Brothers beware – I’m officially calling you out.

Let me first say that I trembled over writing this. The LORD who inspired 1 Timothy 2:12 is the reason for my trembling. But it needs to be said. So I present what’s on my heart to you here for your consideration, comments, and correction. And ladies, if I’ve misrepresented us, speak up.

I have a tendency to get bored with my music collection. It happened on my way home from this evening and I decided to give the radio a shot. I didn’t want to listen to anything secular, but KTIS generally smacks of saccharin. Skeptical, I flicked the preset on my stereo. The song I heard sort of surprised me. At first, I thought it might have a really strong message… and then I realized that message was lacking not only the Gospel and the name that is above every name, Jesus Christ, but utterly fails to really address the issue.

You can listen and read the lyrics if you want, but the gist of the song is in the first few lines:

“Little girl, 14, flipping through a magazine, says she wants to look that way. But her hair isn’t straight, her body isn’t fake, and she’s always felt overweight. Little girl, 14, I wish that you could see that beauty is within your heart and you were made with such care, your skin, your body, and your hair are perfect just the way they are. There could never be a more beautiful you. Don’t buy the lies, disguises, and hoops they make you jump through. You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do, so there could never be a more beautiful you.”

He goes on to apply the same principles to a 21 year-old. And here’s my beef. The catalyst for this problem, (and yes, it is a REAL problem for most women) is not that women don’t have the ability to discern that airbrushed and Photoshopped models in magazines do not define “true beauty”. In fact, I’d venture to say that most women know full well “it’s what’s inside that counts” and that most Christian women probably have Proverbs 31:30 memorized. So if women know all these things, then why are so many of us still striving and longing to look “beautiful” as our culture has defined the word? I’m very thankful for men like Mr. Diaz who see this problem and speak up about it. But like all things in this life we’ve been called to, we can’t stop at identifying the problem and wishing it were different.

I’m speaking especially to my single brothers in Christ: when was the last time you looked at a woman like charm was deceptive and beauty was vain?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I think men are directly responsible for the insecurities of women. A woman with an envious and covetous heart breeds bitterness and discontentment,and she is solely responsible for that mess. And praise the Lord, Christ died for that mess! But if you, brother, as a new creation in Christ, don’t value what the world values and truly believe that Proverbs 31 is the definition of a beautiful, godly woman – then why are so many beautiful, godly women flipping through magazines on a Saturday night instead of being pursued by you? Obviously, not everyone’s called to marriage and I certainly don’t believe you’re called to pursue every beautiful, godly woman that crosses your path. But I’d still like to challenge you to be an even stronger leader for us – how can you encourage the women in your sphere of influence to fight the lies the Enemy wants them to believe about what makes them beautiful?

Yes, please, guard our hearts. Think about it, pray about it, be careful with your words, and make your intentions crystal clear. But please, don’t let us let the culture drown out the voice of Christ on this. Being salt and light is just too important.

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6 thoughts on “Brothers beware – I’m officially calling you out.

    1. Wait, what does that mean?

      It could be interpreted as a sort of rallying the troops… or as a rebuke to your trembling sister… or you could be just spewing political references that I’m too ignorant to understand.

      Could you do a little, uhh clearification? (My Bush impression is nowhere near as good as yours.)

  1. I had a much longer comment to post but I first wanted to ask why you feel that it is the responsibility of a man to “encourage the women in your sphere of influence to fight the lies the Enemy wants them to believe about what makes them beautiful?”? As opposed to the biblical Titus 2 model of older women teaching the younger women?

    1. Great point, Emily! I’d say it’s not the responsibility of a man, in fact, I think I did say that in my post. And I agree, this is an issue that should be addressed in Titus 2 relationships and I think there should a lot more Titus 2 going on than there is. TRGCC, at least in the time I spent there, was overflowing with those kind of relationships – I think I had four women filling that role for me! FOUR!! What a blessing! Not so at Bethlehem. I have so many young single friends who are just starving for an older woman to pour into them and can’t find that. It took me almost a year to find one relationship like that here and I am thankful beyond words for it.

      My point is that there’s a disconnect between what we’re saying and what is actually going on relationally in the church. I’m committed to doing whatever I can to be a Proverbs 31 woman and making sure my life is lining up with who God says I need to be in His word. Why is that not an attention grabbing lifestyle? Why instead do I see godly men pursuing women with the spiritual maturity of a wet mop – but they sure look good in a sun dress? Or worse, there are those drop dead gorgeous women who are biblically beautiful – holy women who hope in God – and they have these beautiful marriages and then God gives them beautiful families and beautiful stories of the grace and glory of God magnified in their lives. Oh, how I long for that and despair that I will never have it because I wear double digit size jeans! Why do I have to look beautiful before someone will notice that I’m beautiful? Why am I believing the lies my culture is selling me when I know full well God’s word says otherwise? Could it be because that’s what I’m seeing play out? Have these single Christian men ever looked at the women in their lives and considered what makes them beautiful aside from form and appearance? Would it hurt for brothers in Christ to let their sisters know they’re not deceived by beauty and charm? Not as a responsibility, but as an act of love, seeking to encourage them and build them up?

      Again, I’m speaking specifically in the context of Bethlehem – lots of single women and men and I’ve heard it said many times over that “Bethlehem guys don’t ask girls out.” I have a friend who’s in a small group full of single women at Bethlehem who are not being pursued. Maybe I’ve subconsciously fallen victim to a P&P-esque philosophy that all single Christian men must be in want of a wife. What do you think?

  2. I know a lot of godly women.
    I know a lot of single, godly women.
    I know a lot of single, godly women who want to get married.

    Here’s a question: once you’ve established a woman fears the Lord, is it then proper to consider beauty and charm? Proverbs 31:30 is not the only thing the bible says about beauty…

    1 Peter 3:3-5 calls women to be beautiful in meaningful ways. Guys see a woman who has a great personality as more beautiful. It makes a difference in how I perceive them.

    I see many women clinging to Proverbs 31 as the clear description of who they ought to be. It’s not so clear. I’ve heard so many interpretations of that text, each emphasizing something different, often opposing each other. This is an aside, but I think it’s important.

    Sometimes I think I should just write my own post instead of a mega-comment.

    1. Both/and, Scott. I think you should megacomment AND write your own post.

      I would say absolutely! In fact, I’d go so far as to say that that’s the ONLY time one should consider beauty and charm, AFTER establishing that this woman does fear the Lord and is godly and biblically beautiful, with texts like 1 Peter 3 and Prov 31. Otherwise, the temptation to compromise is too strong. It goes both ways, I’m sure. I know I’ve fallen victim to compromising or over-compensating my opinion on a man’s character because I find him physically attractive. Biblical man and womanhood is SO important to me – and yet the last two men I’ve had a crush on are so far from possessing the Biblical qualities of a strong, godly leader that I can hardly understand what I saw in them in the first place! It’s astonishing how little I can trust my own eyes. I suppose I just want others who can relate to know that too and to walk circumspectly.

      Of course, that’s the problem. We don’t get to know people before we see them. Maybe I’m just perpetuating the problem instead of doing anything to help it. Lord, help!

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