The Second Most Obvious Thing About Leggings
“This leggings parade is not (in most instances) a personal and lascivious ‘screw me’ invitation. It is an insolent and culture-wide ‘screw you’ that is aimed at the patriarchy and men in general.” Boom. I love how you can take arguments out of the same old surface back and forth and get to the heart of the matter with truth bombs like this. I came of age in the heyday of feminism (late ’70’s) and to Christ much, much later, so the word “submission” grates to this day. (The fault is mine.) No doubt the root sin IS a lack of submissiveness, but it is also a lack of love. (“Screw you.”) Thinking of it that way helps me. And so does your commentary. Thank you.
Lynn, no, thank you.
I wear leggings out in public under a dress. When I go to the gym in leggings, I put a short skirt on. But I’m a more flamboyant type, and if I put it out there, I expect it to be admired. I don’t put out there what I don’t think will be admired, and even in my short skirts I dress up in Fort Knox underwear. I have the confidence and the self-carry that doesn’t earn me harassment. And I don’t mistake admiration for attraction. Everyone enjoys beauty, but all beauty does not cause sexual attraction. I expect men to be in control of their behavior and their thoughts and to also know the difference between admiring beauty and being sexually attracted. I admire beauty in men and women, and I don’t allow lust to grow, though my weakness is more covetousness than lust, and I have to keep careful reign of those thoughts. They aren’t anyone else’s fault—they are my responsibility. I don’t expect my friends to hide their glorious lives because I have a problem with covetousness. Women should not have to hide themselves because men have a problem with lust. That being said, modesty is important to a civilized society, and our society has quite lost its civilization . . . I am sorry that society is crumbling. America is being destroyed from within, and it is unbearably sad. My Father has not yet given me any specific actions to halt the progression towards our demise, so I watch it with mourning for the loss of life and souls it will cost. I continue to pray and put my hope in the Lord, but Jesus did not come to save nations, after all.
Caron, I am sorry but it is not possible to go in two different directions at the same time.
The Outrage of Leggings as Tip of the Iceberg: This is where the madness begins/began (see Eve in the Garden). Great article. Does anyone wonder where we are on the proverbial Iceberg today? There’s Keith Raniere, claiming that his crimes are merely part of his “lifestyle,” and while socially distasteful, not criminal.
While many women would condemn Keith Raniere, they don’t recognize Raniere’s sin in themselves, a failure to recognize and submit to proper authority. So some will cheer on feminism and the slaying of the patriarchy, providing Raniere a defense for his heinous abominations.
Side note on modesty: What does this one-piece swimsuit say?
Who should/would wear this? Doesn’t it testify to how glorious creation is?
Ron, thanks. And anybody who thinks they’ve seen everything should take a gander at that swimsuit.
First off, spot on for the leggings article—amen and amen. However, I am confused about your comment: “. . . and if the woman is attractive, then godly men really don’t want to see that.” Did you mean this as sarcasm? I ask because I remember a piece you did (can’t recall exactly the source) that gave a scenario (not sure if hypothetical or real) in which you are walking in the mall with your wife and there is an attractive woman with maybe less than modest apparel that makes her physique very obvious (think: bear cubs). As I recall, in the scenario you say something to your wife like, “Wow, God really blessed her.” Again, I believe that the point was that God was the one that “blessed” her with her attractiveness, though she was not necessarily in obedience as to her modesty, and notwithstanding the poor choice it would not be sinful for the attractiveness to be noted ( though maybe not necessarily wise to make the comment to your wife), indeed, if I recall correctly, the point of the article was a call to spiritual maturity and being able to correctly enjoy God’s blessings in creation vs. always over-reacting and running scared from every potential temptation. If I have this close, then this seems to contradict your statement quoted above from the leggings article, and in fact the statement in the article would seem to contradict the point of the article. Thanks.
