You may start calling me Mrs. Blunt or Mrs. In-Your-Face after this blog post, but that's okay. I'm cool with that. :-)
It's spring, dear friends.
Everything we choose to do, no matter the change in seasons WILL impact all those in our circle of influence; family, friends, bosses, co-workers and even perfect strangers. What we do, where we hang out, what we say, what we think, what we wear will be a powerful way of influencing those around us; either for good or for our downfall.
We are women who have great influence over our world (the little corner of the world that is our home, our family, our church, our workplace, our beauty salon, our kid's school, our favorite fast food place, our favorite coffee shop, our favorite recreational facility). We have been given a great gift of influence by God to be used for his glory, his renown and his fame; NOT for ours.
If you don't think as a woman you have the gift of influence, just take a minute and think about it. You will see many times in your life where you were able to (whether for good or for selfish gain) encourage/manipulate a person or a group of people to do what you would like them to do. I mean, look at the first woman to be created. Eve. She was the queen of influence.....and when that trait got twisted....it showed itself as seduction as some famous female authors have described her skills. Eve was able to influence her husband to eat the forbidden fruit from the forbidden tree. Obviously it wasn't ALL Eve's fault because Adam was later cursed as well. But it is interesting that Adam still went for the eating of the fruit even when he KNEW way before she knew that the fruit WAS forbidden by the very God he so deeply loved and served with his every breath. Her twisted influence or seduction was the catalyst in the fall of mankind. It was a mutual mistake (of Adam and Eve), but Eve's great ability to influence Adam all the days before that dark day was, I believe, a huge contributor to their later banishment from the garden of Eden...from utopia. Be aware of God's precious gifts to you. God's Word, THE Truth, cautions us many times to be aware and guard them properly from the Enemy and the Enemy's schemes.
Speaking of influence...
Lately, some guy friends we (my husband and I) know from church have been casually stating that they aren't really ready for this time of year. They would say in one way or another that because they desire to please God, the spring-time makes it VERY difficult to keep their eyes (and thus their minds) pure when there are so many women (mostly young women but sometimes middle aged women, too) walking around our town wearing very provocative....seductive....revealing clothing.
These friends of ours talk about having to look at the sidewalk ALOT whenever they are walking around town. I know it's true because my husband has to do it, too (by his own choice, by the way). We live in downtown West Chester, PA and it is easier to walk to accomplish errands than to drive and attempt to find good parking. Too many times, the women in our town are wearing clothes that don't cover their bodies well thus giving great temptation to the men of God in our town. Daisy duke shorts (for all you folks from other countries reading this blog, it's the kind of shorts that barely cover a lady's rear-end), really short skirts that easily float up from a wind gust and really low tops that show all kinds of cleavage----all of these clothing types, I wish would get gone!! Seriously. If you're offended by this statement, then you need to check that attitude at the foot of the cross of Jesus.
We, as women of God should know that this way of dressing.....well, thinking and living.....isn't pleasing to our Lord and King. And if you are trapped into thinking that guys should grow up, get over it and learn to have the strength to not be tempted, then maybe you need another angle on this picture...this concept. Women can't expect men to be the men of integrity they want them to be when the women aren't willing to live lives before others that are of good integrity as well.
Please don't be surprised and upset when your man or the men in your family or at your job get more than a little distracted and more grumpy than usual during the spring and summer months; especially the men who want to honor God with their eyes, their minds and their bodies. It's like constantly putting something before a person all the while knowing that someone is denied the use of it or denied enjoyment of it's gifts. That makes ANYONE grumpy and more than a little distracted. These men are going to have a rough time in the next few months because so many women aren't willing to do the same; to be pure in their minds to the extent that they let their purity show to be true in their way of dressing/behaving.
We must help our brothers in Christ this season of spring. We must live lives of good integrity. We must be women of good repute. We must be women of modesty (not of ugliness, but just of restraint in our dress code) and be women of holiness before the living God. GOD IS WORTHY of all honor and praise. GOD IS HOLY. God is worthy of worship.....even worship in our manner of dressing/speaking/behaving before others. If we want to help our husbands, our pastors, our male co-workers, our male family members and our brothers in Christ in a powerful and blessed way, it would be to promote holiness in our own manner of dress, our manner of thinking, our manner of responding to our world around us. However, we also should promote holiness and good integrity in the lives of our sisters in Christ. WE SHOULD SET AN EXAMPLE IN OUR LIVING that honors Christ. Lead out in this honorable, God-fearing way of living and be blessed.
Women of truth dress to impress the GOD of truth.
Women of truth behave in a manner that honors the Most High God.
Women of truth desire to build up the men in their circle of influence and not ensnare them by their own poor choices and behaviors.
Women of the Truth know that God will help them to know how to dress, how to behave and how to bless those around them in an upright and set apart way; and they know this by reading God's Word, trusting in God's Holy Spirit to guide them each day in word and deed.
On a side note: Ladies who are married, I strongly encourage you to please use this time of the year to not keep yourself from blessing your husband with the gifts that you keep concealed from world's eyes. If this season is so difficult for men to stay focused and if it is such a challenge for them to keep their eyes from lusting, we wives need to be available to our husbands. I say WIVES because if you're not a wife, your precious "treasures" should not be seen or known/touched by your boyfriend or fiance until the "I Do" has been spoken by both of you before God and man. I didn't say it, God said it. Have a problem with it? Go read the Scriptures. BE PURE. But us wives, we need to not be fussy, grumpy and keeping ourselves from blessing our husbands with the "gifts" God has given us to share with our spouse. We need to bless our husbands for their choice to be men of good integrity and of God-honoring thinking and living. We should bless our husbands even when they struggle; showing forgiveness and mercy and understanding that their battle is a difficult one to win. We should honor their pursuit to stay pure.
GET REAL, WOMEN OF TRUTH! SERIOUSLY! GET REAL! I'm speaking to myself here, too. Live a life worthy of the calling you have been given by the Most High God. Honor Christ by honoring the men in your circle of influence. Wives: Honor Christ by being available to bless your husband with those treasures in which you conceal from the rest of the world's eyes. Honor Christ by living life being aware that your choices (even little ones of dressing with a purpose of honoring God) can greatly affect those around you.