As women of God...
As women of God, we must be switched on to the traps of the world.
Sisters, I say this with love - but the world isn’t exactly set up for a Christian gal to thrive.
To view this, open any magazine. Tune in to any gossip-filled conversation. Watch any movie. Walk past any men’s locker room…. you’ll see it.
Women defined by sex appeal. Compartmentalised, just a series of ‘bits’ to be lusted over, dissected, criticised, obsessed over, fantasised about and edited until they’re just right.
And it’s not just non-Christian men that buy into this definition of women.
Even marketing by women, for women uses women’s sex appeal to sell to them.
Are you thin enough? Lose five pounds and be sexy. Not curvy enough? Here’s how to really drive him wild. Love yourself, just the way you are (but first, fix your boobs and get a nose job and while you’re at it, dress better).
And I’m not criticising any woman who buys into this culture or way of thinking - it’s not her fault that she’s been socialised and sold to and now has come to view herself as a product rather than a person. Heck, I’ve been that girl who defines herself and buys into the culture that way.
It’s all about the opt-out… but it’s not inherently simple, and doesn’t come without careful reflection.
Because YES, we can absolutely wake up at any moment, switch on the consciousness and step into who Christ wants us to be, rather than who marketing and faulty notions of sex want us to be…. but until we have that breakthrough moment, we often won’t.
I know, because I was a non-Christian woman for most of my life and I most certainly bought into the traps of who the world wanted me to be… and although I hated it - despised it, actually - I didn’t see a way out.
“You can’t beat it, so you may as well join it.”
I saw my worth as what I could give to men. I defined myself by my body (and its imperfections caused great turmoil for me in my mind). I used intimacy not as something sacred, but as a tool to try and ‘keep’ partners with me. I read the sex tips in the magazines. I had the Pinterest boards full of ways to dress ‘better’ (when ‘better’ was defined by how ‘sexy’ I was). I gossiped about other women. I judged other women harshly, all the while hating that I was judged too. What a hypocrite.
But It was all I knew. And I knew that it was terrible, but I didn’t honestly see a way to opt out. That was, until I started walking with Christ.
Can you relate?
Ladies, we must be switched on to the fact that although the world might want to define us by our dress size, hair condition, makeup skills or sex appeal… the WORD doesn’t want to define us this way.
The WORD knows that we're on this beautiful planet for SO MUCH MORE than to be consumers, objects of desire or space-fillers.
The world tells us that we need to be working harder to be ‘perfect’… lest we not be able to find a man. But The WORD knows that we’re not perfect, and shows us that God loves us anyway, helping us to grow and be better. The WORD knows that we’re complete just as we are, and helps us bring people into our life that complement us.
The world tells us that we’re not enough. But The WORD tells us that faith, even the size of a mustard seed, is MORE than enough and that our weaknesses, in God’s hands, become strengths.
Here’s the thing - everything takes work - including our relationship with God. And especially when it comes to navigating the modern world as a woman who wants to live by the WORD and not fall into the traps of modern objectification, false idols and narcissism.
God wants us to check in with him, to pray without ceasing and to lean on him for support. God knows our struggles, and knows that we are destined for MORE.
God will tell us, there is no guarantee for a life without hardship, suffering or challenges - all of us will face obstacles, but there are lessons (and blessings!) to come from these trials.
And I hope that all of us can have our eyes open and clear enough to see the lessons and the blessings; with enough wisdom to stay fixated on God and God’s image of us… not who the scantily-clad girl on the cover of the magazine tells us to be. Not who the locker room talk tells us to be. Not who the gossiping co-workers tell us to be.
Because God knows what we truly are, what our true potential is and how much we had to offer. It’s our duty (and privilege) to honour that.
A Prayer for Opting Out of Toxic Standards:
“God, This world can be tough for me to navigate. I’m surrounded by standards of beauty and intimacy and womanhood that don’t align with your word… so God, please give me strength to walk through the fire and keep my gaze fixated on You, and not on myself.
I don’t want to be defined by my body or intimacy or what marketing tells me that I should be, because I know that I’m truly defined by what You see in me.
Help me influence my sisters around me to opt out of toxic culture, and opt in to YOUR WORD. Your word is the truth and as a truth seeking disciple, I will walk with grace and integrity.
Thank you for helping me see with clarity, Lord. In Jesus mighty name, Amen.”