Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. — Proverbs 31:30
Now that I have grabbed everyone’s attention with the previous post about stereotyping, let us continue to discuss and dig into this matter. In Proverbs 31 we see a wonderful description of a woman who is of great value, a rare jewel. One can argue that this was written for women; that they may strive to be like this. And one can also validly argue that it was written for men; that they may have a model to base their search on. It was written for the edification of both genders, that everyone will benefit from it.
Today, I would like us to take a rather different sort of look at it. Charm is deceptive, beauty is fleeting. This passage is assuming something. It is assuming that the reader needs to hear these words. It is assuming that either the man needs to read this because he is so obsessed with his looks, and his beauty, and his hair, or it’s assuming that the woman needs to be told that when looking for a man, to not be shallow; pick one that is more than just a handsome hunk. Wait….I think I got the stereotypes backwards. No, Scripture very clearly is saying what we all know to be true…that women as a whole, in general do have a tendency to care an awful lot about their beauty, sometimes too much. And men as a whole, in general tend to fall for a good looking woman, instead trying to see beneath her skin and into her heart. Now, if I were to say these things to people, it would be deemed words of wisdom. But if I say that women tend to struggle with vanity….how dare I stereotype….shame on me.
I want everyone to understand that stereotyping can be done in a wrong, ignorant, and sinful way, just like everything else. However, this stigma, this antipathy towards stereotyping is neither healthy nor wise. The Holy Spirit generalized, knowing that many women struggle with vanity, and in fact, they do so more than men. This is not an unfair or unjust generalization of the genders. We have to realize that sometimes stereotypes are good, sometimes they are right, and sometimes they ain’t fun and the truth just hurts. Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will be able to come out with the final post on this short series on stereotyping, which I hope will be edifying everyone.