Why it is NOT Wrong for Men to See Women as Sex Objects

Feminists and Church leaders have taught a false dichotomy that men must choose between seeing women either as people or as objects of sexual pleasure. We are constantly warned in the media as well as our churches and educational institutions of the supposed need to combat the “sexual objectification of women”.  We are told this is a flaw in the masculine nature that must be rooted out.  But is this behavior a flaw in the masculine nature or could it actually be by the design of God?

Recently I receive a letter from a Christian husband who told me that his wife stopped having sex with him and this has gone on for a long length of time.  One of the reasons she cited for her stopping sex with her husband was that she felt he wrongly treated her as a “sex object”. He agreed to go to a Christian counselor and the counselor agreed with the wife that her husband was treating her as a sex object.  I am writing this article as a prelude to a second article where I will give the full text of his letter and address some other issues he is facing with his wife.

The main objective of this article is to prove both from logic and the Scriptures that men seeing women as objects of sexual pleasure does not mean they are “dehumanizing women” as we are so often told. I am also going to prove from a Biblical perspective that a man’s natural inclination to see women as sex objects is not part of his sin nature, but part of his God given nature.

In the following sections I am going to build a logical and Biblical argument in a step by step fashion proving that it is not morally wrong for men to see women as sex objects and even to use them as sex objects under the right conditions.

What are Objects?

Dictionary.com defines an object as “anything that is visible or tangible and is relatively stable in form.”  Are human beings visible? Are human beings tangible? Do human beings have a relatively stable form? The answer to all those questions are YES.  Therefore, human beings are in fact objects and please take note that I said “human beings” which means BOTH men and women are objects.

But then we have two types of objects – animate objects and inanimate objects.  Animate objects are objects which are alive and inanimate objects are things which do not possess life.  A hammer is an inanimate object.  A dog is an animate object and so is a human being.

Objects made in the Image of God

While dogs and human beings are both animate objects – a human being is so much more than a dog because human beings are directly or indirectly made in the image of God.

The Bible tells us regarding man that “he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man” (1 Corinthians 11:7).  Man is God’s direct image bearer and woman is God’s indirect image bearer because of her shared human nature with man from whom she was made.

Because of their common humanity men and women are so much more important to God than animals:

“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Matthew 6:26 (KJV)

Now that we understand what objects are and that human beings are actually objects this leads us to the next truth we need to discuss.

Human beings use other human beings every day

Whether we realize it or not, every day we use other human beings as objects. When we get in a taxi we are using that taxi cab driver (an animate object) in conjunction with his car (an inanimate object) to take us to the destination we need to go to.

When you go to a sandwich shop and have the worker construct your sandwich just as you like it – you are using that person as an object to make your sandwich.  When you go to get you hair cut – you are using that barber or hair dresser as object to cut and style your hair.

Farmers use human beings as objects all the time.  During the harvest season a farmer may hire many temporary workers to harvest his crops before they go bad.  He may have machines (inanimate objects) to do some harvesting and for other harvesting he may use animate objects (human beings).

These are just a small fraction of the way we use other human beings in our everyday lives.

Now that we have discussed that human beings are indeed objects and that human beings may use other human beings for various purposes we now need to discuss the rules and boundaries for the use of animate or inanimate objects.

We must have the right to use objects

Whenever we use an object, we must have the right to use that object.  If we use an object without having the right to use that object that is a form of theft. For instance, if my lawn mower were to break down and I just went into my neighbors shed without asking my neighbor and used his lawn mower that is a form of theft.  Even if I intended to put it back, I have no right to go on his property or use his lawn mower without first having his permission.

The right to use a certain object may also come with certain limitations.  My neighbor may allow me to use his lawn mower, but he may allow me to use it with certain conditions.  He may insist that I check the fuel and make sure it is filled back to where it is when I am done.  He may insist that I agree to repair any damage to it should that occur during my use.  He may give me a time limit to use it and a time I must return it by.

In the same way, even if we are given the right to use various human beings as objects we may have stipulations on how we may use them.  For instance in my sandwich shop analogy – I can ask the worker to make my sandwich but I cannot ask him to go change the oil in my car.  If I want that done, then I need to go to an oil change place where I can rightly use a human being there as an object to change my oil.

So we have shown up to this point that human beings are objects which may be used by other human beings but that in each use we must have the right to use another human being and we must use them only within the conditions we are allowed to use them.  Next we need to discuss who gives us the right to use objects and who sets the conditions for the use of various objects.

Who gives us the right to use various objects and the terms under which we may use those objects?

The Bible tells us in Psalm 24:1 that “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” which means every object on this planet, whether it is animate or inanimate belongs to God.  As human beings, we are simply stewards of what God has given us – including our own bodies.

But as stewards God has given us certain usage rights over both inanimate and animate objects (including our own bodies). But he commands that we use these various objects within the limits and boundaries of his law.

