Seeds of Faith: Redefining Beauty
On a mommy message board, I posted one of those questionnaires with a question in it that said, “What is your favorite thing about you?” Out of the 65 women there, one woman said, “My rear end.” Every single other woman said, “My children, my husband, my skills making cake, etc.” No one else had a favorite thing about them that had to do with their physical appearance.
In continuing my discussion of Vicki Courtney’s 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter, we enter into Chapter 4, “Redefining Beauty.”
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My husband and I went through a spiritual revival about 18 months ago. Part of that revival was cleaning out what we take in. I don’t mean food. I mean all of our sensory input: television, movies, games, music, internet, radio, etc. We stopped consuming sin, in a way to quit condoning so much sin in our culture.
In continuing my discussion of Vicki Courtney’s 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter, we enter into Chapter 3, “Buyer Beware: Exposing the Media’s Lies.”
This chapter thoroughly touches on all areas of media, from magazine articles to lyrics in music, to television shows and commercials, and how these areas in our lives continually and constantly sexually objectify women. You can’t watch a college football game without a scantily clad model touting a beer brand. You can’t watch a crime show on television without a scene in a bar with naked pole dancers kissing each other.
When Gregg and I cleaned out our media collection, we were SHOCKED at how much we had that we didn’t even know we had exposed ourselves to. Both of us are more action movie oriented than anything, but just putting the standard that it could not contain premarital or extramarital sex and gratuitous sexual situations or scenes, we lost about 75% of our movie collection. There isn’t a popular music station we can listen to for more than a few minutes. And, we’ve cut any kind of television watching completely out – canceling our cable subscription and sticking with DVD’s of approved shows.
Ephesians 5:3-4 says, “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”
When we constantly expose ourselves to sights and sounds that are sinful and improper for God’s holy people, then we’re eventually making ourselves apathetic to the sin itself. If we see over and over again sex between unmarried men and women, different men, different women, over and over — then what we’re telling our brains is that there isn’t anything wrong with it. That everyone is doing it. That God’s word is antiquated and not suited to the world in which we live today.
When we allow women to constantly be objectified, then what we’re projecting is that it is okay for our children to be that way, act that way, dress that way. When our daughters to leave home with brastraps hanging out of half tops and skirts that barely cover their rear end, we’re allowing them to become sexual objects, eye candy for any man whose vision they cross.
When parents allow their little girls to purchase pants that have sexual messages imprinted on the backside (bootilicious, yummy, juicy), sexual messages on the t-shirt (“legal-ish” or “what tan lines?” – actual shirts), thong underwear in little girls’ sizes, lacy bras, lacy looking “bra” straps built into off the shoulder clothes to give the appearance of underwear hanging out — when we allow our 9-year-olds to sexualize themselves in ways that grown women shouldn’t – then we are destroying our girls’ innocence and taking a huge chunk out of their childhood.
1 Timothy 2:8-10 says, “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.”
Allowing our children, our teens, even our own selves, to dress immodestly is to send the signal that it’s okay, that it’s normal, and that it’s proper to allure men sexually. The Bible clearly tells us that outside of the boundaries of holy matrimony –it is not okay. The Bible warns men over and over again about being a slave to sexual immorality, to sinning with the eyes and with the heart, to falling prey to the sexual allure of immoral women. It is a battle that men will fight from the time of puberty until death. A young man said in an interview with author and pastor’s wife, Carolyn Mahaney:
Each and every day is a battle – a battle against my sin, a battle against temptation, a battle against my depraved mind. Every morning I have to cry out for mercy, strength, and a renewed conviction to flee youthful lusts. The Spirit is faithful to bring me the renewal I need to prepare me to do war against my sin, yet the temptation still exists. Sometimes, when I see a girl provocatively dressed, I’ll say to myself, “She probably doesn’t even know that a hundred and one guys are going to devour her in their minds today. But then again, maybe she does.”
We need to guard what we take in. We need to be hyper-protective of what our children see, read, hear, play. We need to make sure that they never become indifferent to the barrage of sin that is hitting the airwaves every single second of their lives. When they understand what is sin, when they can be on guard against it, then they can battle it and stand up for themselves against what society – what the media – is telling them is “okay” and “normal.”
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