letting herself go - Printable Version
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letting herself go - Tooktheredpill - 05-26-2011 11:08 PM
Absolutely disgusting: http://www.challies.com/christian-living/letting-herself-go
RE: letting herself go - Lizzy F. - 05-26-2011 11:20 PM
Yes indeed. A woman "letting herself go" is partially responsible for a husband to go after other women?
RE: letting herself go - pastor's wife - 05-26-2011 11:54 PM
I actually agreed with the article. (BTW, I don't know who Challies is so I know nothing about his stand or position on anything.)
It sounded like he was responding to Rachel Held Evans' summation of teaching from Driscoll, Pease, and another (also people that I know little about although I've read some of "Vintage Church"). Evans' summary is that they are saying that women who "let themselves go" are partially responsible if their husbands stray. I don't know if that's what those people teach. If so, it's disgusting, wrong, and unbiblical. No matter what other people do, we are not given a free pass to sin. Husbands are required to hold to their wedding vows "for better or for worse", even if the wife isn't as lovely as she was at age 21. Excuses and blaming others are as old as the Garden of Eden, but they are invalid biblically.
What I agreed with is that it is wise for wives to seek to be beautiful in the sense of "care and respect and effort and availability" not "figure and proportion" or looking like what magazines say women must look like.
I think some of the problem might be with the very phrase "letting herself go." We tend to assume that this means "got fat because she had kids", but since the author said it's not a matter of figure and proportion, I think it's more of an issue of not combing her hair, not putting on nice clothes, not caring for herself physically. I think it's a valid point that it's discouraging to a husband when his wife slouches around the house in her jammies and slippers all day or goes out to the movies with him in sweatpants and a stained t-shirt. The author also pointed out that it's just as important that men not let themselves go and dress and behave like careless slobs.
BTW, having given birth four times, I declare that any woman gets a break while she's caring for a newborn! She needs help with caring for the baby and NO criticism about how she's dressing!
I'll admit that with our church splitting, I've had some very, very blah days when all I've wanted to do was sleep. I had no interest in looking nice. I'd drive the kids to school without bothering to even comb my hair. I was discouraged and angry and didn't have too many outlets for that frustration so I just rebelled by giving up on myself. I know this isn't helpful to my relationship with my husband though.
Had the blog been saying that women ARE to blame when men commit adultery or that women MUST look nice or else their husbands will find another women, I would have been incensed. But I didn't see that in the article.
This is a touchy subject though, because so often women feel that they're only valued if they look pretty (in the way Hollywood defines it), and if they don't, no one will love them and it's all their fault. That sort of thinking makes me so mad. It's cruel and unbiblical.
RE: letting herself go - exIFB - 05-27-2011 12:04 AM
What about the men?
RE: letting herself go - pastor's wife - 05-27-2011 12:15 AM
From the article:
Quote:It should be noted that in this way a man can let himself go just as much and it would be just as much of a sin. I know of women who have become utterly disgusted by their husbands—husbands who have given up, who do not show their wives the dignity of seeking to remain attractive to them. It is not just women whose clothes and whose appearance make a statement. It is not just women who ought to make a continued effort to be attractive and appealing and dignified.
RE: letting herself go - Tooktheredpill - 05-27-2011 12:23 AM
(05-27-2011 12:09 AM)Donb123 Wrote:
Only in passing. It was written by a man and directed at women. If ANYBODY should be writing about this it should be women addressing other women.
RE: letting herself go - pastor's wife - 05-27-2011 12:28 AM
Yeah, it was definitely a very small section with most of the attention being given to women's appearance.
Quote:It was written by a man and directed at women. If ANYBODY should be writing about this it should be women addressing other women.
I gotta agree with you there. It would be a lot more palatable coming from a woman. I just carry enough baggage around from hearing men make rude jokes about women or fundy husbands making passive aggressive jabs at their wives in public, that I'm uncomfortable with even being told "husbands like wives to look like they give a rip." And even though I think it's true, I personally would find it easier to hear from a woman.
RE: letting herself go - Tooktheredpill - 05-27-2011 12:28 AM
This article is indicative of the direction the NeoReformed movement is heading, IMO. Fundyism version 2.0.
RE: letting herself go - Lizzy F. - 05-27-2011 12:31 AM
The author further clarifies the comments:
Quote:Two, a cheating spouse is always to blame for their actions because it is always their choice to sin.
Then "Mandi" wrote back:
Quote:In the case of a wife (of husband, for that matter, as men do this as well) who denies her husband sex, and then he cheats, she does bear some of the blame as she was sinning. "The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband." 1 Cor 7:3 At the same time, he has to bear the responsibility instead of blaming her, as so many men go on Dr. Phil to do. I can't think of anywhere in the Scriptures that not dressing attractively or gaining weight is addressed as sin, though.
Then the author wrote again:
Quote:I don't think it is addressed specifically in that context. But that is true of many things. What is addressed is that connection between dress and appearance and the heart. The woman who completely lets herself go is revealing something about her heart. That is true as well with the woman who takes good care of herself or the woman who is obsessed with her appearance. Whatever is on the outside is in some way a reflection of what is on the inside.
I think he's tap dancing around the issue. People have brought up that women can be blamed for adultery by the way they dress and he's giving a "but there's lots of stuff not mentioned in scripture" platitude and neither confirming nor denying their statements.
Instead, he says that what people wear is a spiritual matter. Which is bogus. He's presuming to judge the heart based upon appearances.
Quote:This is a touchy subject though, because so often women feel that they're only valued if they look pretty (in the way Hollywood defines it), and if they don't, no one will love them and it's all their fault. That sort of thinking makes me so mad. It's cruel and unbiblical.
It's not Hollywood, it's the church. I have SEVERE eczema. It keeps me from looking "my best" because I cover most of my body to hide it and wear slightly loose clothing to keep the itching down. A little bit of it has spread to my face.
I've met loads of "Christian" guys who thought it was a spiritual problem. Their facial expressions of disgust (and pity) were hard to hide and they acted like it was my fault.
RE: letting herself go - pastor's wife - 05-27-2011 12:49 AM
@Lizzy, that extra info is quite interesting and enlightening.
The Bible passage he discusses does seem to indicate that while it's wrong for men to commit adultery, it's also wrong for wives to deny sex to their husbands. But like the responder "Mandi", I have a huge problem with jumping from "refusing to have sex" to "not dressing attractively." Scripture doesn't make that connection and I won't.
I don't think it's wise for wives to not care about their appearance (to the extreme of not caring for themselves). I don't think it's loving. I don't think it reflects care for her husband. But it never, ever, ever justifies or excuses HIS SIN. No way. That assumption is not there in Scripture. That's taking a Bible passage too far, IMO.
(05-27-2011 12:31 AM)Lizzy F. Wrote: It's not Hollywood, it's the church. I have SEVERE eczema. It keeps me from looking "my best" because I cover most of my body to hide it and wear slightly loose clothing to keep the itching down. A little bit of it has spread to my face.
That's sadly a valid point that the church is perpetuating myths about beauty. I'm sorry you've been treated badly for something completely out of your control. (My sister has eczema too.) It's so sad that Christians can't learn to regard one another with love, assuming the best. The lady with "loose" clothing may not be careless about her appearance; she may be accomodating a skin disorder. The sullen child in your classroom may not be rebellious but abused. The person who ignored your greeting may be hearing impaired. The scowling person on the subway may be consumed with pain because of family problems. It is so easy to jump to conclusions based on appearances, but those conclusions are often so, so wrong.