Modesty as a Marriage Tool
My friend’s husband told me one day that many husbands have confided in him that sexy pictures of women on Facebook are a consistent catalyst for them to look at porn. That’s all it takes.
He said this to me as a plea to encourage other Christian women to hold our friends accountable. Of course none of us want our husbands looking at porn, but are we doing anything from our end to help protect our men’s eyes?
I’ve thought a lot about this.
As a single girl, I thought it was cool to look sexy. I know I’m not alone in that (though hopefully you are less rebellious than I was). Catching a guy noticing me for a little longer than he should felt empowering.
Now that I’m married, to my husband’s chagrin, I’ve become modest, at least by California standards. It has nothing to do with thinking wives need to be frumpy without any sex appeal. It has everything to do with cherishing something valuable in my marriage and in other people’s.
I think it’s beautiful and even a little sultry for my husband to be the only one who gets to know what I look like in something slinky, wild, or sexy. As far as I’m concerned, no one else needs to be thinking about me in that way, so I shouldn’t give them opportunity to.
Even more compelling to me than protecting that spark for my husband (because Chris tells me that every guy wishes his gal were hot eye candy to some degree. You know, a “That’s right, fellas…I don’t know what she’s doing with me either, but I’ve got a hottie” kind of thing) is protecting the sanctity in the marriages around me.
In our church group, being a product of sunny Southern California, we have a beach party every year. People are usually really respectful about wearing appropriate beachware. Every once in awhile, however, a girl with a great figure will unveil her string bikini. I can’t even imagine how hard it is for all these newlywed husbands to keep from checking out this accessible body knowing that his wife is right there and knowing that this super hot chick is one of his buddy’s wives.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for tanning in a bikini, but I would never ever want to be the cause of one of my friend’s husband’s stumbling. Marriage is too sacred to put someone else, especially someone else whose marriage I am championing, in the face of temptation. It’s like Romans 14 so aptly says, even if you can do something in good faith, you need to take the responsibility not to do it if you are making another stumble.
Accountability without relationship is harassment, as my sage husband once told me. But we all have relationships with Christian women, and we owe it to our husbands and theirs (or to their future husbands) to value and encourage modesty amidst our communities and to hold accountable when necessary.
In your engagement period, you are coming up against the transition from being a hot single girl to someone’s hot cherished wife. I think it’s pretty cool to watch the shift of boundaries for being sexy from trying to woo men in your dating years (again, maybe I was more rebellious than you) to flourishing within the privacy and sanctity of marriage. You are nurturing your marriage by being sexy for your husband, and you are nurturing others’ marriages by being modest for them.
Modesty doesn’t have to mean frumpville. Have fun with it, and help other Christian women to also.
Article originally published on May 4, 2011.