Mailbag

The Mailbag: Modesty and having a male OB-GYN (Plus: “I’m working on it.”)

Similar to the public breastfeeding question, what is your perspective regarding women having male gynecologists? It seems to me they would be just as vulnerable to lust as any other man.

Well…it certainly would seem so, but I think this situation is a bit different. Great thinking, though!

Scripture is clear that godly women are to dress modestly in public…

and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 1 Corinthians 12:23

likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 1 Timothy 2:9

…and that men are committing adultery of the heart when they lust after women:

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28

My article, The Mailbag: Should Christian Women Cover Up While Breastfeeding addresses a public situation in which there are several alternatives to a woman exposing her breasts to any and every passerby, and most of them are not earth-shatteringly inconvenient. Furthermore, the men in a public setting who may see a woman who’s nursing are random onlookers who have no business seeing her…um…business.

Having an OB-GYN exam isn’t quite that simple nor is it the same. An OB-GYN has to look at, and touch, your exposed anatomy. You can’t cover up and still receive a proper exam. And that’s what an OB-GYN signed on for. He expects to see, and assumes responsibility for seeing exposed female anatomy as part of his job. That’s not the case for random men in a public place. Those men do not expect to, nor agree to see women’s exposed body parts when they go to the store or the dentist or the library. There’s an assumption that people in public places will have their body parts covered. And speaking of public places, an OB-GYN exam does not take place in public, but in private. You’re not exposed for the world to see, only for the professionally trained doctor who’s performing a specific service for you that not just anyone is qualified to perform. Scripture’s admonitions to women about modesty pertain to dressing modestly in public. That applies to nursing in public. It does not apply to undressing for a doctor’s appointment in private.

Another thing we need to keep in mind when considering this issue is that seeing a certain body part doesn’t automatically equal lust for every man. When you’re out in public exposed to a bunch of random men, it’s likely lust is an issue for many of them because for the vast majority of men, female nudity is connected only to one thing – sex. But when you’re seeing a trained OB-GYN, it’s unlikely he’s lusting after you because his main connection – 40 hours a week or more – to exposed female anatomy is work. He’s used to looking at female anatomy all day every day, and he’s used to looking at it in a professional, clinical, sterile context, not in the context of sex, so that, in the context of his work, he probably doesn’t give your anatomy any more thought than an ENT who’s treating your ear infection or a gastroenterologist who’s treating your ulcer. Any OB-GYN who struggles with the sin of lust in that situation needs to get a new job, just like anyone who struggles with gluttony probably shouldn’t be working at the Krispy Kreme, and anyone who struggles with greed, coveting, and stealing shouldn’t be working at a bank.

If it makes you uncomfortable to have a male OB-GYN, you can certainly use a female doctor instead, if that’s an option, but sometimes it isn’t. You might live in a small town where the only OB-GYN is a male. Your insurance company may not happen to offer a female OB-GYN as one of their preferred providers. You might go into labor while your female OB is on vacation and the only doctors covering for her are male.

Bottom line: It’s very unlikely your exposed anatomy is causing your OB-GYN to lust after you, and if he does, that’s on him, not on you, because, in the context of his exam room, you’re not disobeying Scripture’s admonition to dress modestly in public.


I’m working on it, I promise.

A whole passel of y’all have asked me two questions of late:

1. What do you know about The Bible Recap with Tara-Leigh Cobble? Is it doctrinally sound? Should I use the books, podcast, or Bible reading plan? What about D-Group?

As long-time readers may know, I hiatus every year from about mid-November to early January. I run a lot of holiday-themed article reruns, I don’t create a lot of new content, and I lay off the research. The questions about TBR / TLC started flooding in around Decemberish in the middle of my hiatus, so I’ve only just started my research on this. I’m listening to the podcast and I’ll start digging in to the other aspects of TBR / TLC soon. I know you want answers, but I also know you don’t want a knee-jerk, poorly substantiated answer. I’ll get it to you as soon as I can, either here or on the podcast.

