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Why Christian Girls Should Be Beautiful but Not Seductive

By: Kristen Clark

Several months ago I wrote a controversial blog post that went viral and picked up a lot of positive and negative attention. It currently has over 730 comments and has reached over a million people. It’s called “Why Christian Girls Post Seductive Selfies.” If you’re interested, you can read it here.

My main point was to bring up the question of why so many Christian girls post provocative, sensual and seductive selfies online. I challenged Christian girls to reevaluate their online images and ask themselves if what they’re posting is honoring to God.

After reading through several hundred of the comments I began noticing a theme.

People were making comments like:

“Christian girls can post whatever images they want if it makes them feel ‘beautiful.’”

“Stop bashing girls by making them feel guilty for just wanting to look “pretty.’”

“Being beautiful and seductive is the same thing and there’s nothing wrong with it.”

I was surprised by these types of comments and quickly realized that the terms “beautiful” and “seductive” were being viewed as the same thing.

A lot of people seemed to view sexy/seductive selfies as a beautiful thing too.

It’s been several months since I wrote that post and I’m still convinced that there’s nothing holy, pure or God honoring about posting seductive selfies online. Christian girls are never called by God to be seductresses. Never. But they are called to be beautiful women of God.

According to God’s Word, beauty and seduction are two totally different things.

Let’s compare the two.

Seduction.

I’m convinced that our pop culture is the main reason many Christians are interchanging the words beauty and seduction. Companies like Hollister, Victoria’s Secret and many others are reshaping our thinking to view seductiveness as something beautiful to behold.

Our culture encourages young single women to be “sexy and proud of it.”

Instead of being shocked and appalled by the half-naked women plastered on magazine covers and posters we’re being retrained to view them as “beautiful.” Sure, the woman herself might be good looking, but according to God’s Word there’s nothing beautiful about posing seductively and displaying intimate body parts for everyone to see.

Even if a girl is fully dressed she can still have a seductive heart which will be displayed on her face. Come on girls – we’ve all been guilty of this! We know exactly what we’re doing when we raise one eyebrow, slightly separate the duck lips, and stare hard into the camera. There’s a reason we’re not smiling and looking joyful.

We’re trying to look sexy and hot.

Under the banner of “trying to look beautiful” Christian girls are mimicking seductive poses and are being praised by their friends for looking so “pretty.” See the problem here?

A young woman emailed me recently after reading my post about Seductive Selfies and said, “I don’t want to be seductive in my pictures…but every time I post a “hot” looking photo I get tons of likes and comments. If I post a regular photo with little makeup on, I hardly get any responses. I am struggling to do the right thing because I don’t want to go unnoticed.”

Have you ever felt the way she does? Sadly, since our culture is retraining us to view beauty and seductiveness as the same thing, Christian girls like her are struggling to feel “pretty” unless they post sensual pictures. This is a major problem.

Beauty.

God is the author and designer of all things truly beautiful and he made us to carry that mark. He specifically designed women to be beautiful creatures and there is nothing wrong with displaying beauty to the world around us. However, a seductive woman (outside of the marriage bed) is using her God-given beauty for the wrong things.

Our outward beauty as Christian girls should never be used to purposely distract, seduce, entice, lure in, or arouse the people around us.

Our beauty should never be used selfishly and without thought to how our actions are affecting others.

Our most intimate body parts shouldn’t be thrown around like cheap disposable objects, but rather saved and cherished because we’re pure daughters of a Holy King. And if God has marriage in your future, saving your seductive allure will bless and honor your future husband.

Instead of following after our culture’s self-focused definition of beauty, we need to get back to God’s definition of what a beautiful girl truly looks like. I love how Leslie Ludy describes this:

“True feminine beauty is not a complicated formula involving hundreds of rules to remember. It is not something that requires spending two years at finishing school or being groomed as a beauty pageant queen. It is the natural byproduct of a young woman who has emptied herself, given up her own life, and allowed God’s Spirit complete access to every dimension of her inner and outer life.”

True beauty is the furthest thing from “hot looks” and “sensual poses.”

True beauty is found in the girl who loves Jesus with all her heart and strives to use every area of her life to reflect well on His image. She lives her life to point the people around her to something much bigger and better than herself.

True beauty is having fun with pictures but being wise enough to know where to draw the line. It’s wearing fashionable clothing but knowing what sexual styles to avoid. It’s knowing how to wear makeup to enhance your natural beauty, but not going overboard with it. It’s caring more about being pure before God than striving for the likes and comments of your “friends” online.

