Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stumbling blocks.

This is an excerpt out of all my thoughts that I typed out a few nights ago about my Ministry to Women in Pain class. Tonight really impacted me, and I just wanted to share some of the thoughts that I had about some things that were said in class tonight.

The thing that really impacted me during our discussions tonight was the talk about men and pornography, and what a vicious cycle it is. One of the two male students that attends my class talked about this, and what he said really hit me hard. He agreed that yes, it is a huge struggle that men go through, and even men on the Moody campus struggle with it all the time. But then he said that while they struggle with it and they know that it is wrong, they are feeling attacked by women on campus. At first I thought that he was talking about how women are pointing fingers and saying that the men are horrible people for doing that, but that's not what he was saying at all. He meant that men are being attacked VISUALLY. The women at Moody Bible Institute are dressing in such a way as to make their brothers in Christ stumble. This is so incredibly heartbreaking. And this caused me to wonder if I ever dress in a way that makes my brothers stumble. I asked one of my dear friends that I trust if I ever wear anything questionable, and thankfully he said that I don't. And he promised me that he would tell me if I ever did, and I am so thankful for that.

My heart hurts to know that we women of God can be so selfish and so focused on ourselves that we don't realize the consequences of our clothes and our behavior through that. I know that I definitely think more often about how I look rather than on what is pleasing to the Lord or what honors my brothers in Christ. But it is so important to have my brothers in mind. This is showing love to them. If I don't ever think about my brothers and don't care about whether or not it causes them to sin, what kind of a sister am I? How is that really loving them? If I act like that, I am loving myself much more than I am loving my brothers. I need to stop being so self focused and think about my brothers, and think about what may impact them. I need to check myself and make sure that what I am wearing and how I present myself is appropriate. I need to ask my brothers to keep me accountable and to let me know if I am wearing something that I shouldn't.

But here is where I also think that men should step up. Some women really are completely oblivious and naive to what causes men to stumble into sin. But the men don't speak up and say anything. I think that while it is the women's job to be conscious of what she wears, it is the man's job to let his sisters know when they are wearing something inappropriate and questionable. We need to be brothers and sisters, and this means saying things sometimes that aren't comfortable, but need to be said anyway. We are a family, and it is imperative that we keep each other accountable. We need to speak the truth to one another in love, and spur one another on to continue in a Godly way and to live out the Christ-like example.

My brothers in Christ, I apologize. I am sorry for not looking out for your best interests, and for focusing more on myself than what you need. As your sister, I should be aware of what I should be doing so as not to make you stumble, and to really love you in the way that a sister should. I applaud you men who have stepped up and told me when I was exposing too much, or I have worn something inappropriate. Thank you for letting me know.

And women of the Lord, I encourage you to love your brothers and to always be aware of your clothing and how guys may perceive it. No, we don't need to wear rags, but there's a difference between dressing attractively, and dressing seductively. Sometimes that's a fine line to walk, especially with the current fashion trends. But I encourage us all to think of our brothers in the midst of all the fads and fashions, and to learn what it really means to glorify God and honor our brothers with the way we choose to dress ourselves.