard to stop drinking or for a woman the free herself from the peer pressure of the world and other females.

    One big help is a church with standards, a church that creates a different peer group. It is tough enough to stand out in the society as someone who want’s to live (and dress) according to God’s Will. If we then are in the minority even in the church, there is almost no hope to make it …

    That’s why it is not only about personal decisions, it is about the teaching of the church. It’s not about one’s individual taste or strength, but about a congregation’s agreed upon standards of application.

    Alexander

  38. Adam Legler says:

    I think we are in agreement that it is not just the fault of a woman. The men must control themselves but it’s not always as simple as a good kick in the pants. But we’ll have to agree to disagree. And I’m not sure about the minority thing. As you probably know, in worldly men environments, there isn’t much else that is joked about.

  39. Alabama John says:

    Alexander, BULL! “.How about a Christian catwalk”
    Surely you are not serious. Can you see women lined up parading clothing to see what is acceptable or not to men sitting in judgment? What a treat provided for a luster. Number one, I don’t know a woman that would parade for you, far more that would slap you silly for asking.

    In construction I’ve had 200 plus men working on a project where good looking women walked by all day.
    Even had some real lookers working on the sites. Lots of women in Trades today. They wear work clothes, hard hats and safety harnesses. Weak men still lust.

    My experience is if a woman walked down a sidewalk and one group turned their heads to not look at her and another group said hello Wendy, how are you doing and you sure do look pretty today, which is the weak one?

  40. David P Himes says:

    I disagree with Alexander’s approach, but we probably end up at a very similar place.

    The freedom we have in Christ is to be free of the world and free to be like Christ. His supreme command is to love one another as He loved us.

    What would Jesus not give up to help someone? Very little. Would he give up dressing according to latest fashion, because the latest fashion does too much to enflame the sexual passion of others — whether they are believers or unbelievers? Yes, I think he would.

    Would Jesus discipline his own mind and behavior to control those passions when confronted by fashion adorned women? Yes, I think he would.

    The resolution is not “what are the rules”? The resolution is how can each of us, independent of all others, be more like Jesus.

  41. abasnar says:

    Alexander, BULL! “.How about a Christian catwalk”

    Boy, it took some time till someopne responded. No, I was not 100% serious about the catwalk; but the general idea: We must give women a variety of possibilities within the boundaries of holiness.

    I have a wife and three children, one of them is a teenage girl. I know from experience how hard it is to find decent clothes in a store. I tell you why:

    Clothes today are mass-productions in order to be sold at low prices. In order to make them attractive to the masses (so mass production makes sense) you must design clothes in a certain way. You create ever changing fashions, “must haves”, so in order to not be left out you have to buy clothes even when the old ones are still OK. Well, chlothes aren’t produced in a very solid way anyway, so they need to be replaced earlier than a few generations ago.

    Now let’s look at the design or fashion: A director of a school/academy specialized on designing clothes said that the main motive behind the designs is creating sexual attraction. She said that in an interview in an Austrian newspaper. This statement opened my eyes even more to this issue.

    If women now buy blindly what they find in a store, they:
    a) buy what is designed for creating lust
    b) follow their own carnal desires (often unaware) of wanting to be desired (“to look nice”)

    And this makes them look like women to lust after, because what they wear has being created to make them look like women to lust after. Got the point?

    Therefore IT IS NOT FAIR TO OUR SISTERS, if we ignore the traps they walk into! We have to provide guidance, and this as a conmgregation, not on a merely individual basis. If we individualize holiness, we create worldliness, because each one wil do what is right in his own eyes. If that’s our approach, let’s forbid our preachers to talk about anything that demands corporate obedience.

    A good example for this individualistic approach is in David’s words:

    The resolution is how can each of us, independent of all others, be more like Jesus.

    Please note, that many (certainly the majority) of all NT commands are addressed to whole churches and not to individuals. All women shall dress modestly, not only those whoe choose to or find that fitting for themselves. It is about corporate obedience, not individualistic discipleship. Probably (just came to my mind) the modern concept of discipleship (one by one mentoring) is also heavily influenced by the individualistic society around us … but that’s another topic in its own right.