It’s a desire to use your life (and photos) to influence others towards Christ and His holiness, not away from it.

I hope you can see that seductiveness and true beauty are two completely different things.
God wants you and me, as Christian girls, to display something radically better to our confused culture. If we won’t stand up and display God’s version of true beauty, who will?

I challenge you to seriously evaluate your current definition of beauty and ask yourself where it comes from. Are you merging the terms, seduction and beauty? How do you describe a beautiful girl? How do you describe a seductive girl?

When people look at you and your online pictures, do they see a godly beautiful girl, or a worldly seductive one? Do you care more about drawing the attention to yourself, or using your beauty to point others to Christ? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!

Photo credit: www.flickr.com | Anna Marie Gearhart

Girl looking in mirror

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Radical Purity
  • Tammy

    I have this verse hanging in my bathroom as a reminder that it not what on the outside that counts. 1 Peter 3:4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

    • Great idea, Tammy!

    • Daniel

      Very applicable! Just curious, do you know about ITG?

  • Sandi Gee

    I abhor the whole selfie idea! It feeds a young girls mind in all the wrong ways! I think it adds even more to the idea of being self-absorbed, feeling entirled and the all-about-me mindset that is so prevalent today. Put down your phone, get out and find someone who needs help, and help them. Stop thinking about yoursel and how you look! It is not all about you! Sorry if I rant, this is a pet peeve of mine!

  • Brooklyn Mikinzie

    While I dont have really any online social media, I do take photos of myself. Ive never been into showingoff body parts or posing seductivly, but I know that I certainly have taken photos to recieve compliments from people on “how pretty I am”. My heart can be in the wrong, even if Im not acting seductive. As a reminder, I have this verse hanging on my mirrors: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30.
    Thanks for these posts! Very great for evaluation.

    • I think we’ve all been guilty of that at one point or another Brooklyn. The key is to recognize we’re doing it and ask ourselves “why?” Why are we looking to our friends for our praise and acceptance rather than looking to God? Once we get to the root issue, we can change our hearts from the inside out.

    • Daniel

      Thanks for sharing! It is through personal stories and openness that God will often work in people’s lives.

  • CT

    At first I was like, whoa, 730+ comments? Was that a typo for 73? But then I went to the page and realized it was true! I’m surprised! Yes, I come from that same background. What breaks my heart even more is the fact that this type of thinking is so prominent in the public school culture and some girls fall prey to it without even knowing that there is truth (like this post) that exists. I used to be one of those people until God opened my eyes through Lies Young Women Believe and even more today through Leslie Ludy’s ministry. Love it! Keep it up, and keep doing great things for our King Jesus!

    • I agree CT. Being seductive is the norm in our culture today and many Christian girls don’t think twice before posting a sensual picture. Our prayer is that this blog post and others like it will sound the alarm on this issue and help girls see the truth.

  • Elizabeth Williams

    Wow, I can’t believe there were that many comments! I’m so glad that you always welcome comments and want to continue the discussion and get others’ feedback. This post is really good because it addresses some of those comments! I would think it would be discouraging to pour your heart into a post and to get so many negative comments form people but I’m glad you take it the right way! By the way, I know y’all respond to a lot of comments, but do you respond to your e-mails? I ask because I sent a message a few days ago and never got a reply. Just wondering!

    • Hey Elizabeth! Thanks for your encouragement. Yes, we do respond to emails but it usually takes several days (up to a week) to get a response. We did receive yours and will be in touch soon! :) Thanks for writing!

      • Elizabeth Williams

        Thanks!

  • Josie Harris

    Yes!!! As Christian girls, we, and every aspect of our lives should reflect Jesus!! Whenever I see one of my friends posts a selfie showing too much skin or doing a seductive pose, I stop what I’m doing and pray for them. They are looking for love and attention in any way, when all they need is Jesus!!! Thank you for posting this!

    • Sounds like you have a very loving and Christ focused mindset Josie! Thanks for sharing. Hope you and your family are doing well!

  • Anna Jones

    I really appreciate this post, Kristen! I’ve wondered before if its right to want to be beautiful in the right way; thanks for your help in answering this question!

  • Quite Distinguished

    Thank you Kristen! It’s so frustrating to see the world twist what God created…so much so that even Christians struggle understand what “beauty” really looks like. Last year I led a group of girls through Mary Kassian’s book “Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild,” and the chapters covering beauty and modesty definitely generated the most discussion–especially differentiating between beauty and “attractiveness” (aka worldly “seductiveness”). Leslie Ludy’s quote captures the definition of true beauty oh so well. How I wish I’d known about the Girl Defined blog while leading the study! You cover some tough topics here, and I’m always so encouraged (and frequently convicted) when I drop in. Please don’t stop pinpointing the heart of the matter…and bringing the focus back to Christ.

