C: “I’m a stripper and I also work with the youth at my church. I sometimes feel guilty about it, but not really because I think stripping is a sin but more because I’m hiding it. I’m not having sex, the men don’t touch me and I think a body is nothing to be, pardon the pun, ‘naked and ashamed’ of. I’m not sure what I’m doing is wrong in the eyes of God or it’s just something that the church thinks is bad. What do you think?”
A: Confession is so great, is it not?! To take something hiding in darkness, which is the devil’s territory, and put it in a place where God’s light of love and wisdom can shine upon it is such a victory in and of itself!
I must confess as well that I, too, was in a situation nearly identical to yours a number of years ago. The main difference for me was that I kept things to myself and didn’t share what I was doing with anyone. As a matter of fact, when my church friends confronted me about it, I lied, which only made things worse. And when I couldn’t hide things anymore I just withdrew from church completely. It was a very difficult season in my life.
With that said, I’m happy to offer you the following thoughts:
1) I think the fact that you are most concerned about the “hiding” aspect of your situation says that you are sensitive to the fact that God would rather you come to Him messy than not at all. (Good job!) We all fall short of the perfection that the law requires to be holy every day, stripping or not. What matters is are we open to sharing the details of our lives with God and our trusted church family or are we relying only on ourselves and our ability to be ‘good’?
2) You didn’t mention what exactly your role was working with the youth at your church was but if you are in a teaching or mentor role with them and you are questioning whether your employment is appropriate or not, because teachers of the Word are held to higher standards (James 3:1), I’d encourage you to step back from your youth involvement until God gives you some clarity on the job front. By going to God in prayer with your specific questions and being open to God answering you either directly or through your bible reading or through a word or confirmation from a friend, God does promise to share His wisdom with whoever asks for it. (James 1:5)
3) I, myself, got caught up in stripping because I did not think that it was beneath me. I was raised to believe that I did not matter, that what I did did not matter, and that I was not important. Through the persistent love of God, I gained a better understanding of how I am viewed by God. Books like The Princess Within by Serita Ann Jakes and Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge and stories from the bible found in Esther and Hosea helped me to gain a more truthful view of myself. If, by any chance, you are involved in stripping for reasons similar to mine I just want to take the opportunity to tell that you are important! You do have tremendous value! You are a daughter of the Most High King of Kings!
4) If you ever feel that you are ready for a different line of work, there are groups out there just waiting to love, support, and help you along to make that transition. Change is hard so why not let others help a sister out?
Prayers and best wishes to you on your journey!!!