Whether you’ve heard of “hot girl summer” or not, the teen girls in your life certainly have. In recent months leading up to summer it’s been splashed all over TikTok and preached by the teenage influencers on Instagram. Like most new slang, “hot girl summer” doesn’t have an official definition but it’s generally characterized by an emphasis on promiscuity, immodesty, and partying. Having a “hot girl summer” means not being tied down by a boyfriend, dressing “hot”, and living wild.
It only takes a moment to surmise that “hot girl summer” is wholly incompatible with the life we’re called to live as believers and it’s in direct contrast to the principles of Christian womanhood we’re trying to instill within the teenage girls in our lives. So how do we help our girls navigate a culture that’s saturated with the storyline that the only way to have fun this summer is to have a “hot girl summer”?
If we’re going to lead our girls to the truth, we have to first expose the lie that “hot girl summer” is selling. Underneath the surface, “hot girl summer” is the worldly solution to having an uninhibited fun summer. It promises confidence and abundance in exchange for holiness. “Hot girl summer” preaches the message of “do what makes you happy” and “love yourself first” all while glamorizing a wild and crazy lifestyle. But when you peel back the exciting facade, “hot girl summer” is simply perpetuating the same old lie that the enemy has been shouting at women since the Garden of Eden: Obeying God means missing out.
Rather than simply preaching at the teen girls we’re mentoring to avoid the “hot girl summer” lifestyle, let’s dive below the surface and address the heart of this issue. Harping on modesty and purity this summer may be necessary at times but the root problem is much deeper. We have to teach the teenage women in our lives that obedience to God doesn’t mean missing out or living a boring life. In fact, it’s exactly the opposite! The truth teen girls often miss is that you can’t live your best life until you surrender it to God. Jesus said it this way, “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Matthew 16:25). The truth is, there is only one way to miss out on truly living this summer and it’s living it for ourselves.
So here’s what that means for “hot girl summer”: it’s impossible to have the best summer of your life if you haven’t surrendered it to Jesus. John 10:10 says “the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” An abundant summer doesn’t come from having the best bikini body or getting invited to the coolest parties. Abundance comes from Jesus and Jesus alone.
Because Jesus is everything, we never have to fear missing out on anything when we are in Him. So in order to help our girls navigate “hot girl summer” (and plenty of other worldly concerns) we have to teach them that Jesus isn’t just everything they need but He is also everything they could ever want. Practically that looks like this: instead of simply telling girls what’s wrong with “hot girl summer,” start by telling them what they have to gain by living their lives devoted to Christ.
Ultimately, if we’re going to effectively help the girls we mentor navigate this summer, we have to remind ourselves of these truths too. It’s impossible to tell others that life with Jesus is abundant if you’re not genuinely living an abundant life in Him. So let me encourage you, friends, to dive deeper yourselves as you lead the girls God has entrusted you with. Let the Lord remind you of the riches to be found in a life of obedience and holiness. Only then can you lead from the overflow and help the teen girls in your life see the joy to be found in Jesus alone.
Taylor Cage is a Nashville native, currently living in Oklahoma City with her husband, Baron, who serves as a student pastor at Trinity Baptist Church. After college, she spent three years as a Girls Minister and she’s passionate about building gospel-centered community among women of all ages. Taylor is the Social Media Coordinator for Well-Watered Women and a regular contributor for the Lifeway Girls blog. Most days you can find her writing about God’s Word with a cup of coffee in hand or chasing around her Goldendoodle, Posie. Connect with Taylor: Instagram