Monday, June 29, 2009

Sexting and the Teenage Girl, Part 2

We cannot bury our heads in the sand and pretend like these things are not a reality for many of the kids in our churches. Whether they are exposed to it regularly, tempted by it, or actively engaging in it, sexual immorality is not foreign to many teenagers. And in today’s culture it is even more prominent, and in some cases, celebrated. Ministering to young women will require an understanding of what they are up against on a daily basis, and will also require the biblical tools to fight sin. We must partner with them in the fight against sin, and the quest towards biblical womanhood. It is crucial that we help the young women in our congregations combat the lie that their bodies are their own, and their own to flaunt for anyone who would have them. God does not say this. Their bodies are to be a temple of the Holy Spirit, not the object of a hormonal boy’s gawks. Partnering with parents will be key as we seek to protect and lead the next generation of women to live in purity and holiness.

Mothers have a primary responsibility to shepherd their daughters in the ways of the Lord. Often this will mean protecting them at all costs from their own sinfulness, and the sin around them. No teenage daughter should have uncontrolled access to social networking, technology, or media. Allowing them this freedom will only open a door to an independence that they are often not ready for. If your daughter sends multiple text messages a day and you have no idea who the recipients are, then I encourage you to ask her who she is texting and ask her to show you the messages. Parents have an obligation to protect their daughters from predatory men, and this means boys who will use them for their sexuality. Teach your daughters what purity is at a very young age, and raise her to view her body as reserved only for her husband.

Growing up in today’s culture is not easy. Billboards and store displays scream that if I do not take it all off, I am not beautiful, or desirable. This is a lie. Beauty and desirability are not defined by how much we take off. Rather, in God’s eyes, purity until marriage is of the most value. Dear younger sister in the Lord, do not believe the lies around you that beckon you to give in. Believe the Bible, and believe your parents and your pastors, whom God has given you to protect you physically and spiritually.

We live in a fallen world. Unfortunately these horrible things are results of living in this Genesis 3 world. Some would argue that these acts of immorality are perpetuated by social media. And I don’t necessarily think that is true. I think social media serves a purpose but, like all good things, can be used for sinful purposes as well. The rise of sexting and other forms of pornographic leanings among teenagers is a call to be especially vigilant. It means we need to work desperately hard to protect our girls not only from the people around them, but from their own sinful hearts as well. We cannot pretend like it isn’t happening. But we can show them that Jesus is better than any temporary pleasure an explicit message can bring.

No comments: