Stop Waiting for Friday

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It was the most boring month of my life.

In May of 2016, at the end of my sophomore year of high school, I had nothing to do but anticipate the future. The end of that month began the whirlwind of working and taking college classes that I am still caught up in today. But this was the beginning of the month, and all I could do was imagine what my life would be like after I started my first job while simultaneously taking classes for dual credit at the local university. So, day after day I went through the motions of my uneventful school days, impatiently waiting for my life to begin.

But one day, it dawned on me—here I was, sitting around waiting for life to “start,” when God purposely gave me this time to prepare me for what was next. I asked Him what He wanted me to do with these few short weeks of waiting. He led me to this poem, which I promptly copied into my journal, adding my own personal applications:

“Stop waiting for Friday,

for summer, for someone to fall in love with you, for life.

Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you’re in now.”

[God’s will is for you to thrive in waiting. He has given you this time of waiting for a purpose. Take advantage of it]

~Anonymous

What did God want me to do with this time? He wanted me to learn how to thrive.

No matter how much we deny it, the school year is coming upon us very quickly. In the summer, we tend to have a little bit more time to spare, even for those of us with jobs. Making time for Christ is hard during the school year when our schedules are full to the max. So why not use the time we have now to build healthy habits that help us thrive during the coming weeks?

But what are the characteristics of a thriving Christian? Here are just a few that I have learned since those weeks of waiting back in 2016…

Head over to my guest post on True and Pure to finish reading this post!

Guest Post- He’s There When You’re Not

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My sister started a blog! Her words come straight from her heart, which is why I am so excited to share this post with you today. Head over to Very Meri Blog and give her a follow! I know it would mean the world to her. 🙂


Picture your day so far.

How has it gone? How have you made room for Jesus? Is He one of the first things that you think about in the morning, or do you rarely think about Him at all? Do you read the Bible because of guilt? Do you read it because you think you have to? Or do you read His Word because you want to? Have you made time to spend with your precious Heavenly Savior? Or are you just going with the flow in this high-tech, hi-stress lifestyle that we live in today?

God is there when you aren’t. He is always someone to fall on. He is your rock, comfort, and shelter.

Maybe you’ve had a long day at work or school. Your co-workers or classmates are especially annoying that morning. They tease you and get on your nerves. If you were not thinking about what God would have you to do, then Satan would have called that a perfect morning to be a weak light for Jesus. But instead, you ignored them, and stood up to them.  You can be that light.

But let’s say this morning you were very grouchy. You were rude, obnoxious, and cranky. You bang around the house when you get home. You turn on your phone and scroll through Facebook for hours. You are just moping in your own misery. You finally go to bed, but guilt washes over you. You realize that didn’t read your Bible. You haven’t spent time with God.  You haven’t prayed.

How many times have we been in these situations, friend? How many times do we get caught up in the sin of this world? God is still there for you, even when you make mistakes. However, we can avoid some of these mistakes by spending time with Him daily. Even if you can read your Bible for just a few minutes, or pray for 2 minutes, God is still ready for you to talk to Him. He is ready for you to confide in Him. He is ready for you to have a deep, intimate relationship with Him. God is your Abba, Father, and He is always ready for you.

The question is, are you ready for Him?

Guest Post- How to Make Time for God This School Year

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Thank you so much to Grace from True and Pure for exchanging guest posts with me. If you want to be encouraged in your relationship with Christ, be sure to subscribe to her amazing blog. She shares many practical ways to live for Christ as an American teen. Check it out! 


A new school year is upon us, and teenagers everywhere are remembering what it feels like to have no time for almost anything but school and homework.

According to the stereotypes, we high schoolers perpetually function on coffee and three hours of sleep. And even if that’s not entirely true, we are notoriously busy – homework and extracurriculars and college applications fill our time and leave us feeling pulled in twenty different directions at once.

