Helping the Church Overcome Sexism (with grains of salt)

Guys, young men of the Church, I want to talk with you for a few minutes. There’s an issue I feel like the Church has abandoned you on, has left you to your own devices with, and I want to start rectifying that right now. As a woman who’s grown up in the Church I have to attest that this very issue has been so thoroughly taught and expounded on for us, but never you. This is unfair to you growing up in our current world and unfair to the young ladies around you who have to deal with the struggle brought about by the lack of knowledge imparted to you. So young men, I want to encourage you and help build you up, empower you in your walk with Christ. I want to talk about clothes and fashion.

I know your wardrobe wavers between, “whatever Wal-mart has on sale” to, “I’m a fashionisto” but it doesn’t matter where you buy your clothes, it’s how you wear them. Just because you’ve got it doesn’t mean you should flaunt it. By making girls stumble by what you wear doesn’t help bring them closer to God, which is the man’s leadership role in a relationship, it sets up an environment ripe for sin and reflects poorly on your own level of self-respect. Modest is hottest and always remember to dress appropriately, bringing glory to God through your actions and not distracting from that by your choice of clothing.

Here are some do’s and don’t when dressing modestly to help you navigate today’s degrading fashion standards and expectations for the modern man.

Skinny Jeans: Controversial to many, skinny jeans have shown their staying power and don’t look to be disappearing anytime soon. Here’s what you need to know.

Don’t

skinny no

Too tight around the hips showing a bit more than what either wearer would like to be seen or general public would like to see.

Do

skinny yes

Long shirt covering all the immodest bits. Hat is optional.

V-Neck T-Shirts: Who doesn’t like a good v-neck? They’re relaxed and sharp all at the same time but all v-necks are not created equal so beware.

Don’t

v no

The plunging neck line reveals too much of the chest. “Hey, eyes up here!” During the summer be mindful of where you hang your sunglasses. Hanging them off your shirt drags your neckline ever lower and can turn even a modest v-neck into a not-so modest one.

Do

v yes

Notice how the neck-line drops nicely but not too low so as to be distracting or off-putting. The shirt fits comfortably, not too tight, not too loose.

Proper Fit: When buying clothes and trying to decide if the size it too tight or just right, remember the mantra: Too-tight means loose morals. It’s always safer to buy a size bigger. You want to attract godly women, and godly women aren’t attracted to men who wear suggestive clothing.

Don’t

fit no

Even though he’s wearing an appropriate v-neck, see how the shirt leaves nothing to the imagination? See how those jeans fit him maybe just a little bit too right? Dressing like this is going to attract the wrong kind of girls.

Do

fit yes

Layers are your best friend. They allow you to play with different lengths, different colours, (not shown in example), different styles, and best of all they keep you looking great and modest. Every girl loves a well dressed man in a suit!

Bathing Suits: We’re fortunate in North America not to have to deal with the same kind of popular beachwear that much of the rest of the world has to struggle with. When dealing with how to best dress for the water, don’t forget that you want too meet your future wife hiding in God, you don’t want to be digging her eyes out of your abs and pecs.

Don’t

swimwear no

Just say “no” to anything tight and form fitting. What are your motives in wearing this? Look in your heart and search God’s will out when selecting your swimwear. Imagine yourself going to the beach with your mother; would you feel comfortable wearing this in front of her? Would Jesus wear that?

Do

swimwear yes

Board shorts are great, easy to find, and they meet all the criteria for modest swimwear. Adding a loose fitting t-shirt or tank top not only reveals your pure intentions and pure heart but also adds a level of protection against the damaging sun.

Sunglasses: I can hear you protesting this one, or even laughing, but hear me out. It is no secret that accessories can draw attention to certain parts of the body or accentuate the whole packaged deal so they shouldn’t be overlooked or dismissed. Because sunglasses take up so much space on your face, the first thing people see when they meet you, sunglasses can make or break all your efforts.

Don’t

sunglasses no

Just stop. This is…I can’t even…I just can’t…I…I…are your motives pure when wearing those aviators? I’m moving on.

Do

Say what you want about the Biebs, but he wins this one. For those who still can’t get over ‘Lil Bieber, I’ve included a less controversial photo. Find sunglasses that fit your face (there are hundreds of good guides on-line, or taking an honest friend shopping with you always works), but make sure they don’t unwrap too much of the gift for the wrong girl.

There certainly are more suggestions and modest fashion tips out there and I hope that in the future the Church starts to pick up on more of these, educating the young men and instilling in them value where the world has robbed them of so much. Feel free to comment below with your “Modest is Hottest: Men” tips!

 

 

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Jesus Grimes- Resource Your Life

Is it just me or has anyone else ever wandered through the aisles of their local Christian bookstore, or have gone to a Sunday service and noticed some of the marketing lures that are being used, and just feel the overwhelming need to face palm? (For anyone who didn’t even know Christian bookstores existed, or have never been in one, just keep reading anyway.) I know that there are certainly times when I feel obliged to put on my figurative “I’m Not With Them” t-shirt. I’m talking about the need many modern Christians have with trying to force an image of being cool and relevant rather than just being relevant. It’s as though they don’t believe Jesus alone is enough to keep people coming to church. If that is the case, if Jesus can’t save someone when pitted against the lure of Family Guy and Miley Cyrus, what makes their fancy light shows and self-help music able to do it any better?

