The Bridge Chicago is a way to offer the resources of Mission:USA to help people do good ministry.
I find it really hard too act around guys respectively. I was a Christian for a long time, and then I left. And now I’m returning. And I have always even before leaving acted kind of.. foolishly around guys. Because my mother and grandmother are very big flirts. I also never had a physical male influence (obviously the Lord was in my life… and even still after I left Christianity) - but like… how should I react/act around the opposite sex? and what should I wear?
This is a great question. There are plenty of people out there who want to tell young Christian women how to behave. Unfortunately they tend to use guilt and shaming to get those points across, instead of actual reasons. I think your question about how to dress is a good place to start trying to cut through the noise.
Modesty is an idea that gets tossed at Christian gals a lot, but it is rarely defined well. You obviously want to have, as they might say in the South, your bits covered. From there, things get less cut and dry. There is an idea that the reason girls should dress modestly is to keep guys from lusting. That doesn’t makes sense on two fronts: guys are responsible for their own actions, and if every girl wore ankle length potato sacks, it wouldn’t slow down young men. You should dress in a way that makes you comfortable. The problem comes when you are dressing specifically to get attention from guys. That becomes about trying to gain self esteem from the approval of men, and that is unhealthy.
The same framework can be applied to flirting. Some people have naturally flirty personalities, and that is not necessarily bad. Leading someone on is not cool, however, you are not responsible is a guy misreads your natural tendencies. The problem arises when you have the thought “I don’t want to date this guy, but the attention makes me feel good about myself so I will let him keep thinking there is a chance”. That is crossing the line from flirtation to manipulation.
What tends to cause problems is when you are using getting male attention to define your worth as a person. Your relationship with God defines you as person. You are not responsible for guys lusting or feeling lead on, but it is good for you as a sister in Christ to help them out on those fronts. You should dress and act in a way that makes you happy and comfortable, and it is okay to take some time to figure out what that is.
-Matt from The Bridge