So going back to my analogy of the lawn mower – why do I have to ask my neighbor’s permission to use his lawn mower? The reason is that God gave him the right to earn a living, to buy and own property (including that lawn mower) and God expects us to respect the private property rights of others. In fact, respect for private property rights are so important to God that he dedicated two of the Ten Commandments he gave to Moses to the subject of private property rights.

“Thou shalt not steal.”

Exodus 20:15 (KJV)

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

Exodus 20:17 (KJV)

Basically God was saying this in the 8th and 10th commandments:

“Do not violate another man’s private property rights by taking what is his private property and don’t even THINK about violating another man’s private property rights.”

Christ affirmed private property rights again in the parable of the land owner who hires men to work his fields when he stated of the land owner:

“Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?”

Matthew 20:15 (KJV)

When Christ speaks as the landowner saying “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” he is pointing back to the Law of Moses which protected private property rights.

So let’s now update the tally as to what we have learned about objects. There are living and non-living objects. Human beings are living objects, human beings can use other human beings as long as they have the right to do so for the use they want to use them for and who determines how humans may use all objects (including their own body)? It is God himself. God has given us stewardship over various objects and he determines the boundaries and rights to those objects that we have as stewards of his creation.

Must we account for human feelings before using another human being?

We have shown that God determines what our usage rights are when it comes to all types of objects both animate and inanimate. But just because we have the right to use another human being – does that mean we can do so without regard for their feelings of whether they wish to be used or not?

The answer in most cases is that human feelings are irrelevant when it comes to the use of one human being by another.

Let me illustrate this point by going back to some previous examples and adding in some new examples as well.

When I go to my favorite sandwich place must I take into account the feelings of the sandwich maker when I use him as an object to make my sandwich? The answer is no.

He has agreed to work for a certain wage and both his employer and I as his customer have the right to use him to make sandwiches regardless of his feelings.  He might be having a bad day because of personal issues at his home.  He may just be feeling tired because he did not sleep well the night before. He could have just been insulted in the back room by one of his fellow employees.   There could be a million reasons why at this particular time he does not feel like making my sandwich.  But his feelings are irrelevant.  It is his DUTY to make my sandwich both on account of his employer and to me as his customer.

Do we have to take into account the feelings of our barber or hair stylist before we use them as an object to cut our hair? The answer is no.

Do we have to take into account the feelings of the worker at our local oil change place before we drive in to have him change our oil? The answer is no.

And now some examples for the ladies.

If you hired a photographer to photograph your wedding and on the day of the wedding he just had a fight with his wife or girlfriend and does not feel like working that day is it ok if he does not take your wedding photos? Do you have to take his feelings into account to use him as an object to take photos of your wedding? The answer is no.  In fact you would expect him to have a smile on his face and not trouble you with his personal problems on your wedding day.  He was hired to do a job and he should do his duty regardless of his personal feelings or issues.

What if you and are your girlfriends planned a day to go to your favorite nail salon.  Just before you get there the three ladies who would do your nails got into a big fight and they just want to go home and not do anyone’s nails.  Would that be ok with you? Or would you expect them as their employer would expect them to do their duty with a smile on their face? We know the answer to this. You would expect them to do their duty with a smile on their face and for them to hide any ill-will or bad feelings they had as you used them as object to do your nails.

So here is the truth of the matter as far as humans using other humans is concerned.  If one human has the right to use another human being for a specific purpose then then human being using the other human being has no obligation whatsoever to take into account the feelings of that human being as to whether they want to be used for that function.  And from the perspective of the human being who is to be used for a certain purpose – they must always realize that their duty to perform their function as an object always trumps their feelings.

Earlier I said in most cases human feelings are irrelevant when it comes to one human being who has the right to use another human being for a specific task.  I said that duty in these cases always trumps feelings and in fact the one being used should not trouble the person using them for a certain task with their feelings.

But there are some times when feelings are part of the determination of whether someone can use another person. If I call up my guy friend on the phone to go out to dinner I might say something like “Hey do you feel like going out to dinner with me tonight?”  He has no obligation or duty to go out to dinner with me as his friend.  He may feel like it or he may not feel like it.  What am I doing when I call my friend and ask him to go to dinner? In most cases it is because I want to use him as a companion object to talk with and interface with.  To share my life stories and perhaps hear his as well.  Now in some cases I may not want to use him at all – maybe I know he has been having a rough time and I want to freely offer my services as a sounding board to him.

If my children ask me on a Friday night to take them to a certain movie – do I have an obligation and duty to take them that movie? Basically they want to use me as an object to take them to the show, buy their tickets and spend time with them at the movie. But I have no duty or obligation to let them make use of me in this way and it depends on how I feel at the moment. Now sometimes I might not feel like going to the movies but as an act of love and grace and I take them anyway despite my feelings.

