Friday, November 1, 2013

Posted by Erin Posted on 11:32 AM | 1 comment

Trick or Treat?

Dear teenage sister,

Sister, you are beautiful. You bring smiles to faces of those around you. You hold the power to bless the world immensely by shining the light of Christ into the dark crevices of sorrow that mark the hallways of the teenage years you are walking through. You are seeking Christ and I commend you for that. He loves you and has so much life He wants to share with you. And you want to know what it is. I can see it. I can see it by the questions you ask, by your fervent desire to serve where you see brokenness, by the way you latch onto the Word taught on Sundays and Wednesdays. It is all of that makes you shine.

May I say something to you now that may sting? Something that may cause you to want to lay some bricks on the wall you've built to protect yourself? As I do, I ask that you listen with the same heart that is all that I mentioned above. Listen with a heart that desires Jesus first. And know, that what I have to say, I say in complete love. I care deeply about you, about who you are, about your dreams, and mostly about your relationship with Jesus. Alright...

Last night was Halloween. It's a super fun holiday. I never went trick-or-treating as a kid. We always opted for the Fall Festival at church. But, I love any excuse to wear a costume and eat sugar. As I cruised Facebook last night, I experienced the extremes. One post would boast of the cutest baby in a lamb costume you have ever seen. And with one flick of the mouse, the most beloved teenage girl in a "sexy" _________ costume.

Sweet girl. You are worth more than your body. Your value has very little to do with your skin. It has everything to do with your heart and the one who possesses it. Do I think that your choice of costume means you do not love Jesus. Absolutely not, I do not think that. No, rather I think that perhaps you have yet to grasp how very much He loves you. I think that you have yet to understand that loving Him is lived out in your actions. I think that, like me, you have trouble remembering that whose you are determines who you are. If you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, then your identity is wrapped up in Him. He has clothed you in His righteousness. Sometimes we forget what it is we are wearing. We take off that robe of righteousness because we forget who gifted it to us. We forget what it means. We trade it in for the old clothes...which sometimes look like sexy bunnies or nurses or taco bell hot sauce packets. (Side note: why do we have to make everything sexy...hot sauce packets? Really?)

On dictionary.com, the first definition of "sexy" is "concerned predominately or excessively with sex". The second is "sexually interesting or exciting; radiating sexuality." WOAH! If anyone every referred to me as sexy, I'd be insulted. First of all, "concerned predominately with sex"? No. If we are concerned with sex above all else, something is wrong. We need to check our hearts. Am I saying that we should never think about sex? No. We are wired for it. It isn't a bad thing...in the correct context (which, ahem, is marriage...ONLY marriage). Am I saying that I have navigated the waters of hormones perfectly? I wish I could say that, but I cannot. But, how heartbreaking for it to ever be true of you or me that sex is our priority over Christ and outside of marriage, that sex is our priority over anything. And secondly, "radiating sexuality"? Oh, my sister, please go read the first paragraph of this letter again. I'll wait.....

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In Exodus, Moses met with God and when he came down from the mountain, his face was radiating so brightly that the people freaked out. They had never seen anything like it. Daniel 12:3 says, "Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above, and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever." Radiate sexuality? No, beautiful one.
We should radiate Christ!

We all know that what we put in our bodies affects our outward appearance, yes? When you eat junk, it shows on your skin...breakouts, weight gain, weak nails, etc. It's the same with the heart. What we soak into our system, will be revealed through our actions and choices. If you are soaking in Jesus, then it will be evident on the outside. It will be evident in how you dress and present yourself to the world. Do you know what Proverbs 31 says about the woman who is seeking God? Verse 25 say "Strength and dignity are her clothing." Sister, when you are dressing for sex appeal, you are forfeiting dignity. Halloween isn't the only day this matters either. Every day. Every day, you get to be clothed in the righteousness of Christ. He has traded our rags for His strength and dignity. We get to wear it everyday and it will show off the beauty of Christ in you....and also, the beauty that He created as you (meaning your own beauty), far better than a short skirt or low cut top.

So what, then? Do we just skip Halloween? I mean, it's hard to find costumes for women that don't showcase our cleavage, mid-drifts, or butts. We like to say, too, that it is hard to find everyday clothes that don't do the same....this one is a lie. It is easy to find modest, cute clothes....but your eye has to look for them. You will find what you want to find. If you aren't finding modest clothes, maybe it's time for a heart check. But, in regards to Halloween, God is a creative God and He made you in His image. That creativity is in you. Raid Goodwill. Raid the fabric store. Go crazy with hair and makeup. You can work wonders with duct tape. Think out of the box. I promise you, it is in you to design the most clever costume your high school has ever seen. And people will talk about your creativity for much longer than they will talk about your sexy poodle costume.

You are beautiful. Let that show. Let Christ shine through you. Have you ever seen alabaster? It is a stone that all sorts of beautiful markings. It's alright on it's own, but when you put a candle in an alabaster jar, all of it's beauty becomes evident. Those beautiful marking were always there, but it took an internal light for them to be evident. Painting or bedazzilng the outside of an alabaster jar would do nothing to reveal it's beauty. In fact it would hide it underneath a layer of cheap sparkles. It is the same with us. We have been formed with beauty marks of our own. It can be hard to identify them until Christ becomes the light in you. Then, the world will be stunned by the beauty they see in you.

Continue to seek Him. Be predominately concerned with Christ. Radiate His glory. You are beautiful.

With all love and grace,
Erin


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1 comments:

~ gina d ~ said...

Good, good, good.
Thank you, Erin.
I plan to share this message with the Fresh/Soph girls today. You are awesome!