I just returned home from an amazing weekend investing in the beautiful moms at Hearts at Home. Seeing thousands of moms coming together to give their children “more” made me at times speechless.
It is my heart to come alongside moms who are making a difference in our culture…in their homes and those making a difference outside as well. One of those moms is my friend, Erin Bishop of The Whatever Girls. Today, I want to share with you some of her wise thoughts…
As a Christian, I believe every word in the Bible. I didn’t always. I used to think there was no God. I lived for myself. I lived in the moment. There was an emptiness. I sensed I was missing something. I looked for fulfillment in many things, and sometimes I still do, because, well, I’m human. But things changed, and I accepted Christ and my life hasn’t been the same since.
When it comes to matters of purity and modesty, I support both. God created man and woman to love, marry, have sex and reproduce. And have more sex. Many critics of purity and modesty, or the manner in which these topics are portrayed, have often referred to those of us who believe in purity and modesty as ones who would have women wear burkas or the like. Not me, and I think I can safely say most of my colleagues feel the same way. I believe that women should be careful with how they dress because God made men to be visual creatures and sometimes the way women dress cause men (and boys) to stumble. And, sometimes, women are on the receiving end of unwanted attention, which is unacceptable.
A few weeks ago I was talking to a mixed group of teen guys and girls. We started talking about modesty and one of the guys said “It’s not fair how some girls dress. They look so hot in those short skirts and tight jeans, and I want to look, but then if I look, I feel like a pervert.” I told them it was normal for them to be curious and aroused by what they saw, because it is. That’s how God wired them.
But what happens when we take something and mix it with something it was never intended to be mixed with? If you put Diesel fuel in your non-Diesel engine you may travel a short distance, but in the end you’re going to have some unpleasant side effects and most likely some serious damage. The same is true when you take two unmarried people and put them in the type of physical relationship that God intended for a husband and wife. As someone who has lived both ways (mine and God’s), I speak from experience when I say that there absolutely are negative side effects when we don’t do things God’s way. And again, I say this as a Christian, and this is my truth and the truth of many. But this isn’t what some people believe, and that’s their prerogative.
So what exactly do a group of Christian moms mean when they say they’ve had enough of the world and the media scandalizing and sexualizing their children? We’re saying that we want God’s best for our kids. That means we are intentional about teaching our kids God’s plan for marriage and sex and we are rejecting the patterns of the world. We’re saying “enough” to the companies who only offer immodest clothing, magazines that promote and encourage sex to teens and everything else that would have our kids act like adults when they need to be experiencing their childhood. We’re saying “no” to anything that tells our kids they need to look this way or that way. We’re saying yes to the truths in the Bible that affirm that EACH of us was created by a loving God who has great plans for EACH of our lives. That NONE of us are here on this earth by accident.
What are we not saying? We are not saying we are better than anyone, or that girls or women who dress immodestly are less than, sluts, whores, asking for it, or anything like that. But we are saying that girls and women who choose to dress this way or engage in sexual activity before marriage are loved JUST AS MUCH by the SAME GOD as we are.
For those who reject the notion of God, please consider what the American Psychological Association have to say on the matter by clicking here. What prompted this report? ”Journalists, child advocacy organizations, parents and psychologists have argued that the sexualization of girls is a broad and increasing problem and is harmful to girls.The APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls was formed in response to these expressions of public concern.”
In the Executive Summary the APA states:
This report examines and summarizes psychological theory, research and clinical experience addressing the sexualization of girls.The report (a) defines sexualization; (b) examines the prevalence and provides examples of sexualization in society and in cultural institutions, as well as interpersonally and intrapsychically; (c) evaluates the evidence suggesting that sexualization has negative consequences for girls and for the rest of society; and (d) describes positive alternatives that may help counteract the the influence of sexualization.
There are several components to sexualization, and these set it apart from healthy sexuality. Sexualization occurs when
- a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics;
- a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy;
- a person is sexually objectified — that is, made into a thing for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making; and/or
- sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person.
All four conditions need not be present; any one is an indication of sexualization. The fourth condition (the inappropriate imposition of sexuality) is especially relevant to children. Anyone (girls, boys, men, women) can be sexualized. But when children are imbued with adult sexuality, it is often imposed upon them rather than chosen by them. Self-motivated sexual exploration, on the other hand, is not sexualization by our definition, nor is age-appropriate exposure to information about sexuality.
I challenge everyone to read the APA report before commenting on this blog post. The evidence is compelling, but don’t take my word for it. Please, read it. The APA is completely objective on the matter.
So what is this campaign about? What do we mean when we say “Our Daughters Deserve Better”? We believe that each and every girl and woman in the world was created by a loving God, whether they know this or agree with this. No woman is the sum of what she looks like, what she wears, what career she has chosen…or not. Whether she’s a stay at home mom, a lawyer, a banker or prostitute or a stripper. She has value. To God and to us here at the Whatever Girls.
When we say our daughters deserve better, we’re including YOU and YOUR daughter(s), because we’re ALL God’s daughters, and He wants and HAS the best for each of us.
Want to help us send the message “Our Daughters Deserve Better” to magazines like Seventeen and lingerie companies like Victoria’s Secret?
Check out this article about Seventeen promoting sex to 12 year-olds here
Contact Seventeen and Cosmo Girl here
Check out Victoria’s Secret “Bright Young Things” line, here (scroll down to see all of the big collection)
Contact Victoria’s Secret here
To keep the momentum of our campaign going, we have set aside Mondays as a special day called “Moms Sound Off” on ourFacebook page where us moms can get together and sound off on the issues and put our heads together on how we can work together to ensure our voices are heard. (We’d love to hear from you on the other days of the week, too.)
On behalf of my team, I want to thank you for investing in the lives of teen girls and for swimming upstream with us against the currents of this world that are trying to drown our kids. You are making a difference and we applaud you.
I actually came to your website to learn more about your book, His Revolutionary Love. I am the happy mom of two girls. God works in mysterious ways :), as I was browsing around your blog I read your description of your daughter’s tummy troubles. My nine year old is going through the EXACT same thing. Would you mind sharing her diagnosis? I know it wouldn’t be the same as Charlotte’s, but it could be a conversation starter with the gastroenterologist. We tried IBS diet, dairy free and now Axid. Nothing is working. Thank you for any info. Peace & Strength
Lynn Cowell says
Hi Leigh, I ended up taking Mariah to a NaturalPathic Doctor. She has treated Mariah with enzymes and herbs as Mariah has a sensitivity to wheat, dairy, sugar, millet and spelt. With removing these things from her diet and taking these food supplements, Mariah has been stomach ache free ever since. It has required a lot of discipline on her part, but she had gotten tired enough of feeling yucky!
Thank you so much! Like I said, it is a conversation starter. Also, I’m loving your blog 🙂
Elise Daly Parker says
Thanks for sharing this Lynn…and for taking a stand for our daughters. I’m with you!!