Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: purity (page 1 of 3)

How to View Media in a God Honoring Way

I remember having a movie night with a childhood friend. We were eating snacks and talking, and everything was awesome. That is, until I realized the superhero movie we were watching was so full of swear words that I couldn’t make it past the first fifteen minutes.

As the years go by and I continue to grow in my faith, I can see the way media affects my life and the lives of those around me. Season two of the show 13 Reasons Why was recently released on Netflix, and reading this incredible post from blogger Beauty Beyond Bones has inspired me to also discuss the dangers of media.

13 Reasons Why focuses on a teen girl who committed suicide, and the blame she places on those around her through a series of tapes. I’ve never seen this show before, and I do not plan to. It graphically portrays suicide, bullying, rape, and other issues in a way that is often too traumatizing for teens and adults to process.

Media is powerful, and can either hinder our faith or build it up. Read on for more on the dangers of media and ways to view media in a wise and God-honoring way.

When Media Becomes a Compromise

It’s borderline impossible to watch a movie without some degree of  swearing, violence, or sexuality in it. Even kids movies contain these things! However, sometimes we are tempted to watch something that is beyond the threshold of what we know is appropriate.

During that movie night with my friend, I could have chosen to keep watching the superhero movie. However, this would be compromising my values because I knew it wasn’t right. There was a ton of violence and crude swearing–both of which I am sensitive to.

As Christians, compromising media is thrown at our faces so much that all of us are tempted at times. And that’s okay, the Lord doesn’t expect perfection from us. God does, however, expect us to be on guard over what we view on our TVs, phones, and computers.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)

Although one bad movie or book might not seem like a big deal, it opens the door for compromise. We must prayerfully assess all that we watch, read, and listen to in order to avoid compromise.

The Need for Discernment

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 4:23 that what we put into our hearts eventually manifests itself in our lives. That is why we must be careful of the media we view. When we watch shows like 13 Reasons Why, we are thrown into the dark world of depression and suicide. And if you’re someone who is struggling with these issues, this can cause great harm. 

When we view content on social media, we are influenced by the crude and sometimes borderline pornographic content on these sites. Even worse, sometimes we become desensitized to these things and our values no longer hold true to us anymore.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)

There is no way we can avoid everything “wrong” in media. We would have to avoid it completely, which is legalistic and missing the point of what God wants for us.

There are movies and books that contain some swearing or violence, however, they have excellent messages. One movie I can think of in particular is The Blind Side, which happens to have a strong faith message rooted in the story.

We must study God’s Word, which is our source of truth. The Holy Spirit guides  us so we can avoid media that might harm us instead of building up our faith.

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How to View Media in a God Honoring Way

Media in Focus

The truth of God’s Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit helps us avoid harmful shows, movies, and websites. And of course, we should always be on guard against sinful media.

But there’s something we must focus on that can be easily forgotten in our fight against compromise. We need to set our eyes on good things that draw us closer to Jesus and the message of the Gospel.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 NIV)

When we fill our lives with truthful, lovely, and pure things, it drowns out the evil in this world. There are so many movies and books with good messages  and values. And there are Christian podcasts, social media accounts, and websites to entertain and inform us. With all this free media at our fingertips, it’s easy to find wholesome things to view.

Media has powerful influence to either distract us from Jesus, or to encourage our pursuit of Him. Seeking the Lord and pursuing honorable sources of media and entertainment is the key to a balanced life.


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(Photography by Becca Tapert and Annie Spratt)

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Answering 3 Important Questions About Modesty

It’s almost Memorial Day weekend, which means summer is just around the corner! I can smell the pollen and fresh cut grass already (and so can my allergies). Along with warm summer weather comes summer fashion, which often leaves Christians asking questions about modesty.

Are these shorts long enough? Are tank-tops modest? And what about swimsuits!? Almost every Christian girl has asked herself these questions at some point, including myself. In fact, I’ve written about modesty a few times on this blog.

I think that many of us have questions about modesty that seldom get answered.  I want to use my experience, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit to tackle 3 important questions about modesty.

