You are More

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These days I’m noticing more and more just how much women are objectified. Women are viewed as pretty objects, pleasurable things to look at and toy with, something fun to use for a while until they’re temporarily satisfied or a prettier one comes along.

Before I go any further, let me get this straight: I am NOT a feminist. In fact, I feel that I’m about as far from modern “feminism” as one can possibly be without being labeled a “sexist” (like many men are wrongly accused of being these days, when actually all they’re asking for is a little respect. Funny how their cry for “equality” is always labeled as “sexist.” Shouldn’t we be calling it “masculism” and quit shoving “feminism” down their throats, because last I checked, every human has rights. But that’s a whole ‘nother topic for a whole ‘nother day). So, no — I’m not a feminist who hates men, and this post is not about how women are mistreated and we need to stand for equality, blah, blah, blahhhh. Nope, none of that nonsense here on my blog, people.

Anyway. Now that we’ve got that straightened out (and if you’ve read any of my other posts it was clearly obvious already), let me just get back to what I’m supposed to be talking about. Sorry for rambling.

As I was saying, women nowadays are severely objectified. And while I will point out that males were intentionally created to be very visual people and their brains are just wired differently than females’ — that’s how they always have been and how they always will be — it doesn’t at all mean they have a good excuse for looking at a woman and lusting at her body, or only “caring” (if I may flippantly use that word here) about her physical appearance. But y’all, there is a huge difference between attraction & admiration and lust & selfish sexual desire. A man is naturally going to be attracted to and admiring of a woman’s body — again, that was exactly God’s intention — but there is a line that must be drawn there, so that attraction doesn’t turn to lust, which can then become merely a selfish desire to be sexually satisfied. Outside of marriage, sex is not a holy thing created by God; it is a sin. And thinking of someone, who is not your spouse, in a sexual way, is lust. Because of their visual characteristic, men have to work pretty hard to control their thoughts and guard their hearts in this area in order to be pleasing and faithful to God.

But I’m not here to harp on the men. I’ve explained enough and said plenty about them up to this point, but I am obviously not a male and therefore not qualified to instruct the male population how they ought to conduct themselves (#notmyjob).

Yet, I’m also not writing here today to harp on my fellow female population, either. I just want to make a point in as few words as possible and be on my way (because I am doing such a great job being so short winded thus far — ha ha).

When I said earlier that I’ve noticed women being viewed as pretty objects and things to be used, I didn’t specifically say that we’re seen that way only by a lot of men. No, women are seeing themselves that way, too.

And that’s what I want to talk to you about today.

Society is telling women that “you’re beautiful just the way you are” while at the same time using half naked women in advertisements in order to sell everything from underwear to books to cheeseburgers. Hypocritical much?! It’s no wonder we’re so confused!

From the beginning, when God made the first man and the first woman, He made them special. He made people in His image (Genesis 1:26) and then when He was finished creating on Day 6, He “saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). First and foremost, you were created by God in His image, and He says you are good.

And as if that wasn’t enough, He says that women specifically are very special. A virtuous woman — a woman who is good and kind — is so very valuable in this world. Proverbs 31:10 says that a good woman is worth “far above jewels.” Later on in the same chapter (verse 30), it says that charm and beauty will fade away, but what is on the inside is what’s really important: “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who reverences the Lord, she shall be praised.”

We can dress up — or like so many around us, dress down — or fix our hair or wear nice jewelry, but that’s not what makes us beautiful. What matters most and what truly defines genuine beauty is our heart. Our heart is so very precious to God, and if we have a good heart, the right people will see it and it will shine so bright it makes us beautiful on the outside as well. I’ve met people I thought were gorgeous on the outside until I got to know them a little, and came to find that their heart was bad, and unfortunately that then made them ugly on the outside. Peter tells us what God thinks about the inward-to-outward beauty in I Peter 3:3-4: “Your adornment must not be merely external — braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.”

We can wear pretty clothes and fine accessories, but true beauty lies beneath all that. And if someone can’t see past what you have on in order to know you are beautiful, or if the only way they think you’re pretty is if you’re not wearing anything, then you’re not looking to the right person to attract. A good man values women as precious humans to be loved and cherished, not looked to as a pretty thing with only one purpose — to please them.

Paul said in Ephesians 5:25, 28-29, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her… So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church.” Ladies, if we are to be treated by our husbands as Christ treats His church, then we can know that our value is more than skin deep, and we don’t have to dress provocatively in order to be beautiful.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather dress modestly and discreetly and be respected by real men, called beautiful by my own husband, and know that I am cherished and valued by my Lord than to dress in as little as possible or show a bit of cleavage or too much of my legs in order to turn heads everywhere I go just so guys will think I’m pretty on the outside.

