Do you wish you could do something guaranteed to help your girlfriend's marriage? And what if you also knew it would help yours? There IS something we can do, and summer is a great time to do it, to give the gift every guy and girlfriend needs.
According to 1 Cor. 6:18-20, if we follow God, then our bodies are not our own. They were bought with the divine price of Jesus' blood and are now temples of the Holy Spirit, so our bodies are precious and exclusively for God's glory. God makes it clear (Prov. 5:18-21) He wants a married couple to enjoy each other, for a husband to be "ever captivated" by his wife's love. A husband and wife give themselves to each other in every way when they are married. That's part of the fun!
Modesty is first a gift to your own husband, and different cultures describe it differently, though God's Word has unchanging principles. Luke 11:34 says, "Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness." By having a modest appearance we help our own husbands keep their eyes filled with good things (us!). Modesty helps a husband maintain respect for himself by having a clean mind, and it helps him have respect for you (his wife) as he sees you deserving of dignity. In fact, Prov. 5:15-16 says, in reference to marriage, a man should drink from his "own cistern," his "own well," not sharing with strangers. His fountain is his own marriage. A wise husband cares about protecting what's "his most precious treasure," and a wise wife asks how she's doing taking care of it for him. This goes both ways, as HE takes care of his body, which is her precious treasure. Modesty encourages respect for the husband and for the wife.
Modesty is also a gift for the guys and girlfriends around us. For our girlfriend, the modesty of her friends: encourages her intimacy w/her husband, minimizes her insecurities, & avoids "stealing" thoughts and gazes meant for her alone. Bottom line: my modesty is respectful and helpful to my girlfriend's efforts in her own marriage. I WANT girlfriend like that, and I want to be a girlfriend like that! Do you? Read what Matt. 5:27-29 says about whether or not a "look" of lust can be innocent.
For our guy friends, modesty minimizes temptations he faces; we don't have to be Marilyn Monroe in order to be tempting, girls! All of us face temptation, according to James 1:14-16, and we don't want lust to take hold and become sin. Modesty around a married man helps eliminate distractions from his own wife. Ultimately, it helps him to guard his heart, and we want the best for our brothers in Christ (Rom. 12:9-11). Before we put on that awesomely cute, but dangerously low cut, sundress, we should remember that Rom. 14:21 makes it clear it's better not to do something, if it would cause a brother to fall. Guidelines to know what's modest? Read on ...
It's HOT here this week, and we can be tempted to just peel off the non-essentials! But even in our freedom, we should consider living out our faith through our modesty. It's good for our marriage and is guaranteed to be good for our girlfriends' marriages, too! (Not to mention, it's also good for our unmarried friends & watching kiddos)
I am NOT going to give you a list of my own personal opinions of what's modest. Instead, check back on Wednesday for some thoughts from the steamiest book of the Bible and take a look at a "modern day translation" of the "Zones of Intimacy," aka my "Five Point Check." In the meantime, I encourage you to ask your husband if he feels like you are dressing to honor him, and ask the Lord if you are dressing to honor Him. I'm sure they'll both let us know. ;)
For ideas of projects to build into your marriage for the rest of summer, you might check out Courtney's Marriage Challenge at Women Living Well.
Thanks for reading Marriage Mondays. I'm praying as you read and hoping we'll all be more encouraged to pursue God's best in the miracle of two becoming one. Blessings on your marriage!