Modest Is REALLY Hottest In Hell (Christians & Bikinis)

 

modest is hottest

Modest is Hottest; it’s also true in hell.

What will you be wearing on the day of judgment? Scantily-clad or not, we could be in for a surprise. The Bible tells us that on the last day there will be many seemingly good people, who in all likelihood dressed quite modestly, to whom Jesus will say, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23).

These individuals will be DEVESTATED because they thought they were GOOD. After all, they were covered in good deeds.

They were covered in humble dress: one-piece bathing suits, tankinis, and shorts to their knees,

They were fully-clothed in church attendance, giving to the poor, and a near flawless morality.

Wearing a one-piece or not, these individuals may soon find themselves swimming in the wrath of God for all of eternity.

How shockingly scary. This verse ought to shake our souls out of slumber and compel us to cry out for those trusting in their own goodness for salvation.  We must examine our own fragile estate and make sure we are resting on the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ and not our own triumphs.

To the religious crowd who was trusting in their own morality for salvation, Jesus said, “For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and uncleanness.” (Matthew 23:27)

Looks can be deceiving. We can look wholesome and clean on the outside, and yet our hearts can be a million miles from God.

Heaven is not a place for good girls – prudes properly celebrating each other’s goodness for all of eternity.  On the contrary, heaven is a place for those who have realized they are completely jacked up and in desperate need of being saved from their own goodness. Jesus looked through the swimsuit we were wearing and saw deep into a soul that was plagued with sin. He didn’t come for the healthy and the modest, He came for the sick and vile.

Christianity is not about wearing a bikini or one-piece.   Our hope is only found in wearing the righteousness of Christ – a garment none of us deserve or have merited.

If you have not read part one of The Swimsuit Edition: God Loves The Hoochie Mama, click here to jump in the conversation.

Let’s continue to walk through the process of deciding what to wear this summer.

 

Does it cause another to stumble?

More specifically, does wearing a Bikini cause others to stumble.  Yes, of course it does. Victoria’s Secret created an empire off of lust. Frankly, it’s difficult to see how some bathing suits are that much different from panties and  push-up bras. One might say, “It’s okay because we are at a beach.” But does lust go on a vacation at the beach? Umm . . . no. I would argue lust is very much hot and heavy on the shorelines and at the local pools. Lust has no regard for context or culture. Men and women are sinful at beaches, pools, kitchens, shopping centers, America, Spain, France (in nudist colonies), strip clubs, and church pews.

What causes us to lust? Is it leggings, cleavage, short skirts, bathing suits, smoldering Latin accents, handle bar mustaches or chiseled abs?

handlebar-moustache

Sin causes us to lust. We are all sinners who lust, and we are all in need of Jesus.

We would find a way to lust even if everyone was covered in burlap from head to toe. All of a sudden necks and earlobes would be the new sexy.

As Christian women, sometimes we simply say, “It’s my body. I can do what I want.” But again, it’s actually not our body; it’s His body.   Our bodies were purchased with a price – the price of the Son of God (1 Cor. 6:20).

Other times we’ll say, “Well, men are going to lust no matter what I wear, so why does it matter? It’s not my problem, it’s their problem.” Well, maybe that’s true, but does that mean it would be wise to dangle a crack-pipe in front of a drug addict, and just tell them to “man up” and gain some self-control? Of course not. Sometimes we make decisions not based upon what we have the freedom to do, but based upon what is in the best and most loving interest of those around us. Jesus calls us to love our neighbor as our self. If what we are wearing will in a unique and obvious kind of way likely cause our neighbor to stumble into sin, are we loving them (as Jesus commanded)?

Side note:  I am  convinced that many times women are choosing what outfit to wear in order to impress other women.    We are just as bad as men when it comes to checking each other out…I’ve seen it and I am sure you have too…A woman walks into a room and she is devoured from head to toe by other women!  We can cause one another to struggle with lust(non-sexually) by stirring up insecurities of the soul.  I wonder how many eating disorders, depression, anxiety, anger, and fear are birthed from seeing other women half dressed.

 

Can we help one another lust less?

What it really comes down to is that when we become Christians, it is no longer about our body, it becomes about being a part of HIS body – the church.

