Saturday, December 10, 2011

Worth

US Weekly just tweeted "Unless you've been living under a rock, you've glimpsed Lindsay Lohan's leaked playboy cover." Well, I'm happy to say that I've been living under a rock. I've not viewed the cover INTENTIONALLY but I did hear about it. You'd have to be disconnected from all things media not to get word of her recent little photo shoot.

I have to admit, when I first heard the news I was shocked. Quite frankly, I still picture her as a teenager and IMDb'd her to see if she was, in fact, legally old enough for this pornographic shoot. It turns out she has grown up since Mean Girls and, according to her age, she can. Then my heart turned to a place of utter sadness. This is a young girl born into a Catholic family drowing in the sinking sand of the worldly life. Whether it be family pain, a lack of good guidance, Hollywood pressure, or, sadly, a disconnect with God that has grown over time, Lohan has found her way into treatment on multiple occasions for alcohol and drugs, struggled with bulemia, and theft.

I'm wondering if Lindsay felt alone. At one time she seemed to have it all together and now people view her as the "good girl gone bad"...and because she gives them reason. But this photography stint seems to be a effort to make a grand entrance on a sadly (large) stage and say, "Look at me. I'm pretty. I have value."

She isn't alone there. We all want that, don't we?

But the source of our worth will directly impact our lived experience.

If Lindsay thinks this is going to attract people to her it is going to be for all the wrong reasons. When I checked some tweet responses post the intro response (none of which were appropriate for post), she has been reduced to the some of her parts. Not surprising since that is what pornography does. I suspect if this cover brings her back into the movie business it will not be for wholesome parts like The Parent Trap and any guys that place her pretty little arm around theirs will already have expectations for what follows dinner. She's let them see it all. Her bare skin is burned into their brains. All that's left is the physical.

Teen girls watching this please think. When you show guys on dates, sexts (which is illegal), or otherwise the lines of your body God meant for your spouse alone, the sexual imagery will increase the desire for touch. And moms reading this, TALK TALK TALK to your teens. If ever there was a time for discussion about being a Proverbs 31 type woman who adorns herself for her husband only this is it because one of their teen idols just very publically crossed the line from scantily clad, which all girl moms have had to discuss, to completely nude. New territory. And yet not so new in the sense that 20% of teens have sent or posted nude/semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves.

Boy moms, if you think you got a free pass on this one, guess again! Guess who was posting the reply tweets? Who wants to look at these pictures? It isn't girls getting ideas about what gives them worth. No. It is the males attracted to the female design. Unfortunately, the average teen spends one hour and forty minutes looking at pornography. But, it alters brain chemistry...setting unhealthy standards of comparison for a future spouse and horribly, horribly addicting. Boys, think. One day you will show your future spouse how you value her by whether or not you have focussed on what is right and pure (Phil 4:8) to gaurd your heart and mind.

We all want to be valued. We all want to have worth. But the good news is we do. And it isn't found in a pornographic cover shoot or relationship status or the size of your pants. It is in the baby whose birth we are all anticipating this advent season. Jesus came so that we might know the abundant life. Through His teaching we are drawn into relationship with One who knew us before we were conceived (Ephesians 1:11-12), provides for our every need (Matt 6:31-33), and encourages us (2 Thes 2:16-17) in every way because we are God's treasured people.

Our bodies are temples (1 Cor 6:19) designed with intention and care. If we believe this, it will directly impact our conduct. And, the desire to live a pure lifestyle because of Whose will result in attraction to another who wants to bring the fulfillment of His best. That is a win win.

My prayers are for Lindsay. Last I checked He doesn't want even one to perish (Matt 18:14) and I trust that if she truly discovers who He is and His heart for her she can be done with all the rest...just like everyone else who has fallen and come to see His incredible love.

Pam Stenzel and I's new book "Who's In Your Social Network" is available for preorder. It is dedicated to the influence of media, its impact, and encourages positive choices that will grow Godly character. (Including a chapter on pornography alone) I pray it will be a helpful resource for your personal life...and parents, for the discussions you must be having with your teens! The fun social networking writing style with teens' true stories, comments, and questions was a hit in book one and is certain to inspire again!

5 comments:

  1. Really well written. Dottie in Maine

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  2. Hi Melissa, I am a friend of Jan Kern. Jan was one of my teachers in High School and later she was there for my daughter. I like your post and the truth presented.

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  3. Thank you for this article. You have no idea how much it just helped me. I'm a 20 year old college student and since I was 13, struggled with what I've called 'my bad habit'. It's a mild addiction to pornography. I'm not at all proud to admit this, and I never even thought of it as being such until around the time that I was 17 and was getting more exposure to my faith, and it was only recently that I've really admitted it to anyone.

    Pornography really does mess with the chemistry of the brain, and it's dreadfully hard to rework. It trains males to search for a partner based on upon aesthetic interest, and even makes it psychologically okay to go from partner to partner.

    Thank you for being a voice advocating self-worth. Our culture just doesn't seem to understand it any more. You're making a difference for the better.

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  4. I had not idea about this, and my heart like yours is so sad for her. She is clearly searching and I know this will not give her what she truly needs.

    Thank you for pulling out the lessons for all of us to consider as we raise our kids!

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  5. Great post. And it IS so scary as a parent to see all that is out there for our kids to see/hear etc. We have a 15 yr old boy and then 3 more down to age 1.

    As a child who grew up in a very Christian home with great parents and a solid family...I still felt undervalued and always wanted to "be" more. I don't know that anything my parents could have done differently would have changed that in me.

    It took some hard circumstances like getting pregnant in my junior year of college, married at 21 and struggles with my husband before I really turned my will and my life over to God to do the "fixing".

    So I pray that our young people will know God in a REAL way - early and will be open to follow His leading and being able to see God's worth for their lives instead of the worlds.

    My parent's gave me all of the foundation....I just wasn't willing, ready...I don't know what to accept it until I was in trouble and really needed help. But I can say that I have grown so much because of my journey and wouldn't change that part of it. I am stronger in my faith as a result and so I can see my heartache and trials as blessings today...but it isn't the road I would choose for my children either!

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