Let me first note that if a guy lusts after a girl, it is his fault. He is responsible for his wickedness. If a man rapes a woman, it is his fault. He is responsible. He cannot blame it on the woman. There are no exceptions and no excuses.
But, there is a reason that the Bible has commands to women about modesty. That reason is because women have a duty, an obligation, to themselves, their husbands (future husbands if they are not yet married), to their daughters, to their sons, and to whoever else might see them to dress modestly. They are to make sure that only their own husbands enjoy their God-given enticements. And when their dress acts like a flashing red light and loud siren, it should sound very foolish to claim they have no responsibility.
Having said that, I point you to The Wall Street Journal today which has an article entitled “Why Do We Let Girls Dress Like That?”
This author says, “Why do so many of us not only permit our teenage daughters to dress like this—like prostitutes, if we're being honest with ourselves—but pay for them to do it with our AmEx cards?”
This is not authored by some raving fundamentalist pastor whose wife looks like she just barely survived a bout with a buffet and Mike Tyson. It’s not written by a Mennonite with a headcovering, or a Muslim in a burqa. It’s not even written by a reformed sex offender who just got out after doing his fifteen for crimes against an attractive young girl.
It is authored by a Moses (Jennifer Moses that is). A woman. And apparently a Jewish woman. And like many Jews and many women, she is worth listening to.
She, like the ODG that shares her name, speaks a word that needs to be heard by parents, by teens too young to get it, by school headmasters responsible for classroom decorum, indeed by anyone who breathes and has a beating heart.
Here’s that word: Dress your age. And save something for the wedding night and the years that follow.
I think we live in a world where teen girls grow up too fast and teen boys grow up too slow.
Thirteen year-old girls are dressing like their twenty-five year-old man-hunters desperate to catch some man’s eye like he is the last single man living … though being single isn’t much of a requirement these days.
And thirty year-old boys are working part-time jobs at McDonald’s (this week at least), playing video games, and mooching off mom and dad for refrigerator privileges and living space (if they happen to even make it home at night).
Then when this thirteen year-old grows up and enters a relationship with this now thirty-five year old, she wonders why he only seems to want her for her body and makes her go out and get a job so they can eek out enough money to get a $300 apartment with stained carpet and loud neighbors.
And then three kids and a frazzled decade later, she wonders why he sits by the apartment pool with sunglasses on all summer long, spend hours on the computer though the browser history is always blank, and gets text messages at strange hours but never seems to have any texts on his phone.
She should remember that she attracted a jerk by using something wrongly. And he will be completely at fault for his sin. And so will she.
For God’s sake, and for your husband’s sake, and for your children’s sake, for men’s sake, for women’s sake, cover up a bit.
Girls, be thirteen for at least a year of life, preferably the year between twelve and fourteen. Develop a little self-respect. If you want men to like you for your mind, then spend a little time on that and not so much in front of the mirror. Because you will find that men who like you for your body will soon find another, and yours will stop being “thirteen” and become “thirty-five and three kids.”
And then what?
Moms, insist that your daughters act their age. And by that, I don’t mean telling them to grow up. I mean tell them to stop acting like they are twenty-five. And dads, be a dad. Tell the girls in your life what they can and cannot wear. You know how teenage boys think, because you used to be one, and probably still think like one at times. So help out. It’s what dads do.
And dads, insist your sons act their age. Teach them to be a man, sooner, not later. No young man will suffer irreparable harm because he scrounges up some spending money by raking yards or mowing grass rather than playing whatever the newest video game rage is. And missing the latest Fox cartoon will not send them to an asylum. Teaching them to wash dishes, sweep and vacuum, pick up clothes, and the like will not cause cancer, either for you or for them, though it may be painful for a while. And moms, with dad’s help, insist that your sons treat you like a lady, not a maidservant.
And dads, while I am here, I cannot think of any reason why your wife or your daughter needs to have something plastered across the back of her sweatpants or jeans. My guess is that you can’t either.
But you probably know exactly why it is there and exactly what young men (and old men) are thinking of when they try to read it … again and again and again.
Yes, legalistic I know.
But a generation depends on it.
And we have already lost one.
It’s time to reclaim the next.