What I Tell My Granddaughters About Sexuality & Intimacy
By: Lisa Robertson
I love being married to a godly man who protects me and my family. As I tell our friends, “Al ain’t perfect, but he sure is close.”
Yes, he is a protector, but his primary defensive weapon isn’t a firearm or a baseball bat. Al sees us for what and who we are. In a godly man’s mind (like my man), his family members are image bearers of God, and he works hard to make sure that we all know this. And because he sees us as women who bear God’s image, he strives to love us as Christ loves the church — selflessly and sacrificially.
One of the areas that Al has led me (by his example and his love for God’s word) is by helping me to reorder my desires. You all know my story — how a man who is the exact opposite of Al used me when I was a very young girl for his own twisted sexual pleasure. That man took my God-given desire for intimacy and validation and used it to manipulate and control me. I was created as an object of God’s sacrificial affection and ended up as an object of that man’s lust and sexual abuse. To him, I wasn’t a person, but a thing — a toy.
Sadly, our culture reinforces this view of young girls and women as primarily sexual beings. And once I began to be defined this way, everything I saw in culture, Wall Street marketing strategies, and the entertainment media reinforced what had become my distorted view of myself. Since I saw myself as a young girl whose job it was to please men (because of what happened to me), I noticed that it was the sensuous and seductive women who got the good-looking guys. I wanted to be that girl in the magazine advertisement.
I’m not always in agreement with radical feminists, but when it comes to their opposition to reducing young girls and women to objects of sexual desire, I’m in 100 percent agreement with them.
I think about this a lot when I pray for my granddaughters. Now that I’m older, I think God has blessed me with a certain wisdom about this. I pray for my granddaughters to be strong women who are able to see Satan’s lies coming from a mile away. But I don’t stop at prayer. I am also relentless about having frank conversations with them about the futility of finding meaning in their sexual identity. Sexuality is important because it is a gift from God, but the last thing I want them to think is that they are primarily objects of unholy sexual desire.
Instead, I want them to find their purpose and meaning in seeking intimacy with God before they seek it from anyone else. I want this for them because I know full well that no one else will love them with purity like God does. He is never selfish with my granddaughters, and he is always sacrificial toward them. He always does what is best for them. He will never use them for his own pleasure. And I want them to know that God demonstrated his love for them when Jesus died for them (Romans 5:8), and that no one will ever love them as much as God does.
Sadly, sacrificial love is not the aim of our culture (or any culture) when it comes to our girls. And it seems to me that we are worse off in 2022 America than we were when I was a girl.
If you have young girls in your family, you know what I’m talking about. Just one evening at the mall shopping for school clothes will tell you all you need to know. Fashion for even the youngest girls is designed to put their little bodies on display. Clothes are shorter, tighter, and lower — all designed to teach our girls to attract and seduce lovers.
Perhaps the best example of how culture reinforces the sexualization of girls and women is what happened during the Super Bowl Halftime Show only a few weeks ago. Entertainers who have made a career out of calling women “bitches and hos” and singing lyrics like “I’m into havin’ sex, I ain’t into makin’ love So come give me a hug, if you into getting rubbed” paraded their product on national television. And in the background, scantily clad dancers were twerking in the background simulating sexual intercourse.
Think about the message this sends to women. We have reduced you to your genitals and your breasts. You are nothing more than our toys — our objects. So, just play the part we have given you and please us. Do what you are told to do.
Unfortunately, the brainwashed little girls of the world hear this loud and clear. It is a message that is reinforced on so many levels. So, in an effort to become what culture says they should become (to be “attractive” and “desirable”), they fall into the trap. The pressure is on them to be skinnier, to obsessively hit the gym to sculpt a firmer and larger behind, and to wear the clothing that reminds them and their predators of their purpose.
Thankfully, God has a different plan for women that is radically countercultural.
The world objectifies women, but God said that this approach to finding meaning and purpose is “deceptive” and “fleeting.” It is deceptive because it is designed to keep women from realizing our true value and purpose which is to fear God. And it is fleeting because it always disappoints. It leaves us empty. ALWAYS! It is fleeting because we get older and lose the youthful sexuality. It just won’t last.
That’s why I’m committed to reminding my granddaughters and anyone else that a woman can only be truly attractive when she seeks to pursue intimacy with the God who loves them. It really is the only path to true fulfillment. This kind of beauty, one defined by our love for God and his love for us, lasts. It doesn’t disappear when the wrinkles appear, and we aren’t so young and pretty (by world standards) anymore. Yes, it endures — for eternity. Beautiful forever!
You may not have a man like Al in your life, but I am absolutely certain that God will honor your desire to see your daughters grow in the knowledge that they can be holy and godly young women. And if you have sons, he will also honor your desire to see them grow up to be men who are godly in the way they treat the women in their lives.
You may feel like you are swimming against the current once you take on the task of fighting the culture of sexualization, but you won’t regret it in the end. Fight the battle! Your kids are worth it.