Swimming Pools and Christians
Don R. Hastings
Recently, I was with several preachers and I was surprised to hear some of them speak of their swimming pools. Swimming pools have become very popular, particularly in Florida, where I live.
When my wife and I were looking for a house to buy, we saw many realtor's signs in front of homes with the word "pool" attached to the signs. When we saw such a sign, we didn't stop to investigate the possibility of purchasing the house. Why would anyone refuse to buy a house with a swimming pool? Most people would consider a pool to be an asset and not a liability.
God has told us the standard we are to use by which we are to determine what we are going to wear. "In like manner, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefastness and sobriety; not with braided hair, and gold or pearls or costly rainment; but (which becometh women professing godliness) through good works" (1 Tim. 2:9,10). We must not let the world set our standard of dress! Christians should be different from the world (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1). Can others see a difference between the way you dress and the way the world dresses? Is your style of dress modest? Does it reveal that you have a sense of shame which prevents you from shamefully exposing your body before others? The world has destroyed most of her sense of shame! They are like those of whom Jeremiah wrote about in Jeremiah 8:12, "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall; in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith Jehovah." Jeremiah was writing about children of God. Our lack of a sense of shame is reflected in our thoughts, speech, actions and dress. There are many who "glory in their shame" (Phil, 3:19). They like to display their bodies.
Does your manner of dress show that you dress with "sobriety"? The Greek word, which is translated "sobriety," "denotes soundness of mind . . . it is that habitual inner self-government, with its constant rein on all the passions and desires, which would hinder the temptation to these from arising, or at all events from arising in such strength as would overbear the checks and barriers which aidos (shamefastness) opposed to it" (An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, by W.E. Vine, pp. 44,45).
Jesus said, ". . . that every one that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matt. 5:28). Do you believe, that a woman or man who dresses in such a manner as to arouse lustful desires in the heart of another, will not be guilty of sin in the eyes of God? If your answer is "no" to this question, please read Luke 17:1,2.
The Greek word, which is translated "lasciviousness," is defined by W.E. Vine as, "absence of restraint, indecency . . . the prominent idea is shameless conduct" (Ibid., p. 310). Indecent dress is lascivious. This work of the flesh will keep you from inheriting "the kingdom of God" (Gal. 5:19-21).
How one dresses is a very serious matter! People do judge you by what you are wearing. Our apparel makes a statement about us. What is your apparel saying about you? God is concerned about how we influence other people (Matt. 5:13-16).
If a bathing suit is "modest apparel," what would be immodest apparel? Please, think soberly on this question.
Brethren, if you own a swimming pool: do you permit boys and girls, or men and women, to swim together; do you swim with them; is your pool private, that is, cannot be viewed by others not on your property; do you permit just your family to swim in it; does your family consist of more than wife, or husband; have your restrictions become more lenient since you first owned your pool?
Those of you, who preach the gospel and have a swimming pool where you live, or swim at other places: do you swim when only boys, or men, are present; do you believe a bathing suit is immodest apparel and if you don't, what would constitute immodesty in dress; do you preach against, and define, immodest apparel; have you changed your convictions on this subject; are you compromising your convictions; do you resent these questions? Whether we go swimming with a mixed group, or refrain from doing so, we must teach and practice what the Lord has taught for it is his word that will judge us (Jn. 12:48).
I am not saying it is wrong to own a swimming pool, but possessing one will present many grave temptations that few resist. I hope that this article will make you think soberly on how you dress before others. I hope you will fill your swimming pool up with dirt if it is causing you to sin. It is far better to endure the heat of the sun than to be cast into "the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone" (Rev. 21:8)! Why would a follower of Christ desire the things of this world that could cause him, or her, to lose eternal fellowship with God? Brethren, we must all be on our guard for our "adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8). Let us not be devoured by Satan, but enjoy the wonderful, eternal fellowship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Guardian of Truth XXXV: 14, p. 431