I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Frightening Trend

This may offend you. However, I will proceed. Read with caution.

I love Facebook. I love the ease in which I can communicate with my family an ocean away. I love meeting old friends, and seeing that people have come to know the Lord since high school. I love looking at pictures of people's children and families. I love people who are great at writing one-liners for their status updates.

But, there is something that is really starting to worry me.

There seem to be a lot of people (Christian women I'm talking about here) who like to show off their bodies in photos. And I don't mean just a little accidental cleavage here and there. I mean deliberate, planned photos that show way too much skin to be anywhere near modest.

Like bikini photos of them on vacation, or an evening out with 'the girls' (I mean people, not boobs- although they seem to be everywhere) where they are wearing either low cut, tiny strap, or strapless tops. And short skirts or tight pants. Making kissing faces at the camera, or posing in a provocative manner are also things I've seen too much of.

What happened to modesty? And saving our bodies for our husbands? Many of the pictures I've seen like this are of young women, soon to be leaving home and heading out on their own. Sadly, I have also seen married women posting pics like this.

Would they dress like that to church? Or out to the grocery store, or the doctor's office? I think not. Why do the rules change just because they are going out at night, or are away from home? They show provocative pics for any man who has been 'friended' by them to see. Whether it be their father, brother, pastor, deacons, their friends' husbands, or some perv they knew in high school who is looking for just that sort of thing.

I would think that when away from our husbands, we, as Christian women, would want to act and dress in a way that would honor him. When I see photos of women dressed in inappropriate clothing, it worries me. Why do they feel it is necessary? What are they trying to prove? Why isn't their mind focused on what their husband might think of their clothing?

It is not a sin to be beautiful, or to want to be beautiful, or to want to look nice. But when it gets to the point that inappropriate pictures are being posted so that other people can see just how beautiful we are, a line has been crossed. I think more discretion is required. And if we are wearing these kind of clothes outside our homes to be a distraction to men, then it is most definitely sin and needs to be addressed.

Would you welcome people into your home for dinner and bring out a scrapbook of provocative/ scantily clad photos of yourself for them to view? Do you have photos like that hanging on the wall in your entry way? Would your husband want his friends and/or colleagues to view photos of you in a bikini (or provocative pose) and not be offended when they ask if they can have a copy?

I seriously think this is an issue. And moms, we are responsible for what our kids are putting out there. Just like MySpace, I think Facebook needs parental monitoring. If my girls posted some of the pictures I've seen on other girls' pages, we would be having serious talks. And it doesn't matter if your daughters are grown with families of their own. We are still their mother, and have the right to mention our thoughts (in a loving way) about their behavior.

I know, you're thinking I should mind my own business and just not look at their photos if I find them offensive. Well, when they are my friends, and publish them to their page, it shows up on my news feed. I can clearly see what they are dressed in.

Minding our own business about sin is what has caused such moral decline in our society in general, and in our churches specifically. People are afraid to reprove someone in sin for fear of "driving them away" from the church. When we come to a brother or sister in Christian love, for the benefit of their relationship to the Lord, and not in an angry, offended, brutish manner, we are fulfilling our responsibility as their sister in Christ (Eph. 4:14-24). What one does affects the whole body, either directly or indirectly.

Allowing one kind of inappropriate behavior to continue will only lead to pushing the boundaries in other areas. (I mean this for grown ups too!) It's a slippery slope. Like Casting Crowns says: "It's a slow fade, when you give yourself away. It's a slow fade, black and white turn to gray..."

If we don't keep one another accountable, then what good is Christian fellowship? Just because many of our friends deem one thing acceptable doesn't make it so. The Bible is very clear about how we are to treat our bodies (I Cor. 6:15-19), and the reverence we are to have for our husbands (I Pet. 3:1-6), which we show through our behavior.

I am not against modern clothes. I wear jeans, and dress pants, and t-shirts. I am also not of the mind that we need to wear things that cover us from neck to toe no matter the weather. I just think we need to act with discretion. When we put in our minds first and foremost what would please the Lord, and then what would please our husband, it would go a long way to make sure we are not inappropriate.

Am I the only one who's noticed?

Remember- we can disagree without being ugly. Civilized debate here, ok?


  • impromptu-mom

    NO you are not the only one who has noticed and AMEN!

    Burqas are not necessary, but how about a little modesty?

    Not only are we disrespecting God and our husbands when we dress in a way that is questionable, we are setting the worst of examples for our daughters.

