(Photo: CJ Rapp)
There is a new trend sweeping across the internet and specifically Instagram – selfies taken after sex.
Forget the cigarettes honey and hand me the camera!
Some call it edgy and steamy and others call it disgusting and wrong. The reality is this new phase of the digital age has made it easy to record and share our lives with our friends and everyone on the internet. But how much is too much? Once these pictures become socially acceptable where does society go from here? What will be the next trend to push socially acceptable boundaries?
Society is becoming increasingly… well, edgy. What was once taboo is now the "hottest trend" being reported on prime time television shows like Entertainment Tonight. So the question is how do people who respect biblical standards, navigate not only this trend but those that follow?
When we want to know how to act or respond, the best place to turn is to the Word of God. His Word is truth. It is unchanging and when followed, it will lead you to act in a way that produces the best outcome long term.
Let's look at God's Word together. First, our bodies were designed for something precious.
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body," (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
Honoring God with our bodies means we respect ourselves and treat ourselves with dignity. What we do to our bodies we do to the Holy Spirit. The Lord would never expose you. He would never disrespect you.
Second, God designed sex to be a beautiful expression of unity in marriage. Genesis 2:24-25 says:
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. (NIV84)
In beautiful intimacy, two become one flesh as they join body and soul. In this protected union there is no shame. And perhaps this is the key. Adam and Eve were created for each other.
When we dishonor our bodies sexually, shame always results. What may seem fun in the moment becomes an event that affects our identity later. Shame is worse than guilt. Guilt is the knowledge we did something bad. Shame says, "I am bad" and it becomes overwhelming bondage in our lives. It keeps us from fully committing to another because it causes us to hide. People who suffer from shame avoid transparent relationships for fear of rejection. Worse, shame causes us to feel unworthy of love which keeps us from fully giving ourselves to Jesus.
Lastly, sex is the giving of yourself to another. What if the after sex selfie of today is taken with someone who is gone tomorrow? What happens when the person you fall in love with sees the picture, or worse their parents? Your choices today can complicate your future negatively.
Remember, trends fade so practice safe selfies! What was fun for the moment is etched into the fabric of the internet for all to see forever. Practice purity. Respect yourself. Honor God and protect the gift of the Holy Spirit within you. Don't conform to the standards of this world, rise above them.
CJ Rapp is a women's minister, author and founder of Trash the Lies conferences. Upcoming conference: TrashTheLiesLV.EventBrite.com #TrashtheLies.