So now let us tally once again what we have learned up to this point.  Objects are both living and non-living. Human beings are living objects.  Human beings may and can use other human beings as objects for various uses as long as they have the right to do so.  God determines how human beings may use various objects (including other human beings as well as our own bodies).  In the vast majority of cases when one human being uses another human within their rights to do so – they do not have to take into account the feelings of the human being that is being used for a particular task.

This brings us to the primary subject of this article.

God created woman as a sexual object for man’s use and much more

“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:9 (KJV)

The Scriptures are clear throughout the Old and New Testaments that woman was created for man, not man for woman. These are the uses for which God created woman for man:

  1. Subordinate Helper (Genesis 2:18, I Peter 3:1-6)
  2. Sex Object (Proverbs 5:15-20, Romans 1:27)
  3. Companion (Malachi 2:14)
  4. Comforter (Genesis 24:67)
  5. Mother and Caretaker of his children (Genesis 49:25, Psalm 128:1-4, 1 Timothy 5:14)
  6. Keeper of the Home (Proverbs 31:10-31, Titus 2:4)
  7. Weaker vessel to need his love, leadership, strength, protection and provision (Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:7)

The fact that God created woman for man, not man for woman is extremely offensive to our modern feminist and egalitarian society but it the truth of God’s Word.

From time to time I peruse other blogs or look for mentions of my blog on other blogs.  I found this comment from a man on what he thinks is the only reason men should get married and why he got married:

“Companionship and sharing were the main reasons I got married…most men marry because they have found someone they enjoy being with, not to have sex.”

I wanted to find a bucket to barf in after reading this statement from this feminized man!

He literally sounds like a woman.  But the truth is that there are millions of men in the western world that will make statements like this man every day.  And while some of these men may just be asexual or have lower levels of testosterone so they are more like women –  some of these men are normal men with normal levels of testosterone and they just have been trained their whole lives to suppress their true God given masculine desires towards women.

The fact is that without societal conditioning that tells men their wants and desires are evil and selfish and women’s desires are noble and righteous we would be hearing some very different things from men.

Men marry women for sex! They marry women for companionship! They marry women to bear their children, care for their children and care for their home while they go to work.  Men want to have a beautiful sexy wife to come home to each day who makes their home warm and inviting and has dinner on the table each evening.   They want to know that whenever they wish they can drink from sexual well that is their wife!

These are desires that God has placed in man and no man should ever be ashamed having these desires towards a woman.  Some Christian sites talk about things like “when you feel more like a maid than a wife” when the reality is part of being a wife IS being a maid.   Other sites talk to women who feel like they are “more of a sex object than a wife”.  Are they kidding themselves? Being a wife and sex object are not mutually exclusive things.  A wife was designed by God to be a sex object to her husband.

The Scriptures are crystal clear that sex is “the natural use of the woman” (Romans 1:27) for the man and that he is to drink from the sexual well that is his wife and satisfy himself sexually with his wife’s body whenever he wants (Proverbs 5:15-20).

Is there a difference between seeing wives as sex objects or women in general as sex objects?

This is a question that is sure to come up in the context of women being seen as sex objects by men.  The fact is that men see ALL women (whether they are married to them or not) to a greater or lesser degree as sex objects excluding their blood relatives like their mothers, daughters or sisters. If the woman is less attractive to the man based on his preferences than he may see her less as a sex object and if she fits his preferences of sexual attraction he will see her much more as a sex object.

Some Christians reading this may not have a problem with men seeing their wives as sex objects but object to men seeing women that are not their wives as sex objects.  But such a distinction is false.  For the most part, every man who asks a woman on a date does so because he is sexually attracted to her and sees her as an object that could bring future sexual pleasure to him.  If he did not – he would never have asked her out in the first place.

Now sexual attraction is not the only reason men choose women as potential mates, but it is often the first reason.  Men also choose women based on what type of mother they think she would be, what kind of homemaker they think she would be and also how submissive she will be.  For many men – a woman could be a very attractive woman but if she appears to be a contentious and high maintenance woman they won’t go near her.  This is why many women who have high power jobs have a hard time finding men and when they do in most cases they have to find men who are softer and more submissive.

Can men go too far in sexually objectifying women?

Any behavior, even a God given behavior in man or woman, can be taken to an extreme so of course it is possible for men to go too far in sexually objectifying women.   For instance, if a construction worker sees a nice-looking woman walking down the side walk in front of him and he is sexually aroused by her form and has sexual thoughts about her this behavior is holy and by the design of God.   In fact, maybe he sees this woman walk by his work site every day for many weeks and then gets the courage to talk to her and ask her out on a date based on his sexual attraction toward her.  Again, this behavior is by the design of God and is holy and just.

However, if this same construction worker instead of asking her out and talking to her in kind way starts whistling at her and saying sexually suggestive phrases about her then he has now gone too far in sexually objectifying this woman.  The same would go for men that try and sexually touch or use inappropriate sexual language with female coworkers or other female acquaintances.

