A special thanks to Blue Shepard for allowing me to publish his weekly e-newsletter here on Vigilant Wolf. The Blue Shepard is a friend and past guest of Ever Vigilant podcast (episodes 43 and 86 ). I personally look forward to his weekly thoughts on Christianity, Manhood, and Brotherhood and I believe you will feel the same.
Required Reading: Titus 2. The whole chapter.
Warning to ladies: this article will be straight talk to men on sensitive topics. Read at your own discretion. If you do read this, you must read to the end to see that I am not scoping out one sex or the other.
Warning to sissy men: If you can not handle my tone in this email, stop hiding your dirty mind behind a parade of feigned piety and acknowledge the sinful nature of your own passions. Inappropriate problems require rough solutions. I can not open a locked door to arrest someone inside without kicking it down. Likewise I am using an appropriate level of force in writing to the topic at hand. To the pure all things are pure.
All of you are adults so shut up and read. No whining.
Winslow Homer’s Man with a Knapsack (1873)
Modest dress is bizarrely a topic of controversy and debate in modern American religion. It used to be a topic of debate in American society. Now it is yet another screaming witch in the crowd of "don't think it, don't say it," topics (you know, like transgender pronouns and abortion); in whose presence the (collective) American man's fortitude quickly retracts into his pudgy abdomen as he averts the eyes of his children, trying to mitigate damage without drawing attention to himself, for fear of the wrath of skinny little geldings in women's clothes and rebellious dykes with exposed teats and purple hair, all in the valiant and noble effort of making it home, unscathed and emotionally aloof, to watch the new episode of Game of Thrones (or whatever the new sexflix porn in sheep's clothing is now-a-days) as a family over some fattening fudge of a treat. This is also known as the American Dream.
Do I have your attention?
The paradoxes of all we are discussing about men's dress are modesty through elegance, humility through rejection, and chastity of mind through extravagant defenses. It has been bad enough to travel as far as we have down the wormhole, but we are gaining momentum. The center of gravity has shifted so much that what was once immodest is now far behind us in the dust of "outdated tradition", and our culture is increasingly embracing open sexuality in the public forum. The PornHub statistics are merely a symptom of the disease. The real issue is just that: reality. It is not on your phone, or on your tablet, or in the ether on some perverted webpage. The issue is in our literal world. It is in your eyes when they "look upon a woman to lust after her", in your hands when they stimulate your privy members pretending to do things that only a woman's body was intended to do, in your feet when you tiptoe around the corner and crane your neck to watch her bounce as she jogs by, and in your carnal mind when you are so bewitched by mounds of fat and skin that do not belong to you that you are lead captive, defeated and beaten, and tarry long at this wine of concupiscence by which you are collared and leashed. Possess your vessels in honor. Death to the world and it's passions. Chastise your flesh, and your mind, and bring them into the subjection of Christ's resurrection by being baptized with him into his death.
It is difficult enough for men, young and old, to be assaulted daily by vast hordes of demons, using such weapons as seductive advertisement (form YouTube ads to billboards and storefronts), booty shorts, and Jezebel's painted mockery of arousal (yes, many common techniques for the use of makeup are to simulate the appearance of sexual arousal. Blushing red/flushed cheeks, swollen lips, and darkened eyes are not the half of it). We must remember, however, that the scantily clad woman who draws the heads of base men is merely an unwitting pawn of greater, esoteric forces at work.
But what are you?
Culture teaches us that women are not stimulated by visuals. There is merit to this statement in certain caveats, but it is by no means a universal point of fact. Some surveys indicate that about one in every three women watch pornography at least once per week. Everything about that is visual. Women have eyes, hands, feet and minds too. Like silly little boys we comfort ourselves with wive's tales.
Men's fashion, in different ways and at different rates, is growing more provocative to the female eye. A typical man's dress in more conservative times in our culture drew attention to the face. But just as women's dress increasingly draws the eyes to the bust, crotch and buttock, men's dress is highlighting provocative features as well. Unbuttoned/chesty shirts, skin tight Tees, and pants that make you look like you are waddling around wagging your cluster of prunes in everyone's faces are hardly modest and chaste. And a peaky midriff that shows furtive glimpses of your abdominal cuts is hardly edifying to the cause of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is vain and self gratifying, as well as culpably arousing the sinful passions of others. You have no right to consider ill immodest girls if you are presenting a stumbling block before the opposite sex in your own right.
The hard line is that most professing Christian men dress, bathe, groom and conduct themselves in a manner to and with the deliberate purpose of arousing the passions of the opposite sex. Of course the exception is the slob who thinks because he is married he no longer has to be presentable but that is a matter of self respect which we have already addressed. Re-asses your goals here.
The Blue Shepard
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