After being exposed to a large amount of people (especially women) this past weekend, I have a burning question that I can’t seem to find a suitable answer for. What happened to self-respect and modesty?
Over time, I’ve heard many comments such as “I wish I could find a man who respects me” or “I would like to be with a man who loves me for more than just my body”. In the cases that it was said directly to me, I made the comment, “Well, maybe if you covered up a little or didn’t show everything off, you would get respect and you wouldn’t plant desires into their mind.”
Harsh? Maybe. But I mean(t) it so lovingly.
Media (especially social media) has painted the picture that showing your well endowed chest, your rounded bottom, or your pancake flat stomach is the thing to do. Don’t believe me? Google Red Carpet Styles 2015.
This is where Shane and I get really sticky about what we let M&M watch. We don’t want daughter M to think that it’s ok to show off what body she does have and we don’t want son M to think that it is ok to look at women with lust.
Well, we got an experience this last weekend that just solidified that I’m getting old.
We took the kids on a trip to Valleyfair this last weekend. They’ve been such a HUGE help with the move, getting settled, keeping things straightened out and yet managing to stay on top of their own event schedules and appointments. I knew that we were going to be exposed to a whole new culture up there. I was expectant of it having been there many times myself; however, the kids not so much.
While we were walking around Valleyfair, I couldn’t help but notice the large number of women who were walking around in shorts showing off their rears, teeny tiny bikini’s, or clothing/swimsuits that were either too small, too tight, or both. What we saw was disgusting. I’m all for fitting clothes but at least allow yourself some bending/breathing room.
We made our way to the water park and it only went down hill. (And this is why I say I’m getting old.) No matter where you turned, you saw boobs or you saw a butt (or if you were lucky just a crack). It was obvious that we were outsiders. Shane was sitting in his swimming shorts and a shirt, M was in a one piece swimming suit, M was in his swimming trunks and a shirt and I was in a tank top type suit with swim shorts that were mid-thigh. Guessing by some of the looks I did catch, we may have well been dressed in parkas.
But, watching the kids, I could tell what they were seeing was the exact same thing I was seeing.
So, what did happen to modesty?
I never used to think that I was super modest- I’m guilty of showing a small portion of my stomach, walking around in tighter fitting clothing, etc. etc. etc. But one of the biggest things that drew Shane in was, modesty. Granted, he always saw me in my work uniform there for a while, but it wasn’t just in my dress, it was in my character as well.
The saying more is less has been nothing less than resounding since we traveled to Valleyfair. I can’t help but be thankful that I grew out of the phase where I thought that it was ok to show skin. I am also very thankful that both kids were put off by what we saw.
We read in 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20 “Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.”
We see that our body is not our own. It is God’s. It is something that we should be treating with respect in order to glorify his wondrous works! But instead, the “now” thing is to flaunt it.
Women, if you don’t want to be treated like a “piece of meat”, dress for the attention that you want. Allow your personality, your education, your common sense, and/or your demeanor to draw in the attention of a man who will respect you.
Men, don’t lust over the external looks. If you want to find out what who a woman really is, have conversation with her. Honor her, respect her. If you wouldn’t want a man to treat your daughter that way, don’t treat someone else’s daughter like that.
More truly is less.