An Indian Christian perspective on ‘sexy’

An Indian Christian perspective on ‘sexy’

A well meaning forward is doing the rounds on WhatsApp. It is about a Christian grandmother teaching her grandchild the meaning of sexy, as she dresses to go to Church. Allow me to add a few of my thoughts on it below, after quoting the said forward.


The following conversation took place between a grandmother n her granddaughter. “Grandma: Akosua, where are you going?

Akosua: Grandma, I am going to Church.

Grandma: Really? Please come n sit down n let’s talk for a minute before you go. I think we still have ample time before the Church Service begins? Don’t we?

Akosua: About an hour, Yes.

Grandma: The way you are dressed, in fact, you look very sexy.

Akosua: (Smiling) Thank you very much grandma. Grandma: Hmmm, Akosua, I can see you love that compliment. Please tell me, do you need someone to have sex with you?

Akosua: Ooh noo.. Grandma. Why this question?

Grandma: If you do not need someone to have sex with you, then, why do you dress ‘sexy’?

Akosua: There’s nothing to worry about, Grannie. I just want to…

Grandma: (cuts in) …dressed to kill, as usual! Akosua, a Godly girl should never feel proud or swollen-headed when someone tells her that she looks ‘sexy’. In fact it’s a very bad and insulting compliment. The intention of dressing sexy is to arouse men, That’s all. That’s the reason why prostitutes dress this way. They dress this way because they want someone to have sex with them n pay them. They do everything possible to ‘look sexy’ n attractive – not to just one person, but to the entire men in town! They expose, they wear things that will reveal all their endowed curves – just to ‘look sexy’ and attractive to men, for money. Please, Akosua, are you also trying to look that way so that you will be attractive to men for sex?

Akosua looked down, and was speechless.

Grandma: You are young, fit and attractive, although you are a Christian, yet you always look so worldly. When you dress like this to Church, the probability of bringing even the pastor down is very high. But remember that *’woe betide the one by whom a righteous man is made to fall…’* I know you can remember this scripture very well. Well, my beloved grand-daughter, I am done. You can now go.

Akosua : Thank you very much, Grandma. I have never looked at it like this before. From today onwards, I promise never to dress again ‘to look sexy’ . I will rather dress to look beautiful and glorify GOD with my dressing. Thank you very much Grandma.

Grandma: You are welcome, my dear. (Seeing that Akosua started going towards her room, she said) But, are you not going to church anymore?

Akosua: I will go Grannie. I just want to change my dress, first.

Grandma: May God bless you for doing that.” Please share this story with your friends, most ‘sexy looking girls’ do not have someone to tell them the truth.

Sisters, don’t just read it, please react to it- just as Akosua did because we are addressed the way we dress. Let us dress right to reflect the Godliness in our lives!


Here is what I think about that message above from a Christian perspective :

The human body and beauty

The human body is created by God. God wanted to and He did. (Genesis 1.26-27).
He created all things and found it good. After creating humans, he found creation very good. So, beauty is God’s gift.

Enter, Shame

Shame came after sinning (Genesis 3).
Nakedness or no clothes was not sinful in creation. Until they sinned humans didn’t feel the need to be covered in cloth.

The problem of sin

But sin has entered the world, as a consequence of our actions. It caused  a feeling of inadequacy, a sense of “not good enough”. Lust comes under one of those. Note Jesus’ words to those who have lust towards a woman, even a fully clothed woman (like in his times): But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  (Matthew 5:28). Adultery in the Old Testament is punished by death. The grandma in the story seems to have forgotten that verse.
If one can’t stand feeling lustful with a woman who is wearing a dress of her choice, the problem lies with the beholder. It shows a lack of the presence of the fruit of the Spirit in them, one of which is self-control. Such people, ought to ask for grace and more of the Spirit.

If sexiness is about sex, then…

Sex within a God ordained relationship ( as seen in Adam and Eve) is sacred, beautiful and part of God’s plan (Genesis 1.28). Sex outside marriage is not part of its purpose, and is neither fulfilling nor sacred. It creates unwanted complications in relationships and much trouble and dissatisfaction within the soul. Any leading towards sex outside a marriage relationship, is to lead towards sin, be it man or a woman. Any such sexiness that is meant to evoke sexual feelings ought to be towards one’s spouse. In a Christian understanding, it is God who blesses and seals a marriage. That’s where that kind of sexiness becomes meaningful.

Too sexy for your shoes? Varied meanings of sexy.

Linguistics tell us that words have denotative meaning (what it actually meant) and connotative meaning (layers of meaning, that add on over time). Sexy originally means something that evokes sexuality (denotative).

However, over time and due to over use, the word has become part of casual conversation to describe anything that is attractive. Sexy phone, sexy shot (cricket), sexy interiors (houses), sexy beats (music), in addition to  the word in its actual sense. This causes confusion. The way she uses it may not be how I use it or how they use it. It doesn’t, these days, always imply “I want sex.” It has, however, become more of a substitute for attractive, no matter how unfit  you may think the term is. That’s a lot of connotative meanings or additional layers.

Dressing sense is common sense

A sense of dressing is important for any occasion. I’m sure that not many interview candidates who wore shorts to an interview for a Corporate ever got the job. Why? Isn’t the candidate free to wear what s/he wants? Obviously, the candidate uses the gift of common sense and determines that something more formal would suit the occasion.

