As most of you know, the past few months in America—a time frame that roughly coincides with the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage and Bruce Jenner’s much-publicized transformation from a man to a “woman”—there’s been a new trend coming to a university campus near you. Actually, it’s not just confined to university campuses either—it’s becoming trendy in your local public schools too! Here it is: Men are starting to use women’s restrooms, and women are starting to use men’s restrooms, depending on which gender they have the most affinity with on any given day. Furthermore, it’s not even confined to restrooms any more either: Locker rooms are also involved. So now our culture’s general lack of common sense has even gone this far: Guys are allowed to change in girls' locker rooms after gym class. Sounds like almost every teenage guy’s dream has just come true…
So what’s the matter with this picture? Well, it seems ridiculous to even have to address that question, but I guess in our mixed-up culture that has jettisoned the Bible’s good old-fashioned common sense for…well, for something completely other than that—it’s hard to know what to call it except nonsense—the question has to be addressed. Honestly, in my wildest dreams I never thought I would have to give a reasonable answer to something so self-evident—did any of you over 15 years old ever think you’d have to? If I were to suggest something so ludicrous to one of my grandpas, they would have laughed in my face!
But we’re not laughing now, are we? Least of all, many of the teenage girls who are being left to guard their already-fragile self images not just from the judgmental eyes of female peers, but from the leering eyes of whatever Junior High guy who happens to feel like a girl that day. It’s lunacy.
But why is it lunacy? That’s a good question that deserves a good answer. The short answer comes in 2 small words: Natural modesty. The long answer? Well, that’s where I get to invite you to take a trip with me down memory lane. Folks, come with me back to the Garden of Eden…
Adam and Eve were created perfect, in a sinless world. But they willingly sinned, and after eating the forbidden fruit, the first thing—the very first thing—the Bible records about the result of that original sin was this—you can read about it in Genesis 3:7: “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
Adam and Eve were husband and wife. They had seen themselves naked before. And that didn’t matter to them before they had sinned! Furthermore, they were the only 2 people on earth. They weren’t protecting themselves from the leering eyes of anyone else in the Garden! They were only protecting themselves from each other’s eyes. This, my friends, is natural modesty.
Natural modesty was God’s Plan B when it came to safeguarding our sexuality. Plan A was great: Create people. They don’t ever sin. They’re naked and don’t care. Voila! All is good. But when sin entered the world, Plan B became necessary. Now that sin had opened Adam and Eve’s eyes, they began to see their sexuality differently. Now they became conscious of their nakedness. Now what was meant to be natural was something to be treated more carefully, much more carefully.
You see, God knew that in a sin-filled world, our natural desires for our wife or husband would be twisted and perverted and be generalized to all sorts of people, especially to those who looked good to us. In fact, that’s exactly what Samson—the most noted person in the Bible who had a problem with lust—told his dad was the reason he wanted to get together with that Philistine gal down the street: “She looks good to me!”
And it’s been that way ever since. Natural modesty is that trait, that basic human characteristic, which causes us to have a desire to cover up at least some of our most prized possessions. I know, I know, I’ve seen the National Geographic photos too—some cultures cover up a whole lot less than we do in the West—but they still cover up something—and that’s natural modesty. It’s part of being human.
Natural modesty is a great gift from God to us. It’s that trait that is given by Him to us to help preserve us from lust, Satan’s great counterfeit for love. Natural modesty is given to us to safeguard our eyes from seeing parts of others that God only wants us to see in our spouse. More than that, it’s God’s way of keeping us appropriately apart from members of the opposite gender until we’re actually married to one. Natural modesty helps keep us from both seeing and experiencing encounters with members of the opposite gender that God wants us to only experience with our spouse.
And therein lies the problem we’re experiencing in our culture now. Already, the natural modesty of young children is being pummeled by the graphic sexual education that is being taught in many public schools in our Western world. Increasingly, it is becoming impossible for people of faith to even opt their kids out of these classes. Guys using girls’ locker rooms is merely the next step in this process. By starting the graphic encouragement and acceptance of sexual activity of all sorts—except abstinence, of course—at a young, tender age, and then supplementing it with this latest travesty of gender-neutral bathrooms and locker rooms, God’s ingrained natural modesty that we’re born with is effectively neutralized by the time our kids leave high school. Game, set and match, Satan.
With natural modesty being removed or at least significantly lessened, the door is now wide open by the time those same teens enter college for any and all sorts of lustful and indulgent activities to take place, which they are.
I remember back in the early ‘90s when I was shocked and amazed that in small, small town Saskatchewan, Canada, where I was pastoring, the local high school principal would not bend or budge when we tried to convince him to let abstinence-based education into his school. You realize, right, that if we were all able to exercise self-control in our sex lives, many of society's ills would be significantly lessened? Pre-marital sex results in virtually all abortions in the Western world each year. Extra-marital sex is a huge contributing factor to divorces in our world today. And the encouragement of sexual perversion and promiscuity generally has thrown the door wide open on homosexuality in our Western culture, and the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases. Once again, game, set and match, Satan.
So why should men use the men’s room, and for that matter, women the women’s room? Because the more we can do today to preserve the lingering vestige of natural modesty in our teens and young adults the better. Plus, this new trend just doesn’t feel right, does it? Just like it didn’t feel right for Adam and Eve in the Garden after they sinned. And that’s the point: It’s not meant to feel right, instinctively. God wired us that way for a reason: To safeguard our eyes, emotions and sensibilities from many things of the opposite gender that God only wants us to experience with our spouse.
Keep those fig leaves on, folks. This side of the Fall, it just feels better that way…