Monday, November 22, 2010

The Christian Cheerleader, Shaking Her Booty for the Lord

In this day and age, there is a troubling trend to sexualize our children, especially our young girls.  In fact, our young girls are sexualized and become a stumbling block to our young boys.  This trend has crept into our church that seems all too happy to follow right along with the world's fashion trends.  This should not be so and the fruit of our failures to keep these trends outside the church continually lead to tragedy inside the church. 
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  Romans 12:2 NKJV
Today I want to start with an examaple.  We are all familiar with the issues involving the former Miss America Carrie Prejean regarding her stance on gay marriage and the firestorm that ensued.  She was propped up as some role model and persecuted Christian.  We saw her on talk shows, talked about her in our churches, and lifted her up as some kind of hero.  The problem is that first of all, a Christian "hero" would never have been in a setting like that to begin with.  Miss Prejean while regrettably getting dragged through the mud for the righteous stand she took, was not some kind of hero of the faith.  I am not one to like to talk about the personal matters of our brothers and sisters, but being that this is very public knowledge (she even wrote a book on her life), I will use her as an example.  First of all, we learned that in order for her to better complete, she got breast implants.  Is there any godly way to get implants for vanity reasons?  We learn through her error that you can not be a Christian living for Jesus while involving yourself in activities that have are a celebration sexuality, pride, and immodesty.  A Christian should never be part of a competition where a bikini contest is part of that competition.  Personally, I do not think a Christian woman should ever be wearing a 2 piece bikini but it is especially wrong when you do so in a setting where you are showing off your body to the world.  How did she get to that point to think it was fine for her to make those compromises while holding onto her faith?  Well, it began in childhood with her parents allowing her to get involved with an activity steeped in sexuality at a very young age.  She lost her modesty.  She lost he chastity.  She is not an example of what to do right, but an example of what is wrong.  Actually let me correct that, her parents are the example of failure.  They allowed her to pursue something outside what God says is appropriate for young women . 

Let us look at some Scripture regarding God's plan for our young women. 
the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.  Titus 2:3-5 NKJV
Young women are supposed to be taught to aspire to loving their future husbands and children, discretion, chastity, good homemakers, and submissive to their future husbands.  The world teaches our young women to be that submission is wrong, how to show off their bodies, how to use their bodies (sex ed), and to find a career outside the home.  This is not the example given in the Bible.  I am not saying that women should not work outside the home (many great Christian women do), but they must learn that the home is their first responsibility.  Women are not supposed to be doormats for their husbands, but they are called to submit to their leadership.  I am not teaching that women can't wear pants like many cultish sects of Christianity do, but they should not be wearing clothes that overly accentuate their bodies.  
in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.  1 Timothy 2:9-10 NKJV
Women are called to dress modestly with propriety and moderation.  What this means is that women should not be spending hundreds of dollars on a pair of jeans.   It also means that her clothes should not show off their bodies in a way that becomes a stumbling block.  The world pressures our children into thinking that schools are some kind of a fashion show.  The Bible teaches that women should not be overly concerned with fashion.  The world is also full of inappropriate clothes, even for young children.  The world also has no problem allowing their young girls to be sexualized from a very young age.  If you do not believe me, just go to a mall or to the beach.  What makes things even worse is that our Christian youth dresses the same way!  How can a parent, especially a Christian one, ever justify allowing their child to wear tight shirts, short shorts or skirts, and bikinis?  A child's clothes should in no way sexualize that child.  Just how much skin is appropriate for your child to show?  Just how many boys your child's age or older perverted men are you comfortable with staring at your child?  And while it is true that perverts and hormone ravaged teen boys are not your fault, they are a fact of life we have to deal with.  It is not my fault for the crime in Camden, but I would share in the blame if I were dumb and irresponsible enough to walk alone on the streets of Camden showing off my money.  Furthermore, the Bible is clear that we are not to be a stumbling block, and when women and girls dress provocatively, they become one. 
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way.  Romans 14:13 NKJV
Do not let your child become a stumbling block to others.  We are to do all for the glory of God.  That includes how you allow your child to dress.  How do you glorify God in allowing your daughter to go out in the glorified underwear otherwise known as a bikini?  How does it glorify God for our young girls to wear short tight shorts with the word "juicy" written across the rear end? How does it glorify God when any female dresses provocatively putting the focus on their flesh and not Jesus inside them?

So what are some things that we allow our young ladies to participate in that donot glorify God?  I will give a few examples, but before I do that, please keep this verse in mind.
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  Colossians 3:17 NKJV
The guiding principle in all our actions should be if we can do them in the name of the Lord. 

First of all, there is the example of beauty pageants that I mentioned earlier.  A pageant is no place for a young Christian girl (or any young girl for that matter).  It sexualizes children and a very young age and builds into them the belief that it is their job to become more beautiful in terms of looks than anyone else.  It teaches looks over substance.  It teaches vanity to the highest extreme where their entire focus is in how they look and dress.  Parents should bring up their children to shine Jesus, not their bodies.  Parents need to teach their children to live pleasing to Jesus, not the pageant judges and audiences.

