FYI (if you’re a teenage boy)

Dear guys,
I doubt that you’ve noticed, but a bunch of your moms and their friends have been reading this recent post (which I liked) about teenage girls posting sexual selfies on Facebook. It’s created quite the stir online (here’s a valuable response, which I also liked) but since it didn’t break into ESPN’s Top 10 or interrupt Call of Duty, I bet that you’ve missed all the excitement.

It seems like this summer brought us an upsurge of attention to topics like modesty and physical purity. And, while I think it’s great that a lot of people are talking about what girls should wear or post online, it still seems like we’re missing something. So here’s why I’m writing specifically to you. It seems like we’re missing half of the conversation.

Your half.

There is not a single girl on the planet who is responsible for what you think when you look at her.

I’ll say it again. There is not a single girl on the planet who is responsible for what you think when you look at her. You are responsible for you. Sure, every girl is responsible for what they wear or how they act, but their area of responsibility should never be mistaken for a shelter that you get to hide behind. It’s time you understood and accepted that you are responsible for what you look at, you are responsible for what you lust at.

Your resolve is not contingent on her bikini, your character does not hinge on her profile pic.

I get a little concerned when we have these involved, national conversations about topics like modesty and purity but only direct our energies at half of the people involved. I get a little concerned when many of us fill your heads with aspirations of being the “spiritual head of the family” while allowing you to abdicate responsibility in such a basic area. I get a little concerned when I hear so many voices saying “She should or shouldn’t do such-and-such” while hearing so few voices saying, “He should or shouldn’t…”

Modesty is masculine. (Just as much as it is feminine).

Purity is masculine. (Just as much as it is feminine).

Guys, as you head back to your schools, back to your jobs, back to your churches, and back to your sports, remember that there is only one person who is responsible for how you act, think, lust, and love.

And, if we’re going to have a conversation about modesty and purity and battling lust, unless we’re involving the only person in your life who bears responsibility in these areas, we’re probably not going to get very far.

So let your friends’ moms worry about what they’re wearing or posting. You have enough to worry about.

You.

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About Tim Owens

I'm a husband, father, and Christ follower. I also live in Albany, NY, where I work as a pastor.
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3 Responses to FYI (if you’re a teenage boy)

  1. drwill7 says:

    True! Convicting. Applies to so many other areas of life as well. Thanks for the post Tim.

  2. chris says:

    Very true. Living in a fallen world, living in a European country, our “resolve” is based on our thought life and our walk with Christ. As a father I pray that my children will take this advice and live it.

  3. Chris says:

    From the beginning of time, we men have been pointing the finger and blaming others for what ultimately is / was our responsibility. An excellent post brother Tim!

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