A letter to my daughters
Aroused By the Skin of My Wife
(or any other unclothed woman)
You just arrived home from church. You came into your bedroom to put your Bible on the dresser. As you opened the door into your bedroom you hear a noise in your closet. You open the closet door to investigate. All of a sudden a hand grips your arm and a gruff voice says “GOTCHA!” You go from pale to pink to purple to pale. Your automatic nervous system kicks in immediately, releasing adrenalin into your blood stream. Your heart races, your blood pressure rises, and you let out a blood curdling scream …
Was all that show something you were intending to do as you came in that door? Why didn’t you control your emotions? Is it not sinful for you to react so out of control? Should godly Christian women not have their emotions in control at all times?
I ask you that because many an honest (and maybe a tad naïve) woman has asked: “If a Christian man sees a partially exposed woman and has a problem with that, is that not a sign that he is perverted?”
Yes, he is perverted. We all are. There used to be a time at the beginning of time when an all-wise Creator made man and woman perfect. And naked. The Bible says: “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25)
That whole picture changed. After the woman partook of the fruit and gave to her husband, they went looking for something to cover their nakedness, because they were ashamed. Here the all-wise Creator stepped in and did something about that nakedness. He covered them both. He covered their nakedness. From this we can gather that if God clothed both of them, it is necessary that both man and woman be covered. Not because all of a sudden something had changed in their bodies, but because of the sin they now had to deal with. Sin opened their eyes to nakedness like never before.
Clothing helps control the sinful nature. Satan tries to pervert all things God made. It is not that beauty is perversion. It just has to be covered so there is no perversion.
But even though we are perverted, that is not the first thing that kicks in when a man sees parts of a woman that should be covered. It is the automatic nervous system that kicks in and reacts. It cannot be helped, just the same as you could not help the reaction when that hand grabbed your arm. Just because you, as a woman, do not experience that reaction, does not mean it does not happen. Men are aroused by sight. Extremely so! Sure, a Christian man can, and needs to, look away, resist the devil and think on other things. But that does not reverse what already happened!
As my daughter, I want you to know this and the rest of what I want to share with you. It will keep you pure. It will protect you. It will make you wise.
We live in a society that revels in nakedness. It is the thing we are bombarded with on billboards, magazines, the daily paper and the women out on the street. Sadly, many naïve Christian women have copied some of the trends of this nakedness and gone up for public display. So not only do we as men have to be resisting the devil on the street, we have to do it in church. Again, as a woman you may not understand it, but it is true. I have talked with many an honest pastor and leader to know that it is not only the weak who struggle with this. It is a natural thing given to men by an all-wise Creator. Intended for a beautiful relationship between a man and his wife!
Men were created to be the initiators. Women were created to be the responders. Any woman in a marriage relationship can be thankful for the stimulation the female body evokes in a man. No woman is perfect in body, but let me hasten to tell you that all women have plenty enough to stimulate any man. Exactly how God intended it to be! But that is also why all females have to be so careful in the way they dress, walk, bend over or act.
The more “right” your figure is, the more careful you have to be. And you are a poor judge as to what is “right”. Those breasts or those hips you think are “too big” or “gross”, and positively hate, are the very things that will turn on a man. And again, you are a poor judge to determine how big is too big. That is because there is virtually no female set of hips, ample as they may be, that will not cause a man’s heart to pitter-patter, especially when draped over with a soft clingy fabric. And how beautiful, if that is the man’s wife. But what if she isn’t? She becomes a snare and a fiery dart in the hand of Satan. And if you are small …? You are still female. A small woman may be able to hide her figure a little bit easier, but that doesn’t mean she is not stimulating to the man’s eye.
And I repeat: The feminine shape is beautiful! Both in the eyes of the Creator who made you that way and in the eyes of all men. That is why you have to cover it so not all men see it.
In order for you to have no doubt as to what I am speaking about let me explain a few things very specifically where you have to be careful. I am writing this so you can have something to read and reread; something to supplement what we have already taught you. I am not trying to be legalistic or pushy in what I say. I am trying to protect your purity. Also it is because I do not want you to be an accessory in the Devil’s arsenal. I do not want you to be a Bathsheba.
Bathsheba had no intention to make anyone sin. All she was doing was bathing in a place where she was visible. And David was not wicked either. The Bible says he was a man after God’s own heart. (Acts 13:22) But in the presence of a naked woman, he was weak. She started a process that ended up in sin, murder and much heartache. It would not have happened if she would have looked for a secluded place to take her bath.
You say: “I only bathe in a secluded place”. I commend you for that and I will always strive to provide you with just such a place. But the sin of Bathsheba was exposure of skin that should not have been public. When we make other people sin, we are accountable for that. The Bible says: “Neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure” (I Timothy 5:22). I believe the Bible stresses modesty in women so they will not make men sin. Women have very little problem with being aroused by what they see. That is why the Bible doesn’t expound on how the men need to be modest.
The following points are some ways in which you can expose too much of yourself:
What is short? That is a question many women ask. Let me just tell you that legs on a woman are very seductive. The more exposed they are, the more seductive. Why? Because it draws the eyes and the imagination up the legs. In order to not tempt the average man you will have to have your dresses as long as possible. Remember that even if a dress comes well below the knees when you are standing, it will come up further when you sit down. And do not think only of the front part you see. Many a woman sits and spreads her skirts around the front and forgets that the back is exposed to full view.
And if you have ever thought of making your dress shorter and cover the legs with nylons, you are way off course. Thin nylons do not help! They actually make it worse because it brings out the shape and covers them with a flaw eraser. In wearing socks use such as will not accent the shape or draw attention. And cover your legs with your dress!
