I don’t know if this is an issue (too much skin) at your church, but it definitely is one at ours. I can’t tell you how many conversations there have been about this topic. Doesn’t matter how many times our pastor has talked about dress and modesty, it only seems to get worse.
And I don’t want to pick on women here, it’s just that men don’t usually show skin because women aren’t usually visually stimulated the same way men are.
But it’s definitely an issue and I’ve become more and more shocked by what young women are wearing, not only in church, but when I step out the door and head into public. I’ve thought on this issue before, but now that I have a baby daughter I’m thinking more about the issue of modesty and what my wife and I want to teach her as she grows up.
No matter what we as parents do I know there will always be that cultural peer pressure on my daughter to do something different. But in the midst of that pressure I hope that we can convey the message of the importance of modesty, and that showing skin is not what she should value or want approval from others for. Doesn’t get easier for parents when teen stars provide much of the cultural peer pressure (i.e. Hannah Montana).
And I know this is a difficult issue for men. A little skin on a woman can send a man’s thought process hurling into outer space and in a direction farthest from purity. So on the one hand a man might get excited and tempted by it, but it’s also the same thing that can destroy him or make him make decisions that he would otherwise not make. That’s power.
It’s a vicious cycle. Women are admired in our culture for their sexuality, but we as Christians are also trying to send a different message that doesn’t usually succeed.
I don’t know where we head on this issue in Church. But maybe it needs to be an open conversation between men and women where we can encourage each other to strive for lives of more modesty, rather than just blaming each other.
How powerful is “skin.” So powerful that I decided a couple of weeks ago that I needed to sign up for online accountability with Covenant Eyes. What does that mean? It means for $7 a month all of my online behavior is monitored and flagged where necessary. And then each week my wife, my brother, and two of my best friends get a report of what I was looking at during my online time during the week. I spend a lot of time on the internet, and I’m smart enough to know the power of sexuality, skin, porn and more online. It doesn’t matter that I’m a father, husband, friend or pastor. We are all susceptible to its temptations. I’ve heard people complain about paying for online monitoring, but come on…are you kidding me? This type of accountability is worth what it would cost two lattes at Starbucks.
I want to leave you with this latest post from Anne Jackson, my thoughts on boobies. Definitely a catching and controversial title. Anne is a pastor at LifeChurch.tv, and is the author of the book Mad Church Disease: The Church-Wide Burnout Epidemic. Check out her post at Relevant Magazine, Dirty Girls, The New Porn Addicts, as she talks about her struggle with pornography and the effects of it on her relationship.
Here is her entire post:
my thoughts on boobies
Written by Anne Jackson on May 7, 2008 – 12:32 pm
did you know?
–there is a female feature we call breasts. they can also be referred to as “boobies,” or “the twins,” or “the rack,” or “jugs,” so on, so forth.
–most men find this particular feature interesting. tempting. and amazing.
–upon catching a glimpse of said feature (regardless of how much is actually exposed), it is likely for a man’s mind to go to places it shouldn’t.
–with above knowledge, women, you now are educated and have no excuse.
–PLEASE USE WISDOM WHEN YOU DRESS YOURSELF.
aside: call me a prude. call me whatever. i don’t really care. and as much as this may seem like “casting judgment” (said in a very, scary, echo-y loud voice) on members of the female gender, please get a freaking clue.
i was doing some bloggy-clicking-around during my lunch and it amazes me how many “nice christian girls” (some who are even in church leadership – gasp!) show quite a bit of skin. in the office, at church parties, whatever (oh, and then post them ALL OVER THE INTERNET!)
please forgive me if it seems i have something stuck, as they say, where the sun don’t shine.
it’s called modesty.
and if you are supposed to be living examples of godly women…you should too!
that is all.
please, carry on.