It is no longer about good tan lines and getting attention. Our lives becomes one in which we die to ourselves, considering others in the body of Christ. We exists for one another.

Our brothers and sisters have told us that dressing immodestly causes them to lust, and when our family is hurting (or struggling), we should be hurting. To love a brother in Christ isn’t to tell him just to get a grip on his lust. To love a brother in Christ is to sacrificially and selflessly go out of our ways to guard and protect him the sin that so easily besets him. They struggle enough as it is; let’s not do anything to complicate the matter. Are guys going to struggle with lust regardless? Yes, probably. Yet God forbid that we be the reason for them to fall into sin.  Jesus said in such a case, “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”

The bikini was named after an atomic bomb. I wonder if it sets off an explosion of lust in the souls of others.

I often hear women say, “Well my husband is ok with what I am wearing.”

Husband, I am sure you love seeing your wife naked (you should and I hope you do often) but encourage her to save that sexiness for your eyes only. Don’t allow other men to take visuals of your wife into the bedroom with them at night to play in the rolodex of their minds.

To be honest, my passion for helping our brothers has grown tremendously since having sons. OH. MY.

I did not have any brothers growing up so I was in shocked to discover how entirely different boys are from girls. Fixated on anatomy…just saying.

I want my boys to be great lovers one day when they are married. I want them to be naked and unashamed with their wives. I want my kids to have fantastic sex lives.  This comes through understanding who God has created them to be and the boundaries that He lovingly sets up for his children.

Yes, I want their eyes on Christ, but this is so hard because there are so many shiny things everywhere begging for their attention.

One of those things is beautiful women. High schoolers running in bra-tops, virtually every commercial they see on television, and even their sister’s Barbie dolls . . . they are all asking my boys to glance their way and stay awhile. So we tell them to “bounce” their heads when they see something inappropriate, but sometimes you can just about get whiplash trying to avoid sin.

I want to fight for their eyes, but I realize that the battle is not for the eyes; it is for the heart.

Women are to be treasured, respected, honored, and valued. Yet the media tells them women are for sex and merely objects to be used.

Women also can make this exact same statement with their clothing.

What should our take away be?

This posts asks the question, “What should Christian women be wearing at the beach this summer?”

modest is hottest 6

Freedom

“It is for freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Gal 5:1)

“But He rescued us to be free, so why are you trying to put the heavy yoke of a modest swimsuit on me?”

(I have a friend who compared a one piece bathing suit to a cocoon, in which a beautiful butterfly was trapped inside of.)

Do we say, “Let freedom ring, lets put on a string?”

We are free from the slavery of sin, not free to do whatever we want. We are free to love God and to love others. We are free to be loved by God.

A woman who is covered by love is going to look different from the world.

Following Christ changes our talk, dress, eating . . . it changes everything!!!!

Sometimes loving looks more like dying. Before Christ we were white-knuckling our life – afraid to let go. Christ took our lives, and now it is not our own.

Christ set the example for love when He laid down His life for us. We are free to lay down our life for others. We are free to be servants laying down our lives for others and for the glory of God. We are free to be extend peace to parched eyes, but how can we show the peace of Christ when we are waging war on the eyes of others and fighting for their attention, groveling for their applause?

Finally, we are free to take it all off!

Let’s take it all off this summer! Take off all of our pride. Take off all of our selfishness. Less is more. Let’s clothe ourselves in humility, love, and respect. Let’s be a people that bear each others burdens, instead of baring it all.

Let’ bare our souls before the eyes of God, instead of our bodies for the praise of men and women.

We don’t dress modestly because we are ashamed of the bodies God has given us. We cover because of love.

How can we make this summer a selfless summer? Just remember you are choosing more than a swimsuit this summer.

There is no doubt this post will offend people that why it has taken me so long to write about this topic. My hope is that this will start a conversation that will challenge our thinking, making us hunger to love Christ and others more.

Christian, we should not be rolling our eyes at cleavage hanging out and huffing and puffing over short skirts. We should run to these women and welcome them into our homes because they are no different from us – just different struggles.

Let us clothe ourselves in humility summer.

Stop Hatin’

Remember this ancient saying…… “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

Love covers a multitude of sins (I Peter 4:8).

