The Theology of Yoga Pants

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

It is that glorious time of the year known as spring.  In our hyper-sexualized culture as the heat rises clothes start to come off. To say our culture is obsessed with body image would be like saying Antarctica is kind of chilly.

As someone that cares about Christian women I want to give a little pastoral/fatherly counsel. I find there are less and less young ladies that have a Godly father or male role model to speak truth into their lives. I would like to speak to Christian females as a loving father, as if I am talking to my three girls. These are some things I will tell my girls as they grow up, they may be helpful to some of you grown women as well.

Everything you wear says something about who you are and what is in your heart. While most women would not verbalize this, or even think about it, they want people to look at them. They want others, particularly men, to think they are beautiful.   Today, people spend countless hours at the gym and tons of money in order to make their bodies look a certain way.  Most of the time people say that diet and exercise is for their health but if their hearts were exposed it is really about 10% for their health and 90% so they can look good (this is true of both men and women).  They have been told since the time of childhood that princesses are beautiful and wicked stepsisters are ugly.  From almost the moment of birth little girls are taught that so much of their value is found in their looks.

Beauty= good

Ugly = bad

Yoga pants defined – tight (usually black…black is slimming you know) pants that cling to every fabric of your skin.  These pants are appropriate to wear at home with your husband and are great to go underneath a dress or long tunic…however when you leave your rear end uncovered you are pleading with every man in eye shot to check out your backside.

WHAT WOMEN CANNOT UNDERSTAND

Contrary to popular opinion God made men and women different.  Women and men are wired so differently it is impossible for a woman to understand how a man’s mind works (It is doubly impossible for a man to understand how a woman’s mind works).  Men are visual.  God wired us in such a way that when it comes to the female form we do not miss much. If a woman is wearing something that is tight fitting, too short, too low cut, etc., a man will notice. He may not admit he notices, but he does.  I can hear the rebuttal from women now, “Men are just a bunch of dogs and should learn to control themselves.” Perhaps your argument it very sound. Men are geared with a deep sexual desire that God gave them to express in the joys of a marital relationship. But saying men are like dogs does not change that fact that men are looking.    Christian men are looking. Ladies this may creep you out but you need to know, OLDER (think grandpas…eww) men are looking.  You see, the desires of a man’s flesh never changes.  Whether he is young or old he has to constantly deny those sinful desires and seek to honor the Lord with his mind.   If you love your brother in Christ and do not want him to see you or think of you in a way less than holy then consider these few questions and ponder them in your heart:

ARE YOU ADVERTIZING WHAT IS NOT FOR SALE?

When you put a “For Sale” sign on something, if it is interesting people will check it out. If you put a “FOR SALE: CHEAP” sign on something they may want to buy it if they have to pay very little. When you wear clothes that are immodest, you are advertising to the men all around you that you are cheap. God made women in His image and He never meant for them to be cheap.  The Bible says that He bought our redemption not with silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.  If Christ would pay this much for your soul, why would you advertise your body as cheap?  I will tell my girls that they are very valuable and when they find the man God has for them to marry, they will know because he will marry them before he tries to sleep with them. If you’re dressing in a way that is immodest, would you consider that you are inviting men to think about you in a sexual way?  According to the Bible, this way of thinking should be reserved for your husband.  Christian men should see Christian women as daughters, sisters, or as mothers. Do you want your Christian brother to think of you as an object of lust, or as a sister in Christ? The way you dress WILL influence how he thinks of you.

ARE YOU MAKING OTHERS FOCUS ON A PART OF YOU THAT WILL SOON FADE AWAY?

Your looks are not around for long.  Even the most beautiful woman may have 40 years of stunning physical attraction. What happens after she has passed her prime? What happens when your perfect curves begin to sag?   What happens when that beautiful skin begins to wrinkle?  If you have made others value your looks then you are quickly losing your value. If you value comes from, “the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” then as you get older you only become more precious to God and others. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

ARE YOU TAKING WHAT GOD MADE HOLY AND MAKING IT COMMON?

