Saturday, March 22, 2014

Two years later, my heart still aches...

I actually wrote this post two years ago for my personal blog.  It was this time of year, when the wardrobe shift was beginning with the warmer temperatures.  My heart was aching for the young women, specifically the young women in church youth groups.  And even more specifically, those who were posting to Facebook the photos of all the youth together at the beach--wearing nothing but two-piece bikinis and swim trunks.  I didn't write this piece as a judgment then, and I still do not have that judgment for the young women of our world today.  My heart aches as I see young teens making choices today that will affect their tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that.  

As a mom of boys, I pray that young women do not flaunt their bodies around him!  As a mom of one daughter, I pray that she will value her purity more than she values being lusted over in a swimsuit.  My heart aches for the children who are growing up in this fallen world. 

(Disclaimer:  If you are a young woman under the age of 18, please have your parents read and approve this message and the video included before you continue.  Moms and Dads, please preview the rest and share this with your daughters if you find it beneficial to them.)


Dear Young Woman,

As I sit down to write tonight, I find myself wanting to just share my heart with you instead.  I do hope you will read on and hear the words I write as well as the words I quote from others (including men) and from the Holy Bible.

It is my heart to tell you that you are BEAUTIFUL.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made!  (Psalm 139:14)  The Lord created your body to be caressed and to be seen.  His one and only boundary in that is that you save your body for your husband.


Let me write that again with some emphasis…


His boundary is that YOU save your body for your husband.

This is a choice for you to make.  You see, when you marry, your body becomes his. (1 Corinthians 7:4)  But until you marry, it is your responsibility to present yourself holy and blameless, without any stain or wrinkle or any other blemish. (Ephesians 5:27)

His boundary is that you save your BODY for your husband.

Until you are married, you are to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.  (1 Corinthians 7:34)  And your body is not for fornication, but for the Lord.  (1 Cor. 6:13)  Know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, who you have from God, and you are not your own.  You have been bought with a price, so glorify God with your body!  (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

His boundary is that you save your body for your HUSBAND.

Not a man who you would like the attention of.  Not a man you are dating.  Not even a man you are engaged to.

“But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I.  But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (1 Corinthians 7:8-10)

“So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." (Ephesians 5:28-31)

His boundary is that you save your body for YOUR husband.
Not your best friend’s husband.  Not my husband.  Not any other man other than your husband.
“Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman.  But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.  The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.” (1 Cor. 7:1-3)


So what does it mean to “save your body” for him? 

It doesn’t just mean abstaining from sex.  No–it is FAR more than that.
You are not a billboard, and you are not for sale.  PLEASE do not present yourself as such!
It means committing your body to the Lord in every way until you are a wife!  Young women, in Titus 2:4-5, we are called to be chaste.  It means sexually pure.  That purity is between you and your heavenly Father as the bride of Christ!

But, young women, did you also know that the way you present your bodies also affects the eternity of others around you?  Ladies, men all over the world are struggling.  They live in a world where sex is widely made available to them.

But for the believing man, it is not enough that he abstain from sex. 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; 
but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already 
committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28.

So you see, as he simply LOOKS at you, he is stumbling.  And, ladies, we are not be a stumbling block to them!  We are not to tempt them!  The Word says we are their sisters–they are our brothers!  (1 Timothy 5:2) 

But every day, and every where, and even in church…temptation still exists and men are fighting a losing battle because of how we, women, present ourselves.  In this manner, some are ignorantly leading men to their eternal death.


Free for all?

Ladies, whether you are at church, at home, in school, or even at the beach…are you saving your body for your husband?  Or are you putting it out there for the taking?  And yes, to have it be visible to another man is to have it out there for the taking.

In this video, I was STRUCK by what one man said:

“Sometimes, when I see a girl provocatively dressed, I'll say to myself, ‘She probably 
doesn’t even know that a hundred and one guys are going to devour her in their minds 
today’.  But then again…maybe she does.”

The voice on the video belongs to one man, but the message comes from many of our brothers in Christ.  Let us show love to them by protecting them from having to turn away from us. 


Dad, what do you think?

I URGE you–if you are not yet married, sit down with your father and ask him to help you to dress modestly.  Ask him to help you make wise decisions in covering yourself.  (If you are not able to get your father’s help, ask your mother to go with you to meet with a father-figure to help you in this.)

Our culture is not a good gauge for dressing modestly.  Just because it is accepted in the world, does not mean it is modest.

And again, it does not matter where you are…even at the beach.


Here comes the bride!

Ladies…if you are getting married…pay attention to what kind of wedding gown you choose.  As you walk down the aisle, you should be dressed in a gown that continues to save your body only for your husband–not revealing it for the men in attendance. (This goes for choosing bridesmaid dresses too.  If you are the bride, please choose for your bridesmaids a gown that does not cause her to feel uncomfortable presenting herself in front of other men.  And if you are the bridesmaid, don’t hesitate to stand up to the bride if you feel uncomfortable the gown she has chosen.)

