I was scrolling through my social media feeds this week, and a few times articles with similar titles to this came up:
Ladies...10 Ways You Can Help a Man Keep Pure Thoughts
I just can't even begin to tell you how much headlines like this irritate me. Is it wrong for us to want to help each other out and hold each other accountable? Absolutely not. It's what we should be doing. We should be helping one another be better in God's eyes. We should call each other out when we're leaning toward, or in the middle of, sin.
But this applies to EVERYONE we know, not just women protecting men.
Too often I see articles that put the onus on women to keep men from lusting after us. This idea that we control what goes on in men's minds is just another example of how we, as Christians, continue to perpetuate Rape Culture in our society. I don't care if a woman is walking down the street completely naked, it's up to the man looking at her to control himself. It's up to him to ask God to work through his lustful thoughts about her. It's up to him to control his own behavior.
When we put the pressure on women to talk a certain way, avoid certain behaviors, dress in a "proper" manner so as not to tempt a man, we take away a man's sense of responsibility. It becomes easy for them to point at the woman as the problem when it's more what's going on in their hearts.
Look at Adam and Eve. In many churches, they still believe Eve is to blame for all the sin in the world--that it is she who is responsible for the downfall of man. She offered Adam the fruit, after all, right?
It doesn't matter. Adam made his own choice.
Adam didn't have to take the fruit (neither did Eve for that matter), but he did. Adam didn't have to disobey God just because the fruit was there. God punished both Adam AND Eve, because each was responsible for their own disobedience. Had God blamed Eve alone for Adam's disobedience, the consequences would probably have been quite different.
So why do we make women responsible for what goes on in a man's mind and heart? How about we raise men to look at women as people, not objects to lust after? How about we talk in church openly about sexuality and lust, not just condemning it, but really discuss how we work through it. Let's talk about how there isn't really a person alive that hasn't lusted after someone or something. So instead of pointing fingers, let's focus on how a relationship with God works to help us resist temptation.
Now, let me be clear, I do believe we probably shouldn't start running errands in nothing but the skin we were born in, but I also don't believe clothes or being alone with a man will stop lustful feelings. I've had more men than I can count stare at my breasts whether I'm wearing a muumuu or a bikini. I've been wearing a suit in a room with 500 people when I've been asked to dance on a table. Geishas wear a thick kimono, and yet men have lusted after them for ages. In many Muslim countries, women are covered from head to toe, and yet that hasn't stopped men from lusting after women. It hasn't stopped rape. It hasn't stopped sex.
Don't use clothing as an excuse.
It doesn't matter if you're fully clothed or not, whether you're alone or not, whether you flirt or not...lust is going to happen. So let's stop talking about how to not tempt a man and let's talk about how to hold men accountable and encourage them to deal with their feelings. Stop giving men excuses for bad behavior, and start teaching them how to handle what their feeling in a responsible and spiritual manner.
Controlling a man's lust just isn't a woman's responsibility. It is his. Just like if a woman thinks a man is attractive, it is her responsibility to talk to God about her feelings. We need to hold ourselves accountable for our own behavior. When we choose poorly, when we act poorly, it's our own faults. Let's take responsibility for ourselves, own our issues, and take our flaws to God.
The Christian Single Ladies Blog is where we'll bring up some interesting topics facing single women of faith today.
Support CSL ministry
Christian Single Ladies started as a blog, but it is growing as a movement. Join us as we continue bringing God's word to Christian single women around the world. Even $1 a month helps! Click on the link below and head over to our Patreon page to become a patron of the Christian Single Ladies Ministry!
check out the csl shop!
Show off just how single, saved and sassy you are with some of our CSL gear at the Christian Single Ladies shop on Zazzle! Click on the link below to find some great tees, mugs, phone cases and more. We'll be adding new things periodically, so don't miss out!