I know of a young man in his early twenties that tried to have vaginal intercourse with his wife only a week after she gave birth to their first child. He caused her a lot of medical problems by doing this.  Most doctors advise that men wait 6 to 8 weeks to allow their wives to properly heal after child birth before trying to resume vaginal intercourse.  Now as I have mentioned elsewhere on this blog – I think a wife can help her husband sexually in other ways during this waiting period for intercourse.  But this young man was wrong knowing the potential damage it could cause his wife and still doing it anyway.  Yes, God made his wife as a sex object for him – but God also says that a husband is to protect and care for his wife’s body as he would his own (Ephesians 5:29) and he failed to do that.

So yes, men can sometimes go too far in sexually objectifying women.

Application for women

If you as a woman are reading this and you are angry or hate that fact that your husband or men in general see you as a sex object this is what you need to do.  You first need to realize that your feelings on this issue are not holy and justified but are based in your own sinful pride.  You may not even have realized how you feel about being a sex object for men is based in the sin of pride because of what our culture tells you every day.

The Bible tells us this regarding our cultural conditioning:

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Romans 12:2 (KJV)

God calls you to reject your cultural conditioning that goes in direct opposition to his word.  Once you have resolved to allow God to transform your thinking you need to mediate on these principles:

  1. You as a woman were created for man, man was not created for you. (I Corinthians 11:9)
  2. In keeping with your created purpose for man – you are in fact a sex object to men. God reserves the sexual use of your body for marriage (Hebrews 13:4) but when you are married your husband may fully use you as a sex object (Proverbs 5:15-20).
  3. While you are to guard your virginity as a sacred treasure for marriage – you should never scold men for being sexually attracted to you or for simply glancing at your female form.
  4. When you are married you should never allow yourself to have negative thoughts of being sexually used by your husband. In fact, you need to recondition your mind to WANT to be sexually used by your husband because that is one the purposes for which you were designed by God.

Finally, on the subject of feeling sexually used by your husband.

I always find it fascinating how many Christian women pray that God will use them but they only want to be used in the way they want to be used.  They have these grand visions and really selfish ambitions of how they want God to use them.

But to be used as a maid, a cook, a mother for his children and an object of sexual pleasure for a man – well that is just beneath them and they will have no part in this.

If you are having negative feelings about being “sexually used” by your husband you need to realize that such thoughts and feelings come not from your spirit, but from your sinful nature (your flesh).  Such feelings are not only unbiblical, they are in fact illogical and they fully based in sinful pride.

Why would you feel angry at your husband for using you for one of the purposes for which God made you?  Getting angry at your husband for using you for sex would be like your wedding photographer getting angry at you for using him to take pictures at your wedding.  It is part of your function, your design and your intended use.

I encourage and admonish you as a woman to pray the prayer of Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”  Once you give your pride to God, humble yourself before and fully accept his design for your life you will truly find the peace and joy that God intended for your life.

Application for Men

Both the secular world and sadly even the much of the Christian world today tells men that their God given masculine desires are based in pride. If a man desires for his wife to submit to his authority and not argue with him all the time we are told this desire of his is based in his wicked “male pride”. If a man desires to be the primary bread winner or sole provider for his family again we are told this is based in his wicked “male pride”.  Finally, if a man desires to have sex with his wife anytime he wishes as opposed to only when his wife is in the mood and mutually desires sex he is told this is wicked “male pride” and “selfishness” on his part.

Christian men hear me now. The teaching that these God given masculine desires are wicked and sinful on the part of men is a teaching straight from the pit of hell.  The prophet Isaiah speaks of the false teachers we see today:

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”

Isaiah 5:20 (KJV)

Today they teach that God given masculine desires are evil and feminine sinful desires are good!

I do not deny that some men do deal with sinful pride in other areas – but a man desire the things I have mentioned from a woman is not sinful in the least bit.  It is holy and by the design of God.

The biggest problem for Christian men today is not pride – but cowardice.

We as men are too cowardly to call out those who attack the masculine human nature which makes man the image bearer of God (I Corinthians 11:7). We as men need to realize there is a reason why the world attacks the masculine nature while elevating the feminine nature.  It is symbolic of mankind’s rejection of God himself.   When we take the “weaker vessel” (woman) and elevate her above the image bearer(man) we are spitting in the face of almighty God himself.

So, to all you men out there I give you this advice – ask God to give you the courage to stand firm in the faith and act like a man!

“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”

1 Corinthians 16:13 (NASB)

Stop apologizing for your God given masculine nature whether it be your logical thinking, your competitiveness, your desire to lead a woman or you strong physically based sexual desire toward women.

