Fun fact: I have a pretty great boyfriend. He’s kind and has the best laugh and is an expert comforter and faithful encourager, I could go on and on, but let’s face it, that’s not why you clicked on this post, so I’ll get on with it.
One thing I love about my boyfriend is that I can be entirely confident that he has no ulterior motives. I know that his intent is to worship God with our relationship and to determine whether I am to be his wife, not whether I am adequately entertaining in the here and now. I am indescribably grateful for my boyfriend’s uncompromising integrity, and I tell him that frequently.
As a girl educated in a public high school, I’ve seen my fair share of guys handing out the classic i-love-you-baby-i’m-gonna-marry-you-someday-will-you-sleep-with-me crap. I hate that kind of thing because while the guy smiles and says the sacred words, “I love you,” his actions are saying, “I hate you.” Ugh. He tricks her, gets what he wanted from her, and dumps her, then on to the next one. Evil, nasty guys.
But what about the girls? I’m convinced that girls are capable of the exact same duplicity, and that it goes almost entirely unnoticed… that is, by us girls.
I realized this the day my boyfriend thanked me for something weird: he thanked me for dressing modestly. Sensing my confusion, he elaborated: modesty allowed him to partake in the relationship without the constant downward pull of sexual temptation. Suddenly, it became clear to me. Just as I would pursue righteousness so much more without the constant hindrance of Satan, so he was able to pursue righteousness without the constant hindrance of visual temptation.
Hindrance isn’t even the right word. The opening to Luke 17 reads: Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 So watch yourselves.” Leave it to the Bible to put things in perspective. It makes sense, though. The choice to dress immodestly is the choice to help my boyfriend and countless other guys commit offences against the Lord God Almighty. To dress immodestly is hatred, both to God and men.
That’s not what the world is saying, though. Immodesty is liberation. It’s expression. It’s beauty. Sigh. The world can be so confusing. Thankfully, the Bible is very much able to clear this up: Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a: 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.
These verses provide a wonderful system for evaluating the different versions of ‘love’ the world has to offer. It’s a whole lot different than the others, but it’s designed by God, so why accept any other?