#4 Myth of Modesty: Lust is HIS problem.
Lust is a rampant problem in the church and in our culture. Most often lust is addressed with men, but it is also a major issue in the lives of women. It simply looks different for women than it does for men.
In Myth #3, I listed two ways we can turn a man’s head:
- For the appeal of his desire based on revealing enough of our bodies to entice him; or
- To appear attractive in personality as reflected in how we dress.
Don’t think I can’t relate with a desire for attention. I am acutely aware that there are certain items I could wear that would draw Mr. M’s attention to my body, and I would be flattered by it. In fact, I would relish the attention and be affirmed that he found me desirable.
Note: Appreciating beauty is not the same as lust. A man can find a woman attractive, beautiful and lovely without her body being the sole focus of that attention. Lust is a desire for that which is not ours to have: the body of a person who does not belong to us. When a man ogles a woman’s chest, legs or derriere, he is focusing on the parts of her that are not his, and yet he takes them visually and mentally, cheapening the woman and demeaning himself. That is not appreciation: That is lust.
Manipulating a man’s attention for the purpose of affirmation is how women are tempted to lust.
Case in point: Eve.
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” (Gen. 3:6)
Eve was given to Adam as his most trusted companion. She was also the most perfect beauty ever to be created in the body of a woman. You can bet her beauty served her well as she asked Adam to taste-test the forbidden fruit!
Eve thought the fruit of the tree was useful and pretty, but also desirable.
“For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:16)
When I give into my desire to for a man’s attention, at the expense of his endeavor to honor God, I am giving in to the lust of my flesh and encouraging the lust of his eyes.
I am also expressing pride by ignoring God’s command for ‘decency and propriety’ since I claim to worship Him. I am becoming Eve.