We got on the bus Tuesday morning, and suddenly I remembered that hot summer weather means scantily clad young women. As godly as my husband is, and even though he consistently disciplines himself to avert his eyes, he’s still only a man. He has normal visual responses. God created him that way, and I love the fact that my body can get him excited. I also understand that he, like all heterosexual men, struggles at this time of year. Public transportation makes it very difficult for a man.
I find myself wanting to pull my shawl out of my backpack to cover these girls up. I want to demand that women respect my husband (and respect me) by dressing modestly. But I realize that women on public buses most likely aren’t Christians and probably believe men should be able to look at their revealed bodies without experiencing lustful feelings. To women who reject God’s moral standards, my pleas would be an utter waste of time.
Sadly, I’ve learned that even Christian women resist my suggestions that they cover themselves. It’s hot, they explain, and they’ve “waited all week to wear this adorable backless sundress.” And for some weird reason, I feel guilty for trying to instruct them. They place their own wants above being considerate of their brother in Christ.
It frustrates me. It must frustrate John. Again, John’s not exceptionally horny, and he works very faithfully at keeping his mind pure. I’m extremely proud of his obedience to the Lord in this area. I just want to help him navigate the onslaught of temptation that summer fashions inevitably cause.
Lately I’ve learned that, although I can’t control how other women dress, I can pray for John when I see them in revealing attire. I pray silently, careful not to call his attention to whatever woman elicits my concern. I’ve learned that talking about it only gives him more occasion to stumble. I express my appreciation for his obedience to the Lord in this matter, but I keep my remarks general rather than causing his mind to go back any particular instance.
Ladies, if you’re single, please be aware that how you clothe yourselves affects even the most godly of men. That tank top with spaghetti straps may well be really cute, but if your bra straps show under those spaghetti straps, you could be triggering thoughts in someone’s husband that he should only have about her. As a wife, I beg you to respect married couples by dressing appropriately.
No, I don’t mean you should wear a burqa, but use common sense. If, when getting dressed, you suspect that your outfit might attract male attention, you probably shouldn’t wear it. If you need advice, ask a few married women in your church (including the pastor’s wife) for counsel. Your brothers in Christ certainly have the ultimate responsibility to keep their minds pure, but you can help them by dressing modestly and respectfully.
Those of us who are married can help our husbands by praying for them. Our culture crams sexual imagery down their throats constantly as it is, but summer weather compounds the problem as young women display much more skin than they ought. Our husbands may be extremely godly men, but they need the Holy Spirit to support them through temptation. Our prayers, more than anything else, make an incredible difference as they fight the battle against lust. Let’s be the helpmeets God created us to be by praying for our husbands.