Today's post was written by Jamie K who works on our Student Ministry Team.

“It feels good to be bad, to break hearts, to make you sad.” One of my favorite songwriters wrote these lyrics, and it’s pretty catchy. It’s good to be bad…but is it really? That good feeling didn’t last for me, and an entire generation will be fiercely disappointed when the bad girl lifestyle doesn’t pay off the way it promised.

There is the kind of girl guys want to date, then there’s the kind of girl they want to marry. Of course, I heard that one before. But how are you supposed to get married if you can’t get a date? And what does it say about me if all the other girls have boyfriends and I’m single because I’m the virgin Mary of our friend group? I realized early on that it just wasn’t paying off to be good.

Being called “sweet” or “cute” was not a good thing! “Cute” like the dress you kind of like but not enough to actually buy. “Sweet” like some unfortunate child trying their hand at singing and failing miserably. No. The girls who won the attention were hot, mysterious, and just a little bit bad. They said sultry things like “trouble can be a whole lot of fun.” I WANT TO BE THAT COOL! So I did what all cute little girls did - put on the act of being a little bit bad. Fortunately, my imitation of the “bad girls” was horrifically awkward until college and even then I could only pull off the tease. As a Christian, I thought this was a good compromise: pretend to be bad but don’t actually follow through on it. Then I could have the attention and not really be sinning in the process. However, toying with the appearance of sin proved just as destructive and desolate and, yes, sinful. See, my heart still desired the same things-to get attention, to be the object of adoration, to get what I wanted no matter the cost. And worse, I arrogantly believed I found a way to get around God’s rules, to work the system.

Our culture does an excellent job convincing women that to be attractive is to be sexy and to be sexy is to be dangerous. Show just enough skin to get his mind going. Give him a little, but always leave him wanting more. Women want that attention for any number of reasons, but power and insecurity top the list. I have guys drooling at my feet; therefore, I am powerful and worth something! I can make them my slaves and manipulate them into bowing at my kitten heels. I can get whatever I want. So I tempt and tantalize with my words, with my eyes, with my body. I sacrifice purity in small ways because men want experienced women (no one wants a bad kisser, right?). I take up smoking the occasional cigarette or showing a little skin or making out with a few guys just to keep up appearances so they see I’m “not that innocent” (thank you, Britney Spears). Honestly, I wanted to take the place of God in relationships. I wanted to control men’s hearts and affections with just a flash of my baby blues. I wanted to prove my own worth rather than believing that my worth is found in Christ. And it led to destroyed hearts and relationships. And I regret ever leaving behind that sweet, naïve girl for the lies the world sold me.

God calls us to be completely pure and set apart from the world. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). Our Father loves righteousness and purity and innocence. He warns us away from toying with sin…because it’s not harmless. And here’s some practical advice - God is right. The bad girl thing doesn’t actually work. You may get a man’s attention with the bad girl persona, but to keep that interest going, you have to sacrifice more and more physically. That feeling of exhilaration from “a little trouble” quickly fades, and it takes more and more to keep him with you. You have to become perverse to remain “interesting” and “dangerous,” and one day, you will no longer recognize the woman in the mirror. Sin will take you farther than you thought possible, and you will end up broken, clutching the shattered, empty promises that were whispered in your ear when you started this whole charade.

Praise God that He can redeem us from the bad girl mentality and bring restoration to our destruction! Praise God that He is a loving Father and actually does lead us in what’s best for us. So why am I writing this? Because I work with teenage girls, and I see it playing out in their lives all the time. I see them falling for the lie. I see my own friends in their 20s still falling for the lie. I see its destructive power, and I am so tired of watching it happen over and over! My hope is that we will be women who shine light on sin and expose it for what it is so that our friends and sisters and cousins won’t fall for the same lies. I want to be like Solomon warning his son against the destructive power of evil. I want my precious 15 year old cousin to keep that innocent, sweet countenance and to see how stunningly beautiful it really is. I won’t let the world’s lies be all she hears. So I tell her the truth and pray that God would protect her from believing the lie. And I hope that you’ll tell her too. I hope that you’ll be another voice imploring with truth in a world ruled by the father of lies. Ephesians 5:11 says “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” Let’s get to it, ladies!