You need to do as I encouraged the women to do and let go of the cultural conditioning you have grown up with that has taught you to hate your God given masculine nature.  You need to mediate on these Scripture principles:

  1. God created you as a man to image him (I Corinthians 11:7). This means that your masculine nature is the direct image of God where the feminine nature only indirectly images God in our shared humanity as men and women.  You image God by living out and acting out your various masculine traits.  When you compete with other men in various forms you image God’s competitive nature. When you exercise your protective masculine nature by desiring to train yourself or buy weapons for protection you image God’s protective nature.  When you find women beautiful and desire sex with women you image God’s desire for beauty and pleasure.
  2. Do not be ashamed of the fact that woman was created for man (I Corinthians 11:9), and specifically that your future or current wife was created by God for your blessing and pleasure. She was created by God for you to help you fully image God as a husband and later a father to your children. Embrace this and rejoice in this Biblical truth!
  3. Have the courage to fully act on your sexual desires toward your wife. There are many men that have great courage whether it be on the battlefield or in their careers or in sporting events but they cower like children when it comes to their sexual desires toward their wives.  Many men cover their sexual cowardice toward their wives under the guise of “being sensitive and unselfish” toward their wives.  But such thinking runs directly contrary to the command of God in Proverbs 5:15-20 toward men to liberally and freely satisfy themselves sexually with their wife’s body.

Conclusion

Women – stop having sinful pride against one of God’s purposes in your design and that is your design as a sex object.  You need to fully embrace the fact that a big part of your design was to bring visual and physical sexual pleasure to men and specifically your husband in marriage.  Stop judging men and scolding men for noticing your female beauty but rather rejoice in how God has made man and your purpose in his creation.

Men – stop having sinful cowardice in regard to your God given masculine nature.  Stop apologizing for how God designed you as men and the God given desires you have toward women. Fully image God by fully embracing your masculine human nature.  Do not feel guilty for wanting a woman to sexually please you, bear your children and care for your home.  All of these are God given desires and are part of your imaging the very nature of God.  Especially if you are married – have the courage to fully and completely act on your sexual desires toward your wife and stop allowing the world to tell you that you are selfish in engaging in the God designed natural use of the woman.

Should Christian women wear leggings as pants?

Since leggings and yoga pants very clearly reveal a woman’s form are they inappropriate to wear? Is a woman tempting the men who see her in leggings to lust after her or is it not her fault if they do?

The whole “leggings and yoga pants debate” was brought back to into the national spot light last week when two girls were not allowed on a plane because they were wearing leggings.  The Washington Post reported on the event as follows:

“A United Airlines gate agent barred two girls from boarding a flight Sunday morning because the girls were wearing leggings.

Another girl who was wearing gray leggings had to change before she was allowed to board the flight from Denver to Minneapolis, a witness said.

“She’s forcing them to change or put dresses on over leggings or they can’t board,” Shannon Watts, who was at a gate at Denver International Airport, said on Twitter. “Since when does @united police women’s clothing?”

United, responding to tweets about the incident tweeted that “United shall have the right to refuse passengers who are not properly clothed via our Contract of Carriage.” And added, “This is left to the discretion of the agents.”

The airline’s passenger contract says for the safety of all passengers and crew members, the airline can refuse to let a passenger board if the passenger is “barefoot or not properly clothed.”

So was it improper for these girls to be wearing leggings on this flight? And a much broader question would be is it improper for Christian women to wear leggings or yoga pants at all in public?

I want to clarify what we are talking about here.  For a long time women have worn leggings under dresses or long blouses and other clothing. But now for several years women have begun wearing leggings by themselves as pants.  That is the subject of this discussion.

Before we get into answering the question of the morality of women wearing leggings or yoga pants in public settings we need to establish a very important fact about men.

God made men with a much higher testosterone level than women. Most men have 10 times the level of testosterone in their system and probably 10 times the sex drive to go along with it.  A man’s sex drive is not only significantly stronger than a woman’s but the entire driving force of it is different.  While normal and healthy women desire sex too – their sex drive is emotionally and relationally driven.  A man’s sex drive is physically and visually driven.

So yes, for us as men when we see a woman in legging pants or yoga pants it is far more sexually arousing to us then if a woman had on baggy pants or a loose-fitting dress that hid the shape of her rear end, pelvic area and legs.

As man we cannot control the fact that the sight of a woman’s figure displayed in this manner brings us pleasure – our brains are wired by the design of God to receive pleasure from the female form.  Let put it this way to you ladies reading this article.

If you were to walk by your coworker’s desk and they had just sat down with hot cheeseburger from your favorite cheeseburger place – would the sight and smell of that cheeseburger not send you pleasure signals through you brain? Would you not be made hungry as a result? Of course you would.  The male physical and visual sex drive works exactly the same way when it comes to seeing women we find attractive.

The debate here is not about how men’s brains work – that is just a biological fact.  The debate is about what is sinful and what is not – what is lust and what is not and ultimately if women are tempting men to lust by wearing leggings and yoga pants in public settings.

