For a good portion of my teen years, I was desperately insecure. I was so hungry for attention and approval that, even though I professed to be a Christian, I began following the example of femininity presented to me by pop-culture. I threw myself at guys. Tossing dignity and modesty to the wind, I flaunted my body everywhere I went. I exchanged wholesome conversation for profanity and crudeness. In an attitude of selfishness and rebelliousness, I ignored the needs of others. And I was constantly filling my mind and heart with the perverted images of Hollywood and the media.
But a couple of years into this pattern, I recognized how empty my life was. I had male attention—but it only led to one broken heart after the next. I had a measure of sensual beauty—but it only made me feel like a sex object. I had social status and popularity—but it made me feel fake and shallow. I had parties and entertainment—but they made me feel dirty.
One night I knelt beside my bed, tears of remorse streaming down my cheeks. “God,” I prayed, “Forgive me for allowing my femininity to become so twisted. Restore me and shape me into the kind of girl You designed me to be. Cleanse me from the filth of the world and make me new.”
God faithfully and lovingly answered that prayer. During the next season of my life, He began to speak to my heart about His pattern for guarding my purity in every dimension of my life—both inward and outward.
1 Corinthians 7:34 says:
“The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit.”
As Christian young women, we are called to live in absolute purity—to be completely holy in both body and spirit. But all too many of us take our cues from the sex-goddess icons of the culture than from the Word of God.
Look at this picture of the adulterous woman in Proverbs:
“And behold, a woman comes to meet him, Dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart. She is boisterous and rebellious, her feet do not remain at home; She is now in the streets, now in the squares, and lurks by every corner. So she seizes him and kisses him and with a brazen face she (speaks) to him . . .” (Proverbs 7:10-13, NASB).
This woman is physically aggressive towards guys, sensually dressed, always “on the prowl” for men, and uses strategic flirting and manipulation to lure guys into her seductive power. She is careless of her purity and her heart, and she looks to male approval to bring her pleasure. Sound like anyone you know? I’m guessing the answer is yes, because her description fits the majority of young woman in our modern culture, even most Christ-professing ones. Even those of us who esteem God’s pattern for relationships often allow the world’s pattern for sexuality to creep into our daily lives. Flirting (online or in person), texting (or even “sexting”) guys throughout the day, posting sensual photos of ourselves on Facebook, watching perverse movies and looking at online porn are just a few of the compromises that many women have succumbed to.
But what does God say about this kind of femininity?
“Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; For she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death” (Proverbs 7:25-27, NKJV).
Wow. I’d say it’s time we start taking our interaction with the opposite sex a bit more seriously! We must allow God to re-make our attitude toward inner purity. We are called to reflect His radiant beauty and not a hollow sex-appeal of our own making.
We must answer to God for the way we choose to use our feminine power. If we interact with guys in a sensual, flirtatious way; if we use our eyes, words, and body to tempt him sexually; and if we are sensual in our attitudes and actions, we are participating in the “way of the evil woman.” God’s prescription for male/female interaction is simple and straightforward: it is to be marked by all purity (1 Timothy 5:2).
Purity in this verse is not just talking about maintaining physical virginity until marriage. It means “without sin”—in other words, to be Christ-like and above reproach in every dimension of our interaction with the opposite sex; to be watchful and vigilant over our heart and the hearts of the guys in our lives.
Here’s a great test question to ask in every situation: If you were married (and wanted to stay that way) and your husband was standing next to you, would he feel comfortable with your actions? Anything that you wouldn’t do with another guy after marriage is something that you shouldn’t do with another guy before marriage.
God calls us to be holy as He is holy. And He equips us by His Spirit to live the kind of sparkling pure and upright life that we could never live on our own. I urge you to prayerfully consider what avenues you are currently allowing into your heart and mind that glorifies sexual sin and lust.
If you have become trapped in a pattern of lust and sensuality, God wants something better for you. He is not looking at you in disgust and anger, rather, He is gently and tenderly calling you to repent and turn from this sin. I would encourage you to take a focused period of time to repent of all impurity that has been allowed into your life, let God’s Spirit wash your soul clean, and then purge every remnant of sexual impurity from your life.
It can be extremely helpful to recruit a trusted accountability partner whom you can meet regularly with for prayer and support. And if you have godly parents, it’s a great idea to confess your sin to them and ask for their help in purging these patterns completely from your life. Be aggressive and ruthless in removing all that stands in the way of God’s fullness for you as His set-apart princess. Every step you take out of darkness and into His marvelous light will be more than worth it.
This is a guest post from Leslie Ludy. Leslie and her husband Eric are bestselling authors and speakers, known for tackling some of the toughest issues facing the Christian culture today. Leslie and Eric have authored eighteen books, including When God Writes Your Love Story, Authentic Beauty, The Bravehearted Gospel, and Set Apart Femininity. You can learn more about Leslie’s ministry and her writings at SetApartGirl.com and SetApartLife.com.