There is a Proverb that says, “A beautiful woman who lacks discretion

is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout.”  Can you picture gold, the most precious of metals, in the nose of the most vile animal? A pig spends its days in the slop and has no need or concern for the value of gold. A woman who is immodest is taking the gold that God has given her and putting it before pigs (sorry guys).  You are so much more valuable than your vessel.  You are not a body that has a soul, but you are a soul that has a temporary body.  Your body will soon wear out.   Help people look at you for what is lasting about you and not what is quickly fading away.   Here is what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:15 “Don’t you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ?”

HERE ARE A FEW BASIC GUIDELINES THAT MAY BE HELPFUL.  

Wear Yoga Pants/Tight Pants in private and not in public unless you are covering your backside. You should not wear clothes that cling to you.

NO BIKINIS.   Bikini = wearing your underwear in public.  Even with most one-piece bathing suits you should probably cover them with shorts. I know this sounds dramatic and archaic but trust me on this one.

You should not wear clothing that draws men’s eyes to your breasts.

Skirts should go past your knees and should have enough material that you can still walk when wearing them.

 

If you are in doubt about something don’t ask another girl or even your mom.   If dad is in the picture ask DAD! And when you ask him and he shocks you with his opinion, have the respect to listen to what he says. Remember, Women DO NOT THINK like men. If you do not have a Godly father or grandfather to ask, seek the advice of an older Godly woman and go by the basic guidelines I have listed above.

The point of this blog is not to be offensive, but to remind my sisters in Christ of their great worth and value.men-staring-at-woman  I hope it is helpful.

 

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151 thoughts on “The Theology of Yoga Pants

  1. This seems like such a heated topic which I hope for all will bring into perspective the veracity of this matter and the over-sexualizing of American culture now. As a Christian, husband, and father I have personally noticed the growing disregard for modesty among in the church. Listen sisters, men are made more visual and you are made more emotional, that is by design how God made us. If you don’t believe this please read “Every man’s battle” a collection of numerous men’s stories about the battle and struggle for sexual purity in a debase society. As a spirit filled man of God I am grieved in the spirit greatly because of the level of alertness which I must often exert in God’s house due to the form fitting, low cutting, modern style of cloths today and the lack of a response to it. When a sister, allows herself to give in to the feminist mentality, “it’s my body, I’m in control type factor, I have the power” they miss the fact that our bodies according to scripture are actually temples for God’s Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
    I am encouraged and really hope that this conversation will continue more and more in the church today because the world will be the world and we already know the worldview of this matter. The problem is when the mindset of the world gets into the church God’s people need to stand up and say something. And if you draw some comparisons of past cultures and far away circumstances, please remember we are discussing decaying American culture, not justifying the traditions of others. Let’s get out of the weeds and our own desires’ s and seek God’s answer. For those who would say this is a bashing against women please consider the scripture: (Matthew 5:28) Whoever looks to a woman to lust has committed adultery with his heart.
    So here all Satan has to do is cause/encourage/ one absent minded lady to put on that “hot little dress” insert a weakened absent minded Christian male and he can add another soul to his side. Jesus didn’t say who ever went and had an affair, or raped, or seduced, or cat called, etc., He said whoever looked with lust in his heart. This thing is serious people, this is a strategy of demonic proportion to stumble and silence the male authority in the church! (1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils)
    The level of spiritual wickedness is rampant among us and we need to recognize and stop playing games and walk in the spirit, that we may not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. And lastly, please if you don’t believe that the Holy Bible is the inspired God breathed word of God do not reply to me. You would do better talking to someone else.

    1. Well you’re not sexist at all. Women’s clothing isn’t every man’s battle. If certain clothing causes you to feel lustful, then YOU are the problem!

      1. I am pretty sure in my blog I did not let me off the hook. Surely we are all responsible for our own sin and lust. The point of the blog was simply a little perspective (personal perspective granted) as to some things to think about. I am sorry it came across so condemning and offensive. The blog was written out of the context of a problem in the church setting and for Christian women and really not for society at large. I think I say that as well. I would never seek to hold any woman to any standard of dress that does not claim to be a Christian…or man for that matter. My Blog was written to believers, not to cause shame, but to give perspective. If I were sincerely causing my sister to struggle in some way that I could help, I would surely want to do so. I am no Brad Pitt but for this reason I do not take my shirt off when swimming.