    Alexander

  42. abasnar says:

    And let me stress it again: Dressing modestly is not (only) for the sake of the weaker brother. It is not a Romans 14 issue, but there are two distinct and clear commands in very different contexts (1Pe 3 in the context of family and 1Ti 2 in the context of church) that tell us to dress in a modest and chaste manner:

    Modesty: Avoiding costly garment, gold, silver …
    Chaste: Avoiding to draw other peoples attention to our outward appearnce: Elaborate hairstyles, sensual clothes, and certainly heavy use of make up.

    It has to do with a general life style as Christians, that is very distinct from the patterns of the world.

    Alexander

  43. Cathy says:

    Adam: If you think “out of sight” means “out of mind” in this realm for any meaningful fraction of people, I suggest study of the Victorian era — even the furniture was dressed, lest the sight of a table leg remind a gentleman of a woman’s leg and provoke lust, yet mountains of erotic literature and art were created, and distortions of that era’s styles remain common in modern lingerie, etc.

    Alexander: Yes, we are commanded to dress modestly. But what if what I consider modest, you consider inappropriate? When I was in school, male and female students commonly wore shorts on hot days. The dress code I recall for short and skirt length was that if your arms were straight down at your sides, the tips of your fingers had to be on cloth. Not bad, right? When my mother was the same age, girls weren’t even allowed to wear pants to school, and I don’t think the boys were allowed shorts, except maybe for athletic activity. My shorts would be potentially tempting to someone whose thoughts were trained to that standard.

    Would I wear shorts to church? Generally not to a service, but maybe to a work day or summer potluck,or if I were going on a summer work trip down to Mexico.

    Would I wear a skirt the same length as the shorts? Probably not, because I like having pockets, and most skirts don’t, but I certainly wouldn’t look askance at someone else who did.

    Would I wear pants to church? Depends on the church, but it’s been along time since i visited one where that wouldn’t be acceptable.

    Also, you’re still ignoring the flip side of Rom. 14, where the weaker brother accepts that the stronger is able to handle things that the weaker cannot does not try to control the stronger.

  44. Cathy says:

    In other words, because there no fixable standard of modesty, when you tell someone to dress more modestly, what you’re saying is “Dress the way I want you to”. You, as a man, have a say in what your wife and pre-adult daughters wear; you do not have any right to control what other women wear. You only have the right to control your response to what’s around you.

  45. Larry Short says:

    Both our daughters now have daughters of their own. I hope they have as much enjoyment and as minor struggle as we did.
    My wife did most of the choosing, then later approving of clothes. In that areana my main function was to agree with her.
    Fathers can really help in this area. A father can notice his daughters, what they wear, what they are doing, what they talk about, etc. Dads, tell them them are beautiful, and why. Not just they are physically fine, or clothing looks good on them, but how great their interests and activities are. You will need to do things with them and listen to them
    While our society throws a lot at girls for how they appear, it really hurts their confidence in themselves. Telling your daughter that she is special, what she is good at, helps a lot in an ego deflating world. As they get older, comments from Dad will mean more than Mom. Besides helping nuture a young girl to a young woman, is very rewarding; a few years with her returns decades of her and her children.

  46. Adam Legler says:

    Cathy,
    Sorry, there is a difference between a table leg and a woman’s leg. Just last night at a church function I was at there were girls dressed in daisy dukes. Now, if they had pants on approriate shorts on, there would be many less boys having to try not to get caught staring at them. Out of sight, out of mind.

  47. Adam Legler says:

    And what about the boys in addition to how our girls honor God? We’ve been talking about how men are tempted. The sex drive is strongest during the teenage years which is the context of this discussion. How much harder is it on parents of teenage boys to teach them self control when they see sex even when they go to church? And, that is what they see whether the girls are trying to send that message or not.

