I have been contemplating the way our society views women. There can be no argument that we live in a culture that sexualizes them. Women may accept this now because we are finally recognized in many arenas as equals in our rights and careers, so beauty is simply a perk to many. But I want to address the way our society portrays women as having great value when they are beautiful or sexy. Placing worth on the external devalues the internal.
Men are bombarded with imagery that has desensitized them. As Christians, what can we do to change this negative view? Young girls and grown women do not deserve to be looked at as sexual objects. Even if certain women participate, it is still the ethical duty of Christians to not take advantage of them.
So what can Christians do to educate men and women about the value God places upon the inside of a person? Can we teach that the sexual factor is to be enjoyed within marriage where, believe it or not, both man and woman experience the greatest trust, safety and sexual fulfillment because it is done according to God's plan? How can we do our part to treat all people with the respect and worth that God created them to have?
Rather than shy away from topics of our over-sexualized media, we need to discuss them â€” at length. Understanding the spiritual side and the psychological damage it can produce is vital for us as Christians to do our part to fulfill the Great Commission and mature those who come into faith.
Great damage has been done to those pursued too early. Great hurt occurs when men seek sex outside of the marriage. If you are a man doing this and you have a daughter, I implore you to reflect upon how you would feel if a man did this to your child?
Thinking in this manner may cause some to realize the value of the internal woman. If she is a participant to sexual temptation, pray for her. If you are struggling, pray for yourself. It is not God's will for us to look at one another in a lustful, leering manner.
We need to train women in their internal worth â€” not worth derived from beauty, or a career or talent. We also need to train men to look at women with respect to the whole person.
As Christians, if this is ringing true, ask the Lord what your part can be in bringing value to individuals. I am aware that women are guilty of this as well in some circumstances, and the same message holds true in placing value on men. But to seek out lustful adventure and look at God's precious creation as a means of sexual fantasy or outlet is not God's will. Let us place value on one another with Christ-like love and not lead one another into temptation, sin and emotional harm.
The Rev. Kimberlie Zakarian can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at Holy House Ministries c/o the Rev. Kimberlie Zakarian, M.S. La Vie Counseling Center, 650 Sierra Madre Villa, Suite 110, Pasadena, CA 91107.