“Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” I Peter 3:3-4 (NLT)
From a young age, what were you taught to “be?” In many cultures, girls are taught how to be pleasing to men. This can cause a girl to stop focusing on God and get consumed with trying to catch a man’s attention through looks, actions and even sex.
Were you taught that your goal in life is catch a man’s attention so you can get married one day? Although God has a wonderful plan for marriage, our duty is to “live in a way that pleases God” (I Thessalonians 4:1, not men or women. From every direction, we are pressured to look, act and live like the admired women of our culture: being obsessed with shoes, clothes, jewelry, or hairstyles; or making your face or body look a certain way; or having a boyfriend or husband.
Remember, “those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit” (Romans 8:5). Let God’s Holy Spirit transform you into the woman He wants you to be, rather than the woman the world says you should be.
Obsessions about your appearance can hurt your relationship with God and cause you to seek earthly things. You might even use your looks or body to gain control over people who are attracted to you. For example, some people want or need money. As a result, they use their appearance to attract someone who has lots of money instead of trusting God to provide.
By trying to gain power over others using sexual attraction, you begin focusing on sex rather than the Lord. But Jesus instructed His followers, “seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33). Rather than being tempted to depend on your own looks or body to get what you want or need from others, trust in the infinite power of God.
Your family, friends and even other Christians may not recognize this temptation. Some men often pretend to love an attractive woman to get them to have sex. But remember that “God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin” (I Thessalonians 4:3). When you find yourself tempted to pursue earthly approval from men, or use sex and material things to attract men, remember the Bible’s instructions to “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2).
Pray this week:
Dear God, help me focus on pleasing you instead of men or women. By the power of the Holy Spirit, make me the person you want me to be and help me to put aside sexual temptation. Amen.
Do you feel pressure to have sex or do you pressure men or women to look attractive and please the opposite sex? Talk to a caring Christian about it.