A Lesson of True Respect

For she has cast down many wounded, And all who were slain by her were strong men.” Proverbs 7:26

Times have changed in today’s society. We now have thousands of TV channels, Internet sites, and mobile apps. We can see everything; nothing is a shame to show anymore. Social media has displayed a very different image of a woman compared to the Biblical definition of a lady. For example, women like Gigi Hadid and Beyoncé have become role models for teenage girls. Celebrity women are teaching young girls and adult women to gain power over men by using sex. Girls learn at a very young age how to dress in order to attract boys, and they start striving to be an object of desire. Outside beauty is given more credit in magazines, TV, and Internet than inner beauty.

The more revealed the better. You certainly see this type of attitude when you walk across college campuses today. The tighter and shorter ladies wear their clothes the better.  Society is pushing women to crave this attention, and show their femininity this way to get fame and fortune. Christian ladies cannot ignore the ads and the social atmosphere to get around this way of thinking. Women are thinking, “if I just wear this and get a man to look at me with desire, I will have power.” It feels good to know you are attractive. But how far is too far? This is a dangerous topic that sometimes I feel we have overlooked in the Church.

I have daily struggled with and for a long time have ignored this question. I was naïve in high school and college thinking that I would not cause anybody to stumble in the outfits that I wore. After dating seriously and getting married, I listened to my husband’s point-of-view. Wow. It is hard for them. We make it even harder for them when we dress the way society is telling us we should. As I studied my Bible on this topic, I came across a very enlightening story in Proverbs 7:6-27. Now no lady would read this and consider that she might be the harlot of this story. However, if we are trying to entice others to look at us and dressing in a way to reveal more than what is modest, then we are acting like this foolish woman. Verse 10 talks about the “attire of a harlot.” What kind of attire do you think that might be? I imagine it would be a very revealing type of clothing. It would be something that showed all the curves and flesh desirable by a man. She intently wore the things she did and spoke flattering words to draw that man unto her. Was it for power? Was it for fleshly desire? Yes. The one verse from this whole passage that stands out to me and scares me so badly is verse 26.

“For she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men.” Proverbs 7:26

Notice that this verse doesn’t say weak men or young boys. No, this verse says strong men. Does fleshly lust touch all men? Maybe not, but do not discount this statement. An evil woman can tempt even the strongest of men. Am I that lady? I hope not.

This idea of promoting sexuality over the soul of an individual is not new. Ecclesiastes 1:9 “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Women in the Bible were confronted with these issues. They were striving to be godly in a worldly society. If not, why would the Bible mention topics on modesty, lust, and sex?

First and foremost, godly love will never be found in an atmosphere promoting immodesty, lust, and sensual desires.

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).  “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).

What kind of woman does God want me to be? Proverbs 31 talks about the virtuous woman in verses 10-31. A virtuous woman is a woman that conforms to moral and ethical principles. She is righteous and does her husband good, not evil. This lady is not afraid of hard work and serving others. She helps the poor and needy. Most importantly, she takes good care of her family. Nowhere in this passage does it talk about a lady trying to make her outward body an object of want. Instead, this woman uses her acts of kindness to speak for her. In spite of this, does she go around dressing in weird attire to rebel against society? No. In fact, she makes clothing of purple and fine linen for herself (v. 22). She clothes herself with strength and honor (v. 25). Does she still get attention for this from her husband? Yes. Verse 28 tells us that her husband praises her. In fact, in verse 29 he tells her “many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.”

In the end, God wants all of us to strive to seek godly attention based on our inward beauty. Women do not have to dress the way the world tells them to in order to gain self-esteem and respect. The lady of Proverbs 31 gained respect and praise by her Godly works. As long as we are striving to do what is right, God will be on our side and we will have the true respect we desire from those we know and love.

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

-Mallory Huddleston, TBC Marketing Coordinator

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