Monday, June 18, 2012

Question: What do you do when your husband is surrounded by immodesty?


Vacation is in full swing and the fun has begun! You’ve wisely ignored the advice of the ticket agent and decided against lying in order to save money on parking. On to the amusement park!

The smaller children have ridden some kiddie rides, and your husband rode the ginormous roller coaster that makes everyone scream. You’ve taken a few photos, and you about lost the eight-year-old when he ran off trying to catch a lizard. Now, everyone is hungry.

You and your family get in line to buy a few slices of pizza, behind a couple of college-age boys. As you are trying to figure out what everyone wants, the boys in front of you are joined by two attractive college-age girls wearing short shorts and tank tops. You finish getting the children’s orders and turn to your husband to find out what he wants.

You see immediately that he has made visual contact, and it takes a couple of prompts to get his attention. You –

  1. Struggle to stretch the neck of your tee-shirt to an off-the-shoulder style and pray for a sudden return to the perkiness of your own college days.
  2. Point out a lizard on a rock nearby and suggest he help the eight-year-old catch it.
  3. Step in between him and them and smile with your best (albeit worn-out) come-hither look.
  4. Pull the baby’s receiving blanket out of the diaper bag and drape it across the shoulders of the nearest girl, telling her she looked cold.

What do you do? Is there another option?

Leave your comment below, and then click through for six ways to stay attractive to your husband in an amusement park of immodesty. Wednesday is a Lilla Rose giveaway! The series then continues to the coming home post. Thanks for reading!

~Meghan


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48 comments:

  1. Some of your options cracked me up. I am actually very blessed in this department with a husband who strives for purity of thought. He is not immune to the immodesty around him and I don't delude myself to think that he is, but he has confided in me that he prays about it (as every man should!). And when we encounter such situations, by the time I look at him, he's looking at me with a "what was that girl thinking to wear that outfit in public" kind of look.

    As a sidenote, we actually just encountered this situation last week at the St. Louis Zoo where we saw a girl wearing a super tight mini dress...and by minidress, I mean that it literally barely covered the necessary parts and that was only because she was pulling it down as she walked. Anyway, as she walked by, my jaw dropped and I turned to look at him and he just shook his head.

    So, I'm sure he notices, but he does all he can to keep a handle on this thoughts and doesn't stare or look twice, which is all a wife can ask for.

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    1. You are blessed, Crystal! I used to wear clothes that I had to be pulling up or down all the time, and it was definitely annoying to be adjusting constantly. Modesty is more comfortable, and I'm blessed that my husband thinks so as well. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Found your blog through The Modest Mom link-up ;)
    This is a situation that isn't talked about much, but I have to admit weighs heavily on my mind at times. Especially right now as I am 30 weeks pregnant with out third child and feel as though I look clumsy and huge. My husband strives for purity in his thoughts, and yet how can I help but look at a pretty young girl scantily clad and not think, "I hope he doesn't see her." or "If only I were that attractive." The worst is when this happens even at family gatherings or weddings or *gulp* church. My husband is constantly telling me how beautiful I am to him and how he is glad that his wife isn't showing herself to others, but saving her beauty for him alone to enjoy. And yet how insecure those moments can make me feel!
    I'm looking forward to any advice on how to overcome these insecurities and fears. I would also be glad to have any advice on how to deal with immodestly dressed girls/women and sons and daughters. My oldest daughter is 4 and our son is only 15 months and we are expecting another son, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'd rather have a plan in place now beforehand. Thanks for the encouragement, and love in Christ!

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    1. Sarah, thanks so much for your comment! If your husband tells you you are beautiful, then he thinks you are beautiful! One of the worst things we can do to ourselves is to "point out" to our husbands how unattractive we really are. (I hope that makes sense -- not that we are unattractive -- but we don't want to draw attention to our imperfections.) If he thinks you're beautiful, leave it at that. And, don't forget, you are carrying his child. That's beautiful!

      For your concern with immodestly dressed sons and daughters, I'm not sure I understand your question. Please feel free to e-mail me, if you wish. If you are concerned about your own daughter, the best thing you can do for her is to dress modestly yourself and explain to her why, using Scripture. As far as sons seeing immodesty as they grow up, I have that concern myself (my oldest son is eight). At this point, he understands the whys of modesty and we try to limit all of the children's exposure to immodesty on DVDs, at the pool, etc.

