‘Tis Summer. Hoards of people blanket the beach, lots of them in bikinis. My home is in a warm weather climate where shorts, flip flops, and tank tops are worn year round. Frankly, the heat is unbearable if you wear much more.
Modesty levels can be affected by culture and still not go against the Word of God. My northern Wisconsin relatives wear long sleeves and pants all the time. It makes sense that elbows and knees might seem provocative to them.
Here’s a scenario: You and Jesus have the surfboards strapped to the top of the VW, headed to the swell. What would you be comfortable wearing in front of Jesus?
Frankly, I think Jesus would be more concerned about the condition of your heart than the size of your swim suit.
If the condition of your heart is one that has gratefully accepted the mercy and grace and love of Christ, you will probably carefully consider your swimwear purchases. If you are exuding that same kind of love, you will not turn a scornful glance onto the unknowing bikini-clad 16 year old. Strike up a conversation and love that bikini-wearer like Jesus! Who knows what kind of home life she has.
Our youth are racing the opposite direction from church….not necessarily from Jesus. They are racing from those they feel are sitting in judgement of their every action. Dispel this feeling through loving and gentle mentoring and pack up the disapproving looks.
Tidal wave transformation
Let’s start a revolution of change regarding our sex soaked society. But, not through ineffective and negative motivation. If someone had told me as a teenager to cover up because her female form was making men sin, lifelong body issues would have ensued. I have body issues enough without that added burden.
What we have to implant is respect of self. Asking, “Do you want male attention because your hiney is hanging out, or do you want attention because the young man enjoys your company? Aren’t you, beautiful young lady, WORTH the attention because of your heart and mind?”
Mentor the young ladies in your church.
Another voice besides mama’s goes a long way. Get to know them so that you can have the discussion about the power of their bodies. Have a discussion that empowers their respect of themselves.
Let’s counter the media’s lie that girls are only good for sex. Young girls need convinced of their WORTH. It starts with very simple words. “You are kind. You are smart. You are important,” Aibileen Clark (The Help, by Kathryn Stockett). AND I would add, “You are a pearl of great price, beautiful inside and out.”
The female body is not sinful. The man who gazes and lusts is the one sinning. My husband and I have had conversations regarding this. He fully believes it is not my duty to keep another from temptation. It is the man’s duty to squelch lust. Am I concerned for my brother and his sin? Of course I am, but I am not going to ‘own’ his sin. I am not going to dress scantily. Neither am I going to worry about an inch here or there.
“What does this have to do with marriage?” you ask.
Through empowering self-value, we can help our next generation realize purity and the potential of a godly marriage. Empowering our young women (and young men) to realize their worth helps them to look to you for further counsel. Don’t we like to hear words from those who build us up and help us realize our potential? The more godly thoughts they glean from you, the more influence Christ will have.
Female Readers: Mentor the young ladies (11-20 years) in your church. Empower a future generation of young women to respect themselves and know their WORTH.
~Find her strengths
~Explore her successes
~Explore her interests
~Help her fully grasp that Jesus loves her unconditionally (knowing that as she matures, she will come to understand that boundaries are God’s provision and protection for us.)
Male Readers: Mentor young men to have the heart and self-control of Jesus, helping them to look upon young women as precious counterparts, with strength and beauty bestowed upon them from God.
PRAY: Not comfortable about reaching out to the youth? PRAY ABOUT IT! God will lead you into the exact right circumstance and give you the words, just ask.
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance of the Jews will come from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14.