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This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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Jail Imposes Dress Code for Visitors

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Guards at the St. Joseph County Jail are doing double duty as fashion police, enforcing new regulations that prohibit visitors from wearing scanty attire.

The new rules are on a sign posted at the jail entrance, the South Bend Tribune reported Tuesday. See-through tops, mini skirts and short shorts are out, and underwear is required to remain invisible. Hats also are banned, since they can be used to smuggle items into the jail or may be a gang emblem.

“A lot of people have gotten away with inappropriate clothing in the past. Hopefully this will prevent it,” said Keith Rininger, director of inmate services at the jail.

Warm weather brings out more bare skin, but sometimes visitors bare even more, officials say.

“We’ve had women flash the men they come in to see,” Rininger said.

In the confines of a jail, such behavior can cause problems, he said. “I don’t know how to put it delicately, but when men are locked up for a long time and they see their girlfriend, or their wife, or someone else’s girlfriend, it can cause tension. That’s not a good thing in this kind of environment,” he said.

AP, May 19, 2004

Analysis:

It is that time of the year again when temperatures rise and clothes are shed. The above article makes note of the effect which insufficient clothing has on men.

As the director of inmate services at the St. Joseph County Jail noted, “It can cause tension.” The tension of which he speaks is sexual tension, the byproduct of lewd dress. While the world recognizes the part that dress plays in inciting lust, it seems that some Christians can not see the danger.

In the book of Proverbs, the wise man instructed his son to be satisfied with his wife, stating, “For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral woman, and be embraced in the arms of a seductress?” (5:20). In noting that the immoral woman “enraptures” and “seduces” a man, it is natural to ask how such seduction is accomplished? The obvious answer is that it is done through a physical display. Sexual attraction results from physical display, and men are especially influenced in this way. A woman who dresses in such a way as to incite lust in men is an immoral woman.

The woman of God is not to be this way. She should follow the instructions of Peter, “And let not your adornment be merely external – braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:3-4, NASB).