      2. It’s fairly clear that the majority of guys on this page support the article, whilst the majority of women do not (or they have certain disagreements with different parts). It’s also important to understand that since women and men are made differently by God, each will always struggle to understand the problems and chains of thought of the other. But i heard this example which (somewhat) can help females kinda understand the Pastor (and males) point of view here.
        Think of it like this: For the most part, girls seem to find it relatively easy to over-analyze or over-think in different situations. At least easier than males. (Granted, there are some girls out there who don’t have this tendency, just like there are some [few] males who are not sexually tempted when seeing a girl in yoga pants). but for a lot of girls, over-thinking is something they may tend to do in regards to certain situations. Take then, for example, a guy who is constantly sending mixed signals to a girl. It could be by being chivalrous, complimenting that girl etc etc. Anything really that may lead to the girl reading into it. The girl in this situation could probably spend a lot of time thinking “Does he like me?” “Why is he acting like this?” etc etc. Often to the point where it may ever frustrate her incredibly! Now, in a situation like this, does the guy here have no responsibility? should he continue to send these mixed signals, even if he knew it could be (and is) making her over-think and become frustrated? Note also, most guys tend to be unable to understand how or why a girl can analyse a situation so much. So, if we bring it back to the argument of “Girls can dress however they please and guys should just learn to control themselves/look away”, then by that same token, a guy can continue to send mixed signals and, in essence, play with a girls heart- is that correct? If that is fine, and girls should just learn to control their thoughts, with no responsibility on the guy, then okay. But if no, and a guy should not be so cruel and stop sending those mixed signals, then surely by the same sentiment, girls should help guys out in the way they dress too.

      3. I appreciate the good intentions behind this entry, but we need to be really careful about looking at a societal problem that exploits women and saying, “what can women do to make these bad actors stop being bad?” or even “what can these women do to make my personal struggle easier?” Even though you’re talking to women within your close-knit community, and you are a kind person who loves the women in his life, you’re using reasoning that has a bitter ring to it for women. You’re getting a negative knee jerk reaction because that line of thinking has hurt a lot of women in a lot of contexts (laws, policies, at home, at work) for, like, the entire history of civilization. This does not make you a misogynist – I’m just telling you why people might find this message to be aligned with misogynist thinking.

      4. Also, AJ, that is not a great analogy, but yes. The woman in your hypo is 100% responsible if she chooses to stay close to a manipulative jerk who sends her mixed signals. It is up to her to withdraw from that relationship.

  2. As a woman, a daughter, and the mother of a daughter, I appreciate the spirit and attitude in which this counsel was given. Only one point, I do not agree that skirts have to go past your knees.

  3. If you’re “wise” enough to tell fully grown women what they should and shouldn’t wear, maybe you’re old enough to be able to avert your eyes elsewhere.

    1. We don’t have to be “wise” enough…the Bible gives us really good guidelines and principles that we can follow. The problem arises when “empowered” “feminist” women feel like that they can dress outside of the Word of God and still call themselves Christians.
      It boils down to pride. Are we dressing to bring attention to Christ, or are we dressing to bring attention to ourselves? This applies to both men and women.

      1. Dan, I think you summed up the sentiment EXACTLY! Are women dressing for their own pride or the glorification of Christ? Well said!

  4. This article is poison. It is horribly misogynistic. Young girls, pay no attention. Men, take responsibility for yourselves. I’m sorry we have to live in a world where this is part of the conversation.

    1. That word is being thrown around a lot. I looked it up and here is the definition

      mi·sog·y·nis·tic [mi-soj-uh-nis-tik, mahy‐]
      adjective
      reflecting or exhibiting hatred, dislike, mistrust, or mistreatment of women.

      I can’t see my blog as hateful, disliking, or distrusting of women.

      I don’t think my wife or children would think this of me.

