Last week I happened to mention to my husband, Kyle, that I had a new idea for a blog post entitled, “The 10 Commandments of Selfies,” where I planned to discuss some unhealthy behaviors that I noticed trending among teenage girls.
He immediately chimed in with some uncanny wisdom that had evidently been brewing for quite some time. His input was so raw, so honest, and so spot on that I frantically grabbed at my cellphone and began taking notes. The following is my best attempt to recreate our conversation in a helpful manner.
Any Christian who has been caught in the “selfie-trap” or knows someone who has been caught in the “selfie trap,” needs to read this!
So, what DO good guys really think about all your selfies?
Me: So I was thinking that one of my main points should be about how girls should stop posting random pictures of themselves with Scripture captions. Everyone knows that they are just looking for an excuse to post a picture of themselves, and are trying to justify it by making it look more “holy.” It doesn’t work. People know what they’re doing. It ends up just looking ridiculous.
Kyle: Hmmm, I think your post should be less about what girls shouldn’t do, as it should be about what they should do.
Me: What do you mean?
Kyle: I mean, I think girls should think less about taking the perfect selfie, and more about becoming the perfect “self” you can be.
Me: Intrigued. So Kyle, what would you say to a girl that takes selfies all the time? What does it communicate to guys when a girl is constantly posting pictures of herself?
Kyle: What it tells a guy is that she is seeking attention, (and for a not so good guy), it makes her easier prey. That’s the kind of girl you want to date and use for a little while, but not marry.
Me: So basically, girls are not going to attract the kind of attention they ultimately crave by posting provocative pictures? They’re not going to get a good guy, or real affection inside a Godly, long lasting relationship.
Kyle: Shaking his head with intensity. What I wish girls understood is that when you post selfies, you are attracting the worst qualities in a male, using their eyes and using their lust. You can ask anyone, the biggest monster in any Christian man’s closet are his eyes and his lust.
Me: Thinking...So, no matter what, a girl is accomplishing the precise opposite of her goal through chronic selfie taking. Even if you attract the right sort of guy, you have undermined his character through your method, sabotaging what you claim to want in a man.
Kyle: Even if you get five texts from different guys after you post a certain picture, you are pulling some really negative qualities out of them…That guy who likes your scandalous picture, probably just liked 12 other girls’ pictures who are more scandalous than you are.
Me: And honestly, I think no matter what they say, a girl is trying to get male attention through posting pictures. There’s really no other reason to do it. I know I went through a period of selfies, that’s what I was doing.
Kyle: Hmmmm, I don’t know. I think alot of times, girls do it as a sort of contest to see who can get the most likes. They are trying to get to the top of the “Beauty Totem Pole.”
Me: Thinking…I don’t want to be 90, and look back and realize the most substantial thing I have to say about my early years was, “I was the most beautiful.” That reward is ultimately meaningless. I want to look back and discover a beautifully crafted soul.
Kyle: In a selfie, you can pick and choose what you want people to see. You can make yourself look 30 pounds lighter.
Me: Guys know when girls are being fake. You are creating a false sense of security in a “fake” you. What needs to happen is people need to be more affirming towards each other in real life!
Kyle: Yes!!…Let’s say you actually have a great body, you’ve worked hard on it.You working on your body is one of the greatest gifts that you can give to your future spouse. Why would you go spread that all over the world for everyone to see?! That’s being reckless with all your hard work!!
Hmmmm…I’m trying to think of a way to put this. Even Jesus didn’t reveal all of Himself to us immediately. We have to deepen our intimate relationship with Him to learn more. You don’t want to reveal all of yourself to your boyfriend immediately!
Me: That’s how romances work! There’s meant to be an element of mystery. It’s that way in our relationship with God, and in our relationship with guys.
Kyle: So, ultimately, it’s less about the “Do Not’s” and more about being confident in your spiritual image of reflecting Christ, being confident of His image in you.
The only thing that’s going to change a generation of boys is a generation of wise girls. Boys will rise up to the standards that girls hold them to…
but it’s going to take more than one girl.
Are you willing to be a girl that steps up to the plate and seeks to cultivate Christlikeness instead of internet “likeableness?”
Our guys need our help to become the uncompromising men that God has called them to be.
This doesn’t mean that we never take selfies or feel good about looking good, or even that it’s wrong for men to be attracted to beautiful women. God designed men to be drawn towards beauty.
What it means, is that we pour more effort into developing the image of Christ in us, than we do capturing the perfectly filtered and edited image of ourselves on our iphones.
It means we concentrate more on telling His story with our lives than creating the perfect “story” on SnapChat.
It means that we refuse to find our worth in the creation of a fake social media identity, and find our identity in Christ.
It means we fixate less on taking the perfect selfie, and choose to allow Christ to transform us from the inside out, and #betheselfie that He has created us to be.
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