In the meantime, if you’ve run across anything problematic with TBR / TLC, I’d appreciate a heads up. Email me with the specifics: links, page numbers, screenshots, exact quotes, video, etc.

2. I’ve heard Francine Rivers’ book Redeeming Love is being made into a movie. Can you comment on this? The book seems so explicit for a Christian novel. Is it OK for teenage girls to read the book or watch the movie?

Well, I bit the bullet (I really don’t like romances, secular or Christian), checked the book out of the library, and I’m a little over halfway finished. I plan to see the movie soon. Two things on this:

First, if you have specific concerns (not just “this is an awful book” or other generalities), about the book or movie, email me.

Next, it’s my understanding that RL has been revised several times over the years. The one I’m reading is the 1997 / 2007 copyright version. If you’ve read that version and any more recent versions and you’ve noticed major differences between them that would affect whether I would give the book a thumbs up or thumbs down, can you please email me and let me know?

Thanks for your patient understanding and your help.


If you have a question about: a Bible passage, an aspect of theology, a current issue in Christianity, or how to biblically handle a family, life, or church situation, comment below (I’ll hold all questions in queue {unpublished} for a future edition of The Mailbag) or send me an e-mail or private message. If your question is chosen for publication, your anonymity will be protected.

Podcast Appearances

Podcast Guest Appearance – Echo Zoe Radio

It was so great to sit down and chat once again with my friend, Andy Olson for another episode of Echo Zoe Radio!

On previous episodes, we’ve talked about women’s ministry, the New Apostolic Reformation, and even a potpourri of topics! This time, listen in as we discuss Christian Liberty. How can we distinguish between sins or commands of Scripture, and issues of Christian liberty? What are some of the ubiquitous issues of Christian liberty we face today? Tune in and find out!

Click here to listen…

…or check out episode 165 of Echo Zoe radio on your favorite podcast platform!

Visit the Echo Zoe Radio website for more super interviews and articles, and for all the EZR social media links. Subscribe and follow!

Articles / resources mentioned or touched on in the episode:

A Word Fitly Spoken Podcast

Christian Liberty (AWFS episode)

Is Christmas Pagan?

Nativity Scenes and the Second Commandment

Discovering Head Covering

Why Our Church No Longer Plays Bethel or Hillsong Music (or Elevation or Jesus Culture), and Neither Should Yours

The Mailbag: Halloween vs. Yoga? 

Searching for a new church?


Got a podcast of your own or have a podcasting friend who needs a guest? Need a speaker for a women’s conference or church event? Click the “Speaking Engagements” tab in the blue menu bar at the top of this page, drop me an e-mail, and let’s chat!

Church

Throwback Thursday ~ Finding a New Church- Starting from Scratch

Originally published March 29, 2008

When my husband and I have looked for a new church in the past, we’ve had our choices narrowed down for us because we are comfortable in our denomination and are not looking to change. When you’re starting from scratch, you have a lot more choices to wade through, so it can be more difficult. Here are a few guidelines I’d suggest.

1. The absolute most important thing is to find a church that preaches and teaches only what matches up with what the Bible says, and all of what the Bible says. In other words, they shouldn’t be teaching anything that’s clearly contrary to Scripture and they shouldn’t be leaving things out that are unpopular because they’re afraid they won’t attract as many people.

2. Pray about it. Ask God to lead you to exactly the right church in which to serve Him.

3. If you were raised in a particular denomination and felt comfortable in it, that might be a good place to start, either at the same church or a different church of the same denomination.

4. Ask around. Ask Christian friends about their churches and try visiting with them one Sunday. If you end up joining, you have the bonus of already knowing someone.