Current Cultural Views of Lust

Most people have been taught that causing a man to lust means simply causing him to be sexually aroused by the mere sight of a woman regardless of her actions toward him.  So the thought goes – if a woman is fully covered this will sharply reduce a man’s chances of being sexually aroused by her form which they believe is lust on his part.

Because of this belief about what lust is some conservative Christians have their wives and daughters dress in very baggy dresses with that go to the floor with long sleeves to completely cover their arms.  They may even wear their hair tied up with a head covering of some sort.

This same concept when taken to its logical conclusion is why some Muslims make their wives be covered from head to toe with only a screen to see through on the face.

But true wisdom comes from being able to recognize our presuppositions or preconceived notions of morality.  Only when we are willing to question things that we have believed since before we can remember anything else will we be able to find the truth in many areas of life.

As Christians we believe that the starting point for our all the moral questions of life is the Bible. So if we are to truly understand what the Bible teaches about any subject of life – we must disregard all our presuppositions and let God’s Word to speak to us.  We must do as I have said on this site many times “remove our cultural glasses” and see the truth regardless of our presupposed ideas.

So take off your cultural glasses and put on your seat belt as we show you that the question that is the title of this article gets it all wrong.

What the Bible says about lust and causing your brother to stumble

Let’s first establish some two Biblical truths that are applicable to this discussion.

The Bible says it is sin to lust

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Romans 7:7 (KJV)

As we can see from the passage above, the Apostle Paul makes it clear that to lust is to sin.

We then can see from the Gospel of Matthew that sexual lust is sin:

“27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Matthew 5:27-28 (KJV)

The Bible says we should not do things that tempt other to sin

““Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

Romans 14:13 (KJV)

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that we as both men and women should never do something to could cause our brother to sin.  We should not put things in front of them that might trip them up spiritually.

So this is an open and closed case right? These Scriptures prove that the question of this article truly is a rhetorical question right? Well not so fast. Keep your seat securely fastened and keep your arms in the vehicle as we continue our quest for the truth in this matter.

Distinguishing the Biblical definition of lust from the cultural definition of lust

This is the huge presupposition that sits right in front of us. We are presupposing what lust is.  In our language when we think of lust we think of sexual arousal.  If a person is turned on sexually by the sight of someone who is not their spouse that is lust according to our culture.

But is that the definition of lust according to the Bible? Let’s find out.

Remember that passage from Romans 7:7 where Paul was saying lust was sin and we were all saying “Amen!”? Well he actually tells us what it is sin – because God said in the 10 commandments “Thou shalt not covet”. So what does that tell us? It tells us that lust is synonymous with covetousness.

So if lust is synonymous with covetousness then what is covetousness?

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

Exodus 20:17 (KJV)

So up to this point we have established with absolute certainty that lust is sin and lust is tied directly to the 10th commandment.

The 10 commandment shows us by the context in which covetousness is used what it means. Is covetousness finding your neighbor’s house desirable? No it is not. Is covetousness dreaming about or fantasizing about what it would be like to live in your neighbor’s house? No it is not. Covetousness is the desire to sinfully possess something that does not belong to you.

We have seen this story play out in many movies. A man desires the land or home of another man.  So he offers him money for it but he won’t sell.  He says he will never sell it. Was the first man finding the second man’s land desirable a sin? No it was not. But if he cannot legally acquire this land and begins to think of how he can illegally acquire that other man’s land he has now gone from righteous desire to sinful covetousness.

This exact same principle applies to a man’s wife, his daughter or any other woman.  It is NOT lust (covetousness) when a man simply finds a woman sexually desirable no matter her marital status. It is no more a sin for this man to imagine her naked or even imagine having sex with her than it is for a man to imagine what another man’s house looks like on the inside and what it would be like to live there.

Lust is born when a man’s natural God given sexual desires are turned into sinful sexual covetousness and he desires to unlawfully possess a woman.

I know your head is probably spinning.  Your presuppositions about lust have been completely blown out of the water.

But we are now coming to end our journey so just hold tight just a little longer.

Now let’s take the original question of this article and look at the presupposition right in the middle of the question:

“Is a woman tempting the men who see her in leggings to lust after her or is it not her fault if they do?”

So what is the presupposition? This question presupposes that if a woman dresses in any way which might cause a man to be sexually aroused by her or find her sexually desirable or fantasize about having sex with her that this is her causing him to lust.

But what we know from our journey in the Scriptures is lust does not refer to sexual arousal or sexual imagination.  It refers to covetousness which in the context of sexual lust means that a man has the desire to unlawfully possess a woman in a sexual manner.

I would argue that once we understand what lust actually is then we understand better what enticing someone to lust looks like. I would argue that for 99 percent of cases a woman causes a man to lust after her first by her actions and then secondarily by her appearance.

A woman has to draw a man with actions in the form of words or body motions before true lust develops in most cases. The vast majority of men will not desire to unlawfully possess a woman unless that woman motions in some way either verbally or through body movement toward him that she might be available to him.  In other words she flirts with him in some manner.  This is when the seed of lust in 90 percent of cases with men.