In the midst of that, we start running out of time for very important, but seemingly less urgent, things. And unfortunately, our faith can be one of the first things to go.

We let our devotional time fall by the wayside. We start skipping church to do homework. We’re constantly running around, and we let God slip out of our minds and our lives. We feel guilty about it, and that’s when we start trying to find ways to “make time” for God.

First of all, there’s a fundamental problem with that language – when you have to “make time” for God, your priorities are wrong. God should be the most important thing in your life, the first priority, the thing that you fit into your day no matter what else you have going on. Really, we should be focusing on God and then asking how we can “make time” for other things.

But I’m not trying to make anyone feel guilty; I know what the language of “making time for God” is trying to convey. I know that practically, life gets busy, and sometimes you can’t really control it, and the best you can do is tread water and try to stay afloat until the season passes. And that’s when, even though we know God is our first priority, it becomes harder and harder to live like it.

The biggest thing I want you to remember is that spending time with God doesn’t have to be complicated. Don’t get discouraged by the beautiful, time-consuming Bible journaling you see on Pinterest or the four-page scrawls of Bible study your friend does every day. Obviously those things are wonderful, and when we can take more time to get closer to God, we should! But if you’re in a really busy season, don’t let the fact that you don’t have much time keep you from not spending any time. Some is better than none. Really.

So, here are a few practical ideas to get you thinking:

Read a Psalm each day. I like to think of the Psalms as God’s built-in devotional book. If you have time for no other Bible reading, it takes five minutes to read a short Psalm and pray about it.

Find a Bible reading plan or study method realistic for your time. There are so many different Bible reading plans and Bible study methods out there. You don’t have to use one that is so time-consuming you never get around to it; find one that works for the time that you have, that will keep you getting into the Word every day. Spending ten minutes consistently is better than spending three hours once a month.

Pray or sing hymns/worship songs in the shower (or the car, or while doing chores…). Anytime you’re doing something relatively mindless, pray or sing to God. Use that time to reconnect with Him in the middle of your day.

Or listen to sermons, Christian podcasts, or Christian music. Again, while doing mindless things, another option is to listen to a sermon or a podcast. A few of my favorite podcasts are Breakaway, Age of Minority, and Ask Pastor John with John Piper; try some out and find the ones that really encourage you and get you thinking. Or, listen to worship music that you love and that prompts you to praise.

The biggest thing to remember is that God is Lord of your whole life. Don’t box Him into that ten-minute Bible reading you do in the morning; make everything you do about Him. Don’t just try to squeeze Him in somewhere as another thing to check off your to-do list; God can be glorified in your everyday tasks, the homework and the sports and the chores. Rather than seeking to “make time” for Him, seek to dedicate all of your time to Him, magnifying His glory in all that you do.

This school year, let Him radically penetrate every aspect of your life.


Click here to see my post on Grace’s blog. Have a lovely rest of your Saturday! 

Drum Roll Please…

Happy Wednesday! Today, I decided to write a more lighthearted post featuring three big announcements:

Drum roll please!

1. I started an email list!

This is a huge step for me as I begin to take my writing more seriously. This list consists of my core supporters-people who are interested in my blog and other writing adventures. My big goal is 100 subscribers, but right now I am trying to make it to 20. If you would like to help me meet this goal, you can subscribe either by clicking here or on the link in the sidebar. I am so exciting to see where God takes this!

2. I am launching a new blogging series this fall!

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That’s right, in just a few weeks, I will be publishing the first post in my brand new blogging series, “Thrive.” This series of posts are meant for those of you who feel pretty stuck in your relationship with God. This is for the church kids who lack passion about religion, the teen who does not know how to grow in his relationship with God, the discouraged college student that doesn’t know where to turn next.

The posts in “Thrive” will follow my own personal relationship with God, which began to grow when I was about 13. They are basically a huge compilation of everything that I have learned and am passionate about sharing. One day, I hope to write a book about these subjects that I will be sharing with you, so I would appreciate any feedback on the upcoming posts.