1. What Makes Clothing Modest? 

When reading scripture on modesty, it’s only natural to have the desire to reflect that in your life. I know that when I was exploring modest fashion, I went a little crazy trying to discern what was appropriate or not.

However, I’ve learned that it’s easy to border on legalism if all we focus on is hemlines. In fact, we can become so obsessed with modesty that we lose our focus on Jesus! Instead of asking what is modest, we need to remember the why behind modesty.

Modesty is not about rules or regulations; it’s about giving Jesus the glory by taking the attention off of ourselves. 

 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. (1 Timothy 2:9-10 NKJV

This verse about modesty addresses the core issue behind why we choose to dress immodestly. We want the focus on ourselves. When we dress in revealing or flashy clothes, we are basically wearing a huge sign that says, “look at me.”

Modesty is about dressing with moderation. Instead of trying to have all the latest brands and follow every trend, we should be focused on the mission of spreading the Gospel.

That doesn’t mean we can’t focus on our looks at all or must dress like we’re from the 1800’s. That in itself would be immodest because it’s not following the concept of moderation. Modesty is about balance and turning our hearts toward Jesus as we care for our appearance. 

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Answering 3 Important Questions About Modesty

 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2 NIV)

2. Is Modesty Oppressive Toward Women?

The secular argument against modest fashion is that it’s oppressive toward women. The only case that I would agree with this is when a church or organization starts imposing legalistic rules about women’s clothing.

However, this is not true Biblical modesty. We’ve already established that modesty is a heart response to giving Jesus glory with our fashion choices. This is a choice we make freely out of love. How awesome is that?

Modesty actually empowers women by allowing us to root our confidence in Jesus Christ instead of our bodies or clothes. We can focus on the more important eternal qualities, such as helping others and learning new things, when we’re not obsessing over our outward appearance.

True Biblical modesty is not about controlling or oppressing women. It’s about freeing women to celebrate the beauty God gave us inside and out.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, 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. (1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV)

3. Is Modesty Only for Girls? 

When the topic of modest fashion comes up, it’s often addressed to girls or women. This is probably because modesty is often associated with the goal to prevent men from lusting after us.

This, however, is not the true purpose for modesty. Don’t get me wrong–I’m all for helping out our brothers in Christ. I also realize that we live in a sexually perverted culture due to sin. Therefore, it is wise to teach both our sons and daughters how to dress and act in a way that honors purity.

But we need to remember that modest fashion is about moderation and keeping the focus on Christ instead of ourselves. I know I sound like a broken record, but this really is what modesty is all about.

And this applies to guys as well. Although women commonly struggle in this area because of society’s pressures on outward appearance, there are plenty of men who dress immodestly or for attention.

Modesty is something both men and women should follow in order to honor God and each other. When we seek to love the Lord and one another over our own desires for attention, we build a culture of respect and humility.

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5 NIV)

Modesty is more than just rules and regulations. It’s empowering for women by encouraging us to root our confidence in Christ. Modesty also teaches both men and women about respect and moderation. The most beautiful truth about modesty is that it guides our hearts back to our amazing Savior. And that, lovely one, is a goal worth pursuing with our whole lives.


Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

(Photography by Zack Minor and Leon Biss)

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Online Dating and the Christian Girl

Online dating. It’s a term that causes controversy in the minds of many. We all know the horror stories of creepy online profiles and dates gone wrong.

However, I don’t think that online dating has a worse reputation among anyone than Christians. You might as well wear a cone of shame if you’re going to admit you’re on a dating app.

But what if it’s possible to meet a nice guy online who also happens to love Jesus?

Well, it actually is possible. I met my fiancé online last year, and even though it isn’t the most “romantic” way to meet a person, we couldn’t be any happier about our love story.

So what is better, traditional dating or meeting someone online? Can a Christian girl navigate the world of online dating in a Biblically sound way? Read on to explore this topic!

The Myth of Traditional Dating

A lot of times when I tell someone how I met my fiancé online, the standard reply is something like this: “that’s nice for you, but I prefer to meet someone the traditional way.”

It almost implies that meeting someone online is artificial, or that your relationship is less special if you first made contact behind a screen.

