Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bikini or Biki-no? Part 4 - A Father and Husband's POV

I'm so intrigued by the fact that so many faithful men are asking for women to avoid bikinis. As a refresher, read Palaminko's post and Chase's post (and if you want my first attempt, read mine). Val wrote to me after the 3rd post and offered his perspective as a father, husband, and grandfather.
Hello Elizabeth,

I have come to your post to your post simply because I follow Stacy Trasancos, whom I offer as a character reference.

I make no habit of frequenting women’s sites, or bikini posts, however, for what it is worth, I have a beautiful wife and three lovely adult daughters, all young mothers, so needless to say I have engaged in this debate for many years. My wife, at 56, is a size 6 and frankly would still look great in a bikini. She is a water athlete who loves the ocean, so be advised her decision to avoid bikinis and has nothing to do with being bashful about her figure.

Val's lovely family
The first question I would ask is, is there any functional advantage to wearing a bikini for normal swimming activities? Can’t answer that, never wore one, but based on swimwear for competitive water events the answer is basically inarguable.

The second question I would ask is whether any truly Christian woman believes that she has no culpability for provoking lustful thoughts in a man, or if perhaps she may believe more skin does not equal more potential for provoking the very transparent and predictable (in this area) male mind?

The third question, I am prepared to provide an answer for, and that is, why are men so visual in this area? It seems completely unfair that God would create us with this inherent flaw. Well, I’ve thought a lot about it and prayed a lot about it and here, based on scripture, is what I have come up with. Read Genesis 2:18 – 2:25. God made man in His image and likeness. After creating all of the other creatures, He could not find a suitable partner for man so He made woman, from and for man. And therein lies the difference. Everything about a woman’s body has been tailor made by Almighty God SPECIFICALLY to those specifications that the Father knew would please man. A woman’s hair, her eyes, the shape of her face and body, her voice, the way she moves, the way she thinks and reasons, all of these things have been created to please man.

Consequently, a woman’s body to a man is more than just attractive, it is literally awesome. Like a beautiful sunset or a majestic mountain, woman is God’s gift to man. Now, naturally, this inclination, like all other aspects of human nature has been wounded by original sin. Remember, lust, like every other capital vice is the product of a distorted amplification of things that come naturally to us. God created woman to please man. In return, He intends us to be faithful and loving to the extent that we are to be willing to die for our wives.

Satan, as he always does, has ingeniously twisted the phrase, “to please man” into “for man’s pleasure”. Radically different concepts. Man’s natural preoccupation with the fairer sex is his great Achilles' heel for both Satan AND woman to exploit. Unfortunately society has degenerated to the point where, frankly, most men are lustful.
So let’s cut to the chase here, Elizabeth. A woman’s body is a loaded gun for a lustful man and she can slay most with it any time she wants. ALL women know and understand this. God gave your gender that power over ours to make us better men, not animals. It is a power that you should wield prudently as a Godly woman.

Finally, I speak as a man. The mystery of an attractive, fit, woman in a stylish one piece is MUCH more alluring (not lust provoking) than blatant advertising, because a bikini isn’t about what a woman looks like its about what she THINKS like. A little restraint says to a prospective suitor, “Yep, I’m all that you think I am, fit, healthy, desirable, but unless you are that lucky man that will share life with me, “til death do us part”...you don’t get to find out.

Sincerely, Val (Happily married man saved by the Blood of Christ, 56-year-old father of 10 grandfather of 7 and genuine respectful admirer of the feminine mystique)

PS: If you really want to know what I think of women, read Stacy’s Mother’s Day piece, “We Know
Emphasis added by me, Elizabeth. Again, this discussion will probably never end, but if you'd like to add your voice (either in response to one post, to the whole discussion or anything), email me.

11 comments:

Adri said...

"... a bikini isn’t about what a woman looks like its about what she THINKS like."

Very interesting food for thought. Great post!

Liesl said...

I like Val's letter :)

I definitely tend to agree with him on the points he made. Also, I as a woman just love being told that my image was created to be AWESOME. Rock on.

Elizabeth @ The Spark and the Flame said...

Very good post, Val. This is full of good points about the dignity of our bodies.

"...a bikini isn’t about what a woman looks like its about what she THINKS like."
I agree. The way we present ourselves using attire (and this does not only apply to swimming) does play a significant part in conveying our inward disposition to other people.

