Avert your eyes, Son
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    Default Avert your eyes, Son

    Guest contributor Lisa Jacobson from Club31Women

    Avert your eyes, Son.

    His dad started saying it to him from the youngest age - when he was only a little boy. Might have been an alluring commercial while watching the ballgame. Or a billboard while driving down the highway. A pop-up on the computer screen.

    As parents, we had purposed to teach him purity from the beginning.

    And you wouldn't think that would be too tough to do where we live. We're out in the country, somewhere on the outskirts of a small western town. But that hardly matters anymore.

    Temptation can be found anywhere.

    Even in Target.

    Target? Yeah, I know. That's what I thought too. Until one day we popped in to pick up some flip-flops for the summer and I remarked how he kept bumping into things.

    What is your problem, Son??

    "I'm just looking down, Mom," And with a nod, he indicated the ads placed strategically above us. Billboards for the lingerie department. Yikes. I'd not seen them.

    But then again...I'm not a vulnerable young man either.

    Sorry, Son.

    I'm sorry the Enemy tries to pull you down everywhere you turn. I feel badly we live in a world that's so ready to compromise a man's commitment to clean living. It's never been easy - only it's far worse now.

    Is there nowhere a young man can safely go?

    Maybe a Christian family camp. You'd think.

    It was a hot July day and we all packed up and headed out for fun and fellowship with a bunch of other believers. Picnic blankets, cold watermelon, and squirt guns. It was promising to be a great day.

    So I was surprised to see our oldest son hanging back from the festivities. He's an outgoing guy and usually one of the first out there mixing it up. Except not this time. He stayed close to our small spot and played with his little brothers instead.

    What is your problem, Son??

    He hesitated for a moment. Then answered, "Mom, I don't know what to do. Dad's taught me to 'avert my eyes', but there doesn't seem anywhere I can turn here."

    I glanced around and then saw what he meant.

    Most of the ladies there were dressed for a hot summer day. Many with bare skin exposed. Lots of bareness. Yikes, again. Who would have thought he'd have to wrestle with it here?

    I noticed a pretty girl nearby and wondered if she realized how difficult she was making it for a guy. Surely, she would have made another choice if she had. She might have thrown a light blouse on over her tank top. Slipped on a longer, breezy skirt. Picked out some walking shorts or a shirt with a higher neckline. She might have covered herself up.

    If she only understood how hard he's trying to do the right thing. She might have dressed differently. For his sake. For the sake of all the men out there who want to walk in purity.

    If she only knew that the way she dressed up meant a good man needed to look down. He had to turn away from her beauty. That he was missing out on her loveliness because she was showing him more than he was meant to see.

    Because we can teach our sons to avert their eyes. To lower their gaze. But what can we do as Christian women? We can't leave our guys stuck in a place where there's nowhere left to turn.

    Let's choose modesty - modesty that allows a woman's true beauty to shine through.

    In like matter also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation (I Tim. 2:9a).

    In His grace,


    From here If She Only Knew - Thoughts on Modesty and Beauty | Time-Warp Wife - Empowering Wives to Joyfully Serve

    The comment section is fascinating.

    What do you think? Is this a lovely piece on teaching women the value of modest dress? (in the comment section the author says that the girl in question was wearing shorts and a tank top at the summer picnic). Is it a great commentary on how to raise young men of virtue who respect and honor women? Or is one short step from "she deserved to be raped because of what she was wearing"?.

    Go.

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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Bleh. I was kind of laughing at the idea of that poor kid stumbling around because he can't look where he is going because of his parents' psycho rules (okay, it doesn't sound so funny now that I put it that way.) But then I got to the part you bolded and my stomach kind of turned. I'm sure the whole family would be much more comfortable if that pesky girl would just go ahead and put on a burka, huh?
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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    We should be teaching all of our children to dress appropriately, we should be teaching all of our children that we don't stare at strangers no matter what or how little they are wearing, and we should be teaching our children that human bodies are beautiful & wonderful but sometimes it's more fun to wonder what's inside the package than to be shown, kwim? I feel sorry for her kids. And I wonder how her boys were dressed? Where they wearing shorts and tank tops? If so, then she's a freaking hypocrite.
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    I am all for dressing appropriately for both sexes. I think this is over the top.
    Mom to Elizabeth (6) and Corinne (4)

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    I don't understand this:

    If she only understood how hard he's trying to do the right thing. She might have dressed differently. For his sake. For the sake of all the men out there who want to walk in purity.