    A good rule of thumb is to put your daughter's face on an outfit or pose. Would you want to see your innocent little child wearing that or posing like that? If it is too provocative for her, it is too provocative for you.

    Our clothes and body language convey things to those around us, whether we mean to or not. We have to be sure that our clothes are saying what we mean them to say!

  • Janice

    Bingo... Hit the Nail on The HEad... Home Run!!!
    I have seriously prayed for wisdom and opportunity for appropriate (yet direct!) comment. Well written, and well said! I think this link needs to be passed around... LOTS!!! One would think they "know" better- obviously it is not the case. A sign of the times? or a lack of Spiritual Holiness... or even SALVATION itself!

  • Brenda

    I have learned more about people through Facebook than I probably wanted to know. For sure.

    Why don't we start a Modesty on Facebook group??

  • JulieMom

    Thank you ladies for standing with me on this. I was hoping I wasn't the only one!

    I'm in Brenda!!

  • JulieMom

    Done. Our group (if you want to be an admin let me know Brenda) is called Modesty is Beautiful. What do you think?

  • Giovanna

    I am not on Facebook nor do I care to be on it.
    I have heard nothing but bad about Facebook, from inappropriate pictures, to bad talking others, to just plain out and out church gossip. Not to mention the fact that I think I have seen 2-3 times on the news about identity theft from Facebook.
    Women who are more interested in prompting a lustful attitude from men should really think about what God thinks of them rather than what men think of them. If you are that physically carnal there should be some concern about your salvation. Lack of discernment and remorse is a strong indicator of spiritual problems. Many people claim something they don't possess.

  • WendyMom

    Often times I think that women don't really realize how men operate. Do you really realize that men are visually stimulated? That you may be causing a brother in the Lord to stumble and fall in a sin area they struggle with? Do you understand that men will "pleasure themselves" to mental visual images they have?
    That men lurk on the internet, specifically looking for photos for those purposes? Some of these men (gasp) actually go to your church?
    Even if they don't know you specifically, that there are those bent on harm who do use things like Facebook and MySpace to find thier next victim? And it's not that hard to get to personal information like phone numbers and addresses- simply through links on pages like these?
    That you may be driving your own child (boy or girl) into sexual sin areas by them seeing these images?

    Shall I go on? Do I really need to?

    Do you REALLY want to answer for the above some day?

    Whew- I guess I feel pretty strongly about it too. God help us for our indiscretions. And our fear of speaking out about it....

    Thank you Julie for being brave enough to start this post. Love you-

  • Erin

    This is definately a hot topic especially with Baptists! But there is one part of this that I have to bring up... Julie talked about confronting those who have offended us like it says in Matthew 18. My issue with stuff like this is... have we done what the bible says or do we just rant and rave about our opinions? Have you gone to these people who have offended you with their photos? Or are we just more comfortable writing our thoughts? Do we have the spiritual maturity to bring up those ladies who are not where we think they should be? Do we know the struggles that they are going through that are causing them to act that way? Or are we Pharisees? Are we taking that speck out of their eyes with a plank in ours? Let's love people and lets encourage them to LOVE the Lord. And let Him do the work!

  • Cheryl

    Great Post Julie!

    I agree with you whole heartedly on this matter. I have had to remove people(mainly young adults) from my list as the things they were writing and the pictures were inapropriate to say the least. Sometimes my children would be sitting next to me while I was on the computer and I had to quickly scroll down the page or exit as something I wasn't expecting popped up! And it WAS from Christian people. It is sad.
    The Lord has been speaking to me this last week in regards to many things, but the biggest being Facebook. I am not addicted to it by any means, as some are, but still, I do check status' often. I have made the decision to sign off Facebook for good. I've been waiting for "the right time", and you know what? NOW, is the right time for me! Thanks for giving me the last little "push" I needed! It's time I obey what I feel God is leading me to do! :o)

  • JulieMom

    Erin- I just wanted to say that I am in complete agreement with you. It's easy to sit at a computer and spout off about this that and the other, but never really talk to anyone in person about it. I have approached those who are near me.

    However, I do not feel it is appropriate to confront those I have not seen or spoken to in over two years through email with subject material like this. Maybe I'm wrong?

    It's just too easy to misconstrue tone, or wording through email. And Lord knows I don't want to try and have a conversation on Skype and have half of it cut out!

    Thanks for bringing that up, as it's essential to the topic at hand. Love your forthrightness!

    And I am hoping I didn't come across as self-righteous, because I am far from perfect. Just because I don't struggle with this particular issue doesn't mean I don't have plenty of others.

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