Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Show Some Real Love– by Guest Writer: Hannah Colley

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Do you really love that guy? How do you love him? Do you love him like a brother? The Greek word for that kind of love is phileo, meaning brotherly love. Do you love him because of what he can give you? The Greek word for that kind of love is eros–selfish love. Or do you love him with an unselfish love, a Christian love? Agape is the Greek word for that kind of love. When you love with agape, you love because of what you are, not because of what the other person is. Agape is the kind of love Jesus tells us we should all possess. It’s the love that is described in 1 Corinthians 13. It’s the kind of love that “seeks not her own”(I Corinthians 13:5).

Agape should affect every area of our lives—the way we treat each other, the words we speak to one another, each ethical decision we make, and even the way we dress. That’s right. We can show agape love to our Christian brothers simply in the way that we dress.
I talked with a friend recently who worships at a large congregation in a university’s town. She said that several of the men who serve at the Lord’s table hesitate to serve in the college section because of the way the college girls dress. They say it’s too difficult to keep their thoughts on the cross while serving girls whose tops are low cut and whose skirts are too short. What happened to the spirit of agape in this scenario?
I was walking through the park the other day with a guy when he suddenly stopped and asked if we could walk in another direction. When I asked why, he said, “Don’t you see all those girls laying out over there? If we walk that way, it will be really hard for me to keep my thoughts where they need to be.” As Christian girls, agape prompts us to be aware and cautious because of the visual temptations with which we know they struggle.
When we dress immodestly, we’re not showing the kind of love—agape love—that God requires of us. Instead, we’re being selfish.
This article will not address whether or not it’s sinful to dress immodestly, because most of us agree that, as Christian women, we should dress modestly (I Timothy 2:9, 10). The problem arises when we start to make exceptions to the standards of modest dress. Most Christian parents would never let their teenage daughters go to the mall dressed in mini-skirts and halter-tops, and yet they have no problem with letting them go to the beach dressed in modern swimsuits. I’ve even heard mothers say, “Oh we think modesty is very important. Even at the beach, we wear modest swimsuits.” But in our society, isn’t the very phrase “modest swimsuits” an oxymoron?
Is real agape love consistent across the board? Does it impose the same standards of modesty in all public situations? Are there instances when exposing cleavage, tummy, and thighs is appropriate? I personally know lots of girls who would never go out wearing short skirts or exposing their stomachs, unless, of course, they’re wearing their cheerleading outfits. How is it inappropriate to go to school dressed that way, but its okay to dance seductively dressed that way in front of hundreds of people at a ballgame? Ladies, what are we thinking?!
To us, as women, there may be an enormous difference between exposing lots of skin at a public beach and exposing it at a church event. But try asking a guy this question: “Is the physical or psychological response different, say at a ball game or at the beach than in Sunday school?” They might laugh at you. For guys, attraction to the female body is a physical response; something God gave them to increase the pleasure of a marital relationship. To them, your location or circumstance has little to do with it. They don’t have a switch they can flip whenever they’re going to the beach or to a ball game where cheerleaders are present.
While writing this article, I called one of my close guy friends and asked him the question mentioned in the previous paragraph. This was his response: “Are you kidding me? Guys respond the same way wherever—whenever. It does not matter whether a girl is in a football stadium or walking down the street. Girls, please take measures to help guys keep their hearts pure.”
In other words, show some love. Real love.
Taken from “Christian Woman” Magazine, Gospel Advocate, Nashville, TN.
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