As a shameless lover of all things romantic, I get it. We all want the movie scene where two people stumble into each other and realize they have a spark. This does happen for some, but for most of us, it’s just a fantasy. 

There really is no “traditional” way to meet someone. Most people meet by social contacts. Work, school, church, and other social groups tend to attract those who are like us.

Even meeting my fiancé happened because I realized we already had social connections. Online dating tends to work this way, as the developers of these companies know that using your social media, location, and interests is going to bring you near people who are more like you.

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When you think about it, traditional dating is a vague term. What is traditional in today’s hookup culture definitely does not agree with dating practices 50 years ago. Tradition also varies by culture, ethnicity, and family.

Online dating is just another way of meeting someone. Although it carries its own unique risks, it’s kind of becoming a tradition of its own in this digital age.

Dating Wisely 

Instead of asking whether it is better to meet someone online or in person, the real question to ask is how do we date Biblically?

Worldly traditions and practices change constantly. We certainly do not “date” the same way as people did in Biblical times. In fact, the Bible says very little about dating and courtship.

The only way we can date Biblically is to date wisely. This applies to meeting someone in any given situation, including online.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5 NIV)

God is the source of all wisdom, and He wants to bless us abundantly! Although we should consider the advice of those around us, we must remember that God’s Word is what ultimately stands true.

Letting God Lead 

When meeting someone online, it is always best to use Internet safety precautions and get to know the other person slowly. In fact, online dating can be a great way to ask a person some initial questions without being blinded by the attraction of seeing them in person.

When it comes to establishing a romantic relationship, it is wise to pray about standards such as purity, faith, commitment, integrity, and kindness. Everyone is different in what they are looking for in a person, but these core values are standards that should never be compromised.

Online Dating and the Christian Girl

Yes, it is difficult to find a nice Christian guy online, but meeting serious Christians is hard in any situation. Whether you choose to date online or meet someone in person is up to you, but it is important to be led by the Holy Spirit and sound Biblical wisdom.

Remember lovely one, the best love story is one that is led by the Author of love. Always trust in God’s timing and His ways. He will never let you down.

I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, Do not stir up nor awaken love Until it pleases. (Song of Solomon 8;4 NKJV)


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3 Myths About Purity (And the Freeing Truth)

There’s a girl driving by a church, shaking her head because she knows she’ll never fit in. She’s slept with more than just one guy, and is now too dirty to enter heaven. How could God ever want her when all she was good for was her body?

There’s a girl in youth group, pretending to have it all together. No one needs to know that she went just a little too far with her boyfriend. It was no big deal anyway. It was just a passionate make out session, right?

There’s a girl listening to a sermon on Sunday morning, nodding her head to the line about purity. She has been saving herself for marriage for over two decades now. She takes great pride in her purity, and knows it will bring her the reward of a good husband one day.

Do any of these girls resonate with you, lovely one? I know I can relate. The thing is, all three of these girls are buying into the myths about purity that have pervaded our culture.

It’s time to find the truth in God’s Word and be set free. It’s time to expose the 3 myths about purity, and discover what true purity really is.

Myth #1: Purity is Achievable 

Perhaps the biggest lie surrounding purity is that it comes from our own actions. That somehow, we can make ourselves pure if we act a certain way or abstain from certain things.

If this were true, then we wouldn’t need a Savior. The truth is, all of us give into issues with lust or sexual boundaries in some way–even if it’s just in our minds.

Purity encompasses more than just sex anyway. Sin is what makes us impure. And guess what? We’re all affected by it. Since the fall of man in the book of Genesis, we have all suffered from the stain of sin.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:7 NIV)

When Jesus died on the cross, He sacrificed Himself to free us from all of our sins. We are cleansed only by the power of His blood, not by our own actions.

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Myth #2: Sex is Not Sacred

Another myth about sex is the idea that sex itself is impure or dirty. Just the mention of the word makes us blush, right?

But the  truth is that sex is pure, beautiful, and sacred–in the covenant of marriage.

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 NIV)

God ordained marriage so that a man and a woman could become one in every way, including physically. Sex is for more than just procreation, although that is miraculous in itself. Sex is an expression of powerful love and bonding reserved exclusively for marriage.