 

 

 

God Loves The Hoochie Mama (Swimsuit Edition)

bikini

 

In the beginning God created bikinis.

No, that’s not right . . . there were actually no bikinis, pants, shirts, shoes, underwear, boxers, or briefs.

God did not intend for us to be strutting around in bikinis. He intended for us to walk around as naked as a jay-bird.

God created Adam and Eve, and then He placed them in the garden. Here, Genesis 2:25 tells us, “the man and his wife were both naked and not ashamed.”

Everyone was naked, and everything was perfect.

BUT . . . (no pun intended) Adam and Eve disobeyed God and decided to eat out of the only tree from which God told them to stay away.

Lusting after a mere piece of fruit changed everything. When Eve saw that the tree was, “good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desired to make one wise (Gen. 3:6),” she took a bite and shared it with Adam.

At that moment, sin entered the world. At that moment, Adam and Eve (and the rest of us to follow) lost their free pass to let it all hang out. The nudist colony was officially shut down (at least in public places). Instead, the Bible tells us the couple tried to hide themselves with fig leaves because they were ashamed. It was like one of those nightmares where you go to class and you look down and realize you are naked. For the first time in human history, exposed genitalia caused faces to blush.

Why were they ashamed?

They knew that they had sinned. And guess what? We would have done the same thing (eaten the apple and ran).

God Covered Them In Love

God could have left them in their nakedness, plagued with shame and insecurity.   Instead, in a gracious act of love, He covered them with, “garments of skins and clothed them.” As the Scripture says, love covers a multitude of offenses (and in this case, love covered a multitude of awkward body parts).

This is the message of the Christian faith; it is a loving God clothing us in love. A God that opens His arms to the spiritually naked and ashamed and says, “Come, let me take your shame and clothe you with righteousness.”

The Bible tells us a story in which God says, “See my son Jesus, yeah the one hanging out with all the prostitutes, drunkards, lepers, downtrodden, and outcasts? Yeah, Him. He has obeyed me perfectly, and He is going to be sacrificed on the cross for your sin of lust, greed, discontentment, self-righteousness, anger, and failure to obey. Then I am going to take His righteousness and cover all of your flaws and shortcomings. I am going to exploit my Son, so you don’t have to be exploited. I will hang Him naked and ashamed on a cross, so that your sins will be covered by His blood. I will forsake Him so that I can accept you.”

The Gospel reminds us that we no longer have to be ashamed, because we can be hidden in Christ.

Christian, our arms should be wide opened to the naked and ashamed because our Savior pursued the naked and ashamed with His entire life. Jesus loves the hoochie mama, and you better believe that includes all of us because sisters, we were all harlots and we were all whoring after the gods of pleasure, power, and praise.

bikini 1

An Explicit Summer

Summer. Oh the season when temperatures rise and clothes come off. A time when it is “okay” to be uncovered.

Our culture celebrates nakedness with songs like, “It’s getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes.”

There is nothing to be ashamed of, they tell us. After all, “it’s your body. Do what you want with it! Take it off! Get rid of those fig leaves. There is no need to hide. Don’t be ashamed of who you are!”

Let others do what they want with your body. Lady Gaga sings, “Do what you want with my body.”

Of course this makes sense for a culture that has itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny thoughts of God.

Growing up, dressing modestly was something that my youth group strongly encouraged. I remember at camp we would have to make sure our shorts were longer than our finger-tips. I always hated the fact that my arms were so freakishly long (#TallGirlProblems). Our youth pastor always encouraged us to, “guard each others hearts.” I always thought to myself, “If those pimpled face youth boys can’t control what goes on in their pants when I am around, that is their own fault. They need to get it together. Show some self control! I am going to dress however I want. After all, God gave me this body – why should I hide it? Besides, Jesus came in the flesh so they can keep their eyes off my flesh. I am actually giving them an opportunity to show the power of Jesus over sin (such compassion).”

Regardless of all of the speeches that I had heard, I put on a bikini because I wanted to look good and have amazing tans lines.

Then I took it to an entirely new level when I decided to compete in pageants and wear a bikini in front of hundreds of people on a stage with a spotlight on my rear.