      1. Unfortunately, Pastor, while the advice is well intended it places responsibility for mends actions (looking, touching, etc) on the woman for her inaction. Women certainly should be cognizant of the personal responsibility behind their presentation, but they cannot have that responsibility trump the responsibility of those acting. It is when we begin to preach how women dress over how men behave that we begin into troubled waters that allow men’s deplorable actions (such as sexual aggression, unwanted advances, and worst of all assault) to be the fault of the immodest woman. No outfit from a string bikini to a burqa declares the woman’s body to be available or cheap. When Men of the Cloth such as yourself suggest this to your ‘sisters’ you detract from the responsibilities of your brothers.

      2. I don’t think I implied that men are not responsible for there actions. Sure they are! I have written much about men and I am much more harsh on the men. This article was geared toward women, but was to point out that in the Christian community known as the church we give up our rights if we can help it in order to help another. Philippians 2:3 says that we are to think of others as more important than ourselves. This is what Jesus did. He gave up His rights in order to do the will of the Father. While this article is geared towards women I would call men to even high levels of self sacrifice and service towards others. I wrote to help sisters in Christ understand what is going on with a man. I am shocked at the attitude of female “believers” that take such offense at this article. If a female told me to stop doing something in order to help her worship and it was in my power and not ridiculous (which what I wrote was never calling for Burkas or other sensationalism) I would seek to help. Never once did I justify the sinful actions of men…as many women have implied.

      3. Obviously, I think the issue we are pointing out it that for many MANY outside of your community this sort of rhetoric is manipulated to “mansplain” that if the learned and leaders of our communities can say that – it must be true. I know that you were not sensationalizing, I was simply using the dichotomy of fully covered in cloth to nearly-fully exposed by referencing those garments.

        I merely wished to caution you that we each hold personal responsibility. However, modesty (for me) is not about what a man sees and thinks, but about what I am willing to present to the world. In the same vein, I would be mindful of my language as it reflects who I am. As does my preference for reusable supermarket bags, or whatever other choices. I do them because of my small impact, but I do them for myself.

        Ultimately, women’s modesty is far better discussed in terms of herself, than in terms of men’s visualization of women.

      4. I understand where you are coming from. I am archaic in the sense that I still believe the Bible to be true. In this sense what I think or you think really doesn’t matter as much as what God says. If i believe Jesus died for my sins then I must also understand the rest of the New Testament which clearly gives guidelines for the way men and particularly women present themselves in public. The Bible is plain the we should not draw attention to ourselves by our dress but by our humble heart.

        I am sorry if you were offended by my thoughts on the matter.

      5. After having a father who is misogynistic, I can definitely speak to the fact that this article is not, in fact, anywhere even remotely close. You are sharing your opinion with women on how you feel that the thoughts others have about them when they were these types of clothing are less-then desirable or “degrading” in that way. Nothing wrong with stating your opinion. I do have to say something. I come from what is generally known as a “holiness” background. I wear high necklines, long sleeves and hemlines below my knees. I don’t expect people to understand or imitate without valid heartfelt reasons. I don’t, however, do this for any man, minister or otherwise. I do this for my King. I do this out of respect for what I believe true modesty is as found in Scripture. It’s got nothing to do with men or their evaluation of me. It has to do with how I evaluate myself. I don’t believe that layers of clothing will discourage or even help lustful thoughts or feelings to disappear. (Which I’m sure that every man who has read your post agrees with as well. Certain types of clothing can evoke feelings, but more clothes on an individual doesn’t always cause that feeling to fade either.

        On that note, I can appreciate your point of view. I can appreciate men who agree with you and try to hold up their end as well. I can also appreciate the women who feel 100% violated by this post because they feel that their “freedoms” are being taken away. (One would argue the idea of why are they protesting so much? Because they’re being told it’s true that guys look at girls that way in that type of apparel? Or because someone is telling them not to wear something that they’re wearing for that reason?) I applaud your courage to post this on your blog. I also applaud your responses to those on your page. I don’t have to agree with every point or even your approach to understand your viewpoint and appreciate it.

    2. So what happens if a man doesn’t “take responsibility for himself”? Are you comfortable telling young girls to disregard the Word of God, and disregard the predators that are everywhere in the world and dress in such a way that flaunts their bodies? That is terribly irresponsible, and dangerous of you.