Jesus partied hardy with the best of them and he did so without feeling it necessary to give a sermon on being the New Wine. This fact nevertheless seems to be continuously overlooked by the apparent need to transform simple entertainment into complex life lessons of deep spiritual significance. The issue of contestation here is that many Christians want to make everything a spiritual lesson and every lesson a reflection of the Bible as though they owned the rights on the Good vs. Evil theme. Unfortunately for Christianity they didn’t win the monopoly rights on the Good. vs. Evil theme and they must now share it with the Rest of Humanity. Thus they are now left with the hard task of running after every Good. vs. Evil story and trying to transform it back into a Christian life lesson as though they did actually win the monopoly bid. I’m talking about Harry Potter devotionals, The Lord of the Rings book studies, (the jury is still spilt on whether Gandalf or Aragorn makes the best comparison to Jesus or if Gandalf is really more akin to Moses), youth group focused viewings of Thor at Easter time and Man of Steel Sunday sermons- because we all need to be reminded that Jesus is the REAL Superman by watching a well muscled man solemnly listen to paternal words of wisdom, then causing more damage than a natural disaster in order to defeat the bad guys. And that’s just the tip of the face palm iceberg. In fact, since there are already Communion services performed with U2 songs dubbed “U2charist”, why haven’t we seen Small Group lessons on Dexter, baptisms performed to Evanescence, and Daily Reading Plans based on The Walking Dead?

Actually, speaking of The Walking Dead…..

AMC’s The Walking Dead is arguably one of the most popular and successful T.V. shows currently airing crossing lines of intelligence, nerdiness, value systems and age. Actually, zombies in general have taken over popular culture putting their mark on the cute market (Plants vs. Zombies), Tween love stories (Warm Bodies) and from there have captured every level of the adult market with the exception of the Adult Entertainment industry and even then my ignorance in that area is my bliss (please don’t enlighten me if that statement is incorrect). It is, therefore, surprising to me that I have yet to see the Church seriously capitalize on the zombie craze like they have the superhero craze and the soft drink spoof t-shirt business. Sure youth groups have used parallels to being zombie-like before accepting Christ and then being alive and well afterwards, or whatever similar spin they want to use for the Halloween season, but it can’t be denied that the zombie craze which can almost singularly be credited to The Walking Dead is being a bit forgotten by the pulpit. Christians LOVE their resources (ie. books and audio teaching), and so I got to thinking, probably a bit cynically, about all the possibilities which are being missed out on in Christian marketing and came up with a few ideas….

365 Quotes to Help You Through a Walking Dead World

Stop shuffling through your day like a zombie! These inspirational quotes will help inspire and encourage you as well as others around you to pursue life as though each day were your last. These daily life-giving reminders of the vitality promised by Christ will strengthen your resolve to not wander off to travel your path alone and will solidify your core Christian values.

  • Read one quote in the morning as food for thought
  • Think about it during your day or use what you read in the morning as a conversation starter with others navigating the dangers of this life
  • This is a perfect way to help you spread the Word to those most susceptible

Excerpt:

November 1st

Rick: Get one thing straight. You’re staying? This isn’t a democracy anymore

Reference: Revelation 11:15 “The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.”

December 30th

Hershel: A sad soul can kill quicker than a germ.

Reference: Proverbs 15:13 A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit.

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The Walking Dead No More: A Devotional

AMC’s The Walking Dead has inspired people to consider their mortality and question what happens when we die more seriously than ever before. Is there life after death and what does it mean to us? What is good and evil? How can we move on after great tragedy? Why do bad things happen to good people? These issues and more are addressed in an easy to understand guide as displayed by characters within the hit T.V. show. Readers will be reminded of how God has created us to do great things and will discover wisdom and Godly truths about courage, faith, loyalty, decision making and discernment. A must-have for long-time zombie fans and new comers alike.
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Thriving in the Mindless Hoard –Empowering the Christian Walk Through The Walking Dead

Anyone who has seen The Walking Dead knows the religious themes that run through it. Taking an extensive look at the main and secondary characters and settings, readers will discover the parallel themes written into the show and those of the Word of God. Develop your understanding of Church history by deconstructing the power struggles of the apocalypse survivors and more. Just some of the cataclysmic findings include:

  • How to live in the world but not be of it in the same manner survivors live in a world dominated by zombies but are still not conformed to their way of life
  • Find out what it means to be the minority fighting the good fight
  •  Examine how in-fighting between various groups of survivors and also with the Governor causes more trouble than bringing resolution to the common problem. Grow spiritually as you discover the need to overcome differences as being more important than fighting for temporary power.

Take this faith journey through The Walking Dead and the Bible to solidify your convictions.
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Walkers: A Curriculum

Get ready to take a bite into deep revelation to dramatically transform your life forever! Perfectly designed for Bible studies, Alpha courses and personal study, gain a deeper revelation of the Son of God by studying The Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes.  Parallels include: the expectation of both to be dead and then returning into their friends’ lives; both leaving the figurative 99 to find the one; their humanity as they weap for their dead- Jesus over his cousin, Rick over his wife. See how they, and you, should respond to tragedy, by inflicting damage to the enemy. See how both take violence out of everyday life by beating swords into plowshares and continue your journey with other such relatable experiences.

Bring your witnessing up to a whole other level and hone your ability to relate to the next generation with this curriculum focused on bringing the lost home.
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As an ending disclaimer, I am not against using popular stories and media to help drive a point or to have some fun. I love fun and I love being nerdy and even in a lame and lighthearted way but the need for self-respect has never gone away- its just become more apparent.