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Looks Can Kill

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Ladies, if you think modesty is a topic that belongs in the Victorian age, think again.

Close your eyes. Imagine the most desirable thing you can. What do you see? A white, sandy beach? A sparkling diamond? An ice cream sundae? Open your eyes. Now that you’ve pictured this object of desire, it’s hard to think about anything else for the moment, right?

Well, guys face the same thing every time they see a woman who is showing off more than she should. It’s not impossible, but it’s extremely difficult for them not to dwell on what they see. And if they dwell on what they see, they may end up letting lust creep in and then sin as a result.

God’s pretty clear on where he stands with sin: “The soul who sins shall die…” (Ezekiel 18:20 Ezekiel 18:20The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be on him.
American King James Version×
). While this may seem extreme, if you are walking around in front of guys immodestly dressed, you are giving them a little helping hand in sinning. Essentially, looks can kill.

Someone else’s problem?

Now maybe you think that it’s up to the guys to look away if they have a particular weakness in that area, but our lives are saturated with images that bombard them every day. And it’s easier for them to look away from the television than it is to look away from you if you are having a conversation with them. Don’t be one more temptation that creates the tipping point for the guys in your life to sin.

God is also pretty clear about how we are supposed to behave when interacting with others who may have particular weaknesses. Christ Himself said, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea” (Mark 9:42 Mark 9:42And whoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
American King James Version×
). Your choice to show off a little too much skin can be enough to throw someone already struggling completely off balance spiritually.

Caring about your brother

For us women, sometimes it is hard to wrap our minds around all of this because we generally do not face this particular temptation. If you want to learn more about the topic and understand the issue better, I highly recommend reading Every Man’s Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker. It’s a pretty eye-opening read.

This is tough stuff. We all want to be able to wear what we want to wear, and keeping up with the trends is “oh, so easy” since everyone else is wearing it and that is all we seem to see in our favorite stores. But God has and always will call us to live by a higher standard.

It is your and my responsibility to help the guys in our lives as they wage a daily battle against impurity. Before you put on your outfit for the day, ask if today is the day that your looks could kill. 

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  • dust_i_am
    There was a strange news story from Tennessee the other day about a woman who walked into a church topless. She was arrested for indecent exposure. May things never go that far with us.
  • deborah
    Thanks Debbie for this article - it is very timely. Michael Hyatt published “Four Guidelines for Modesty” on his Leadership website (see **Link removed to comply with comment policy**). These guidelines are straight to the point and easy for all women to remember: 1. If you have trouble getting into it or out of it, it is probably not modest. 2. If you have to be careful when you sit down or bend over, it is probably not modest. 3. If people look at any part of your body before looking at your face, it is probably not modest. 4. If you can see your most private body parts or any of those parts under the fabric, it is probably not modest. © Michael Hyatt 2013
  • Procatcher
    Thank you Debbie, what a beautiful way of making the point. In appreciation, Laura
  • laurispence
    thank you for this. I had a young lady at church recently ask me about her clothing and if it was to revealing which in my opinion it was and I shared that with her (the fact that her clothes were to revealing) which she received very well she did ask me to be honest. I only wish I would have read this first. This has been so helpful I intend on sharing this website with her so she can read it for herself and any others that may be interested. Again thank you.
  • malachi
    Since I am a single senior citizen and like women, I am sensitive and look to much at other women at church with their short dresses and some even exposing other things which should not be exposed. I am 69 years old and probably will not marry because off my age but yes I would want to if it were possible. I sometimes look at women and wonder if she would make a good wife. But is she modest in her dress? Or, would she ware that to the wedding supper of Jesus Christ. I just hope the women will understand that we don’t want to stare at them or undress them with our eyes. Help me and be modest at church.
  • Pam Redline
    This is an excellent article and remains a topic that still needs addressing. Who holds your bar? When it comes to God and Christ, we don’t get to bargain them into mediocrity. God and Christ hold our bar. That means we must ever be rising above the around and grab hold of the above. As long as we compare ourselves to the world or our friends, we will always we are measuring up or that we are above their bar. But, when we compare ourselves to God’s values, we will see the need to come out of the world and it’s ideologies if we are to achieve the bounty of His blessings for obedience. I recommend a really good book on this topic. “Fashioned by Faith” by Rachel Lee Carter. She is a model who interviewed young men and then wrote a book about how women’s clothing affects them… By the way, the young men interviewed are also Christians. It is very eye-opening. Every mom and dad should read this book and then have their sons and daughters read it as well!
  • Pam Redline
    Thank you so much for this article. It is so timely. It has been on my mind lately as I have a young adult son, a daughter in law and a 12 year old granddaughter… Who holds your bar? As long as we “compare ourselves among ourselves” or compare ourselves to the world, we will always feel that we measure up or are above the standards of the world. But, when we compare ourselves to God our Loving Father and Jesus our Holy Brother, that changes things. God knows we need His help to measure up. That’s why He sent Christ to help us reach the bar. I recommend a very good book called, “Fashioned by Faith”. It is written by Rachel Lee Carter. She is a Christian model. She talks of raising her bar to serve God as she re-committed herself to her faith by changing her perspective on clothing and setting an example of modest dress while keeping her career. She begins each chapter of the book by interviewing young, Christian men who are very frank about their perspective on young ladies and how their clothing affects them. I believe it is a must read for every parent and every young man and woman. I agree with the comment about the wedding supper. Do we get to tell God how we want our wedding garment to fit? He is our Loving Father. He knows what type of clothing sets off our best features….
  • Norbert Z
    From what I understand, more so for some women than others; their identity and self worth are tied into how they look visually. What is the motivation behind dressing and choosing one type of clothing over another type? Dressing modestly as explained seems as a matter of fact. I’m thinking dressing immodestly isn’t the root of the problem. It’s an effect, what causes it would take deeper examination.
  • Zeph Agayo
    Nice post. Just like men, women have vanities and human nature.

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