How many times have we heard this as an excuse to wear bikinis, tight tights as pants, low-cut shirts and so on?
“My husband likes me in it. I am fulfilling one of my wifey duties!”
Ermm. Yes. BUT! Don’t you dare stop reading, this is not the entire story here.
In St. Thomas Aquinas’ “Summa Theologica” you can clearly see where the whole, “dressing for your hubby” comes from.
“Nevertheless a woman may use means to please her husband, lest through despising her he fall into adultery. Hence it is written (1 Corinthians 7:34) that the woman “that is married thinketh on the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” Wherefore if a married woman adorn herself in order to please her husband she can do this without sin.” (Question 169. Modesty in the outward apparel. Article 2.)
This makes total sense (duh, it’s the Summa – why would I ever want to criticize the Summa?) – why wouldn’t a woman be able to dress as her husband pleases, (in pants, bikini, whatever) ? He would not be sinning, because they are married. (This can be looked into much further; just read St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body)
So, what’s the problem? The problem is that women are not informed (it seems) on the entire matter. Just because the wife can wear anything around her husband, does not mean she can do so around others! After all; a husband and wife (to put it simply) can “pay the marriage debt” without sin (if done so under the correct conditions!) So, why would the way they dress be an occasion of sin for each other? The fact of the matter is, under no condition are a husband or wife able to do so with anyone other than their husband/wife. They are NOT married to anyone else, and to do certain things with others is a grave sin. (Fornication? Adultery? Lust?) This is a “special reserve” you could say, for the married couple.
St. Thomas Aquinas also says in his Summa Theologica, “As regards the adornment of women, we must bear in mind the general statements made above (Article 1) concerning outward apparel, and also something special, namely that a woman’s apparel may incite men to lust, according to Proverbs 7:10, ‘Behold a woman meeteth him in harlot’s attire, prepared to deceive souls.’ ” Also, see Matthew 5; 27-30: “You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart. And if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell. And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell.”
There are entire blogs posts, articles and books that can be written about how a woman can be an occasion of sin for man (and vice versa!) But I will end here with this;