If you know anyone who would benefit from this series, please feel free to share this post with them. The first “Thrive” post will come out at the end of August. If you don’t want to miss it, then I would suggest subscribing to my email list for all of the latest news!

3. Stay tuned for an amazing guest post on Saturday!

My amazing blogging buddy, Grace, agreed to exchange guest posts with me this coming Saturday. The topic we both chose has to do with the coming school year, so stay tuned!

Thank you all so much for your support! I look forward to seeing what God has in store for the future of this blog.

The Liebster Award

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The Liebster Award is awarded to bloggers by bloggers in order to help one another gain a bigger audience. I was kindly nominated by Eleazar Maduka. I would like to nominate:

Here are your questions.

The rules for the award:

  • Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
  • Answer eleven questions that the blogger gives you.
  • List eleven random fact about yourself.
  • Nominate up to 11 other Bloggers that you think are deserving of this award (with less than 200 followers).
  • Let the bloggers know you nominated them.
  • Give them 11 questions to answer.

Okay, I’ll start with the questions from Eleazar:

  1. What made you to start blogging?

I’ve wanted a blog ever since I can remember. I had so many ideas pent up in my brain and I needed some sort of outlet for them!

  1. Do you keep deadline for your blog post?

I try to blog every Wednesday and Saturday. Some weeks that simply doesn’t happen, but I find that having a goal pushes me to work harder on my writing.

  1. For what in your life do you feel grateful for?

I am so grateful for my God, my parents, my siblings, my friends, and my country. All of these influences continually are shaping me into who God wants me to be. I am so grateful that God put me where I am and gave me the resources to follow His will for me.

  1. What’s your greatest desire and your greatest fear?

My greatest desire is that people would understand their worth. People are so hopeless and lost and I long to share the hope that I have in Christ with them and for them to accept it. My greatest fear is being alone with no person to talk to or depend on. I am thankful that I can never truly be alone because of Christ.

  1. What is that one place and that one book you absolutely love and would want everyone to travel and read?

I love Lancaster, PA. It is so serene and beautiful but still has fun things to experience.

Other than the Bible, I think everyone should read the book Do Hard Things. I actually have a whole post about books everyone should read here.

  1. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

I would like a superpower that helps me help others. I would also like to have the ability to become invisible so I can escape from awkward situations.

  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world whom would you want as a dinner guest and why? Presently?

It would be so awesome to have a meal with Jaquelle Crow and Brett Harris, both young authors. I would love to talk to them about their writing careers and ask them how I can better pursue mine!

  1. Wine or Whiskey or Vodka or Beer or what?

What about lemonade or rootbeer? Water is great too.

  1. Which was or is your favourite cartoon? Why?

I used to love watching “Tom and Jerry” as a kid. I also liked the old Disney movies. The music is fantastic!

  1. What would you do if there was no” blogging”?

I might write a book!

  1. A romantic one liner, for your present or future ‘love to be’?

Lol, I have no idea.

Some random facts about me:

  1. I am homeschooled, but I finished high school already, so last year I started taking college courses. I absolutely love to learn!
  2. I work at a pizza shop in my home town. Last week the kitchen was at least 90 degrees every day.
  3. I’m still in my pajamas.
  4. I have a severe addiction to notebooks and pens.
  5. I once took a survey about how daring you are and got a 0. I like my comfort zone, but God has been teaching me that it’s okay to be uncomfortable.
  6. I live in my basement, in a room that my dad built for me and my sister. I spackled the ceiling myself and you can absolutely tell that I am not a professional.
  7. Sometimes I put kale in my breakfast smoothie and I can’t even taste it.
  8. I love kids.
  9. I have an awful sense of smell, passed down from my father and grandfather.
  10. I love shoes of all kinds.
  11. I have never been out of the country.

 

I would encourage you to visit the excellent blogs of the other nominees. I was honored to receive this award!

