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Miranda Writes: Relationships, Part 8




by Omar Miranda

Modesty, Part 2To Flirt or Not?

This week we’re going to talk about flirting in relation to modesty. Flirting can take place through just words, but many times it also involves behavior as well—what you wear and how you act. The crucial question is: What is the motivation behind your words and behavior? Is it to bring attention to yourself or to God?

Let’s see what the Bible has to say about flirting. While you won’t find the actual word in the Bible, that doesn’t mean God is silent on this matter. Consider how these two verses apply to flirting with your words:

•Ephesians 5:3, 4: “You are God’s people, so don’t let it be said that any of you are immoral or indecent or greedy. Don’t use dirty or foolish or filthy words. Instead, say how thankful you are” (CEV).1

•James 3:3-6: “By putting a bit into the mouth of a horse, we can turn the horse in different directions. It takes strong winds to move a large sailing ship, but the captain uses only a small rudder to make it go in any direction. Our tongues are small too, and yet they brag about big things. It takes only a spark to start a forest fire! The tongue is like a spark. It is an evil power that dirties the rest of the body and sets a person’s entire life on fire with flames that come from hell itself” (CEV).

Did you catch that last part, that your tongue can totally corrupt you? Many times I’ve asked people, “What’s the strongest muscle in your whole body?” Some of the answers are interesting, but they always get it wrong! The answer is: your tongue! Your tongue is small, but it is very powerful.

OK, so what if there’s somebody that you really like? Can you act friendly toward him or her to let them know you like them? Yes, you can, as long as:

1. your words and behavior aren’t sexually suggestive, seductive, or clearly unwanted.
2. the other person’s age is an appropriate match for yours.
3. the person is available—not married, engaged, or dating anyone else.
4. that person has no significant character concerns and is a strong Christian with like-minded values and goals.
5. those who know you best and love you most—your parents and friends—support the relationship.2

If you want to be a young person of sexual and emotional integrity with your actions matching your words, your actions will line up with God’s Word, and you won’t mislead another person by sending messages that you’re interested in them when you really aren’t. 

Why it’s important to dress modestly


First Samuel 16:7 explains: “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (NIV).3 This verse is trying to tell us that we need to take a different approach to appearance than fitting into society’s idea of beauty. God doesn’t focus on our outward appearance. The condition of our heart is what matters most to Him. He wants to focus on developing our inner beauty so that it can be reflected in everything we do and who we are.

Does that mean how we look doesn’t matter? No, it does matter. While you should present yourself as nicely as possible, remain aware of why you do the things you do to look good. Ask yourself these two questions: Does my focus on my appearance take my eyes off the Lord? Am I more focused on my weight, clothes, or makeup than I am on God? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you need to focus more on your heart and actions than your presentation and appearance. Proverbs 31:30 says: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (NIV).

Your behavior sets the tone for how others see you—as a Christian—and your faith. Being modest in your appearance is just as great a witness to those around you as your words. One issue many non-Christians have with believers is that they tend to be hypocritical. So if you’re preaching purity and modesty while wearing revealing clothes, you may be seen as a hypocrite. By being modest, you allow people to see your inner faith rather than your outer appearance.

When you’re shopping for clothes, use discernment. One way to discern if an outfit is modest is to ask yourself, Why am I buying this? Is it something I like, or is it designed to draw attention to me? What type of attention am I really seeking? And keep these two Bible passages in mind:

•1 Timothy 2:9: “I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes” (NLT).4

•1 Peter 3:3, 4: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (NIV).

Remember, it’s not Christian to tempt others through your dress. So if you’re wearing something revealing, or you find that people are getting the wrong impression through your clothing, evaluate with a discerning heart what you’re wearing. There’s plenty of great clothing available for Christian teens that’s both modest and fashionable. While it’s not a sin to like nice clothes, it is a sin when your desire for fashion becomes more important than your faith.

Modesty is extremely important for all teens, especially for females. Many females can unwittingly lead others to their downfall by what they say, how they dress, and how they act. This means that modesty is everybody’s business. With that being said, God wants us all—guys and girls—to represent Him well on this earth. That means we need to be careful that everything we say, everything we wear, and everything we do magnifies God to this world.

Can people see God in you? I certainly hope so. If not, make the changes you need to make today. Don’t wait!

Until next time, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; you can keep up with me on Facebook; you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes at www.insightmagazine.org; you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 770-354-2912

1 Scripture quotations identified CEV are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1994, 1995. Used by permission.
2 Adapted from Shannon Etheridge and Stephen Arterburn, Every Young Woman’s Battle (Colorado Springs, Colo.: WaterBrook Press, 2004), p. 99.
3 Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
4 Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
   
Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years’ ­experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.





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