      PLEASE young girls DO NOT disregard these sound Biblical principles that have been laid out. In following them, you not only honor your Creator, but you also draw a lot less attention to yourselves from the predators that abound in our society. This blog was written to Christians, but the large majority of men that see you every day are not Christians. Don’t stir up their carnal nature just because it makes you feel good to be oogled at.

    3. I am a 23 year old woman and I have a very diverse wardrobe. I think this article makes some fantastic points about how to show that you respect your body. I think my body is a beautiful thing, and I also know that guys will pay attention more or less depending on how I cover it. The issue I have had is getting a guy to pay enough attention to me to realize how smart and funny I am if there’s another girl in the room wearing skimpier clothing. What I realized eventually is that I don’t want a man who will drop me just because someone else looks more appealing. Also, if you think this article is bad you should see the flipside here: http://totalfratmove.com/why-girls-should-stop-wearing-high-waisted-shorts/
      That one made me want to vomit.

      1. Ilene, I truly sympathize with your dilemma. It is an unfortunate statement on society that a “man” can be drawn away from a beautiful, well-educated, well-spoken women to a girl who is scantily clad, regardless of character. Understand that this not the “man” you should be looking for, he is only a little boy, immature in every way. Do not feel you need to dress to retain his attention, dress to retain His intention! A true man will be attracted to your inner soul, not your outer appearance. A man who is drawn by immodest dress has only one intention… seeing the rest of the package. When a better prospect comes along, he is gone. Find a real man who will honor you with his heart, respect you enough not to try to sleep with you, and longs to talk to you every day about everything! There are plenty of guys out here that are not dogs… you just need to look in the right places… or quit looking in the wrong ones. Best Wishes in God’s Grace.

  5. I believe you that you did not mean to offend with this post but I’m sorry to say that you did. Very much so.

    1. Why are you offended, Kate? What part of the Pastor’s message has gotten you “very much so” offended? If you are not a follower of Christ, this message was not intended for you. If you are a follower of Christ, then you know the level of immodesty in this world violates Christ’s word, regardless if this message is about helping a Brother in Christ or showing honor to your Lord. If this offended you, then maybe there is a deeper meaning. Are you living up to Christ’s word? Are you portraying yourself as a woman of Christ or are you being a hypocrite and saying you are a Christian yet living for the world?

  6. You know what sorts of things can make women lustful? Intelligence, good hygiene, financial stability, various talents such as art and music… I therefore propose that all men hit themselves over the head to decrease their IQ, stop showering, quit working and move back in with their parents, and ignore any talents/passions they might have. After all, the fairer sex is supposed to be the frailer; doesn’t this mean we should offer them more help?

    1. So you are saying that if you see a man who is intelligent, has good hygiene, is financially stable, and/or is good in the arts you want to have sex with him?!?!? Here is the point that women DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW THE MALE BRAIN WORKS!!!!! If you see a intelligent guy, do you want to “get all up” in his brain? Do you fantasize all day about what it might be like to touch his brain. Three weeks later, do random images of his brain randomly pop into your head? How about a year later? A man is VISUAL. They store EVERY image they see. They obsess about images. Guys LOVE images (Why do you think they love flashy cars and movie stars). We are simple… we like shinny things, but above all we LOVE fleshy things. Yes, it is our job as Christians to look away (and we do), but even the slightest glance of a well endowed woman’s chest with a deeply plunging neckline will pop into our heads in the middle of an office meeting or on our drive home. When you choose to dress immodestly (and yes ladies, you CHOOSE), you are okay with placing stumbling blocks in front of your Christian Brothers. What does wearing revealing clothes do for you? What is the purpose? Does it make you smarter? More intuitive? More inventive? No, you wear revealing clothes to make men notice you, to be “attractive.” Then you call us pigs for noticing you. A true Christian woman will listen to the message of this blog post and stop living in the world’s image and begin living in the image that God has set forth for you.

