Random Thoughts: Is His Lust Her Responsibility?

by Yvonne Chase on December 18, 2013

lustSide Boob-Front Boob And Under Boob
Christian women have been causing a lot of ruckus lately in the media because of our attire.  We’re accused of showing too much side boob, front boob and under boob. Our our clothes are too tight.  We’re causing men to lust.  First there was Meagan Good who put her “goods” on display in this get up and up next is Erica Campbell of the gospel recording duo Mary Mary. In the outfit below, Erica is accused of being too sexy for gospel.  Take a look…

lust

A pastor from somewhere over the rainbow saw the picture and said the following:

This is not okay.  Yes, you are a beautiful, curvy woman but no ma’am, you are singing the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Saints…SMH (shaking my head) come on!”

I want women of God to represent the kingdom without feeling as though they must become a sex symbol. The world sells sex, the kingdom should promote Jesus.

We compel men to come through our love for Jesus, but when we wear things that are distracting, the message is somehow lost and it becomes about us and not about Him.

I’ve seen too many…too many people dress inappropriately in ministry and this was only one example.

I desire to see us represent Jesus in a way that exudes holiness and not sexiness.

Essence magazine asked Erica her thoughts about all the backlash and she said;

I thought I looked cute but it obviously offended some people, which was never my intention.  This is about confidence and realizing that God made you and that you are beautiful just the way you are.  I think that young girls shouldn’t only get sexy images from people who are not proclaiming Jesus. But I am. And I’m cute too.

Tent Or Tiny Tank Top
Here’s my take on it, a man will lust after a woman whether she wears a tent or a tiny tank top.  To make me responsible for his lusting eye is wrong.  How about shifting the conversation just a bit.  We need to encourage women to dress modestly because we know our worth is far above rubies and we know we are of great value.  The primary focus should not be about covering up so he doesn’t lust after me.  He’s going to lust after us no matter what we wear. That’s what men do…they lust!

Modest, Fashionable And Sexy
Many women think dressing modest means not fashionable.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We can be modest, fashionable and sexy simultaneously.  Modest doesn’t equal frumpy and dowdy and sexy doesn’t equal teeny tiny and painted on.  The conversations around this issue seems to suggest we walk around looking like this…

lustLust and Loins
That dress is hideous and I don’t want to be caught in it dead or alive.  Instead of making women solely responsible, how about we remind men that a woman is more than her breasts and butt.  How about we talk to men about respecting a woman no matter what she wears.  How about we remind men of a woman’s worth.

Responsible For His Response
As I’m writing this, I’m reminded of a client who was frustrated at the response she was getting from her dates.  You can read about her here.  While she is not responsible for his response, she is responsible for how she presents herself to the world.  With that said, that doesn’t give us license to run around half naked!

Something to think about…

What say you? Is his lust her responsibility?  What do you think of Erica’s attire? Is it unholy? Is it too sexy?

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

1.  Leave your comments below

2.  Share this post if you like it

Tomisin December 18, 2013

My take…even though we want to be fashionable as Christian women, and we try not to present ourselves to the world as being ‘prudish’ …”your body is my temple” said our Lord. We should think carefully about how we present God’s temple…it is where He lives. When guests visit our homes…what they see (first impression) is usually a reflection on us. We are all talking about what Erica looks like on the cover, but not how blessed we are by the music. Ministry is God’s work and i think she has taken a some of His glory to herself. Maybe it would have been different if she had chosen to dress in a more demure but equally elegant fashion…just maybe

Yvonne Chase December 18, 2013

@Tomisin…

I like this; “When guests visit our homes…what they see (first impression) is usually a reflection on us.” We are what we wear and what we wear is a reflection of us.

Thanks for stopping by!

g December 18, 2013

yes you can be modest and look good – that dress is indeed hideous.

Yvonne Chase December 18, 2013

@G…

LOL! Well alrighty then! I don’t know if its hideous or not…I don’t find it particularly flattering.

A young lady was in my presence one day wearing what I deemed inappropriate attire. It was too tight, too short and showing too much. Whether we’re going to the park or the palace, whatever we wear ought to shine us in our best light otherwise we need to change clothes.

Clothes that are too tight are no better than clothes that are too big. Its all ill fitting.

Thanks for stopping by!

E' December 18, 2013

The best part of this for me has to be this…
‘How about shifting the conversation just a bit.  We need to encourage women to dress modestlybecause we know our worth is far above rubies and we know we are of great value.  The primary focus should not be about covering up so he doesn’t lust after me.  He’s going to lust after us no matter what we wear. That’s what men do…they lust!’
I insist that we are judging babe too harshly and increasingly so because now people are PEERING to judge. I may not wear this (I even hate white) as a result of taste but as a curvy woman myself, I have had my challeges. Maybe that is why I am not joining the party lol.
She has certainly learned her lesson. We don’t like her dressed like this. Can we now make the effort (no matter how hard) and focus on the music?
Note to Erica: next time baby, do a portrait loool
E’
http://www.eziaha.com

Yvonne Chase December 18, 2013

@E…

I don’t think being curvy has much to do with it. A curvy woman can dress very fashionably and sexy while exuding a boat load of confidence without putting all of her curves on front street. This conversation about her get up is definitely a distraction from her music.

Thanks for stopping by!

E' December 19, 2013

Oh of course.
When I say ‘challenges’, they have come even when I don’t put it all on ‘front street’….
And I am even less curvy. So men will always lust…

Yvonne Chase December 19, 2013

@E…

Men will always lust because of their visual nature. Its up to him to control himself and its up to us to make sure we’re not running around naked. Each of us; men and women have to take responsibility.

