I was talking to a dear friend on the phone recently and we were discussing false modesty and shame. Too many women within the church (specifically) are subjected and victims of this way of thinking, in my experience. I was one of those women.

Going along with the idea that God created sex and within the context that He designed (marriage) it’s blessed, good, and should be hot, I see no reason why a wife cannot bless her husband with her figure and dressing femininely as she desires. I’m not referring to dressing in a way that advertises what wares she has — sometimes called “hoochy-mama-dressing” — and I’m not talking about intentionally dressing to get cat-calls or to garner attention out in public. I’m talking about embracing the figure that God has given you and the femininity that He put in you.

What I wear tends to compliment my shape and isn’t a formless sack. I don’t dress provocatively, but I do dress so that I feel good about my appearance. I used to be incredibly afraid of what I wore — that it might cause someone else to look at me inappropriately and/or “stumble” as the expression goes — but I have realized in the last several months that my responsibility is to not dress immodestly. I cannot be responsible for someone else’s thoughts, behaviour, or actions. Everyone is responsible for their own choices, and as my husband reminds me, if a man is going to lust, he can do it just as well if a woman is dressed in a burka or if she is in a pair of shorts and t-shirt. So, recognizing that my responsibility is just that — mine — I also recognize that dressing frumpily doesn’t make my husband happy and doesn’t represent who I am.

Continuing on in the idea of being unashamed, I’m also no longer ashamed to discuss married sex in a public setting. I’m still cautious and still somewhat prudent (but not prudeish) about what I say and to whom I say it, but I used to be ready to deny the sensual part of me and that aspect of my marriage. Not any longer. A real-life example from my past: when my husband and I were engaged, we didn’t kiss each other at all. We had reasons, which I explained in this post. But there was one day when he called me at work and I went to the front of the store to take the call, as the workroom was a bit noisy. The phone was off the hook (we had no “hold” feature on the phone) and my then-future-husband was on the line, waiting for me when my co-workers called out quite loudly, “You know, it’s okay to kiss him!” I was mortified. Literally ready to peel back the carpet, dig a hole in the floor, and crawl in. I turned about six shades of red and stammered as I picked up the phone to talk to my beloved. My concern was that he would think I had been discussing our private decisions in the public realm, but also that people would judge me for how we conducted ourselves in our relationship. I was completely ashamed of who I was and what our relationship was and would become (i.e., a marriage).

It’s hard to talk about these things now and realize how much shame I had associated with who I am and who God created me to be. But I’m not the same person now, and my shame is non-existent. I know that I acted out of my pain and ignorance and some emotional and spiritual bullying, but I’m stronger than that now. More recently, when I was recently faced with unspoken disdain over my presentation by someone else, I didn’t back down. Because this is who God created. He didn’t make a mistake and He isn’t glorified when I cow-tow to someone’s else’s rigidity and legalistic rules.

For me, this is all very freeing. I have freedom to discuss the things on my heart (in a context that makes sense; I’m not writing my stuff and sending in to porn publications), and I have the opportunities to free other women from the bondage they are in.

Think about it: if God really *is* for you, as Scripture tells us, then honouring Him with your attitude, your dress, and how you relate to others about the marriage He’s given you is a good thing. It’s not shameful, and it’s not secret. This freedom doesn’t give us license to sin overtly (or to flaunt what God gave us in an unhealthy or immodest fashion), but it does give us the ability to move out of the realm of shame and lies. And that is just where our Common Enemy would like us to live and remain.

I’m walkin’ out of the lies, ladies. I’m walking in freedom, unashamedly. Gentlemen, if your wives aren’t walking in this freedom, begin to pray for them and encourage them to read Captivating and start to understand what God has given them and what He has for them. It’s not an easy journey, but it’s incredibly worthwhile.

His and his,

This entry was posted on 251441H Sep 2008 and is filed under Awakening, Marriage Building, Path to Healing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

  • http://sensuouswife.blogspot.com Sensuous Wife

    (twinkly-eyed smile)

  • http://tulipsanticipation.blogspot.com/ tulipsanticipation

    I think that God created men to be visual creatures for a reason, probably the same reason he created women to respond favorably to praise and admiration of our beauty.
    So many people only see restrictions on sex within a marriage, when it was really designed to be enjoyed fully and and freely.
    Loving your blog so far!

  • http://patsycostner.blogspot.com/ Pscostner

    Cori, I stumbled across your site today as I was researching intimacy vs. sex. I am writing a book and I liked your response. I would like to quote you in my book. If I may I will just call you Cori. I will subscribe to your site. I have a friend that I have been praying for and working with for sometime. I plan on sharing this site with her, but at a later time. Looking forward to hearing more from you.