What Am I Focused On?

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Did you know that 42.4 % of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail at them year after year? *

Maybe you can relate. I sure can! I have made countless resolutions and goals, but rarely do I ever achieve them. Recently, my strategy has been to ask God for just one word. This word is my main purpose throughout the entire year, and normally comes into play in nearly every aspect of my life. This year, my word is FOCUS.

At the beginning of the year, I started a series on this blog called “A Mindset Makeover.” I was motivated to tackle my bad habits and take baby steps toward my goals. I never really concluded this series. Why? Because I genuinely thought that, yet again, I had failed at conquering my bad habits. What I did not realize, however, is that I once again approached it the wrong way.

The Bible has some things to say about habits. Every time God commands us to get rid of something in our lives, He always reveals something that we must replace it with. If you think about it, this is logical—if you eliminate something without replacing it, what is going to fill the gap? When life gets rough, you are most likely to resort back to that nasty old habit. However, if you continually replace it with something better, then the better behavior becomes habit.

My word this year is focus because, rather than trying to “fix” my habits, focusing on the right things in the first place will prevent bad habits. For example, if you tend to get stressed out easily, then switch your focus from yourself and your circumstances onto the Lord. See the daily hassles of life as opportunities placed there by God. With the correct focus, you can live a less stressful life. You replace stress with gratefulness to God for the opportunities that He has placed in your life.

Recently, I have been reading through the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah has taught me so much about focus. Building the wall of Jerusalem was no easy task, especially when there was constant opposition! Despite all of this, Nehemiah was focused solely on the Lord, resulting in great success every step of the journey.

This concept has showed up in my life again and again as I make the transition from childhood into adulthood. The real world can be overwhelming, but, when my focus is on Christ, I do not have to worry. I have continually found that when I focus on myself and my circumstances I feel overwhelmed and lifeless.

The number one way that I am working to keep my focus on Christ is by consistently spending time with Him. I know that we hear this again and again, but it is absolutely vital to spend quiet time with our Savior. How are we supposed to pour ourselves into our jobs, classes, and relationships if we are not being filled by something else?

Another way that I am striving to implement this into my life is through praying without ceasing. I’ve heard this called living “above” our circumstances. I like to picture myself as a little child being led down a narrow, rocky path. I do not have to be scared because I am gazing up into the eyes of my Father. I am completely focused on Him and trusting Him to keep me from falling. Striving to live with this perspective each and every day makes all the difference.

Focusing on Christ will look different for every person. In my case, I try to keep my focus on Christ by humming worship songs while I work, or praying for the customers that come into my workplace. Use whatever works to pull your focus off of yourself and your circumstances and onto the face of your Father. What will you do today in order to focus on Christ?

 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” -Romans 8:5

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.” -Proverbs 4:25

*http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/

Spiritual Lessons From a Psychology Class

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Although psychology is a relatively new study, it is very important in our world today. But throughout the study of the human mind and behavior, something is missing. That “something” is the presence of a soul, a deeper meaning, a purpose. It is impossible to exclude God from psychology. He provides explanations to psychologist’s deepest perplexities. This course has taught me not only how complex people are but also how hopeless they are. Eight weeks ago, when I read the definition of psychology for the first time, I had no idea how much I would grow and learn. The study of psychology taught me lessons about myself, others, and God that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Studying psychology provided me with some applications to my personal life. Mostly, I was reminded week after week where my focus should be. Nearly every part of psychology involves a balance between nature and nurture. Both biology and the environment play a crucial role in our development, emotions, and responses to stress. A main determinant in how I live my life is my perspective and how deeply I allow things to affect me. Neither emotions nor stress are negative things. They only become negative when I choose to respond sinfully. If my focus is on Christ, however, I learn to live by the Spirit and be guided by Him rather than my environment. This is a lesson that I learn over and over again. Another lesson I learned is that my way is not always the best way. God wired me with very specific abilities and tendencies, designed to be used for His purpose. Sin has twisted these gifts. Therefore, like I was reminded while reading through Proverbs, I must remember to seek counsel from others and from God rather than assuming my way is the best. My focus and my pride are just two of the areas that I was challenged by in this class.