5. Do your homework. If there’s a particular church or denomination you’re interested in, chances are, they have a web site. There will probably be a section on the web site called “Our Statement of Faith” or something like that. Check that out and make sure all the tenets line up with Scripture. (But do bear in mind a significant number of churches have a perfectly biblical statement of faith “on paper” but they do not adhere to it in practice, or they are unbiblical in an area the statement of faith doesn’t cover. The best a statement of faith can do for you is to weed out some of the really bad churches. It’s not a guarantee that a church is good.) A lot of churches also have their pastor’s sermons and/or their music on line, so you can get a feel for how things go on Sundays. You’ll also be able to find out when services start, what kinds of programs are available, whether or not they have a nursery, etc.

6. “Interview” churches. Most pastors I know would be thrilled to death if a prospective visitor would call up and make an appointment to come in and talk to them about the church. Ask him whatever you want, find out what’s required for membership, share your concerns, etc. He should be able to answer your queries openly and honestly. I would be very leery about attending a church if the pastor seemed secretive about general doctrinal issues, his own background, or church activities. Sometimes just meeting with the pastor will give you an idea of whether or not you want to give the church a try.

7. Try it on for size. You might fall in love with the first church you try, or it might be like shoe shopping and you have to try several before you find one that fits.

Don’t give up. God has a place for you somewhere.


Additional Resources

Searching for a new church? Lots of great church search engines, plus check out the “What to look for in a church” section, especially if you’re a new Believer or coming out of an unbiblical church background.

How Can I Find a Good Church? 

7 Reasons Church is Not Optional and Non-Negotiable for Christians

Uncategorized

The Word on Wednesdays

Hi ladies! I hope you enjoyed our most recent Bible study, Judges, and that you’re looking forward to our new study as much as I am.

I’ll be taking a break for a few more weeks getting ready for our new study. I hope you’ll enjoy it and that it will edify you as you seek to grow in Christ and His Word. (The picture above does not mean we will be studying James. :0) Stay tuned, and keep an eye on the blog on Wednesdays.

In the meantime, I’ll be posting some articles from the archives that I think you’ll find helpful as we make our way toward our next study. Here is this week’s article:

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday is Bible study day here on the blog. In my Wednesday’s Word Bible study series you’ll find miscellaneous, one lesson Bible studies from each book of the Bible. One chapter of Scripture followed by study questions. This sampler series demonstrates that there’s nothing to be afraid of when approaching those “lesser known” books and that every book of the Bible is valuable and worth studying.

Wednesday’s Word ~ Habakkuk 2

I will take my stand at my watchpost
    and station myself on the tower,
and look out to see what he will say to me,
    and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

And the Lord answered me… Continue Reading…

Discernment, Speaking Engagements

Report Back & Video: Sister 2 Sister Meeting

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of speaking live, via Zoom, to Church of the Open Door’s quarterly Sister 2 Sister women’s meeting, held in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

As this was sort of a “micro-conference,” I taught for about 30 minutes on the topic of Discernment, followed by about 30 minutes of Q&A with some super questions from the ladies in attendance.

If you’d like to watch the video,
please click here.

If you’d like to access the handout that goes with
the teaching session, please click here.

Articles / resources mentioned or touched on in the video:

What is the New Apostolic Reformation?

Is She a False Teacher? 7 Steps to Figuring it Out on Your Own

The Mailbag: Potpourri (…Heretical book disposal) (I think this is the article I was thinking of and mentioned in answer to the first Q&A question.)

Women Preaching: It’s Not a Secondary Doctrinal Issue

Learning from the Sins of Others: Ravi Zacharias

Recommended Bible Teachers

Answering the Opposition- Responses to the Most Frequently Raised Discernment Objections #3, 8

Popular False Teachers & Unbiblical Trends

Tony Evans

Why Our Church No Longer Plays Bethel or Hillsong Music (or Elevation or Jesus Culture), and Neither Should Yours

The Mailbag: False Doctrine in Contemporary Christian Music


If your church or organization is ever in need of a speaker for a women’s event, I’d love to come share with your ladies as well. Click here for more information.