A friend posted this video on Facebook this morning, and it got me thinking about what we are teaching our sons and daughters about what constitutes a beautiful woman. Do we tell them the truth about what is important, or do we allow them to be duped by the lie that perfect physical beauty is the most important goal.
The lies exposed in this video are lies of the devil promoted by the media and advertising industry. They are everywhere we look, in magazines, on billboards, and on television. They are subtle lies that suggest that women can, in fact, be like the perfect images we see in pictures and in videos. The truth is, as the Jean Kilbourne says, such external perfection can only be achieved through Photoshop and other manipulative software.
But where can we look to find the truth about what the perfect, or at least beautiful and exception woman, looks like? What should we be teaching our daughters to strive for? What should we be teaching our sons to appreciate in a woman? The truth can be found in God’s Word. Proverbs 31 describes the woman we should teach our daughters to desire to be and teach our sons to seek out for a wife:
A Wife of Noble Character
10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.
19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm clothes.
22 She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments
and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
In this passage, inner beauty and character are prized over external beauty. As verse 30 says, beauty does not last. As illustrated by the video, what is portrayed as beauty by the media and advertising industry does not even exist. A beautiful character, however, is real and achievable. The woman with a beautiful character will bring happiness and contentment to those around her, and will last an eternity.
This is the truth we must impart to our sons and daughters so that they will desire inner beauty that is achievable rather than external beauty that is unachievable and destructive. It will take effort to impart this wisdom because we must combat the many lies that bombard our children every day. More and more videos like the one above are being posted on the Internet everyday. It is wonderful that they are there to expose the lies about physical beauty. But we must do more than just expose the lies; we must replace them with the truth. We must teach our children that character and godliness are the most important traits for them to desire and prize above all else.
If you have a son or daughter, share this important message with them. Jean Kilbourne says she has been sharing her message for 40 years and things have only gotten worse. Maybe if we add to her message the truth of what God’s Word says is the woman who “will be greatly praised,” then maybe in another 40 years things will be much better.