One thing we hear a lot of, especially recently (including the comments of the above post), is the comparison between Muslims and Christians. This is a really absurd comparison...really, there isn't one. The reason Muslim men can be aroused by something as simple as an ankle or wrist is that they are often kept from women for reasons of "honour" and because according to Islamic theology, women are both lowly and almost satanically enticing. Desirable but dangerous. In many cases, the daughters are nothing more than tools to cement family bonds (many are married to cousins). There are also social mores that keep the young men and young women separated from each other, and not just at the beach; even in homes, the men have a living room, and the women have another living room. So it's no wonder that, barred from having normal, day-to-day contact with women, many young men in these predominantly Islamic nations find themselves frustrated and aroused by the simplest hint of the feminine. It's a very strangulated culture (Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book will leave you in culture shock). I'm not saying ours, where present-day women display themselves like prime rib, is much better (it clearly is not), but certainly something is amiss in Islamic cultures.
Christian theology is a 180 from this backwards view of femininity and the female form: it is a good thing, a wonderful thing. Many women throughout the Bible are referred to as "beautiful" and "comely"; the only sexually dangerous women in the Bible are the promiscuous, ungodly women whose tongues drip honey, as the Proverbs say. Women are to be protected, defended, provided for, and loved as dearly as Jesus loved the church. Indeed, in Christian theology, women are rather set upon a pedestal, and in marriage, for a man to enjoy his wife is seen as a very good, very right thing. Women are indeed to be modest and covered (within reason - y'all know how I feel about that) so as to help head lustful eyes off at the pass, but also because as the ones whose bodies were hand-formed by God Himself...hey. We're treasures inside and out. One does not leave things of great value just hanging about, exposed to the elements, so to speak. (Don't believe me? Where's the Hope Diamond? The Mona Lisa? The flag which inspired our national anthem? Okay then.)
There's also something along similar lines from my friend's pastor (who looks way, way too young to be pastoring a gigantic church, and I'm probably the same age he is). However, I must again caution the ladies: we can't take what my friend or my friend's pastor have written as excuses to dress inappropriately for church, saying, "Well, it's their responsibility to keep their eyes on my face and their minds clean!" No, it is an equal responsibility, on both sides: one, to be considerate of the others' weaknesses, and the other to do his best to stay pure.
That alone should suggest that God doesn't rank men as better or higher than women when it comes to sin and spirituality.
(Though as a complimentarian and not an egalitarian, yes, the husband is the head of the family, just as God is the head of Jesus Christ.)
Summer Apple Pear Dress, available in custom size from Jane Bon Bon
Labels: General Philosophy