“We’re talking about modesty…again.”
“Our girls said they wanted to talk about something other than purity this year.”
“If I have to sit through one more retreat focused on modesty I’m going to cry.”
Think of the Christian teen girls you know. Super amazing right? And pretty unique. One is super Type-A and obsessed with her grades and making president for student council. Another girl has a job and barely finishes her homework before passing out on her bed at night. One has been dating the same boy since she was 13. Another won’t even contemplate dating until she is certain she will go pro in soccer. Most are just regular girls, trying to figure out life and school and friends and boys and parents and music and everything else. Who they are. They are multi-faceted girls who succeed and fail in their Christianity in a multitude of ways. They’re compassionate and giving and encouraging. They’re spiteful and gossips and envious. They’re everything in between.
We should treat them that way.
Living a Christian life can feel incredibly complicated, especially when you’re a teenager figuring out who you are and want to be. While the Bible is absolutely clear that modesty (1 Tim 2:9) and sexual purity (1 Cor. 6:18-20) are musts for those serious about their faith, the pursuit of these goals to the exclusion of most others has unfortunately caused far too many teen girls to see their role as Christians as something that consists of nothing more than abiding by these two standards. Instead of feeling encouraged and empowered to live complete Christian lives, working and serving in a meaningful way, they feel like their entire being is relegated to a list of do’s and don’t for what to wear and how to date.
Purity is an all-encompassing thing. The name of our site comes from the Greek word, “Katharos”, which can be translated to mean “clean”, “pure”, “innocent”, or (my personal favorite) “like a vine cleansed by pruning and so fitted to bear fruit”. James uses it when he writes“Religion that is pure [katharos] and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:27). Our goal at KatharosNOW is encourage sincere katharos religion among all readers, the type of purity that directs every aspect of who we are.
This includes modesty and sexual purity, because girls that are focused on living for God are girls who want to dress appropriately and keep their bodies pure. But we also includes articles about school, family, friends, movies, and all the other things that are going on in their lives. Our primarily goal is to emphasize the love that God has for all of us (John 3:16) and that our lives are meant to be lived as a recognition of that love, not as a means of earning it or some checkmark to obtain.
However, this verse provides us with two sub-goals as well.
First, James says that katharos religion is “to visit widows and orphans in their affliction”. KatharosNOW has always had a focus on service. From counseling former child soldiers to foreign and domestic missionaries, to those seeking to serve within their own churches/communities, we’ve been able to show examples of Christian women of all ages serving and putting others first in the name of Christ. We have also endeavored to create opportunities and provide ideas for way to serve to teenagers who might otherwise believe they have nothing to offer.
Secondly, James specifies that one should “keep oneself unstained by the world”. KatharosNOW provides regular issues dealing a variety of topics. We provide Bible-based articles focused on dating and relationships, school, family, inner and outer beauty, media, and all the little things that don’t really fit into a neat little category. We seek to address all aspects of life because we know that being a teenage Christian girl means a LOT of battles as well as a LOT of victories, and we want all girls to know they’re not alone in these. We want to move beyond the canned answers and simple responses many girls have come to expect and provide them with real answers for the questions they might be afraid to ask.
So that’s the why of KatharosNOW. The who, what, where, when, and how are much shorter. We recently underwent a re-design to help us better meet the needs of our audience. Instead of one themed monthly issue, we now provide weekly articles based on current events and relevant topics. Our writers are women of all ages who understand what it means to be a teenage girl trying to serve God. We are always open to fresh perspectives from Christian ladies who have an interest in serving in this way and a desire to be a part of our ministry. We do occasionally allow some male input though, and one of my favorite things that we just started is a regular “Love Stories” feature, where men can share their stories about the girls the met, fell in love with, and married. Aw-inducing for sure!
You can find us at KatharosNOW.com and also be sure to like us Facebook! If you’d like to be involved in our ministry, please let us know. We love finding new writers and could find some other ways to use you as well. Above all, we covet your prayers that we might always glorify God and that our readers will be encouraged by our work.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)
Posted by team member Sharla Orren