Another activity is cheerleading.  I know I will rub a lot of mothers the wrong way with that one.  I don't care.  The fact is that cheerleading becomes more and more sexual as the world becomes more and more sexual.  In fact, cheerleaders are seen as sex objects.  Maybe not as children, but certainly in high school to other high school students and as adults to just about everyone.  I know it is athletic and I know it involves skill and choreography, but so does strip dancing.  I am not saying that cheerleading is akin to stripping, but I am making the point that just because it involves talent, does not mean that it glorifies God.  Besides if it was all about skill, then why do girls need to wear such showy uniforms (especially as adults).  In fact, there was a recent case that was in the news of a young girl who was kicked off her team because she refused to do a cheer that involved "shaking her booty."  Young girls and "booty" should never be used in the same sentence.  The fact that we are comfortable in large part to that reference proves my point as to the sexualization of our children.  What also makes me sick is the comments on that story where the majority of people thought that the "booty shaking" of children was "cute."  It is cute to make young girls comfortable shaking and drawing attention to their rear ends?  Yes, I know they do not intend it to be a sexual thing, but it is what it is.  You can not "shake you booty" for the glory of God or in the name of Jesus.  And I know that there are rules as to how suggestive cheerleading moves can be, but that determination is made by the world not by the church and the world has entirely different standards. 

I would also have to say that except for certain kinds of dance, dancing as an activity should be avoided by Christians.  I am not talking about classical dance like ballet or innocent dancing like square dancing, but much of modern popular dance (and even a good amount of ballroom dance) is very suggestive in nature.  In fact, we can go all the way back to the book of Esther to see the suggestive history of dance.  A parent must be real careful as to where they send their children for dance class.  Many are innocent, but many just follow along with the world and dances even for children become suggestive.  Again, it is innocent on the part of the children, but it plants a seed that those kind of dance moves they are making are perfectly innocent. 

This list is by no means exhaustive, but parents you must be careful in what activities you allow your child to be involved in.  So now that we covered style and activities, what is left is to discuss the influences we allow in the lives of our children. 
But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.  Ephesians 5:3-4 NKJV
As Christians, there are things we should not even have named among us.  Those things are sexual impurity, envy, crude talk, foolish talk, or dirty jokes.  Those things are never fitting for a Child of God.  The problem is that our world embraces these things.  In fact, it even embraces them among our children.  Have you taken a look at the entertainers our children follow today?  Have you listened to lyrics in most popular music?  Even so-called family-friendly Top 40 radio has songs that would give seedy romance novels a run for their money.  Most of the musicians popular with our youth are filled with the glorification of sex, drugs, filthy language, misogyny, and all other kinds of filth.  Yet we allow our children to listen to them!  How about movies?  Rated PG-13 movies today have homosexual sex scenes!  Even family movies involve relationships with implied fornication, are filled with sexual innuendos, and fill the minds of children with the thought that falling in "love" and dating is perfectly fine from a very young age.  If you are not diligent in screening what your child watches or listens to, you are letting that seeds of sin be planted into the minds of your children. 

Parents, it has been a very long time since I posted on this subject, so I want to make a reminder to you all.  You will be accountable before God as to how you raise your children, including what influences you let inside their minds. 
And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.  Ephesians 6:4 NKJV
I can not emphasize that enough.  Raising your children is an active and busy job.  You can not rely on worldly standards or rating systems, you have to rely on your own judgment. 

I know I spent much time talking about girls in this post, but I will take some time now to address boys.  Boys, while not turned to into sex objects, are taught to see women as them.  This influence comes from worldly friends, movies, television, music, and just about everything else.  Sex is used to sell just about everything in the world these days and hormone-ravaged boys get sucked into it like no one else.  Fathers it is essential that you train your growing boys to have the proper respect for women as daughters of God and not objects of desire.  The whole world is teaching them differently, and so you have to be extremely diligent in what entertainment you allow them to see and hear.  The fact is, those boys are the real target of Satan's seduction.  Those boys are the future leaders of the church and if Satan can tempt them away the future church will be in big trouble.  Add to that the current trend to paint men and boys as dumb, effeminate, submissive, and inferior and we have a real problem. 

Our young boys need you, fathers, to role model the men of God we need them to become.  Your young girls need their mothers to role model the godly women we need them to become.  Otherwise boys will fall into the lustful effeminate "men" that seem so prevalent in the church today and we will have women who lead men away with their flesh instead of leading them to the Lord with their spirit. 

Be careful in what you allow your children to be a part of and what influences you allow into their lives.  Most of the problems I spoke of today can be all by eliminated if parents do their job and home school their children instead of sending them off to be indoctrinated by the filth of the world in those dens of sin we call public schools.  One of my early posts I spoke on homeschooling your children.  I said than that it was utterly irresponsible for a parent to subject their children to public school.  I stand by that statement.  Your child depends on you to stand by it as well.  If home schooling is not an option, seek a solid Christian school in your area. 

In the end, it is about the foundations we lay when our children are young.  We need to teach them and exemplify modesty and chastity in how you dress and act.  Your sons and daughters need your guidance and example.  The world is telling them what is contrary to God's plan and it is up to you to teach and show them that God has a better way.  Children will follow your example and so how you treat your own bodies and treat or talk about members of the opposite sex it is how your children will behave as they grow up.  Our children are not born understanding the concepts of denying the flesh, chastity, modesty, and virtue.  That is why it is up to parents to exemplify and teach those values.  Parents, I implore you, raise your children to be beacons of Christ and not objects of lust. 
Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.  1 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV

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