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3 Things I Wish the Church Would Say About J Lo and Sexuality

3 Things I wish the Church Would Say About J Lo and Sexuality

Jennifer Lopez got in trouble for her provocative performance in Morocco.  Apparently, there was so much curve showing and booty shaking that she now has a lawsuit on her hands.  Honestly, I find this kind of humorous. After all, J Lo was really just being J Lo.  (Not an appropriate Christian response, I know).

I’m not here to pick on Jennifer Lopez.  She is beautiful and talented.  Interestingly, she helped positively change the definition of beauty for women with her curves and confidence.

Don’t panic, but I’m here to pick on the church … just a little bit.  I don’t think we’re talking about modesty, purity and sexuality in a way that empowers, equips and honors men and women.  So, how do we talk about this in the church?

Here are three things I wish the church would say about sexuality and purity more often:

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1. Your Body is Beautiful!

This is a far cry from, “Cover up! You might make someone stumble.” I grew up in a Christian home, attending church and going to a Christian school.  That’s a lot of Jesus, people.  The truth is, I loved it.  However, there were some messages I received that just weren’t helpful growing up.  They were messages that shamed girls for their beauty and sexuality.  We need young girls to feel comfortable in their own skin.  Body-shaming leads to embarrassment and insecurity.  What if the church was that clear voice that offered positive language about our bodies?

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2. You are Uniquely Made in God’s Image

I heard a sermon for college students about men and women that went like this: Men are like thermos containers and women are like crystal goblets.  They both hold liquid, but if you drop them, one breaks while the other just dents.

That’s got to be the least helpful sermon I’ve heard.  It’s definitely not honoring men and women to insinuate that some people shatter and some people can be bounced around.  God equally created men and women in His image as fearfully and wonderfully made to reflect His glory and character.  Let’s celebrate our strengths, gifting, passions and differences.

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3. God Made You this Way, Don’t be Ashamed

I think the message in the church should be “you are loved, you are seen, and you are delighted in.”  God is a God of beauty.  There should be a holy acknowledgement of beauty without a fear of sexuality.  Our conversations about modesty, purity and sexuality should be soaked in grace.  We are a people of freedom, not under the law.  Can we speak about boundaries and values in a way that creates space for free spirits, love and safety?  We need to define beauty by God’s standards and not by culture’s, and the church can be the vessel for these bold conversations to happen.

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So where does that leave us?

People who know who they are and whose they are don’t need to flaunt their… assets.  Let’s celebrate beauty and confidence without demeaning girls.  Let’s talk about sex without condemnation.  Let’s model modesty and purity without being weird.  Let’s open up this conversation in homes, at small group, at youth group and learn from each other.

This girl knows what she’s talking about:

You see me hanging with my fam, but that don’t mean I’m living in a bubble
You’ll find me at church, but that don’t mean I can’t cause trouble
Stir up a little scene ’cause isn’t that what you want?

Thinking maybe they’ll let me sing songs about real things
And baby who knows maybe I can sell out shows without taking off my clothes
God made me sexy I don’t care if only I know

Want some fun resources?  Here are just a few people who are doing this well – with style, grace and courage:

  1. SWIMSUIT READY OR NOT by Shauna Niequist
  2. Cameron Russell: Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.
  3. Colbie Caillat – Try
  4. The lady stripped bare – Tracey Spicer
  5. Dear Women & Daughters: When You’re Tired of Media Voices Telling You What Beauty & Love Is – by Ann Voskamp
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Esther Laurie is a staff writer at churchleaders.com. Her background is in communication and church ministry. She believes in the power of the written word and the beauty of transformation and empowering others. When she’s not working, she loves running, exploring new places and time with friends and family. It’s her goal to work the word ‘whimsy’ into most conversations.