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.
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Humans have a natural tendency to be cliquish, we are all aware of this, and we have this notion that they are always destructive and harmful. Well, I would like to submit that this is not always so. There is a ‘man’ clique and a ‘woman’ clique. And I will dare to say that these cliques are both good and healthy. Yes it means rejection, and yes rejection is painful and unpleasant, but it is not as destructive as one might think. If a man tries to join the ‘woman’ clique, and finds that they reject him, but that the men are welcoming and inviting logic says it is rather simple as to where he will go. And vise versa. But suppose the opposite, say that a woman is rejected in the ‘woman’ clique and is accepted and esteemed in the ‘man’ clique. It is also fairly simple to understand this dynamic.
There is this idea that rejection will hurt ones self-esteem, and true, I would say this is true. But I will also submit that this is perfectly ok and acceptable. Take for example, the number one reason men are so scared to ask a woman out on a date; fear of rejection. And yet we find that this is not an acceptable excuse or reason for a man to be cowardly. It is not healthy to always live in fear of rejection. What we need is for men and women to stand up, and tell the opposite sex to get back into their groups. A man doing all the things a woman does and being womanly about it, does not, and never will, make him ‘equal’ to a woman, for equality does equal uniformity or sameness. And a woman doing all the things a man does and being manly while doing it, will never make her ‘equal’ to a man. Equality is, at its most basic and important level, never derived from any action or quality. Neither man nor woman can add to their value, their intrinsic value that is assigned by God. True, man does assign value, and he always will. He will do so from his own limited view and it will always be faulty, because as man; and therefore a created being; he is vastly limited in his sight. No, people will never understand equality if they do not perceive and understand it from the eyes of the Creator. But, yet again, we have a tendency to let other people define things for us, to include this modern phenomenon that equality must mean sameness, or acceptence into the ‘clique’. No, I will argue that there should be cliques that differentiate men and women, and we see this natural tendency in children. Boys will build a fort and it’s a ‘boys only’. And we find that girls will do the same thing, refuse to let the boys into their domain. This is a natural and healthy thing that I will argue must not be fought. I say that if a child is all upset, about being kicked out of the ‘club’ then good; then would be a prime time to try to encourage them to join yours. Assuming of course that your child should join your ‘club’ that is.
Leave a comment | tags: boys, children, feminism, feminist, girls, kids, manhood, men, propaganda, raising, womanhood, women | posted in Biblical Counseling, Biblical Perspective