Even as Christian women, with our worth rooted in Christ, we still struggle with beauty to some extent. I see it in my mirror, and I see it when I walk into churches, when I talk to youth groups, and when I scroll through online feeds of sexy selfies. We've probably found ourselves leaning to either extreme; sometimes, we fear our beauty, and other times, we feel like we'll never measure up.
"Be careful" was the first message I heard from the church about beauty. Being careful meant dressing modestly and hearing constant reminders of the sexual nature of the male mind. I didn't particularly understand the appeal of following rules, and I enjoyed attention, so I threw off the modesty rules and dressed in a way that caused men to notice me.
Even though I grew up in church, I didn't truly believe in Jesus until college. After my decision to follow him, my mind soon thought about what meant for my wardrobe, ridiculous as that may sound. I had read Every Man's Battle, a book about men's obsessive sexual thoughts, and it left me with a great deal of fear and a disconcerting desire for a new wardrobe.
I was told that being a Christian woman meant protecting men's minds by the way that I dressed. That's what Jesus wanted. So I lugged a trash bag full of short skirts, dresses, cropped shirts, and tube tops out to the dumpster—determined to dress modestly and respect my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Take up your cross and follow, right?
I replaced my midriff baring shirts with hoodies. I moved to China to share the gospel, where I stopped wearing makeup and didn't care much about my style. But like many Christian women, I found that dressing modestly wasn't ...1
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