God isn’t withholding sex from us because He wants to ruin our fun. He is a good Father who loves His children, and He wants what’s best for us. It can definitely be hard to wait, especially in modern culture. But it’s worth it. 

The world wants to sell us a cheap counterfeit of sex with no limits, but this is damaging. We all know of the consequences of premarital sex. Saving yourself for a loving, Godly marriage will be way more fulfilling than the counterfeit the world has to offer.

Myth #3: Sexual Sin is Unforgivable 

The final myth about purity that needs to be exposed is that once you’ve had sex, or lusted in any way, that you’re beyond redemption.

We tend to treat sexual sin as if it were the worst sin to commit, when in reality, sin is sin. Yes, sexual sin does have earthly consequences that are painful, such as emotional trauma or damaged marriages.

But no matter what you’ve done, you are never beyond God’s salvation. Jesus doesn’t want your perfection. He wants you to submit your life to Him and let His love transform you.

…while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:13-14 NIV)

Remember those three girls you first read about? It doesn’t matter which one you’ve identified yourself with.  As a daughter of God, you have been called to find yourself in in His Son. The world can never take your purity away when it’s rooted in Jesus.

purity rooted in Jesus

Purity isn’t a chore, and it isn’t something than can be achieved. It does not bring us the reward of a future spouse, nor does it condemn us forever. When we choose to fully give our lives to Christ, we then discover what purity really is–a life surrendered to God.


For more on purity, check out this awesome post by blogger, Ashleigh Rich! 

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My Problem with Christian Dating

Okay, normally I try not to rant on here, but I’ve recently read something that made me lose it.

It was midnight, and I was looking online for devotions for dating couples. And then somehow I stumbled upon some forum post from a Christian girl saying she refused to do devotionals with a boyfriend because she wanted to guard her heart.

Yup. She said even praying together was too intimate–more than sex!

I’m not trying to judge this person, as we all have different convictions. And she did have some good points about making sure people are solid in their faith personally before entering a relationship.

The real problem I’m having is that I see this type of thinking in a lot of Christian relationships.

Guard your heart. Protect yourself. No intimacy of any kind.

No vulnerability.

Why Are We Guarding? 

Sometimes as Christians, we can take scripture and twist it in ways that seem harmless, but are actually out of balance.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)

When Jesus tells us to guard our hearts, it’s not so we can shut people out. We need to guard our hearts from sin so we can love others better–so love can flow from us.

I used to be afraid because when I was younger and not a serious Christian, I was in relationships that I gave my heart into–foolishly.

That’s my nature. I’m caring, and I’m not afraid to love. I did make mistakes, but I’ve also learned a lot and how to do things better.

Because of what I read online from Christian articles, I honestly feared I would never find love again. That I had given too much of my emotions or self away. That God would deny me a future with someone to love.

But as always, Jesus proved me wrong. And right now I’m in a relationship with someone amazing (although imperfect–just like me) who loves Jesus too.

The Risk of Love

Lovely one, please remember that you are the daughter of a God of redemption. A God of grace.

A God of love.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16 NIV)

Jesus didn’t die for us to shut ourselves away from love or to think we are unworthy of love. He died because He saw us–in our sin and mess–and said we were worth the cost.

Love isn’t safe. It’s risky. But love isn’t something to guard yourself from.

After all, the cross was pretty risky, right? Why on earth would we be commanded to love one another if it was easy?

Finding Freedom

Don't be afraid of love dating quote

Of course, we shouldn’t throw caution to the wind with dating. Love and marriage are important commitments. We should pray and read the Word while asking for wisdom.

But let’s stop dating like scared little girls who won’t let anyone in and calling it Biblical, okay?

Date with purity and reverence for God. Take things slow. Pray and read the Word together. As you grow closer, you will develop a spiritual intimacy that will show whether or not you can ever have a healthy marriage.

This advice isn’t just for dating relationships either. Learning to love with honesty and vulnerability is the key to having thriving relationships in all areas of our lives. Of course it doesn’t always come easily, but God walks with us one step at a time.

Don’t be afraid to love. It’s the very thing that sets us free.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

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