Q: I’m going on trip to Mexico, and I know all of my friends will be wearing bikinis. I’m not sure what kind of swimsuit to wear because I want to honor God, my future husband, and my Christian brothers, but I don’t want to seam self-righteous either. Any suggestions?
First, I have to hand it to you—kudos for caring about the clothes you put on your body! Not many girls give their swimsuit choices much thought, and I think you’re honoring God just by that simple step of asking Him what He thinks!
It might not surprise you that I’m not going to tell you whether you should wear a one-piece or bikini on spring break, 🙂 but I can give some suggestions (or in this case, questions to ponder), which is what you asked for. I hope they’ll help make your decision clearer!
- Why? Why wear a one-piece? Or why wear a two-piece? (Do either of those answers smell of me-centeredness, fear, legalism or rebellion? That might help you see your true motivations.)
- Where (in what context) will I be wearing my suit? Cultural and geographical context is a big deal. Think about it—showing your knees is considered outrageous in some parts of the world, while going topless isn’t a big deal in others. Those are extreme examples, but where and with whom you’d be wearing your swimsuit matters. Even in the United States, different geographical locations (think: Cali versus the Midwest) and demographics (think: conservative Christians versus non-Christian environments) have very different ideas about what is “normal” or “okay.” (No, that’s not an excuse to be immodest just because “everyone else is doing it,” but it does give us some freedom too.)
- What is the Holy Spirit telling me? If God gives you a clear directive, listen! His will is more important than what others think, or geographical location. So ask God for His opinion on this topic. Don’t ask Him what is okay for your friends, or for girls across the country—just what is good and right for you. Then listen for His response, in your prayer time or through mentors, etc.
- What does my dad think? Since you’re still under your parent’s authority, if you have a dad in your life, ask for his opinion. If not a dad, a mom works too.
- What will help me have the most fun? Christ has given us freedom, so it’s dumb for us to get caught up in the tangles of image, worry, and insecurity. Which swimsuit will best help you run, jump, swim, tan and have a blast?
Once you’ve answered those questions:
1) take a deep breath
2) make a decision, and then
3) live in freedom!
Don’t fret over “what if I made the wrong choice?” At the end of the day—and certainly at the end of our lives—what swimsuit you wear to spring break isn’t that big of a deal. God cares most about our hearts. So don’t let Satan shame you into feeling insecure, and don’t give into the temptation to judge your friends for their choices. JUST HAVE FUN! Deal?
I’m so proud of you for wanting to honor God in every area of your life! What that looks like for you might be different from others, and that’s okay. The most important thing is that you listen to your conscience (the Holy Spirit at work!) and love Jesus. And by that standard, I’d say you’re well on your way.