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A Beautiful Woman Without Discretion

No one can make another person sin, but everyone, of course, has the potential to become a stumbling block to somebody else. Hypocrisy, discouragement, and false teaching can all contribute to provoking someone else to doubt, anxiety, or error. Then again, we can provoke one of the strongest sinful longings that exists simply by the way that we attire or carry ourselves. A beautiful woman without a sense of discretion is hardly uncommon, but a beautiful, godly woman without discretion is sad and disturbing.

I. Proper for Sound Doctrine

    A. Discreet, Chaste

        1. one of the most powerful things a young woman possesses is her body; it has the potential to tie a young man up in knots and tempt him to act any way she wishes

        2. that kind of power demands just as much responsibility; otherwise, she can end up provoking him to lustful thoughts and even violent behavior

        3. we understand the goal of being attractive and stylish and of being admired by boys as pretty and desirable, but exposing the body in a way that causes him to sin is going too far

        4. the New Testament leads Christian girls to present themselves in a way that is at once beautiful and wholesome (Titus 2:4-5)

            a. some of that passage is only applicable to young married women, but all of it begins in the formative years by adding virtue upon virtue

            b. every young woman is capable of pursuing and achieving a state of discreetness and chastity

                a. discreet: “curbing one's desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate”

                b. chaste: “pure from carnality, chaste, … pure from every fault, immaculate”


    B. Lust in the Heart

        1. men are weak and young men are particularly vulnerable to being overly excited by displays of female flesh; some spend every waking hour hoping for just a glimpse, but nowadays it rarely takes that long to catch a look at the more private parts of a girl’s figure

        2. for the worldly boy, it’s just fine, but for the boy who is trying to keep his mind pure so that he can please God, it is a nightmare; he wants to see it, but he doesn’t want to want to see it

        3. life is a battlefield and the indiscreet girl is giving the devil the ammunition; she is allowing her body to be used as a tool of temptation (Matthew 5:27-28)

        4. the reply to this is often that his lust is solely his problem, but it’s clearly not that simple


    C. Stumbling Block

        1. we cannot afford to allow ourselves to be the obstacle over which someone else stumbles, because we like to be the object of fantasy, because we wrongly think it is somebody else’s problem, or because we just don’t care (Matthew 18:6-9)

        2. some young women defend their unchaste behavior by saying they can do whatever they want with their bodies, but the body of a Christian girl is more God’s than her own (see First Corinthians 6:18-20, Romans 12:1-2)

        3. there are few creations more exquisite than the human female, but knowing the power behind that is necessary to exercising discretion (Proverbs 11:22, 31:30)


II. Discretion

    A. Overexposed

        1. there are certain parts of the body that have greater potential than others to evoke, not just admiration, but lust

        2. the chest, the thighs, the midriff, and the buttocks, when exposed or emphasized, can be expected to provoke intense yearning, uncivilized remarks, and genuine ungodliness

        3. exercising discretion allows the beautiful woman, as well as the plain, to avoid becoming a stumbling block


    B. It Matters

        1. it is not that the New Testament prescribes a mandatory hemline or neckline, nor will we deign to legislate one

        2. it is that we are falling into a habit of exposing more and more skin to the delight of the tempter and the destruction of our brothers

        3. it is that God will hold us accountable for becoming a stumbling block when we could have exercised discretion, especially in the hour of worship, and didn’t care



A beautiful woman without discretion is not nearly so beautiful as she could be. These principles are also applicable to young men, for women are also prone to falling into lust, and we all need to exercise chastity and discretion in our behavior and appearance.


Questions For Review

  1. What makes the female form so powerful?
  2. Define discreet.
  3. Define chaste.
  4. Besides clothing, what figures into discretion and chastity?
  5. What does the man risk by merely lusting in his heart?
  6. What is the accountability of someone who is a stumbling block?
  7. Explain why a man also must practice discretion.

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