AMH series // Time for the Sex Talk
It was a Friday night and my mom and I were going to be the only family members at home, so we decided that it would be a good time to watch a chick flick. I grabbed my phone and pulled up my notes app where I had a list of movies that people had recommended. But before picking any random movie off the list, I looked up reviews about each movie to see if their content was wholesome (I’ve learned by now not to trust just any suggestion!). I read review after review and wasn’t comfortable with what I saw. I finally gave up and asked myself for what must have been the millionth time, are there any good chick flicks without a slew of sexual innuendos, dirty language, and scenes where women are portrayed as sex objects?
The trap of objectification
These sex saturated messages aren’t just in our movies. They’re in our books with graphic scenes between characters. They’re on our social media feeds with seductive selfies and poses. They’re on so many advertisements at the mall with pictures of scantily clad women plastered to store fronts. We live in a hyper sexual culture that idolizes the ideas of passion and intimacy. Our culture takes sex, something beautiful that was designed by God to be enjoyed within marriage, and it distorts, flaunts, and twists it so that it brings about a broken mess.
Ironically, the same culture that feeds us these messages and images that objectify women also tells us that anything men can do, women can do better. That girls fight back. That girls rule the world. That women are strong and don’t want to be objectified.
We could sit here all day and talk about how broken our world is. We could talk for hours about how the messages that our culture produces are contradictory. But what can we as women, specifically Christian women who desire to please the Lord, do to deal with this mess that we see?
Many women who would identify as feminists also present themselves in a seductive way and excite the interest of the men who see them. It’s their body, so they can flaunt it however they want, right? After all, it’s not their problem if men lust after them?
The strength in dignity
But Proverbs 31:25 says, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” In a world that objectifies women, how can we clothe ourselves in strength and dignity? How can we present ourselves in a way that fights against this issue?
Kristen Clark and Bethany Baird, founders of Girl Defined Ministries, recently released a book called Love Defined. In this book they discuss four ways that women can promote purity. They list body language, touch, words, and clothing as powerful tools that women possess. Though all of these tools are important, we’re going to focus on body language and clothing.
Kristen and Bethany write, “You’ve got the beautiful body of a woman. Be careful how you present it. We, as women, know how to tilt our heads swing our hips, or position ourselves in seductive ways that say, ‘I’m sexy, and I want you!’ … Represent yourself in a way that reflects the purity, holiness, and selflessness of Christ.”
Although the way that we carry and dress ourselves are incredibly important, I want to point out that presenting ourselves in a wholesome way does not guarantee that we as women will not be objectified or mistreated. There are women who have been abused and objectified not because of the way they presented themselves, but through no fault of their own. At the same time, the way that we represent ourselves before others does have the potential to bring glory to God or to ourselves. Let’s do what we can to present ourselves in a way that demonstrates our femininity, and brings glory to God rather than attention to ourselves. Don’t be afraid to be different than the world.
The choice to be different
We have a choice of how we will present ourselves to others. Will it be in a provocative way or in a way that shows strength and dignity? Romans 12:1 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Our bodies are not our own, despite what culture may tell us. They belong to the living God. The way that we carry ourselves in person and even on social media speaks loudly about where we want glory to be given – to ourselves or to God. Our world is broken. Our movies, books, and social media are filled with lies about sexuality. But where there is brokenness, Christ’s redemptive power shines the brightest.
Curious to learn more about our sexuality and why God calls it holy? We’ll be covering objectification, temptation, and God’s holistic design for purity. Follow the blog or join us on facebook and instagram for the month long conversation.