A Call to Biblical Manhood: Whose job is it to keep his pants up?

A Call to Biblical Manhood: Whose job is it to keep his pants up?

SOMEONE, help me with this–please! Just how responsible are women for maintaining the sexual purity of men? If you’ve ever been part of an institution that requires its girls or women to present themselves as if they’ve shopped at the mercantile and spruced up at the apothecary, you know what I mean.

 

 

Is it true that men have no control over their bodies once their eyes are engaged in the art of seeing?

 

Insecurity

I do not condone padded push-ups/push-outs, tight, navel-touching deep V’s, or short, sheer bottoms that reveal the brand or cut of undergarments a woman is wearing. I actually feel sorry for anyone who resolves all her insecurity issues at the checkout counter in the Skank department.

 

 

But I also feel sorry for those who refuse to call a lace-bibbed, bow-tied dress on a 40-year-old the abomination that it is. These are two extremes of an issue on which the Christian world cannot get a grip.

 

A Common Misconception

The idea that men are greater spiritual giants when surrounded by women in gunny sacks is a misconception that moves our attention from the real issue–immature men, and borders on misogyny.

 

What about real life?

It leads to the development of men who can’t function in a secular work environment, at the mall, or at the beach where, perchance, they encounter women dressed like regular people. Sinful perhaps, but regular, just the same. If the man in this scenario falls into sin, is it the fault of the regular women he encounters, or is something else at play here?

 

 

It also leads to the development of godly woman wannabes who insist on wearing the same Laura Ingalls-inspired fashion their prepubescent daughters are wearing. Since when is godly a synonym for juvenile?

 

A true story

Not long ago, I was asked to attend a weeks-long seminar for college students. After a few  sessions one of the seminar leaders asked if I would talk to a girl who always sat in the front row of the horseshoe-designed seating arrangement. Other girls would normally fill in where this early bird was already seated, and the leaders/presenters would usually sit in the center section of the horseshoe.

 

 

The guys, who typically arrived later than everyone else, would sit directly across from the girl I was asked to approach. The seminar leader said a few of the guys were distracted by this very attractive girl who always wore a dress, and who always crossed her legs. He wanted me to ask her to sit elsewhere, uncross her legs, or develop a more muted sense of fashion.

 

 

It took at least a week for me, an outspoken, middle-aged woman who had worked more than a decade with college students, to even think about approaching this girl. Why? Because she was so appropriately dressed and poised that I actually felt stupid.

 

 

It’s not like I’d be approaching her about any wrong she had done, I reasoned. This would be a call to help her brothers in Christ–to help them concentrate on what was being presented, and nothing else. I still felt like something was wrong with that whole picture, but I didn’t know what. 

 

Another week passed.

 

 

Then came the BUT-Kicker. Right around week 5, I walked into the seminar and realized someone had forgotten to set up the chairs in the usual design. And when the guys arrived, there were ample seats available far behind the pretty girl–ample seats that were a God-send for frustrated men whose eyes might otherwise be caught up in the art of seeing what they said was so distracting, what they claimed they could not handle.

 

 

Where do you think they sat?

 

On Pavlov and dogs

Yep. Like Pavlovian dogs, they sat directly across from the pretty girl who always wore a dress, and who always crossed her legs. I respectfully declined the request to approach the girl, and offered to approach the guys instead.

 

 

Where are the men who will stop acting like victims of Victoria’s Secret, and who will make a choice for what is obvious, good, and right?

 

 

 

What about older men who can tell young guys what to do with dangerous thoughts that could end up on their “regret” list for years to come?

 

 

 

Is it fair to even imply that God’s goodness and power are in play only in the absence of enticing things?

 

 

 

Where are the blood-washed, sanctified warriors who will fight for fidelity, and stop blaming women for exciting passions that could just as easily be channeled into God’s glory as into the gutter?

 

 

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  ~ I Corinthians 13:11

 

 

Sherry Boykin

Sherry Boykin, the founder of Faith and Tales, is a storyteller and chronic believer in the power of faith narratives to change lives. She loves to use biblical and personal accounts to help women move beyond their obstacles, glean fresh perspectives on life, and to live differently as a result. Her experiences in urban and suburban ministries, Peruvian Amazon jungle missions, long-term singleness, marriage and family, and men's dorm-living shape her life and provide a colorful backdrop from which to share the Word of God. Sherry is the author of But-Kickers: Growing Your Faith Bigger Than Your But and she has been interviewed for articles in Time, The New York Times, and Better Homes and Gardens.

This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. laurabennet

    Thank you. I agree with Cindy and applaud your courage. Will the real men please stand up?

    1. Sherry Boykin

      Yes, Laura! I am thankful for a great husband, but too often he stands alone.

  2. Jo Ann Walczak

    You say what few have the courage to say! You go, girl!

  3. Joanna Shumaker

    Sherry – This is spot on! Way to go my friend! I love your blog! Keep writing!

    1. Sherry Boykin

      I have missed you, Barb. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  4. Deb

    You are the bomb, Sherry. Wow. I just love you!

  5. Stacy Morris

    Yes!!!

  6. Julie M.

    OH!!! This is a good one! Thanks, Sherry for saying it like it is! Another pet peeve of mine is that often, a thin, curvy woman will be accused of dressing entisingly even if she is dressed modestly and in the EXACT SAME type of clothing as someone not as thin, or not as curvy, or not as young. It’s a double standard. Too many Christians believe if a woman is attractive she needs to wear a burlap sack to be spiritual. We, as women, need to be wise and prudent in our choices and not tempting or immodest in our clothing or provokative in our body language. But as a Christian society we need to also put responsibility on men to stop gawking, put their eyes back in their heads and guard their minds. THANK YOU for another great blog!

    1. Sherry Boykin

      Amen to that, Julie . . . guard their minds AND their hearts. If the “teaching them to observe all things” of Matthew 28:20 has nothing to do with living faithfully with real people, in real life and in real time, then, Hmmm . . .

  7. Ariana Pingaro

    Great article Sherry!

  8. l

    that was amazing. you are sooo good at this. I love it. and you.

    1. Sherry Boykin

      This one would have burned a hole in my tongue if I hadn’t said it, so thank you!

  9. Becky Loescher

    Hey, Sherry, will you believe that, in the 60s, the cry about straight, waistless “shift” dresses was that they “left more to the imagination,” the way they clung to feminine curves as one walked. It’s the same old blame game when human nature seeks out an excuse for choosing weakness in the flesh instead of responding to God’s challenge to guard hearts and minds.

    1. Sherry Boykin

      Oh, yes, I do believe it. The more things change, the more they stay the same . . .!

    1. Sherry Boykin

      Thank you. Just trying to raise the banner for the sisters out there!

  10. vondaskelton

    Wow, Sherry, I just now got around to reading this. P-O-W-E-R-F-U-L!!! This was a great reminder that all of us–whether young or old, stylish or dated, man or woman–that we are responsible for our actions. Yes, she needed to be more aware of how she was sitting, but those “boys” (they certainly weren’t acting like mature men) needed to take responsibility for their own actions. At least her indiscretion seems to have been inadvertent. Theirs, on the other hand, was grossly intentional and immature.

    Thank you for speaking truth.

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