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A few years back I made an incredible discovery: the King James version of the Bible. Yeah, I know it has been around for a while, but I used to think of it as a little stiff and a lot archaic; a little too much starch in the collar, and too many shades of drab gray! As I began to turn to it as my primary version of study, I was exhilarated with its beauty, cleverness, eloquence, color, contrast, and the mastery of language it exhibited. It appropriately uses the most majestic words possible, because it is, in fact, the very Word of God, and it deserves the highest language we can offer.
Now, this is not an article trying to sell a particular version of the Bible. As long as you are studying a word-for-word translation, I am a happy camper. The reason I bring it up is because the KJV uses some really clever phrases. We would never dream of using them in everyday English, but they are incredible, truth-filled word pictures. I want to focus on one phrase in particular: “Gird up the loins of your mind.”
See? Isn’t the King James awesome? Okay, I might be the only one excited about this phrase. However, I bet you will be too by the end of this, because it is so inspiring! The full context of the phrase is from 1 Peter 1:13: “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (KJV). Here is why I find this so fascinating and powerful; the human mind, left to its own cravings, invents all sorts of deviant, disgusting thoughts. In both men and women, an unbridled mind can explore the slimy depths of human depravity, ranging from lust to fear, from seething hatred to self-aggrandizing fantasies. All of it is gross, wrong, and wicked. Yet Peter commands believers to gird up the loins of their minds. Why?
If we let the flesh run rampant within a man or woman’s life, all sorts of twisting and perversion ensues. The fact is, we pop out of the womb forced into conformity to the world’s pattern. Then, as we grow, we willingly embrace this helter-skelter race to destruction. It is why girls run to any guy that will offer them security and so-called love. It is why guys go on the prowl for whatever they can get out of any woman around.
This is you and this is me, without Jesus. However, when God grips a man or a woman, there is an absolute transformation of soul, mind, and habits. I am going to make a bold statement: God changes your life! Whoa, novel thought, I know! He works so mightily that your mind is no longer allowed to “roam free;” it is instead “girded up!” It is as if there is a “belt” wrapped around the straying threads of meandering thoughts. No longer is the mind permitted to go off-roading; rather, like a train, it remains fixed to the rails of the track. A mind ruled by the Spirit of God is guided by the perfectly straight, honorable, and pure railway of the Word of Truth, love, and virtue.
I have a friend who calls the typical guy’s mind a “tentacular brain.” Imagine octopus tentacles reaching out of the mind and grabbing onto any little fantasy or deviant thought; that is a mind ruled by the fleshly lusts of this world. However, when the mind and thought processes of a man are yielded to the Spirit of God, it is like a mighty belt comes along, wraps up every tentacle, and shoves them back into the proper cranial place! By the way, this is not just some idyllic dream – this is the reality of my mind and the minds of other warrior-poets!
Ladies, even though most guys’ minds are ruled by deviant cravings, you can have hope that there is a drastically different sort of man out there. Nevertheless, your hope is not that there are warrior-poets out there who have enough mental fortitude to not think lustful thoughts; your hope is in the fact that when God possesses a man, that man’s mind is then harnessed by the almighty Spirit of God. Thus, if you were to take a peek into a warrior-poet’s mind, he would never have need to blush. He lives without shame, for he walks with the understanding that, as Paul says, he has the mind of Christ (see Phil. 2:5). Christ’s mind is not ruled by perversion; it is holy, harmless, thoughtful, kind, considerate, and loving.
The world’s pattern for masculinity and womanhood is rather – ahem – unsavory. And to explain what I mean by “unsavory,” I turn to the thesaurus, which offers these synonyms: unappealing, repugnant, unattractive, disgusting, revolting, nauseating, sickening, vile, unpleasant, undesirable, disagreeable, nasty, immoral, dishonorable, unprincipled, unscrupulous, and villainous. Hopefully, that makes it clear how I feel in regards to the twisting of our God-given masculinity or femininity. Yes, a man ruled by natural cravings is despicable. A man, in and of himself, will certainly degenerate into crudity, perverseness, and thoughts sullied with wickedness! However, when a man yields himself unto God, there is an absolute transformation within his life. He is not the same; in fact, he has to be different! Not only that, but he actually wants to be different; and he fights, bites, scrapes, and claws to yield to the full alteration process of the Holy Spirit. He refuses to settle for “normal.”
Furthermore, when such a man sees all-too-typical masculine deviancy, it is revolting to him. His fist balls up and through clenched teeth of determination he says, “For the glory of my King, it will not be so in my mind, and I will fight to set other men free from this lechery.” Such a man is certainly an awesome thing to behold. It may be rare, but it does exist. A warrior-poet refuses to be subjugated or debased, even by his own mind. Where other men enjoy free reign of mental wanderings, a man of God sees a deviant thought as a foe to be vanquished, not a friend to be cherished. He knows that welcoming such a guest into the home of his mind is like inviting a venomous cobra to dinner.
However, here is the problem ladies, and here is where I must make an appeal on behalf of warrior-poets everywhere: could you frame your physique to draw attention to your face and not your form? Would you please adorn yourself in such a way that draws our eyes to heaven? Would you speak to us with courtesy and not flirtation? Would you remain a “garden enclosed,” and refrain from making yourself open and vulnerable to every guy that comes along? I know there is a panic that you’ll never catch a guy’s eye, and Prince Charming will never notice that you, Sleeping Beauty, have been patiently waiting for him for, like, a long time! You do not need to “catch” us with your feminine craft or charm; trust that at the perfect time God will awaken the man He has built for you, as He did with Adam, when the bride was fully prepared. Warrior-poets are called to serve the advancement of the kingdom of God within your life, and if you make yourself something he has to guard himself against (i.e. seductive clothing, tones of voice, turns of phrases, looks of the eyes), then you actually hinder the service he can do for you. A warrior-poet does not heed or desire the adulterous woman described in Proverbs 7; so, very simply, do not be her! We want to protect you with even the thoughts we think about you; thus, the best thing you can do is pattern yourself after the mold Scripture presents.
Finally, in discussing the issue of modesty and mental purity, I want to make one final point. Who is responsible for both issues? Men. A man of God’s mind must be ruled by the strictest purity no matter what sort of women surround him. However, he will always champion the virtue of modest meekness in the women around him. Female immodesty is a shameless plague in our culture as a direct result of masculine deviancy in the mind. It is because men are ruled by mental perversion that women feel compelled to throw off restraint and disregard the command for a meek and quiet spirit. Nevertheless, dear sisters, whether or not there be one warrior-poet whose mind is the tool of heavenly purity, you are not released from the command to be adorned by the Christ life within and without. Take heart, though – there are such warrior-poets out there, and their minds are a pinnacle of purity, a habitation of honor, and a furnace of divine affection. Their minds are girded up and are leveraged as a mighty tool of love; for they obey the greatest command – which all believers are compelled to obey – of loving God supremely with all the heart, soul, mind, and strength. And a true warrior-poet always obeys the commands of his mighty King and liege Lord!*
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