You are pretty on the outside, because God made only one specially perfect version of you, but don’t let that alone define you, because outward beauty is shallow and temporary. My great-grandma used to say, “Pretty is as pretty does,” and I remind myself of that often. If your heart is pretty, you’re a pretty person. Worry about being pretty on the inside, and that will shine out of you so that others will see your true beauty, inside and out. Wearing skimpy clothes doesn’t make you beautiful; it just takes away from the real you. You are more than how you look on the outside. You’re fearfully and wonderfully made by God, and that’s enough, so don’t ever tell yourself otherwise.

“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand…” (Psalm 139:13-18)

Have a great day!
~Courtney Faith

So, What About College?

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I’m going to rant a little on this lovely afternoon. I am not pointing fingers at anyone; I am simply voicing my opinions and questions.

   
     It’s been a month since I’ve last written, and that’s just because I haven’t sat down to write what has been on my mind. But this morning as I was getting ready to venture out in to the world (also known as a trip to town), I was thinking about my future, which I’m sure is very common for almost everybody. I think a lot. So this time I was thinking about college, which has been on my mind lately, thanks to the many questions that people I know continue to ask.

     I don’t know about you, but when I get asked the same question, or a variation of the same question, more than a dozen times in a short period of time, it gets a little… old. I couldn’t even begin to count the times I have been asked “when,” “where,” and “what for” about going to college. The conversations I have with them usually sound a little like this:
     “So, where do you go to school?”
     “I was home schooled, but I graduated last year.”
     “Oh, so are you going to college?”
     “No, probably not. I’ve never really wanted to go.”
     “Well, you should look into it. There are plenty of great classes you could take. Find a career that you love, and go with it. You can do whatever you want.”
     This is where the conversation either ends with me saying I’ll think about it, or that person goes on about how great education is, what a good thing it is to make a living, etc. I honestly don’t mind that everyone seems to have this conversation with me, because it tells me that people care. I love it when people ask me questions, but to tell you the truth, most times they don’t understand my answers when it comes to their asking about college.

     Okay, here’s the shocker for ya: I don’t WANT to go to college. NEVER have! And if I did want to go, I would want to choose a major before I begin, so I won’t be wasting money on classes that I may not need in the long run.

     First, let me get a few things straight:
          1. I am not against college. I think in many cases, it is a good thing.
          2. I have friends in college, boys and girls, and I am happy for them. They are all pursuing great careers.
          3. I don’t want to go to college, but that does not mean I never will.

     So. In response to all the questions like, “Why on earth would you not go to college?” I have some questions for you!
   
     You tell me that I can do whatever I want, that women can do anything they feel like doing, but then when I tell you my one dream is to hopefully someday get married and raise a Godly family, you think I’m crazy and should go to college before I do anything. WHAT? Why is it that a girl can become anything she wants, even if it means traveling away from her family, but as long as she’s making money it’s totally okay? Why is it that you think it’s crazy that I want to depend on my husband to earn a living for our family? And furthermore, why do you believe I won’t ever become anything worthy of recognition unless I go to college for four years?

     Again, I have nothing against girls going to college, or even helping to earn a living. But it does bother me that there are wives and mothers who have full time jobs, make great amounts of money, but don’t have time for their husbands, kids, and other duties in the home!

     My one dream my whole life has been to be the best Christ-follower I can be, and to marry a Christian man and raise a family together. I’ve often said I’d like to be an astronaut, but my parents don’t like the idea of me leaving the planet, so that’s out of the question. I went through a phase when I wanted to be a teacher, then I wanted to be a cosmetologist, and at some point I thought it might be cool to be an interpreter for the deaf, using ASL. But I don’t have to go to college for all of those. Sure, I can learn tons more if I study each thing specifically, but really, if I have kids someday, I’ll be able to do all those things and more! A mom has many jobs in her one career alone. Listed are just a few jobs that most moms do on a regular basis:
          1. Chef
          2. Teacher
          3. Cosmetologist
          4. Fashion designer
          5. Secretary
          6. Doctor/nurse
          7. Chauffeur
          8. Seamstress
          9. Psychiatrist
          10. Judge 

     Now tell me, how is being a stay-at-home wife and mother demeaning, throwing my abilities away, or snuffing out my chance for a higher education? Raising a Godly family and seeing them grow up to be helpmeets and soldiers for God sounds like the best “degree” one could receive in an entire lifetime! If they taught how to be the very best Christian wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend in a college class, I’d sign up in a heartbeat. But I’ve got the textbook I need in order to achieve that goal, and that is the Bible.
    
     So thanks, but no thanks; I’ll risk losing my chance for a “higher education” and work on being a humble servant for Christ, following every step of the way He leads me to go.

     “That they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”(Titus 2:4-5)

     “Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.” (Proverbs 31:30-31)