Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sexuality & Modesty

 Recently I read an article called   I would encourage you to read it, if you want to hear a strong woman's story.

   Here is what I would like to say.

    There are many men and woman who may identify themselves most strongly by their sexuality. For some, - their sexuality seems to be the basis for their worth. They may even feel it is the only proof of their value.  For others, it is cause of their rejection. It makes them a glaring target of attack. Same coin, different sides.

   Some may be aware of these dynamics in their own life, like the woman who wrote the post, who struggles to find another means of identity, and worth, and fights for that assurance every single day. Others seem to embrace and revel in what they see as a source of personal power.

  Right now my world is flooded with those who offering all kinds of solutions on how to 'handle' other people’s sexuality in their own world. Protective mothers blog about blocking girls on face book who’s photos are sexual or provocative in nature, whether intended or not. (Which in itself is a huge assumption that it is the girls pictures that will catch her son's attention.) 
 Others blog about compassion winning those girls over to different ways of dressing and sharing. Others dive deeply in discussing modesty and proper dress. They try to define and motivate others to handle their bodies the way that is least offensive to the writers. The tactics are usually the same; guilt, shame, and ultimately, rejection.

    I guess I didn’t realize that the point of Christianity was to clean everyone up, give them a proper make over, and slap a sanctified smile on their face and bible in their arms before they were worthy of love and respect.

    So how DO you handle other peoples overt sexuality? What about your kids? Are you worried?
   I am too. I am worried about how our children are learning how to relate to and treat others.
  They are watching and learning. And funny enough, - they get the message. –

   While you don’t believe a person’s sexuality is key to their worth, - you do seem to believe their sexuality or appearance is reason to treat them as if they had none.

    You see, - by treating someone differently because they do or don't meet your standards, you really are telling them that their sexuality DOES prove their worth. Your standards are different than theirs, that's all. Maybe one woman finds her sexual worth in flaunting her gorgeous body, while you find yours in completely covering it (and wishing that everyone in your world would also). Both objectify, based in a dangerous value system.

 Do you know how to relate to a woman or man, or teen who you feel is too hung up on their sexuality being tied to their value and worth?
 Prove to them it isn’t.
Treat them like the beautiful, complex, wonderful, individual person they are. 
Look in their eyes, not at their clothes. Listen to what they know, what they like, what they love, instead of trying to figure out what box or label you can apply. Real modesty means not giving sexuality in yourself or others any more attention or promotion than it deserves, either positive or negative.

    Just for the record, - that’s what Jesus did.

   He sided with the woman caught in the act of adultery and literally saved her life.
  He hung out alone and talked with the woman at the well who was a well known woman of the night.  I love the story of him talking to the woman at the well. He knew what she looked like and who she was, and yet did not objectify her.  He did not judge. He treated her with respect.

  He may have been the first man in her life to look in her eyes and care more about her as person than what her appearance and reputation meant.
    When meeting others, Jesus always cared far more about who they really were, than their sexual experiences. He cared about their hearts, about their wholeness.
   How can we do any less?  

    I hope to protect my son and daughter. I hope to protect them from judging people by the clothes they wear, the way they speak, their sexual past, present, or any other insignificant thing about them. I hope to teach them to treat every man and woman with love and respect and treat them the way they’d like to be treated. I hope I can give them a  sense of their own incredible value and worth no matter what about them may be disliked by others.

   I also hope they choose to follow in my love of a God who teaches me how to truly love others.
I honestly don’t know how they could refuse such a God, because the more I know Him, the more I love who he is, and his never ending love for us all.
  Of this I am confident, - the surest hope I have of letting them see the God I love; is letting him see God’s love for others begin with me.

(I want to clarify for those who haven't read other places where I address the fact that I DO take measures to protect my children from unhealthy sexual experiences or predation of others. This is not the issue I am addressing in this post. This post is addressing how we relate to others in our life,  as young and old adults, and yes, our children are watching.  
 Forced sex, and sexual or physical abuse are NEVER ok, no matter how old or young a person may be. To learn more about what abuse is, and how to take steps toward health and recovery, please go here, here, or here.) 

1 comment:

  1. holy crap. I read her article and literally dissolved into tears I just couldn't stop. wow. thanks for sharing! love you!