Wimpy, Proud or Just Plain Dumb Men!
Pastor Larry Bond
An abrasive title, but according to Hebrews 10:24 we are to provoke one another to love and good works. "Provoke" means to be abrasive in order to sharpen, as a stone sharpens a knife. Men, we need to learn to think things through, and to think in obedience to Christ. "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" (II Corinthians 10:5). Let us reason together, and sharpen our thinking! I have often wondered why the wives and daughters of Christian men dress provocatively. For what it is worth, here are my conclusions. Think this through to see if it makes sense to you!
Conclusion #1: The husband/father is afraid to say, "no you will not wear that". They know immodest attire is wrong, and they know, if they would be honest, what immodest apparel is, but they fear their wife or their children more than they fear God! Such was the case with the priest, Eli. His sons were wicked men perverting the priesthood and causing the people to sin. He honored his sons more than he honored God:
"honourest thy sons above me" (I Samuel 2:29).
Many Christian men today are honoring their wives and daughters above God by allowing immodest dress. They know it is wrong, but to avoid confrontation they let it go! They are the leader; they are responsible for the testimony that comes from their home; the "buck" stops with them. These are the wimps!!! I'm not suggesting here those men should be raging tyrants, but rather by using the wisdom from above (gentleness) they can accomplish submission in this area from their womenfolk. Actually, most wives want to please their husbands in their dress anyway. I have found that my wife and 10 daughters want my input in their attire. Many times my wife has said to me, "what do you think", as she showed me her new dress. In fact, my adult sons and myself are the welcome judges on new sewing projects. Since men are aroused mostly by sight while women are aroused mostly by touch, we know what is suggestive or not. Don't blame the women and girls for not dressing right. Guys, look in the mirror, and you will find the culprit.
Conclusion #2: The husband actually encourages his wife to dress sensuously knowing she will attract male attention. Disgusting, right? What would cause a Christian husband to act that way? Pride! They want other men to be impressed with their wives. The perspective of the world has bitten them! "Look at the beauty I have landed!" they think. But, instead of being impressed, other men just lust after them! They are causing their wife to be the object of other men's mental adultery! It is time for real honesty here men! Let's search deep into our hearts. Are you displaying your wife or daughters to raise your social position, to exalt your ego, to gain more respect from your peers? The same mentality wants to be seen driving a nice car, or living in a house as good or better than the neighbor, or working at an honorable occupation. Why not also display the "prettiest" wife and "most attractive" daughters? Ugly, isn't it? I hope this "provokes" some serious self-examination!
Conclusion #3: The husband/father is unaware that there is a problem. In other words, they are just plain dumb - they just are not thinking! They have not figured out that 2+2=4! If the attire is eye catching to him, will it not also be to the neighbor man? Let's sharpen our thinking here. What does God's Word say about it? What tempts us assuming that we have normal physiological desires?
To begin with, the things that tempt us ought to be avoided. I have listed below 7 things, that as a man, I believe are provocative in women's apparel:
- Low neckline (neckline means around the neck)
- Split skirts
- Leg and thigh showing
- Peak-a-boo anything
- Form or tight fitting (figure emphasizing)
- Attire immodest for certain body types
These things sound like legalistic dogma, but they are only intended as suggestions to help you have wives and daughters who profess godliness to be adorned in modest apparel. "In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works." (I Tim 2:9-10). Incidentally, the word “adorn” means long flowing garment – quite a contrast to the tight fitted, flesh glorifying clothing we see even in many of our fundamental churches today!
Let's look further into God's Word to find answers to this question. If our womenfolk are wearing the attire of the world (the world intends to entice, a harlot intends to entice), then they are like, in appearance (not in heart or intent) the woman of
Proverbs 7:10: "And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart."
Notice that she is not necessarily a harlot but is dressed like one! I do not think our women are even "subtile of heart", but are they wearing "the attire of an harlot"? And, whose fault is it, men, if they are?
Another issue is holiness - separated from the world unto God. Many want the "unto God" part, but falter at "separated from the world". Many sincere Christians want Romans 12:1, but stumble at verse 2. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Verse 2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Let's face it, the female world is basically attired like a harlot! When our girls dress like the world, they are sending a wrong message. I see the ungodly condition of our society as a real opportunity to stand out and be different. We are called to be a "peculiar" people (Titus 2:14 and I Peter 2:9). I enjoy taking my wife and daughters into stores, and watching people do double takes. My wife gets many favorable comments, mostly by women, about their dresses sometimes with opportunities to witness. They stand out not as a sore thumb, but as a refreshing oasis of modesty and femininity, a powerful testimony to the glory of God! My wife and girls have worked hard at coming up with patterns (some modified or homemade) that are very modest and yet are not doughty. They are producing first class modest dresses that any godly woman would enjoy wearing. We have given some thought to making dress patterns available to those who might be interested. We have found, as I'm sure your ladies have found, that modest dresses and patterns are hard to come by.
When we think about conformity to the world, it brings up another matter - should godly Christian women wear pants. I do not wish to be contentious about this, but let me just share with you 3 reasons why the girls in our family never wear pants. As already mentioned, this gives my wife and daughters a wonderful opportunity to stand out from the world. Women who wear pants fit right in with everybody else "Conformed" in Romans 12:2 means "to fashion alike". It is in fashion for women to wear pants. Should separated Christian women be attired in fashions alike the world? Secondly, we believe it is usually if not always immodest for our girls to wear pants because of item number 6 above. Certainly loose fitting is better than tight pants, but even if you consider some pants as modest, reason with me about this last point also.
Deuteronomy 22:5 says, "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God."
God intends for there to be a difference between man and woman. Perverted man, however, tries to minimize that difference as much as possible: short hair on women and long hair on men, earrings on men, pant suits on women. God says, "neither shall a man put on a woman's garment". Suppose that next Sunday I walked up to the pulpit to preach with a nice pretty dress on? Ugh, you say! If the last part of this verse is true, so is the first part: "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man". Have you noticed that even little girls act different when they are wearing a dress? Girls that grow up wearing dresses learn to act lady-like and sit right not sprawling their legs out like a man. But, you say, there are just some things girls cannot do in a dress. Our girls ride bikes, ride horses, go swimming, go on hikes up mountains, and many other activities, and they do it modestly and lady-like in dresses. If they can't, they don't do it.
The criticism always arises that the outward appearance does not matter since "the LORD looketh on the heart", but as
I Samuel 16:7 says, "man looketh on the outward appearance".
And so it is our testimony before men that counts here!
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). It is for God's glory that we dress right!
Many of you already share these values, but if you have felt a bit irritated as you read through this article, brethren, the irritation (abrasiveness), in love, is intend to sharpen or provoke to love and good works. Think it through!!! If you disagree with these things, may I suggest that you do not let any of your ladies read this article so as not to cause any disrespect for you. I honor your position as head of your home, and would not want to undermine that.