  7. I appreciate much of what you have stated here, but I would like to comment on a few things, because I find myself consistently frustrated, deeply in fact, with the traditional discussion of modesty, lust, and “being a stumbling block.” First off, take no offence at your general message , but I am distressed by the tone. I agree, women do not think like men. However, I absolutely understand lust, and to tell me that “no woman can ever understand what goes on inside a man’s head” simply isn’t so. Let me be frank: I personally struggle with lust. I am guilty of objectifying men in my mind. I am guilty of wrong thinking and I find myself frequently fighting to refocus my mental gaze. Second, as a woman, I am completely aware of what makes clothing appealing to the gaze of a man. I do not need to ask a male, I know. I am also completely aware of how men dress, the image they are trying to convey, the shape they show and the attitude that they present themselves with. I know for a fact that I am not alone here. Countless books, sermons, blogs ect are focused on women not being a stumbling block, and the fact that men struggle with lust. I want to see some awareness and acknowledgement of the opposite. When all Christian women hear is “men struggle with lust and you will never understand because God did not build women that way,” can you imagine the guilt that comes when some actually share that struggle? If godly men feel guilty, I argue that women feel worse. Not only do we struggle, but we struggle “unnaturally,” and utterly alone. And last, to say “your looks are not around for long” implies that once the smooth skin, voluminous hair and slim waistline of youth inevitably change, “well there goes your outward beauty, lets hope you have a character under there to make up for those stretch marks and thinning, grey streaked hair. Lord knows those yoga pants wont fit around those thick thighs anymore, whew no more temptation.” Making this an argument for modesty is one that is more harmful than helpful. Yes, character first, but not because darn, one day you are gonna be an unattractive granny, or an unappealing, lack luster middle aged mother of 4 who has lost her bloom. I’d like to think that the crowning glory of God’s creation has a longer shelf life. It promotes societies very narrow view of beauty, and takes away from the point that the heart is what should shine the brightest. Anyways. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I hope that I have expressed mine clearly.

    1. Ruth, thank you for your thoughts. They are constructive and helpful. Maybe you should write a blog to help men out in the way they portray themselves. It may be helpful to the men out there that don’t want to intentionally be a stumbling block to others.

      I did not mean to say that women are not beautiful when they are older. What I was trying to convey is that while they may not turn the heads of the young men that did in their 20’s the beauty they have is more focused on their inner character and heart.

      1. http://thesaltcollective.org/modesty-whensuitsbecomestumblingblock/ — This is the article that brought me here, and although it is satirical, it’s also completely true for a lot of women: men in suits are very attractive. So if we women are to start following your guidance (and any other Christian man’s guidance) on how we should dress to help you avoid lusting after us, then you men must also follow everything in the aforementioned article, despite its sarcastic tone. That’s the problem with prescribing a set of rules for how to dress modestly: different people are attracted to different things. And I know there are plenty of Christian men who will see a woman in a loose, flowy, knee-length dress with no cleavage showing, and still think about what might be underneath it. (Also, why do the knees have to be covered? Are knees really THAT sexual for a man?)

        In regard to older women and their “more focused” beauty…are you saying that a woman in her 40s or 50s can start wearing whatever she wants because she has passed her years of “stunning physical attraction” and therefore no one will take notice of her in yoga pants? Because I know several women well into their 60s who are in amazing physical shape and could pull off just about any fashion trend they wanted. But since they’re not 20-something, I suppose no man would ever do a double take upon seeing an older woman looking fantastic in a tight skirt, right? Because men only notice YOUNGER women…?

  8. I’d just like to say that you’re article focuses very much on women dressing in a manner that helps men not to sin. It is centered around the male ideal and a male concept of modesty. Even though you talk about how the modern body image is focused around what others think and not around being a healthy temple of God, you still describe a template based on how men see women. Very little of your argument discusses a woman’s relationship with God and her concept of modesty within that relationship. The irony of this is that relationship, and modesty within its context, is really the only thing that matters not how many men are sinning because of what you’re wearing. Modesty IS a cultural concept. The bible’s descriptions of modesty are relatively few and you’d be hard pressed to find a church leader who would actually advocate them as a standard. The concept of modesty in the bible rests within a cultural context. Even the standards you lay out would have been deplorable 60 years ago. The inherent mutability of modesty is exactly why your emphasis is so wrong. It should have nothing to do with how men see you or what people THINK you’re advertising. What matters is the conscience, the line of communication between the holy spirit and the individual that is brought forth from a healthy relationship. So much of youth studies (male and female) focus on combating the temptations of the sinful nature that are so apparent in puberty. Think of how much time is wasted that could better be spent on building kid’s relationship rather than focusing on all the ways they will probably sin in the next 10 years. For men it’s pornography and for women it’s their appearance (and consider for a second just how shallow that is). I was 22 before I ever had a bible study that focused on deeply analysing scripture. When you focus a message around sin you are assuming that there is something that the human spirit can do to free ourselves from it. You have been freed of your old masters chains but you meander in his drinking hall skulking in corners hoping not to be seen. Freedom from sin comes from drawing closer to Christ not contemplating the ways of falling to it.

