As well-meaning as MaryBeth Lubbers’ article was on her fond memories of Miss Reitsma (“The Reformed Family: Teachers,” Standard Bearer, 9/15/96), my wife and I were offended at the lack of personal purity that some parts of the article endorsed.
Mrs. Lubbers made it a point to mention Miss Reitsma’s shapeliness and fashionable clothing, going even further to say that “she was a head-turner.” No mention is made that any heads that turned were turned in wickedness, as is made very clear in Matthew 5:28: “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Instead, this is put in a positive and even humorous light.
“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array” (I Tim. 2:9).
She showed a secular movie in class, knowing that there was a bedroom scene, yet Mrs. Lubbers praised her for being so charismatic that none of the parents objected to it. And as she held her hands over the lens of the projector, “her eyes danced with mischief as we kids called out our protests.” Were these protests sinful? Why were her eyes dancing with mischief?
Is it ‘any wonder why many children of Reformed parents are acting and thinking just like the world? Is it any wonder why they are reading the lust-filled novels (even the so-called Christian ones) and are engaging in the worldly practice of dating? Is it any wonder why they are placing so much emphasis on their looks?
Many people in Reformed circles have gotten away from an emphasis on personal holiness, whereas the truth of Scripture is that sovereign grace and personal purity are both of utmost importance. My wife and I believe that this article was not appropriate for such an otherwise excellent, godly magazine.
Marc D. Carpenter