King David did not climb into bed with Bathsheba because he saw her naked but because he followed his own sinful heart. However, it is dishonest to say she was not culpable.
David was a popular, fifty-year-old-plus king of one of the greatest nations on earth and he would have been wise to follow his own advice in Psalm 24:4 as to having a pure heart when he saw Bathsheba taking a bath. Even though David had multiple wives and concubines, he wanted what was illegal for him to have. He wanted Bathsheba and he took her and paid for it for the rest of his life. King David’s sinful urge of the moment became a sorrowful scourge of a lifetime.
When the king viewed from his rooftop a young, beautiful Bathsheba bathing, he was not concerned with her dress but her undress. David manipulated people and events to get her into his bed; after all, he was the king and some perks went with that position. This was an example of God’s man not acting like God’s man.
There are a few theologians who teach that Bathsheba trapped David, but that is conjecture. The king was guilty but Bathsheba was also blameworthy. After all, she did reveal her body and while a subject of David’s, she did not cry “rape.” Even in that absolute monarchy, a principled woman, if she wanted to be believed, should have resisted as Deut. 22:24 requires her to do. Even if she had played him like a banjo to get him into bed, he was a big boy and he made the decision. Both of them were responsible for the sin of adultery.
Females have often been instructed to dress modestly because seductive dress will make men lust after them. Moreover, females should dress modestly because it is right to do so. It is honoring to Christ for women and men to dress modestly.
Evidently, Bathsheba was not concerned about bathing where others could see her just as many modern women are not concerned about dressing immodestly. Detractors charge that promoters of modesty believe that sex is sinful and the human body is dirty and bad, but such talk comes from people who are frantically looking for a supportive argument. It is a fact that all body organs and skin are not made equal. Most men will quickly agree that female breasts are much more interesting than elbows, but you knew that didn’t you!
Speaking to husbands, Proverbs 5:19 declares: “let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” Ravished means to be drunk, so sex between husband and wife is expected to be fervent, frequent and fantastic (for wife as well as husband). However, it is immoral for a female to uncover her body to gain attention from men who don’t have a legitimate right to see her. Critics accuse advocates of modesty of being sexually repressive, but that is a childish, empty argument.
The creator of the miniskirt and hot pants, fashion designer Mary Quant said, “I love vulgarity. Good taste is death, vulgarity is life.” What a fool! She proved that when you drink from a polluted fountain you always get polluted water. She helped make vulgarity arguable, available, then acceptable.
Some people uncover their body not to tempt others but simply to exhibit themselves. In other words, many women are exhibitionists and might be shocked if men approached them for sexual activity. Those women would be shocked if a man misread their intentions and approached them for sex, but those women must share a part of the blame for sending unwanted signals to predator men.
The Apostle Paul told women in I Tim. 2:9, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” That passage teaches women to dress appropriately without any excesses that would attract unwarranted attention to them. It was common in that day for women to weave thin gold and silver strips and wire into their hair. Paul was informing them and us that that is unnecessary, unacceptable, and undesirable and was now unscriptural.
The Apostle Paul was telling us that it is not good for Christian ladies to pay such attention to their hair as the heathen do. All dress for both genders should be suitable for the place, time, and occasion. Paul was also saying that women should pay attention to themselves because neglect is just as wrong as the other extreme. A woman should not be an offense to any class of people and during those days, the church had people from all social strata. He is not saying that the use of gold and silver is wrong, only the excessive use is wrong. He is saying: “Stop trying to appear like the wicked ladies around you. You are servants of Christ. Act and dress like it.”
In ancient Greece, the wife of Phocion, an illustrious Athenian general, had a visit from a rich lady who was elegantly adorned with gold and jewels, and her hair festooned with pearls. The visitor took occasion to call attention to the elegance and costliness of her dress but her host replied, “My ornament is my husband, now for the twentieth year general of the Athenians.” Good putdown. She valued her longtime marriage more than gold, silver, and pearls; she did not feel a need to use gold and silver to establish her person, her prestige or her place in the world.
Both men and women should err on the side of caution. It is better to be too narrow than too broad. Women’s dress should be modest (not frumpy) and men should keep their eyes on her elbows–and their hands to themselves. When advantage is taken, the man should receive a sock in the chops if he rapes her, he should go to prison for life!
The Bible warns us in I Pet. 3:4 not to be so concerned with clothes, gold, and jewels but “let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”
It’s a fact: God knows what’s important; but evidently, many powerful men and women do not.
Immodest women have hung signs around their necks: “Handle roughly–for sale–cheap–use and toss away.” While their immodesty does not cause sexual attacks, it surely contributes to them.
And men, being men are doing what unscrupulous, uncaring, and unprincipled men always do.
Dr. Don Boys is a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives; ran a large Christian school in Indianapolis, wrote columns for USA Today for eight years and authored 16 books. Follow Dr. Boys on Facebook at CSTNews and Twitter, and visit his blog.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.