A Preface to Save Face
First of all this post is mainly a guys perspective on guys. While I am sure things like this likely happen among women, I am not a woman, nor am I around them for a significant period to know if it is or not. My goal when it comes to blogging is not to impress any of you. If that were the case I would likely fail on a regular basis. Okay, maybe on some tiny level, my flesh tries to use blogging to impress people, but as far as things go, I have always seen blogging, as another detail, in the overall scheme of my pursuing truth. Whatever I write, is about my continued pursuit, in hopes of knowing God, and helping others doing so also. Sometimes that means writing easy things, while other times, as you are about to read, it is about writing things that are hard.
And Now for Something Kind of Different
We as males can, and often do, devalue women by the way we treat them. Some of this at times is unintentional, while at others it is intentional. Many guys treat women preferentially by level of attraction. One story that really punched me in the heart and mind was from a friend of mine. She is one of the most godly women I know, funny, pretty, everything you could imagine to be awesome from a woman in Christ, but tearfully said she often felt invisible, because guys rarely acknowledged her existence. She was overlooked by so many brothers because in her words “she did not sell herself through sex appeal” or give into what culture says is beauty. Is this right? Should women be devalued because they do not have sex appeal, because they are not the stereotype of what society deems “pretty”? I say no! Instead of valuing women for their worth in Christ, we value them for their sex appeal and that is wrong! This kind of thinking is destructive because our view of women becomes, not about the spiritual, but the physical. I can see why worldly people do this, they are the world, they have no standard, but for Christians should this really be the case?
A Guys View on Guys:
I have been in the full depths of Christian communities since I first became a believer. Unfortunately, even Christians still possess the flesh and still have the ability to sin as much as anyone else. Constantly and consistently I have seen this pattern of behavior. There are always those “pretty girls” who it seems as if all the guys will stop at nothing to give their undivided attention to. And while they are ready and willing to interact with these “pretty” girls, usually they treat girls they find unattractive the opposite. I have been just as guilty of this as anyone, but as I have grown in my walk with the Lord, nothing has made me feel sicker. I mean, to come to the point where we see the value of a woman (or anyone for that matter), by what they look like, NO WONDER SO MANY PEOPLE FEEL VALUELESS?! When women are devalued because of how they look, ignored because they are not the standard definition of “pretty”, it makes them feel literally like they are worth nothing. Some will turn to immodesty or sexual compromise in order to gain attention, while others will aspire to be nothing more than how those men made them feel; worthless. For example I have seen this over and over; a guy walks into a room, and will automatically gravitate towards the women who are “attractive”, while neglecting any they feel who are not. I cannot even count the times I have seen, guys not talk to a girl, say hello or start conversations, hold a door open, offer help to, choose partners in projects, all because she was “unattractive”. Sure, this is not always the case, but I have heard enough men admit it and see them do it, to think this is something done by the majority. Is this a problem or merely a symptom to something much bigger?
What’s the Prognosis?
I believe the problem is not preferential treatment of women, but men choosing to not be leaders in Christ. As with most sin the heart is generally the cause, while outward actions are merely the symptoms. Guys who interact with women based on attraction are straight up, being guided by their flesh. Their hormones dictate how they value women and determine the size of the price tag to put on them. If they are not worthy enough in the guy’s eyes, they are overlooked like cheap merchandise. Women become nothing more than shiny cars and new game consoles, an object to which they determined the value. There is no other way to put it. How a guy respects other women will dictate how he respects you. It is because guys choose to do this that women are not receiving godly leadership by their brothers in the Lord. Those who receive a guy’s attention often receive the wrong kind, and those who do no,t assume that most guys are the same shallow jerks. How are the ladies supposed to know what it means to walk with the Lord when men are not leading and being examples of how to do so? As godly men it is our responsibility to treat all of our sisters the same, because of the value they have in Christ, not because one gets our hormones going a little more than the others. That is part of what it means to lead as a godly man. If we as Christian men expect Christian women to act and dress as if they have value, we should treat them like they are valuable.
For the Men:
- Think about how you treat women. Do you treat all of our sisters with equal value in Christ or by the level of attraction you think they possess?
- Go out of your way to be kind to women who you normally would not. John 4: 1-26 shows Christ interaction with the woman at the well. Christ went out of his way to minister to a woman that NOBODY, not even his own disciples, wanted to minister to. Should we not do the same?
- Not only should we keep ourselves accountable, but keep our brothers accountable. If we know our brother is being a “player” or treating women by their flesh and not by Christ, we should hold them accountable.
- Show ALL, not just a few, of our sisters they have value in Christ.
- Lead by example, setting the tone for our brothers, by pushing our sisters towards the Lord.
For the Ladies:
- Watch the lives of the guys spending time with you. Do they treat you differently than other women? Is there a common trend in the women they show value to and the ones they do not?
- Is the guy truly pushing your toward the Lord, or are you a number, in a line of girls he spends time with? Do you see his spiritual life lived out in how he treats all women or does he merely talk it up?
- If you are friends with a guy who is doing this, say something to them about it. If he is not being an example Christ in how he talks about or views other women, say something or have another brother talk to him about it.
- What are your conversations like? Do they revolve mostly around the deep and spiritual or the physical and worldly?
- Are you “playing” guys yourself? Do you value men based on attraction or on Christ?
To Finish Things Off:
All in all our goal should be to grow closer and help others grow closer to Christ. That is why I live and why I write. If that means asking tough questions or wrestling with hard thoughts, so be it. Our position in Christ not only gives us value, but also provides the ability to show others they have value too. We may not always be perfect, and at times will most certainly fail. We will stumble, we will fall, and even I will do the very things I write against doing. What matters is that in those times of failure, recognizing we cannot do what only He can. Being a Christian is not about whether or not we will fail, as it is how we will respond in the those failures. My brothers and sisters do not hold back from each other the love Christ has placed within you.