Question: "Can a Christian be a model? Is a modeling career something a Christian can consider?"
Answer: As Christians, our goal is to please the Lord. So, with that goal in mind, we should prepare ourselves for careers that are rewarding to ourselves, beneficial to others, and, most especially, pleasing to God. It could be possible that the Lord would allow a Christian to pursue a career in modeling, but, generally, He has a higher calling for His people. Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” The question for the Christian to decide is whether modeling is consistent with our command to offer our bodies to God and whether such a career is “holy and pleasing” to Him.
The whole purpose of the book of Romans is for Christians to know the truth of how we should live, the truth about what God expects of us, the truth about God and His judgments of our way of life. The first eleven chapters are about righteousness—the unrighteousness of fallen sinners, our need for God’s righteousness, and His provision of that righteousness through Christ. When we get to chapter 12, the first word is “therefore.” Having built the case that we have been redeemed by God out of our hopeless, sinful state, it is obvious that our calling is to be different from the world and no longer to buy into the lies of image-obsessed cultures.
There are some sad realities in the world of modeling. Many aspiring models work at minimum-wage jobs waiting for their big break, which, for most, never comes. The lifestyles of fashion models is also a reason for concern. There is a considerable amount of drugs and immoral behavior in the fashion industry. Young women are often used and abused by those in power. The highly competitive nature of the industry leads to greed, dishonesty, and cutthroat tactics. Those whose living is dependent upon the success of a designer, fashion house, or product line are at the mercy of these tactics. While it may be possible for a Christian to be in this world and not be affected by it, 1 Corinthians 15:33 warns us, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’"
God is very concerned about how we use or abuse our bodies. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Christians are not to try to look like the world; rather, we are to be a special, purified people (Titus 2:14), people who are set apart as belonging to the Lord. Christians should be well dressed and appropriately fashioned, not to bring the focus on ourselves, but so that we can go about the work God has for us without being overly concerned about our appearance. Women, especially, are exhorted to dress modestly (1 Timothy 2:9), and, since only the most successful models are given the choice of which clothes to model (unless the model wants to remain unemployed), it is hard to see how the modeling industry is compatible with a Christian worldview and dressing modestly.
Romans reminds us that Christians are to be set apart from the world, especially aspects of the world which are ungodly. Once we have accepted Christ and pledged our lives to Him, then we are ready to do some real modeling, because there is no greater calling in this world than to model Christ.
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