Monday, October 25, 2010
Earlier this year, I recall reading an article in PARADE magazine. In it, it had an interview with pop superstar and actress, Miley Cyrus. It definitely interested me, because I'm a big fan Disney, and the people apart of it. It started really good...you know, about her music, and other things. Then she went on to talk about God, and how big He is in her life. Then, I read something that kind of caught me off guard.
She started talking about how people criticize her all the time about her immodest dress. She started saying how dressing modestly is old school, and that it really doesn't matter. She also said that she honestly didn't think God would condemn her to hell simply for wearing short-shorts.
After reading this, my respect for her began to falter. Then, when the song and her music video for “Can't be Tamed” came out, it was completely gone. I had originally thought of her as someone of good morals, and someone who was a good role model. That image was entirely shattered for me.
Since these incidents, it has only gotten worse. If anything, I seriously worry about a lot of the choices she's made...and she's not even 18 yet (not that it matters, really. There are plenty of stars who are better role models than she is at that age, maybe a little younger). It almost seems like she's trying to be like Lady GaGa and Katy Perry-two people are are truly talented, but are wasting their talent away on a trashy images. Which is definitely the way Miley seems to want to be going.
Miley is trying so hard to grow up and be an “adult” star it seems. Nothing wrong with that, in and of its self. But, I feel like there's a better way she could do that. Just look at people like Taylor Swift and Demi Lovato, for instance. These two young women are trying to grow up their image some; but they don't include taking off their clothes, or writing trashy music as the ways they're choosing to do so.
The issue I want to look at is what it truly means to be a woman and growing up.
Many young people today have this mindset that to grow up, they must do grown up things. True, right? For the most part. But some young people have also seemed to gain this mindset that wearing less, and doing sexual things and dressing immodestly gives them a false sense of control...which what some people feel are keys to growing up: control over your own life; doing what you want to do.
First off, let's make one thing very clear: dressing immodestly, and doing sexual things is NOT going to make you seem like a grown up...nor is it going to make others respect you. Respect for yourself and maturity are the keys to growing up. Not flaunting yourself, or giving yourself away.
Proverbs 11:22 says, “Like a gold ring in a pig's snout, is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.”
Basically what this is saying that a woman who flaunts herself is, in God's eyes, has lessened her value. A gold ring in a pig's nose isn't going to be worth much afterward, is it? Who's going to want the ring after it's been in a pig's nose? As far as I know, a pig's nose isn't the most lovely place in the world.
A woman who knows her worth and value isn't going to put herself forward as someone who gets disrespected. She knows that to get respect, she must dress in such a way to get that respect. She's also going to conduct herself in such a way as to get respect from those around her.
If she thinks that the only way to get attention and love is to flaunt herself, I believe she's sadly mistaken. Miley, for whatever reason, has gotten sucked into this notion. She's doing more and more controversial things to get that attention. If she's hooked on it, there's no telling how depraved she'll become, thirsting for more and more until her public loses interest, and there's not much left she can do.
What about a regular girl? Are there situations comparable for them to Miley's? Yes! For instance, a girl is feeling unloved, and the first guy that shows interest in them, they fall head over heels. Then, to keep him interested, they keep doing more and more sexual things to keep him “interested” in her. The thing about sin is that it carries you further than you expected to go (unless you have a reality check that knocks you upside the head.). Then, the guy isn't going to care one bit about the girl, and eventually lose interest, and move on to something else.
The more that girls keep being involved in this vicious cycle, the more heartbreak they'll face. That's exactly what sin does: it tears you apart until there's only a thread left. It beats you down until you don't have a leg to stand on.
One of the biggest reasons I believe God doesn't want us to sin isn't because He want's to control us and keep us from having fun. I believe that the biggest reason is because He loves us, and doesn't want us to get hurt. Every form of sin there is, we could literally sit down and name all the bad things to come from them, and the kinds of pain that result.
Did you know that when a two people participate in sexual activity, a chemical gets released from the brain and creates a bond between the two people? When that is broken somehow, it can result in depression and self -esteem issues. Just think about how many girls have slept with so many guys, and the mental state it can leave them in! It can be devastating! Not to mention, there's the very real possibility of contracting a whole host of sexual diseases. These girls just get so addicted to participating in these activities because it gives them a reason to feel happy...waiting for the next time that they can feel for a short time that they're worth something to someone.
A young Christian woman needs to stay away from things that could deplete her self esteem. Dressing immodestly can do this as well. Some might say it can actually up her self esteem, but I think it's just the opposite. Yes, momentarily it might. But over time, a girl may think that the only way to receive the attention she desires is to dress that way. She begins to lose respect for herself, and can in some cases lead her to do other things that can ruin herself even more.
Also, dressing immodestly causes another problem: A woman dresses as sexy as legally possible, then, when she's trying to get the attention of the guy she wants to lure, a bunch of other guys she has no interest in flock to her like flies to rotten meat. This makes people respect her less, and she can ruin her reputation simply by what she wears. This makes her an easy target for guys. Some guys might have a mindset that because a girl is dressing a certain way, she puts off an image of wanting things she may or may not want. And, while rape is never a woman's fault, and the man has a choice, women can make themselves easier prey for guys like that. Being in places like parties can increase your chances of getting raped, as well. Some guy might slip drugs or alcohol in your drink and take advantage of you.
The things I mentioned above, as we see, can actually inhibit the maturity of someone.
With Miley Cyrus, the problem with her is because she's in such a high position. She has no idea the influence she has on society. So many wide-eyed girls stare in fascination at her and want to be just like her. She has said that she has no problem with little girls watching her latest videos. She might as well say she has no problem with little girls dressing like her. She might as well say she has no problem with young girls dancing on poles.