  48. Cathy says:

    OK, maybe the bit about furniture legs is a bit of an exaggeration, but the point is still that times change, standards change, and what’s titillating to one generation in their youth can become de riguer by their senior years.

    People, young and old, male and female, see what they’re looking for.

  49. abasnar says:

    But what if what I consider modest, you consider inappropriate?

    That’s precisely the reason why I don’t think we should leave the decision up to the individual. We need standards as a congregation – which means: We need leadership.

    In other words, because there no fixable standard of modesty, when you tell someone to dress more modestly, what you’re saying is “Dress the way I want you to”.

    if there were no “fixable standards” then the commands of both Peter and Paul turn into inapplicable nonsense. Of corse there are fixable standrads – these standards DO vary from time to time and culture to culture, but they ARE fixable in the context of time and culture. And we need to be clear about that – even if it means that we have to THINK A WHOLE LOT MORE about it than before.

    Alexander

    P.S.: I have the impression, you haven’t really understood what I meant so far. Please read again, slowly, and put aside Romans 14 for a while. That’s NOT the issue here.

  50. abasnar says:

    Just last night at a church function I was at there were girls dressed in daisy dukes.

    I never heard of daisy dukes before, so I googled … AND THIS IS ALLOWED FOR CHRISTIANS???!!! Are there no elders in the church? Or are they so afraid of these women claiming their freedom in Christ to dress immodestly (see, obviously you can’t argue against freedom)?

    Alexander

  51. Adam Legler says:

    I would say that it is quite common to see girls in daisy dukes at any teen event in churches (of all any denomination) here in the U.S. unless there is some dress code like at church camp. I’m sure part of it is that leaders may be afraid to be labelled “sick” if they say something about it or don’t want the fight that it might cause.

    When I was in college at a state school, we had a retreat with students from a Christian school. We were blown away by how many of them were wearing short shorts. We were used to seeing that at a state school since there basically isn’t a dress code. But to see Christian girls who had “freedom” for the weekend to dress like they wanted since they were not having to abide by their university’s dress code and to see them dress like that was disheartening. But hey, that is their right, right?

  52. abasnar says:

    I think this is a result of an overreaction to what some call “legalism”. And there are (to be sure) too strict and too narrow approaches to this topic. So, coming out from “legalism”, Christians discovered the concept of “freedom in Christ” and made awhole lot more of this than was originally meant.

    The situation is basically as follows: As soon as preacher says, you must do things a certain way to be faithful to Christ according to His Word, he most likely called a “legalist”; all he is allowed to do is to make some “spiritual suggestions” that does not interfere with the “freedom” of his congregation.

    I’d challenge all participants in this discussion (also/especially those who somehow stepped back, because this was getting too “leaglistic”) to think through the following texts and questions:

    Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

    This participle is tied to the command of making disciples. A disciple of Christ therefore is someone who is learning to observe all that Christ has commanded.

    Does this fit the term legalism?
    If so, what would this tell us about Christ?

    Although I don’t think it is right, to make a systematic list of ALL that Christ commanded (because the scriptures don’t do that either), I think it is good to remember that there are a number of texts that sum up some core teachings to be obeyed: The Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5-7), the Teachings on Chruch discipline and Forgiveness (Mat 18), and everything that is part of Him building up His Church (Mat 16) which unfolds in the book of Acts and the epistles.

    The reason we didn’t get a list, I believe, it that we are to learn everything in and throughout our lives. Thus most of the instructions are embedded in real-life situations (see the epistles). So we don’t follow a “law-book”, that requires complete obedience at once, but we grow into Christ’s life as we progress on our pilgrimage.

    Does that sound legalistic?
    Does this allow “freedom” as to choose whether we proceed to the next step of obedience?

    One – only one of many other commands to be observed is the way we dress. Let’s quote these texts again:

    1Ti 2:8 I desire then that …
    1Ti 2:9 … women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,
    1Ti 2:10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness–with good works.

