I saw you at the pool today walking with your friend. Your body barely filling out the teeny tiny string bikini you were modeling during your numerous walks around the pool grounds.
I saw you at the party walking ever so gingerly and carefully in your oh so high heels and itty bitty little shorts. You were afraid to move the wrong way because there was no room for error with the height of your shorts and the depth of your shirt.
I saw you hanging out with your friends. Your bra straps and cleavage taking up more space on your body than the teeny tiny “shirt” you had on. Skin tight pants with an obvious thong…there was nothing left to the imagination.
I saw you…my boys saw you. I imagine any male, young or old, saw you and took notice.
You were made for so much more than this.
I do not write this with a finger waving at you in the air. I do not write this thumping my Bible and preaching to you. I do not write to you to cast blame or judgment. I write to you to tell you that you are beautiful. You are treasured and created in beauty. You are fairer than diamonds, more precious than the finest gems. You are a masterpiece of the Lord, created just the way He wanted you to be, crafted by His hand. You are like no other. You are special, unique. Your are beautiful.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:14
I wish that I could run up to you and look at you in the eyes and tell you that your beauty goes far beyond outward appearances. Beauty is something within. It’s a comfort in being you. It is a feeling that exudes from a woman who knows that she is a child of the Lord and that her true value comes from Him. Beauty actually has very little to do with a pretty face or a nice body. Beauty goes much deeper. It is found in a quiet, tender spirit. Take away the fancy clothes, pretty hair, lovely make-up, and sparkling jewelry, and see that beauty is still to be found.
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment… . Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. I Peter 3:3-4
True beauty has little to do with appearances.
I was recently food shopping and found myself stuck behind an older gentleman. He was likely in his late 50’s or early 60’s, and with each aisle we traveled, I watched his head turn and his eyes survey many young women. There was one commonality in the women he took the time to check out. They were all barely dressed. Not surprisingly, very short skirts, spandex pants, tiny tanks, and barely there shorts were to his liking. His motions were very obvious and his gaze lingered in an eerie way. I also noticed that there were some women who escaped his glance all together. They must have been “ugly”, right? Not so. Those equally attractive women were dressed in loosely fitting shirts, modest skirts, or knee length shorts. They weren’t hanging out of their shirts or barely dressed. This man had no interest in modesty. He sought to disrespect and get a free peep from women with questionable attire. It was completely nauseating.
You are worth so much more than the wandering gaze of that strange man.
I hope you realize that this is not a call for you to wear turtlenecks and floor length skirts or to have your hair in a bun and to throw away your lipstick. Not at all. It is a challenge for you to think about why you dress the way you do. Are you looking for attention? Do you want to feel sexy? Trying to fit in with your friends? Wanting to get the attention of a specific boy? Looking for ways to intentionally challenge your parents? I can’t answer those questions for you.
Please know that I can relate to you. During the first two years of college (when I was young and thin), I absolutely found power in a low cut shirt and a tight pair of jeans. I found that I could turn heads, meet guys, and get attention. I also found out that the guys who were interested in my low cut shirts and tight jeans really had no interest in getting to know me for me. I gave the impression by my choice of clothing that I was an easy pick-up. I wasn’t interested in casual hook-ups; I was looking for a relationship. Thankfully the Lord opened my eyes and showed me that He valued me and was actually interested in a relationship with me. I found worth and the freedom to just be me in Christ alone.
I want you to know that there are parents who are raising their teenage boys to respect you. They are being taught that your true value is not found in your outward appearance, where beauty can change and fade, but instead they are being taught to look for inward beauty, in your heart and mind. They are being taught that a lady’s first love should be the Lord, as should theirs. They are being taught to steer clear of temptation or anything that will cause them to stumble or fall. They are being taught that you are more than just a pretty face or a nice body. They are being taught that they are accountable to the Lord for the way they treat you. I hope and pray that they follow what they’ve heard and what the Bible says, just as I hope that you will do the same.
There are young men who are being taught to love and respect you and to appreciate the beauty of a modest young woman.
I pray that you will realize the great love your Heavenly Father has for you. I hope that you realize what true beauty is. My desire for you is to respect yourself enough to think about the way you dress. Think about why you dress the way you do. Please know that there are young men who are being taught to value you for who you are. Seek them out. Wait for them. Don’t compromise yourself.
This post was first featured on Life in the Van.