Analysis: EMELDA MUSONDA
TODAY we have witnessed unprecedented levels of indecent dressing among our womenfolk.
One just needs to take a drive around the city of Lusaka, for instance, to determine the levels of indecency.
Perhaps if a research was conducted in Lusaka, statistics would look like this: “In every three women that one meets, one is indecently dressed”, which could even be an underestimation.
While people may argue that indecency is subjective, there is a level which cannot be justified regardless of which lenses one uses to view it.
In this case, indecency refers to bum shorts, see-through tops which expose the skin in the wrong places, skimpy dresses and skirts that expose thighs, waste line, cleavage or breasts, and any other sensitive areas which are ordinarily supposed to be hidden.
Unfortunately some of this indecent dressing has filtered its way into workplaces and, most unfortunate of all, churches.
Zambia Daily Mail recently reinforced its dress code policy as a way of curbing indecent dressing among its employees.
A named church in Lusaka was also recently prompted to prescribe modest and long attires for women, especially those who serve in front.
Whereas those who operate from institutions which enforce modest dressing may be protected from indecent exposure within those premises, the problem of indecent dressing is widespread.
Just driving to and from work or church, one is bound to be exposed to countless images of indecently dressed women.
I was shocked one day, when I met a woman in her fifties at Manda Hill shopping mall in small shorts, fitting the category of underwear.
Though most women may claim innocence for indecent dressing, it is viewed by many as a deliberate act to seduce men. One Nigerian preacher, Dr Paul Enenche, describes it as “Marketing of flesh”.
According to Dr Enenche, women are expected to dress modestly as prescribed by the Bible and anything short of that is a conscious decision to market their flesh to the opposite sex.
Psychologists have validated through research that men because of the way they are wired, are sexually affected by visual clues.
At the sight of a woman’s body a man can be sexually stimulated.
While there are men of high moral calibre like Joseph, who would at the sight of sexual sin flee, there are also those who would entertain it until they are consumed by it.
Some men may claim innocence of fornication and adultery because as far as they are concerned they have never had physical sexual encounter before or outside marriage.
But the painful truth is that in the eyes of God, even just looking at a woman lustfully is considered sexual sin.
It starts with looking, then the message is sent to the brain and all sorts of imaginations start running through the mind.
One Ghanaian pastor once narrated how shocked he was when God revealed to him that he was living in sexual sin.
According to the pastor, he had never known any woman sexually and was doing his very best to serve God.
However, God reminded him of the many times he had lusted after women on the streets and even in church.
The man of God confessed how shameful it felt; as he recollected how many women he had taken to bed through his mind.
With the escalated levels of indecent dressing by women today, men are constantly under moral tests. To pass this test they need to constantly discard every wrong image their eyes sets on.
It is however saddening that many have through their eyes enrolled themselves as candidates for hell.
What is even more saddening is that today we have adultery and fornication going on, even in the middle of church services as the Ghanaian pastor confessed.
Living at a time synonymous to that of Sodom and Gomorrah, it is important for men to equip themselves with self-control to avoid falling at every sight of indecency.
For instance, Job understood very well that through sight he could easily slip into sin. It is for this reason that he made a covenant with his eyes never to look at a young woman lustfully (Job 31:1).
It is from the lust of the eyes that many have graduated to physical sexual sin and subsequently ended up in destruction.
Amid so many temptations, God still expects men to come out clean. Those who fail to do so will be held accountable on Judgment Day for failure to apply self-control.
The Bible says no man is tempted beyond what they can bear.
Joseph was in a much tighter situation but he escaped, so there is no excuse for anyone who fails to escape because there is always a way out. It is said, where there is a will there is a way.
However, the problem is that some men voluntarily surrender themselves to the lust of the eyes because of the temporary pleasure it brings them, notwithstanding the consequences which include eternal destruction.
The Bible in 1 Corinthians 6:9 states, “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men.
Sexual sin, whether physical or mental is an automatic disqualification from inheriting the Kingdom of God.
While men will be judged for lack of self-control, women who through their indecent dressing have positioned themselves as signposts directing men to destruction will also be held accountable.
Given that we are now living in times when nakedness to some has become fashionable, men are safer getting closer to God and dwelling in His word. King David understood that the only way to escape sin is by depositing the word of God into his life. This is why he made statements like, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:11).
The question that men will do well to ask themselves now is, “Am I free from the lust of the eyes?
If the answer is no, one can make a cautious decision to live right in accordance with God’s word.
To help some men who may not be able to stand indecent images, women also need to dress modestly.
Women should always ensure that every time they leave home they do not label themselves as a signpost pointing men to hell through seductive dressing.
As a Christian nation and for the sake of those who may have lost their conscience, Government should ponder on regulating the dress code to preserve some level of decency.
The author is Zambia Daily Mail editorials editor.