    This is a “positive” command. How should the women adorn themselves?
    >> in respectable apparel (KJV: shamefacedness)
    >> with modesty and self-control (chastity)
    >> with good works

    To clarify even more what he has in mind, Paul adds a “negative” command. How should they not adorn themselves:
    >> Braided hair
    >> gold or pearls
    >> costly attire

    The reason for this is consistency with professing godliness (see, NOT Romans 14 and the weaker brothers!).

    Do we call this legalistic?
    If so, is godliness legalistic?

    Peter says esentially the same, so we even have a second witness – we have the apostle to the Gentiles and teh Apostle to the Jews holding up the same standards:

    1Pe 3:2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.
    1Pe 3:3 Do not let your adorning be external–the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear–
    1Pe 3:4 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.

    How we dress is part our respectful and pure conduct. Therefore Peter also has the same positive and negative commands and Paul.

    The “don’ts” in this text are essential in order to let the light of the inner beauty shine forth. We therefore cannot dress like the world around us that focusses on extravagance or sensuality, because this outward beauty dims what can be seen only through modesty, chastity, meekness, quietness.

    Again: Can we call this legalistic?
    If so, how then (but respectfully and pure) shall we live?
    Which other beauty (but the inner one aor alongside with the inner one) shall we display?

    Now to the application:

    To the readers of Peter and Paul the application was clear through the exapmples of the female disciples (e.g. Peter’s wife, Prisca, Phoebe …) This teaching was embedded in the practice of the early apostolic church of Christ. Still, Peter and paul both said NO to certain things:

    Expensive clothing that display status and wealth
    Elaborate Hairstyles that display a desire to be looked at and admired
    Sensual cothing that further immorality

    All of this stands in contradiction to purity and godliness.

    Yet, the precise application was within the cultural setting of their time. Christians did not step onto the market place like aliens from Mars, but dressed in Roman, Jewish or Hellenistic clothes, but in a modest and chaste manner.

    The application therefore in NOT (as some said in the discussion) to step back into the Victorian Age, but to see or to define how modesty and chastity in dress can be applied today. If there are any doubts and uncertainties (or better: SINCE there are) the church leadership must be bold enough to give examples. Now dress-standards CAN develop into applications that are too strict and too narrow – and we should therefore allow enough variety – but no standards result in daisy dukes.

    Is lawlessness the only alternative to legalism?
    Or is there a balnced way of observing all that Christ commanded?

    I tried to describe the second option.

    Alexadner

  53. Cathy says:

    Alexander: I believe I understand you just fine. I simply disagree with you in some regards, which is not the same thing.

  54. Jenny says:

    It’s always amazed me how Christian men never tire of complaining about inappropriate clothing and modesty when it comes to women’s clothing. How about the men and boys? Complaints and concerns always fall on deaf ears. But Jesus Christ was clear about taking care of your own sins before helping others with theirs.

  55. abasnar says:

    How about the men and boys?

    You are absolutely right about that, Jenny. I always find it strange when I watch my Muslim neighbors: She being dressed from head (even face) to toe – he wearing t-shirt and shorts. This IS a double standard. And that’s what the Bible says about it:

    Pro 20:10 Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the LORD.

    Although women generally care a lopt more about their outward appearance (and I think that’s why they are addressed in 1Pe 3 and 1Ti 2) it is also true that not lusting after women (or the other sex) is true for women also, although there exclusively men are addressed (Mat 5). We seem to have no problem to live with this “imbalance” and hardly ever talk about women lusting after men.

    What are directions for men?

    Scripture says they should keep their hair short, and men are encouraged to let their beard grow (not only because that’s the way God created them, but also because He said so in the Law: Lev 19:27 or Lev 21:5). That’s a direct equivalent to “not braiding your hair” in 1Pe 3.

    I’d also say that business suits that are associated with wealth and status are to be questioned.

    I for myself have stopped wearing shorts in summer a few years ago, because of the issue of double standards (and thus I avoid sun burn on my legs, too, which is good).

    So, I am with you in your amazement, Jenny

    Alexander

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