Now are there men who lust after women who have not flirted or motioned or talked in any sexual manner toward them? Yes! But if a man lusts after a woman simply because of her beautiful appearance and not any sexual flirting or actions on her part that would draw him to lust after her then his sin of lust lays 100% at his feet and she is innocent.

So now let’s change our original question to what Christian women should really being asking themselves in regard to causing men to lust after them:

Instead of asking:

“Isn’t it wrong for me to wear this because it might sexually arouse a man or make him have pleasurable thoughts about me?”

Women should ask themselves:

“Did I just flirt with him? Did I lead him on in some manner?”

So are you saying women can just walk around half naked or completely naked wherever they go?

No In am not saying that at all. But as the Scriptures say “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). That means we should wear clothing that is appropriate to the occasion.  It may not be appropriate for a woman to wear a tight tee shirt and shorts to her job unless she works at Hooters and it may not be appropriate for a woman to wear a bikini unless she is going to beach, swimming pool or sun bathing.

But what about I Timothy 2:9’s admonition for women to dress modestly?

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array”

I Timothy 2:9 (KJV)

I am glad you asked that. I have written an entire post on that verse going in-depth into what modesty actually means and the context in which this verse is talking about women’s dress. You can read it here.

The very short answer is that like the word lust, our culture has made up its own definition of modesty.  Modesty in I Timothy 2:9 refers to women dressing in attire that is appropriate to the occasion. It then tell us that for the occasion of gathering in the church assembly for worship women should wear “modest apparel” or literally “be appropriate clothed in full covering garments”.

Paul gave a similar warning about food in worship.  He told the Corinthians not to abuse the communion table by turning worship into a feast when he wrote:

And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.”

1 Corinthians 11:34 (KJV)

Paul was not saying it was wrong for us to think about food or sex or be aroused to hunger for food or sex. He was saying that when we come together as a churches for worship and communion we need to put these natural God given hungers aside and fully focus on God.  He was not condemning sexual thought or women dressing sexually outside the Church in the same way that he was not condemning being aroused to hunger for food outside the Church.

It was all about time and place.

Combating Negative Views of Masculine Sexuality

This debate over women wearing leggings or yoga pants is actually a great opportunity to help both men and women have a better understanding and respect for male sexuality.  As Christians we must measure everything action, everything thought and every desire we have by the Bible.  The Bible has been called the “Canon” which means “measure” or “rule”.  It means the Bible should be the standard or rule by which we measure our lives.

Thousands of years ago back in the Garden of Eden God designed man and woman with distinct masculine and feminine natures. Contrary to many false doctrines promoted over centuries of Christianity – the distinct male and female sexual natures were not a result of sin and the fall.  They were made by the design of God from day one.

That means when Adam saw Eve for the first time he had the same dopamine rush that men get today when they see women they find beautiful and yes he probably got an erection.  This is not something dirty – it is by the design of God.

But as Christians we recognize that the fall corrupted the original masculine and feminine natures God designed.  That means man’s sexual nature and woman’s sexual nature was corrupted in some ways from the fall.  Our task is to discover what parts of our distinct male and female sexual natures are still by the original design of God and which parts are a corruption of that design.

In the context of the male sexual nature, we must measure male sexual behaviors by the Bible.  If a certain male sexual behavior conflicts with God’s moral law than we condemn it but if that behavior is not condemned by God’s moral law or is honored by God’s moral law than we honor it as God’s design.

How much honor does male sexuality get in our day and time? I would argue that most Christians have a very negative view of male sexuality and that is something we need to change.

I have chosen some excerpts from an article entitled A Man’s Perspective on Yoga Pants by Al Blanton at 78mag.com to illustrate how male sexuality is commonly dishonored in Christian circles.

“Do I like yoga pants? Of course I do. I think they may be the greatest thing ever invented. But that’s the barbarian in me. The Cro-Magnon. The man

To say that the leggings “cause” men to stumble might be a stretch (pun intended). Men cause men to stumble, not leggings.

When the gorgeous behinds pass by, we (men) always have a choice. Either a) look away and think nothing else of it, b) appreciate the female form while you sip your half-caf, or c) visualize scenarios that run the prurient gamut.

I believe the first glance is not the problem. It’s the second and third that begin to get us in trouble. But remember, we are always presented with a choice…

I do not write this to bash men; no, indeed I write this to help men, to liberate men…

So the Christian male is faced with a very difficult scenario: pursue purity or feed the beast. We justify the latter by saying it is “natural” or “just the way we were made.”

So in summary, the real problem is not yoga pants. The problem is our mind. The problem is our heart.”

 

I truly believe that Mr. Blanton did not write this article “to bash men” but instead to help “liberate men” from what he believes is sinful behavior. His intentions are noble.

