You’ve seen them posted all over Facebook and Instagram, maybe there’s even a few on your own phone; the selfie is the modern thing. But does anyone ever stop and consider their motive for posting a selfie? You do your makeup on Saturday morning and put on your best top and take a glance in the mirror and “wow!” You look fantastic today so you whip out your trusty phone and snap a few selfies so you can post them to Facebook later. Now-a-days it seems like everybody is doing it. Single women, married women, and even the males join in. But what exactly is your reason for showing the world your picture? Have you ever thought about what motive lies behind the selfie…have you ever questioned your motives for posting what you do?
For starters, there may not neccessarily be anything wrong with taking a picture of yourself other than maybe vanity or self conceit if God convicts you. You look good today and feel good so you take a picture. What I want to talk about is what you do with the picture once you’ve taken it. Now, there is definitely a difference between the types of pictures you can take. Right? You know this. First, there’s the puckered lips, seductive eyelashes, “look at me” type picture. Then, there’s the “hey, I’m hanging with my friends but I’m posting this because I look sexy in this picture!” There is the innocent, no-intentions, “here I am, this is me…I am a person made by God and my name is… (insert name here)” picture. Then there’s the “I just rolled outta bed and look like a sack of potatoes picture” that you don’t want any living creature to ever lay eyes on. What your picture looks like can help determine your motive and whether or not it is pure and holy in God’s eyes. Let me give you an example of these different types of selfies with my quickly drawn illustrations!
One great way you can tell if your picture is off base is to ask yourself some of these simple questions. Is my picture about sex? Is it sexual in any way? Does it draw attention to me because I look sexy? Am I trying to gain attention because I look good in this picture? If you can honestly answer any of these questions with a yes, you might want to re-think posting your selfie online for everyone to see. As Christians, we are called to walk in spiritual purity whether we are married or single. And don’t be fooled. God knows your heart. Some people are very good at subtly drawing attention to themselves sexually with the selfies they post without looking blatantly like a hooker. God will know the intentions of your heart and it takes a woman who is determined to follow Jesus to do the right thing no matter what the cost.
You can also consider that your flippant decision to post a sexy picture of yourself online doesn’t just effect you but also other people too. Single guys, married men, and even young boys are online…on Facebook and other social media sites and can view your picture. You can ask yourself some deep questions such as, “will this help my brother in Christ maintain purity before the Lord?” and “Am I encouraging the men (married, single, or youth) who see my Facebook selfie to look at me with lust?” Also, “what does God think about me posting this picture?” You can consider the spiritual or physical consequences that you could bear for your agreement with sexual sin. In case you were wondering what the sexual sin might be, it is perhaps that you are seeking to gain attention for your looks (with the body God gave you that is intended to be kept holy and pure and showing it off before the public in a way that emphasizes the sexual). The body that God gave you is something that should purely be given to or appreciated by only your husband or future husband.
Now, don’t get me wrong. You are a sexual being. God created you that way and there is nothing wrong about it. However, what you have to offer sexually was meant for your husband and him alone. Let’s look at some things that God gave to women that they can offer sexually to a man:
1. Physical sex (obviously)
2. Emotional sex (being close emotionally to a man)
3. Physical touching (hands on shoulders, hugging, kissing, cuddling, etc. Even subtle touches can be sexual)
4. Sexy glances (when you look at a man like you want to jump on him, give him a seductive look, or you smile like you like him)
6. Sexual images (this can include wearing clothes that show more skin, are tight, sexy, or not wearing clothes at all. Also, wearing makeup or jewelry that overly emphasizes sexuality. Or photos of yourself that are sensual/sexual in some way, even if they subtly draw attention to yourself sexually)
All of the above things are good things God gave you that are intended for your husband! They are God’s gift for you and your husband to enjoy. These things are meant for our own husband only, however, and not the rest of the world. Not the cute guy at work. Not the cute guy at school. Not your friend’s husband. Not the boys online. Neither are most of these for the guy you are dating who is not yet your husband. They are for your husband only (or future husband for those of you who are single). When we start crossing the line because we are so attention-hungry that we throw what was intended for our husbands out there to whoever we want whenever we want, then we are defiling ourselves spiritually. We are walking in sexual sin if we do this and God takes this very seriously.
Us women need to know how to keep our bodies in honor, holiness, and dignity instead of throwing what is precious to just anybody who will notice for the sake of getting a little attention. There are plenty of filthy creepers out there lurking around on the internet (who may or may not be someone you know) who would love to get a taste of what you have to offer sexually, and that includes any images you are willing to hand out that are provocative, sexy, or draw attention to your body, or even just your face, in the wrong sort of way. I want to encourage you to not treat yourself like a piece of trash. You can keep your body with honor in purity for the Lord. Know that any man willing to look at your body, or anyone else’s body, as an object of lust is not worthy to call himself your friend, much less a lover. Don’t sell yourself to men with no morals for a little attention!
“That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;” – 1 Thessalonians 4:4
“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” – Matthew 7:6
It’s funny, because, just as I was posting this article this morning my child, who was eating cereal, asked me what “pure” meant. I was delighted to hear that they were so interested in the definition of pure at a young age and started to explain what purity was when they interrupted and said “no, no, mom! the pure on this!” and they pointed to a small black pepper shaker that said “Pure Ground Black Pepper.” I laughed and explained but it made me think about the definition of pure. The definition of “pure” on the pepper meant that the only thing in the bottle was pepper. It wasn’t contaminated with anything else. If I had found a few grains of salt in my pepper, I could no longer call it “pure.” In the same way, we should not be contaminated with any sin. We are meant to be pure. I looked up the dictionaries definition of “pure” and it said “wholesome and untainted by immorality, especially that of a sexual nature.” God calls us to be pure, not contaminated in any way. Not even a speck.
In the Bible, Job considered thinking upon a “maid” as sin. He even made a covenant with his eyes to not look at a woman..and I believe he meant he made a promise to himself to not ever look at a woman for her sexual attractiveness. He made a covenant not to lust. How does a person lust after a woman? With his eyes and his heart. Jesus said, “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) Do you think that God will hold you guiltless if he considers a man who looks in lust to commit adultery and you have been the woman who encouraged that man to do so?
“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high? Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity? Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?” – Job 31:1-4
Obviously, to God, this is a serious thing. And if God thinks it’s serious, then we as daughters of the King should be taking it seriously too.
So, I want to encourage you to walk in purity. Save those sexy selfies for your hubby. Let him (your husband) and him only reap the benefits of your beautiful sexual appeal and not the general public. What you have is something special. Treat it like so. Ask yourself the above questions before you post every picture. Ask God to help you discern whether or not that photo you are about to post online is innocent with no wrong intentions or if it crosses sexual boundaries. In one way, posting sexy selfies is actually like spiritually indulging in the pornography business. Giving sexual images away in return for payment. The payment you get is attention. Join me in taking a stand against sexual immorality and choosing not to participate in the popular culture “selfie” movement. I know it’s hard and you have to make a sacrifice (you won’t have as many hearts, likes, or comments on your profile) but at least you will be in the will of God walking in His ways and in purity…which is the best place you could ever be! 🙂