Drops of sweat on his muscles were glistening in the sun adding attention to the well-defined biceps that were oozing out with masculinity. His choice of clothing was like second skin with every muscle threatening to ripple out. All the hard work and discipline of going to the gym was paying off. He continued to take a cool stride along the road fully aware of the second glances that he was getting – and he was proud of it.
Are Christian men exempt from this behaviour? No! We even see guys with such attire leading worship in churches. Life for such men evolve around their goals, or better choice of wording perhaps would be ‘obsession’ to gain a ‘perfect’ body. No matter what happens, their focus is on getting that workout and eating ‘correctly’ with less calories and reduced quantities.
Very few of such men would be seen investing in real relationships. They may hang around in circles and do ‘fun’ stuff together, but is there true bonding? The females in his life most likely are his admirers, hoping that his heart will soften. He thrives on the attention, which suits him well as he doesn’t have time to take care of others as he is too busy developing a picture perfect physique.
Are women not visual? Obviously they are! Otherwise would they spend much time in carefully co-ordinating their attire and accessories? Her criteria for choosing a partner may not be based on these ‘visual’ attributes or perhaps better said it often isn’t in her priority list. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t want a man who she finds attractive! Ultimately isn’t this one of the key deciding factors between a platonic relationship and a romantic one?
So tell me, how come these men are not pulled up for their ‘provocative’ behaviour? Why is this accepted or even encouraged as “manliness” when a woman dresses revealing her femininity she is chided?
We have yet another scenario… some males “chasing” the one they have laid eyes on. They will go all out to get her attention no matter how long it takes and no matter what it takes. A man will seduce the woman with his charms, his words and seductive touch. He will not take a “no” for an answer. Are women tempted by such behaviour? Obviously! It becomes a war of the flesh and the spirit for the godly woman who yearns for holiness, to preserve herself for the one man that God has reserved especially for her.
However once the woman has yielded to his trap (by this I’m not meaning giving in to the sexual temptation) and is ready to commit to giving the relationship a fair shot, he is then ready to move on to his next target under the pretence that it isn’t God’s Will or claiming celibacy. Will anyone confront the guy? No! However people are quick to chide a woman for similar behaviour as being “loose”.
If a female chases a male, she earns a negative label. Yet we forget that a woman is (more often than not) serious about a long term relationship which ideally ends in marriage while a man (more often than not) tends to have commitment phobia (more of this in the next blog post) and jumps at the first excuse to get out of the relationship if she is serious.
How come society generally lets the male get away with anything even at the expense of breaking several tender hearts? (I have seen double standards by leaders and heads of churches in protecting their loved ones (females) and manipulating the boys into marriage while they encourage the boys to get away breaking hearts if the girl isn’t someone they are fond of. In fact they cover up for the boy saying, “Yes it isn’t God’s Will… How can we force them?)
Worse is the suspicious eye that looks at the single female for not having settled down. Have the people who judge her character as ‘promiscuous’ learned about the several attempts of relationships only to see her dreams shatter into irretrievable pieces thanks to irresponsible males? Can’t these people understand her emotional trauma of being cheated by the very ones she trusted, that since they are more than once bitten they are more than twice shy?
Have these people realised they have a part to play in these sins? What is not an act of love is a sin. We are a body of Christ; each one knit together as God intended. When we refuse to stand up for what is wrong, then we become a part of the sin. Have we done what is necessary to protect or stand up for the victim, who is another part of the Body of Christ?
We also need compassion on the males who do this, as they obviously have some unhealed hurts causing this behaviour. They need healing too. The Bible is very clear that those of us who are spiritual need to GENTLY restore another CAUGHT in sin (Galatians 6:1)… God’s Word is clear that we need to speak the TRUTH in love (Ephesians 4:15), with grace. All the while we should remember the forgiveness, grace and mercy that God has extended to each one of us.
If we don’t want God to judge us based on APPEARANCES, then we shouldn’t judge others based on appearances. Judge not lest you be judged. We don’t know each individual’s reasoning for their choice of clothing. Besides who are we to judge as to what is right or not for the other.
It is not about the clothing, it is about the moral values and behaviour, about their motives. There are many who are ultra-conservatively dressed but do their deeds in darkness. Their appearance lets them get away with it.
If males have the right to appear attractive, then women certainly have the right to do so too. If we want to judge the women, then let’s use the same measure to judge the men too. Else let’s zip our mouths. If we want God to intervene in our lives and safeguard us from evil and harm and vindicate us, then we should be willing to be God’s vessels to doing likewise to those around us. Do unto others as you would like to be done for yourself.
If you want to impose a standard, impose it for both females and males. However, what is even better is to forget traditions and man-made rules, and not judge based on appearances but rather go to biblical practices…
Remember we are to gently restore those around us who are CAUGHT in a sin, not whom we THINK are sinning. Most of all, we need to obey God’s Word and commandments… At the end of the day it isn’t our clothes or lack of that God is going to hold against us.
Actually coming to think of it, I don’t recall clothing as an issue held against any of the 7 churches in the book of Revelation. However idolatry, false teachings, self-sufficiency (trusting in one’s own wealth), falling from our first love of God, committing sexual immorality, being dead despite having a reputation of being alive are listed.
Wrapping up this article, the key is to encourage one another to grow in the Lord, to be sensitive to God’s voice and to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As these areas strengthen, the fruit of the Holy Spirit will be evident…
We can’t create the fruit, that is the work of the Holy Spirit.. but we can encourage one another to yield to the Holy Spirit to produce good fruit!
Stay tuned as this “mini-series” (which started from a previous blog post “Sensual”) continues…