    If she only knew that the way she dressed up meant a good man needed to look down. He had to turn away from her beauty. That he was missing out on her loveliness because she was showing him more than he was meant to see.
    What is "the right thing"? Not having thoughts? If you don't want to have them AT ALL and the sight of a shoulder or a knee will trigger them, then you have to go live with monks.

    Would it not be better to learn how to handle the thoughts when they come?
    Spacers and Alissa_Sal like this.
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    Mega Poster mom3girls's Avatar
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    I have read a couple of articles similar to this recently, most I have liked. This one made me want to cuss at the screen a little. I encourage my children to dress modestly, and we do have more strict rules for our kids then some. But never will I tell them that they should dress that way so boys dont have to look at the ground. RIDICULOUS.

    Nor will I tell my boy to avert his eyes to the ground. We will teach him to look in a girls eyes, and that if she is wearing clothing that is inappropriate that it might be hard for him to look in her eyes, but will be worth it.
    fuchsiasky likes this.
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    Posting Addict SID081108's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    We should be teaching all of our children to dress appropriately, we should be teaching all of our children that we don't stare at strangers no matter what or how little they are wearing, and we should be teaching our children that human bodies are beautiful & wonderful but sometimes it's more fun to wonder what's inside the package than to be shown, kwim?
    This.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    We should be teaching all of our children to dress appropriately, we should be teaching all of our children that we don't stare at strangers no matter what or how little they are wearing, and we should be teaching our children that human bodies are beautiful & wonderful but sometimes it's more fun to wonder what's inside the package than to be shown, kwim? I feel sorry for her kids. And I wonder how her boys were dressed? Where they wearing shorts and tank tops? If so, then she's a freaking hypocrite.

    But isn't "appropriately" wildly subjective and very culturally based? I mean, if my family was based in Spain right now we would be on topless beaches this summer and it would be quite normal.

    This came up this past week. Most mornings my sister, SIL and I would work out and then enjoy 1 hour of kid free time at the adult pool. As we were laying there in our bikinis with my Dad (in his swim trunks, no shirt) and tons of other people in bikinis and shorts, a Muslim woman came out in headgear and full pants/shirt. After she left we all wondered "why is she even here?" I mean.......why be on such a trip, where the entirety of it revolves around pool and snorkeling and scuba and dolphin encounters and being in the ocean and whatnot? Why be somewhere where you are CONSTANTLY seeing women dressed in bikinis and topless men? Frankly I thought it was really weird.

    My version of appropriate means dressing appropriately to my activity, which means if I am in a pool that I am in a bathing suit. To me it is INappropriate to swim in clothing, unless one has a proclivity for drowning. I found this article disturbing and one step away from the sort of attitude which leads to victim blaming in rape cases.

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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom3girls View Post
    We will teach him to look in a girls eyes, and that if she is wearing clothing that is inappropriate that it might be hard for him to look in her eyes, but will be worth it.
    I like this, and I think it's worth saying to the girls, too. Tiven has asked why girls not much older than her have their T&A hanging out all over, and she's told me I should say something. I've told her that when girls dress like that, it's for attention, and the best thing to do is to not give them the attention they crave.
    SID081108 likes this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacers View Post
    I like this, and I think it's worth saying to the girls, too. Tiven has asked why girls not much older than her have their T&A hanging out all over, and she's told me I should say something. I've told her that when girls dress like that, it's for attention, and the best thing to do is to not give them the attention they crave.
    And if you see Moms huddled under giant mumu's do you tell her that they are wildly insecure and self loathing and to not pity them? I mean jeez...........I find that pretty judgmental of you. I think that I pretty much tell my kids and try to tell myself not to judge people's psyche by what they are wearing. At the end of the day maybe their parents couldn't afford to buy them a new suit this year and they had to wear last years. Maybe they don't have parents who provide them any help or guidance. Maybe they only have hand me downs and are forced to wear what they are wearing. Who knows? I think that its a little rude of you to make that judgement of them and share that judgment with your daughter.

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