Ok, first let me thank MInTheGap for asking me to guest post here. I have never been asked to post anywhere! Wow, I’m flattered! That said; let’s get down to business…
Today’s worldly culture is becoming increasingly casual. Let me list just a few areas that I see this being/becoming a problem especially between the sexes:
- Casualness of dress, immodesty.
- Casualness of speech.
- Casualness of space, which I define as a lack of separation between the sexes in general.
Immodesty is influenced by casualness in that men and women alike feel free to dress down, and without care. Often this leads to a lack of covering, which promotes sexual thoughts about persons with whom you are not intimate (i.e. married to). When our culture became casual in dress, it left the woman’s (and man’s) body open like a book to be flipped through casually. Men walk down the street and flip through the pages of female forms everyday. When a person does not cover their body– the form of a woman or the bulging muscles of a man– it becomes casual: available to any observer.
The casualness with which we can view other’s bodies, devalues the precious gift of your spouse’s body given to you in marriage. For example, when you are constantly exposed to ladies legs, breasts and hips, (or for women the muscles and chest of men or even men in their undies!) you become numb to it in a way. Then when you marry, those things are not as exciting as they would have been if you had never seen them. What you would have given to your wife, in praise of her body, is lost to those on the street.
I am not saying that men do not praise their wives’ body or women their husbands… However, something is lost; it is that FIRST expression that is lost, the novelty of it, the excitement of it, the newness and innocence of your first marital view of your spouse. Furthermore, the idea that no one else has ever seen YOUR spouse is lost. If you as a man or woman have ever worn tight fitting clothing, others have envisioned your body naked. You aren’t such a nice new package anymore made by God just for your spouse!
Furthermore, while not all Christians struggle with this, the casualness of the body promotes early sexual experience and many sexual partners. What used to be considered bad for a guy and just out right terrible for a woman is now flaunted by both. Both men and women are “players”, people who experience multiple partners in casual settings. One night stands are nearly as common for women as for men. Also related is the casualness with which the life of the baby created during these casual experiences is disposed of. And the increasing statistics on rape are likely attributed by the casualness of the covering of our bodies, among other casual issues to be discussed…
Secondly, the casualness of speech: the lack of use of terms of respect, such as Miss, and Mr. which were used by acquaintances, to define their relationship, and to keep space between them. Today even adults are called by their first names by CHILDREN, not to mention that men and women address each other as friends, not acquaintances. This allows for a deeper relationship to develop much more quickly. (Which causes us to defraud each other when later we decide this isn’t Mr./Miss. Right.) It used to be that hearing your name only happened within families. It was special, your name was special. Now it is thrown around by almost anyone.
Also, the way anything can be said in front of a lady is a casualness that promotes women as being men. It does not protect the woman from embarrassing comments. The woman is a weaker vessel, and a vessel full of mercy and compassion. What may be seen as funny to men would be embarrassing to women. To cause a woman to blush in public would be rude. (Not like most women blush these days, and the reason for that is again the casual culture we are in, that treats the sacred as common.)
And thirdly, casualness of space: which I define as a lack of separation between the sexes in general. If you think back to Biblical times, the men and women were separated much of the day. In worship services, in work, even at parties men and women did not dance together. Today however, men and women touching and brushing against each other is commonplace. This also devalues the body, and the sanctity of the marriage union. Your body is not your own, it is not protected on the street, where any stranger can brush his body against yours.
We have all heard the stories of molestation that happen on buses and trains. When too many people are crowded together there is an expected casualness in touch. You could not ride a train and be offended every time someone brushed your leg as they walked by… but it desensitizes you. Now the touch offered by your spouse has to compete with all the touches you have received all day long. The proximity of men and women through out the day lessens the special-ness of proximity with spouse and family.
So people… our culture is going to hell in a hand basket! Is it any surprise? The question is, what are we going to do about it! I don’t claim to walk in the way I am proposing, but little by little I am attempting to change my lifestyle to become godlier. Personally I have stopped wearing tight fitting clothing, and short shirts. I am learning how to sew, so that I can make dresses that are modest, feminine and fashionable. (I am also not into jumpers, Mary.) I require the children I meet to call me Mrs. Logan, which is amazingly difficult in a culture where people go by first names, and say things like “Mrs. Logan is my mother…” And I try to keep my body away from men. I am uncomfortable hugging men at church (a common practice around here) and have asked them to stop! So, I’m growing… How about you? What are you or will you be doing to walk circumspectly?
Mom of 6