Many Christian women have been traumatized by the modesty and purity culture messages in the church. In this video, we're going to talk about why the messages have hurt many and how to heal from toxic purity culture. You can also read the transcript below, however, I do say a little more in my video.
Lately, I've been seeing this trend that has now become a hashtag and blog about how modesty culture is toxic and purity culture is toxic. Modesty culture is about a woman covering up her body and not being super attractive and sexy like the world. And purity culture is about saving ourselves for marriage and being hyper-focused on marriage, dating, and sex like it's the goal. I do understand why many say it's toxic, I've shared before how I grew up in a church that practiced extreme modesty like not wearing pants, jewelry, makeup, colored nail polish, etc. I've shared this on my Youtube before. The church isn't toxic, they are quite loving and have helped me in my salvation. But what I will say is that they didn't explain why we couldn't involve ourselves with wearing pants, jewelry, or makeup. I know what the scriptures say about not adorning ourselves only outwardly (1 Peter 3:3-4), but there still wasn't an explanation about why they chose to keep such strict standards.
As a result, I can say that I've had the wrong view about it and often thought that I was superior to women who wore pants. I think some churches can do a better job of explaining the why and dividing the word properly so that we know the truth and not just tradition. But I wanted to talk to a certain group of people today who agree that purity and modesty culture is toxic. I sought to understand why they feel this way.
A lot of women have trauma around this topic and were told that it's their fault for a man stumbling or that their shape is too curvy so they're being lustful, or that they can't wear certain things because of their shape. I've met women who felt bad for years about how they looked and it wasn't their fault. I've mentioned before that it's not your fault how you're born and what you look like, God intricately formed you in your mother's womb and you didn't choose your parents. Because of the church or its members misconstruing and not accurately teaching modesty, many women have carried church hurt trauma and have turned their ears off to God's truths.
I want to encourage you to not turn your ears off to the Father, yes He uses unworthy vessels to teach His message and many times it is taught wrong. Sometimes our Pastors and preachers don't say it right which can hurt and traumatize us. And they will stand before God for the wrong they did in their body, and you too will stand before God for your own salvation. If you turn your ears off to the Lord because of church hurt and offense, then you won't be able to blame your Pastor or the preacher for hurting your feelings. You made a choice to cover your ears and walk away from God because of what the preacher said when our devotion should always be to God. Pastors and preachers are still human, they are not God. So your choice to turn away from the truth is now an offense to the Lord, and His word says, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts, as you did in the rebellion, in the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers tested and tried Me, and for forty years saw My works..." - Hebrews 3:8.
Just like your Pastor will stand before God for the trauma he caused you, you too will stand before God for your lack of obedience to His word. Jesus sympathizes with you and understands your hurt, but you must forgive all the people who traumatized you in modesty and purity culture.
Most people that have hurt others have taught the message out of disdain, extremism, and jealousy rather than out of a love for the woman and God's heart for the matter. God's heart is first for your heart to love and worship Him in spirit and in truth, to be modest (humble, meek) in your heart, and allow this purity of heart to change your behavior. There is a standard in God's kingdom and if we get offended by that standard then do you want to be in God's kingdom? If we say we love God then we should love to obey Him, too. Although His people may communicate wrong, we should still love God and His truths and seek to keep His holy standards in our hearts and behavior.
In the last days, Jesus said that many would be offended because of their association with Christ and they would turn away. This is in Matthew 24 when He told His disciples what were the signs of His coming. Many women are offended by the topics of modesty and purity that Christ taught because it offends their flesh to have a standard and to obey someone other than themselves. Women are not only offended by the trauma their spiritual leaders have caused but also no longer want to be associated with such strict obedience to God's principles because it's not trendy today. Well, this will determine where your heart truly lies, with God and His kingdom or with the world and temporary pleasures.
Lastly, ladies, the Bible says that if you don't forgive then God won't forgive you (Matthew 6:15). So who do you need to forgive for traumatizing you about modesty and purity? Let's work on forgiving the offenses of the church so that we aren't kicked out of it when Christ comes.
I pray this message helps you start healing from toxic purity culture! What are your thoughts? Comment on Youtube or below!