So many girls are such huge fans of her. If she is going to act this way, she should not be surprised that other girls are going to do the same, therefore setting off a whole host of problems for them.
Girls, we need to realize that little girls look up to us! We need to be examples to them of strong Christian women that respect themselves. When they see us, they need to see a better way of living life, and maybe through our influence, they can see the kind of person they need to be. We do not need to be like some of these celebrities who could seriously care less about the influence they have over young kids...or anyone for that matter. True Christians need to care about how others see them! I cannot say this enough! (Matthew 5:16)
God loves you so very much. He wants so much for you to be beautiful inside as well as out. As I was saying before, growing up doesn't necessarily mean you do “grown up” things. It means respecting yourself, and striving to be a better person. What matters it what God wants for us. He knows more than we do, and we must understand that.
Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain. But a woman who fears the Lord she shall be praised.”
We should all strive to be young women that God can use and be proud of!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
It is a known fact that women score higher in English and literature than men do. On average, men are usually better with math and computation. God made women to have amazing abilities. One of those abilities is our ability to speak and communicate. So, I ask you…are you using your “gift of gab” for good?
I think a lot of people don’t realize that the bible does actually talk about bad language. People don’t really realize how serious it actually is. A lot of them just think of what they say as “just words” and that it really doesn’t really matter. But as a Christian, it really does matter.
Ephesians 4:29, 31 says: “Let no corrupt communication proceed from your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers….Let al bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”
Colossians 3:8 says: “But now you must also put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.”....
God does not want us to use foul language. Think for a moment: Can you see Jesus saying, “I’m so p***** off!” or, “**** You!”. Be honest with yourself. I don’t think any of us can. We’re supposed to be showing the world to Jesus. He definitely would not talk that way. The language we use is one of the biggest ways we show the world we are different.
Matthew 5:14-16 says, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father in heaven.”
It doesn’t specifically mention our language in that verse…but, you can see that God expects us to be different-and that includes the words we use. Believe or not, people will notice how different you are by how you speak.
I know a girl named “Ellie” who had another girl named “Sharon” mention to her once that she thought she was cool. Why? It was because the girl didn’t use bad language. Ellie had no clue that anyone had noticed. Sharon told her that she was smart and impressed by her for saying how she really felt rather than expressing it through cursing. When Ellie had mentioned this to her father, her father said that it’s possible that other people are noticing too. People WILL notice if you talk differently. When you are truly trying to live for Christ, other people will notice. Why? The bible says it will…as we just read in Matthew 5:14-16
What is gossip?
I think many people don’t have a full understanding of what gossip completely is. Gossip is talking about someone behind their back thoughtlessly, saying things you would never say to their face. It’s not necessarily lying about someone. A lot of girls gossip because they....
a) are angry with someone.
b) are bored.
c) don’t have anything better to do.
d) it’s fun.
The bible talks about gossip, too. In Romans 1:28-32 it says:
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness…deceit, evil mindedness, they are whisperers , backbiters….who, knowing the righteous judgement of God , that those who practice such things are worthy of death not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.”
In the New King James Version, the word “whisperers” means “gossipers”. See what it says in the end of the verse? Those who gossip and approve of it (and other things I chose not to put down) are worthy of death!
We need to remember that words hurt. Unless those words being used could be beneficial to the person (Ephesians 4:29) we should avoid idle talking and thoughtless talking about others. Remember: “Do unto others that you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12). Plus, thoughtless or angry talking isn’t loving. We’re supposed to love others. (1st John 4:7-8) Talking bad about them, or telling their business isn’t loving; no matter what they may have done.
If you’re doing it to get revenge on that person, don’t do it. Romans 12:19 says: “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written. Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Vengeance belongs to the Lord, not us.
I don’t need any examples for this one. When you are with your friends, it’s possible that a sex joke will come up. You’ve probably laughed along with them from time to time. Are they really okay or not?....
As Christians, we are supposed to keep our thoughts clean. We aren’t supposed to have sexual thoughts until marriage with our spouse. Sex jokes encourage these thoughts. Proverbs 23:7 says: “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Plus as Ephesians 4:20 says, our words should be uplifting. Sex jokes are definitely not uplifting in the way God wants us to be uplifted. How are we being uplifting if we are being a stumbling block for others? In other words, causing others to sin. (1st John 2:10).
Dirty jokes cause us to think of sinful things when we’re supposed to be thinking of good things. Phillipians 4:8 says: “Finally bretheren, whatever things are true, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, nad if there is anything praiseworthy, think on these things.”
Respect for God’s Name
It’s often that I hear the Lord’s name being used in a way it shouldn’t be. Taking the Lord’s name means that you are using God’s name thoughtlessly, and as an exclamation. In the bible, we see that God’s name is treated with respect. Do you ever see anyone in the New or Old testament throwing God’s name around?
God’s name is to be respected. Exclaiming “Oh my God!”, saying “Thank God!” thoughtlessly; saying “Oh Lord!” thoughtlessly; Or more popular, “OMG!” is disrespectful him…because we are saying it thoughtlessly and unreverantly. We're supposed to fear God and respect him. That's not very respectful to God, is it? We should only say it when we are actually talking about him or to him. (Exodus 20:7)
In the end, we need to strive to think before we speak; and ask ourselves what would be the Godly thing to do or say. I like to remember the words from this song:
“May my steps be worship
May my thoughts be praise
May my words bring honor to your name!”
Here’s another thought: As a cute little rabbit once said in Bambi: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”