    • That is an excellent book! We love Mary Kassian’s materials. We are excited you find the GirlDefined blog helpful. Thank you for your encouragement and keep fighting the good fight! Our world is in desperate need of more godly women to rise up and stand for God’s truth.

  • Raissa

    Loved the post!!
    It’s weird to think that we praise photos of almost naked people and even consider that we should do the same!
    I will be more careful about it for sure!!
    Thanks a lot for the post!!
    Kisses from Brazil!;)

    • Thanks for the shoutout from Brazil!! We are love our Brazilian readers! :)

  • Allie

    I don´t mean to write a post, but I’d like to say that sometimes we confuse legalism
    and holiness.

    I think legalism is trying to follow rules and patterns just because we want to
    follow certain pattern. I think it is “self-goodness”. Holiness is been set
    apart for God, for His purposes and glory, and live in a way that accomplishes
    that.

    My pointis, what are we living for? Who are we living for? I think it is not wrong to
    be beautiful or to want to be beautiful, but I don’t live to be beautiful and
    to make people notice my beauty, I live to show Christ beauty to others. I have
    to accept that it is my tendency to be legalistic, specially about clothing and
    music, that´s why I have to constantly remember myself Who is my purpose, and
    that I do what I do for His glory and because I love Him. And I have to
    remember constantly that it is not only the way I look or what I do or don’t
    do, it is my heart; it has to be in the right place. And that’s especially hard
    for me because there is a guy coming to my mind over and over, and it is hard
    not to try to be a “godly girl” just because I like him, but because I have
    even to eat and drink for God’s glory! I have to redirect even my thoughts to
    God, and It’s been hard but we are to deny ourselves, take up our cross and
    follow Him. I have to remember every day that I’ve been purchased, that I live
    and die for Him, and that I have to die to myself and let Christ live for me.

    Life is not about me… please think about it! If we are Christians it means we love Christ, we treasure what He did for us, we´re new creatures, we want to live for the
    one who died for us! Don´t conform to the pattern of this world; renew your mind.
    Ask yourself, why do I do what I do? Why did I take this picture? Pray that God
    gives your “inner self, with the unfading beauty of a gentle and quit spirit,
    which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:4 NIV)

    Be beautiful for Him, fear Him! It’s okay to dress up and to try to look good,
    finally we´re daughters of the King! And He made us beautiful. Praise Him!!!

    • Thanks for sharing from your heart Allie! You made some very good points. It’s always KEY to focus on the heart/root issue. If we are truly living to honor God point others to Christ, our outward actions will reflect that in every way. Keep fighting the good fight, girl!

  • Jennifer Bartram

    Thank you for writing this! True beauty comes from a girl who knows that she is loved dearly by the King of kings! The prettiest smiles have a clear conscience behind them.

  • Lyddie

    I don’t have a problem with posting seductive selfies because I don’t know how to be sexy and seductive. I’d feel too awkward and uncomfortable if I even tried to strike a sensual pose lol. Guess that’s a good problem to have though.
    I love God’s definition of beauty! And thanks for doing such an awesome job with this blog!

  • Abby

    Awesome post! I totally agree that Christian girls should model true beauty, which deals with everything inside, not outside. Thanks for posting this (:

  • Abi Rankin

    I’ve just recently started reading this blog and it is such an encouragement. Christian teenage girls need to hear these things:) I’m from Scotland and can see these exact same trends with many of the girls around me. I also love how you base your advice on the bible, the best advice that is out there! Thank you again, and please keep writing these relevant and honest blog posts. Abi x

  • Liz

    This is excellent! What do you gals think about red lipstick? I generally think classic 1950’s, but do you think it has a seductive look…even if the wearer’s behavior is chaste and classy?

    • Graciela Acosta

      Personally, I don’t think anything is wrong with lipstick or any other type of makeup. It’s more the attitude and intentions you wear it with. I think red lipstick can actually look very classy. But that’s just my opinion.

    • Grace

      Personally I don’t like makeup or lipstick or anything else I have to put on myself (not even lotion!) but that’s just my preference. Some girls benefit from wearing some lipstick just because of their skin type and I have nothing against them using it. Now that you mention it, I do like the 1950s look. 😉 But if one has to wonder whether some cosmetic additive produces a sensual look then maybe it’s just better to forgo it altogether. Christ is pleased with even our little sacrifices.

  • Samantha

    Wow that was really good!! Some of the things you do in pictures you do not even realize that it is wrong!!!

    • I know! This post made me look over all my natural poses, just in case! =P

  • Fatsani

    I personally have had a WHOLE year of God pouring revelation into my heart concerning getting back my femininity from the Devil. I used to feel that being sexy was something shameful and condemned myself for it and it truly, truly affected my soul. I had become withdrawn as a woman disgusted by how much lust my body could attract and covered it up at all times for fear of attracting the wrong male attention. When the truth really was that Jesus wanted me to be the Face of Grace, not superficially in my appearance but that my heart condition would justify the way I reflected myself in the world. Our reputation is not against the world anyways, when judgement day arrives it is God we will be holding our reputation against. Today I wear make up, wax my eyebrows, get acrylic nails not because it has anything to do with being sexy and seductive like the world but because I had a revelatory experience with my Saviour who said that I should be my heart condition, my truth according to the things that you have heard from Me.

    I think at the end of your previous piece you should have acknowledged that God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts and so are His ways. Imagine how small an issue of selfies and seductiveness must be in the face of getting more souls into His kingdom through Jesus Christ as a reflection of His perfect love towards us, in spite of our sin.

    God Bless.

    • Anna Beckel

      Whee in scripture do you find “God doesn’t care about little things”, or “be true to yourself” or “it doesn’t mater what you do as long as your heart is in it”…. God is gracious, God loves how he created us. He takes joy in us, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that our sole purpose in this life is to Glorify him. In everything.
      “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much”-Luke 16:10

  • Droppo

    Let the mind control continue. Ugh.

  • RoseRed

    So it’s okay for you to use makeup just to enhance your natural beauty and features? I’ve always said that I didn’t want to completely change my face with too much makeup. I just want it too look nice and natural.But, if you use makeup, wouldn’t that still attract guys?
    I’m just so confused. My mom said that my sisters and I should start removing our facial hair and putting on a little makeup now that we’re older. I want to look pretty, (I’m a girl after all) but how can I do that without making guys attracted to me?

    • Hey Lizzy! Great question. We have asked these same questions ourselves in the past. As we’ve studied the Bible we don’t see any indications that wearing makeup is a sin or is wrong. We believed God created us to be feminine, soft, and beautiful (purposely different from men), and using tasteful amounts of makeup can help enhance our God-given beauty. However, we shouldn’t wear makeup for the sole purpose of attracting guys. We do have to realize though, that God created men to be naturally attracted to a woman’s beauty, so it’s not a wrong or sinful thing if a guy is attracted to you. That is how God designed it. If not, nobody would get married. 😉 Here’s the bottom line: Every Christian woman has to establish her own convictions about makeup. She has to check her heart motives, then choose how much or how little she thinks is tasteful and honoring to God. Hope that helps! God bless! -Kristen

      • Lizzy

        Thanks for replying :)

  • Aunti Katiti

    First I want to say that this was really great and encouraging. Thank you!

    I think a big problem with us girls is that we degrade ourselves, look down at ourselves and believe the lies that “we’re not beautiful” “other people are more beautiful than us”, etc. and it’s because we’re not finding our identity in Christ. We’re thinking of ourselves and not of Him who created us. We forget too often that we were created how we are for God’s glory, first and foremost and that what’s in the heart comes out and that is where TRUE beauty lies.

    • Great thoughts! Thanks so much for sharing. You’re so right…our identity has to be found in Christ. We have to view our bodies through the lens in which God designed us: unique, special, and beautiful in His eyes. God bless! -Kristen

  • Azi

    Hi Kristen, thanks again for your post. I was wondering if you have heard of something called the #DontJudgeChallenge. It was interesting learning about it because it explores how even using the idea of being beautiful on the inside has become something superficial. (To sum up for those who don’t know, some people use it as an excuse to show themselves off.)

  • Rebecca

    This troubles me, girls. I can’t help but feel so sad in reading yet another burden heaped upon girls’ shoulders, instructing how they should look/act/behave in order to appear ‘pure’ in the eyes of other Christians. Because let’s be honest, it’s other Christians doing the judging here. If true beauty were defined by God alone, with the pure love of Jesus shining forth, then we should be able to walk down the street naked, just as Adam and Eve were created.