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    2. Hi Sarah,
      I just had to respond to your comment. It is a sad commentary on the church when our husbands have to divert their eyes. I've seen it for myself. Not that the women are scantily clad, but their clothes are SO tight..and the low-cut dresses! Oh. My Word. Do you take a stand for modesty by speaking up or do you say nothing? Do you risk making someone angry or risk your hubby and sons seeing something they shouldn't? Our 3 younger boys are 13, 11, and 10. I want to protect their innocence for as long as possible.

      And these younger women wearing these clothes make me feel insecure, too. Here I am in long skirts, which are flattering, but I feel as if I "can't compete" with the younger crowd: the tight shirts and skirts, low-cut dresses, etc., and we've been married for almost 30 years! I wonder if the insecurities will ever go away. In our society, you can't even go out in pubic without seeing half-naked people.

      As for advice about your children, do whatever you can to protect their eyes.(Psalm 101:3) When we're out in public, I am on the look-out for immodest women so I can let the children know to avert their eyes. I quietly say to them, "Look away." And they do. But in our sex-saturated society, I wonder if you can protect them from it 100%??

      Sorry. I didn't mean to write a book. But if you're husband is telling you that you are beautiful and attractive, take his word for it. Focus on that..because they are many women who love to hear those words from their own husbands.

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    3. Thanks, Lisa, for the excellent reply. For those of us who have husbands that tell us we're beautiful, we need to believe it and appreciate it. (mental note to self!)

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    4. Thank you both for the encouragement! I hadn't even realized how often I am pointing out my own faults to my husband!?! I do try to only wear things I know he likes to see me in, and most of it is probably just me having a pity party about getting older and how my body has and is changing after being pregnant more than once. We have certain standards for our kids clothes and our oldest daughter is 4 and she is really aware of what is and isn't appropriate. I guess my big concern at this point is that even their cousins and some aunts wear inappropriate clothing at family gatherings as well as our neighbors with pools (we live in a subdivision and are praying about whether or not we need to move). We know we will be exposed to these people and especially with family and church we can't and don't want to have to avoid them, but I don't want my kids to see it. We already try to avoid pool parties with their cousins because of some of the older girls lack of clothing. Should we say something to our family? And as for church, I don't really know to say something to others about it, especially the older women without coming across as legalistic or arrogant. Thank you again, and I'm going to try hard to start saying thank you when my husband says I'm beautiful instead I don't feel beautiful (yes, I've actually said that). Love in Christ!

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    5. Sarah,

      We don't go to public pools or beaches, either. We swim (as a family) in the river near our house. It's private property, so we're always the only ones there.

      As for saying something, I'm not sure about that one. If the immodestly dressed women are not Christians, I would guess that saying something to them would do no good. They'll be clueless as to to what modesty means. Maybe asking them to cover themselves a little more while in front of your hubby/children would work.

      And as for church, according Titus 2 the older women are to be the example to the younger women..not the other way around. Ugh! So sad.

      Hope this helps.
      Have a blessed day!

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    6. Sarah and Lisa -- Thanks for replying to each other -- I love this conversation! We also live in a subdivision with a pool and would like to move, but with the housing market the way it is, we're not sure we could even get out of our house what we paid for it! We live in a location to the pool where it is not a bother to us when we are in our yard but we can step around a shed, etc., and see if anyone is there. We don't go often in the summer, but when we do, we go when no one else is there. If someone else shows up, we usually leave.

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  3. ha! Your options made me laugh. :)

    My situation is much like Crystal's...my husband will notice, but only to the extent that it annoys and bothers him so he looks away. I know that, since he's male, his mind tends to wander without his wanting it to, but I also know that he's completely faithful to me.

    Sometimes if I notice a scantily-clad female before he does, I'll just tell him to look in another direction, or (your third suggestion) get between him and her.

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    1. Just like with children, distraction can work wonders! Thanks, Jaimie!

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  4. This is the way I look at it:

    1. A man just seeing a woman dressed immodestly won't cause him to lust. It's truly his problem if he takes his thoughts to lust. You can control your thoughts.

    2. When you satisfy your husband in the bedroom, he won't lust after scantily dressed women.

    3. Now, if you only dress in long dresses and high neck tops, and to the floor nightgowns, he WILL want what he doesn't see. If you don't allow your husband to see your body in other attire (not saying you should go out in public, if you are uncomfortable doing so) sure he will want what he doesn't get.

