Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Costumes Are Skin Deep, By Hillary Beth

Costumes Are Skin Deep

By Hillary Beth

I won't be posting any pictures. I could post a whole article of nothing but images, and you would quickly understand that girls' Halloween costumes are very often made to look "sexy." But what would it change to look at such photos?

Of course, some adult costumes have always been made this way. Maybe teens thought if they wore the same outfits, they'd have things they wanted, things that they thought come with being "considered an adult." No matter if a outfit is made for an adult or a child, wearing these costumes is still an invitation for others to lust... and goes so much deeper than a costume.

Have you ever thought about the way a model poses in a particular ad that catches your eye? Many of the Halloweeen costumes, and every day clothing ads for toddlers through teens pose in a sexually inviting way. Think about this: Why do I want to buy this clothing? Do I think I'd be prettier in these clothes? Do I think I'd be more accepted or get more attention? That I won't be lonely anymore?

If you secretly think something along those lines, you're being negatively affected by these kinds of ads. All throughout the Bible, we are told that our worth is not based on how we look! See Luke 12:6-7 for just one example.

The American Psychological Association ( has recognized the damage that the media has done in children's views extensively. One of the points they make on their Web site: sometimes sexuality is"imposed" on someone else. This can be acts against children, but also more subtle attitudes and views that are passed on are just as damaging. Who makes the costumes? Who buys them for young children? Adults do, and you're not far from being the ones who make these decisions as teens.

Do they think these kinds of costumes are funny because they are on a child? Someday you'll be shopping with a younger sibling, a cousin, or, ages from now, your own children. Will you laugh in embarrassment and say "that's funny!" to a "sexy" outfit, or will you be comfortable and confident enough to say, "Dressing this way doesn't make you worth more to anyone - it actually takes away from you." Will you know the Scriptures you'd like to share in this situation?

Maybe you wonder what kinds of things are at stake. Most of us are at least superficially aware that purity does have to do with what we wear - but if you truly understand the depth of the issue, maybe you'd have an easier time not desiring to be the model in the ad that speaks to you in your secret thoughts.

What kinds of things do you miss? If you are constantly focused on your outside appearance, and being attractive to guys, you'll miss opportunities to expand your mind and learn new hobbies, deepen your knowledge in subjects that interest you, hone your skills for your career or ministry, develop your spiritual gifts, encourage or even mentor others in the faith, volunteer at a multitude of places... and so much more! Are you just 13 or 14? You're never too young to do big things for God - see 1 Timothy 4:12!

Isaiah 58:10-11 (ESV) paints a picture of someone rescued from death who's living for God.

"If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail."

Gloom, hunger, the afflicted...scorched places, darkness, weak bones... pouring yourself out like Jesus has done for us on the cross... that's a big contrast to the watered garden, strengthened bones, a bubbling spring... light, satisfaction, and the guidance of the Lord. When you see costumes this year, whether you are participating in Halloween or not, I hope you take a minute to think about the contrasts you can see. What do you see? Are there girls you can encourage who are hungry for God's Word, weak to temptation, seeing themselves in a way other than the way God sees them?

Ask God to show you what He'd like to teach you... and please share with us!


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