But Mr. Blanton like many Christian men today has a “zeal of God, but not according to knowledge” (Romans 10:2). Specifically his knowledge of what lust actually is according the Scriptures is lacking and because of this he believes when men take that “second and third” look at a woman or when we “visualize scenarios that run the prurient gamut” (undress a woman in our minds and imagine sexual scenarios with her) that this is the very definition of lust and therefore sin.

He shows some feminist tendencies in his words as well. When he talks about why he as a man likes yoga pants and says “But that’s the barbarian in me. The Cro-Magnon. The man…” that is a nod to modern feminism.  The masculine physical and visual sex drive is seen as “uncivilized”, “piggish”, “dirty” and “base”.

Now I am not saying that some men do not act “uncivilized”, “piggish” and “dirty” sometimes.  Picture the construction workers whistling at women walking by yelling out comments about their bodies or men gawking at women and making them feel uncomfortable.  Men grabbing women or slapping women’s behinds.  That we would agree is barbaric behavior on the part of men.

But for Mr. Blanton to say that simply because he likes woman in yoga pants and it gives his brain pleasure that this is somehow barbaric or uncivilized is wrong.  His statement was dishonorable to himself, men in general and the God who designed male sexuality. This statement is textbook misandry.

Later Mr. Blanton compares masculine sexuality to the beast. This is again is a nod to false views of that equate male sexuality to animal sexuality while lifting up female sexuality as a more civilized and human sexuality that men should try to model in their lives.  Again comparing masculine sexuality to a “beast” dishonors men and dishonors the God who made men.

And I yes Mr. Blanton this is in fact “just the way we were made” by God himself. It is as natural for a man to be sexually aroused by women in yoga pants and even to get an erection as it is for a pregnant or nursing mother to lactate when she hears a baby cry, or when she even thinks of her baby. We don’t call women barbaric and uncivilized for their natural reactions to babies and infants yet we condemn men for their natural reactions to women. It is completely and utterly inconsistent.

Let’s take his statement again and translate this to the natural reactions of women to babies:

“To say that the leggings “cause” men to stumble might be a stretch (pun intended). Men cause men to stumble, not leggings.”

This is like saying this toward women:

“To say that crying babies or thoughts of babies “cause” women to lactate might be a stretch. Women cause women to lactate, not babies.”

This just puts the absurdity of the condemnation of the male sexual nature on full display.

I do agree with Mr. Blanton that “the real problem is not yoga pants.”, but I disagree with him that “The problem is our mind” as in the problem is the male sexual nature which he calls barbaric and animalistic.

The problem is not women wearing leggings or yoga pants or men being sexually aroused by or taking pleasure from seeing women in these pants.

The problem is the condemnation of the male sexual nature by both men and women. Men need to be at peace with their nature and as long as they are not being rude and gawking at these women if they take tasteful glances and enjoy the view there is no sin in this.

Women need to stop viewing men as barbaric and sexual beasts and appreciate them for the way God designed them.  If a man is gawking at a woman or making lewd gestures and remarks she has a right to say something because that is rude. If he is only taking passing glances at her she has no more right to shame him or that then she would her girlfriend for lactating because she heard a baby cry.

A final word for women on this subject of what you wear

Whether it is yoga pants, leggings, tight fitting dresses or blouses as a woman you must be aware of the fact that that the sight of your form brings sexual pleasure to men even if they hide it very well.  Normal men see you as God designed you – as a both a person and an object of sexual beauty and pleasure.

So in essence when a man sees you as a woman it is the same as when you see your favorite foods on TV or in restaurants and you imagine what it would be like to taste that food.  But you don’t just go and steal food that you like right? No you legally purchase it before enjoy eating it.

In the same way, because a good man sees a woman as a person as well as object of sexual beauty and pleasure he does not go up and just grab her and take her. He does not call out lewd remarks to her or gawk at her.

In God’s design he marries her.  Then as part of his marriage relationship to her he can “come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits” (Song of Solomon 4:16). I hope that this journey through the Scriptures has helped to change your perspective of what lust actually is. If you are woman – you don’t have to be ashamed to dress in beautiful clothing, or even clothing that might be sexually arousing to men provide that you follow these Biblical principles:

  1. If you are married or still under your father’s authority are they are ok with you dressing in this manner? If they are not then you need to submit to male headship that God has placed in your life.
  2. If you are able to wear clothing that some would consider more form fitting or sexually arousing are you doing so at the proper place and time? Maybe it is ok to wear tight fitting leggings for a night out with your girlfriends but it may be inappropriate for school(or on an airplane) It certainly would be for wrong for worship services in your church.
  3. Whether you are wearing more sexually appealing clothing or not – are you flirtatious with men to the point that you make them think they could have sex with you outside of marriage? If that is the case this needs to stop. That is the very definition of a woman causing a man to lust.

On the subject of United Airlines barring these two girls for wearing improper attire.  They have every right to do so.  It is their airline. They can determine what clothing must be worn to fly on their planes.