It came during a good and productive discussion at church. We were sittin’ in the middle of a sizable Sunday School class where the topic was “fighting for our families,” a message we’re all needin’, for sure.
Point by point, we were workin’ it through. “Awesome families have fun together.” How do we have fun? How’s that look? And here, ideas came flowin’.
“Awesome families encourage growth.” So talk to me. How are you teachin’ your kids to grow? Again, more healthy discussion.
Then this. “Awesome families protect each other (I think that’s how it went).” Now. How do we fight for our families and protect?
It was one word and then the sentence that came out next which sent alarm bells clanging like klaxon horns. The single word was this: “Modesty.” And the sentence that followed was this: “I had a man tell me he can’t go to (our third service).” By implication, “Because of how the women dress.”
Ye gods. We are in trouble.
We’re in trouble, not because of what any particular woman is or isn’t doing. We’re in trouble because of a great and terrible lack. Perhaps Hosea said it best, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.” And this lack, coupled with a terminal heart disease (diagnosis, sin) is killin’ us.
So much suffering, turmoil, and, yes, slavery (i.e., addiction) has been based on a certain key principle; that being that the body itself is sexual, first, foremost, and almost exclusively. The world certainly thinks it’s true. That’s why it uses bodies to market its products. To sell its wares. Pornography is a huge money maker because it plays on this fallen view of the body. Of God’s creation.
The church has swallowed this whole. Thus, the “modesty culture” and its attempt to control and regulate and restrain lust through behavior modification and outward measures. Which (haven’t we learned this yet?) never work. Not for long. And so the church and the world, they agree.
We are in trouble.
But what if there is a simple truth that would set us all free? What if the human form as designed by Papa isn’t itself pornographic? What if simply seeing someone of the opposite sex, no matter what they are or aren’t wearing, is not a sexual experience? What if that?
A loving Papa like the one I’ve got could never give me a form or a physical dwelling that would only ever cause men to sin. That is not His nature. He can’t do it.
A loving Papa like the one I have would never set up me or my husband or my sons or your daughters; He could not possibly set us all up for failure by making our spirit-houses stumbling blocks and temptations to sin.
It is insanity that we’ve fallen into. That we’ve believed. We have eaten the apple from the wrong, terrible tree, and it’s made us blind and diseased.
The heart of the matter is…
The heart! If a man has lust in his heart, then staying away from third service is not going to heal his heart. Trust me. The proof of that is the abundance of lust and sexual abuse in the most modest and covered-up of Plain circles or in the strict Arab lands; in fact, some of the worst of it’s there.
Asking your daughter or wife to wear certain clothing won’t protect them from a man who’s heart is lust-full. It won’t protect my husband or sons, either, if they should choose such a heart. It can’t.
“Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” That’s what Jesus said.
It was my Mr. Schrock who offered a cogent example. After he’d had some time to think about what we’d just heard, he said, “You know, if my car has engine trouble, waxing it and polishing it and taking care of the outside…
“Won’t fix the engine. Won’t make it run better.” Exactly. And keeping it garaged will not touch the engine trouble, either. Even keeping all other cars off of the road can never repair a broken engine.
Same with hearts, with bodies, with anything that tempts us to sin. For the one who struggles with gluttony, then forcing everyone else to eat only salad is irrational. Banning the rest of the world from eating a DQ Blizzard is, too.
For the one who struggles with envy, it isn’t reasonable to demand that no one else build a fine house. Or take a vacation. Or anything else you’d like to have or do. It won’t work.
Neither will “modesty.” And neither will removing oneself from the world.
There is a beautiful, free, and liberated way to live and move and have our being in a dark and fallen world without being infected. I know, for I am living it, and my husband is, too. It’s called Truth, and He has set us free.
With all praise and glory to the Truth, the Life, the Way,