    There is an argument to be made about causing others to sin. It’s the same argument for not drinking in front of alcoholics or “eating food offered to idols”. My rebuttal is not so much of its merits but of the emphasis placed on women in this regard. You claim to not let men off the hook, and while I could not find a definitive statement placing responsibility on those men, I can certainly give you the benefit of the doubt that that was not your intention. However your intention here was heavily tempered with what I feel is at best a sorry excuse and at worst an outright doctrine. ” If a woman is wearing something that is tight fitting, too short, too low cut, etc., a man will notice. He may not admit he notices, but he does.” “Men are geared with a deep sexual desire that God gave them to express in the joys of a marital relationship. But saying men are like dogs does not change that fact that men are looking. Christian men are looking… you see, the desires of a man’s flesh never changes. Whether he is young or old he has to constantly deny those sinful desires and seek to honor the Lord with his mind.” “The way you dress WILL influence how he thinks of you.” These statements imply that it is impossible for a man to truly control his lust. That he may try, but from sexual maturity to grave he will always be plagued by a form of unfaithfulness to his wife and his God. It may not have been your intention but this implies that the state of a man’s mind is a mere act of chivalry towards God. Something to be valued for its effort but not seriously considered. It’s true that we all, both men and women, will forever struggle and fail with sin, however this is to be regarded of primary importance and foremost the responsibility of men to control themselves. For all the energy we men put towards women’s modesty I daresay we sound like young boys pointing fingers on the playground. Now our responsibility to our weaker brothers and sisters, its relationship to sin, and how we live our lives within this context are matters of some degree of theological debate, but I see the value in it. However our culture, and your article, place a heavy responsibility on women as if the temptation to be desired and admired by others, to be accepted by their peers, to be comfortable in what they wear or even to feel free of the opinions of how men think of their bodies, despite the possibility of causing others to stumble, is somehow less than the temptation of drink, opulence, or any other activity that might be pure in and of itself but is a matter of contention when it could cause others to stumble. At the very least we are far more judgemental of how women dress than we are of people who drink in public, christian couples who divorce, people who eat pork or wear their money on their sleeve. In this I hope that you can shift your perspective.

    1. Wow. I have been following this comment thread for some time. And in fact the overall “feel” of the comments is fairly consistent with other threads, on Christian as well as secular topics. Offense.

      And. While I am impressed with the restraint that is clearly being used here, I don’t understand all of the griping. It almost feels like folks look for something to disagree with and just vent. Why? It seems clear (to me anyway) that this article is written from a heart which is seeking God and merely wants to share his beliefs and struggles on this subject with those who may or may not be aware of this perspective. I cannot see what is so offensive.

      How did Christians get so angry and decisive anyway? It’s a bit embarrassing. Seriously, aren’t we to be set apart? Well, not so much, as we seem just as polarized, angry and vicious as the rest of the world.

    2. Kevin, you have a lot of good points that I can agree with… We must all own our own sin. The biggest issue I see is not that immodesty and immorality are rampant, it is that our Christian sisters are part of the problem. This starts in our churches. Our sanctuaries should be just that, sanctuaries from temptation. This is no longer the case and Christian women do not think twice about neglecting God’s word, even in His houses of worship. Avoiding temptation in 2014 is not an easy task for anyone, man or woman, but the over-sexualization of a nation need not spill into our temples of worship or the functions they host, and this begins with women.

