Sexual Exposure and Modesty & True Empowerment

“Any and every time we indulge in pornography, we deny the precious gospel truth that every man and woman possesses inherent dignity, not to be solicited and sold for sex, but to be valued and treasured as excellent in the eyes of God. People are not inferior objects to be used and abused for selfish, sexual, sensual pleasure; they are equal image bearers of the God who loves and cares for them. We may scoff at how pre-Civil War churchgoers justified slaves in their backyards, but aren’t we dangerously like them when we participate in pornography (and promote the sex slavery to which it is inextricably tied) in our own homes?” Taken from Counter Culture, Copyright © 2015 by David Platt

One of the many attributes I admire about my husband involves how he honors me with his eyes. He carefully avoids films that have anything sexual in them and has trained our boys to avert their eyes when women half-clad traipse across a screen or on a beach. I’ve had to tell the boys, “Let’s give her some privacy (even if she doesn’t honor herself enough to).” In a culture that normalizes pornography and makes it a humorous and playful pastime, many people are missing the obvious links between sexual misconduct and abuse and the over-exposed flaunting of a woman’s body.

I find it ironic and irrationally disturbing to hear women talk about “liberation” and “empowerment” (usually excusing their desire to dress provocatively) and then discuss the evils and pitfalls of men who exploit and molest these half-dressed women (#metoo). Now, I am not saying that all women “ask for it” or that sexual abuse is a woman’s fault, but I will say that those who flaunt and reveal what should be kept private shouldn’t be aghast when men treat them as merely sexual objects. If you advertise/showcase your sexual organs/abilities, don’t be surprised when a guy tries to cash in.

Furthermore, let’s not excuse pornography in the name of “art”. Sex is beautiful and can be a glorifying act of art (if it is done between a husband and wife in private), but it becomes grotesque smut when aired for other eyes. At that point, they have taken what is sacred and honorable and brandished it as egotistical depravity. The pure becomes the putrid.

For the sake of our children, we need to recognize the correlation and show them (our daughters especially) how to honor their bodies and cherish what is reserved for the eyes of one man (after marriage).

This dad used the analogy of protecting technology to teach his daughter honor and modesty.

A girl bought an iPad, when her father saw it, He asked her “What was the first thing you did when you bought it?”
“I put an anti-scratch sticker on the screen and bought a cover for the iPad,” she replied.
“Did someone force you to do so?”
“Don’t you think it’s an insult to the manufacturer?”
“No dad! In fact they even recommend using a cover for the iPad.”
“Did you cover it because it was cheap & ugly?”
“Actually, I covered it because it was expensive and I didn’t want it to get damaged and decrease in value.”
“When you put the cover on, didn’t it reduce the iPad’s beauty?”
“I think it looks better and it is worth it for the protection it gives my iPad.”
The father looked lovingly at his daughter and said, “Yet if I had asked you to cover your body, which is much more precious than the iPad, would you have readily agreed?”
She didn’t have words to respond.

Modesty is the true empowerment. It shows others self-respect and honor for something bigger than sexuality. Modesty shows people what you really worship.

Modesty is a respectable manner of adorning one’s body and carrying oneself, born out of a freedom from a worldly definition of beauty and worth, and motivated by a hatred of sin and a desire to draw attention to God. ” –Luke Gilkerson, Covenant Eyes

True love (for ourselves, our brothers, and our God) casts aside the temptation to promote ourselves in a lustful way. When we recognize our deeply intrinsic value, we see sexual exposure more for what it is: a misplaced desire for acceptance and recognition leading down to the path of death. (Prov. 5:3-5, James 1:15)

Theography: Sketches of Spiritual Truths for a New Evangelization: The Language of Lust vs Love

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