“Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.” Titus 2:3-5 NLT
My mother is one of the most awesome people I know.
For all of my life, I’ve looked to this woman for sound guidance (even when we were at odds or held disparate spiritual beliefs) She is wise (and after eighty years she has quite a bit of life experience) and is one tough prayer warrior!
You know what’s really cool? Her church recognizes her worth as a spiritual mentor within the body of Christ. She has been an integral part of the prayer team for years. For the past three years, she has taught teenage women in the High School Sunday School class after services on Sunday morning. Now, she will be teaching an eight week spiritual warfare class for adults. Basically, my mother tries to live in a way which honors God. By virtue of her example, she is training younger women to do the same.
Yet, some how this lesson is being lost among far too many women in our culture today.
As I sit here, thinking about the situation which prompted yesterday’s post, I am deeply troubled by those who seem to be missing the point (whether by cheering the girl on for “expressing her sexual self” or hanging a “Scarlet Letter” around her neck). What was witnessed during the VMA’s is a symptom of much bigger problem.
Miley Cyrus (or Beyonce at the Super Bowl, or Lady GaGa, et al) are responding to the messages being promoted within our culture, chief among them (especially for women) being “sexy” = naughty, lewd, crude, perverse, manipulative, out of control, wild, etc. The more shocking the better.
What I cannot help but ask is this:
- What are we teaching our daughters about themselves?
- Who’s example are they following?
- Where are they developing these ideas about how sex should look?
- Why should a man be expected to value a woman if she is never taught to respect her own body?
As someone who works for an organization which rescues women and children from the horrors of sex trafficking, I am sickened with grief. People are just not getting it! They do not seem to be connecting the dots. Media is a powerful tool in the development of social and inter-personal expectations.
When parents are viewing (or dismissing as irrelevant) the ever increasing (and explicit) amount of “simulated sex” images now popular within entertainment media (whether performed by a singer on stage or television commercial or a night time drama) they are telling their daughters (and sons) “this is what a woman is!”
This is a problem. And it should be of concern to all women.
As the edges of the envelope are pushed further and further, a woman is no longer valued as a human being (with feelings, gifts and talents). She is no longer desired for her character. Instead, the woman (or young girl in far too many cases) becomes a tool or object of lust to be “thrown away” once she’s outlived her usefulness as a means of self gratification. There is always someone else right? And it doesn’t matter if this development is happening in the thought processes (or actions) of a man or a woman. The damage is done.
So what can we as women do about it?
Well, we love people through word and deed. Communicate value to others by virtue of the fact they exist. Be the friend, mother, and wife other younger women want to emulate. Let’s hold ourselves to a higher standard (Jesus Christ can help with that btw) and teach our children by example. Embrace the hurting with the truth. Set the captives free. Let’s reject what the culture determines as “acceptable” by modeling something better and tuning into something else.
And as always, in everything, we pray.