Current Fashion Trends

Q. I have 2 questions for you.

1. Where do you draw the line in case of what is acceptable and what is not when it comes down to women’s bathing swimsuit fashion. The most common reasoning is that 1 piece suit is less revealing, therefore better for a Christian woman. However, I just don’t understand where to draw the line here. The biggest difference between 1 piece and 2 piece in my mind is whether the stomach and sometimes the back is covered. I can’t see how that is a big deal since any swimsuit is extremely revealing by definition. Any thoughts on this?

2. Some preachers use a verse from the book of Leviticus to make a case against tattoos. I think the verse says that we were not supposed to make cuts on our skin. It very clear to me that Christians shouldn’t get tattoos because it a very pagan practice, but I don’t think its proper to use that particular verse to illustrate that point, simply because the verse prior to it speaks on restrictions for men not to cut their hair. If we were to take one verse literally, shouldn’t we take another one the same way?

I understand that my questions today aren’t as important in light of the soon coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, but I just want to know.

A. A look at the various religious traditions will show you the extreme measures men have taken to resist looking lustfully at a woman. On one of our visits to Jerusalem we stayed at a hotel with an indoor pool. Tuesday was reserved for orthodox men so they wouldn’t have any women distracting them while they swam.

In Islam, some sects require a woman’s face and hair to be covered in public. Others feel even that’s not enough, so their women wear a burkha, a shapeless hooded robe that covers everything from head to toe, with a mesh covered slot that permits the woman to see. All of these are legalistic attempts by men to avoid looking at a female, as if it’s the woman’s fault if they have lustful thoughts.

At the other extreme, we’ve all been in the presence of women who dress provocatively for the sole purpose of drawing attention to themselves. As society becomes more jaded, these women have to leave less and less to the imagination to get the attention they crave.

There are societies where men and women go around nearly naked all the time and no body thinks anything at all about it. So, as it is in all matters of this kind, it’s not just what we do, but the motive in our heart as we do it that counts. Women should be able to dress comfortably for the beach or pool without worrying about men leering at them, and men should not have to be concerned that the women in their presence are purposely flaunting themselves by seeing how much skin they can show. Let your conscience be your guide.

As for getting tattoos, Leviticus 19:28 says You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. This appears to prohibit tattoos. But in this age of grace I prefer to think of Ephesians 2:10. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. To me this means that getting a tattoo on our skin is like defacing a work of art. It’s disrespectful to the artist.

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