Sugggestive tees are a problem. So how can we reinforce this idea of purity in clothing that appeals to teenage women? Unfortunately for adolescent girls who are into fashion (which the vast majority are), there are few clean equivalents to the dirty T-shirt trend.
It seems most abstinence apparel is for politics and not for the people wearing them. Designed for function (at political rallies and national purity days), they are a billboard of information and hardly appeal to adolescent fashionistas. Rather than meeting teens where they are in the culture, T-shirts like these are awkward and send the message to teens that no one cares what they might like to wear.
The cool factor is hardly a reason to stand up for what is right, but there is also something to be said for giving teens an opportunity to stand up for what they believe in a way that is approachable to their peers. Hey, ever since the Fall, when Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves into clothing, fashion has been part of our world--whether you like it or not. Reaching into the culture with the Truth means we've got to find that channel through the culture. Fashion is a channel into a teenager's life. We've got to be in the world, just not of the world.
Why does a teenage girl wear a shirt that says, â€œYour Boyfriend is a Good Kisserâ€? Itâ€™s because it beckons attention. Itâ€™s because as terrible as it is, it makes people laugh. Hey, as Christians wanting to reach unbelievers with the relevant Gospel, donâ€™t we want the same response? We want to spark interest and to make our message approachable so we can share the life-changing power Christ has displayed in our lives. Both Jesus and his contemporaries were all about getting peopleâ€™s attention and even sparking a little controversy, but they stayed true to holiness (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).
With all this in mind, what might be the equivalent tee for Christian gals? How about, â€œPet Your Dog, Not Your Date,â€ a t-shirt offered by South Dakota-based Abstinence Clearinghouse. Or â€œHeâ€™s Leading You On,â€ a t-shirt by Kerusso Activewear, citing Hebrews 12:2 and how Jesus guides us in this life.
Better yet, avoid all those tacky Christian t-shirt sites, and design your own. It might even open up some opportunities for mothers to talk to their daughters about sex or for a young woman to talk to her high school girlfriends about waiting until marriage. Have fun with thinking up the slogans. Let's give teen girls a reason to put on a purity T-shirt. Donâ€™t forget your audience. It needs wit. It needs glitter. And of course, it needs the solid, unabashed Truth.