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    1. Thanks, Dannielle, for visiting and sharing your thoughts!

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    2. my husband gets to see ME and every part he wants to see of ME. when he says I am beautiful, I tell him "I am glad you think so." He is one that is pretty oblivious to scantily dressed women. I am the one that notices them because I used to be one.

      It really bothers me that Christian women dress like pagan ones in church and outside church. Some middle aged women with teenagers look like THEY are the teenagers because of how they dress.

      I am from Brazil and unfortunately scantily dressed women is the norm there. It makes me extremely uncomfortable to see such women, but I have come to realize that most of them don't realize how little they are wearing. They need conservatively well dressed women around them so they can see the difference and compare. The conservatively dressed women will make them stop and think why are they showing so much skin.

      We got to be light in order to dissipate the darkness!

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  5. Love your options! ;) I am also blessed with a man who desires to guard his eyes. When we are out together, he has asked that I warn him of any defrauding images, so that he can avert his eyes. He also has told me when he has seen things he wish he hadn't, so the enemy cannot get a stronghold. I have also been known to flip or cover magazines in the checkout aisle.

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    1. I've never thought of flipping the magazines in the checkout aisle before! I might have to try that sometime! ~insert dastardly laugh~ Thanks, Cheryl! Hope to see you back!

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    2. Cheryl,
      I flip the magazines, too! And I have had people stop and stare at me because of it. But after all these years, I'm used to the stares. :)

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    3. My husband is the one who hates those magazines at the checkout...he was so happy when a grocery store we shop at finally started putting the little flap thing in front of Cosmo.

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    4. Thought I was the only one on earth who flips magazines. I do it to protect innocent little boys who are at eye level with disgusting semi pornographic pictures. I have absolutely no qualms about doing this. So glad I am not the only one.

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  6. Your new look is beautiful, Meghan! Loved your post as well. Thanks for linking up with The Alabaster Jar.

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    1. Thanks, Jolene. It's a work in progress, but is a blog ever really "done"?

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  7. Hi Meghan,
    I'm stopping by from the Modest Mom link-up, and I love this post! My hubby tries his best to avert his eyes, but I have been known to step between him and an immodest woman to block his view. It works, too. Most of the time, he never even notices what I've done. :)
    Love your blog and I'm your newest follower. Keep up the good work and keep looking up. (Titus 2:13)

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    1. Thanks so much, Lisa, for your kind words. You have a pretty terrific blog, and I'm your newest follower as well. Hope to see you back!

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    2. Hi again Meghan,

      These conversations are too good to not share - I just added your blog to my sidebar. :)

      Many blessings!

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    3. Thanks, Lisa! I'm honored. I just hope I can keep up with your expectations! :)

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  8. Megan -
    I love your heartfelt posts and the thought that they generate. It seems that when I stop by your "place" I alway leave with something that helps me.
    Although we can't avoid every place where immodesty abounds, we have developed some boundaries for ourelves during times of heightened immodesty.
    These include visiting highly populated places at "off" times, or when the weather is a bit cooler. We just tend to stay away from zoos, amusement parks, etc., during the summer. When considering camping, we stay away from beach locations, and tend to find the most remote spots available.
    Although it may seem extreme, we are willing to do that to protect my husband and our boys. It also protects us girls, whether or not we realize it.
    I'm also very thankful to have one of those husbands who has purposed in his heart to keep his eyes on his wife. :-) I know that he is very human, but I think that God gives special grace to men who are determined to walk in purity.

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    1. Excellent suggestions, Stephanie! We do all of those as well. And I love your thought of "special grace." Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  9. This is a very good post, and very well written! We don't have children, so when my husband and I are out and about and we see someone who is very immodestly dressed, we usually talk about it. Being with my husband and seeing ladies being immodest does make me feel insecure at times, but I trust my husband 110% and he says that it doesn't cause him problems. Thanks for sharing!

    Monica @ theatypicalhousewife.com

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    1. What a blessing to trust a husband that much! Thank you for your sweet compliments. Hope to see you again!

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  10. oh my gosh, you are hilarious! I love your sense of humor (#4 suggestion is awesome). I feel the same way sometimes.

