Seven Myths That Hurt
New Life Ministries
What does God's Word say about fashion, flirting, and dating?
Are you buying into the world's lies about your appearance, your
body, relationships or sex? You could be and you don't even realize
it. Authors Shannon Ethridge and Steve Arterburn identify several
common myths and discuss what the Bible says about them.
Myth 1 How I dress is my business. It shouldnt
be a concern for God or guys.
Before you believe that your wardrobe isnt an issue with
God, try this scripture on for size: Jesus said to his disciples:
Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe
to that person through whom they come. It would be better for
[her] to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around [her]
neck than for [her] to cause [another] to sin. (Luke 17:1-2)
When guys see something sexually stimulating, such as a young
woman dressed immodestly, their natural tendency is to lust after
her and entertain thoughts of becoming sexual with her. It doesnt
matter whether the guy is a Christian or not. Even godly guys
can be visually tempted to lust. If you want to avoid causing
your brothers to stumble and fall, youll dress modestly.
Myth 2 All flirting is OK.
You may think its always OK to flirt, but that may be
because you dont understand what inappropriate flirting
feels like to a guy. Letting a boy know that you are interested
in a more meaningful relationship with him is one thing, but inappropriate
flirting, which can also be called teasing or seduction,
is another. Should you emotionally or physically stir up a guy
if you have no intention of pursuing a relationship with him?
Is it loving to tease someone with your attentions and affections
if you have no desire to fulfill any hopes you may arouse in him?
In our opinion, showing a sincere love and respect for others
allows no room for acting as if you are interested in being sexual
with a guy when, in fact, you are not.
Myth 3 I need to have a boyfriend to feel as if I
Having a boyfriend will solve all my problems. Newsflash. If
you think you need a boyfriend, you are not ready for a boyfriend.
Contrary to the movie scenes you may have witnessed where one
character declares to the other, You complete me!
no human being can ever complete another. Only God can complete
you. Yet many young women try with all their power to find that
special someone who will make them feel as if life is really worth
living (as if living as a satisfied single person isnt possible).
If either of the above statements describes you, we have some
advice for you. Do yourself a favor and get a life! Not the fairy-tale
life you are dreaming of where you meet a wonderful guy, fall
in love, and live happily ever after in la-la land. You need to
live in reality and recognize who God made you to be, and then
do your best at being that person.
Myth 4 Guys want basically the same thing from dating
relationships that girls want.
Just in case you didnt catch it before, let us say this
loud and clear: Guys are motivated by an entirely different set
of factors than girls are. Most of the time guys give love to
get sex, but girls give sex to get love. Do you see what a dangerous
combination this can be? Were not saying that guys are pigs
who only want sex. Many know their own vulnerabilities well enough
to know better than to take a young woman behind closed doors
if they arent able to control their sexual desires. But
we are saying that God wired guys differently. They are built
for visual stimulation. Their ultimate goal is physical intimacy.
Its just how they are made. Its not that they dont
value or want emotional bonding; many do. But it isnt their
Myth 5 My love will save him. I can change him.
Dont make the mistake of dating a guy who needs some major
repair work before you could consider him marriage material. Many
young women are drawn to a guys wild, rebellious side and
then set out on a mission to mold him into the kind of man they
really want him to be. We hate to break it to you, but you cant
change or save anyone. Only God is in the business of doing that
successfully. The research has already been done. A womans
love does not change a broken mans behavior. It only validates
it. Her love says to him, You are OK the way you are!
Myth 6 I feel so sexually tempted, I must already
be guilty, so why bother resisting?
Satan loves to use false guilt, convincing us to cross the line
between temptation and sin with thoughts like these:
"You cant deny that you want him! You may as well
go after him!"
"Youve already gone this far, whats one step
"He already knows how you really are, so theres no
use pretending to be a goody two-shoes!"
Satan uses thoughts like these to cause you to feel guilty, but
your guilt is false guilt because you have not yet acted on your
thoughts. You have been tempted to sin, but you have not yet sinned.
When Jesus taught that thinking upon sexual things is just as
sinful as doing them (see Matthew 5:27-28), He was referring to
entertaining sexual thoughts over and over or intentionally fantasizing
about someone in sexual ways. There are thoughts that pop into
our minds simply because we are human, but we dont have
to entertain them or focus on them. We can distract ourselves
and resist these thoughts, just as we can resist any temptation.
Myth 7 Theres no one who would really understand
We believe this myth exists because, fearing judgment, girls
usually dont openly discuss their sex lives with other females.
Unfortunately, these fears are often confirmed very early in childhood.
For instance, one girl tells a friend about her secret crush on
a boy in their class. The friend inevitably whispers the secret
to two other friends, or worse, tells the boy all about the girls
confession. If you went through experiences like these, you may
have learned to guard your deepest, darkest secrets from other
Some girls grow up with guys as their best friends because they
feel so strongly that other girls simply cannot be trusted. Many
also find out the hard way that confiding in guys can be more
dangerous than confiding in a girlfriend. All a girl can do is
betray your confidence. A guy can take advantage of your vulnerability
and make you his next sexual target if you arent standing
firm in your convictions.
Its our hope that if you know how common these issues are
to young women, you wont hesitate to discuss your own sexual
struggles with a trusted adult or a mature Christian girlfriend.
We believed 99.9 percent of all women face sexual temptations
in varying degrees.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has seized
you except what is common to [woman]. And God is faithful; he
will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when
you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can
stand up under it.
Excerpted from Every Young Woman's Battle by Shannon Ethridge
& Steve Arterburn. Used by permission of New Life Ministries. New
Life Ministries has a variety of resources on men, women, and relationships.
Call 1-800-NEW-LIFE or visit www.newlife.com.
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