Last week JP posted an awesome response to the question, "Should a single Christian woman desire to be sexy?" When he initially asked me that question though, my first thought was, "Well sure they can!" (As episodes of Sex and the City came to mind from years ago.) Then my thoughts completely reversed as I recognized, I just based my answer on a tv show and past crazy experience instead of God's word. So finally I realized, "I don't know, but I'd love to figure this out!" So here we go!
Let's start with...
What do you mean by sexy?
: concerned predominantly or excessively with sex (Dictionary.com)
: sexually appealing, attractive, or exciting (merriam-webster.com)
Looking at the definition of “sexy,” if a woman is radiating sex appeal in a way that causes others to stumble, God’s Word is very clear that this will not go well for her. We see a strong warning from Jesus in Matthew 18:6 to those that cause others to stumble. He says that “It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck.” That doesn’t sound good.
In doing some research, one thing that can be very attractive to a man is a woman who is confident. So instead of desiring attention from a man based on sex appeal, as a Christian woman, how about leading out with godly confidence? When a woman is confident because her identity and trust are in the Lord (Jeremiah 17:7), instead of trying to radiate her sexuality, she will start radiating strength and dignity (Proverbs 31:25). Most godly men would say that is a very appealing quality in a woman.
Godly confidence: YES!
Radiating sexuality: No.
How do you portray sexy?
Women who are trying to portray sexy typically end up dressing scandalously. God’s word also has something to say about dressing scandalously (offensively/immorally) and in a way that would classify you as a temptress. Matthew 5:27-28 makes it clear that lust is a form of adultery. If you are dressing intentionally in a way to have men lust after you, you are encouraging men to be adulterers against the Lord and their spouse (or future spouse). I would go as far as to say that if you are trying to be a temptress in the way you dress, you are toeing the line of being an adulteress. The Lord reminds us in 1 Corinthians 8:9 and Romans 14:13 to not be a stumbling block to anyone’s faith. 1 Corinthians 6:13 reminds us that “the body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord.” A little later in verses 19-20 Paul writes, “…do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” How you dress your body—God’s temple—matters.
So instead of dressing in a tempting way, why not dress classy and in a way that honors the Lord? We can look at 1 Timothy 2:9-10 and see that the Lord calls women to “adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control…with what is proper for women who profess godliness.” A godly man will definitely find a woman dressing classy (stylish yet respectable, aka modestly) attractive. Take note that this does not mean you have to look homely, ladies! Proverbs 31:22 mentions that the virtuous woman’s clothing was of fine linen and purple. This implies that she was dressed well!
When is it ok to act out sexy?
Within our sex-crazed world, it is important to come back to truth about when sex and sexiness are considered a good thing. Easy answer here: for your husband and your husband only.
Being sexy around your husband is a good thing! We can look at 1 Corinthians 7:1-6 and see that sex in the context of marriage is encouraged, and going for an unhealthy period of time without sex is not good. So to the married ladies (especially those who grew up hearing that sex is a bad thing) remember that it is OK to be sexy for your husband. In fact, it is a good thing! If you haven’t been reminded lately, just read back through Song of Solomon, and maybe even read through it with your husband.
To all the single ladies (I know you cringe hearing Beyoncé’s song in your head reading those words), and to married women concerning any man who is not your husband, the Lord has a ton to say about sexual immorality. 1 Corinthians 6:18 tells us to flee from it! That definitely doesn’t mean create temptation, tiptoe around it, or flirt with it. It means to run from and move quickly in the opposite direction. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 tells us that the will of God is that we would abstain from sexual immorality. Hebrews 13:4 reminds us that the marriage bed should be undefiled. This means you should strive to remain pure for your husband (whether current or future), and not play around as a temptress or adulteress now.
Finally, Ephesians 5:5 goes as far as to say that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure has no inheritance in the kingdom of God. The Lord has made it incredibly clear and apparent that he cares deeply about us honoring him with our bodies and not giving into the ways of this world, especially around sexuality.
Sexy for your husband: YES!
Sexy for any other man: No.
If your story includes being a temptress, an adulteress, or having sex outside of marriage, we also want you to know that there is forgiveness and an opportunity to be a new creation in Christ Jesus! It’s never too late to throw off that old self:
But God shows his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 1 Corinthians 5:17
Be CONFIDENT. Be CLASSY. Be CHRIST-LIKE.
(With help from Sylvia McCallum)