Two Perspectives

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“The way girls dress these days!”

Jared let his breath out through inflated cheeks, his eyes wide. Madison looked up from her vanilla iced coffee, raising her eyebrows.

“What about it?” she asked.

Jared shook his head dramatically. “Man,” he sighed, “Did you see that girl? Her shorts must have had, like, a two-inch inseam.”

“Really?” Madison sipped her coffee distractedly.

“Yeah…and what exactly is holding up that tube top anyway?” He shuddered.

Madison raised an eyebrow. “It’s called elastic, Jared.”

“It’s still pretty provocative, don’t you think?” he argued.

Leaning back, Madison shrugged her shoulders. “Sure, I guess. I mean, yeah it’s not too thoughtful of her to wear that around guys, probably.”

Thoughtful?!” Jared sputtered, leaning forward eagerly and almost toppling his mint chocolate shake in the process, “Oh! Trust me! She put plenty of thought into that outfit!”

Madison folded her arms across her chest quizzically. “Whadda ya mean?”

Jared put on a Paris Hilton expression, pitching his voice to sound like a woman’s. “Oh my gosh! These teensy-weensy shorts that accentuate my butt are just what I need to catch the guys’ attention! And this tube top! Tight on my chest…tight on my stomach…centimeters away from falling off…it’s perfect! I’ll cause plenty of guys to stumble in this!” Jared laughed at his own imitation, but Madison did not look amused.

“I doubt she thought that…” she replied slowly.

“No, Maddie, trust me,” Jared blustered, “Why do you think she dresses like that? It can’t be comfortable! She’s doing that because she knows that it makes guys lust after her.”

“What makes you such an expert on the way women think, Jared?” Madison frowned.

Jared blinked. “What…?”

“You don’t get it! Most girls don’t think like that. That girl over there is just wearing that outfit because it’s fashionable and she thinks it looks cute! She doesn’t realize what sick brains you guys have.” Madison rolled her eyes.

“Whoa!” Jared exclaimed, “Give it a rest, girl! C’mon even you dress that way sometimes!”

“Me?!?” Madison stammered, “Wha–”

“Please!” Jared cried, “Are you gonna tell me that that top you wore on Sunday…the one that was a just a little bit tighter and lower than your others…wasn’t at least partially chosen because Darren Turner was back from boot camp?”

Madison blushed. “I–”

“Don’t tell me you never even thought of that!” Jared crowed, leaning back against the chair and crossing his arms triumphantly.

“Well…I…I just thought that shirt was pretty,” Maddie faltered, “I didn’t mean it like that…

“Not even a little?” Jared persisted.

“Well…sometimes I get a little more attention when I wear it,” Madison admitted, blushing deeply, “But…you know…I wasn’t trying to…to make him think…like…that or anything. I just wanted him to…” she hung her head and bit her lip. Her words came in a whisper. “I wanted him to notice me.”

“Well that’s what I mean,” Jared answered, not unkindly.

But Madison glanced up angrily. “Hey, I didn’t want him to lust or anything! I didn’t prove your point at all, Jared. Is it my problem that you guys can’t keep your eyes to yourselves?”

“You know that guys think differently than girls, Maddie, we’ve talked about that in youth group,” Jared answered, looking down.

“Yeah, and so I do try to dress right, Jared, I really do,” Madison cried, “But then you Christian guys, who condemn every girl who accidently shows a bit too much skin, go all ga-ga every time you see a girl dressed immodestly, and follow her around like puppy dogs and shower her with attention, leaving us good Christian girls who actually cover our bodies standing in the dust!”

“Hey wait a minute…accidently show too much skin?” Jared repeated. “I thought we just established that it’s rarely an accident when women dress immodestly.”

‘Established’?” Madison scoffed, “We didn’t ‘establish’ any such thing, Jared Baxter! I told you…a girl doesn’t just stand in front of the mirror in her house trying to figure out how to make guys lust after her. Not most girls anyway. Sometimes we might like the rush of the attention, or we might really want guys to pay attention to us for our bodies. Sometimes we just think we do. But the fact of it is, we often don’t understand the full potential of immodesty and what it does to guys’ brains. We see a guy staring at us and we think ‘he thinks I’m pretty’, not ‘he’s wanting to sleep with me’.”

“Well guys see immodestly dressed girls and think ‘she wants me to mentally undress her’,” Jared replied quietly.

Madison bit her lip. “Well…I didn’t know that. Most girls don’t know that, Jared. You can’t condemn a girl completely. Maybe she’s just ignorant. I’m not excusing immodesty, I’m just saying that some guys misunderstand the way girls think, just like we don’t understand what makes you men tick sometimes. The truth is, girls are wired to want to be appreciated by guys. When we see that dressing immodestly gets us that attention…well, sometimes we just give in. It’s not right…it’s still sinful and against God’s Word. But also understand that we don’t totally see the devastating effects that our actions cause sometimes. We’re just doing what culture tells us is normal and right, and what guys…yeah, even some Christian guys…respond to.”

The two were quiet for a moment. Then Jared spoke up, his voice more gentle this time.

“Hey, Maddie, you know what you said earlier…about how we guys sometimes have a double standard when it comes to modesty and honoring girls who respect our weaknesses? I realized that you’re right. I was thinking about the way I followed that girl at camp around last summer…the one who dressed kind of bad, and who you warned me was a flirt. I sit here and self-righteously judge the girls who parade their bodies around, and yet I give them the attention I should reserve for the modest, Christ-centered girl God has for me. I ignore those girls who don’t act provocative and flirtatious because they don’t want me to stumble. They’ve got the same bodies, they just don’t show them off. I know that it’s a battle for girls when all the world is pushing them to dress shamelessly, and it’s really ungrateful of me not to respect them for working so hard to keep guys like me from stumbling. I imagine it’s really confusing to those girls, too, who are just trying to honor us and the Lord, when we guys reward immodest gals with our attention. I’m sorry, Mad.”

Madison smiled. “That’s OK, Jared. And…I’m sorry about the way I dressed on Sunday. I think I see what you mean. I didn’t explicitly admit this to myself but…in my heart I knew that I really wanted Darren to notice me…even though that shirt was a little questionable. I reasoned that it wasn’t as bad as what some girls wore. And honestly, I didn’t reason too much. I just wanted so bad for Darren to…to pay attention to me. I should have put Christ first. And I should have been more humble when you brought it up to me just now.”

Jared grinned. “That’s OK…what are brothers-in-Christ for, anyway? I needed to listen to you better, too, instead of acting like a big know-it-all jerk. Maybe we can both keep each other accountable in this area? You know…you let me know if I’m chasing the wrong type of girl.”

“And you can help me stay committed to being careful about how I dress,” Madison finished. She smiled. “Yeah. I’d like that.”

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One Response

  1. Oh my word! I cannot believe that no one commented on this! Doesn’t anyone read this blog? This is a great story. Did you write it Keely? I have been frustrated so many times with the “double standard” issue. It’s so confusing when guys act/talk like they want girls to be modest but then go chasing after the “hot” girls that dress immodestly. It’s about time someone wrote a “story” like this. Thanks.

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