First, I need to share my story with you because we have a lot in common.
I never sent nudes when I was your age because well, technology wasn’t there yet.
The question is, if I had been given the opportunity would I have sent them? Unfortunately, I can’t say I wouldn’t have. Because the reality is we women have the same longings:
To be seen, told we’re beautiful, and to feel loved.
When I was younger I had a pretty cute figure and I realized around the age of twelve or thirteen that guys were beginning to notice me. What a thrill after all the gawky years of feeling hidden and unseen.
Boys were finally giving me attention.
The more I felt seen, the more powerful I felt, it was like a high. So, of course as I grew up, my identity was wrapped up in my looks and finding ways to be prettier.
I was constantly on a quest for better makeup, cuter clothes, (the more they revealed my figure the better) and chasing after the next compliment.
So, I get you.
I get that you want to feel special and told you’re the most beautiful girl in the world. God put those desires inside each of us women and they are all natural human desires.
You may be asking, “So what’s the problem then with sending pictures and wanting to hear those things?”
First off, sending nudes and sexting is a criminal offense and you and the recipient of your pictures can get charges pressed against you both. (this is happening every day all over the world so don’t think it won’t happen to you).
Secondly, we have seen and heard about the devastating effects of how one picture can ruin not only your reputation, but follow you for the rest of your life.
Thirdly, ask yourself this: Do you really want a relationship with a guy who asks you for nude photos? (and btw research proves when you send those photos he shares them with his friends, no matter if he says he doesn’t.)
After talking with many teen girls and reading research, the reality is many teen boys are asking for nudes right away when they start talking to a girl.
And what breaks my heart is there is a high percentage of you sending them because you are fearful of rejection.
I want you to really think about this: If a guy doesn’t like you because you won’t send naked pics of yourself then what kind of guy are you trying to attract?
A guy of character and integrity? Or a guy with no care whatsoever about your value and worth?
Let’s say you decide to go ahead and keep sending nudes regardless of the consequences, or you haven’t sent them, but you’ve been thinking about it.
I want to leave you with a couple of things to think about:
No matter how many times you send pictures or hear how beautiful, sexy, and amazing you are, it will never be enough.
You will never get to a point where you say, “Ok, I’m done now, I’m satisfied.”
Listen, when I tell you– no matter how many compliments men gave me, I always craved more.
A compliment or quick thrill may fill you for a moment, but it will never sustain you, nor give you what you are truly after:
You and I were created by God and for God and He is the only One who can fill our deepest soul longings.
And let’s be real, you’re sending photos not just because you want to be liked, but because you want to be loved deeply and profoundly.
And here’s the thing–you already are.
You don’t have work for it, you don’t have to kill yourself to look like so and so, you are already extravagantly loved simply because you’re His.
Scripture says each one of us is an image bearer of God. So, let me ask you this, when you send a picture of yourself whose image are you sending?
Your beauty sweet friend, was meant to show off God’s glory and when you send a nude picture all it’s revealing is your insecurities.
In conclusion, as your big sister, I am pleading with you to not do what I did and build your identity on your looks or measuring your worth by how many guys tell you you’re “hot.”
You are worth SO MUCH more than that.
And if a guy is asking you for pics instead of what is in your heart and soul, please for the love of Jesus, KICK him to the curb.
I want to close this with a challenge and a question I want you to ask yourself the next time you’re tempted to send a picture:
What am I’m seeking and what is my heart truly longing for?
I can guarantee you this:
The answer you’re looking for will not be found in some compliment from some hormonal, immature boy.
Your answer will be found in a truth way more real and everlasting than a fleeting text message or snapchat.
And it’s a message from your Heavenly Father that says, I love you and cherish you, over and over again.
This post originally appeared at HollyNoelHaynes.com.