    I guess what I do is just clear my throat and give him a look and try and move us away from the situation! It is a constant struggle for him especially since he works at Target which seems to draw the scantily clad like flies (probably because they sell all the shrimpy clothing). :P

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    1. You do need to be shrimpy to fit into the skimpy clothing! :) Love your play on words! Thanks for commenting, Sarah, and I hope to see you again!

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  11. I just have to reply, for years I worked in an Office (a state office) and there was a young woman (???) that wore extremely tight, short and low cut dresses. The worst part, no underwear. Can't make this stuff up. Anyway, she got raises, great revenues by her male mgr.

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    1. Unbelievable! No, wait, I do believe it, and she would probably be the first to cry harassment...

      Thanks for commenting, I think! :) *still bleching from the no underwear*

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  12. LOVE this so funny and thought provoking. To be 100% honest I would say something like what are you looking at? I am happy that I have not worried about my husband in this area for MANY years and I am so thankful for that. My fourteen year old son, well that is another issue. We teach him to bounce he gets lots of practice doing living on the beach in southern CA. I found you from deep roots at home :)

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    1. My oldest son is eight, and I'm thankful that I don't have that worry yet. But I know it's coming soon. :(

      Thanks for the comment and the follow. Your blog is beautiful!

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  13. Meghan, Thanks for your amusing but true post. My husband and I were just talking about this same topic the other day. He had just encountered a woman that day whose clothes left little to the imagination, and she was covered in tattoos. He looked at her face and saw sadness. He shared with me that he and many other men, don't find that attractive at all, in fact it's just the opposite. Thanks again for this post. I'm looking forward to spending time on your blog. ~ Abby

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    1. Sadness -- when the ways of the world don't provide the contentment and peace that so many are looking for. Thanks for commenting, Abby.

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  14. I've had to speak up several times. We have had pools at some houses, and just put one in here. When my oldest reached about 6th grade, I had to tell the other girls in the neighborhood that only 1 piece suits were allowed, and if it showed too much, I would send them home. In other neighborhoods (like now), the kids do not have friends, so it's not a problem. We have had a few friends drop hints about coming to swim, and I have told them our pool is only for our family.
    I also approached a young woman at church, who came with a preacher who was filling the pulpit for 3 weeks. She acted appreciative of my comments and was very nice about accepting them in the spirit given.
    1 more thing....I can't stand when parents let their toddler/preschoolers wear spaghetti straps, etc., but then don't let them wear them 10 years later. Why send mixed messages to start with???

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    1. Agreed completely. What is unacceptable at 16 shouldn't be acceptable at 6. (I actually heard that first on Family Life Today.) Thanks for joining in the conversation. Hope to see you again!

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  15. It is so interesting to hear everyone's perspective on this! Thank you for sharing and for inviting responses :)

    I found your blog through a link-up at Homemaker By Choice, which I started reading because I'm really interested in the worldviews and life choices of young Christian women. I'm not Christian myself, but I hope you don't mind me reading your blog.

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    1. As long as you call me "young", come back all you want! :) Seriously, I'm glad that you are interested and would love to have you reading and commenting, as long as your comments are polite and family-friendly. Thanks, and I hope to see you again!

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  16. Most men that I know don't have a problem with the women who are wearing next to nothing ... and it's not because they like to look at them. They truly think it's not right for them to be dressed that way & they truly love their wives and only have eyes for their wives.

    I think a lot of women have problems with these scantily clad women because it brings out the insecurities in them. The women are the ones having a hard time looking away and wondering what their men are thinking ... most likely they are thinking what a shame that she feels she needs to dress that way and not that they'd like to put their own hands on her. Most times it is women projecting feelings onto them you think they would be having.

    I don't have a problem with the way others dress most of the time. If all your private parts are covered (and it's not so tight that you might as well be naked) then I'm fine with anything anyone wears.

    I'm offended by those t-shirts with the blood & guts on them or something rude written on them, pants that are around your legs & make it hard to walk, someone (who can help it) wearing dirty looking clothes wrinkled all over & don't brush their hair, or wearing jeans with more holes than material. Mainly those make you look ... I'm not trying to be mean here, but it looks stupid (sorry I don't have a better word for it at the moment).