BJ, no, the statement in this article was not sarcastic, or a joke. The statement you referenced from the previous article was the joke. I think it was in my article on Nuisance Lust, and the scenario was this. You see someone who is being both attractive and out of line, and the whole thing is stinking obvious. I suggested making a joke of it to your wife—“Is this a great country or what?” So the point was not to enjoy, but to disapprove with a joke. To take it seriously in one way, but not in another.
In the post “The outrage of leggings . . .” you wrote, “When a husband wimps out, one side of her triumphs and gloats over it while the other side detests it (and him). Over time the detesting side grows emotionally stronger and ethically weaker. She is in the process of becoming enslaved to what she hates.”
My question is, what is a wife supposed to do when she wants to be submissive but her husband is constantly “wimping out” preemptively, so to speak? In the hypothetical case that it doesn’t have anything to do with overt conflicts between the two of them, and its more issues of ambition and energy and professional and familial initiative? When she is genuinely trying to honor God and her husband and be respectful and courteous and kind and loving, but there are emotions of detesting and contempt that keep popping up? Just confess them, give them to God, and try to hang in there miserably? Thanks for your thoughts. Please leave my name out of this if you choose to publish.
K, I would suggest two things. The first is to seek out a conversation with your husband, at a time when there is no current conflict between you. Ask him—and be prepared not to answer him in the moment—if you are telegraphing any kind of unsubmissive spirit to him You think he is surrendering preemptively before there is any resistance from you at all. Ask him if that is his perspective, or if he has examples of times when he clearly picked up on the fact that you already had your heels dug in. I said not to answer him in the moment—if there is a clear and obvious answer, then come back with it the following day. But commit yourself to prayerfully consider whatever he might have say. Actually consider it as a possibility. The second thing I would suggest, if the first suggestion makes no progress, is that you ask him if the two of you could seek out pastoral marriage counseling.
Reading your posts about this issue always feels like a splash of refreshing cold water in a fog of confusion. For some time I have watched this mentality creep into my fellow sisters in the church and have been on the receiving end of the laughter you described when I have appealed to them to stop and consider the direction we’re heading. But the twist in all of this is the mixture of feminism with a hyper (?) sensitivity to legalism. In the church, the response to requests to even small measures of moderation in dress is met with “we can’t make rules.” And that is not just from the women—that is from the male leadership. I would be very grateful if you could offer some insight into this as it is a very confusing redirection. I mean, obviously, what sincere Christian wants to play the Pharisee? And the suggestion, to use your example, that leggings may be inappropriate is immediately met with “we cannot address that, because legalism!” I have encountered this in real life discussions and it mirrors the tone online. It seems as if modern church leadership is more afraid of legalism than the drift towards the values of the world. I would greatly appreciate some help on this issue as I am truly confused over how to navigate it for myself, my daughters, and my sisters in the church.
Concerned Christian Woman Johnson
CCWJ, yes, this needs to be addressed further, and I should develop this more in a follow up article. Behind the reaction to the threat of legalism is the assumption that the Bible has not spoken directly on the subject. “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel” (1 Tim. 2:9). It is not legalism to say that men shouldn’t get drunk because Scripture says not to. The same goes for this.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Pastor Wilson, for this article and for so many of the insights you’ve given me through your writings. Even my local “tribe” (evangelical, reformed, etc…) has drunk the Kool-Aid that a godly, loving husband “leads” by agreeing with whatever the wife decides—that’s the essence of the counsel I receive typically. In fact, husbands who do not help their wives follow the command to submit are harming their wives—as you put it, enslaving the wives to their fallen nature. This also encourages husbands to not lay down our lives for our wives in taking on the hard, anti-culture task of leading our families (my life gets really easy if I do only whatever my wife agrees to and not do what she does not want to do—no need to invest my time and resources to think hard, assess, analyze, persuade; no having to deal with blow back; just kick back, turn on the TV, and remember to say “yes, honey, whatever you think”). In other words, this also leads husbands to become enslaved to our fallen nature (wimpiness, laziness, chest-less-ness, etc…).
