When I sat here an hour ago trying to think of something to write, I didn’t have anything in my head. Then I started into a discussion with Angelie, and a couple issues were brought up. I’d like to deal with the second issue and leave the first one for a rainy day – or at least another day.
Anyways, this issue had to do with sexual purity. Now, if you’re reading this and a) are not a Christian, or b) have no clue what the term “sexual purity” even means, then this topic is not for you. In the first case, I don’t expect non-Christians to agree with what I say here, nor do I think that they will. They don’t hold to the same standards that I do – and that’s fine for now; we can deal with that another day. In the second case, if you are a Christian and don’t know what sexual purity is, you’re a pretty unhealthy Christian, and should see a doctor – preferrably one that goes by the term Reverend. You need to set your standards before you can even try to achieve them.
Now, during my daily Web travels, I discovered an article that really just hit the point of sexual purity from a guy’s perspective. It basically deals with the fact that how girls dress can drastically affect a guy’s mind and lead him on very easily to lustful thoughts. While of course this is ultimately the guy’s problem, since it is his mind that we’re dealing with, I’m reminded of the multiple times in the Bible that it talks about causing a fellow Christian to stumble. For example:
“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.” (Romans 4:19-21)
While I’ll readily admit that many Christian guys don’t try hard at all to keep their thought life pure, I’ll also readily admit that there are some out there that try extremely hard – I’m one of those. The thing is that it doesn’t help much when Christian girls don’t seem to be trying too hard to help us out. It gets discouraging. I can walk into my own church and be bombarded with more temptations than when I hang out with non-Christian friends.
There’s two possibilities to this scenario: either Christian girls don’t know about the problem, or they don’t care. I’m hoping that the truth is the first case and not the second; if there are Christian girls that don’t care about helping others get closer to Christ, then I wish they would just stop being lukewarm and either care completely or not care at all. I understand that it’s probably pretty hard to find modest clothes these days; if I were to walk through a store where a girl usually shops, I probably wouldn’t find much that I could honestly say I wouldn’t be attracted to if she were wearing.
Let me explain the problem a little more fully. Guys are turned on by the sight of a female body. It’s completely natural. The problem comes in when a guy’s hormones kick in and he starts lusting after that person. And it’s not always blaringly simple, either. Obviously, a naked body would turn a guy on. That’s pretty easy to figure out. But what most girls don’t realize (or at least I don’t think they realize) is that it’s not just showing skin or wearing low-cut clothes. Tight-fitting stuff shows curves, and curves can be just as attractive as skin itself. It’s the figure that really is the subtle attraction that even I sometimes barely notice – the thought just creeps in unnoticed.
So what is there to do? I think the best strategy is to choose your wardrobe carefully. If there’s a choice between a mini-skirt and a pair of jeans, go with the jeans, but if they’re tight-fitting jeans, that can be just as bad. I’ve figured out that a hoodie is probably about the best you can go with for a top. That’s not to say that a loose, baggy sweatshirt is going to make a girl look ugly, but it changes the reaction of a guy from “Whoa, she’s sexy” to “Whoa, she’s pretty.” Believe me, a girl can look just as pretty in a hoodie as she can in a tanktop – probably moreso, actually.
I’d like to think that by addressing this, that any Christian girl who reads this will go, “Oh my, I wish I could do something to help these guys out and lead them on closer to Christ!” Unfortunately, I know that wouldn’t be the case. I think the real problem is that Christians, both guys and girls, aren’t living as Christians. Instead of asking, “How can I get closer to Christ?” we ask, “How far can I get to the line while still calling myself a Christian?” It’s sad really. I’m not excluding myself from this group. I’d put myself first in this group. I’ve not only gotten close to that line, but I’ve flirted with it and taken it out to a date or two. But I realize that my attitude has been reversed for much too long. It’s time for myself and others who wish to follow me to change our thinking and start focusing on Christ instead of the world. As every good Christian knows, the world has nothing to offer. Anyone can say that; anyone can even believe that. But too many people don’t live it. We say we’re trying to be like Christ, and consciously we might even be, but subconsciously we’re compromising our faith with our popularity.
God hates compromise. He says so himself in Revelation 3:15-16 – “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” How’s that for a clear message? We are either to follow God completely or just turn our backs on Him in rebellion. He’d rather have us defiantly go against Him than to say we’re following Him while our actions prove differently. God’s tired of compromise, and I am as well – in my own life, first, and then in others’ lives as well. I admit that I have compromised for so long that I’m confused as to where to stand in some issues. It doesn’t help that no one around me seems to know either. But I think if you truly search the Bible and the Holy Spirit working in you, you’ll realize that for most things, it’s pretty clear where we should be – it’s just a matter of subconsciously saying, “No that can’t be it, because that would require me to change from who I am.” Guess what? God doesn’t care if you have to change. He’s trying to change you for the better.
I’m not sure where to begin. I’ve contemplated this topic before; I’ve tried to begin the change and failed, falling back into sin. My thought life is the hardest to change. While on the outside I’m a good Christian, on the inside I’m dirty. My mind is corrupted, and it’s going to take a major overhaul to rework it back again. I’m reminded of when Paul said, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) While it’s easier said than done, I want to make every subconscious thought a conscious one. What does that mean? It means that when a subtle, barely noticeable but sinful thought comes into my head, I want to take it and focus on it to determine whether it lines up with what Christ would want. In a way, I want God to be inside my head, sifting through each thought as it enters my mind. It’s like sorting food on a conveyor belt in a factory. The oranges come down one by one and you must look at each one to make sure it’s not spoiled. If it’s a good orange, you leave it to pass on and be packaged. If it’s a bad one, you throw it out. You can’t allow one bad orange to pass through into the packaging plant. Even one is too many.
I admit that I’m at a loss at how to actually follow through with this technique. Angelie mentioned something I’ve heard before – it’s called bouncing the eyes. When you see a girl and a lustful thought comes into your head, you bounce your eyes and focus on something different entirely. It’s a great technique that I’ve tried to use, but it’s hard. Extremely hard. The female body is honestly like a magnet that draws a guy’s eyes in and attracts them. It’s horribly difficult to reverse the polarity of your eyes to repel the attraction. Girls don’t seem to understand that very well, but it’s the truth. If you need to, grab two strong magnets and stick them together. Then try to pull them apart. That’s literally what it’s like. And a Christian guy has to do that every single time a girl walks in with skimpy or tight-fitting clothing. I’m not saying that the responsibility is on the girls, but on behalf of all those guys out there who are trying to do the right thing, I’m urging with you – pleading, really – to make this job easier for us. I can’t plead to Hollywood to take this stuff out of movies, but I can ask the Christian girls who should want to do the loving thing and help out the guys who only are trying to respect them as people, humans made in God’s image.
I think I’m done. I got that all off my chest, and now it’s time for me to put it into practice. I’d appreciate any prayers you have.