“Do you want to talk dirty?”
That’s how it usually starts. A few days later you’re texting him:
“I’m taking off my shirt” or“I’m completely naked right now.”
He can’t see if you’re naked; it’s just a text. You don’t even have to take off your clothes. As long as he thinks you’re doing these things, he’ll think you’re sexy. And that’s what you want – to be sexy for him.
The next week you’re sending pictures of yourself wearing only your underwear.
You still think it’s harmless. A few more weeks pass by and these sexts aren’t enough anymore. Did you ever read the book “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie”? Well, just like the mouse, if you give him a little, he’s always going to want more.
Pre-marital sex, STDs or even rape are the three big consequences that may result from “just an innocent text.” However, there are many other repercussions that you’ve probably never thought about that come from trying to be sexy for him: dealing with lies you feel you have to fabricate to cover up your tracks, coping with a possible change in reputation and feeling overwhelmed by the thought that you have to dress differently or engage in activities such as watching porn to present yourself as something he would desire. Pornography is a very serious sin that is destroying men, women, their relationships with another, their self-worth and their relationship with God. Additional repercussions that may have crossed your mind but you think won’t happen to you, do actually occur more than you’d believe: your boyfriend shares the texts and pictures with his friends and posts them on social media to prove his manliness or to get back at you when your relationship is over, which creates a cyber-footprint that never goes away; not only are your now embarrassed and ashamed, but your family or future employers have access to those images and unbeknown to you, opportunities may be lost.
But what’s so bad about JUST sexting?
Sexting is disrespectful, plain and simple. You have a responsibility to hold your partner accountable in his sexual purity. Sexting places him into situations where he may feel tempted. “Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.” Romans 14:13-23 English Standard Version (ESV)
It also hints at sex, putting you in a light that was meant only for the intimacy of marriage. God has someone special that He intends for you to marry. Save the intimate parts of yourself for that special person. It’ll mean a whole lot more in marriage and you’ll feel good knowing that you waited for the person God made for you.
What exactly is sexting, though?
If you want clear-cut rules of what you should and shouldn’t send, there is no one person who can draw the lines for you – God has that authority. The best way to figure out if something is appropriate is to turn to Him. God, through scripture, has given guidelines on what should and should not be communicated through Ephesians 5:3-5.
Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these aren’t for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.
Here are some helpful descriptions to encourage you to dig in to the scripture:
Placing yourself in a situation that is only meant for marriage is not only dangerous, it’s against God’s will. The phrase “sexual immortality” can sound vague, but that’s because it encompasses a lot of actions, the most obvious being premarital sex. Showing the intimate parts of your body also counts. If what you’re about to do isn’t something you would do for anyone, then consider the purpose behind it.
In life, you should have sexual intercourse with only one person – your husband. God doesn’t want us to have multiple partners. However, impurity doesn’t stop here. Anything that alludes to sex, such as fingering or other intimate touching, oral sex or strip teases, should only occur between you and your husband.
Ladies, it’s time to point you out! The guy is not always the person who pressures to have sex. Sometimes it’s you. If you’re placing a desire in your heart for deeper intimacy with your boyfriend and are tempting him with ideas that he deserves physical gratification from you, you’re dishonoring God. This isn’t holding your partner accountable nor honoring the relationship that the two of you have together. If all you want is sex, reconsider the relationship you have with him because a relationship that revolves around sex isn’t healthy. Sex doesn’t fortify relationships nor does it fix them.
This is dirty talk: when you tell a guy that you’re doing something sexual even if you may not be, or don’t want to. If you constantly feel you have to strive to turn a guy on to make him like you, you’ll never have a meaningful relationship.
It’s foolish to talk about the things you’d like to do with your boyfriend – like have sex. It’s also foolish to talk to him in ways that put him on a pedestal, placing him above everything else.
These are statements that put you (or your boyfriend) in a negative or submissive spotlight. Usually this happens when guys want to make jokes about the sexual lives of their friends. Making comments like “he wears the pants in the relationship” or “he’s so whipped” seem harmless, but by encouraging this conversation, you’re fostering these thought processes. After a while, you or your boyfriend might feel the need to change how other people view you sexually, and that isn’t a path you need to take. Prevent these comments by not providing any reason to joke.
The scripture in Ephesians asks for Christians to be thankful for God. It seems weird after all of this “don’t do sex” talk, but this is the idea that holds all the other bullet points together. Here’s something to think about: are you more comfortable thanking God for your boyfriend’s “manhood” or his kind heart? Do you want your boyfriend to only thank God for your body or your personality?
What does all of this mean?
- You should never offer your boyfriend anything more than honor. Your relationship should be a reflection of your thankfulness to God for the gift that he is in your life.
- Ask yourself these questions before you send a text to someone: Is it respectful? Does it honor God? Does it honor you? Will it keep you safe? Would you send it if your Mother or Father were to see it?
- Take pride in yourself and if you’ve started sexting, stop now and seek out relationships that reflect your true beauty.
If you ask yourself, “Is whatever I’m doing glorifying to God?” and you’re honest with yourself as someone who is “sexting,” then the answer is no. This doesn’t just apply to use of your cell phones but of all activities and thoughts. Steer yourself to more holy thinking and stay away from thoughts and actions that may be damaging to you and your relationship with God.
It can be hard to stop sexting once you’ve already started. You might not know where to begin. Here are some suggestions on how to stop sexting and start moving towards healthy relationships:
- Talk with your boyfriend. Let him know how you feel and if he doesn’t understand then it’s his loss. You should be with a guy who has the same beliefs as you. God intended for Christians to walk alongside one another in friendship and marriage. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14
- Find an activity for you and your boyfriend to participate in together. An active mind can keep both of you from doing things that you will later regret. Some suggestions for things to do are: bowling, board games, exercising and reading.
- Seek out someone you trust to talk with you. This could be a school counselor, friend, youth pastor or any other trustworthy person. If you have just entered into the world of sexting you might need some help to make you accountable for your actions. Find the person who will encourage you to not sext on a day-to-day basis and give you support when you’re feeling vulnerable.
- Create a game to play when you’re feeling the temptation to sext. For example, when a conversation is starting to feel hot and steamy or when you’re bored and don’t know what else to talk about, play a game of questions. There are still things you probably don’t know about your boyfriend. Google some questions on the Internet to ask and take turns answering each others questions. You could also play online games, such as Words with Friends, or watch movies together. The point is to find something quick to turn to when the temptation arises.
- Take away your phone. If you find yourself unable to quit the habit, take a fast from your phone. Give your cell phone to a friend, sibling or parent for a few days (or even just a few hours) and find healthier ways to spend your time (i.e. exercising, crafting, etc.). The person you give your phone to doesn’t need to know what you’re doing. The point is to take a break from your phone to help you steer away from sexting.