Throughout the year there are well over 14,000 negative sexual references that we might be exposed to in one form or another.
So how can we stay pure when it is common place in so many of the things that we watch and read. We don’t even have to be looking for it. We see it in commercials, on billboards, even when we’re just grocery shopping.
Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life." To guard our hearts means that we will be guarding ourselves in other areas as well. We will be guarding our sexuality, our future plans, our eyes. I'm on my way to guarding my heart, and I can offer some tips to minimize the effects of the battle over our attention, our soul, our mind, will, emotions and our heart.
1) Decide NOW what you will do! Prov. 3: 21-23 talks about good insight and planning being life to us. Don't let matters of the heart interfere with your goals. If we guard our hearts, then our goals will also be safe.
2) Pray to keep from temptation! Matt. 6:13, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
3) Flee!1 Pet. 2:11, 2 Tim. 2:22 "Keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls." "Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts."
4) Establish Boundaries! 1 John 3:1-3 "See how very much our Father loves us... but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as He is pure."
5) Think smart! What we think about ourselves will determine our actions, even in how we're dressing.
6) Dress smart! A good rule of thumb to follow is the 4 B's - breast, back, belly, butt. If these 4 areas are covered and not overly accentuated by being tight-fitting, then it's probably a good choice.
What are you advertising by your clothing? How you dress speaks volumes about your intentions. Your clothes will determine what type of guy you attract. We don’t need to attract negative sexual attention just to feel good about ourselves as women. I do not want to be ogled. Women are beautiful and we don’t have to be paranoid, but we can raise our standards when it comes to the daily choices we make concerning simple things. If we respect our self-image, then others will too. It starts with knowing who we are and what we truly think about ourselves inside. Keep in mind that God always wants to bless us and the boundaries of modesty/purity/chastity are for our protection and ultimate good. God calls us to a higher standard than what is commonly portrayed in our society.
Also keep in mind that girls are driven emotionally. We crave emotional intimacy and are stimulated by hearing and feeling. We give sex to get love. We are designed so that our bodies, minds and spirits are intricately connected. We internalize what happens around us and to us. For example, kissing can be emotional.
On the other hand, guys are driven by the physical. They crave physical intimacy, they are stimulated by sight. Guys give love to get sex and their bodies can disconnect from their minds, hearts, and spirits. Guys will externalize. For example, kissing can be sexual thing for them.
7) Watch smart! Since a large majority of these assaults will be through what we see, it stands to reason that we need to carefully guard this aspect of our daily lives. I can hear the protest of..but, that doesn't leave me with much to watch! There are always alternatives out there, even if we have to search for them. There are less suggestive styles to wear, there are family-friendly movies to watch, just as there are healthier choices to eat if we really wanted to. Seriously, they are out there. If you want to find good things to watch, without sexual content, you can. Ratings aren't always accurate about the content however. More and more sexual material is winding up in our PG movies. What we watch has an effect on what we think about internally.
There are love stories that don't involve sex. In fact, lust and attraction should never be interchanged with love. Lust is a desire that is devoid of God’s love Jesus talked about the effects of lust in Matt. 5:27-30, "You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery. But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell."
Overall, these strategies aren't drastic, but they are simple and effective steps to help us win at being women, free to live out the good life God designed for us!