    How do your husbands act when there are scantily clad men around? This is something I never hear other Christian women talk about ... and there are plenty of those types of men around too. Wearing shorts right up to their butt cheeks & no shirt ... or a speedo at the pool ... or jeans so tight you know they had to have help getting into them. My husband made a remark the other day about the Olympic divers & how they should wear more clothing. I really hadn't noticed, but he has a point (he was talking about the men). :)

    I do love hearing everyone's views about all this & if anything I wrote here can be taken in a way that you may think is demeaning to any of you, please know I do NOT mean it that way! :)

    Angie ... PS Sorry for the long reply!

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    1. That's an excellent point about other women bringing out our own insecurities. We always get in trouble when we compare ourselves to others. And I appreciate your other issues with what passes for fashion these days! Men certainly need to be modest as well. I'll admit it -- I've noticed the divers. It's a difficult issue -- exactly why I posed the question! :) Thanks so much for commenting!

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  17. I love reading what you all have to say about this issue. I feel extremely uncomfortable with the society we find ourselves in today; there's too much sexualized imagery, too much violence and disrespect, too little compassion and care. Just today I had this issue come up between me and my husband. We've only been married two years and he has teenage daughters who dress immodestly and who live life in an incredibly shallow fashion. They're always drawing his attention to this pretty girl or that girl over there with the large breasts. I find it really 'off'. Today, I walked into the house to find my husband's face only inches from his daughter's computer screen, on which was playing a dance video.

    I just felt sick. The girls were very young and scantilly clad, all gyrating around in ways I can't even imagine doing. I lost my cool, which I shouldn't have done. There are ways God would have me approach this issue and I've certainly let Him down. But I just felt so threatened and so appalled at the same time. My husband is now not speaking to me because he thinks I'm ridiculous for not wanting to participate in such 'worldly' things, and for not wanting him to participate either. It would be so easy for to succumb to the idea that it's me who is 'crazy' and I should just learn to cope.

    As I'm the stepmother, and his first wife passed away some years ago, I haven't had any sway with regard to their upbringing or their values. The girl who showed him the video was apparently showing him for the purpose of showing him the dance steps she'll have to perform in her dance class. He saw nothing wrong with watching all this provocative stuff because he insists he was only interested in seeing the dance steps that his daughter was pointing out to him. But in all honesty, as I said to him, 'do you think that Jesus would be comfortable with that? Or do you think he might have encouraged those performers to put some clothes back on?' He doesn't seem to believe that these things have an impact on our minds even if we think they don't. Just by participating, we're definitely allowing the enemy in.

    Reading all these comments here about how others' husbands are glad to have their spouses help guard their eyes, I've felt some comfort knowing that my convictions are shared by other Christians. It seems my husband isn't as serious about his Christianity as I need him to be. Any suggestions for how to handle this would be greatly appreciated. I love my husband dearly and suspect that he's not lusting after these images at all...yet I also know that if he allows these things in routinely, it will indeed affect him...and also our marriage. I love God above and beyond everything and everyone, so I can't help but stick to my Godly convictions. So confusing. I don't know what to do...I don't want to lose my marriage, but I can't disappoint my God. Thank you for listening. I'm now following your blog. It's so important to surround myself with Godly people. It gives me comfort and strength.

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    1. The best thing you can do for your husband is pray and pray often. God can change hearts, we cannot. Keep leading my example, too. You do have a say in how the children are being raised now. Lead them to righteousness, even if hubbie isn't.

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  18. We just spent a weekend at a hotel, mostly swimming. Ugh. The nudity was everywhere! I found myself being extremely thankful that we do not have sons! I am blessed that my husband seems to have great control in this area. He honestly doesn't even notice. He is appalled by such things, and his spirit is very strong in this area. Now, if it were me running around half-nude, he'd have no control at all LOL I am NOT an attractive lady by the world's standards, but God has given him an amazing attraction to his wife. So blessed!

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    1. It is a blessing, Val! My husband is the same way. We try to avoid the pool when anyone else is there, but sometimes others come in before we leave. My husband doesn't wear his glasses to the pool. It's a great fix!

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  19. Thanks for the laugh. Your options are hilarious. I've been married, I don't know, a long time- since 1979. My man loves me and finds all the satisfaction he wants/needs right here. If his eyes land on "miss cute and perky," well so be it. His eyes are his eyes and I just keep praying for my dear one to continue to have a heart for God. He knows where his eyes belong and if they don't find me quickly, then I'll put them out. hahahaha!

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I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)