Anonymous said...

I think the opinions voiced here are fairly archaic. Implying that women are in any way responsible for what goes on in a man's mind is ludicrous.

ellengable said...

Excellent letter, Val! Elizabeth, thanks for posting this. As the mother of five sons (ages 13-24), I know how difficult it can be for them at the beach...

Anonymous said...

In response to "Anonymous":
What do you think is going on in the mind of the woman choosing the string bikini? Does she choose the flashy, look-at-me attire because the fish prefer it??? Maybe she has secret compartments that hide her debit card and keys in the padded top? She is putting her body on display. She may not tell the man what to think of her, but she is telling him to look at her. When you are putting every curve in his face, what is he supposed to think? Yeah, most men are repulsed by the female figure...... Oh- no? They are not? Then they are attracted to it. (It, not her, it's the curves they see, not the person)
Let's not kid ourselves, girls know EXACTLY what they are doing, and LOVE to do it!!!! Why they love to do it is a whole other topic, but in this world, they are raised to. Abercrombie & Fitch starts their padded bikinis at a little girls size 7.
- a former owner of Victoria's Secret bikinis

Anonymous said...

Hi!
Just wanted to say this is well written and logical. Nearly identical to the Islamic rationale that promotes women wearing burqas. Women look naked in both bikinis and one piece bathing suits, so why would we let them wear either? Women, with such power over men, and being too simple to wield it wisely, need to be covered.

Anonymous said...

Also... men not wearing shirts could be considered offensive, considering muscles are a male secondary sex characteristic. We should cover up men too. Actually we should all just wear blankets all the time.

bmmg39 said...

...oh, Val. Gee whiz.

"The second question I would ask is whether any truly Christian woman believes that she has no culpability for provoking lustful thoughts in a man, or if perhaps she may believe more skin does not equal more potential for provoking the very transparent and predictable (in this area) male mind."

Val, I certainly hope that you NEVER walk around at the beach, pool, or yard with your shirt off, or display your midsection in any way, because if you EVER do you are culpable for provoking lustful thoughts in a woman.

If you believe women are somehow not the visual creatures you think men are, you are engaging in self-delusion.

I really wish you would desist in lumping every straight male on the planet together. If you find yourself greatly tempted when you see a young woman in a bikini, well, all right, but please don't suggest that everyone does the same. I also wish you and everyone who espouses your viewpoint would just let it stand and not bring God into it. Claiming that this is just "how God made us" is, essentially, drawing a line in the sand and daring anyone to continue disagreeing with you, as you will then accuse him or her of "attacking your faith."

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm not Anonymous, I'm just not bright enough to use the site correctly..but this is Val Bianco.

Well, bmmg39, I don't have the qualifier of "straight" before the word "man" in my lexicon. I simply address my thoughts to normal men. I have no interest in the thoughts of homosexual men, in this particular discussion, other than to pray for their healing and assist it in any way possible. As far as my viewpoint, seperate and distinct from God's, I would hope that my viewpoint in ANYTHING is totally immersed in God's.

I dare say that I am reasonably capable of surviving most laymen's theological debates, however, I try, everyday, to subject the free will that God granted me (and you) to His divine will. I want only to think and reason and communicate in conformity with His will and I joyfully accede my own. This may appear to be a radical approach to you, however, I can assure you that it in no way impedes one from managing quite well in life.

You may attack what you perceive as my "faith" all you like. I need not resist, for in resisting Christ, you are inadvertantly resisting Truth. Sooner or later it will catch up with you, but know that when it does, it does so with an embrace, not a sword, for as long as we draw beath, whether you realize it or not, we have no choice but to "bring God into it" for God knows the number of hairs on your head, my friend. He's already "into" everything!

bmmg39 said...

"You may attack what you perceive as my 'faith' all you like."

No one's attacking your faith, Val. You're doing just what I figured you might do. It is the same as the man who defends his support of corporal punishment by saying, "Hey...it's just how I was raised," so if you continue disagreeing with him he'll accuse you of attacking his parents.

If God made you, then God made me, too, and did so by making me someone who can control himself just fine when he happens to see women wearing bikinis. That was the subject, lest you have forgotten.

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