    Nakedness didn’t use to be sin until the devil told Adam that it was.
    Seduction didn’t use to be sin until the devil made us feel guilty for being attractive.
    Beauty didn’t use to be a sin until the devil turned Christians against one another in judgement.

    The point is, seduction doesn’t necessarily take away from living a pure life. Adam and Eve didn’t need clothes to show their purity. They could have made duck faces and seduced each other all day long AND were still pure in their hearts. It wasn’t until the devil talked them into feeling shame that they felt shameful!

    Girls, please don’t let guilt and shame overshadow your heart. Wanting to be attractive is human. It’s how we were created. Love one another.

    • Pawsnfur

      Think of it this way. If a woman was going to meet your husband to lets say, sell him some tickets and sent a picture of herself so he would recognize her. Would you want to see her simply smiling saying cheese or with a serious sultry pouty innocent sexy look on her face with her shirt hanging off her shoulder and maybe her hips pushed out to the side to look sexy? I bet if you compared the two you wouldnt send him to meet any woman whose idea of a picture involved looking seductive. When a girl shows a picture of herself simply smiling or with friends versus one that says dont you wish you could “have” me? Thats totally wrong. Basically you’re saying that if a woman doesnt look sexually appealing than she isnt pretty at all. A girl too young to know to make a sexy face into the camera is not pretty.

    • Brien Hills Cruz

      Two passages of scripture to respond to this point of view, first it’s not shaming to teach or disciple young women. The bible calls us to in Titus 2:3-5 Second the Bible also calls women to dress modestly in 1Tim 2:9.

    • Mary Carpenter

      You are mistaken and trying to confuse this Christisn influence upon the very young ladies she is building a bridge to. Why are you trying your best to interfere with leading young women.?

    • walex

      Rebecca, it’s with no anger or malice that I respond to your post. You cannot have read the bible and have an actual understanding of what being a Christian means. Being IN the world, not OF the world, is our calling. The “burden” placed on on girls is by the Godless culture which points every
      direction but toward Christ and salvation. Beauty is not a sin, misusing it, as A modern day Jezabel is. Nakedness is not a sin, but modesty is a virtue. Adam and Eve were man and wife as made by God. Seduction of anyone at all outside of marriage is a sin. Purity is the opposite of seduction. It mean to temp or entice. That is not purity or Godliness. Christians are called to judge eachother (and only eachother, not non Christians) to help keep us accountable. God created and defined EVERYTHING, only he can set the boundaries, not us. Nothing wrong with wanting to be attractive, everything wrong with using sexually suggestive photos or cloths to entice and temp other believers into sinful thoughts and actions.

    • Stand for Him

      Rebecca, when we read the rest of Eve’s story, we see that the first death was performed by God Himself. He killed an animal and used its skin to make clothes for Adam and Eve, because their eyes were opened to their nakedness due to Adam’s sin and they were ashamed. The shame was not going to go away, so God clothed them. We don’t wear clothes because of the weather, we wear them as the symbol of our rebellion against God. As a nation rejects God more and more, they begin to take off more and more clothing, till we end up with nations who are completely devoid of the knowledge of God and wear no clothing except a g-string. In history, when those people came to trust Christ as their Savior, they too began to feel the shame of their nakedness and began to clothe themselves. Being modest is the natural product of a personal knowledge and walk with God. Death is a serious thing to God. He says that the “last enemy is death” (1 Cor. 15), and that Christ will overcome it completely when He returns to rule the world. It is a real blessing to me to know that God considers death an enemy, yet that’s what He had to do to help Adam and Eve overcome their shame at realizing their nakedness–kill and animal and make clothes.

  • Smiles

    Yes! Thank you for writing this.

  • Cfar

    I think this is essential to teach young women. While some are aware of what they are doing, some just really do not know better. They are still naive to what makes a man feel sexually attracted to a woman. They do not know that posing in certain ways or even making certain faces can cause a man to have certain sexual feeling that even they may not be wanting to entertain. I am not going to deny the fact that even when posing in a wholesome and Godly way, some men can still have these feelings, but these are typically men who are looking for it, not those unsuspecting young men who are trying to do right, but get smacked in the face with someone posing in a way that naturally causes these attractions. It is a responsibility on BOTH sides to maintain a mind-set of purity.

    • Thank you! This is so true. A lot of people seem to think it is the problem of the luster, not the one arousing lust in another, and that is simply untrue.

  • Kalline Moura Soares

    Muito obrigada pela mensagem,me ajudou bastante a entender algumas mulheres cristãs ao meu redor.Que a graça e a paz do Senhor Jesus Cristo esteja com vocês.


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