What a glorious day it will be when you are able to present your body–your WHOLE body–to your husband!  And what a gift that will be to him to know that both before and after the wedding, that your “mystery” is only his to know!


Ladies, what do YOU think?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject as we near "beach season"!  Please comment below and we can chat about it! 

17 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you. I asked my facebook group "If God wants women to dress modestly, do you think bikinis fall into the category of modesty?" Not one woman said yes. My 26 year old son has been saving himself his whole life. He said when he was only 16 years old that he wanted to find a wife that a bunch of men hadn't lusted over! Well, guess what! In January, he found a gorgeous, godly 25 year old woman that had never even kissed a man. She NEVER wears bikinis! Her love for Jesus permeates her whole life. I am so happy. Waiting for God's best and doing things His way is absolutely the best. Nothing can compare.

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    1. Lori, thank you SO much for stopping by Far Above Rubies! I am honored! I follow your blog myself, and have gleaned so much wisdom from YOU! "God's best" is my heart's call....I just want to share His best with others. God bless you!

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  2. Those are the same thoughts I have!

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    1. Moriah, thank you for reading, and for your comment! It is nice to know that I'm not the only one who cares for our youth this much!

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  3. I have so many thoughts. I absolutely 100% disagree with everything in this post. Honestly? After the freedom that the former blog Owner found in Christ, I am extremely let down. I am a modern, semi-conservative Christian woman. And I wear short skirts.

    I have D cup boobs, always have... since I was 12. Do you know how hard it is to find shirts that cover those girls? Or even UNDERSHIRTS that cover them? Especially when I am pregnant (which I happen to be). Short of dressing like a frump or a boy or a Grandma... it doesn't happen. And I want to be SEXY for my man. For my wonderful GOD FEARING Husband. The one who forgave my MANY sexual indiscretions and took this Mary Magdalene, as his Bride... and through his actions and his love DAILY redeems her of her sins.

    You say you are not judging these women, but where is the grace? Where is the instruction for young men not to look at women like objects? I feel like you are telling young women "if you get molested or raped (or for the sake of this article...) or even JUST looked at... it's on you... you were asking for it." Physical attraction is a HUGE part of marriage. As in a guy is going to see a woman, like how she looks and THEN pursue her... it's how this process works...

    Back to it being hard for a woman with a large chest to cover without throwing away her femininity... the other day my very conservative mother-in-law called me into her room. She told me that at my last visit my FATHER-In-LAW, my HUSBAND'S father had talked to her instructing her to tell me that in their home they were more modest then what I had worn... and he was uncomfortable... a tank top (which I had worn before in their home). My breasts are growing, I am 6 months pregnant. I've worn the shirt before. And suddenly I'm not "good enough" as myself to be in their home, because my husband's father was looking at my breasts. Not only did I suddenly feel inadequate, but disgusted... I've been in their family for 3 years. My family has know his family for 34 years... and now I have to worry about my father-in-law, one of MY dad's closest friends "checking me out"? No, that sin, if there is one, is NOT on me. He is the one who is choosing to look at another woman...

    You tell women to go to their fathers first, before their mothers. "Dad, am I too sexy?" that is SO wrong. The bible instructs women learn from other women... so if there is a fear of immodesty you should go to your MOTHER. The majority of sexual assaults on minors, be in molestation or rape, the attacker is Father, Step-Father, Brother, Uncle, Grandpa... by your logic, you are putting them in "harms way" or as you worded it by "ignorantly leading men to their eternal death."

    And as for that sentence, really? We are eternally killing and damning men by being proud of our feminine beauty? By expressing that pride by adorning our temples under the freedom we have received in Christ?

    Many young women, if not all buy their suits with their mothers. Mom has the bank account, they don't. The clothing you see and are condemning are MOM APPROVED. Where is your exhortation for Mom? Where are you addressing her failures in allowing her daughter to become the whore of Babylon?

    I feel I need to stop following this blog now. I feel that the beautiful work of God that was being done as Jasmine found her freedom to be beautiful in Christ is being undone... and I cannot support that. I cannot bear to see it happen. So I wish you farewell, and hope you think on what I said... and if you can't then you can't.

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    1. I'm a 36G and have been wearing a bra since 3rd grade. I know the challenges of dressing modestly when naturally well endowed.

      I'm wondering how you would have preferred your father-in-law handle the situation? He felt uncomfortable in his own home. He had his wife speak with you privately. Why take offense?

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  4. As a mom of 5 boys, I would love to bundle them all up and head for the hills for the next 20 years and only allow select girls to come interview! Thank you for expressing a view so close to my own. I pray for these boys and all the girls around them to understand that now is what builds your life later!

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  5. So, I may not have posted my earlier comment in the most loving way... but I find it to be no surprise that it wasn't approved... you probably shouldn't say that you would "love" to hear others' thoughts if you only intend to approve comments that agree with your viewpoint. It doesn't make for a balanced discussion.