Debby Dyk December 19, 2013

I don’t know what more to add about Erica’s appearance, considering all that has been said already…
But I know that lust will always happen because it is a reflection of one’s state of mind and not the ‘victim’s’ mode of appearance…
+ I love this post, it exposes the truth that we should take the responsibility of controlling our minds, and our appearance…

Yvonne Chase December 19, 2013

@Debbie…

I love this; “lust will always happen because it is a reflection of one’s state of mind and not the ‘victim’s’ mode of appearance…” Beautifully stated.

Thanks for stopping by.

George Scheide December 20, 2013

Great piece Yvonne. I’m glad I got to read this now that I’ve tweeted you a few times with my thoughts. This is such a fine line to negotiate. I see nothing wrong personally with a woman showing how good she can and does look. We were born naked and had sin not entered this world we would have remained naked. I know people get caught up in lingo like “trashy” or dressed like a “ho.” I think that’s awful and should never come from a believers’ mouth.
That being said, we men can easily be distracted by the attraction. Lust is a big thing! Is it fair to blame the lady in the outfit? I would say it is not. This article opened my eyes somewhat. I do think it would be wise for people to understand their appearance can lead to a temptation in someone else, so they might want to tone it down. Is it the fault of the beautiful lady in the outfit? Not at all.

Yvonne Chase December 20, 2013

Hey there George my newest Twitter follower,

Its been really great discussing this topic with you. You’re right, there is nothing wrong with a woman showing how good she can and does look. Like you said in our Twitter exchange, time and place are very important. I do believe men need to take responsibility for how they respond to a woman’s attire instead of blaming the woman for his lustful response. The other side of that coin is women need to be conscious of our bodies and what we wear.

Beyond feeling confident and beautiful, I believe our attire ought to make us look our best. I believe we can look our best in proper fitting clothes. My mother is a seamstress. I learned a lot from her about how clothing looks when its the right size and a proper fit. For example, if a skirt is pulling on both sides and buckling in the middle, its too tight. I don’t believe this outfit makes her look her best. Sure it shows off her curves. If that was her goal, she succeeded.

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a great comment. Look forward to more discussions!

Tracie December 21, 2013

My first thought about Erica’s dress was honestly, “Wow. I hope she didn’t try sitting down in that.” because it would probably come apart at the seems.

Is it a sin for her to wear it? I think that is something I couldn’t say. But I don’t think it is the most flattering choice, and it looks like she is trying too hard to me.

I agree with you that the responsibility for lust lies with the man. Women can not possibly guarantee that their outfits will not “cause” any man to lust after them. It is an impossible goal. That being said, there are boundaries, and your clothes do announce things about you (whether they are true things or not), and while that shouldn’t be the entire reason for you to or not to wear something, it should be taken into consideration.

Yvonne Chase December 21, 2013

@Tracie,

We are speaking the same language. Two thumbs up for everything you said. I agree with this 100%: “I don’t think it is the most flattering choice, and it looks like she is trying too hard to me.” Confidence doesn’t try hard it just is. You’re right, the skirt would split at the seams if she tried to bend. Its too tight and its ill fitting.

I had a conversation with a Twitter follower yesterday about our clothing and what it says about us. Like you said, our clothes do announce things about us (whether they are true things or not). While that shouldn’t be the entire reason for you to or not to wear something, it should be taken into consideration.

Thanks for stopping by!

AwesomelyOZ December 21, 2013

I totally agree with you Yvonne.. I think they want US to be responsible for it all when men are responsible for their own actions and behaviors: control thyself fool. You’re right we shouldn’t be dressed half naked intentionally exposing ones’ body but merely being proud and confident in a form fitting dress is perfectly ok. It was a turtleneck dress people!! She definitely looked amazing and has every right to feel confident in her own skin – shame on those who feel its her job to dress like a nun for MAN’S sake. Tsk for shame.. We are each responsible for our own actions and image not others or their perceptions. Have a great one! -Iva

Yvonne Chase December 21, 2013

@AwesomelyOZ,

“Control thyself fool!” Hilarious! We don’t have to dress like a nun. That is the biggest misconception in this whole conversation about modesty and lust. We can still be modest and fashionable and sexy and confident and beautiful in proper fitting clothes.

Thanks for stopping by!

shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com December 21, 2013

Most definitely think that dressing modestly does not mean dressing frumpy! I guess to answer this question…one would have to address why exactly do women feel the need to dress in super tight, skin exposing clothing? Is it for attention? to feel good? ..And in answering that question honestly, I feel, is how we can truly address if “his lust is her responsibility”

Yvonne Chase December 21, 2013

@Shashi,

Great questions every woman ought to ask when getting dressed. I wonder how many women dress for themselves vs dressing for men or the attention of others. I believe that plays a huge part in our clothing choices.

Thanks for stopping by!

Simone December 21, 2013

Great blog post!

I’m partial to Erica because I love her personality on her reality show. I’m appalled at the comment by Apostle Stacey Woods. Way too judgmental and vitriolic for me. This part stood out to me.

“I desire to see us represent Jesus in a way that exudes holiness and not sexiness.”

Femininity is fluid. Can’t we be beautiful and holy? Can’t we wear our heels and spread the word? Why does it have to be one or the other?

Yvonne Chase December 22, 2013

@Simone,

We can be hot and holy and we definitely can wear heels and spread the word. I believe Stacey Woods went a bit to far to the left with this.

Thanks for stopping by!

Estrela March 4, 2014

Interesting reaction to Erica’s apparel. Is that all he saw when he looked at her?

His lust his responsibility I say.

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