Psychology also provided some fascinating insights about God. Everything that He designed was so perfect, from the breathtaking functions of the brain and nervous system, to the each and every person’s personality. Unfortunately, this manifestation of God’s creativity and perfection was tainted by sin. Now, people vainly attempt to explain these things without God. In every godless psychological theory, there is a gaping hole that psychologists desperately try to ignore. The missing piece in many theories is the presence of a soul. For example, Sigmund Freud, who made revolutionary discoveries in psychology, proposed a bizarre and distorted view of personality involving unconscious sexual and aggressive urges (Feldman 385). Interestingly, some of Freud’s basic premises were borrowed from Christian psychologist Johan Christian August Heinroth, who based his theory of personality off of Romans 7. Freud, an atheist, left God out of his theories, therefore producing unscientific explanations of the “unconscious.” Clearly, since God designed everything flawlessly, it is impossible to explain psychology without Him. This class taught me that no complex theory or explanation can ever compare to God’s truth. Studying psychology also solidified my belief in God’s Word. Each week of study, I found a Bible verse that aligned with the topic that we were studying. This proves that the Bible is unerring and timeless, just like the Creator who wrote it. Studying God’s creation of the brain and soul deepened my faith in Him.

Finally, I learned a great deal about others from this class. In the chapter on social psychology, I learned that we tend to think of people as the same as us. In reality, we are all very different. By nature, people are selfish. Like most people, I have struggled all my life with focusing on others instead of myself. As I began to learn about how differently each person sees the world, I realized even more that God wants me to disregard the “my way or the highway” concept that I tend to follow. In week 3, I learned about all of my different senses and that, just like everyone, I have my own unique way of perceiving the world. This taught me to be more aware of and empathetic toward the perspectives of other people. Another lesson that I learned about people is that they are hopeless. Without God, we have no purpose. Despite this, people desperately try to explain away the need for a God. As someone who has been exposed to Christianity my entire life, I cannot wrap my mind around how a person can look at the world and say there is no God. In week 2, while thinking about this concept, I came across 1 Corinthians 4:4, which provides the only explanation to this blindness: “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (The Holy Bible).” These people are hopeless. Rebellion against God provides explanation for so many psychological questions, such as the increase in disorders and the mystery of aggression. As we near the end of time, Christians must share our hope with these hopeless people, whether or not they choose to accept it. Jesus is the only cure for sin and the only way to psychological and spiritual peace. I am grateful for these lessons I learned about other people because now I understand them better, which allows me to witness to them better.

Before this class, I thought psychology was basically the study and treatment of mental disorders. Now I understand that it is so much more than that. Studying psychology provided insights into my own mind and the minds of others, as well as deepening my faith in God. From the study of the brain to the complexities of psychological disorders, His fingerprints are throughout all of psychology, if we only choose to see them.

Works Cited
Feldman, Robert S. Essentials of Understanding Psychology, 11th edition. New York: McGraw-   Hill Education, 2015. Print.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2011. Print.

Dear Millennials

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Dear Millennials,

You are not a statistic.

Stop buckling to the expectations that society has put in place for you. You are not a lazy, selfish fool who takes the easiest route possible. You are a child of God who has the potential to change the world.

Stop being lazy and start showing the world that you can work hard.

Stop being foolish and start making wise decisions.

Stop obsessing over yourself and start obsessing over serving Jesus and loving others.

Christ has made you better than this, and He has great plans for your life. Through His power, you can trump society’s low expectations and achieve more than you could ever imagine.

