By Donald Townsley
1. Summer brings some temptations to Christians that they don’t face to the same degree at other times of the year.
2. We think it well to deal with some of these temptations and sins because Satan is going to use every device he can to destroy us (2 Cor. 2:11; 1 Pet. 5:8).
I. Immodest Dress.
A. The Problem:
1. In today’s society both men and women go as bare as they can possibly go without being completely nude!
2. Immodest dress is treated as being a human right – the right of men to look with pleasurable lust upon the woman’s figure, and the right of women to entice man’s pleasurable lust by displaying her body.
a. Both men and women wear skin-tight jeans or pants that reveal every contour of the body, and shorts that are as short as they can get them!
b. Females wear mini-skirts, dresses that are cut too low in front (and back), that are too short, are too tight, that have slits showing the leg (giving a “strip-tease” view of the leg) which is very sensual and lust-exciting to the male; strapless evening dresses and sun dresses with the entire back out. (Even some of these are worn among women who profess to be Christians!)
B. What is wrong with immodest dress?
1. Dressing immodestly, by either men or women, is contrary to the law of Christ (1 Tim. 2:9,10; Gal. 5:19). The principles of modesty are taught throughout the word of God – Old and New Testament. God made “coats of skins, and clothed” Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:21).
2. The nakedness of a woman’s body excites lust in men (1 Jn. 2:16 – “the lust of the eyes”; evil desires are awakened by sight).
a. David looked on Bathsheba washing herself and lusted (2 Sam. 11:2-4). We all are familiar with the depth to which this sin led!
b. The writer of Proverbs says, “Lust not after her beauty in thine heart” (Prov. 6:25).
c. Job said, “I made a covenant with mine eyes, why then should I think upon a maid?” (Job. 31:1)
3. Jesus warned in Matthew 5:28: whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
4. All of us need to realize that our clothing makes a statement about us: my dress outside reveals how I am thinking inside!
5. Clothing that is too short, too tight, cut too low (front or back), or that is too revealing in any way is not indicative of godliness, and has no place being worn by those who are Christians, men or women! (Gal. 5:19)
C. Questions about dress that women need to ask themselves:
1. Can I stand, walk and sit in this garment and still be modest – not show nudity?
2. Does the clothing I have on accent certain parts of my body that would tend to excite lustful desires in men?
3. Does my dress stir admiration and respect for me, or does it stir lascivious thoughts?
4. Does the clothing I have on dull the destructive powers of temptation in those who look upon me?
5. Does my dress leave the impression that I am lacking in character? Dress advertises character or the lack thereof (Tamar, Gen. 38; the attire of a harlot, Prov. 7:10).
6. What kind of influence will the clothing I wear have on those who are outside of Christ?
II. The Temptation to Look and Lust (“the lust of the eyes,” 1 Jn. 2:16).
A. Everywhere we go we are confronted with both men and women who are almost nude!
B. Men and women have very strong sexual desires which can be aroused by viewing the unclad (or scantily clad) bodies of the opposite sex, if complete self-control is not exercised (1 Cor. 9:27).
C. Jesus warns about mental adultery.
1. Matt. 5:28: “. . . whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
2. Matt. 15:19: “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,. . . adulteries, fornications.”
3. Mark 7:20-21: “. . that which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications.
D. What is mental adultery?
1. To look to develop fantasies of conquest; to picture situations in the mind; to think adultery with a person to the point that if the opportunity were presented you would commit the physical act.
2. To look with an intentional and conscious desire to gratify the lust of the heart; to view a women to feed lustful desires.
E. Job tells us how to keep from committing mental adultery (Job 31:1). We must control our thoughts.
F. How to control our thoughts.
1. Confess all lustful thoughts to God (1 Jn. 1:9).
2. Ask God for help with temptation (Matt. 26:41; 1 Cor. 10:13), and determine in mind that you are going to take advantage of the way of escape when temptation does come.
3. Bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
4. Hide the word of God in your heart (Psa. 119:11). Avoid going to places where there will be nudity.
a. Do not attend/rent movies or watch TV that is filled with nudity, petting and fornication.
b. Most movies today are filled with this kind of thing. If you find yourself in such, walk out; turn it off!
III. Mixed Swimming.
A. Many Christians who enjoy swimming will be tempted to go to the beaches or public swimming pools. The attire that is worn at the beach/swimming pools is designed to expose as much of the body as the law will allow, and the law allows a lot! This is no place for a Christian!
B. Mixed swimming is a lascivious practice – it produces lewd emotions (Gal. 5:19).
C. Those who engage in mixed swimming become a stumbling block to others (Matt. 18:6,7).
1. Bathsheba became a stumbling block to David by being undressed (1 Sam. 11:2-4: “the lust of the eyes,” 1 Jn. 2:16).
2. Women today do the same when in bikinis, bathing suits, etc.
A. Summer nights provide a great temptation for young people to park and “pet.” (By “Petting” I mean kissing, embracing, and the fondling of the body.)
B. When people “pet” they arouse lustful passions and the act of petting becomes a lascivious act (Gal. 5:19; 2 Tim. 2:22).
1. Petting is just as sinful as fornication (Gal. 5:19).
2. One is not fleeing fornication and youthful lusts when he or she engages in petting (1 Cor. 6:18; 2 Tim. 2:22).
3. No one has the right to stir passions that he has no lawful right to fulfill.
4. Petting is an act intended only as preparation for the marriage bed (Heb. 13:4).
C. A great number of people who start out petting eventually go all the way and commit fornication! This is the great danger of engaging in petting – strong passions are aroused that are difficult to control!
D. One’s best defense is to determine never to begin this lascivious practice.
1. Young woman, allow no young man to “pet” with you! Allow no one to handle your body! Keep yourself pure in every way for one man, the man you will marry. You will be happy that you did!
2. Young man, keep your hands off the bodies of young women! They do not belong to you – you have no right! Be able to present yourself to your bride as pure as you want her to be!
Guardian of Truth XXXIII: 13, pp. 399-400
July 6, 1989