Thursday, May 8, 2014

Wisdom Wedneday #22 - Modesty and Proverbs 7

As a part of my Scripture reading discipline, I read the Proverb of the day.  The lesson of Proverb 7 has been on my mind, and these are the insights on my heart to share today.

The proverb begins with these words:

" My son, keep my words,
store up my commands with you.
Obey my commands, and live;
guard my teaching like the pupil of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister”;
call understanding your kinswoman;
so that they can keep you from unknown women,
from loose women with their seductive talk."

The chapter is a plea for young men to avoid "loose" women, or "strange" women as the King James Version calls her.

Even though the chapter is written for men, there are lessons I think all women (especially women in the synagogue / church) need to keep in mind. 

I would ask you to carefully read the remainder of the chapter first.  (see below)

The woman was dressed like a prostitute.  Does it make you wonder how a prostitute dressed during Bible times?  I am sure it was no where near the way women dress today, but none the less, she was recognized by men to be a "loose" woman by her clothing.  

My dear Gail-Friends, please don't think I am calling you a "loose" woman if you do any of the things I describe below.  I hope you will think about them, and consider them carefully, with prayer.  I offer this post in the spirit of love, because the Scriptures admonish me, as an older woman, to teach the younger women.

Whether you are young or old, let's think about our own clothing.  Are we signalling by our clothing that we are "loose"? Please bear in mind that men see clothing differently from women.  Women see clothing as fashion, but men see something else.  They see it as a signal to "come-on".  Men are aroused through their eyes.  For that reason, it is important for women to be modest.   

Before leaving the house, we should all check these points:

Is my dress/skirt too short?  Bend over and look at your backside in the mirror?  Sit in front of the mirror and cross your legs.  How far up can you see?

Is my shirt too low?  Stand in front of a mirror.  Does my "cleavage" show?  Lean forward.  Does it show now? 

Are my bra straps showing?  (We can thank Madonna back in the 80's for starting this immodest trend)

Is my underwear showing?  Try the bend over test again.

Is my belly showing?  

Is my shirt too tight?  Does it leave anything to the imagination?

Lots of food for thought, right?

On another point, I live in Florida, and it is very hot.  I see women wearing very bare tops and shorts, but very few men.  Even in the extreme heat, most wear cotton t-shirts and mid-thigh shorts.  Women can do the same when out in public.  

Below is the remainder of Proverbs 7 (Complete Jewish Bible). I have italicized points about the loose woman, which I will discuss in later posts.

"For I was at the window of my house,
glancing out through the lattice,
when I saw among the young men there,
among those who don’t think for themselves,
a young fellow devoid of all sense.
He crosses the street near her corner
and continues on toward her house.
Dusk turns into evening,
and finally night, dark and black.
10 Then a woman approaches him,
dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.
11 She’s the coarse, impulsive type,
whose feet don’t stay at home;
12 rather, she stalks the streets and squares,
lurking at every street corner.

13 She grabs him, gives him a kiss,
and, brazen-faced, she says to him,
14 “I had to offer peace sacrifices,
and I fulfilled my vows today.
15 This is why I came out to meet you,
to look for you; now I’ve found you.
16 I’ve spread quilts on my couch
made of colored Egyptian linen.
17 I’ve perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come on, let’s make love till morning;
we’ll enjoy making love.
19 My husband isn’t at home,
he’s gone on a long trip;
20 he took a bag of money with him
and won’t be back till the moon is full.”

21 With all her sweet talk she convinces him,
enticing him with her seductive words."

22 At once he follows her
like an ox on its way to be slaughtered;
like a fool to be punished in the stocks;
23 or like a bird rushing into a trap,
not knowing its life is at stake
till an arrow pierces its liver.
24 So now, children, listen to me;
pay attention to what I am saying.
25 Don’t let your heart turn to her ways;
don’t stray onto her paths.
26 For many are those she has struck down dead,
numerous those she has killed.
27 Her house is the way to Sh’ol;
it leads down to the halls of death."


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