Do not waste this summer. Put down your phone and choose to work hard, invest in others, and develop your God-given talents. Make your bed, read a book, or volunteer somewhere. Ignore society’s low expectations and prove the world wrong.

“Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, and in purity.” -1 Timothy 4:12

How Should Christians Respond to Homosexuality?

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When Beauty and the Beast came out in March, I was so excited. The music from the commercial gave me goosebumps, and the actual movie went above and beyond my expectations. The acting, the music—all of it—was superb. But when I giddily shared my excitement about the movie with others, I received mixed reactions. Some people loved it as much as I did. Others refused to even go see it. Why? Because the media made a huge deal of the “openly gay moment” in the film, and, understandably, these people wanted to stay away from that.

First, let me quickly explain this “openly gay moment.” It occurs at the end of the movie, when the entire kingdom dances for joy at the prince’s revived castle. Gaston’s goofy sidekick, Lefou, gracefully dances with a young lady. A mix-up occurs, and Lefou gets thrown into the arms of a young man, something that both men seem pleased about. This all happens in under 10 seconds. Were the producers of Beauty and the Beast trying to promote homosexuality? Maybe. Is homosexuality wrong? Without a doubt. But I believe that Christians are missing something here.

Homosexuality is not worse than any other sin.

Have you ever gone and seen a movie where two unmarried people live together? Have you seen movies where the characters lie in order to save the day? Have you seen movies where characters practice dark magic? Homosexuality is no worse than all of these sins. All are equally abominable to God.

I recently heard an excellent illustration about sin. Picture yourself standing in a city, looking up at the endlessly tall skyscrapers. Some are tall, some are shorter. The buildings represent different sins. Now picture yourself thousands of feet above the Earth in an airplane. You look down at the very same city, with its tall buildings and its short ones. But from this perspective, though, something is different. All of the buildings look equally tall. This is how God sees sin.

When it comes to homosexuals, it seems that Christians resort to one of two extremes: harshly judging them, or openly supporting them. Neither response is God’s will for us.

The realization that all sin is equally detestable to God should soften our hearts and bring to light our hypocrisy. Christians so harshly judge those living in homosexuality when we ourselves are living in our own sin (John 8:7-11). This should also renew our compassion for those around us. Rather than judging nonbelievers living in sin, think of how hopeless they are. Think of how they do not have the Holy Spirit guiding their lives as we do. I cannot imagine the hopelessness that they live in. According to an article on the website HealthyPlace*, “studies have found that GLBT youth attempt suicide more than 3 times more frequently than their heterosexual counterparts. . . that the risk of suicide among LGB youth is 14 times higher than for heterosexual youth. . . [that]among youth who attempted suicide, almost twice as many GLBT youth said they really hoped to die. . . [and that] of transgender people, between 30-45% report having attempted suicide.” Clearly these people are desperately hopeless.

On the other hand, Christians are not to support the sin of those practicing homosexuality. The Bible clearly states that it is wrong. The argument that I have seen time and time again goes something like this: “Saying that homosexuality is a sin is hypocritical. Do you follow all of God’s laws such as sacrificing animals, wearing certain clothes, etc.?” What people with this argument fail to understand that laws such as these were part of Jewish law, given to the Israelites by God under the old covenant. The laws renewed under the new covenant of Jesus Christ are those which we follow today. We no longer follow the old laws, because Christ’s blood covered all of that.  But homosexuality is not only opposed in the old law, it is also opposed in the new law. The New Testament repeatedly speaks out against homosexuality (Rom. 1, 1 Cor. 6:9-10, 1 Tim 1:8-10, etc.). Homosexuality is downright wrong. God does not support all “love.” He may be a God of love, but He is also a God of justice and morality.

The key to responding to homosexuality as Christians is the old adage “love the sinner, not the sin.” Those who live in the sin of homosexuality do not need us to judge and Bible-slam them, but neither do they need us to accept their sin as okay. They need Christians to love them for who they are as people, knowing that everyone has sinned and that we all need Jesus. We may not convince them to leave their sinful lifestyle, but through prayer and by example, God has the power to work in their hearts as He has done in ours to bring them to Him and out of the bondage of their sin.