It’s the same when it comes to worship, youth group and camps. Since the focus is on God, his beauty and Majesty, wouldn’t it be robbery to steal the limelight by wearing a flashy outfit- be it boys, girls or even clergy? 😉 I think so. May God be the centre.

God admires beauty because He is its creator. He has also given the gift of common sense.

The Indian situation

When it comes to the Indian situation, most of us ( I’m addressing Indian christian youth) worship in an intergenerational setting. Elders, youngsters, kids, couples, etc. all of whom find theirselves at different stages of their life. The various people grew up in varied points of history with distinct social etiquette. Their sensitivities vary.
What might be shocking to the other could be normal to another. However, as Paul suggests, Christians must be sensitive to the setting and then make their decisions. Will what I wear cause a disturbance in the community when it comes to worship?  Will I hog the focus, even though its not my fault? Then sensitivity is paramount.

What is ultimate : Seeking the salvation of all.

The above doesn’t mean I live in fear and self-doubt. We ought to ask ourselves : which are the places where my beauty and attractiveness will glorify God? Be in all your splendour there! That’s the conclusion the grandma comes to which is indeed Biblical. However, responsibility on the part of the male is missing from the forward.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God — even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10.31-33




The Lion Chaser’s Manifesto

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death.

Run to the roar.

Set God-sized goals.

Pursue God-given passions.

Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention.

Stop pointing out problems.

Become part of the solution.

Stop repeating the past.

Start creating the future.

Face your fears.

Fight for your dreams.

Grab opportunity by the mane and don’t let go! Live like today is the first day and last day of your life.

Burn sinful bridges.

Blaze new trails.

Live for the applause of nail-scarred hands.

Don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshiping what’s right with God.

Dare to fail.

Dare to be different.

Quit holding out.

Quit holding back.

Quit running away.

Chase the lion.

– Mark Batterson, Chase the Lion

Walking through a mall

I’m walking through a mall.

I’m feeling uncomfortable. This is not how it used to be. But this is what it has come to. I can’t wish this feeling away.

Everything looks great, fabulous and opulent. Adept at creating desire, the strings of my heart are tugged at by the colourful, classy, seductive whatchamacallits in display, all available to me if I’m ready to shell out money.

I want many things.

They don’t need me. But they tell me I’m yours. Enchantress!

I don’t go to malls often. The one near us is small and I’ve got used to it. At the moment I’m hanging around a much larger mall in another city. I’m feeling sick. Sick, because I want everything and about all of it, I really can do without. It’s not that I can’t afford, but the drooling deep inside, despite an outer composure is what makes me feel sick – of myself.

“I want this”,

“I’ll look good in that”,

“I could use this”,

“That is what I had in mind.”


There’s something to appeal to every single craving of mine.

I walk, uncomfortable and avoiding, like an alcoholic passing by a bar.

I know deep down I want everything, although it may be of no use to me. I feel weak. I feel bad. I feel thirsty and desirous. It’s futile. It’s…

The mall is a monster.

Prepare to meet your God.

“Prepare to meet your God. “
It is a privilege to be asked to write devotions. The passage that you are assigned is always a pleasant surprise. You add a layer of another surprise while discovering the topic assigned to you. So now you have a surprise passage and a surprise topic – a double surprise!
The joy in digging deep into a passage finding out what God has to say can be described as a backpacking trip. You can hitch a ride at the mercy of the discoveries that come your way.  You also have to follow intuition, as there are a million ways to reach your destination. Often times you are tired by the time you get there.  Some times you get a rare ride that gets you all the way ( a key word that illuminates the passage, for example!).  The most common experience is that you end up inundated in a sea of illuminating thoughts all of whom wage a war to be included in the 320 words you are allotted. It is, most times, fun, I tell you.

Continue reading “Prepare to meet your God.”

Sky gray

He looked out of the large windows which reached from floor almost to the ceiling. They looked gray till the middle, where it turned white, only to fade into gray again as it touched the horizon. The shroud of clouds veiled the sky, which people say is blue, sky-blue even. The green of the mangroves painted base of the scenic panorama, growing darker as it reached the horizon. The gray clouds seemed to filter the greens into a darker, depressing green. It looked like mold and fungus that gathered on that loaf of bread which one forgot to place in the fridge before setting out on a journey, only to return a month later. The clouds grew darker and at times, brighter. Occasionally, he could see the orange of a hidden sun smeared on the distant clouds, which would eventually turn gray. His wife would bring him a cup of tea around four and he would hope the sky would clear. He didn’t really hope to see the rainbow, yet he would want to see the sky in its trademark blue uniform. “Why didn’t anyone ever say sky gray? he would wonder. “The clouds had gathered from all over the world,” he thought to himself, “may be they are having a meeting.” He wanted to know when they planned clear up. As he stared out of the window, helplessness revealed itself to him in the darkness of the gray, clouded sky. He felt unable to do anything about it. This sense of helplessness made him anxious to the point of despair. When would the sky ever clear up? He blamed his inability focus on or be productive in his work, on the gray skies. Sipping on his favourite tea, he complained to his wife.
She looked through the window. Peering carefully, she walked closer to it, stopped, and asked, “What gray sky”?

Pockets of life

There are

pockets of life in the city, and I am a witness.

When life does not have to roll over rubberised concrete,

When the mind goes beyond thinking about the next train,

When you hear of the tradition of crying, in lament,

Where a 1400 year old story becomes
your story, tugging at heart strings and flushing the eyelids,

When the influential are moved by a life that arose from the dumps to lead the way to a procession of phoenixes.