In recent years sexting has become a growing trend. Research shows that seventy percent of girls and thirty percent of boys have at one time been involved in sexting.
However more than questioning what sexting says about a person’s outer appearance “she’s easy”, “he’s a pervert,” or questioning the reasoning or logic on why one might send such text, such as to win the approval of crush, to not lose a boyfriend/girlfriend, to get attention, or because of social pressure; I’d like to examine the heart of sexting.
What does sexting reflect about a person’s heart? The book of Proverbs tells us, “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects their heart,” Proverbs 21:19, therefore the matter begins in our heart. There are two ways in which we can examine and influence our heart, the culture’s ways and its trends or Jesus Christ’s way. Our trends and cultural influences can be very misleading. It misleads a generation into thinking that we can only attain who we think we ought to be, or hope to be by losing who we were created to be. I believe there are four phases that determine what influences the heart within the culture and trends.
The first phase begins with an idea and/or influence which can be planted in our heart by a reality TV show, social media, a movie, music, a magazine or a person.
Next, a desire will arise. This may come with a battle against our reasoning, which may sound like this, “I want to but I know I shouldn’t.” “I want to prove to him that I love him.” “I don’t want to lose him/her.” “It’s not a bad thing my parents and religion brainwashed me.” “Times have changed, everyone is doing it.” “It’s not a big deal.”
In the third phase, the influences and desires become an action, according to the things stored in our hearts. Upon committing the action one might feel a sense of freedom, independence, and happiness, which may fall upon the heart momentarily.
This brings me to the last phase, death. I am not speaking about a physical death but a spiritual death. Something inside of us may begin to feel broken, grieved, sad, lost, ashamed, unworthy, insecure, angry, fearful, or depressed (see James 1:13-15). I know and have lived through these phases. I too was a young, naive girl who was pressured by the voice of society and its trends. Although I heard the voice of the Lord whisper in my heart, “This isn’t my plan for you,” I went against what I knew and the Jesus Christ I knew. I walked in the darkness of a culture that took from me without any regards to who I was. I lost myself. I came to a turning point when I sat in my youth pastor’s office and told her. I told her how my heart and soul felt so sad. It was no longer a matter of looks, acceptance, possessions, trends, it was a matter of my heart.
This brings me to the most important influence, Jesus Christ. In the bible we constantly see this reoccurring pattern that Jesus cared far more about a person’s heart than he did about their broken situation. We see this in the lives of, the women caught in adultery (John 8:1-11), Peter’s denial (John 21:17), the healing of a boy possessed by an impure spirit (Mark 9:20-27) and the heart of Martha when her brother died (John 11:21- 27).
When we invite Jesus Christ into our lives, He enters through our heart. “And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit I will put within you,” Ezekiel 36:26. It is through the connect of our individual heart where He begins to show us who we are through His eyes. Our value, our talents, our creativity, our gifts, our inner beauty, our dignity and our strength can be revealed and reflected when we open the doors of our heart to Jesus Christ.
Lord I thank You because You and only You can view the depths of my heart and you love me. I thank you because your plans for me are of good and not evil (Jeremiah 29:11). I thank you that you give unto my beauty for my ashes (Isaiah 61:3) and forgiveness. In the name of Jesus Christ, I believe and receive your heart and spirit. I thank you for freedom and unconditional love. I thank you that I am accepted, loved and changed by You, in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.