This fall I've been leading a girls Bible study about self-image and identity. We have one week left, and last night our topic was beauty and taking care of ourselves.
The signs that it went well were:
1) I barely had to use my lesson plan
2) I barely had to talk
It was a small group of us, three girls and me. We started with talking about the high school's homecoming dance the night before and they showed me pictures of their dresses and dates. They were freshman, so their first fancy high school dance was a big deal. We then got into a discussion about taking care of ourselves, classy vs. trashy, and modesty.
That was when conversation took off. Once I started saying how I'm pro-modesty and not letting it "all hang out", but also how we can't let it control our lives, and how guys need to learn to control themselves... the girls eyes lit up.
"Thank you. That's what I've always thought too, but every time I go to a Christian and they talk about modesty, it's all about how the guys can't control themselves and I have to completely cover up."
(That's not an exact quote... but basically what the girls said.)
We talked about how it's okay to want to look pretty. There's a difference between being sexy yet elegant, and trashy. We discussed being confident and feeling good about what you're wearing - and it's okay to do that. We talked about how while caring about our looks shouldn't be our entire lives, our outer appearance can help other people see how awesome we are on the inside.
From there they moved onto testimonies they've heard at school about people and their faith. They talked about what and who inspires them. We dug into some of the harder questions about life.
The best part was that I barely had to say a word. A few things to get conversation started, or saying something that gave them permission to say what they were really thinking...
When I left it made me feel good about where these girls hearts were at. I'm always hearing about how people are so worried about this generation and how they are all falling away from the Church.
That's not true. If anything - these girls have a clearer idea of what it means to belong to Christ than I did at their age.
It looks different than what we're used to the Church looking like - and that's okay.
We're going to be just fine.