I appreciate the brothers and sisters at Sunny Slope very much. Yes, as a congregation there are things that need to be worked on and individually we have our own problems that we struggle with. But I have noticed many problems that do not arise here and one of them is immodesty (1 Timothy 2:9-10). As a preacher that looks out over the brethren from the pulpit I see no problem here with scantily clad females or musclebound men showing their bodily features off for others to see. When we come together on the first day of the week and worship (Acts 20:7), it appears that is exactly what our minds are focused on. Thank you.
Yesterday as my family was about the business of shopping the second time for a couch, something figuratively slapped me in the face. It brought to my mind how my wife years before would tell me not to get our girls certain shirts. She would mention that the cuts in the front made a big difference in how modest they looked. I did not fully understand what she meant until yesterday. Our saleswoman had one of those shirt styles that my wife would have given me the “You better put that back now” eye for, had I tried to buy it for our daughters. I’m not talking about short skirts, leggings, strapless shirts, bikini shirts, etc. I’m talking about a shirt where the style may not be that noticeable. But when you do notice the low cut, which may have been questionable as she was standing up, now makes you blush and do crazy things with your head as she bends down or turns. All the while you are questioning in your mind, “Did my wife see what I saw?” Or more embarrassingly, “Did she see me?” Wives, don’t think we are trying to look at her. We’re not. We are doing everything we can to look away. It just makes us look SILLY.
A man does not, I say again DOES NOT want to be put into this situation (Matthew 5:27-28)! Yet all Christian men have probably been there. The longer he stands there and tries to act like he didn’t see anything, the more foolish he believes he looks. He keeps eye contact when the woman is looking at him and talking, but now if he glances away, what does she think? What if he glances in the wrong direction. The bad thing is, he’s still trying to ascertain in his mind what his wife has been telling him for years.
When many speak of immodesty, many get it in their head that it should be easy to figure out. Sometimes it is not that easy. Sometimes a man has a hard time figuring something out till it makes him blush. Many times, the more we Christian men try not to look at something, the more foolish we think we look. Well it can also be said the more we try not to look at something, the more we look at it. There is a lot going through our heads when we are trying to do right. Many things a woman may not understand.
I want to say “Thank you” to the wives that keep us men out of that situation and many other situations that can lead to problems (1 Peter 3:3-4). Many may say it is harder to be a teenager because of all the immorality around them, but I personally think it is harder for a Christian husband and a Christian father. This man knows there are eyes on him all the time and he is looked at as the example and leader of his household (1 Timothy 3:4-5). There is honor in this man (Proverbs 29:23 . . . but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit) and a certain kind of humility that the smallest immodest thing can make him blush. He is not perfect by far, yet he knows more imperfections about himself than any other knows about him. He loves his children and holds them to a higher morality than he holds himself to (or so he thinks). He has been through more, he has struggled more, he has been tempted and tried more, he has failed more than he cares to think about, but it is there in his mind (1 Peter 5:6-7).
This is what we contemplate and are ashamed of hours after the above situation occurs. But this is what makes us different than the world (Romans 12:1-2). We blush. We feel remorse when most of the time we shouldn’t. We are embarrassed. We consider what our Christian wives think and advise. We consider the world our children are growing up in. We greatly appreciate those that are likeminded in the faith (2 Peter 1:1). We keep on keeping on. We remember time and time again that our strength is not within ourselves, but is in Christ and his Word (Philippians 4:13). Wives, maybe this will help you understand us a little better when we look as white as a sheep and probably act like one here and there in public. Did I say it is harder to be a father and a husband in this world? I can’t imagine the difficulty of being a Christian mother or wife. Maybe I will talk about that next week.