Last week Kim Kardashian made news when she posted a nude photo of herself on Twitter under the mantra of empowerment.
In a blog post she wrote, “I am empowered by my body. I am empowered by my sexuality. I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin. I am empowered by showing the world my flaws and not being afraid of what anyone is going to say about me. And I hope that through this platform I have been given, I can encourage the same empowerment for girls and women all over the world.”
Reading the story of Kim Kardashian’s selfie made me think about my daughters. What if my daughters were teenagers right now? What would I tell them about the picture Kim Kardashian posted? What would I say to them if they asked, “What’s the big deal?” How would I explain the reasons we don’t show all of our bodies to the world-wide-web or to anyone for that matter?
Even though I do not have teenagers yet, I know enough about teenagers to know that just saying, “Because the Bible says so” doesn’t cut it. Teenagers want concrete, logical reasons behind the rules they’re asked to follow.
In an effort to possibly prepare myself for the day I do have this conversation with my daughters, because I’m not naive enough to think that the day won’t come, here’s what I’d say:
Your body is too special to be seen by just anyone.
This is a conversation I’m already having with my three-year-old. “God made all of your body. All of your body is good and special. But some parts are so special that they are not to be seen by other people.”
Think about the most valuable possessions in the world. Where are they? They’re in museums and locked up in vaults for limited exposure. They’re not out on the streets for unlimited public consumption.
The same is true for a woman’s body. It’s too special for everyone to see. Only a woman’s husband, after demonstrating his love and respect for her, has earned the privilege of seeing all of her body.
When you show your body to everyone, you give your power away.
Kim Kardashian claimed that posting a nude selfie of herself empowered her. This is a lie Satan wants women to believe. The moment a woman treats her body as an object is the moment her body becomes an object for other people to use. The power a woman once had to choose who is worthy to see her body is gone. Anyone can use her body for any purpose – to lust over, to make crude comments about, to critique, to criticize, to print out and hang up. Her body is no longer hers. Because she’s made it a commodity, it’s become one.
A woman’s power comes from knowing that not everyone has the right to see all of her body. She decides the one person who gets to see it, and the criteria is high – the covenant of marriage.
Exposing too much skin is a sign of insecurity.
Insecurity with who she is as a person is what drives a woman to reveal too much of herself. She doesn’t see herself as a soul who has a body. She doesn’t recognize that she was made in the image of God for a purpose. She doesn’t understand that her true identity in Jesus. Instead, in her eyes her worth comes from the attention the world can give her.
This is such a sad place to live. We are much more than our bodies. Our bodies do not last forever. One day they will die. But our souls live for eternity when we have a relationship with Jesus.
Insecurity causes us to look to people and circumstances outside of Jesus for our worth, and when we look in other places are souls are damaged.
Treating your body with respect gives you dignity.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines dignity as “a way of appearing or behaving that suggests seriousness and self-control” and “the quality of being worthy of honor or respect.”
Does exposing all of your body suggest seriousness or self-control? Does it show that you honor and respect yourself and you’re worthy of honor and respect from others?
Proverbs 31:25 describes a woman who fears the Lord like this: “Strength and dignity are her clothing.” I think it’s interesting that the metaphor uses clothing. A woman who fears the Lord is clothed with physical clothing and strength and dignity.
And dignity gives you power because it expects honor and respect from others.
Your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit.
This one is not new. First Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
As a Jesus follower, the Holy Spirit, God Himself, lives within your body. Even though this truth is hard for our finite minds to understand, it should be enough for us to want to show dignity with our bodies.
Young girl . . .
your body is special,
power is yours to keep,
you are secure in Jesus,
dignity clothes you,
and the Holy Spirit lives within you.
You don’t need to show your body to other people. Guard your heart by guarding your body.