PODCAST: Girls Are Not Stumbling Blocks

by | Jul 14, 2022 | Podcasts, Theology of Marriage and Sex | 6 comments

Don't Be a Stumbling Block is a Bad Modesty Message
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I am very, very tired of the “don’t be a stumbling block” argument when it comes to modesty for girls.

I know that this is a very widespread debate, and I have talked about it before in two main posts:

I have also done a podcast about this very issue too, and since I am out today, I would like to rerun that episode for anyone who missed the message first time around.

In our recent survey of 20,000 women, we found that when girls are made to feel responsible for boys’ sin, very bad things happen in those girls future marriages and sex lives.

And recently on Facebook, I shared a few thoughts that blew up quite big. The support was huge, but at the same time, the arguments that 13-year-old girls can cause adult men to sin are still very widespread. And so in this podcast, Rebecca and I would like to put that to rest.

We got kind of heated, too!

Timeline of the Podcast

0:45 Let’s talk about lust in a non illegal way, please.
5:30 Noticing isn’t bad, facts aren’t bad.
8:45 Lusting for adolescents is not normal
11:40 Mixed messages about lust & modesty
17:20 We’ve confused men with their sexuality!
29:05 The Bell-curve Modesty Rule
34:20 But what about the dangers with clothing choices?
42:04 Research on gender visual stimulation
47:43 RQ: Help with my son growing into sexuality?

Main Segment: The Lust Discussion and the Modesty Discussion Must Always Be Separate

Why? Because if you say, “Men are 100% responsible for not lusting after 13-year-old girls, but 13-year-old girls are also 100% responsible to be modest and dress appropriately,” then you don’t really mean the first part. Yes, we need to teach girls to dress appropriately (and I have a way to do that at the bottom of my stumbling block post), but it’s never, ever about not causing someone to sin.

This discussion came up because of the response to these Facebook posts:

Post 1–on how we should think a man lusting after a 13-year-old girl is a major red flag

Post 2–on how if you believe all men lust, even after teenagers, you’re likely in an unhealthy church and your husband may have a problem, because MOST men do not struggle with not lusting after young teens

The comments are rather interesting–and some are rather depressing. Hence the need for this podcast!

I won’t go into all our arguments here, but you need to listen to this one!

Even listen to it with your teenage daughters and teenage sons, and start the discussion going!

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Things Mentioned in This Podcast:

On Stumbling Blocks, Lust, and Modesty Podcast

What do you think? Will we ever be able to talk about modesty and lust well? What messages were you given as a teen? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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  1. A2bbethany

    Also a part of the conversation with this, is accidental flashing. Happens alot, especially with girls playing 8-14. We take a while to adjust to our new breasts and likely all-round new outfits. Brief flashes happen and nobody should be blamed or be afraid when it does, that a male will stumble.
    Now as a mom, if I feel like a man might be looking at me while breastfeeding, I just pray.
    I have decided to no longer hide in empty rooms and I don’t put a cover over him. They hate it and I do too! I use common sense and feel and a corner in the crowded areas. Very bold for my family!

  2. Lita

    The core message of the modesty passages is, “Women, you are heirs of the kingdom and royal daughters, so you should dress and act in such a way that this is the primary thing people notice when they see you, not your designer bag or diamond earrings.” The modesty passages are conspicuously silent about the effect their clothes have on men.

  3. Jo R

    Any man who says this needs to provide, preferably in writing and on demand, a list of clothing items that is 100 percent safe for any female of any age to wear in any culture on the planet.

    Oh, there isn’t one? Then who’s the real problem in this discussion? 🤔

  4. Rb

    I’m convinced the principles on modesty in scripture are actually more about showing off to each other (woman to woman) than about relating to the opposite sex. The items mentioned are costly clothes, intricate hairstyles and excessive jewlery. I maintain that most men wouldn’t know if our clothes were designer or from Ross and they don’t care if we had the perfect beachy waves or messy bun for a hairstyle. Other women notice though. We often try dress not for men but to show off to each other. That is a distraction and we should evaluate why we’re wearing something from this standpoint. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy looking nice or have designer clothes, scripture does use the qualifier “merely” or “only”, but if your goal is to show off, there in lies the problem.

  5. C

    I think another problem with giving girls the stumbling block message is that you are instilling them with a sense of shame over their God given bodies. Once they feel that shame, and the more negative messages they hear–the worse the effects will be.

  6. Healing

    Somewhere I saw someone say this comment and it made me think, “Wow!!!”

    Evangelicals think women are both the problem (stumbling blocks causing men to lust) and the solution (have more sex with your husband to keep him from lusting).

    This idea of female objectification starts early. We have children in elementary school and according to the school dress code, they are NOT allowed to wear leggings, jeggings or yoga pants. ELEMENTARY KIDS.

    It’s gross.


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