I LOVED THE ATTENTION. It wasn’t just the men who were staring. The women noticed the power of the bikini as well. To say that I was on a power trip would be an understatement. Winning “swimsuit” competitions did not help with my pride that was inflating by the second (held up by an underwire pushup bra all the while). Having all eyes on me was awesome. Women were jealous, and men wanted me (or at least that’s what I thought).

One night when Jamus and I were dating in college, I remember going coming down the stairs in a pair of shorts (with “Wildcats” across the rear-end) that were entirely too short. The look on his face told it all. I had his attention, and this is what I wanted – power. I knew that I was causing him to stumble, and yet in an incredibly sinful kind of way, I liked it.

At the end of the day, God created our body to glorify Him. Psalm 139 says, “I was fearfully and wonderfully made,” in that we bear the image of God Himself. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that Jesus purchased our body with His own blood; thus, we should “glorify God with our bodies.”

It makes sense that those outside of the world are naked (or at least close to it) and unashamed. But what about Christians? Is it okay for us (those who have been called from the darkness into light) to wear bikinis?

Here are some questions we should ask ourselves in making a decision on what to wear this summer.

First, does the Bible speak clearly to the issue? In particular, does the Bible prohibit bikinis?

2 Timothy 2:9 says, “Likewise also women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire.”

Let’s be clear. This verse does not say, “Thou shalt not wear a bikini.” However, what is implied is that women should dress in a humble way that does not draw attention to themselves.

A great question to ask ourselves is, “What is my purpose in wearing this outfit? What is my motivation? Does this article of clothing glorify God (or me)? Am I making much of God, or myself? Am I asking others to look at me, or Him? Does this make me feel powerful?”

The reason I will not be wearing a two-piece bathing suit this summer (besides my muffin top) is because I would be wearing it to grab people’s attention.   My tendency would be for people to think, “Man, she has been to the gym! Wow; she looks hot!” I’m certainly not implying this is the case with every woman (maybe it’s not this way for you at all), but for me, that’s just how I would roll. My ears love to hear the applause of people.

Does it hurt us?

Although we may look powerful strutting our stuff across the stage of life revealing all of our amazingness, we are actually hurting ourselves. We live in a sex-saturated culture where men and women are simply looking for the next wave of stimulation. It is all about an image, isn’t it? When we look like the culture, we are asking to be a selected for their visual stimulation. “Can I be your next image? Will you desire me?”  “Let me be your eye candy!”

Is this outfit causing me to be seen as a sex symbol? Am I blending in with my surroundings?

This is the first part of The Swimsuit Edition.  Follow me here to find out when the next one is published.

Lets start a dialogue about this topic.  Share this post and lets start chatting.

What are you thoughts concerning what Christians should be wearing this summer?  Should we let it all hang out or cover up?

 

The ‘Selfie’ Generation

Everybody is doing it!!!

mono lisa

(Taking Selfies that is)

There is no doubt we are living in The ‘Selfie’ Generation…

The truth is we are really just one little “selfie” amongst generations of selfies tucked into a photo album of time. We are a made in the image of God, a portrait of the Artist who created us to reflect His brilliance and glory.

It has never been about our portrait, but it’s a story about the artist behind the lens. Art that moves people asks them a question; what was the artist’s intention in this work?

The question we need to ask ourselves is, “What was His intention when designing us?” Was I created to receive the applause or was I designed to give the applause away?

The problem with selfies is that they don’t tell the whole story, do they? We upload the highlight reel of our life for everyone to see (granted, there are several selfies I have seen that I thought someone accidentally put up) but we leave out all of the ugly and embarrassing.

God knows the moments you would hurt for other people to see. He knows you fully and has written your story – a story that cannot be changed by editing out the bad.

All that really matters is His story.

If our story is not tied into His story, then we are missing the entire point of our existence.

Our obsession with self has navigated our story apart from God, but because of God’s great love for us, He sacrificed His perfect son in our place.

What a picture of love? When we see Jesus, we see a perfect picture of God; in fact, Jesus is God. Perfection. Love. Power over death. Power to heal. Compassion.

How could we ever doubt His love for His children? He sacrificed His son. Christ’ perfection is uploaded to those who look to God in humility and ask Him to change their selfish hearts.