PART ONE: Should a Christian wife be enticing or seductive towards her own husband?
PART TWO: Where does the standard of "sexiness" come from?
PART THREE: What is definitely off-limits for Christian marriages?
So then today, we'll look at question #4:
Should there be a difference in our attitude, countenance, and the way we carry our body in public and in private?
The short answer is, "Yes!" But, more specifically, we must consider in what ways we should be distinctive in public and in private.
- In our attitude. As Christian wives, our husbands should never have any reason to question our faithfulness or commitment to them. Nor should they doubt our love and respect. So, in that, our attitude about our husbands (respectful, loving, and supportive) should be the same whether we are out in public or at home. More on the point of being sexy though, I think we need to be careful that we only have a flirtatious and enticing attitude towards our husbands. Some women exude confidence and vivacity and friendliness towards other men can be perceived as flirtation. As Christian women, we need to be aware of those tendencies, and be careful to (as far as it lies within our power) not come across as inviting attention from other men.
- In our appearance. We're to be attractive and seductive for one man only-- the husband God gave us. That doesn't mean that we go to the store or church looking like a frump and only wear makeup when we're in the bedroom. But I think it SHOULD mean that it's not the reverse-- others shouldn't be the only ones who see us at our best. I'm definitely not saying that we never are allowed to wear sweats in our homes or have a ponytail or an "off" day. But what I am saying is that we need to be certain that we DO give our husband reason to find us attractive and beautiful. In the Song of Solomon, the young woman has clearly tried to do things (for example, wear jewelry, and use her eyes) to captivate her husband. It is good to work to be beautiful and captivating towards our own husbands. That doesn't mean the same thing for all of us-- some husbands couldn't care less about make up, or wearing certain styled clothes, or lingerie, or whatever... but some do- and we need to be aware of those preferences and be appealing towards our own husband.
- In the clothes that we wear. We shouldn't dress in public in ways that are tantalizing towards men in general. If your husband likes a particular color on you, or a particular outfit, I don't see any problem with wearing it... with this caveat: we are not to be tempting towards other men. I have experienced this a few different times in the past, where I've noticed that a Christian married woman will dress in ways that are clearly inappropriate, and her husband seems to derive pride from that, as though he WANTS other men to notice his wife in a sexual way.
We are specifically told in the Word not to be a stumbling block for others, so I'll put it this way: I don't see ANY problem with dressing however you want to, for your husband's eyes alone. When we're in public settings, it is fine to be pretty and intentionally keep ones' self up. And it's not wrong to wear clothes that look nice or show that you are, in fact, a woman. :-) But as Christian women, we need to put the needs and struggles of our brothers in the Body of Christ ahead of our own desires to look chic or hot or sexy or whatever else our culture (or sometimes, even our own husbands or friends) may tell us to shoot for.
- In the way that we talk. Some things are only for husbands and wives to discuss. Some things, I believe, are OK for us to talk about with same-sex friends as we work through issues that come up or have questions that we need to talk through. But most things of the sexual realm aren't to be opened up as conversation with just any old person. Our culture has blurred a lot of the lines of what's acceptable, but we need to be cautious in the way that we talk and the subjects we discuss, particularly in mixed company.
- In the way we carry our bodies. Privately, between you and your husband, your body is not your own-- it was made for him, and God called that union good. So, I believe you can do whatever you please as far as fabrics, dancing, outfits, lotions and other accessories, and whatever else you and your husband desire. Publicly, however, we need to be aware of the people around us, and not be seductive towards others (intentionally or unintentionally).
A few examples:
-when wearing a blouse, be aware of the neckline, and if it would be revealing, use a free hand to hold it to your collarbone if you bend over with men around you.
-be aware of your pants/underwear line and don't sit or bend in ways that reveal to others what you have on underneath!
-ask your husband what parts of your body or the way you carry yourself might be a struggle for other men (for some of us, it's hips; for some, it's the chest; for others it might be the way you walk), and strive to not entice others with that particular attribute.
- In our interactions with our husbands. Candidly, I'm of the opinion that far too little snuggling and hand-holding happens between Christian married couples. We're the ones who have the God-ordained right to do these things, and yet our culture tells us that only hot young singles kiss in public, or only teenagers hold hands and lean on each other lovingly.
We've got it BACKWARDS! !! We shouldn't be afraid to hold hands and look at each other with joy and appreciation for each other. (Particularly in our homes in front of our children, so that they see a living example of a loving marriage, but that's another topic for another day...). Yes, we need to be careful to keep private things private. There's definitely balance needed. My feeling on this, though, is that our Christian culture leans far too heavily towards the "No PDA" rule among married couples than to need to be reined in. And our young people are suffering for it-- they're buying the lie-- that Christian couples don't have any fun and certainly don't know about "the s word" (sex). I believe that the healthiest way for our culture and our children to learn about God's REAL intentions for sex is to see us enjoying our marriages and the physical oneness God has given us. And how better than for them to see us acting like we REALLY DO like each other?!?!?!
I'd love to hear your input on these, because many of these really are my subjective views... so far, all of the "opinions" expressed in the posts of this series have come from Scripture. But this one is really just my thoughts on the issue, so I'd love to hear yours.
CLICK HERE TO READ PART FIVE of this series.
Graphic ("Dusk" by Alphonse Mucha) from allposters.com