* https://www.healthyplace.com/gender/glbt-mental-health/homosexuality-and-suicide-lgbt-suicide-a-serious-issue/

What Does It Mean to be Modest?

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The moment I stepped in to my pre-teen and teen years, every Bible study, Christian book, blog post, etc. overwhelmed me with the concept of modesty. Cover up! Cover up! Cover up! Bikinis are sinful! Short-shorts are of the devil! You mustn’t cause your brothers in Christ to stumble!

While I am thankful to those in my life who taught me about modesty, I honestly believe that Christians are approaching this topic very inappropriately. This type of exposure to modesty is ultimately just making girls ashamed of their bodies, overly concerned about outward appearances, and confused about various modesty standards that people live by. At 13, this is exactly where I was: confused and self-conscious. And sadly, I believe that this approach is causing Christian girls to throw up their hands in defeat and give up on modesty all together.

Modesty is important. But I believe that the major reason this approach to teaching young girls about modesty is failing because it starts with the wrong perspective. Modesty is not just something good Christian girls should be aware of. Instead, what we wear should be a reflection of what is in our hearts and should set us apart as daughters of the Most High. I strongly believe that the church as a whole, including parents and youth leaders, needs to approach modesty in an entirely different manner. Here are some ways we can get started.

#1: Girls (and boys!) should be taught about modesty as children, not just after they hit puberty.

Dressing modestly needs to be a habit, not just something that is introduced when your body starts to change. Teaching these concepts from the beginning will increase the likelihood of them lasting throughout a person’s lifetime.

Modesty is no different than kindness, obedience, or respect—characteristics that most Christian families teach their children from birth. If we want children to dress and behave modestly, we have to teach them how to do it from the beginning.

#2: What we wear should be a reflection of our hearts. Our clothing should set us apart as servants of Christ.

I have always held a deep respect for Mennonites. Although I do not share many of their convictions, I honor how they dress to be set apart. Their unique way of dressing is less about covering up and more about holiness. They strive to be their best in the eyes of God. The verse that youth leaders and Christian authors often use when talking about modesty is 1 Timothy 2:9. I think it is necessary to point out that this infamous verse says nothing about covering up your body to avoid tempting others. If we look at this verse in context, we see that modesty is an act of worship. Read it for yourself:

“I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” -1 Timothy 2:8-10

So, the question to ask is this: does what you wear set you apart? Is it clear by how you dress to Whom you belong? Does your attire reflect your good works and pure heart?

Of course, women should do their best to wear clothing that is not sensual or revealing, increasing the likelihood that men will lust over our bodies. However, if we are dressing in a way that is holy, this should not be a problem at all. And it certainly should not be the main emphasis when teaching modesty to the younger generation.

#3: Modesty is a lifestyle.

Dressing modestly is great, but if your actions are immodest, then what you’re wearing does not really matter. Proverbs 11:22 says, “Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.” If you are bold, reckless, and flirtatious than your outer beauty is worthless. Inner beauty is the most important trait of all. A heart of service, love, and selflessness is a heart of true modesty.

#4: Guys should be aware of modesty too.

I am not sure if guys realize this, but women can be tempted visually just as much as men can. This topic is often disregarded by the modern church, especially in youth group settings. Not to mention, women are not the only ones commanded to be holy. As a guy, does the way you dress and act set you apart as a child of the King?

Approaching modesty in a different way will produce genuine worship through the way we dress, rather than a set of constricting rules and regulations. Evaluate your motives today. Are you dressing in a way that points people to God? Are you striving for holiness in both your clothing and your actions?

Remember that modesty is an act of worship, not of body-shaming and rule-following. The God who sacrificed His life for us deserves our best in every area of our lives, including how we dress.