“The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.” (Matthew 6:22)
“Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
I was thinking of the importance of guarding our eyes.
You see, I was raised in a conservative Christian family, and my mom (and aunts, with whom I am very close), always dressed in a beautiful, elegant, tasteful, modest manner. Modesty was never synonym of blandness for me, because they looked like true ladies.
And I am thinking about the legacy we are about to leave to the younger girls out there. All they see all day long are pictures of Victoria’s Secret models who not only don’t look like their real selves but also- and this is a tragedy for me- have every year a fashion show watched by millions of people. Every year millions of people sit in front of their TV for that massive celebration of the cult of sensuality.
Basically, the equation of our time is… lots of skin+a seductive behavior= you get all the attention you’ve longed for, girl.
And I am thinking about men, too. How these images distorted their vision of true beauty. How it destroyed them. It’s easy understand why those shows are so awaited and loved. It appeals to the flesh. But we know that nothing good will come out of it. It will kill them. It will kill us.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible about this topic is Proverbs 7:
“My son, keep my words
and store up my commands within you.
2 Keep my commands and you will live;
guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
3 Bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
and to insight, “You are my relative.”
5 They will keep you from the adulterous woman,
from the wayward woman with her seductive words.
6 At the window of my house
I looked down through the lattice.
7 I saw among the simple,
I noticed among the young men,
a youth who had no sense.
8 He was going down the street near her corner,
walking along in the direction of her house
9 at twilight, as the day was fading,
as the dark of night set in.
10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
11 (She is unruly and defiant,
her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
at every corner she lurks.)
13 She took hold of him and kissed him
and with a brazen face she said:
14 “Today I fulfilled my vows,
and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.
15 So I came out to meet you;
I looked for you and have found you!
16 I have covered my bed
with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
19 My husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took his purse filled with money
and will not be home till full moon.”
21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
she seduced him with her smooth talk.
22 All at once he followed her
like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer stepping into a noose
23 till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
little knowing it will cost him his life.
24 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
pay attention to what I say.
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
or stray into her paths.
26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
leading down to the chambers of death.” (emphasis mine)
Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.
Just like those beautiful, colorful spiders you find in tropical jungles, she has a poison. She will kill you.
Looking at that chapter, there are so many things we could see. The condition of her heart. Her demeanor, subtle at times: she even employs religious language. His lack of sense. The perfect recipe for disaster.
The woman described above, the world has plenty of that kind. And you know what, looking at my own heart, I know that if it wasn’t for the saving grace of Jesus-Christ and the new affections He puts in our hearts, i.e, a love of good things and a hatred for evil things, I would be like the proverbs 7 woman.
I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman, a woman after God’s heart.I don’t want to be a Proverb 7 woman that dishonor God and destroys men (and women, by a bad influence as well !).
We learned the lesson the hard way back in Eden. The Devil makes evil looks beautiful and kills you. He invites you to bite into a glossy, poisoned apple. And the thing is, new temptations will come everyday. On TV. As you open Youtube. In your workplace. In the street. In your heart. And I am becoming more and more convinced that if we don’t put the Word of God as our first influence in our lives we will believe without knowing it the lies of this deceitful world.
As a single woman, I decided to dig deeper in the Word of God and allow it to shape me. To shape my desires. My affections. To replace the lies I’ve believed.
This post was full of random thoughts ! Sorry if there was no real “guiding thread” there but it was something I had at heart.
Before ending this post, I wanted to share an article found on Revive Our Hearts, titled “Becoming a Single Woman of Virtue”, written by Nancy Leigh de Moss. You can find it here.
Becoming a Single Woman of Virtue
“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1
- Is there anything about my speech, actions, dress, or attitudes that could defraud the men around me?
- Am I building up my “house”—home, work place, church—(vs. tearing it down)?
- Am I taking in sensual thoughts and desires through books, magazines, TV programs,music, or movies that are not morally pure?
- Am I investing in the lives of those around me? Am I nurturing the heart of my siblings or others God has called me to bless?
- Am I looking to any man (pastor, counselor, colleague, etc.) to fill an emotional vacuum in my life? Do I go to a man rather than going to the Lord to meet my emotional needs?
- Am I cultivating a grateful, joyful spirit? Am I rejoicing in the Lord?
- Is there any behavior or relationship I am involved in that I am hiding? Am I engaged in anything now that I will not want my husband to know about if I marry in the future?
- Am I giving the best of my physical and emotional energy for the Lord?
- Am I discontent? Am I dwelling on thoughts that make me unable to find fulfillment through serving the Lord and those around me He has called me to serve?
- Am I cultivating a pleasant, gracious spirit in my words, actions, and attitudes that brings honor and glory to the Lord?
- Am I critical or judgmental? Do my parents have the freedom to be honest with me?
- Am I keeping my emotions, attention, and affection from every man to whom I am not engaged or married? Am I protecting the thoughts and feelings of my heart?
- Is my conversation ever loose, crude, or unbecoming for a woman of God?
- Am I discreet and restrained in the way I talk with men at work?
- Am I expressing admiration for a man that should more appropriately come from his wife?
- Do I communicate a meek, quiet, and submissive spirit?
- Does my demeanor tend to be “loud and defiant”? Do I dominate or try to control the men around me?
- Does my dress help men to keep their thoughts pure and Christ-centered? Is my dress feminine and modest?
- Am I a “door” or a “wall” (Song of Songs 8:9)? Am I a “loose” woman? Do I communicate to the men around me that I am “available”? Does my demeanor invite them to “partake” of intimate parts of my body, soul, or spirit? Do I engage in flirtatious speech, looks, or behavior?
- Have I purposed in my heart to be morally pure?
- Am I currently in a situation that is (or could become) compromising?
- Do I reserve intimate communication, looks, words, and touch for my future husband (if I marry)?
- Have I become a “refuge” for a man who may be struggling in his marriage?
- Have I surrendered my sexual desires in honor of the Lord, my future husband, and the marriages or future marriages of those around me? Am I walking in holiness and honor?
- Do I esteem and value any man more than the Lord? Do I love any man more than I love the Lord? Who comes first in my estimation?
- Would those who know me best say that I am a woman of moral virtue and purity?
- Am I in a situation that could appear to others to be compromising?
- Am I making myself accountable to another godly woman for my walk with God and others?
- Do I treat men with respect by keeping a proper distance from them, emotionally and physically?
- Have I erected (and am I maintaining) adequate “hedges” in my relationships with men? Have I defined what those hedges are?
I acknowledge and renounce my sinful involvement in _______________ and pray in the name and through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ that you would break this stronghold in my life. I realize, Lord, this sin has been a detrimental influence in my life [and marriage]. Lord, I humbly ask that You would forgive me and wash me in the blood of Christ, cleansing me from this sin. I ask you, Lord Jesus to take back the ground given to the enemy through my involvement and I yield that ground to Your control. I purpose to honor You in my heart, practicing purity and discretion in all of my relationships.