Again, what is short? If you know men have a problem with exposed skin, how much do you want to expose? A meek woman will cover instead of trying to see how much she can expose. A general rule is that at least from the elbow up it should be covered. When a woman lifts up her arm she shouldn’t have to worry that she is exposing anything.
Women think that because they have their skin covered, they are no longer naked. That is far from true. If the clothing you wear reveals the shape of your breasts and the contour of your hips, in a man’s eye it really is not much different than the bare skin. Sure, his automatic nervous system will probably not react quite as fast, but it still will.
As I said before, most women have some kind of flaw. If it is covered with tight clothing that reveals the shape, guess what happened? The flaw is gone, but the shape is still there.
Low neck lines
Low neck lines expose skin and draw the eye to the neck and the breasts. The more you reveal, the more “loose” you look. You are saying: “Look at this”. If you expose those parts a man’s eye will constantly be drawn to them. I have heard some women gripe about how men look at their chests instead of their eyes when they talk. Whose fault is it? If you feel men’s eyes constantly roving down ward, be assured it is for a reason.
When you are speaking with someone and stand even two feet away, you can be looking them straight in the eye and still see their feet. Try it. Now, if a man who was created to notice feminine beauty is speaking with someone who has a low neck line or some other exposed shape, his eye will constantly be drawn to it. It takes a lot more diligence to keep it focused on the face than that “something” that continues to tantalize the rest of the eye.
Thin and clingy fabrics
Thin and clingy fabrics fall in the same category as tight clothes because they reveal. Partial nudity can have a stronger allure than total nudity simply because of what it does to the imagination. Partial nudity calls for a closer look to finish the picture. Fashio designers know all about this. That is why they use semi transparent and clingy fabrics to achieve the effect.
As a child of God you will want to avoid all fabrics that draw attention to your body instead of to Christ. In selecting fabrics you will need to keep in mind that other people will see you in all positions and from all angles. A fabric that is not thick enough will allow the shape to be seen if there is a strong backlight. Example: When you stand in a doorway.
You will also need to keep in mind that the wind blows. A thin and clingy will mold to your body and reveal every last curve in a wind. And if only one side is plastered by the wind, the eye ends up finishing the picture.
Also avoid soft and “touchable” fabrics. You know what effect a teddy bear has on you. The soft, snuggly huggable little critter makes you want to do just that: snuggle and hug. Is that the message you want to send to men? Too many women do just that and are repulsed when loose men touch them. It really is no wonder. That is the message they send.
Any fabric that shows the shape or shade of undergarments is too thin or clingy. And if it just about shows when you are standing, what will it do when you bend over or squat to talk to a child? Which brings me to my next point.
Posture and body language
You can cover yourself ever so carefully but ruin the whole effect with posture. In the presence of others, never bend over at your waist. Rather, bend your knees. Experiment in front of a mirror or get someone to help you. The difference is astounding. And it just so happens that hips are one of men’s weaknesses…
Many women also forget to sit correctly. Make sure that every time you sit your dress is not tight over your hips or legs. Also, do not sit on the floor or such with your legs wide open. Even if you make sure you are covered, the position is sensual to some men.
How do you walk? A Christian lady will never want to walk with her chest pushed out or with hips swinging. It draws attention to the two most striking features on a woman’s anatomy.
Another thing to remember is that modesty also has something to do with the way you carry yourself, the way you smile and what you do with your eyes. Make sure you have a “meek [humble, modest, mild] and quiet [tempered, docile, serene, calm] spirit” (I Peter 3:4).
Ever notice how hair is one thing many women take a lot of time with? It is because men also like hair. Not all men are affected by hair in the same way. And some men are hardly affected at all. But, hair is a glory to the woman (Cor 11:15). Some hairstyles are known to be considered “sexy” and others take far more time than is appropriate to a meek and quiet, humble spirit. Some hairstyles lead to pride. We should be moderate and simple in all things.
Be very sure that your choice of footwear, watches, purses, et. Are not to draw attention to you. These things make statements about who you are. If you think you have to have matching and color coordinated accessories, or have to have a different pair for each occasion, rest assured it is not something that was prompted by the Holy Spirit, or a meek and quiet one in you.
High heeled shoes do two things for a woman: push out her breasts and make her hips stick out. Is it any wonder women use then? What had we said about these parts anyway? A Christian woman will avoid high heels at all cost.
The spirit of 1 Peter 3:4 will eliminate all such things as makeup, dies, and nail polish. Also the amount and kind of perfumes. Now, do not misunderstand me. I am not banning perfumes. They are very necessary for a lot of us to cut down body odors. But an excess of perfume especially certain types of perfume, many times stimulates sensuality. Why would a modest and tempered woman use an excess of perfume? Is it not to be noticed, or to make a statement?
There is a direct relation between immodest dress and sexual immorality. What women often do not realize is that rape victims many times do have something to do with the rape. On the other hand, there are plenty of men out there who will imagine what they cannot even see. That is their problem. Just make sure you are not triggering it.
Not all men are created equal. Something that might trigger one man might not arouse another. You do not know what that might be. Therefore, keep that feminine beauty covered. In I Peter 3:1-6 we find that the Christian woman should not stress the outward beauty, rather the inner beauty. If you exhibit the outer beauty, few men will even try, or be able to, look for the inner beauty. And the type of men you will attract who will be interested in you will be the lower type. Real godly men specifically look for women that will give good attributes to their children.
Are you afraid of men by now? You should not have to be if you follow the spirit of these guidelines, remain open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, communicate with us and other mature people about this, keep a meek and quiet spirit, and associate with the proper men. If you do this you will gain the respect of all men and also be a delight to Christian men who will be very thankful for a safe haven for their eyes. And God will be glorified.