Paul, yes. Real leadership is real work.
Quick comment about leggings from a college professor who sees many students wearing leggings—I don’t think most of them are actually in conscious rebellion, or trying to send a “screw you” to the patriarchy. Rather they simply look around them, see what other students are wearing, and see what advertisements and social media tells them they should be wearing, and want to be trendy and fashionable. That’s it. As seems to often happen in America, what perhaps begins as rebellion then becomes the trendy mainstream, and then a bunch of people who do not have personalities eager to join the public rebellion do jump in, because they absolutely do want to be part of the trendy mainstream.
David, good point, and I agree. There is more than a little bit of monkey see, monkey do in this. Many have not really thought about it—but they ought to.
In many an evangelical church, the feminist corps has moved well past leggings and on into hot pants, midriffs, and shirts where they forgot to install a back. Everything you said applies, and a hearty amen to all of it, but I’m afraid it risks appearing anachronistic in its restrained description of the true state of our distress. But I will give you the excuse that it is not November.
Steve, fair point. It is not November.
Years ago, when I was teaching at a public high school, I had a “Me Share” (bring 5 things that tell about you) activity with my Band Flag Team for the purpose of building camaraderie. Some of the girls were new Christians who attended a local church. One lovely girl shared her Bible and how she was reading every day to become more Christ-like. The next thing she shared was her black leggings “because I like to be sexy (giggle, giggle).” I’ve learned the hard way to be careful about uncontrolled group sharing with kids in today’s world.
Melody, yes. Sharing times may be thought of as the enemy of all true propriety.
Leave Me Alone
“The Constitution was ratified in the ‘Year of our Lord, 1789’ This was, according to the common reckoning, 1789 years after Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene in the garden.” Erm . . . don’t you mean something closer to “1789 years after Gabriel appeared to Mary Galilean?”
Kyriosity, no, I didn’t mean that. But I am willing to grant that I should have meant that.
Bible Reading Challenge Question
Hey why do are certain books and passages repeated? I see Ephesians June 15, June 18) repeated, and other passages . . . These are just two examples. Intentional or an error?
James, that was intentional. On the catch-up days, those who want to can read a little bit extra.
My App Is No More
I always read your blog on my iPad, but today the app would not refresh and remained blank. I finally deleted it with the intention of reinstalling it from the app store. But when I searched for “dougwils,” nothing showed up. Did the Apple app store “deplatform” you.
Steve, the good news is that I have not been deplatformed yet. The reason this happened is that the app was simply too buggy to be function for many users, and was an ongoing exasperation. So we pulled the plug on it.
And a Quick One on Climate Change
I’m wondering how you have come to disagree with the overwhelming majority of climate scientists from around the world on this issue. I understand having distain for Al Gore, but to omit that thousands of specialized climate scientists from every part of the world have a made a consensus is questionable. And disagreeing with their consensus seems to me to be remarkably audacious. As someone who grew up in the Calvinist Christian reform tradition I find it hard to comprehend why the evangelical Christian community is so decided on political issues, and almost always without a clear biblical mandate. On what grounds do you dismiss them all? And what is your motivation in doing so? Looking for answers,
Ben, four quick reasons. Structurally, we have not been measuring temperatures around the globe for anywhere near long enough to have anywhere near enough data to begin making serious hypotheses as anything so complicated as the climate of an entire planet. Second, I am old enough to remember all the other false alarms that have been raised in the name of eco-science. There have been many. Third, the scientists who affirm climate change treat those who dissent as heretics (“deniers,” evil ones) instead of colleagues worth answering. They don’t answer dissenters, they punish them. And last, all the proposed solutions thus far consist of granting plenipotentiary powers to the state, which is a far greater threat to us than our summers being a bit warmer. God gave us the sun to rule our day, not the state to rule our day.