How Women Encourage Sexual Sin in the Church
Recent statistics suggest that women are being drawn into life-controlling sexual addiction lifestyles in greater and greater numbers. A surprising 20% of Christian women are addicted to pornography. Even more staggering is the fact that 40% of those struggling with sexual addiction under the age of 35 are women!
What many women don’t realize is that they have been unwittingly contributing to the sexual sin issue in the Church long before these statistics came to be.
Females readers, is your first reaction, “Hey wait a minute here. Are you saying this mess we’re in is the woman’s fault?” Please read on.
A Long-Standing Problem
Back in his day, the Apostle Paul had heard that a disruption was being caused by women in the church because of what they were wearing. Paul admonished these dear women by writing, “that the women should adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” (1Timothy 2:9 – 10) In this loving rebuke, Paul was trying to discourage women from dressing in a way that was distracting to men and others in their worship services.
How much greater is the issue today for women of all ages who have been bombarded for decades with the message of this world that their value comes from their outward appearance and from being seen as attractive and alluring to men. Just check the headlines of the women’s magazines on your next visit to your favorite supermarket.
Yes, we women can be clueless, or just deceived, on how much we can contribute to the problem.
As I have gone out and spoken to thousands of Christian women at our A Call to Purity Weekends, I have found that many are not aware that their insistence on being “in the current fashion” is causing their brothers to stumble. I can’t tell you how many times, while I am sharing this truth, women begin covering themselves up as I am speaking in the sudden awareness that they were exposing “a little too much skin.” The lights have suddenly come on for them.
A Personal Plea
Several years ago I was asked to speak at a church event where the leaders set out to confront this important issue in their church. There were about 500 ladies of all different age groups in attendance. The pastors who hosted this event asked some of the men to write letters on how the attire of women in the church affected them. To this day, I can still recall one of those letters.
This gentleman poured his heart out. Church for him was a place of refuge from all the outside influences where he could focus all of his heart on God. To his despair, he repeatedly found his church not to be a “safe” place at all from the lustful suggestions rampant in the world and his workplace. He cited situation after situation: a woman on the worship team in skin tight clothing; a woman sitting next to him in an extremely short skirt; and young women in low cut and halter tops all around. He pleaded, “If you only knew how often the immodest outfits you wear disturb me, perhaps you would see yourself differently. My desire is to honor you; yet there are times that you dress as if you wish I wouldn’t.”
Beloved, when we see and hear these things it should make us want to weep before our God and to cry out to Him in repentance. If we are not, then there is something very wrong in our hearts as the Bride of Christ. The world and its influences have affected us more than we know.
Repeatedly, women in our Wives Program have confessed to me, “Well it’s not my fault if he can’t control his eyes. I should be able to wear whatever I want when I want.”
What we need to consider, beloved, is that God has wired men this way, that men are stimulated by visual images by divine design. When confined to feelings stimulated between husband and wife, this phenomenon works beautifully. On the other hand, when it is misused for purposes other than God’s, it becomes evil and sinful. Why do you think the pornography industry is such a multi-billion dollar enterprise?
God’s Word and Your Wardrobe
When we are more caught up in the world’s ways rather than God’s ways, it is very easy to overlook Paul’s admonition to the church in Romans 14:13. While the context of this Scripture has to do with eating or drinking, it can be applied to anything that causes our brother to stumble, “… resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.” Paul goes on in verse 21, “it is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.”
Sisters, as the Bride of Christ, we must allow the Word of God to govern our lives in this area instead of allowing the world’s standards to sway us. I encourage you to consider how much time you spend “in the world,” as compared to your time in the Word of God. I promise you, when you spend more time in God’s Word, it will cause you to see more as God sees, and to walk in a way that is pleasing in His sight. The words of the psalmist will then become your own, “Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” (Psalms 119:11)
The Holy Spirit is faithful to show us and convict us of motives that are not pure in our way of dress. He will begin to point out anything that is questionable during shopping sprees and even in our closets. Ask Him to bring that conviction to your heart in order that you might not take advantage of and defraud your brothers in this way. (1 Thessalonians 4:6)
God has called us to possess our vessel (which belongs to Him) in sanctification and honor not in the passion of lust, like those who do not know God. (1 Thessalonians 4:4-5). As you begin to pattern your life according to the Word of God, you will be able to say like Paul, “I have always strived to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” (Acts 24:16)
Beloved, if this is your heart, I encourage you to take some time to pray. Ask the Lord to show you if there is anything in your life that is causing your brother to stumble. Trust the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart as He has mine so many times when I seek Him in this area. Be open and willing to do all that He reveals.
May God bless you and may Jesus be glorified in your life as you serve Him in all things.
Rose Colón is the former Director of Women’s Counseling at Pure Life Ministries, a position she held from 1996 to 2015. Rose has a Masters of Ministry in Biblical Counseling from Master’s Graduate School of Divinity in Evansville, IN and holds certification from the International Association of Biblical Counselors (IABC) in Denver, CO.
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