Each day we are being fed messages about how girls and women should be. The world shouts out that all women are and should be sexy. It is in the television shows and movies we watch, the internet sites we browse, the songs we listen to, the magazines we flip through and even on the billboards we drive by every day. The world tells us that the ideal woman is hot, sexy, sassy and on the prowl.
At school the message is no different. When I was at school, social groups were roughly divided by the clothes girls wore. Generally the shorter the skirt and more flimsy the blouse, the more popular you were with the girls and the more attention you received from boys – I gather the world hasn’t changed much since I left school. The message we receive at school is that if you dress sexy and engage in sexual behaviour the more popular you are in the social scheme. It is a case of the “survival of the prettiest”.
However, these messages are not what God tells his daughters.
Your worth and value are not based on your body nor on being sexy. We need to get real about this. Genesis 1:27, 31 and Genesis 2:23-25 express the goodness of our physical bodies which God created. We are made in the image of God and this should be where our value is found. However, we do live in a fallen world where the goodness of creation and relationship have been broken. In our obsession with our bodies and clothing to gain value and acceptance, we make idols of ourselves. We need to realign ourselves with God’s values.
1 Samuel 16:7 expresses that while humans look at outward appearance, God is concerned with our heart and character more than our bodies or clothes. Furthermore, this side of the cross, our identity as Christians lies in Christ and not our outward appearance. We need to be counter-cultural! God loves us (1 John 4:6), has chosen us (Ephesians 1:4) and wants us to be conformed to the image of his son (Romans 8:29) and not the ideal body image. Remind yourself and your sisters that you are a dearly loved child of His.
The Bible teaches quite clearly on modesty and sexuality. Ephesians 5:3 says ‘But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality.’ This ‘hint’ includes both our actions and our appearance. God desires that sex, a good thing created by Him, be enjoyed only in a man-woman marriage relationship. Genesis 2:24 talks of the beautiful union between a man and his wife as does Song of Songs. Elsewhere the Bible warns of the consequences of not respecting the place of sex within marriage such as Hebrews 13:4. Women are encouraged also to dress modestly and develop inner beauty, (1 Peter 3:3-6). This is what God desires for his daughters – not because he is a killjoy but because he loves us and in fact knows what will bring us more joy!
Girls – we need to get real about the effect our bodies and actions have on men. If you dress sexy you may receive unwanted attention, or may become tempted to become involved in ungodly sexual behaviours. Furthermore, we need to love our Christian brothers at all times – not just youth group or church!
Sometimes we would like to argue that it is our right to wear what we want and it is the boys' fault for thinking such “bad” things. This is not Christ-like. We need to lay down our lives (and our rights) to love others and encourage them onto godliness. When we dress sexy this isn’t helping our brothers. Think about what messages you are sending when you are buying clothes and getting dressed. Girls, let’s be real with each other too and point out when your sister may be inadvertently immodest especially when the weather warms up.
Sex and being sexy has a time and place that God is all for – within the marriage relationship. Baring our bodies and engaging in sexual practices belong there. I urge you sisters to wait till then to be a sexy Christian girl. Any hint before then is only damaging to your brothers and yourself. Be girls who seek to love God with their hearts, minds, bodies and clothes.