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    1. Lydia, I have been praying about and thinking on my reply to your initial comment all day long. It seems to me that I didn't make my thoughts clearly enough in the beginning of my post, as I reminded young women that they are BEAUTIFUL, and fearfully and wonderfully made, and the post was to encourage them in the direction of purity, which is something our world criticizes. You have given me lots to think on--thank you--but I do know that I will continue to encourage purity in young women. Teaching my daughter purity, or writing about it here, is not lacking in grace. I still have no judgment against any woman. I do not believe I am to teach young men, other than my own sons, so I will probably not address them. I simply believe that there is a time and a place and an audience for being sexy--and that is with my own husband, behind a closed door (or at least all alone). Thanks for stopping by Far Above Rubies. No need to leave, unless you feel so led, as I do welcome all viewpoints here. I ask that you give me time to pray about my replies going forward. :) Blessings!

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  6. It's my Right/He's my brother
    So many women today (and until I realized truth, myself included) demand the "right" to dress in a revealing way. From the shirt that has a revealing V neck to a skirt that is too short, at the heart it is a desire to be attractive. The question so few women ask is who am I dressing for? My husband likes to see my little tanks... when we are home together, but not so much when I walk out the front door. Who was I dressing for? I had a need, like many women, to be desired. It feels good to get a second look, it feels good to know that even though you are off the market you are still wanted. Unfortunately, I was seeking to be found attractive in the wrong ways. I wanted to be attractive by the standard of a dying world. The Lord finds modesty lovely, He desires a spirit that is attractive, blindingly, so that you could wear a burlap sack and people would still be drawn to you. Father God asks for modesty in our dress again and again. Is it really so important to make myself attractive to the world and thus make an aspect of myself unattractive to the Lord? No one wants to look like a boy (not even the Bible asks for that!) or like a grandma (heavens to Betsy). You can dress both modestly and attractively. I have a G cup so I certainly understand the challenges, however, many aspects of the Christian life are challenging! A challenge does not excuse us from following the word. We are free to choose. I hope I am working to choose God's best for me, my husband, my son, and my sweet girl. Is it really such a great concession to obtain God's best? He gives up perimeters for our blessing, His best for us.
    Then there is the idea that I should be allowed to dress however I please and all the gentlemen should mind their eyes. Well, yes, they should. It is a command to men to guard their eyes. They were made to crave visually. They are told to protect their heart by protecting their eyes. YES, they are responsible. That responsibility does not excuse us from our responsibility. 1Corinthians 8:9 says, "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak." Well... drop mic, shut the door, end of story. Even if the Lord had never asked us to be modest, if He had only commanded me to mind their eyes, 1 Corinthians 8:9 tells us that we are not to allow our rights to create a stumbling block to another. He's your brother. It's an eternal thing. Love the Lord enough to obey His commands and help your brother.
    You do have rights. You have the right to choose. Choose well. Choose His best.

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    1. Beautiful and thorough reply, Heather. Thank you!

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  7. What a beautiful post! Your posts the last couple of days have been speaking right to my heart. Thank you for having the courage to speak the Truth.

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    1. Thank you for reading, and also for your sweet comment, Lisa!

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  8. Thank you for the heartfelt post, friend.
    You make excellent points. I am a cradle - and still practicing - Catholic. And I always learn something new when I stop by. The scriptural support you give your POV is awesome and enlightening. Those who don't agree shock me with their vehemence and should just click away if they so oppose your thoughts.

    Keep up the great work, I look forward to more of your posts.
    Have a lovely day!

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    1. Thank you, Chris, for reading and for your comments! I hope you'll keep coming back! Blessings!

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  9. I recently wrote a post about my concerns of raising children in this highly sexual world of ours. http://disciplewalk.blogspot.com/2014/03/christan-living-in-highly-sexulized.html

    In our church recently we had a talk given about modesty to the young college students. This talk became a part of our church magazine. The speaker brought up this point that girls should be aware of young men and dress appropriate as not to tempt them. It got a lot of attention. There were some of the church therapists that were really upset about this statement. They viewed this as old fashioned thinking. One went so far as to say that this type of thinking has set us back 30 years. I could not believe my eyes and ears. Really, teaching our children to be modest sets us back? Their point was, that our traditional take on modesty with a list of what to wear and what not to wear has been causing people to grow up having troubles in marriage because they are afraid to open up with their husbands. These therapists were having to fix these peoples thought processes about modesty. They pointed out that many young people are just given a do and don't list and not taught the why's and how's of it.
    I agree it is more than just dress. We must be modest inside and out. Teaching our children to be modest is not just about dress and behavior. It is about loving the Lord and letting it show. This is the point you were trying to get across Thank you for your beautiful words written as a letter to the young people. It is a lot more eloquent than my words were in my post on the subject. Blessings to you as you continue your journey.

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    1. "It is about loving the Lord and letting it show." I LOVE that sentence!!! And thank you for reading and commenting--and for sharing your post! I'm headed there now to check it out!

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Love hearing from you.