      1. I see no difference between a church and the outside other than the number of christians gathered. The holy spirit resides within us and anywhere we walk is a temple. Furthermore I see no purpose of a sanctuary from sin if a man is just as likely to sin as soon as he leaves it. That’s not a sanctuary that’s a prison just as much as the crumbling walls of a besieged city are a prison to its inhabitants. Most of my irritation here is with the repetition and focus that I see in the church on this topic. I see far more value in teaching teens on how to have healthy, godly marriages than telling them the consequences of wearing a bikini with your friends. A white lie will damn you to hell just as much as murder will but thankfully we as christians are free from all of that. As far as practical consequences go though I think the church as bigger fish to fry. While lust is near key among them, I think it’s right and proper to place the emphasis on those that are weak to it rather than the objects that inspire it. This is why I make a distinction between lust and modesty. We do our young men no favors by giving them an excuse to place even a small portion of the blame upon.

  9. I might have given this article more serious consideration if it 1) wasn’t basically a restatement of all the many sermons I’ve ever heard on modesty and 2) had made its point without using logical fallacies. (Anyone else notice the glaringly obvious straw man argument?)

    1. I might have paid attention to this article if it didn’t quote the Word of God??? I can’t grasp this theology coming from Christians..Obviously many of the responders to this blog are not Christian.

  10. I am a woman in my thirties who seeks to honor the LORD with my life and draw others to Him. I want to say thank you for your article. I fully support everything you said. It is full of Godly wisdom that young women, especially need to hear. Thank you for your heart behind it. I hope you’re not discouraged by all the negative feedback. It’s a great message.

  11. Well spoken Pastor Rick Hermann. I believe that it is most important to have our clothing reflect our mindfulness of Christ. Just as Christ was willing to lay down his life for those who did not deserve any part of his sacrifice we too must respond to that. In terms of our outer image, that means we cannot base what we wear off of standards from the culture, from legalities (i.e. must be so long here, must cover this many inches here) but must be determined from the word of God (as you have so outlined). Unfortunately we cannot expect those that are not Christ followers to adhere to these principles (and it also should not lead to Christians go around pointing out flaws in clothing because this is a pointless action only leading to strife and arguments).

    Also, there seems to be more women (from the comments I read) that have issues with what is being spoken by Pastor Rick. To those women, if for nothing else please view the comments made by Pastor Rick in light of Romans 14 (read verses 15-21).Although you may have no issues with what you are wearing, as a women of God please consider your brothers in Christ! As men (myself included), the way women clothe themselves can make a huge impact on mens thoughts. (PLEASE UNDERSTAND I am not saying women are responsible for the way men think about them, but men are naturally attracted to women’s physical appearance). So, women of God please understand that the way you clothe yourself has to be submitted to God’s will so that unity and love in the church (global, local, corporate) can be shown and shared. Please do not see this as a list of rules but as an act of love towards Christ. He is worthy of your praise in every way possible.

    To the men of the conversation: Please do not use the way women dress to justify lust wrong behaviour and lust. In no way can we justify our sinful actions because of what others are doing. It is our sinful fault alone that is responsible for the way we act in that situation. An interesting example of this is a news article that discovered Osama Bin Laden was in possession of a large pornography collection (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1386856/Osama-Bin-Ladens-stash-X-rated-pornography-squalid-lair.html). This means that even in a country where by law women are required to cover themselves fully, men of the country were still sinful and desired women in such a way that was not right-EVEN though the women of the country were not dressed in an “immodest” way. (PLEASE understand that I do not seek to bring up a conversation about Islam and pornography, I simply hope the illustration will help strengthen and make the point more clear)

  12. This is not just an issue of yoga pants, but one of separation. It used to be possible look at a woman and say, that woman is a christian. This does not mean that all modestly dressed women are christians, but a christian woman is expected to present herself in a certain way. ‘You are either with us or against us’. There are no grey areas here.
    These days, it is very difficult to distinguish between a lady involved in the ‘oldest profession on earth’, and the ordinary woman, christian or otherwise. They all wear tight clothing, tattoos, piercing, smartphone super-glued to the hand, girls having slept with up to 100 men before 17 years of age (from Dr Phil Show) etc, etc. Where is the distinction? The Lord only looks at the heart does not justify this behaviour.

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